Rules

Baseball – 2021 Rules

MAJORS RULES

(primarily play age 12 with some 11 & 10 year olds that tryout and get drafted up)

  • All Major Division Official Little League rules apply, plus the following local rules. Coaches need to read and understand the pitching and catching rules in the rulebook.
  • There is NOT a “must slide” rule. However, any runner is out when the runner does not slide OR attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag. A runner is out when the runner slides head first while advancing. (See Rule 7.08 in the rulebook).
  • All players must bat in the line-up and must play 6 consecutive outs. Unlimited subs on defense are allowed as long as the player has played 6 consecutive outs in the field.
  • A batter may advance on an uncaught third strike if 1st base is unoccupied or if 1st base is occupied with two outs. A batter that motions toward his/her dugout on an uncaught third strike rule is said to be giving himself up and is therefore out (judgment call by the umpire).
  • No time limit in Majors. 6 innings must be played (unless the mercy rule of 10 runs after 4 innings applies). In the event of a tie game, extra innings are allowed with the international tie breaker rule in effect.
  • No leading off. Base runners shall not leave their bases until the ball has been delivered and has reached the batter. Runners are not out if they leave early. (See Rule 7.13 in the rulebook)
  • On-deck batters are NOT allowed. All players must be inside the dugout when their team is batting. Only the first batter of each half-inning will be permitted outside the dugout between half-innings. (See Rule 1.08 – Note 1 & 2 in the rulebook).
  • No forfeits or outs for less than 9 players. (No out even if a player leaves mid-game).

TRIPLE A RULES

(primarily play ages 11 & 10 with some 9 year olds that tryout and get drafted up)

  • All Minor Division Little League rules apply, plus the following local rules. Coaches need to read and understand the pitching and catching rules in the rulebook.
  • There is NOT a “must slide” rule. However, any runner is out when the runner does not slide OR attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag. A runner is out when the runner slides head first while advancing. (See Rule 7.08 in the rulebook).
  • All players must bat in the line-up and must play 6 consecutive outs. Unlimited subs on defense are allowed as long as the player has played 6 consecutive outs in the field.
  • A batter may advance on an uncaught third strike if 1st base is unoccupied or if 1st base is occupied with two outs. A batter that motions toward his/her dugout on an uncaught third strike rule is said to be giving himself up and is therefore out (judgment call by the umpire).
  • A half inning is complete after 3 outs or 5 runs have scored (see continuation rule below).
  • Continuation rule is in effect limited to a max of 3 continuation runs until ball is dead. All runs scored after the 5th run will count until ball is dead. This means that with continuation, a max of 8 runs can be scored per half inning. Ball is dead when pitcher returns to mound or defensive player has the ball at the base.
  • No new inning can begin after 1 hour 45 minutes, regardless of score. Game can end in a tie. Mercy rule is 10 runs after 4 innings. Maximum innings is 6.
  • All players must be inside the dugout when their team is batting. Only the first batter of each half-inning will be permitted outside the dugout between half-innings. (See Rule 1.08 – Note 1 & 2 in the rulebook)
  • No forfeits or outs for less than 9 players. (No out even if a player leaves mid-game).

DOUBLE A RULES

(primarily play age 9 with some 8 & 7 year olds that tryout and get drafted up)

