Softball Rules

Montgomery County Little League (MCLL)

2021 Local Rules

Softball MD-D2/PA-D14/MCLL Local Rules

Ratified January 24, 2021

The following are the approved Maryland (D2) and Pennsylvania (D14) Little League Softball local rules modifications for D2 Interleague and Inter-District Softball Round Robin Mixers. Unless otherwise noted below, MCLL will be governed by the rules set forth by “Little League Baseball Official Regulations, Playing Rules, and Operating Policies”. 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.

For games umpired by Cascade Officials Association doing business as CASO, the National Federation of High Schools (NHFS) will be followed.

12U Majors through 16U Seniors League –Regular Season Rules

TIME LIMITS:

D2: Regular Season: No time limit

Mixer Only: 1 hour 30 minutes, No new inning or drop dead, TBD by host - to be clarified and clearly communicated at the plate meeting.

MCLL: 2 hours. No new inning after 1 hour and 45 minutes. If a shorter time limit is necessary, no new inning may start 15 minutes prior to the official end time and will be clearly communicated at the home plate pre-game meeting.

UNIFORM: All players shall wear the appropriate Little League patches on their uniforms

UMPIRE: It shall be the host/home teams responsibility to provide Little League approved Umpires

MANDATORY PLAY: Mandatory Play is in effect. Regulation IV (i), Substitutions by Rule [Rule 3.03]

BATTING: A Continuous Batting Order (CBO) can be used. [Rule 4.04] For CBO, substitutions as outlined in the outlined in Rule 4.04 apply. Regular batting order, substitutions by rule [3.03] The batter must remain in the batters box with at least one foot throughout the at Bat – with the exceptions noted in the LL rule book [RULE 6.02(c)]

SPECIAL PINCH RUNNERS: If using CBO, Special Pinch Runners does not apply [Rule 7.14]

TEN (10) RUN RULE: The 10-run rule is in effect for all games. [Rule 4.10(e)]. If after five (5) innings, four 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. If the visiting team has a lead of ten (10) runs or more, the home team must bat in its half of the inning. For Juniors/Seniors, after the victory is conceded, play may nonetheless continue.

INFIELD FLY RULE: The Infield Fly rule is in effect for all games. [Rule 6.05(d) and 2.00]

UNCAUGHT THIRD STRIKE RULE: The uncaught third strike rule is in effect for all games [6.05(b)(2) and 6.09(b)]

STEALING: The runner may leave the base when the ball is released by the pitcher on delivery. [Rule 7.08(5)(a)]

EQUIPMENT:

• 12” Little League Approved Softballs

• Batting helmets must have a cage attached

• All other equipment and Teams must comply with Little League International Rules and Regulations, [See Rule 1.11 Objectives of the Game]

Use of Face Guards is mandatory for all Maryland District 2 Major Division players. PA D 14 strongly recommends but does not mandate use of Face Guards


At the pregame conference, the umpire will ask each coach to confirm the appropriate team meets the equipment requirements of MCLL and NHFS. The coach of each team is responsible for ensuring compliance with his equipment rule.


11U Minor League – Player Pitch, Spring 2019



TIME LIMITS:

D2: Regular Season: No Time Limits

Mixer Only: 1 hour 30 minutes, No new inning or drop dead, TBD by host - to be clarified and clearly communicated at the plate meeting.

MCLL: 1 hour 45 minutes. No new inning after 1 hour 30 minutes. If a shorter time limit is necessary, no new inning may start 15 minutes prior to the official end time and will be clearly communicated at the home plate pre-game meeting.

UNIFORM: All players shall wear the appropriate Little League patches on their uniforms.

UMPIRE: It shall be the host/home teams responsibility to provide Little League approved Umpires

MANDATORY PLAY: Mandatory Play in effect, Regulation IV (i), Free substitution of players is in effect [Rule 4.04]. Mandatory play – 3 consecutive defensive outs and 1 at bat.

REGULATION GAME: A regulation game shall be considered complete after 3 innings

BATTING: Continuous Batting Order (CBO) is required, Slap/Bunting is permitted

SPECIAL PINCH RUNNERS: Special Pinch Runners are NOT permitted.

TEN (10) RUN RULE: If after four (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. If the visiting team has a lead of ten (10) runs or more, the home team must bat in its half of the inning.

