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Majors Rules

Montgomery County Little League (MCLL)

2017 League Local Rules

Baseball Majors Division

Ratified 2017-01-15

MCLL will be governed by the rules set forth by “Little League Baseball Official Regulations, Playing Rules, and Policies”, also known as “The Green Book” unless noted and modified below. Please be familiar with the official LL rules. The rules below are primarily to help clarify common areas of confusion or set a local rule that varies from a Little League rule. Rules related to safety, good sportsmanship and the proper teaching of fundamental baseball skills should receive the highest priority.

  1. Team Composition:

    1. Only players on the official league roster provided to the manager / head coach by the league commissioner are permitted to play in a league game or participate in a practice.

    2. Each team shall have a maximum of (1) manager, (2) assistant coaches and (1) scorekeeper (although practices should have as many instructors as possible). The scorekeeper must remain in the dugout area and cannot serve as a coach except to control the dugout area.

  2. Equipment:

    1. Each player will need their own fielder’s glove, batting helmets (NOCSAE certified) and shoes. MCLL does not supply bats so players may either share them or bring their own. Please make sure to verify that the bat is approved for Little League use before buying a bat since it will not be allowed to be used if not approved by LL.

    2. Playing Rule 1.10 is modified so that no wooden or Tee-Ball bats are allowed or any bats with a barrel over 2 1/4”.

    3. Batting donuts are not allowed to be used.

    4. Metal cleats also will not be allowed. Plastic/rubber cleats or tennis shoes are permitted.

    5. Any non-adult personnel occupying a coach’s box must wear a helmet.

  3. Uniforms:

    1. Each player will be equipped with a MCLL jersey, pants, hat and socks.

    2. These must be worn during each and every game. If a player is not wearing the complete uniform as furnished by MCLL, the umpire will order the player to the bench until a proper uniform is worn.

    3. All jerseys must be tucked in during play.

    4. MCLL recommends that all male players wear protective cups while playing and are required to do so while playing catcher.

  4. Field Dimensions:

    1. Bases will be positioned 60 feet from each other.

    2. The pitcher’s mound will be 46 feet from the front of the pitching rubber to the tip of the home plate.

    3. Second base to the tip of home plate will be 84 feet and 10 inches.

    4. Home team will occupy the 1st base dugout and bench area.

  5. Game Length:

    1. Each game shall consist of six (6) innings. (Playing Rule 4.10a)

    2. An official game shall consist of at least four (4) innings, 3 1⁄2 innings if the home team is ahead. (Playing Rule 4.10c)

    3. If after 4 innings, three and one-half innings if the home team is ahead, one team has a lead of ten (10) runs or more, the manager of the team with the least runs shall concede the victory to the opponent.  NOTE: (1) If the visiting team has a lead of ten (10) runs or more, the home team must bat in its half of the inning.  (Playing Rule 4.10e)

    4. If the game is tied after six (6) innings and time has not expired, one extra inning can be played. If the game is tied after the extra inning, the game shall be declared a tie.

  6. Time Limits:

    1. There is a 2 hour 15 minute time limit which is a modification to Playing Rule VII.

    2. No new inning shall begin 2 hours after the scheduled start time of the game and the game shall not extend beyond 2 hours 15 minutes in total.

    3. For purposes of determining whether or not there is enough time to start a new inning, the actual start of a new inning shall be deemed the time at which the third out to end the prior inning occurs. In other words, the third out for the home team immediately triggers the next inning.

    4. Coaches are therefore encouraged to make sure that games start on time. If the game is not completed within the 2 hour 15 minute time limit, the determination of the winner follows the same rules as a game called for weather.

    5. The time limit rules apply to play-off games unless the score is tied.

  7. Called and Suspended Games:

    1. If a regulation game is called due to rain it is complete at that point. It reverts to the previous inning in the following scenarios.

    2. The visiting team scores one or more runs to tie the score in the incomplete inning, and the home team does not score in the incomplete inning.

    3. The visiting team scores one or more runs to take the lead in the incomplete inning, and the home team does not tie the score or retake the lead in the incomplete inning.

    4. Games that do not reach the regulation game mark and are delayed for inclement weather will be suspended.

    5. The game will resume from the point where it was suspended.

    6. Games called on account of darkness WILL NOT be suspended; final score will be determined based upon the last full inning completed.

  8. Specific rules while on Offense:

    1. Playing Rule 4.04 is adopted such that a continuous batting order that includes all players on the team roster present for the game batting in order will be used.

