Family Ties Guidelines

Family Ties Playing Guidelines

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Player relationships: Each player must meet the approved player guidelines herein:

Father Designation: Grandfather, father, brother, uncle, mother

Son Designation: son, daughter, step-child, grandchild, son, daughter, step-child, nephew, niece (limited 2 combos per team), son- or daughter-in-law.

Minimum age: 16, unless otherwise approved by Roy Hobbs.

Player roster guideline issues

  • Brother to Father or Grandfather considered ‘father’ and may bring someone in the son-designation category.
  • Multiple partners allowed, i.e., father and 2 sons or father and son & daughter. All relationships will be delineated on team roster forms.
  • Any players under the age of 40 at the time of the event are considered ‘sons’ for all playing guidelines; any players 40 and older are considered ‘fathers’ for all playing guidelines.
  • In-law designation, allowed, limited to 1 combo per team. In-laws will be required to produce legal documentation of relationship.
  • Injured players: Verification a necessity if a ‘father’ player is injured before or during the tournament and cannot play; ‘son’ designee remains eligible as long as the ‘father’ element of the combo is on the bench. Roy Hobbs to determine verification requirements.
  • All participants must become Roy Hobbs members and follow Roy Hobbs insurance guidelines.
  • Sons must be at least 16 years old at the time of the competition, unless approved by Roy Hobbs and guardian responsibility is established.

Playing rules

  • Follow the base rules for competition and bats at Roy Hobbs events, including these adapted house-keeping rules:
  • Mercy Rule: 10-run difference through 7 complete innings, as long as both teams have had the same number of at-bats.
  • Time limits will be enforced (2:25 hours of playing time for 7s and 3 hours of playing time for 9s).
  • RH Shootout rules will be used to resolve games that reach time limit in order to complete the schedule inning-length of the game.
  • Weather-shortened games are suspended pending the decision of the tournament director.


  • All players must abide by Roy Hobbs eligibility rules
  • Ex-professionals: may play but must meet RH guidelines for time out of paid, professional baseball a minimum of 5 years in order to pitch or catch.
  • Ex-professionals: In the case of sons, if they are ex-professionals, they must meet RH 5-year retirement guidelines and will be limited to 1 inning pitched until 40 years of age.

Pitching rules

  • Fathers must pitch 4 complete innings of a game, regardless of scheduled length.
  • Fathers must pitch the last 2 innings of any game. (If father has not pitched in the first 3 innings, he must finish the game, pitching 4-5-6-7th innings. This requirement is superseded only by time limits or weather considerations. In case of potential mercy rule, father must be pitching or mercy rule is waived.)
  • Sons: May not pitch in the final two innings of a game
  • Sons, exception: Sons: Ex-professionals or currently competing in high school or college are limited to 1 inning per game pitching in the first 4 innings, assuming a father has pitched in first 3 innings. (Competing means: 1) enrolled in school and either on the high school or collegiate roster or 2) attempting to make such a roster; and 3) on scholarship to play college ball, regardless if not yet enrolled in the college.)
  • Penalty at the time of infraction: Remove ineligible pitcher, return to start of inning, play on.
  • Penalty after the fact: Game forfeiture.
  • A game may not end with a son pitching; i.e., a mercy-rule (RH Mercy Rule, 10 runs after 7 complete) game may not conclude without a father pitching the last 3 outs. (For example, if it is a 10-run game after 7 innings and a son was pitching for the winning team; the 8th must be played with a father pitching for both teams, and if the 10-run lead holds up in that inning, it is complete.)

Offensive lineup

  • All players must have at least one complete at-bat in every game. Exception: documented injuries.
  • No more than 2 sons may bat consecutively.
  • Minimum batting order of 10 to start. Batting order may be enlarged as the game progresses; it may not be decreased at any time.
  • Use Roy Hobbs’ shared lineup position designations.
  • No courtesy runners (shared lineup positions may be used to run for players who do not want to run bases). Note: Sons for sons and fathers for fathers.
  • If no substitute is available for a father, who is unable to bat, thereby resulting in 3 consecutive sons coming to the plate, an out will be declared.
  • If no substitute is available for a son, who is unable to bat because of injury, the position will close up with no penalty; however, if the son has been ejected or left the game site of his own volition, an out will be declared. A game cannot end on an automatic out.
  • Penalties: All infractions will incur an out, using the ORB batting out of turn rules as the guideline.

Defensive lineup

  • There must be a minimum of 4 fathers on defense at all times.
  • Penalties: Infractions will lead to offense receiving an extra out during the inning in which the infraction occurs, using the ORB batting out of turn rule as the guideline. Defense will correct the infraction at the time of awarding the extra out.
    Roster issues
  • Complete teams are encouraged.
  • Minimum roster size: 12. (If circumstances force a smaller game-time roster, i.e., injuries or a pool team set up, both teams may bat the same number as the total players on the smaller roster.)
  • Pool teams will be built as the situation and availability dictates, even if that means splitting an existing to create and EVEN number of teams.
  • Roy Hobbs will make very effort to balance rosters numerically, meaning that if a team comes in with 12 players and pool players are available, a father-son combo may be added to that roster to bring it in line with the rosters of all teams playing.

RHBB Note: These rules are effective August 2022 and supersede any previous version. Roy Hobbs Baseball reserves the right to amend these rules and guidelines without notice. – Tom Giffen, Roy Hobbs President

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