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Buffalo Grove Recreation Association

Buffalo Grove Recreation Association

Thoroughbred League (5th/6th Grade)

Thoroughbred provides this developing age group with their first exposure to the total game of baseball. Lead-offs are permitted; the balk rule and infield fly rule apply; and players can advance to first on a dropped third strike and can score on a steal of home. This league has proven a strong instructional experience.

Thoroughbred Rules (last updated 2020)
The "Official Baseball Rules" published by Major League Baseball (not Little League Organization) shall govern the playing rules of BGRA. The rules listed below are supplemental and specific to Thoroughbred.

Batting Rules:

  1. Roster batting shall be used. Roster batting consists of placing all players in a sequential batting order regardless of the number of players present. All players will bat when their turn in the order is reached whether or not they are currently playing in the field.
  2. When a batter already has a ball-strike count on him/her and cannot continue to bat, due to injury only, the batter who has made the last out will come to the plate with the count of the injured batter. If no out in the game has been made, the last batter in the lineup will come to the plate. This applies to this at-bat only.
  3. A team warning will be given to a team in which a player throws his bat. Any subsequent thrown bat by the warned team will be an automatic out.
  4. Bunting is permitted. However, if a batter fakes a bunt and then swings, he/she is automatically out and the pitch shall be considered a dead ball.


Base Running Rules:

  1. Runner may not slide head first into home plate. The umpire will call the runner out.
  2. The Automatic Appeal Rule shall apply. When a runner misses a base there will be no appeal by the defensive team. If an umpire sees a runner missing a base he is to make a mental note of it while the play is in progress. After the play, he declares that runner out and all other plays stand unless the runner who is out is the third out of the inning.
  3. Half Way Rule:
    1. The halfway line shall be determined by either the home plate or field umpire.
    2. A runner on third base may not steal home or advance more than half way down the third base line unless:
      1. The batter takes the pitch and does not attempt to swing.
      2. The batter squares around and either attempts to bunt, bunts successfully, bunts foul or fakes a bunt.
    3. If the runner advances more than halfway down the third base line and the batter attempts to swing or hits the ball (other than a bunt) the RUNNER shall be declared out and the ball shall be dead.
  4. When a live ball gets lodged in the fence it remains a live ball. Exception: When the player is unable to easily dislodge the ball (i.e. stuck in fence), the umpire will call Dead Ball and all runners advance one base.


Fielder Obstruction and Base Runner Interference:

  1. A catcher or fielder not having the ball must concede the base path to a runner. If the catcher or fielder contacts the base runner without possession of the ball away from home plate or the base, it shall be called obstruction on the catcher or the fielder and the runner awarded the base. Notwithstanding the above, it shall not be considered a violation if the catcher/fielder blocks the pathway of the runner in a legitimate attempt to field the throw (e.g., in reaction to the direction, trajectory or the hop of the incoming throw).
  2. A runner must attempt to avoid contact with the catcher/fielder. If the catcher/fielder has the ball and is in position to make the tag or reasonably catch, reach, & make the tag; the runner must slide or move out of the base path to avoid contact. If a runner does not engage in a “bona fide slide” and makes contact with the catcher/fielder, he should be called for interference and will be called out.
  3. A runner does not have to slide into home plate or any base if there is no play on the runner. A runner will not be called out when there is no contact.
  4. A base runner who intentionally contacts the catcher or fielder for the purpose of separating the catcher or fielder from the ball will be called out. Furthermore, if a base runner intentionally contacts the catcher or fielder for the purpose of breaking up a double-play, both the runner and his teammate will both be called out.
  5. If the runner collides with the catcher after crossing the plate, the run will count.
  6. If the umpire feels any contact was intentional and flagrant the runner will be removed from the game


Pitching Rules:

Pitch Limits
(Maximum pitches/day)
Inning Limits
(House only)
Rest Requirements
House-Thoroughbred: 85 8 innings/week Pitches Thrown
1 - 25 → 0 Days Rest
26 - 50 → 1 Day Rest
51- 65 → 2 Days Rest
66+ → 3 Days Rest