    2. Rosters are due 5 minutes prior to start of game. Players arriving after rosters are due will be added to the end of the batting order. If a player misses their turn at bat because they become injured or sick then their at bat is to be skipped and will NOT result in an out.

    3. Traditional rules regarding strikes, balls, foul balls and outs will be followed.

    4. There is no limit to the number of runs a team can score in an inning.

    5. Helmets must be worn by all batters and runners and non-adult personnel coming on the playing field (bat boys, base coaches, etc.). Helmets cannot be removed during play. After a warning the player can be removed for unsportsmanlike conduct.

    6. Runners may not take a lead and cannot leave the base until the ball has crossed home plate. See Playing Rule 7.13 for full details.

    7. Modified stealing is allowed in these divisions with the following stipulations:

    8. A player cannot leave their base until the ball crosses home plate. Once the ball crosses home plate then players can steal at their own risk.

    9. Stealing of home is allowed.

    10. Players may advance at their own risk on any overthrows.

    11. Any player leaving a base when a ball is not hit in fair territory must return to that base. When a foul ball is caught in the air, runners may advance at their own peril after tagging up.

    12. Any player throwing a bat will earn their team a “team warning” for throwing equipment (each team will receive one warning per game). Any further action of throwing equipment will result in the offending player to be called out. If that player had put the ball in play (with less than 2 outs and other runners on) then it is a live ball and the defense may make a play to record an out. In such a case where one of the other runners was called out then both that runner and the offending player would be out.

    13. Runner must touch all bases. Missing any base constitutes an out upon appeal.

    14. A runner will be called out if a base coach grabs the runner (for purposes of stopping or starting forward progress) during live play.

    15. Only one player is allowed to handle a bat at any time - the batter at the plate. All other players must remain on the "bench". An assistant coach or parent must monitor this requirement to avoid injuries.

    16. At no time shall any offensive player try to knock down a defensive player to gain an additional base. All players MUST SEEK TO AVOID CONTACT. Defensive players are also required to avoid contact and must concede a base if there is no play at that base. As an example, a defensive player should not stand on the bag, essentially blocking it from the runner, when there is no play at that base. Umpire has the discretion to either call out the runner (if, in their view, the runner did not make a sufficient attempt to avoid contact) or award that base to the runner (if defender is blocking the base.) Note: There is no "must slide rule.”

    17. Head first sliding is not allowed and that player will automatically be called out. Exception: Any player who has possession of a base may “dive back” into the same base to avoid being thrown out by a fielder making a play. MCLL recommends that Coaches teach the proper sliding techniques to their players.

    18. All slides, to break up a play, must be within 3 to 4 feet of the advancing base. Any slide using feet or cleats as a weapon is cause for ejection.

  9. Specific rules while on Defense:

    1. The defensive team must field a minimum of nine (9) players (with three outfielders) for a legal lineup.

    2. Players may re-enter the game defensively as needed (free substitutions), however, players may not change positions in the batting order.

    3. Pitching limitations – a pitcher is limited to the number of pitches that can be thrown per game depending on their league age.

      1. League age 11 and 12 - 85 pitches

      2. League age 9 and 10 - 75 pitches

    4. If the pitcher reaches his/her limit while facing a batter then the pitcher may finish pitching to that batter.

    5. The amount of required rest for pitchers is as follows:

      1. A player that threw 66 or more pitches must observe four (4) calendar days of rest.

      2. A player that threw 51 to 65 pitches must observe three (3) calendar days of rest.

      3. A player that threw 36 to 50 pitches must observe two (2) calendar days of rest.

      4. A player that threw 21 to 35 pitches must observe one (1) calendar day of rest.

      5. A player that threw 1 to 20 pitches can pitch the next day

      6. Note: A calendar day of rest is a day between the last day pitched and the day they are eligible to pitch.  If a player throws 40 pitches on Monday they require 2 days of rest, Tuesday and Wednesday, and are eligible to pitch on Thursday.

    6. If a player has pitched that day and has delivered 41 or more pitches then that player is not allowed to play catcher for the remainder of the game.

    7. The home team scorekeeper is the official pitch count recorder. That individual must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by either manager or umpire. That individual must also notify the umpire when the pitcher has delivered his/her maximum limit of pitches. However, the manager is responsible to know when that pitcher must be removed.

