The defensive team may field a maximum of ten (10) players which is a modification to LL 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.
LL 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.
The player fielding the pitcher position must stand 40 feet from the back edge of home plate. This spot on the field will be known as the “pitchers mound.” The player fielding the pitchers position may stand 5 feet to the left or right so their view of the play is not obstructed by the coach pitcher.
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 LL 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 or call “time” pursuant to 8.11.1.
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.
COVID-19 VARIATION: MCLL may elect to not use catchers at the Coach Pitch Level for the Spring and Fall 2021 seasons. In such an instance all plays at home plate will be considered a “force out” so long as a runner that is on third base is more than 2/3rds of the way down the third baseline. In such an instance, a defensive player will only need to touch home plate. A runner may still be tagged out.
There is no infield fly rule.
A coach or parent volunteer will 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. This person will also help assist with making certain calls during the game. See Local Rule 9.1.3
LL 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 on the infield dirt 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, each runner may attempt to earn a maximum of one extra base, at which point play is called dead which is a modification of LL 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 chooses to run to 2B, the defender may attempt to get that runner out at 2B. If there is an additional overthrow at 2B then the play is dead and the runner must remain at 2B since they already were able to take the one extra base on an overthrow.
As an example, there is a runner on 2B. The batter hits the ball, runner advances to third on the hit. There is an overthrow at 1B, the runner from third chooses not to advance home. The runner on first chooses to advance to second. If there is an additional overthrow at 2B, the runner on 3B may attempt to advance home, but the runner at 2B cannot advance since they already took one extra base on an overthrow.
LL 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.