Rules of the League

Common Rules

The following information is the same for all divisions in the Miracle League of Western PA.

  • Have fun!!!!!
  • All games are played on the Bill Mazeroski Miracle Field at the Rotary Miracle Sports Complex in the Community Park of Murrysville.
  • The Miracle League Field has a rubberized, all weather surface that is wheelchair accessible.
  • The Miracle League season consists of a spring session and fall session.
  • The spring session consists of 8 weeks from mid-May to early-July.
  • The fall session consists of 6 weeks from mid-September to late-October.
  • Every effort will be made to makeup cancelled games due to weather.
  • The Miracle League is made up of two Divisions: Miracle Division (youth and adult), Competitive Division (youth and adult).
  • All players and volunteers must register to participate.
  • Every effort will be made to meet requests by players and volunteers.
  • All equipment (bats, balls, tee, etc.) are provided by the Miracle League.
  • Players are encouraged to bring their own glove.
  • Each team’s coaching staff will have a Manager, Coach(es), Buddy Team Leader(s), and Team Parent(s).
  • Players receive a team uniform shirt and hat for the year to be used for the spring and fall sessions.
  • Managers and Coaches receive a team uniform shirt and hat for the season.
  • Buddy Team Leaders and Buddies receive a Buddy T-shirt.
  • Players receive a trophy at the end of e session.
  • Players and volunteers have the option to participate in Photo Day during the spring session.
  • Buddies are involved in the game for these three reasons:
  • Protect the players.
  • Assist the player, but only as needed allowing the player the opportunity to play as much as possible.
  • Encouragement and friendship.

Miracle Division

The following rules are for the Miracle Division.

  • Players must be 5 years old before May 1st for the spring session and September 1st for the fall session.
  • This is a non-competitive division.
  • Each player has an assigned Buddy for all games.
  • Two innings per game.
  • All players bat each inning.
  • Batting helmets are required.
  • Batters may hit off of a tee or from a pitcher. There are no strikeouts or walks.
  • All players get to circle the bases to score a run each inning.
  • Players are never called “Out”.
  • Game time is between 60 to 75 minutes.
  • The score is tied after each inning no matter how many players are on each team.
  • See the rules that are the same for all Miracle League Divisions.

Competitive Youth Division

The following rules are for the Competitive Youth Division:

  • Players must be 5 years old before May 1st for the spring session and September 1st for the fall session.
  • This is a competitive division.  Players can be called out and a team can lose a game.
  • Buddies are optional for a player.  This is a Parent/Guardian decision.
  • An umpire covers each game to call balls/strike, fair/foul, out/safe and has the final call on all plays.
  • The score will be kept.  A team can win, lose, or tie.
  • Teams consist of no more than 13 players.
  • See the rules that are the same for all Miracle League Divisions.

Game/Inning Length:

  • All rules apply as in Little League unless otherwise listed.
  • Game is played for 5 innings.
  • A half inning is completed when either 3 outs are reached, or 5 runs cross the plate.
  • Only 5 runs may be scored in a half inning, with the exception of the final (5th) inning
  • In the final inning, each team will be permitted to have every player bat one time permitted 3 outs have not occurred
  • If a home run or extra base hit results in more than 5 runs:
  • Play will continue until its end
  • Only up to 5 runs will count

Fielding Rules:

  • Fielding gloves are optional for fielders, though highly advised
  • The following positions will be filled in the infield:
  • Pitcher (must be in the pitcher’s circle as the ball is pitched)
  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd, SS
  • Rover (directly on 2nd base)
  • The remaining players will be spread throughout the outfield
  • Fielders are not permitted to block the bases.
  • If the umpire deems that the base has been blocked, the runner will be awarded the base.
  • Fielders may use a Buddy.
  • A coach or other designated person will pitch to their team.
  • A fielder may not advance towards home past the pitcher’s mound until the ball is hit.
  • If the umpire determines a violation, the batter is awarded the base.
  • Outfielders may not encroach to the infield.
  • Fielders must tag a runner, not their Buddy, to tag them out.

