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Minors Coach Pitch Rules

Montgomery County Little League (MCLL)

2017 League Rules

Baseball Coach Pitch 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 (3) coaches and a 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. Only Little League approved and/or MCLL provided equipment should be used except for the fielder’s glove, batting helmets (NOCSAE certified), personal bats and shoes which each player should provide for their individual use.

    2. Official 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 40 feet from the front of the pitching rubber to the tip of the home plate which is a modification of Playing Rule 1.07.

    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.

    2. An official game shall consist of at least four (4) innings, 3 1⁄2 innings if the home team is ahead. Exception: During the Fall season any game shortened due to darkness will constitute a complete game as long as one full inning has been played.

    3. After 4 innings, if a team has no mathematical way of winning or the ability to force a tie, the game can be halted at the discretion of the coaches. If the time limit has not expired, the coaches are encouraged to continue playing to provide maximum playing time to the players.

    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 winner is the team that was ahead at the conclusion of the last complete inning.

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

  7. Suspended Games:

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

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

    3. 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. The team At-Bat provides an adult volunteer pitcher and that individual must pitch overhand from the 40 foot pitcher’s plate which is a modification to Playing Rule VI.

    2. 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.

    3. Players arriving late will be added to the end of the batting order. If a player misses their turn at bat because they are late arriving to the game or injured/sick then their at bat is to be skipped and will NOT result in an out.

    4. Playing Rule 6.05 is modified such that an at bat will be considered 6 pitches. If the 6th pitch (or any thereafter) is fouled then the batter will be awarded another pitch. Players unable to hit the ball into play within the 6 pitches are considered out and should return to the bench.

    5. A team may only score five (5) runs per inning which is a modification to Playing Rule 2.0. After the 5th run has scored, that team’s at-bat is over.

    6. Helmets must be worn by all batters and runners and non-adult personnel coming on the playing field (bat boys, base coaches, etc.).

    7. Bunting, leading, and stealing are not permitted which is a modification to Playing Rule 2.00. If a runner leaves his base early then a dead ball will be called. All runners will be put back on the base they last occupied at the time of the pitch and a team warning will be issued by the umpire. If any runner on the same team leaves their base early any additional times, they will be called out and the play will be ruled dead.

    8. 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.

    9. Runner must touch all bases. Missing any base constitutes an out, as called by the umpire.

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

    11. 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, scorekeeper or parent must monitor this requirement to avoid injuries.

    12. At no time shall any offensive player try to knock down a defensive player to gain an additional base. All players MUST 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.)

    13. Sliding will be allowed in this division however head first sliding and sliding into first base is not allowed and that player will automatically be called out which is a modification of Playing Rule 7.08(c). 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.

  9. Specific rules while on Defense:

    1. The defensive team may field a minimum of nine (9) players and a maximum of ten (10) players for a legal lineup which is a modification to Playing Rule 1.01. If using ten players, the team must use four (4) outfielders – no short fielders are allowed.

    2. Players may re-enter the game as needed (free substitutions), however, players may not be substituted or change positions for a particular batter.

    3. Outfield positions are defined as left field, left-center field, right-center field, and right field.

    4. Playing Rule 4.03(c) is modified such that outfielders must play approximately 30 feet or more beyond the base path which typically means that players must be stationed in the outfield grass.

    5. Infielders must play their own positions. Pitchers may tag out batters running to first on a limited basis, however, throwing the ball to first must be encouraged.

    6. Infielders must play their defensive position within 5 feet of the baseline in which they are playing which is a modification of Playing Rule 4.03(c).

    7. An outfielder cannot make an out in the infield by running the ball from the outfield into the infield and tagging the base or tagging a player.  The outfielder must throw the ball to an infielder who must make the play.

    8. Catcher (not the pitcher) will take all throws to the plate (except when catcher is chasing down a ball). Coaches are encouraged to start teaching Catchers the various tasks of their position.

    9. MCLL recommends that a Coach or parent volunteer stand near the backstop to field balls that get past the catcher in order to speed the game up. That individual is permitted to be behind the catcher as long as they do not interfere with any plays at home.

    10. Playing Rule 5.02 is modified such that play is stopped either by a play at any base, unless the defensive team attempts to make multiple outs in which case, play will continue until the defense calls for a time out in accordance with the next paragraph.

      1. Play is also stopped when an infielder has possession (control) of the ball, and while inside of the base path, raises the ball in the air with a fully extended arm. If the fielder raises the ball before the runner reaches 1st base, the runner will be awarded first base.

      2. If a runner has advanced 2/3 of the way (runner A) to the next base then they will be awarded that base. Exception: If another runner (runner B) is in front of the runner A and that runner (B) had not advanced 2/3 of the way and is required to return to the previous base then the runner A must return to the previous base.

    11. Overthrows to any base: if an overthrow to ANY base occurs, the runners may attempt to earn a maximum of one extra base, at which point play is called dead which is a modification of Playing Rule 7.05(g). An overthrow is when the fielder has to abandon his/her position to retrieve the baseball. As an example, if there is an overthrow to 1B and the runner decides to run on to 2B, the defender may attempt to get that runner out at 2B. If there is an overthrow at 2B then the runner must remain at 2B since they already were able to reach the one extra base.

    12. 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.

    13. No one player can play a single position for more than 3 innings.

    14. A maximum of one defensive coach is allowed in the field at any given time.

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

    16. Playing Rule 2.00 has been modified since there is no infield fly rule in this division.

  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. The Umpire's decision is final.

    3. One volunteer from each team (two total on the field during the game) will umpire games during the regular season. The volunteer from the defensive team will umpire 1st and 2nd base, keep track of 6 pitches, call foul tips, decide if a runner was 2/3 of the way down the line toward 2nd and foul balls down the 1st base line. The volunteer from the offensive team will umpire 3rd base and home plate, decide if runners were 2/3 of the way to 3rd base or home plate as well as foul balls down the 3rd base line.

    4. In case of a disputed call, a head coach may request a conference with both volunteer umpires and the other head coach to discuss the particular instance. A copy of the division rules can be reviewed to assist in making the correct call. The four participants in the discussion will decide the final call. If there is not a consensus amongst the four participants then the original call stands. Please remember the spirit in which we are operating and remember to use good sportsmanship, especially in these situations.

    5. The Coach or Parent fielding balls at the backstop must remove the bat after each hit to reduce the chance of injury for base runners.

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

    7. Umpires will stop play immediately upon an injury to any player. Base runners will be awarded only the next base. All defensive players and 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 their Division Commissioner.

  12. Conduct:

    1. Please remember that our primary purpose at this age group is to teach players the basic rules and fundamentals of the game in a safe and positive manner.

    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” section.

      1. 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.