2017 Toronto Playgrounds House League Baseball Mosquito Division Tournament Rules


Welcome to the 2017 end-of-season house league tournament. The following are the rules that will be in force during the Mosquito Division (2006-2007) portion of the ‘September Madness’ tournament.  All coaches, players and parents must take time to become familiar with the rules.

We’ll start with an important friendly reminder….even though these are the “playoffs”, as coaches you need to refrain from challenging umpires on judgement calls such as balls/strikes and safe/out….if there is a situation in which you think an umpire missed seeing something, then in an appropriate manner you can ask the umpire to check with their umpiring partner to see if they saw something the first ump may have missed. If you feel an umpire has mis-interpreted a rule, then again in an appropriate manner you can inform them of that. Field supervisors will be on hand at each diamond to provide you with further clarification if you need it.

Let’s keep everything on a friendly basis….you won’t necessarily agree with every call the ump makes but you need to respect the call and move on. It is also important that as a coach you do what you can to ensure that the parents of your players aren’t getting on the umps….there should be NO communication between the parents and the umps regarding calls on the field. If a parent really needs to make a point they can make it to you or the field supervisor.

Keep the Games Moving

In terms of keeping the games moving, which we need to do because of darkness and second games happening on the diamond, there are three very important steps you can take as coaches to help.

i) Please get your catcher ready once there are two outs…this is by far the single most important step that can speed up the games. If your next catcher is on base, ask the ump for time and send your last out to pinch run for them. Also tell your other players what position they’ll be playing during your team’s at bat to save time.;

ii) Please refrain from asking for time to go out and talk to your pitchers (or any other players). And if you absolutely feel the need to go out and say something to them rather than telling them from the dugout then DO NOT have the other players come to the mound to join you….keep it short and to the point.

iii) Please don’t have your base runners do the dancing routine part way down the line to try to draw an errant throw….this wastes an enormous amount of time.  If there is a passed ball and you want to send your runner home or to the next base then by all means do so…..but let’s refrain from the dancing.


The 14 mosquito teams will be organized into two 7 team pools for the purposes of keeping standings. Both pools will have some teams from the Tuesday division and some teams from the Thursday division, so teams will be playing teams in the tournament that they didn’t play during the season.

During the round robin portion of the tournament teams will be schedule for four games….two during the Sept. 5th to 8th weekdays and two on Saturday Sept. 9th. Teams will play primarily in their pool, but not exclusively. Here are the two pools.

Blue Pool: A’s, Angels, Lizzies, Mariners, Red Sox, Twins, Yankees.

Red Pool: Astros, Jays, Orioles, Rays, Rangers, Royals, White Sox.


Round robin games – 4 innings with a 3 run mercy in effect.

6 vs 7 elimination game in each pool – 5 innings with a 3 run mercy in effect.

All other elimination games – 5 innings with a 4 run mercy in effect.

For the last inning, if the visitors (who bat in the top of the inning) are ahead in the game or tied, they can only score the “mercy” number of runs (3 or 4 as per above). If the visitors are behind they can score enough runs to go ahead by the “mercy” number of runs. In the bottom of the last inning the home team can score as many runs as they need to win the game. Throughout all innings, however, the three out rule is also in effect.

Start Time/Duration

Games will begin at the start time listed on the schedule regardless of how many players are present. We need to do this because with no lights on Christie #3, the Bickford South diamond and Trinity #2 diamond we run out of daylight earlier and with second games scheduled on Christie #2 and the Dovercourt diamond each night we need to start the first game on time to end on time.

Should a team not be able to field a complete team at the scheduled start time, they will field all available players. Batting teams will bat available players. Automatic outs will not be called, but if a situation arises in which the next batter listed on the batting order is on base, the half-inning will immediately end and the opposing team will go up to bat. The only exception to this is if the next batter is on base running for the catcher with two outs and there is an on-deck batter available. In that case the player on base running for the catcher will go up to bat and the on-deck batter will run for the catcher.

The round-robin games in the mosquito division will be played under a strict time limit. If the game is still in progress one hour and thirty minutes after the start time the inning being played will be completed and the rest of the game will be suspended. If the outcome of that game would affect the standings the rest of the four innings will be completed at the earliest possible time. This will likely prove to be quite inconvenient, as teams may have to return to the park for the sake of playing one inning. This is why it is very important that games start on time and keep moving once they have started. Having a coach at the diamond 30 minutes before game time will be an important step towards being able to start right on time.