  1. Any team member may pitch, subject to the other restrictions of the pitching rules.
  2. PITCH COUNTS and REST REQUIREMENTS apply to ALL league games a player participates in (e.g. combination of HOUSE and COYOTE; including regular season, playoffs, postponed games, etc…).
  3. INNING LIMITS apply to House league only. As soon as a pitcher delivers one pitch to a batter, the pitcher shall be considered as having pitched in one inning. A WEEK (for inning limits) is Monday 12:00am – Sunday 11:59pm.  For example: in 1 week a Thoroughbred player can pitch up to 8 innings in his house games (max limit) and also pitch 4 innings in his Coyote games (no inning limit). Important: the player must still meet all Pitch Count and Rest Requirements for his ‘combined’ pitches in both leagues.
  4. A player is allowed to pitch in 2 games on the same day up to the maximum Pitch Count. Rest required will be based on the day’s total pitches. Example: A Thoroughbred player has a House game in the morning and throws 35 pitches; later in the day he has a Coyote game and pitches 25 (60 total). Rest requirements are then 3 days.
  5. If a pitcher reaches the pitch limits imposed while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following occurs: A) That batter is put out; B) That batter reaches base; C) The third out is made to complete the half-inning.
  6. In suspended games resumed on another day, the pitchers of record at the time the game was halted may continue to pitch to the extent of their eligibility for that new day (i.e. without regard for the pitch count from the initial portion of the game), provided that the pitcher has observed the required days of rest.
  7. Each scorekeeper will be responsible for counting the pitches for both teams. Scorekeepers should confirm the score and pitch count with each other between each inning. When a pitcher reaches his maximum pitches, the scorekeepers should notify both Managers; note the Manager is ultimately responsible for the pitch counts for their pitchers. The pitch count to be recorded for a game is the actual number of pitches thrown; in addition, an intentional walk counts as 4 thrown pitches.
  8. *CALENDAR DAY is a FULL calendar day, not 24 hours. Example1: A Thoroughbred pitcher who throws 32 pitches on Friday is NOT eligible to pitch again until Sunday (e.g. Saturday is the 1 rest day). Example2: A Thoroughbred pitcher who throws 70 pitches on Friday is NOT eligible to pitch again until Wednesday (e.g. Sat – Tues are the 4 rest days).
  9. A pitcher who is removed from the mound shall not be permitted to return to the mound as a pitcher in the same game.
  10. If a relief pitcher comes in "cold" the umpire shall allow the pitcher to warm up with as many pitches as reasonably required (at least 10). If a pitcher is returning to the mound he may only have 5 warm-up pitches at the start of the inning.
  11. The strike zone shall be from the bottom of the batter’s knees to their shoulders.
  12. Pitchers shall not pitch deliberate curve balls. The plate umpire shall call each curve ball a "ball" and give notice to the pitcher. Deliberate violation of this rule requires the umpire to remove the pitcher from the mound.
  13. The balk rule does apply:
    1. 1st half of the season pitchers will receive warnings only.
    2. 2nd half of the season each pitcher will be provided 1 warning per game.
      (a warning will be considered a dead ball and any advancing runners on the balk will be sent back).
  14. After a pitcher has hit 3 batters in a game, he must be removed from pitching
  15. There will be no “hidden ball” trick. This will be considered a balk.
  16. Pitchers in violation of any of the pitching rules shall be considered ineligible players, subject to penalties outlined in the section on Protest and Penalties.


Length of Games:

Regulation games shall be seven innings. When a game is tied at the end of regulation length, it shall go into extra innings until a decision is reached or the game is called by the umpire.