Batting Rules:

  • A batter may choose to be pitched to, or use a tee
  • A batter may choose either option at each at bat
  • A batter may not change their choice in the middle of an at-bat
  • A batter being pitched to will have 5 swings.  After 5 swings, a tee will be used.
  • A tipped ball foul follows foul rules.
  • A ball must be hit off of the tee to be considered in play.
  • A batter cannot foul out.
  • Batters must wear helmets.
  • A Buddy may not hit for a batter.

Base running Rules:

  • Runners may not steal bases.
  • Runners may not advance a base on overthrown balls.
  • Runners may not lead off.
  • Runners cannot be picked off.
  • Runners must wear helmets.
  • Runners may use a Buddy to help them run the bases.
  • Buddies must make every effort to avoid balls hit into play.
  • If the Buddy is deemed to have purposefully interfered, the runner is out, and a warning is given.
  • A hit ball that hits a runner is considered a dead ball.
  • On a dead ball, the batter is given first, and every forced runner is given one base.
  • Since the bases are not raised (flat), as long as a base runner is close to the bag while running the bases, the umpire may accept that as a “touched” base.  The same argument can be made about the fielders.

Competitive Buddy Rules

  • Buddies are there to assist the players and ensure an enjoyable experience for all the kids involved, not just their partner.
  • If the umpire determines that a Buddy is in violation of the spirit of what is in the best interests of the kids, a warning will be given. If a second offense occurs, the Buddy will be removed from the game.
  • Buddies are optional for the players.
  • Buddies may help a player run the bases by pushing their chair.
  • Buddies who are helping their players run must make every effort to avoid balls in play.
  • If a Buddy intentionally interferes, it is considered a violation and will result in their player being called out, as well as a warning for first offense, or a removal if given a prior warning.
  • A Buddy may not be tagged to tag their runner out.
  • A Buddy may not interfere with their player being tagged.
  • A Buddy may not bat for their player.

Buddies in the field:

  • A Buddy must always play behind their player, unless a “more advanced” player is at the plate.  A buddy may then move beside the player for safety.
  • A Buddy may not catch or throw a ball for their player unless they are physically unable to catch or throw the ball.
  • A Buddy may stop a ball that is hit at a player if the player needs help fielding it.
  • A Buddy may pick up and hand a stopped ball to their player if help is needed picking up the ball.
  • Buddies must give every opportunity for their player to play the ball.

Buddy Program

What is a Miracle League Buddy?

Miracle League Buddies are assigned a player for each game. The buddy is there to protect the player from balls, assist the player in batting and running the bases (if needed), and to be a friend on and off the field. Buddies receive a Miracle League Buddy t-shirt for their participation.

Who is eligible to be a buddy?

Buddies are youth (ages 12 and up) and adults who play or enjoy baseball and softball-or just like to have fun. These include family members and local youth and civic groups to mention a few. Though we call them Buddies, many people refer to the volunteers as Angels in the Outfield.

How do I become a Buddy?

Formal Buddy registration is open for the upcoming season. If you are interested or want to get more information, please register in the registration section of the web site and indicate you are interested in being a Buddy.

What is the idea behind the Buddy Program?

Being a buddy allows parents, children and volunteers to come together to help special needs individuals. The Buddy Program has great impact on all participants. Buddies and players alike learn valuable skills like patience, understanding and compassion.

What is required of a Buddy?

Buddies need to be energetic, committed and enthusiastic for each game. We encourage buddies to keep a consistent schedule. This allows for Miracle players to grow more comfortable with their new friends. Buddies are responsible for their individual player from the time of introduction until the player is back in the care of their parent/guardian. This means that no matter where their player goes the buddy must go.

Do I stay with the same player all season?

In order to encourage friendships, Buddies are assigned to the same child or team for the entire season. However, we also welcome buddies who may not have assigned players, but who cover where needed.

Is there special training involved?

Each buddy is required to complete a basic skills training course. This “sensitivity” training provides guidelines, suggestions, and directions on how to have fun and make the experience safe and enjoyable.

What is expected of me on game days?