In the mosquito division, standings will be determined by the number of points obtained during the round-robin games. There will be 3 points awarded for a win and 1 point awarded for a tie. If two or more teams are tied after the round-robin portion of the tournament, the following tie breaking sequence will be used:  1)   Head-to-Head (if they played each other); 2)   Over-all run differential (the +/- after last completed full inning); 3)   Total runs against (lower is better); 4)   Coin toss.

Run Differential 

Regardless of the result, the run differential after the last completed full inning will be used for purposes of tie-breaking (That means that if the home team has to bat in the last inning then it will be the differential after that inning. If the home team wins without having to bat in the last inning then it will be the differential after the previous inning.)


At the completion of the round robin there will be two 7th seed vs 6th seed elimination games –  one in each pool. After those games there will be 6 teams in each pool seeded 1 through 6. There will then be the following elimination games in each pool – 1st seed vs the winner of 6/7, 2nd seed vs 5th seed, and 3rd seed vs 4th seed. The higher seed will always be the home team.

After those games there will be three remaining teams in each pool. At that point the highest seed in each pool will receive a bye to the semi-finals, while the other two teams in each pool will play an elimination game with the higher seed the home team.

After those games the semi-finals and then the championship final will take place.

Pitching & Catching

Pitchers may pitch a maximum of 2 innings per game….they do not need to be consecutive…they can be any two innings. One thrown pitch constitutes one inning. Should a player step on the rubber at the start of an inning, that player will be required to throw at least the first pitch of the inning. Prior to each half-inning the pitcher will be allowed 6 warm up pitches, during which the fielding players will be allowed warm up balls. When the umpire calls “balls in” warm up balls must be returned to the dugout. Pitchers may be changed during an inning, but a player may not come off the bench to replace a pitcher. A player already playing in that half-inning must take over for a pitcher that is being replaced. In these cases pitchers will be allowed 4 warm up pitches. Catchers can’t catch more than 3 innings per game….again they don’t need to be consecutive innings.


Runners cannot leave the base until the pitch crosses the plate or is hit. No warning will be issued on leadoffs in Mosquito…runners who leave before the ball crosses the plate will be called out.

Player Rotation/Positions

Prior to the start of each game, a player line-up with sweater numbers and names listed must be provided by the coach to the official scorekeeper, who will not be a coach from either team. All players will bat in the order as presented to the official scorekeeper prior to the start of each game.

All eligible players present at the game shall be listed on the team’s line-up sheet. No player will sit out a second defensive inning until everyone else has sat out at least one (Player A’s second inning sitting and Player B’s first inning sitting can happen at the same time), and no player should sit out two consecutive defensive innings unless injured during that game. The expectation, as it was during the regular season, is that all players will play both in the infield and outfield during each game…we don’t want to have the same player at first base or shortstop inning after inning. No player will be listed on the game line-up if he is unable to play a defensive position. All players listed on the lineup sheet will bat. Scorekeepers will be monitoring this during all games.

Any player leaving the field due to an injury must remain out of the game for at least a complete defensive inning, before re-entering the game in a defensive position. A player unable to take their turn at bat, after having been removed from the field due to an injury, shall be removed from the lineup and further play in the game (this is not an out nor is it considered batting out of turn). A batter or runner may not have a pinch runner unless injured during his turn as a batter or runner. Exception: catcher on base with 2 outs.


All players must wear their house league jersey and hat in order to play. No metal spikes allowed on cleats. No jewelry shall be visible. Exception: Medical Bracelets.

Coaches or players warming up pitchers either on the field between innings or in the “bullpen” must wear a protective mask.  The batter shall wear a protective helmet while on deck, at bat or running the bases. The helmet may not be removed until the batter is retired, has crossed home plate or the half inning has been completed. Should the batter/runner remove the helmet while the ball is in play, he/she will be declared out. There shall be only one on-deck batter at any time; additional players out of the dugout may result in automatic outs at the umpires’ discretion.

Players should remain in the dugout while their teams are batting and during defensive innings that they are not playing…this is an important aspect of playing a team sport….cheering on your team throughout the entire game.

The league representatives/field supervisors at each diamond have the final authority relating to any matter that requires a ruling or clarification.

To access a PDF copy of the Mosquito Division tournament rules, please click on the link below:

If you have any questions, please contact us at tpbaseball@gmail.com.