MAJORS RULES (updated March 2022)
- Game start times are as according to the league’s official schedule in TeamSnap. Warm up will begin one (1) hour prior to the game start time. The official game start time will be enforced by the umpires and supported by coaches. Visitors shall have the infield for warm up from 30 minutes prior to the game start time for 15 minutes and the Home team shall have the infield for warm up 15 minutes prior to the game start time.
- One Coach from each team shall meet with the umpires before the game to submit and exchange line ups and discuss any issues, rule clarifications, or the implications of weather or field conditions. Once the game begins, the umpires are in charge and are the ultimate authority. [NOTE: if the umpires are not 19 years old or older, an Adult Game Coordinator MUST attend the plate meeting and be present at the diamond for the entire duration of the game.]
- Dugouts - Home team takes the third base line dugout while the visiting team takes the first base line dugout.
- Home team is responsible for field set up (to be completed not less than 30 min. before game time) and take down.
- Subject to weather and daylight, games are scheduled for six (6) innings:
- The first four innings are limited to 4 runs each;
- The final two innings are unlimited runs;
- Mercy rule is in effect. If in the final inning, a game is over if one team is leading by 10 runs;
- Once a game begins, the umpire, and only the umpire, may end a game early due to weather or darkness, however a minimum of four innings must have been completed to constitute a complete game.
- Games suspended before reaching a complete game will be resumed at a later date from the exact moment of suspension, unless the game is suspended before completion of the first inning in which case the entire game will be re-played.
- No new innings to start after 8:00 pm, or two hours after the game begins.
- Following each game the Manager or Coach from the Home team is required to report the outcome of the game, including score and pitch counts, to the Division Coordinator.
- In the event a game is rained out or otherwise postponed, the teams involved will be responsible to reschedule and complete the game at a later date. Until such games are made up and the outcome is reported to the Division Coordinator, the game will be treated as a 0 run loss for both of the teams involved.
- Playoff seeding will be based on a random draw conducted by the Divisional Coordinator. Each of the teams is to complete all of their scheduled games for the regular season title.
- Pitchers must pitch from the rubber on the mound, set at the LL regulation 46 feet from the point at the back of home plate.
- “Developing Pitchers” must be used for at least 6 outs in a game.
- A “Developing Pitcher” is defined as a player who meets both of the following criteria:
- Has not pitched more than 3 innings in Major A the previous season, and
- If the “Developing Pitcher” can throw with moderate velocity from the pitching rubber (and have the pitch reach the plate) please consider having him/her pitch from the rubber and not the painted line (see pitching rule 13).
- Emphasis is on developing the young pitchers and not trying to gain an advantage from having a capable pitcher throw from the closer distance if it isn’t necessary.
- Coaches are encouraged to calmly communicate any concerns with each other in a respectful manner and away from the players.
- Once a pitcher is removed, he/she cannot return to pitch for the rest of the game.
- A pitcher who delivers 41 or more pitches in a game cannot play the position of catcher for the remainder of that day. If a player catches more than 3 innings, he or she cannot then go on to pitch in the same game.
- There is no limit to the number of pitchers a team may use in a game.
- The coach must remove a pitcher when said pitcher reaches the pitch limit for his/her age group as noted below (examples used for the 2016 season):
- league age 10 (born September 1, 2011- August 31, 2012) - 75 pitches per day
- league age 9 (born September 1, 2012 - August 31, 2013) - 75 pitches per day
- league age 8 (born September 1, 2013 or later) - 50 pitches per day
- If a pitcher reaches the limit for his/her league age while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions occurs:
- That batter reaches base
- That batter is put out
- The third out is made to complete the half-inning.
- The pitch count recorder must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by any coach or umpire. However, the coaches are ultimately responsible for knowing when the pitcher must be removed.
- The official pitch count recorder should inform the umpire when a pitcher is approaching the maximum limit of pitches for the game. The umpire will inform the pitcher’s coach that the pitcher must be removed in accordance with Little League Regulation VI (c). However, the failure by the pitch count recorder to notify the umpire, and/or the failure of the umpire to notify the coach, does not relieve the coach of their responsibility to remove a pitcher when that pitcher is no longer eligible.
