Little League Baseball (LLB) has established rules and regulations that govern Little League operations and games. These rules are contained in the Official Little League Rulebook (a/k/a the “Green Book”) that each manager and coach receives at the beginning of each season. Managers/coaches are responsible for reading and being familiar with the rules and regulations of the game, including conduct and behavior. Certain rules from the Green Book are included below as a convenience, but managers/coaches should refer to the Official Little League Rulebook for pitch count, pitcher rest, and pitcher eligibility rules.
Local rules provide modifications or additions (as permitted), or reinforcement of rules established by LLB. Local rules provide flexibility to suit the needs and objectives of the community and Weston Little League. All Weston local rules remain in force when playing games in Weston against other leagues.
Little League Baseball and Weston local rules are to be consistently enforced at all times. Managers/coaches are not given the flexibility to modify, change, or otherwise adjust the rules of play.
As a condition of service to the league, all managers, coaches, Board members, and any other volunteers or hired worker who provides regular service to the league and/or has repetitive access to or contact with players or teams must complete a Volunteer Application and undergo a LL background check.
AL DIVISION GAME RULES:
General Rules of Play
The dropped third strike rule is not in effect and batters are out regardless of whether the third strike is dropped.
Two adult base coaches are allowed.
After a walk, the ball is live - batter can run through first and take second base. Runners may not advance when the pitcher is in contact with the rubber and in possession of the ball and the catcher is in the box ready to receive the pitch, or if the defensive team has been granted time by the umpire.
Appeal Play: If ball is live – player can appeal to the umpire, if a runner missed a base, by stepping on or throwing to the base the runner allegedly missed. If ball is dead, the pitcher must step on the rubber, get the play ball signal from the umpire, step off the rubber with his contact foot (e.g. right foot for a right handed pitcher), throw the ball to the base or go directly over to the base runner who allegedly missed the base, and appeal to the umpire by telling him which player you are appealing if more than one player crossed that base during the preceding play. Remember in both these situations ball is live and runners can advance.
During playoffs, every effort should be made to complete games, even if this delays the start of subsequent game or practices scheduled for the same field on the same day. Playoff games halted by weather or darkness will be completed under the following rules: if less than one full inning has been completed, the game will be replayed from the start (no runs scored or pitches thrown are counted); games that have completed at least one full inning but less than an official game (see below) will recommence from the exact point (score, ball/strike count, runners on base, pitch count, etc.) at which the game was stopped; an official game is any game where a winner can be declared (not a tie score) and at least 4 innings (at least 3 1/2 if home team is ahead) have been completed. If an official game is suspended and cannot be recommenced the same day, the game must be resumed if the visiting team ties the game or takes the lead in their half of the inning and the home team does not complete their at bat or take the lead in an incomplete inning. The game must recommence at the soonest available time from the exact point (score, ball/strike count, runners on base, pitch count, etc.) at which the game was stopped. Otherwise, the score reverts to the last completed inning and the game is final.
“Butcher Boy” plays (batter showing bunt, then hitting away) are not allowed in order to protect infielders. A batter hitting away after showing bunt is ruled out, and base-runners return to the base occupied prior to the pitch
Only approved volunteers and players can be on the bench/in the dugout. Teams are limited to one manager/head coach, and two additional assistant coaches/scorekeepers. Unless they are in the game, players must be on the bench. No parents or non-player children are permitted in the dugouts.
Players and parents: no standing behind the backstop during a game.
Check the field before the start of each game for hazards (e.g., glass).
Players must wear long pants for games and practices – no shorts allowed.
Batters, base runners, and players who are base coaches must wear helmets.
Thrown bats by a batter results in an umpire’s warning first and then an automatic out on the second infraction.
Players cannot use a batting donut. No swinging in the on-deck circle or in the fenced areas of dugouts. Player should ask the umpire for a practice swing(s) before he/she gets into the batter’s box. Exception: before the start of an inning, the first player to bat is allowed to take warmup swings outside of the dugout in foul territory.
All male catchers must wear a cup made of metal, fiber or plastic, and a long-model chest protector.
A player should be used to warm up all pitchers as long as there are extra players on the bench who are available. However, in order to keep games moving, if there are no extra players available (or in the coach’s discretion, the available player(s) are not capable of warming up the pitcher), a coach will be allowed to warm up pitchers. Catchers should be ready in full equipment when warming up a pitcher before the inning starts; if the catcher is not ready, another team player (or coach, when necessary) may warm up the pitcher, but the player must wear a catcher’s mask. Pitchers preparing to enter a game may be warmed up in foul territory in the outfield. Players warming up these pitchers must wear a catcher’s mask and a third player, if available, with a batting helmet and glove, should be placed to protect the pitcher from foul balls.
All catcher’s masks must have dangling throat guards – no exceptions!
General Pitching Rules
For the safety of all players, if the umpire rules that 2 batters in one inning or 3 batters in one game are “hit by pitch” by the same pitcher in such a way that the umpire believes the pitcher is a danger to the batter, that pitcher must be removed from pitching any longer in the game. The umpire is given FULL DISCRETION to determine whether the pitcher is a danger to the batter and may determine whatever he/she believes is in the best interest of the player’s safety. The pitcher is not ejected from the game and is eligible to remain in the game and play other positions besides pitcher. All pitching eligibility rules remain in force.
