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Updated:  January 2021

NKB Rookie Machine Pitch Division (5U/6U)

It is important that teams follow these rules to ensure consistency of play throughout this age group.  Coaches are discouraged from agreeing on "special" rules at the beginning of the game.


  1. There will be a one hour and thirty five time limit on all games with no maximum number of innings. If the game is still ongoing at the time limit, complete the current inning you are in.

  2. The bases will be set at 60 feet. Home plate to second base is 84 feet 10 inches.

  3. A player may “play up” a maximum of one year from his/her league age, which is the players’ age as of May 1st.  To illustrate, a player with a league age of 5 may play on a 6U team; however, that player is not allowed to play on an 7U team or higher. 


  1. Teams will use roster batting and the batting order will remain the same throughout the game.

  2. The ball must go 15 feet in the fair direction before it is considered in play.Bunting is not allowed.

  3. All players will carry bats down at their side when on the field and in a bag when off the field.

  4. Only one batter is allowed on the field. There will be no on deck batter.

  5. Managers and coaches are not to throw bats toward the dugouts when the players are not using them.

  6. Three outs or four runs will signify the end of a half-inning. At this time, the offensive and defensive team will switch positions.

  7. Outs will be decided by the coach of the batting team.

  8. Runners may advance until the ball comes back to the infield and reaches the pitcher in the circle or is received in front of the runner. We want the kids to get into the habit of throwing the ball in front of the runner to stop play. This will position them to do well at the next level of our organization. NOTE:Once the ball has been thrown to the pitcher, it is considered a dead ball and no further play can take place.

  9. A batted ball that hits the machine is considered a dead ball. A batted ball that hits the coach feeding the pitching machine is considered a dead ball. If either of these two situations occurs, the batter is awarded first base and the base runners remain on their base (at the time of the pitch) unless they are forced to advance by the batter/runner.

  10. After two hittable pitches (two strikes) and a maximum of three pitches, the batter must hit from a tee.The goal is to put the ball in play.  Do not avoid using the tee.

  11. A maximum of four offensive coaches on the field. One coach at the plate with the batter; one coach at first base; one coach at third base and one coach running the pitching machine from the designated distance.

  12. A maximum of two coaches on the bench. One getting the next batter ready and the other maintaining player safety on the bench (this can be the Team Administrator).

  13. The league will use spring loaded pitching machines. The machines are to be regulated by the coaches to ensure the children having a good experience at the plate. The spring loaded machines require more cooperation between the coaches to insure proper performance in the games.

Louisville Slugger Blue Flame Power Settings

  • 5U Division - (5-Power Level, 4-Release Block, 3-Micro Adjust)

  • 6U Division - (5-Power Level, 4-Release Block, 3-Micro Adjust)

14. The pitching machine should be set at a distance of 40 feet from the rear point of the plate to the front of the machine.It is equally important for the machine operator to step and hold the "lever" fully with every pitch and "show" a quick arm action when they "pitch" the ball.

15. Teams do have to keep score, but are not required to input the scores on the NKB website.

16. Two defensive coaches are allowed to position themselves in shallow outfield to coach.

17. Coaches are encouraged to rotate their players through different defensive positions in each game. All players need to play at least 6 defensive outs and bat.

18. The defense will play a maximum of 10 positions - six regular infield positions (including catcher) and four outfielders (LF, LC, RC and RF).

19. Outfielders are to stay a minimum of 20 feet behind the bases at the time of the pitch. The intent is to insure that the defensive players are not playing infield positions.

20. The player occupying the pitchers position must remain beside the pitching machine until the ball is pitched.

21. Bats shall not be more than thirty-three (33) inches in length and not more than 2 3/4 inches in diameter. Bats must be stamped with either BPF 1.15 or with the USA Bat logo. NKB discourages the use of wooden bats, however, wooden barrel bats that do not exceed 2 3/4 inches in diameter are allowed. Any bats listed on the current year’s USSSA “Withdrawn and/or Non-Compliant Baseball Bat Models” listing are not allowed.


Relating to weather, the goals of NKB are:

*             Safety of all participants and spectators first and foremost

*             Attempt to “complete” games when possible

With the above goals in mind, the following guidelines should be observed for all games:

1.  Before the game begins, the coaches may discuss and decide if conditions are suitable for the game to commence.  The coach of the home team is responsible for the final decision.  Once the game has begun, the umpire (if applicable) is responsible for all decisions pertaining to suspension, resumption and/or cancellation.  In divisions without an umpire, the coach of the home team is responsible.

2.  At the FIRST incident of lightning OR thunder (REGARDLESS of how far away it seems), all persons will immediately clear the field and seek safe shelter, and the game will be suspended. Scorebooks should note inning, outs, count on batter, and time. The Managers/Coaches and umpire (if applicable) shall decide whether the remainder of the game will be cancelled OR if a 30-minute delay will be observed.  (Safe shelter is a building or vehicle)

3.  The 30 minute waiting period can be observed if it is likely that threatening conditions will dissipate.

4.  The 30 minute clock resets with each occurrence of thunder or lighting.

5.  During the delay players are strictly forbidden from any activity and must remain in safe shelter area.