  • All Minor Division Little League rules apply, plus the following local rules. Coaches need to read and understand the pitching and catching rules in the rulebook.
  • There is NOT a “must slide” rule. However, any runner is out when the runner does not slide OR attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag. A runner is out when the runner slides head first while advancing. (See Rule 7.08 in the rulebook).
  • All players must bat in the line-up and play at least 6 consecutive defensive outs. Unlimited subs on defense are allowed as long as the player has played 6 consecutive outs in the field.
  • A team plays with 4 outfielders (4th outfielder must be positioned at an equal depth to other outfielders).
  • NO stealing home. A player may only score from a hit or from being forced home on a walk.
  • The batter may NOT advance on an uncaught third strike.
  • A half inning is complete after 3 outs or 5 runs have scored (see continuation rule).
  • Continuation rule is in effect limited to a max of 3 continuation runs until ball is dead. All runs scored after the 5th run will count until ball is dead. This means that with continuation, a max of 8 runs can be scored per half inning. Ball is dead when pitcher returns to mound or defensive player has the ball at the base.
  • No new inning can begin after 1 hour 30 minutes, regardless of score. Game can end in a tie.  Mercy rule is 10 runs after 4 innings. Maximum innings is 6.
  • When the last inning is determined by time or by being the 6th inning, the 5 run rule per inning + continuation still applies – NOT unlimited runs.
  • No leading off. Base runners shall not leave their bases until the ball has been delivered and has reached the batter. Runners are not out if they leave early. (See Rule 7.13 in the rulebook).
  • On-deck batters are NOT allowed. All players must be inside the dugout when their team is batting. Only the first batter of each half-inning will be permitted outside the dugout between half-innings. (See Rule 1.08 – Note 1 & 2 in the rulebook).
  • No forfeits or outs for less than 9 players. (No out even if a player leaves mid-game).

MACHINE PITCH RULES (SINGLE A)

(primarily play ages 7 and 8 with some 6 year olds depending on circumstance – no tryout)

  • All Minor Division Little League rules apply, plus the following local rules.
  • A pitching machine will be used in place of a player pitcher. Pitching machine to be set at 34 mph.
  • All players must bat in the line-up. All players play in the field each inning.
  • Only one additional infielder is permitted. Infielders play normal positions with a pitcher on both sides of the pitching machine. All other extra players must play in the outfield.
  • A batter gets 6 pitches or 3 strikes (a strike is defined as a swing and miss).  A batter is out on the 6th pitch even if it is fouled off.
  • Runners can only advance on a hit ball. No stealing bases.
  • Runners advance one base only on an overthrow.
  • A half inning is complete after 3 outs or 5 runs have scored. No continuation runs.
  • Game time is 1 hour 15 minutes which means no new inning can begin after 1 hour 15 minutes, regardless of score. Game can end in a tie. Mercy rule is 10 runs after 4 innings. Maximum innings is 6.
  • When the last inning is determined by time or by being the 6th inning, the 5 run rule per inning still applies – NOT unlimited runs.
  • No leading off. Base runners shall not leave their bases until the ball has been delivered and has been hit by the batter. Runners are not out if they leave early. (See Rule 7.13 in the rulebook).
  • On-deck batters are NOT allowed. All players must be inside the dugout when their team is batting. Only the first batter of each half-inning will be permitted outside the dugout between half-innings. (See Rule 1.08 – Note 1 & 2 in the rulebook).
  • The home team or both teams need to set up the pitching machine before the game starts. Final machine pitch teams playing for the night need to “pick up” pitching machine and place in storage unit.
  • No forfeits or outs for less than 9 players. (No out even if a player leaves mid-game).

PONY RULES

(play ages 13-16)

  • All Senior Division Official Little League rules apply, plus the following local rules. Coaches need to read and understand the pitching and catching rules in the rulebook.
  • There is NOT a “must slide” rule. However, any runner is out when the runner does not slide OR attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag. A runner is out when the runner slides head first while advancing. (See Rule 7.08 in the rulebook).
  • All players must bat in the line-up and must play 6 consecutive outs. Unlimited subs on defense are allowed as long as the player has played 6 consecutive outs in the field.
  • A batter may advance on an uncaught third strike if 1st base is unoccupied or if 1st base is occupied with two outs. A batter that motions toward his/her dugout on a uncaught third strike rule is said to be giving himself up and is therefore out (judgment call by the umpire).
  • A half inning is complete after 3 outs or 10 runs have scored (see continuation rule below).
  • Continuation rule is in effect limited to a max of 3 continuation runs until ball is dead. All runs scored after the 10th run will count until ball is dead. This means that with continuation, a max of 13 runs can be scored per half inning. Ball is dead when pitcher returns to mound or defensive player has the ball at the base.
  • Game time is 1 hour 45 minutes which means no new inning can begin after 1 hour 45 minutes, regardless of the score. Game can end in a tie. Maximum innings is 7.
  • When the last inning is determined by time or by being the 7th inning, the 10 run rule per inning + continuation still applies, NOT unlimited runs.
  • 16 year olds can play Pony, they are not allowed to pitch.
  • The mercy rule is 10 runs after 5 innings.
  • No forfeits or outs for less than 9 players. (No out even if a player leaves mid-game).