No intentional walks. The umpire is given FULL DISCRETION to determine whether the pitcher is attempting to intentionally walk a batter. On the first occurrence, the pitcher and head coach will be warned. On the second occurrence, the pitcher will be removed from the game.
Coaches can visit the mound twice in an inning or three times in a game to talk to pitcher. After the third visit in the inning or fourth time in the game, the pitcher is removed. Only the catcher can join the discussion.
Pitchers removed from a game may not re-enter game as a pitcher.
There is a ban all breaking pitches for both the regular season and the playoffs. A breaking pitch is defined as a curve ball, a screw ball, or a slider. A player can use whatever grip he or she wants to deliver the pitch as long as there is not a torque of the wrist. The spirit of this rule is not to eliminate a pitcher's ability to make a ball "move" by using different grips, but rather to eliminate possible injury. The penalty for breaking this rule is a warning on the first occurence and then removal from pitching the game on any subsequent occurrence. (This is done at Umpires discretion along with Coach’s consent). Any breaking pitch will be automatically called a ball.
The pitcher must be removed from the game when he reaches the limit for his age as noted below:
LL Ages 11-12 85 pitches per day
LL Ages 9-10 75 pitches per day
LL Ages 7-8 50 pitches per day
If a pitcher reaches the limit while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until the first to occur of 1) that batter reaches base, 2) that batter is put out, or 3) the third out is made to complete the half-inning.
A pitcher who delivers 41 or more pitches in a game cannot play the position of catcher for the remainder of the day. This limit applies regardless of the continuation/clip count calculation for the days of rest/game rest rules.
Any player who has played the position of catcher in four (4) or more innings in a game is not eligible to pitch on that day. One pitch constitutes an inning for the purposes of counting innings for catcher. 3 full innings and then one pitch in the 4th = 4 innings of catching.
All pitchers regardless of age must adhere to the following rest requirements:
If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, no (0) calendar day of rest is required.
If a player pitches 21-35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar day 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 51-65 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed.
If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed.
A calendar day of rest is a day on which the player does NOT pitch at all.
These rest rules DO NOT reset for the playoffs. That means a pitcher who has pitched in a regular season game is not eligible to pitch in a playoff game unless the pitcher has satisfied the rest rules outlined above.
Read and understand the Green Book rules on interference (impeding a fielder trying to make a play) and obstruction (impeding a base runner). Example: players cannot apply a fake tag.
Infield Fly Rule: in situations with no or one out, and runners on first and second, or first, second and third, and the batter hits a pop up in the infield and in fair territory (umpire’s judgment), batter is automatically out. Umpire should yell “infield fly.” The runners can advance at their own risk. If ball is caught, runners can tag up. If ball is dropped, runners can, but do not have to, advance with no tag up.
No leading off, a player must remain on the base until the ball reaches home plate.
No head first sliding running to a base (automatic out). Head first sliding is permitted when going back to a base.
Foul lines are in fair territory.
Running to first base – Player should run to the right of the foul line and listen to the first base coach before committing to 2nd base. Runners must return at once to first base after overrunning or over-sliding that base. If player turns toward the infield and, in the umpire’s judgment, make an attempt to go to second, he can be tagged out.
A runner is out if the runner does not slide or attempt to and successfully get around a fielder (including the catcher) who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag. A runner is out if the runner does not slide or attempt to and successfully get around a fielder (including a catcher) who is waiting to receive a thrown ball that is already in flight and half way to the fielder. The determination of the progress of the ball is to be made in the umpire’s discretion.
A fielder (including the catcher) may not block a base (including home plate) unless the fielder is in possession of the ball. If the defensive player blocks the base/plate or baseline clearly without possession of the ball, obstruction shall be called, the runner is safe, and a delayed dead ball shall be called.
The purpose of these rules is to avoid collisions and promote the safety of our players. Any effort to intentionally make physical contact with a player from the opposing team with the intent to harm the opposing player may in the discretion of the umpire result in the ejection of the offending player from the game.
If a base runner is unable to run, the preceding player in the batting order (who is not on base) may run for the injured player. Special pinch runners are not permitted.
Starting the Game
At the beginning of each game, managers/coaches will give a copy of their team’s batting order to the opposing team’s manager/coach.
The away team is responsible for running the scoreboard.
In order to start a regular season game, both teams need to have at least 8 players. There will be a fifteen minute grace time period. The missing player will be considered an automatic out during the game. If a team cannot field at least an 8-player team during the regular season, they forfeit the game. A scrimmage is permitted at that time. Please be aware that pitches thrown in a scrimmage count as if thrown in an actual game. For regular season games only, if you start a game with nine players and a player must leave or is injured, he is NOT considered an automatic out. Injured players can return.
In order to start a playoff game, both teams must have at least 8 players. There will be a fifteen minute grace time period. The missing player will be considered an automatic out during the playoff game. If a team cannot field at least an 8-player team during the playoffs, they forfeit the game.
