Coach Pitch Rules
Montgomery County Little League (MCLL)
Baseball Coach Pitch Division
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, emphasis safety rules 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.
- 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 unless assigned by Player Agent. (Summary of Regulation V)
- Teams may play with a minimum of seven players.
- The bat must be a baseball bat which meets the USA Baseball Bat standard (USABat) as adopted by Little League. It shall be a smooth, rounded stick, and made of wood or of material and color tested and proved acceptable to the USA Baseball Bat standard (USABat). (LL Rule 1.10)
- Traditional Batting donuts are not allowed to be used. (LL Rule 1.10)
- Any non-adult personnel occupying a coach’s box must wear a helmet. (LL Rule 1.16)
- Helmets cannot be removed during play. After a warning the player can be removed for unsportsmanlike conduct. (LL Rule 1.16)
- All male players must wear athletic supporters while playing and are required to wear protective cups while playing catcher. (LL Rule 1.17)
- All catching masks must be outfitted with a “dangling” type throat protector” (LL Rule 1.17)
- Shoes with metal spikes or cleats are not permitted. Shoes with molded cleats are permissible. (LL Rule 1.11.h)
- Home team will occupy the 1st base dugout and bench area (Local Rule)
- Each game shall consist of six (6) innings. (LL Rule 4.10a)
- An official game shall consist of at least four (4) innings,3 & 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead. (LL Rule 4.10c)
- A team may only score five (5) runs per inning. After the 5th run has scored, that team’s at-bat is over. (Rule 2.00 - An Inning)
- A 10 run mercy rule is in effect. 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. Teams are encouraged to continue play if the time limit has not been reached, with any runs scored after reaching the mercy rule not counting towards the game total. 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. (LL Rule 4.10e)
- When it is mathematically impossible to score enough runs to catch up, due to the five-run limit, the game is over. So if after 5 innings, one team has a lead of six (6) runs or more, the manager of the team with the least runs shall concede the victory to the opponent. Teams are encouraged to continue play if the time limit has not been reached, with any runs scored not counting towards the game total. (Local Rule)
- Time Limits are a Local Rule and necessary due to time restrictions on field permits. The following are all Local Rule modifications of Regulation VII.h.
- Due to time restrictions on field permits, it is imperative that games start on time. If a game is not completed within the time limit, the determination of the winner follows the same rules as a game called for weather. (Local Rule; Modification of Regulation VII.h))
- No new inning shall begin 1 hour 45 minutes after the start time of the game and the game shall not extend beyond 2 hours in total. (Local Rule; Modification of Regulation VII.h)
- If the hard time limit of 2 hours has been reached the game will be called immediately. If an at bat is in process, the game will be ended upon completion of the current at bat. (Local Rule; Modification of Regulation VII.h))
- 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. (Local Rule; Modification of Regulation VII.h))
Called and Suspended Games:
- Please see LL Rules 4.10, 4.11 and 4.12 for a full explanation of regulation, called and suspended games.
- In the event of a called or suspended game, and the outcome is not clear or disputed, the Managers and Umpire shall submit a description of the exact situation for resolution by the Umpire in Chief and the Board. (Local Rule)
- All suspended games MUST be scheduled through the league. (Local Rule)
- Bunting, leading, and stealing are not permitted which is a modification to Playing Rule 2.00. ￼￼￼￼￼￼Runners may not take a lead and cannot leave the base until the ball is struck by the batter.
- A continuous batting order that includes all players on the team roster present for the game batting in order shall be used. (Variant of LL Rule 4.04)
- When a player is injured, becomes ill, or must leave the game site after the start of the game, the team will skip over him/her when his/her time at bat comes up without penalty. If the injured, ill, or absent player returns he/she is merely inserted into their original spot in the batting order and the game continues. Also, if a player arrives late to a game site, he/she would be added to the end of the current lineup. (Variant of LL Rule 4.04)
- The on-deck position is not permitted in Little League (Majors) Division and below. (LL Rule 1.08 NOTE 1)
- ￼￼￼￼￼￼Only one player (the batter) 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. (LL Rule 1.08 NOTE 2)
- 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. (LL Rule 7.08.4)
- There is no “must slide” rule. However the 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. (LL Rule 7.08.a.3)
- The team At-Bat provides an adult volunteer pitcher, that individual must pitch overhand a range of 30-40 feet away from home plate preferably on one knee. (Local Rule; Modification to Playing Rule VI)
- The Coach Pitcher may move up or back depending on the skill level of each batter.
- The Coach Pitcher must try and throw a “dart like” pitch to the plate. We do not encourage “lobs” or “underhand” in Coach Pitch.
- If the coach pitcher is struck by a batted ball, the ball is live and the runner liable to be put out by the defense. However runners can only advance a maximum of one base.
- 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. No “extra” pitches should be thrown.
- The defensive team may field a maximum of ten (10) players which is a modification to Playing Rule 1.01. At nine players one has to be the catcher, at ten the 10th can be the 4th OF. If using ten players, the team must use four (4) outfielders – no short fielders are allowed.
- Outfield positions are defined as left field, left-center field, right-center field, and right field.
- Playing Rule 4.03(c) is modified such that outfielders must play approximately 20 feet or more beyond the base path which typically means that players must be stationed in the outfield grass.
- Infielders should be encouraged to play their own positions. E.g. Pitchers may tag out batters running to first however throwing the ball to first should be encouraged.
- Infielders must start their defensive position within 5 feet of the baseline in which they are playing which is a modification of Playing Rule 4.03(c).
- An outfielder cannot make an out in the infield. The outfielder must throw the ball to an infielder who must make the play.
- 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.
- No infield fly rule.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once the play is officially stopped no additional outs may be made.
- 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.
- 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.
- No one player can play a single position for more than 3 innings in a game.
- A maximum of two defensive coaches are allowed in the field. It is recommended that one coach be placed in the infield and one in the outfield.
- A coach or player is allowed to call time-out once per inning.
- One volunteer from each team (two total on the field during the game) will umpire games during the regular season. The volunteer from the offensive 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 defensive 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Play is stopped when the volunteer/umpire (not a coach or player) has called "time".
- Umpires will stop play immediately upon an injury to any player. Base runners will be awarded only the next base to which they were intending to advance. All defensive players will sit down at their positions during the injury timeout.
- 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.
- As a coach, please also remember that YOUR conduct is being watched by players, parents and coaches on BOTH sides of the field.
- Concerns regarding conduct by a coach, player or parent should be brought to the attention of that division’s Commissioner immediately.
- 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.
- Please review the complete Code of Conduct policy on the MCLL website to obtain a full understanding of MCLL’s expectations of conduct.