  1. Complete Game:
  2. If a game is called for any reason, it is a complete game if….
    1. 5 innings have been completed
    2. The home team has scored more runs in 4 1/2 innings than the visiting team has scored in 5 complete innings.
    3. Any time after the 5th inning should a game be called for any reason the score reverts back to the last completed inning unless the home team has taken the lead in the bottom half inning or if the home team has tied the score. The only exception to this is a semi-championship and league championship game, when the game will be played to completion. If the game should be suspended, all rules for a suspended game apply. Once the game is suspended, and the score is such that the losing manager chooses not to continue the game, then the other team will be declared the winner. Slaughter rules apply to all post-season games.
  3. Suspended Games
  4. In the event of a suspended game:
    1. Pitching statistics and substitution rules shall apply toward the original game day and week. However, no violation of the number of innings pitched for the week in which the game is replayed may occur.
    2. Any ineligible players (team players or called up players) who were not in the original game may enter the resumed game provided he or she enters in the vacated position of the person not there, in the event one of the players is a team player and one is a called up player; the team player must bat in the next vacated position in the batting order from the point of the game being resumed.
    3. If when the game resumes there are more than the number of players in the original game, the additional player shall bat after the last player listed in the original batting order.
  5. Slaughter Rule:
  6. If a team is leading its opponent by at least 10 runs after five or more equal innings have been played or after four and one half innings if the team second at bat shall have a 10 run lead in the end of its fifth inning, or before the completion of its fifth inning, the game shall be terminated and the team in front declared the winner.
  7. Postponed Game:
    Managers of both teams shall agree on the fitness of the playing field before the game starts. In the event that the two managers cannot agree, the League Director, or his fully designated representative (usually the umpire) shall make the determination. The only normal reason a game may be postponed would be weather condition. However, exceptional circumstances may postpone a game if in the opinion of the League Director such action would be in the best interest of all concerned. All such requests must be directed to the League Director. Once the game starts, the umpire will be responsible for postponing a game.
  8. Delayed Games and Time Limits:
    1. In the event of back to back games during the week and weekends, the following procedures shall apply if rain or field conditions cause cancellations of earlier games. If a game is delayed more than 30 minutes after its scheduled starting time, that game shall be postponed and if possible, the remaining games will be played.
    2. No new inning shall begin 15 minutes or less prior to the scheduled starting time of the following game and no pitch shall be thrown after the SCHEDULED start time of the following game.
    3. No pitch shall be thrown after 10:20 pm on any lighted fields.
    4. On fields without lights, no inning may start after 7:30 pm from the beginning of the season to and including May 15th. From May 16th to May 31st no inning may start after 7:45 pm. From June 1st through the end of the season (including playoffs) no inning may start after 8:00 pm.
    5. Safety is the prime concern of the kids, an umpire may call the game at any time there is a concern.
    6. Should the Heat Index be greater than 106 the game will be canceled. If it's between 101-105, it's at the managers discretion
  9. Speed Up Rule:
    1. A mandatory speed up rule will be in effect; with two outs, the catcher who will catch the next half inning will come in off the base to get the gear on and will be replaced by the last out, not necessarily the last batted out. In the last inning only the catcher who caught the previous inning may be removed and only if that player will catch after that teams at bat.
    2. The team taking the field after the last out must get players into their positions in a timely manner.

Players and Substitutions:

  1. Free substitution shall be used:
    Any player can enter, leave, and re-enter the game as often as the Team Manager permits. Substitution refers to fielding positions and not batting positions. Once the batting order is set at the beginning of the game, it cannot be changed. Players can leave and enter the game only at the beginning of an inning unless an injury occurs. Players can play any position in an inning with the exception of the pitcher, who once removed as a pitcher cannot return to that position during the game. A new pitcher, during an inning, can come from the players that started the inning on the field. If the new pitcher comes from the bench, the pitcher being replaced must return to the bench. He/she cannot play the field during the remainder of that inning.
  2. Players play in every game.
  3. Every player must play at least 2 innings in the infield
  4. No player will sit twice before every player sits once. The only exception is for the pitcher of record, who when removed from the game must sit the following inning.
  5. All Leagues in any instance in which a team does not have an eligible substitute for a player who becomes ill, is injured, or is ejected from the lineup by an umpire, a player who is otherwise eligible to play, shall be used for a substitute. In the event a team does not have an eligible substitute as described above and cannot field nine players after the game has started, that team may continue the game with eight or less players. No automatic out will be taken.
  6. Withholding a player from a game for disciplinary reasons must be approved by the league director prior to the game.
  7. Any manager who feels he has a player who is physically unable to play the game safely, must notify the League Director. At game time (prior or during) the opposing manager must be notified. Any manager who deliberately omits any player from a regularly scheduled game without previously contacting the League Director will forfeit the game and be subject to suspension or other action as determined by the Board of Directors
  8. Adding Players:
    If a team cannot field nine players from their roster for a regular season game, the manager may bring up a player(s) from the lower league so the team has nine at the start of the game BUT not more than nine.
    1. If a player(s) needs to be called up, the player must come from prior league (e.g. Thoroughbred gets call-ups from Stallion).
    2. A manager must:
      a. Obtain the permission of the player’s manager; failure to do so may result in forfeiture of game.
      b. Obtain the permission of the player’s parent or guardian if under the age of 18.
      c. Not use the player brought up as a pitcher or catcher.
      d. Not play the player over a regular team player. If a regular team player arrives at the playing field after the game has started, the player will be added to the end of the lineup. A called up player shall play the entire game even if a rostered player shows up after the game begins, subject to league substitution rules
    3. Added players must bat in lineup after all regular team members
    4. Players who are brought up to play in another league shall be limited to playing in a maximum of 5 games for any one team during the course of the season.
    5. Players who are brought up to play in another league are also limited to playing a maximum of 10 games in any league other than their own.
    6. Any team violating the above substitution rules, except as stated, shall forfeit all games in which the above violations occurred.
  9. Dropping Players
    1. No player will be dropped from a team during the season without the consent and approval of the Board of Directors
    2. A player may be dropped if he does not conform to the league rules and regulations.
    3. Verbal and written confirmation of such action will be given to the parents after all factors are considered by the board.