PITCH COUNT

Max Pitches Per Day

Age7-8 Years Old9-10 Years Old11-12 Years Old13-16 Years Old
Max Pitches Per Day50758595
Max Per Day

Pitch Counts

Age0 Days Rest1 Day Rest2 Days Rest3 Days Rest4 Days Rest
14 Years Old and Younger1 – 2021 – 3536 – 5051 – 6566+
15-16 Years Old1 – 3031 – 4546 – 6061 – 7576+
With Rest
  • If a pitcher reaches 41 pitches they cannot play the position of catcher for the remainder of the day.
  • If a pitcher reaches their limit imposed in regulations for MAX or DAILY pitches while facing a batter they may finish pitching until the batter reaches base or the batter is put out.
  • If a pitcher is removed from the mound they cannot return as a pitcher.

Examples

Days Rest
0If you pitch Monday you may not pitch again until Tuesday
1If you pitch Monday you may not pitch again until Wednesday
2If you pitch Monday you may not pitch again until Thursday
3If you pitch Monday you may not pitch again until Friday
4If you pitch Monday you may not pitch again until Saturday
Rest Definitions

Softball – 2022

Minor

  1. All Softball Minor Division Little League rules apply, plus the following local rules. Coaches are not permitted to change the rules even if both coaches agree. Issues related to the rules must be brought up to the WLL President and/or the WLL Softball President. The issues will then be discussed with the WLL Board.
  2. Minimum defensive playing requirements (coaches are responsible for monitoring this):
    1. A player can only sit out a maximum of 2 innings per game. It is preferred that a player only sit out 1 inning per game. Please try to give all players equal playing time.
    2. Every player who wants to play an infield position must be allowed to play an infield position a minimum of 1 inning per every 2 games. Please try to rotate players as much as possible and give even more infield playing time where possible.
    3. Every player who wants to pitch must be allowed to pitch to at least one batter sometime throughout the season.
  3. A team plays with 4 outfielders (4th outfielder must be positioned at an equal depth to other outfielders). All 4 outfielders must play on the grass or ONE FOOT in front of the grass (no closer).
  4. All players must bat in the line-up per the Continuous Batting Order Rule (LL Rule 4.04). If a player gets hurt or has to leave, their place in the batting order is NOT an out.
  5. On-deck batters are NOT allowed. All players must be inside the dugout when their team is batting. Only the first batter of each half-inning will be permitted outside the dugout between half-innings to warm up (see LL Rule 1.08 – Note 1 & 2). Batters are required to wear helmets during all batting practice either at games or at practices.
  6. A half inning is complete after 3 outs or 5 runs have scored plus a potential of 3 continuation runs (see local rule #7 for the continuation rule).
  7. Continuation rule is in effect for a maximum of 3 continuation runs until the ball is dead. All runs scored after the 5th run within the same play will count until the ball is dead. This means that with continuation, a maximum of 8 runs can be scored per half inning.
  8. Once the ball is thrown into the infield from the outfield and crosses the runner’s base path (even if the ball is not caught or in control), the ball is dead and runners can only continue to the base they are currently advancing to.
  9. There is NOT a “one-run on an overthrow” rule. If an overthrow occurs, runners can advance at their own risk until the ball is thrown back into the infield (see local rule #8 for clarification).
    1. If a ball is overthrown at first base or third base and goes out of play (over the fence or into the dugout) the runners will be awarded 2 bases from Time of Pitch. Example: There is a runner at 1st and at 2nd . The batter hits the ball to shortstop. The shortstop overthrows the ball to 1 st and it rolls into the dugout. The umpire should call Time as the ball is now dead/out of play. Each runner would be awarded 2 bases from Time of Pitch. So the batter would get 2nd , the runner on 1st would get 3rd , and the runner on 2nd would get home.
  10. There is NOT a “must slide” rule in Little League. However, any runner is out when the runner does not slide OR attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag. A runner is out when the runner slides head first while advancing. (see LL Rule 7.08).