Buddies are expected to protect the Miracle League player at all times. When a hard hitter is up at bat, buddies are to step in front of the Miracle League player for protection. Always allow the Miracle League player as much freedom as possible to play his/her game and position. Assist the Miracle League player according to their needs. Arrive at the field 30 minutes prior to game time. Notify the Miracle League Buddy Coordinator at least 24 hours prior to game time if they will not be able to attend the game. Be properly dressed in the Buddies t-shirt. Demonstrate high morals and integrity on and off the field.

Can I receive credit for service hours?

Students can receive credit and, if necessary, a written recommendation towards their service hour requirements for school or other organizations upon completion of a full season.

Managers or Head Coach

  • Insure a safe playing environment.
  • A Manager is an important volunteer position in the Miracle League. It is probably one of the most rewarding, too.
  • Each team will have one Manager.
  • A Manager is responsible for all aspects of their team to include communicating to parents, players, and team volunteers.
  • The two Managers during the game are responsible for everything that happens inside of the fence on the field.
  • All Managers must pass a criminal background and child abuse background check.
  • Coordinate team activities with the coaching staff and maintain contact with players and families.
  • Insure that each player receives a uniform.
  • Communicate concerns regarding specific players or rules to the League officials.
  • Manage team equipment and insures its arrival before each game.
  • Provide copies of team line-up to umpire and announcer before each game.
  • Make sure players have the opportunity to learn new skills. Keep up the team spirit.
  • Arrives 30 minutes prior to game time to organist the players and practice as appropriate.
  • Demonstrates high morals and integrity both on and off the field.
  • Assures that the game keeps moving.
  • Monitor weather before and during the game and determine whether or not to cancel or postpone.


  • Insure a safe playing environment.
  • Arrives 30 minutes before game time.
  • Demonstrates enthusiasm, love and concern for each player, buddy, and volunteer.
  • Demonstrates high morals and integrity both on and off the field.
  • Assist the Manager with the team as needed.
  • If a pitcher is not available, pitch.
  • Act as the Manager when the Manager is not available.
  • Verifies that each player has an assigned Buddy.
  • Encourages the players on the field at all times and assists as necessary with batting.

Buddy Team Leaders

  • Insure a safe playing environment.
  • A Buddy Team Leader is responsible for coordinating all aspects and activities for the Buddies assigned to a team and communicating with the Buddies.
  • Each team will have one or more Buddy Team Leaders assigned.
  • Insure that each player has an assigned Buddy if required by the league.
  • Each team will be assigned more Buddies than players to allow for schedule conflicts.
  • Contact their Buddies before a game is played to determine who will be at the game to make sure players are covered.


  • Insure a safe playing environment.
  • Get lineups from each team before starting the game.
  • Should be aware of time to get the game started, moving along, and finished within the time period.
  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Announce the lineups before each game begins.
  • Announce each batter and jersey number when they come to bat.
  • Announce each runner as they score at home.
  • Announce the score after each half inning.
  • Have someone sing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” between the 2nd and 3rd innings for Miracle Division and 4th and 5th innings for Competitive Division.
  • Play music between innings
  • The Announcer sets the tone for the game.

Scoreboard Keeper

  • Operate the scoreboard. It’s really easy.


  • Insure a safe playing environment.
  • Should always demonstrate enthusiasm, love and concern for each player, buddy, and volunteer.
  • There should be one to two umpires per game.
  • The umpire should start each game with a loud and clear “Play Ball!”
  • The umpire is to call each child safe at first base and home plate.
  • The umpire should wear the approved Miracle League umpire shirt and should be presentable and clean at all games.
  • The umpire should arrive 15 minutes before each game.
  • The umpire will call the beginning and ending of each game at the appropriate time.
  • The umpire is to assist coaches and players as necessary.

Team Parents

  • Insure a safe playing environment.
  • Assist the Manager and Coaches with communication to the team.
  • Demonstrates enthusiasm, love and concern for each player, buddy, and volunteer.
  • Watch for overheating, dehydration and overexertion.
  • Provide health issues and special requirements to the manager and coach.