Protests and Penalties:

  1. Penalty for use of an ineligible player shall be immediate removal of the player from the lineup upon appeal by the opposing manager, notification by the official scorer or league officer, provided the official scorebook or other league records verify the ineligibility of the player concerned. The player’s manager shall become ineligible to play or participate in the team’s next two games and the team shall forfeit the game. If there is a dispute relative to the player’s eligibility, the manager can appeal to the league decision committee.
  2. A protest based on a play which involves an umpire’s judgment is not permitted.
  3. If a protest is based on an interpretation of the rules, the objecting manager must, at the time the play occurs, notify the opposing manager, both scorekeepers, and the home plate umpire that the game is being played under protest, and present the protest in writing to the League Director within 48 hours of the completion of the game.
  4. Any team manager or other adult leader who withdraws a team from the playing field under any circumstances prior to the official completion of the game shall forfeit all rights to protest as prescribed in this section.
  5. A game can be forfeited, if in the opinion of the umpire, the conduct and attitude of the player or players, manager, coaches or fans does not conform to League Standards. It will be the responsibility of the League Director to take this action after reviewing all the facts.
  6. The official scorekeeper should notify the manager concerned if an ineligible player or an improper batter is about to be used in the game, but the failure of the scorekeeper to do so has no effect upon the rules.
Weather Conditions:
1. At the first sign of lightning the game shall be called and the field vacated.
2. If thunder is heard, everyone(Players, Umpires, Managers, and Spectators) must leave the field and dugout area immediately. The covered seating areas at Jay Jones and Emmerich North may not be used as shelter. If there is no additional thunder heard within 15 minutes, the game may resume.
3. If thunder is heard a second time anytime thereafter the game shall be called and the field vacated.
4. Should the Heat Index be greater than 106 the game will be cancelled. If it's between 101-105, playing the game is at the managers' discretion.

Bat Regulations:
1. All composite bats must have either a “USABaseball”, "BBCOR”, or "BPF 1.15” stamp. Composite bats that are not certified with the required stamp will not be allowed for use in BGRA games and practices. The transition from the handle to the barrel can be composite. 
2. Big Barrel specifications:
a.  Big barrel bats are allowed in all leagues, though must be "USABaseball" or "BBCOR" approved bats (big barrel bats with a “BPF 1.15” stamp are "not" allowed).  Big barrel size must not exceed 2 5/8 inches in diameter.
b. If using a “BPF 1.15” approved bat, the barrel size must not exceed 2 ¼ inches in diameter.
3. There are no Drop restrictions in any BGRA House league.
4. Note: In 2021, "BPF 1.15" bats will no longer be allowed.


Post-Season Tournaments:

The positions for post-season tournaments will be seeded by regular season record.



Buffalo Grove Recreation Association
P.O. Box 5872 
Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089

Email: [email protected]