How Hustle Ball Works:
First, we pick teams. Each team has anywhere from 6-9 players, depending on the amount of players we have on a given day.
Sometimes the coaches will pick the teams and sometimes they will assign captains to pick teams, depending on how things are going and what they feel is best for the players on the given day.
Coaches assign dugouts for each team.
The game starts…Play ball!
Hustle Ball Rules
Coaches pitch to the hitters. At the youth age where pitching is still at the beginning stages and developing, this allows the game to move at a quicker pace and for players to receive more instruction from the MADE Baseball coaches on their positioning and technique during live game situations.
Coaches throw strikes and work quickly. Players get more at bats, more defensive plays, and do less standing around. Coaches stop the game when necessary in order to explain specific positioning and mechanics when applicable. We call these “teachable moments.”
Generally, we do not opt to have a catcher because it slows the game down a lot. Depending on the day and who is at the game, we may or may not have a catcher. If there is no catcher, we use a bow net as a catcher, and stealing is not allowed. If we do use a catcher, stealing is allowed and encouraged.
The coach will make plays on defense from time to time, but generally will try to stay out of the action.
Players can get called out for all of the following mental mistakes, acts of negligence, and/or lack of hustle:
Attitude & Hustle
- Not sprinting the whole way down to first base, through the base! This is the most common infraction.
- Walking between the lines at anytime(on and off the field). Players must be in at least a slow-medium jog until they hit the lines.
- Arguing any call at any time. If a player persists an argument, they will be called for another out. If you continue, another out, and another, and so on.
- Going into a base without sliding. If a play at a base is even remotely close to qualifying the need for a player to slide, he will be called out if he chooses not to slide.
- Forgetting to get the last hitter’s bat back to the dugout in time.
- Striking out looking. You must be an aggressive hitter and protect the plate with 2 strikes. If you strike out looking it counts as two outs total. We consider this a mental mistake. *This rule only applies on given days depending on who is at the class and how much hustle ball experience they have
- Not yelling out 1-1-1! or whatever number base the ball should be going to on a play. It is the job of all player’s who are not fielding the ball to be yelling out where the play should be going. If they do not, the runner will be safe regardless of whether or not the ball beat him to the base. (ie: routine play to shortstop and no one says a word…even if the shortstop throws out the baserunner, the runner will be called safe due to negligence in communication of the defense.)
- Having your shoes untied. You must call timeout and quickly tie your shoes if you happen to see them come untied. If a coach notices before you do, and/or this is a common occurrence, you will be called for an out. (What if you don’t know how to tie your shoes?! LEARN!)
- Having your shirt untucked. If the player’s shirt comes untucked, it is their responsibility to tuck it back in. If they leave it untucked and/or it is a common occurrence, they will be called for an out.
- Walking up to the plate without a helmet.
- Going out to the field without your hat.
- Having more than one on-deck hitter at a time. All players other than the on-deck hitter must be sitting on the bench or standing inside of the dugout.
- Leaving any gear on the field, outside of the dugout. Or having a messy dugout and failing to clean it if a coach requests.
There are no lead-offs at any time unless otherwise decided by the coach on a given day.
If it is the last half inning of the game and the defense has an infraction, the offense receives an additional out while hitting.
Most days we do not allow walks. If you are walked, the at-bat starts back at a count of 1-1. If we do decide to allow walks on a given day, it will be for the whole game and for both teams.
There is a 5 run limit per inning, unless it is the last at-bats of the game. For example, if it is the last at-bats of the game and the score is 7-0, the team that has zero can score up to 7 runs and end the game in a tie. They cannot win unless they can win by scoring 5 runs. For example, if a team is down 4-0, they can score 5 and win in the last inning.
Coaches may assign short game breaks as needed. We move fast!
All Hustle Ball calls are made by the coaches, unless an umpire has been hired and/or assigned. Warnings for infractions are generally given to newer players as they are learning the rules.
We play as many innings as time allows. Game drops dead exactly 10 minutes before the end of the scheduled time of practice, regardless of score or who is hitting.
During this 10 minutes we address the players on the positives points of the game and the things that we need to improve on for the next game, along with homework to work on for the week.
We also give a Player Of The Game award for each team after each game.
Who will win the Player Of The Game/MVP?
We are looking for the Player Of The Game from the first moment of the warm-up all the way until the very last moment before awarding it. The player of the game will generally be the one who did the best at leading himself and his teammates by doing the following:
- Keeping a consistently positive attitude and energy in the dugout and in the field, regardless of the current situation of the game.
- Picking up his teammates as well as helping them avoid infractions. (ex: always being aware of getting the bat)
- Hustling the most, during each play as well as between innings on and off the field.
- Swinging hard and being aggressive, which generally results in hitting the ball hard.
- Making plays by keeping their body in front of the ball on defense, and generally knowing where to be and when.
- Running the bases hard and sliding any chance they get.
- Communicating with their teammates on defense and in the dugout.
- Not having any uniforms malfunctions.