Everybody bats through the order (“continuous batting order”). Rostered players who arrive at the field after a game begins may be inserted in the line-up at the end of the batting order. If the coach has not been notified prior to the game of the player’s late arrival, the coach may use his/her discretion as to the amount of playing time the player gets for that game. Repeat offenders should be referred to the Player Agent.
All players must play an equal number of innings and where not possible, only one inning differential will be allowed (with three exceptions: poor attendance; poor attitude issues; or when a starting pitcher is able to throw a complete game within pitch count limits). Coaches may invoke the exception for poor attendance or poor attitude only with the prior approval of the President and Player Agent.
All players who are present for an entire regular season game must play at least 2 innings in the infield. This rule will be suspended in all playoff games. This means that there will be no minimum infield requirement in the playoffs.
Failure to comply with the equal play rules may be protested by the offended team.
If, after 4 innings (three and a half if the home team is ahead), or at the end of any subsequent complete inning, one team has a lead of 10 runs or more, then the game is over.
The maximum number of runs that can be scored per regular season inning is 6, with the exception of the last inning in which runs scored are unlimited. The maximum run per inning rule does not apply in the playoffs. Runs are unlimited in every playoff inning.
If the coaches and umpire agree before the start of a regular season inning that it will be the last inning due to time limitations, darkness or otherwise, the runs that can be scored in that “last” inning will be unlimited.
Duration of Game
During weekends and except as provided herein, a 2 hour time limit will be enforced for all regular season games. Coaches and officials should only begin a new inning if there is a reasonable expectation that the full inning can be completed within that time. If the time limit is reached while the visiting team is still at bat, the game must be ended and the score reverts to the last completed inning, even if that results in a tie score.
During weekdays, and for the last game on Sat/Sun, regular season games can continue through the 2 hour limit if the umpire believes an inning can be completed before dark.
If the game is called because of darkness before the completion of the full inning, the score reverts to the last full inning completed.
Report any umpires who do not show up to a game or show up late to the responsible Board member. If the umpire does not show, both coaches get an agreed upon umpire. If they cannot find one/agree on one, alternate adults each inning.
No arguing calls with umpires. Openly arguing a judgment call will result in the coach or manager’s ejection. Players who mouth off to an umpire will be ejected. If managers/coaches need to speak with an umpire regarding a call, call time out or wait for the inning to end and have a private one-to-one conversation.
Playoffs Rules Infractions
The following rules infractions are basis for a protest: (1) the failure to comply with the equal playing time rules, (2) the failure to remove a pitcher who has reached his or her maximum number of pitches as required by league age or (3) the use of an ineligible pitcher. A protest of one of these infractions shall be made immediately upon discovery and shall be made to the head umpire on the field of play before the final out of the game is recorded. Once the final out of a game has been recorded no protest may be made with respect to the game in which the infraction occurred; however, the infraction should still be brought to the attention of the League President as indicated below.
Whenever it is found as the result of a protest that an ineligible pitcher or ineligible player is being used, said pitcher shall be removed from the mound, or said player shall be removed from the field of play, and the game shall be continued either (1) from the point at which the infraction occurred or (2) the point at which the infraction was discovered and the protest lodged. The option shall be in the discretion of the offended manager. If the offended manager opts to revert back to the point at which the infraction occurred, all aspects of the game (except pitch counts as discussed below) revert back to the point of the infraction. In the event it is not possible to determine the exact point at which the infraction occurred (i.e., during which player's at bat did a pitcher reach his or her maximum number of pitches), each manager shall have an opportunity to present his or her opinion to the head umpire (limited to 60 seconds) and then the decision of the head umpire shall be final and binding. These decisions should be made in a judicious manner in order to provide as little disruption to the game as possible. All pitches thrown by all pitchers for both teams shall be counted as pitches thrown toward the maximum available and for days rest purposes, even the pitches that were thrown after the infraction occurred when option 1 is chosen and the game is resumed from the point at which the infraction occurred.
All coaches, players and umpires are urged to take all possible precautions to prevent protests. When a protest situation is imminent, the potential offending manager should be notified immediately. For example, should a manager or umpire discover that a pitcher is ineligible at the beginning of the game, or will become ineligible during the game or at the start of the next inning of play or the next at-bat, the fact should be brought to the attention of the manager of the team involved and the head umpire. Such action shall not be delayed until the infraction has occurred. However, failure to notify the opposing manager does not affect the validity of the protest.
All protests and rules violations shall also be brought to the attention of the League President within 12 hours of their occurrence. The League President shall convene a meeting of the President, the Player Agent, and the Rules Board Member (Infractions Committee) to review the infraction and to determine if further League action is warranted. A first infraction shall result in a warning to the offending manager. However, if the Committee determines that a manager or coach has taken any action that results in making a travesty of the game, the Committee may immediately suspend the offending manager or coach. A second violation shall result in immediate suspension. All suspensions shall be for a duration determined by the Committee in its discretion.
Please feel free to contact Mike Komar or Todd Derene with any questions. Thank you coaches for volunteering and PLEASE FOLLOW THESE RULES - NO VARIATIONS ALLOWED.