  11. No new inning can begin after 1 hour and 30 minutes of play, regardless of score. Game can end in a tie. Mercy rule is 10 runs after 4 innings. Maximum innings is 6.
  12. When the last inning is determined by time or by being the 6th inning, the 5 run rule per inning + continuation still applies. Runs are NOT unlimited in the last inning.
  13. No forfeits or outs for less than 9 players.
  14. No stealing bases. No leading off bases until ball reaches the plate.
  15. The first team listed on the schedule is the Home team. The Home team starts in the field first and takes the 3rd base dugout. Home team is responsible for keeping score in the official scorebook.
  16. Each batter will receive a maximum of 4 pitches from a kid pitcher from the opposing team. If 3 of those pitches are strikes, the batter strikes out. If the batter doesn’t strike out, then after the 4th pitch from the kid pitcher, the batter’s coach will pitch. The coach will get either 1 or 2 more pitches depending on the batter’s current count. The batter’s count continues when the coach begins pitching. All pitches by the coach are considered strikes.
    1. If the batter has 2 strikes when the coach comes in, the coach only gets 1 more pitch.
    2. If the batter has less than 2 strikes when the coach comes in, the coach gets 2 more pitches.
    3. Batters can continue to foul ball pitches from the coach. If a foul ball is caught by the opposing team, the batter is out.
    4. THERE ARE NO WALKS.
  17. Kid pitchers must pitch from the white rubber mound except as stated in number 1. below.
    1. If a kid pitcher continually can’t get it to the catcher AND they are in 2nd or 3rd grade, they can move up ONE FOOT from the white rubber mound. Once they are strong enough to get it to the catcher, they should move back to the white rubber mound.
    2. 4th graders must pitch from the white rubber mound.
    3. If the pitcher’s foot crosses the white pitching circle line when the ball is released then they are too close and must move back on future pitches.
    4. Kid pitchers can either pitch with an underhand motion or a windmill motion. As this is a fast pitch league, pitches with a high arc will not be called as strikes.
    5. Pitching distance is 35 feet. Pitcher gets 3 warm-up pitches.
  18. Coach/adult pitchers must pitch from the white rubber mound except as stated in number 1 below.
    1. If an adult pitcher continually can’t get it to the catcher they can move up ONE FOOT from the white rubber mound.
    2. If the adult pitcher’s foot crosses the white pitching circle line when the ball is released then they are too close and must move back on future pitches.
    3. A coach may allow an assistant coach or parent to pitch in their place.

Slide Rule Explanation

Have you ever been confused about whether a runner has to slide when approaching a base when a tag may be made?  Truth is, they don’t have to slide if they make an attempt to get around a fielder.  This FAQ will help clear up things for you.

Rule 7.08 (3) for both baseball and softball reads:

“Any runner is out when the runner does not slide or attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag.”

Rule 7.08 (3)

A few points of emphasis:

  • The runner has a choice; he/she may slide or he/she may attempt to get around a fielder.  So it’s not mandatory for the runner to slide in these situations.
  • If runner’s choice is not to slide and instead attempts to get around the fielder who has the ball, it does not mean runner must avoid contact — contact alone does not make the runner out if in the umpire’s judgement they made an attempt to get around.
  • The fielder must have possession of ball and be waiting to make the tag for either choice to matter — if NOT, the baseline and the base belong to runner.

Our youth umpires are trained to apply this rule correctly, but sometimes we see disagreements on what constitutes an “attempt.”  The attempt is a judgment call by the umpire.  If the umpire says the runner made an attempt then their decision stands (and should not be debated or influenced by managers, coaches, players, parents, etc.).

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