- Pitchers league age 12 and under must adhere to the following rest requirements:
- If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed.
- If a player pitches 51-65 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed.
- If a player pitches 36-50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed.
- If a player pitches 21-35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar days of rest must be observed.
- If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, no (0) calendar day of rest is required.
Example: If a pitcher pitches 55 pitches in a Tuesday game, that pitcher is not eligible to pitch again until Saturday (3 calendar days of rest = Weds, Thurs, Fri)
- Pitches delivered in suspended games shall be charged against pitcher’s eligibility
- When a new pitcher is put in mid-inning, he/she is allowed 3 warm-up pitches only, so as to keep the pace of the game moving along. Coaches are encouraged to warm up anticipated replacement pitchers while their team is at bat or while the replacement pitcher is sitting off as a substitute player.
- Mound visits, including any visits with any defensive player, is limited to one per inning. The pitcher must be removed on the second visit in the same inning. On the third visit to a pitcher in a game, the pitcher must be removed.
- There are called strikes and umpires have been instructed to be reasonably liberal with the strike zone.
- Teams hit through their lineup in order, and all players hit.
- All batters and base runners must wear helmets until they have completely left the playing field and have returned to their dugout.
- On Deck - There is NO “on deck” circle in Little League due to safety reasons. No players other that the batter should be swinging bats during the game. The player “on deck” must remain in the dug out waiting for their turn to hit.
- All players are to remain in the dug out when their team is batting.
- Dropped third strike rule in effect
- Adult base coaches are permitted at 1st and 3rd bases (one per base), provided there is an adult coach in the dugout
- Stealing - Stealing is allowed but no leading off. A runner who steals after leading off will be sent back, only if they are safe.
- Lead Offs- Runners cannot leave the base, be it to steal or otherwise, until the pitched ball has crossed the plate. Runners who leave early will be sent back, provided they are not caught stealing. In the event a base runner leaves early on a base hit (in a force situation) and reaches the next base safely, it is the umpires discretion to either allow that runner to advance to that base, or call that runner out if it is felt the base runner may have been out had they not left early.
- Overthrows - In the case of a hit, the base runners can only advance one base from the base occupied at the time of the first throw to a base, on an overthrow that leaves the field of play, otherwise the ball is live.
- Sliding - For safety reasons, if there is even the slightest possibility of a play at second, third and especially at the plate, runners MUST slide or AVOID, otherwise they shall be called out. There is no headfirst sliding at any bag, with the exception of returning back into the bag, or the runner is out.
- Unless they have the ball, fielders are not to block the base runner’s progress by standing on the base or base paths.
- Infield fly rule in effect.
- Once the game begins, the umpire is the ultimate authority over all aspects of the game.
- Arguing with Umpires will not be tolerated. Coaches, parents, and/or players who do so may be ejected and/or asked to leave the park.
- Coaches will not have discussions with the umpire during the game unless a coach from each team is present.
- Coaches will not ask the umpire to change a decision which involves judgement, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out. Judgement calls are final. No coach shall object to any such judgement decisions.
- Coaches can only appeal a call that may involve the incorrect interpretation of the rules. If there is reasonable doubt that an umpire's decision may be in conflict with the rules, a coach may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made. Examples of what can be appealed include: a batter hitting out of turn, awarding an incorrect number of bases when a ball goes out of play, and not returning a runner or runners to their base(s) after a dead ball situation.
- Any coach wishing to appeal the interpretation must call timeout and request that the opposing coach attend a conference with the umpire. In any event, the umpire has ultimate authority. Please be respectful when approaching umpires for appeals and clarifications and be supportive of a positive learning environment for umpires and players alike.
- Equal defensive playing time for all players.
- Defensive substitutions are unlimited, and substituted players can re-enter the game, although pitchers who have been relieved cannot return to the mound.
- Catchers must wear a cup, and it is recommended that all players wear cups and mouth guards for every game and practice.
- All equipment must be kept in the dugout area away from the field of play.
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