Wiffleball Rules | Recreational Services
The University of Iowa

Wiffleball Rules

  Rule 1: Facility | Rule 2: Player Eligibility | Rule 3: Team Composition | Rule 4: Ground Rules

Recent rule changes appear in italicized font.

Rule 1: Facility

  1. All games will be played on the Field House Main Deck. Alcohol and tobacco use is not permitted while participating in any Intramural event.

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Rule 2: Player Eligibility

  1. All Intramural Sports eligibility rules apply. Please check the Intramural Rules and Regulations carefully.
  2. All players must check-in with their government-issued photo IDs or University ID cards with the supervisor prior to participating. 

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Rule 3: Team Composition

  1. Teams will consist of six players with no gender restrictions (minimum of five to start). Forfeit time is 10 minutes after scheduled game time. If a team begins the game with five players, it will take an out in the sixth spot in the order until that spot is filled by a player.
  2. No more than two players on a Wiffleball team may be a member or coach of the UI Club Baseball team, UI Club Softball team, or a former intercollegiate baseball/softball player at any institution.
  3. A player may leave the game and return after his/her substitute has batted, and has played at least three defensive outs in the field.
    • Courtesy Runners: Prior to each at bat, an injured player that desires to use a courtesy runner must declare to the umpire that he/she needs a courtesy runner if he/she reaches base safely. If, while running the bases, the batter achieves third base or beyond, a courtesy runner will not be allowed.   Exception: If the injury occurs during the at-bat, or while running the bases, a pinch runner may be used.
    • The pinch/courtesy runner may be either gender. 

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Rule 4: Ground Rules

  1. Games shall be nine innings long or 30 minutes. No inning shall be started after the 30-minute time limit has been surpassed. A mercy rule of 20 runs after seven innings will be in effect. In case of a tie at the end of nine innings or the 30-minute time limit, extra innings will be played until a team scores more runs than the other.
  2. Each team will bat its entire line-up (max of 6). The inning is over after the last batter has scored or an out has been made during the play in which the last batter bats.
  3. Teams will pitch to their own batters. All pitches must be overhand and the pitcher must be in contact with the rubber mound at all times. An at-bat will consist of a maximum of three pitches.
  4. An out for the batter can be made in the following ways:
    • After three pitches – foul tips count as strikes; pitches that are not swung at also count as strikes.
    • If the pitcher intentionally contacts a batted ball, all runners will return to their bases last occupied. If the pitcher is contacted by a batted ball in any other way, the ball will become dead, runners will return to their bases last occupied, and the pitcher will re-pitch to the batter. The dead ball contact will not count as a pitch to the batter.
    • Fly balls caught in fair or foul territory.
    • Ground balls fielded to a base for a force-out.
    • Tagging the runner out or throwing the ball at the runner and hitting him/her when he/she is not in contact with a base (if, in the attempt to get the runner out, a thrown ball hits the ground before striking the runner, NO out will be made).
      • The ball can be thrown at the runner as long as the throw is below the shoulders. A ball that hits a runner’s head will be deemed dead and the runner will be awarded one base from the last legally touched base. (Exception: a player who is not in regular standing/running position and is hit in the face/head will be ruled out. Ex: bending down to avoid getting hit)  
    • A batted ball that hits the batter, while still in the batting area, will be called a foul ball.
    • A batted ball that strikes an advancing runner in fair territory is considered dead and the struck runner is out. The batter will receive first base, and other runners may only advance if forced.
    • Play stops when the ball is controlled in the infield by a defensive player and the umpire declares “time.”
    • Bunting is not allowed---only full swings are permitted. A full swing is defined as one continuous motion, from the back swing to the follow through. An attempted bunt will count as one of the three pitches.
    • No sliding or diving to a base. If this occurs, the runner is automatically out. No sliding or diving is allowed in order to tag a runner. If this occurs, the runner is awarded one base from the last base touched.
    • A ball shall be declared a home run if:
      • The ball is hit, in fair territory, above the dark grey perimeter marking the base of the track.
      • It clears the wire holding the netting on the East portion of the playing field.
    • Ground Rule Double: When a fair batted ball bounces above, rolls under or through any designated boundary of playing field, OR when it deflects off a defensive player and goes out of play. The ball will be declared dead and all runners are awarded two bases from their original positions..
    • A ball is out-of-bounds if, during a throw, it goes over any part of the net. Balls that are out-of-bounds may not be played.
    • A batted ball that hits any part of the ceiling or anything hanging from the ceiling while in fair territory shall be considered dead and all runners will return to their bases. This pitch will count as one of the batter’s three pitches.
    • Diving is not recommended to field the ball due to chance of injury. It is recommended that all players wear long pants and shirts due to possible abrasions from the floor surface.
    • The umpire will serve as the catcher until the ball becomes live, at which point the fielding team becomes responsible. The defensive team can provide a catcher if desired. This player has the right to make plays on all live balls.
    • The umpire shall rule on any decisions not specifically covered in these rules.

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