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Minors Rules

Montgomery County Little League (MCLL)

2017 League Rules

Baseball Minors Ball Divisions

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 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.

    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. 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. The batter is out on a called or swinging 3rd strike regardless of whether the catcher catches or drops the pitch (no stealing of 1st base.)

    4. 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.

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

    6. Runners may not take a lead and cannot leave the base until the ball has crossed home plate. 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.

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

      1. 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.

      2. A team may only have one successful steal of home per inning. Advancing home from 3rd on an overthrow of a steal at 2nd counts as a steal of home.

      3. Players may only advance one base (total) on an attempted steal.

      4. Catchers should be encouraged to make a play on an attempted steal if there is a chance to throw the runner out.

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

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

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

    12. 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.

    13. 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.)

    14. Sliding is allowed 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.

    15. 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 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 defensive position within 5 feet of the baseline in which they are playing which is a modification of Playing Rule 4.03(c).

    6. Pitching limitations – a pitcher is limited to seventy five (75) pitches thrown per game depending on the amount of rest since the last time pitching. If the pitcher reaches his/her limit while facing a batter then the pitcher may finish pitching to that batter.

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

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

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

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

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

    8. 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.

    9. 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.

    10. 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 the same game), he/she must be removed from the position. Each pitcher is allowed that number of visits.

    11. If a pitcher hits two (2) batters in one inning or three (3) in one game, the pitcher will be removed from and will not be eligible to return to the pitcher position for the remainder of the game.

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

    13. There will be no intentional walks and no pitcher will deliberately throw a curve ball during a game. A warning will be issued if in the umpire’s judgment the curve is intentional. After a second violation the umpire may remove the player from that position for the remainder of the game.

    14. 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.

    15. No pitcher will be allowed to wear long white or gray sleeve shirts. Any pitcher doing so will be asked to remove the shirt or will be removed from the pitcher’s position.

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

    17. 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.

    18. No one player can play a single position for more than 3 innings. The exception is in the case of a pitcher who can remain until pitch count limits are reached.

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

    20. Playing Rule 2.00 has been modified since there is no infield fly rule in these divisions.

  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 their Divisional 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”.

      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.

  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.