    8. If a pitcher is visited by a coach/manager three times in the same inning (or four times in the same game), he/she must be removed from the position. Each pitcher is allowed that number of visits.

    9. A warning will be issued to a pitcher if an umpire believes a pitch was intentionally thrown at a batter. If repeated, the umpire has the discretion to eject the player.

    10. While making a pitching change, the coach reserves the right to swap defensive positions.

    11. Intentional walks are allowed. Defensive teams can elect to intentionally walk a batter by announcing the decision to the plate umpire. After appropriate notification is made by the defensive manager, the ball is ruled dead and no other runners may advance unless forced by the batter’s award of first base. Once the award is granted, four pitches will be added to the defensive pitcher’s official pitch count.

    12. There are no balks in this division.

    13. A pitcher is allowed eight (8) warm-up pitches between innings or one (1) minute, whichever comes first. An initial eight (8) pitches will be awarded to any pitcher entering the game.

    14. No pitcher will be allowed to wear long white or gray sleeve shirts. Neoprene sleeves, if worn by a pitcher, must be covered by an undershirt. Any pitcher doing so will be asked to remove the shirt or sleeve, or will be removed from the pitcher’s position.

    15. Games pitched by an ineligible pitcher, if upheld in an appeal, will resume play from the point of infraction.

    16. Local Modification: Playing Rule IV is modified so that each player must play at least three (3) innings by the end of the fifth (5th) inning of the game and must have played both an infield and outfield position by that point of the game. The Catcher position counts as an infield position. A starting pitcher may stay in the game until their pitch count limit is reached and does not have to be removed from the mound in order to satisfy outfield play. However after leaving the mound that player must satisfy the outfield play conditions as applicable.

    17. A coach or player is allowed to call time-out once per inning.

    18. This division plays with an infield fly rule.

  10. Umpires/Coaching:

    1. Umpires must maintain complete control of the game and have good knowledge of the rules and ethics governing this division of MCLL.

    2. In case of a disputed call, the manager may request a conference with the umpire and the other manager to discuss the particular instance. A copy of the division rules can be reviewed to assist in making the correct call. Please remember the spirit in which we are operating and remember to use good sportsmanship, especially in these situations.

    3. The Umpire's decision is final.

    4. Play is stopped when an umpire (not a coach or player) has called "time".

    5. Umpires will stop play immediately upon an injury to any player. Base runners will be awarded only the next base. All defensive players and runners will kneel down at their positions during the injury timeout.

  11. Field Conditions:

    1. In the event of inclement weather, please call 301-765-8787 to hear the latest field conditions. This line is maintained by Montgomery County and should be updated by 4:00 PM on weekdays, 8:00 AM on Saturdays, and 11 AM on Sundays.

    2. Fields are grouped by clusters. The listing of clusters can found on the “Rainout Policy” link from the Information tab on the main MCLL website (www.mclittleleague.org.)

    3. If there is no message canceling the games, teams are to report to the field. After that time, the decision to cancel games due to field or weather conditions shall be made by the umpires. Any team failing to report to the field will lose the game by forfeit.

    4. All rescheduled games MUST be scheduled through the league.

  12. Conduct:

    1. Please remember that our primary purpose at this age group is to reinforce the fundamentals of the game in a safe and positive manner. While games at this level are more competitive, player safety, positive reinforcement and good sportsmanship should always be followed.

    2. As a coach, please also remember that YOUR conduct is being watched by players, parents and coaches on BOTH sides of the field.

    3. Concerns regarding conduct by a coach, player or parent should be brought to the attention of that division’s Commissioner immediately.

    4. A written incident report must be submitted within 48 hours of the incident. Incident reports can be found on the MCLL web site (www.mclittleleague.org) under the “Coaches/Incident Report”. http://www.mclittleleague.org/coaches/incident-report

    5. Please review the complete Code of Conduct policy on the MCLL website to obtain a full understanding of MCLL’s expectations of conduct.

  13. Fall Rule Variations

    1. Pitchers are restricted to two innings for a Fall Ball game.  Fall Ball is development so coaches should work to develop more pitchers.

    2. There is no 10 run mercy rule. Fall Ball is developmental so the full time should be utilized to give players playing time.  If a team is up by a large margin then that is an opportunity to allow other players to pitch.

    3. In the Fall the Majors will employ a 5 run rule in Majors.

    4. During the Fall season any game shortened due to darkness will constitute a complete game as long as one full inning has been played.