Rules- Rookie Ball (Low A Coach Pitch)

Montgomery County Little League (MCLL)

2020 Local Rules

Baseball Coach Pitch Low “A” Division (Rookie Ball)

Ratified 2019-12-15

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, 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.

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 unless assigned by Player Agent. (Summary of Regulation V)
    2. Teams may play with a minimum of seven players.

2. Equipment:

    1. 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)
    2. Traditional Batting donuts are not allowed to be used. (LL Rule 1.10)
    3. Any non-adult personnel occupying a coach’s box must wear a helmet. (LL Rule 1.16)
    4. Helmets cannot be removed during play. After a warning the player can be removed for unsportsmanlike conduct. (LL Rule 1.16)
    5. All male players must wear athletic supporters while playing and are required to wear a metal, fibre, or plastic type protective cup while playing catcher. (LL Rule 1.17). MCLL strongly encourages all male players to wear protective cups regardless of position.
    6. All catching masks must be outfitted with a “dangling” type throat protector” (LL Rule 1.17)
    7. Shoes with metal spikes or cleats are not permitted. Shoes with molded cleats are permissible. (LL Rule 1.11.h)
    8. C-flaps and other protective helmet attachments are permitted so long as the helmet is not altered in a manner that voids the helmet safety certification (NOCSAE certification). For example drilling holds in a helmet will void the certification, as may the addition of after-market third party C-flaps.

3. Game:

    1. Home team will occupy the 1st base dugout and bench area. (Local Rule)
    2. Each game shall consist of five (5) innings. Teams are encouraged to continue play if the time limit has not been met under Local Rule 4.
    3. An official game shall consist of at least three (3) innings.
    4. 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)
    5. No official score is kept. Score is only kept for purposes of determining the end of a half-inning consistent with Local Rule 3.4.

4. Time Limits:

    1. 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.
    2. 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. (Modification of Regulation VII.h))
    3. 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. If a shorter time limit is necessary, no new inning will start 15 minutes before the official end time and will be clearly communicated at the home plate pre-game meeting. (Modification of Regulation VII.h)
    4. 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. (Modification of Regulation VII.h)
    5. 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. (Modification of Regulation VII.h))

5. Called and Suspended Games:

    1. Please see LL Rules 4.10, 4.11 and 4.12 for a full explanation of regulation, called and suspended games.
    2. In the event of a called or suspended game, and the outcome is not clear or disputed, the Managers shall submit a description of the exact situation for resolution by the Umpire in Chief and the Division Commissioner.
    3. All suspended games MUST be rescheduled through the league.

6. Offense:

    1. Bunting, leading, and stealing are not permitted which is a modification to LL Rule 2.00. Runners may not take a lead and cannot leave the base until the ball is struck by the batter.
    2. 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)
    3. 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)
    4. The on-deck position is not permitted in Little League (Majors) Division and below. (LL Rule 1.08 NOTE 1)
    5. 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)
    6. 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)
    7. 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)
    8. Use of power tee. When a “rescue tee” is used as laid out by Local Rule 7.5.
      1. The ball is considered dead if the tee (not the ball) is hit. The offensive coach assisting batters at the tee will call out “Dead Ball” and the batter will try again.
      2. All balls hit beyond 10' in front of home plate are live.
      3. A batter that hits off a tee and all runners on base are only permitted to advance one base on any ball batted of the tee unless there is an overthrow (see Local Rule 8.11).

7. Pitching

    1. The team At-Bat provides an adult volunteer pitcher, that individual must pitch overhand a range of 30-35 feet away from home plate preferably on one knee. (Local Rule; Modification to LL Rule VI)
    2. The Coach Pitcher may move up or back depending on the skill level of each batter.
    3. The Coach Pitcher must try and throw a “dart like” pitch to the plate. We do not encourage “lobs” or “underhand” in Coach Pitch.
    4. 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 unless there is an overthrow (see Local Rule 8.11).
    5. LL Rule 6.05 is modified such that an at bat will be considered 5 pitches. If the 5th pitch (or any thereafter) is fouled then the batter will be awarded another pitch. Players unable to hit the ball into play within the 5 pitches will hit off a tee (aka “rescue tee”). There are no strikeouts. No “extra” pitches should be thrown unless the coach pitch pitcher hits the batter on the final pitch. In such cases the batter may receive one additional pitch.

8. Defense:

    1. 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.
    2. Outfield positions are defined as left field, left-center field, right-center field, and right field.
    3. 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.
    4. The player fielding the pitcher position must stand 35 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Infielders must start their defensive position within 5 feet of the baseline in which they are playing which is a modification of LL 4.03(c).
    7. An outfielder cannot make an unassisted out in the infield. 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. No infield fly rule.
    10. 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.

10.1. 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.

10.2. 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.

10.3. Once the play is officially stopped no additional outs may be made.

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 LL 7.05(g). An overthrow is when the fielder has to abandon his/her position to retrieve the baseball.

11.1. As an example, if there is an overthrow to 1B and the runner decides 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 one extra base on an overthrow.

11.2. 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.

12. LL Rule IV is modified so that each player must play at least three (3) innings by the end of the fourth (4th) 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 2 (two) innings in a game.

14. 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.

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

9. Umpires/Coaching:

    1. Unless otherwise agreed to, volunteers from each team (three total on the field during the game) will umpire games.
    2. A volunteer from the offensive team will umpire 1st and 2nd base decide if a runner was 2/3 of the way down the line toward 2nd and foul balls down the 1st base line.
    3. A 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.
    4. A volunteer from the batting team must stand near the backstop to field balls that get past the catcher in order to speed the game up. That individual must also keep track of number of pitches, call foul tips, place the tee if necessary, and assist with making calls at home plate. The volunteer should stand behind the catcher and not interfere with any plays or batted balls (fair or foul) at home.
    5. In case of a disputed call, a head coach may request a conference with the 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 participants in the discussion will decide the final call. If there is not a consensus among 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.
    6. There are no game protests. Any dispute between coaches concerning a rule or play must be resolved before the next pitch or play. Following conclusion of the game rule inquiries may be made to the Umpire in Chief or Division Commissioner for educational purposes. Any findings will not result in the replay of the game, nor change the score or outcome of the game. (LL Rule 4.19(g))
    7. 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.
    8. Play is stopped when the volunteer/umpire (not a coach or player) has called "time".
    9. 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.

10. 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.
    5. Please review the complete Code of Conduct policy on the MCLL website to obtain a full understanding of MCLL’s expectations of conduct.