FIVE RUN RULE: The fifth run scored by a team in their half inning ends the inning. It is expected that if the fifth run is scored during a play the play will be allowed to continue to its natural conclusion and only 5 runs will be counted. RULE: DEFINITION of INNING.

BASERUNNING:

• Runners may advance at risk on the pitch from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd (1Base Only)

• Runners may advance at risk on an errant throw back to the pitcher (Circle)

• Runners on 3rd may only advance home only on a batted ball put in play, or defensive play made on the runner at 3rd base

• Overthrows to 1st base are limited to one base only. INFIELD FLY: The infield fly rule IS NOT in effect

EQUIPMENT:

• 11” Little League Approved Softballs

• All other equipment and Teams must comply with Little League International Rules and Regulations, [Rule 1.11 Objectives of the Game]

Face Guards are mandatory for all Maryland District 2 defensive players. PA D 14 strongly recommends but does not mandate use of Face Guards


At the pregame conference, the umpire will ask each coach to confirm the appropriate team meets the equipment requirements of MCLL and NHFS. The coach of each team is responsible for ensuring compliance with his equipment rule.

10U Minor League – (Modified/Hybrid) Player Pitch, Spring 2020

TIME LIMITS:

D2: Regular Season: No Time Limits

Mixer Only: 1 hour 30 minutes, No new inning or drop dead, TBD by host - to be clarified and clearly communicated at the plate meeting.

MCLL: 2 hours and 15 minutes. No new inning after 2 hours. If a shorter time limit is necessary, no new inning may start 15 minutes prior to the official end time and will be clearly communicated at the home plate pre-game meeting.

UNIFORM: All players shall wear the appropriate Little League patches on their uniforms.

UMPIRE: It shall be the host/home teams responsibility to provide Little League approved Umpires

MANDATORY PLAY: Mandatory Play in effect, Regulation IV (i), Free substitution of players is in effect [Rule 4.04]. Mandatory play – 3 consecutive defensive outs and 1 at bat.

REGULATION GAME: A regulation game shall be considered complete after 3 innings

DEFENSIVE PLAYERS: All players on the team roster may be given a defensive position. Only one player may occupy the catcher's position at any given time. [Rule 4.01 NOTE 1]

BATTING: Continuous Batting Order (CBO) is required, Slap/Bunting is NOT permitted

SPECIAL PINCH RUNNERS: Special Pinch Runners are NOT permitted.

TEN (10) RUN RULE: If after four (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. If the visiting team has a lead of ten (10) runs or more, the home team must bat in its half of the inning.

FIVE RUN RULE: The fifth run scored by a team in their half inning ends the inning. It is expected that if the fifth run is scored during a play the play will be allowed to continue to its natural conclusion and only 5 runs will be counted. RULE: DEFINITION of INNING.

HYBRID PITCHING Option 1: (MCLL games will utilize this hybrid pitching option for regular season fall and spring games)

  • Player will pitch to a batter.

  • If the batter receives 4 Balls, a Coach will come in and finish the at-bat which will either end in a strike-out or a batted ball put out, or the batter reaches base. There are no walks.

  • The next batter will start with Player pitch;

  • Coach is not a play-maker, and should move out of the field of play as much as possible

    • MCLL: 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.

HYBRID PITCHING Option 2:

  • Player will pitch to a batter.

  • If the pitcher walks 2 consecutive batters, a Coach will come in and finish the inning.

  • A maximum of 6 pitches should be delivered. The player may only advance on a batted ball or strike out with three strikes. Failure to hit a batted ball after 6 pitches shall be counted as a strike out;

  • Coach is not a play-maker, and should move out of the field of play as much as possible

BASERUNNING:

  • Runners may advance at risk on the pitch from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd (1Base Only)

  • Runners may advance at risk on an errant throw back to the pitcher (Circle)

  • Runners on 3rd may only advance home only on a batted ball put in play or a defensive play made on the runner at 3rd base

  • Overthrows to 1st base are limited to one base only

INFIELD FLY: The infield fly rule IS NOT in effect

EQUIPMENT:

  • 11” Little League Approved Softballs

  • All other equipment and Teams must comply with 2018 Little League International Rules and Regulations, [Rule 1.11 Objectives of the Game]

  • Face Guards are mandatory for all Maryland District 2 defensive players. PA D 14 strongly recommends but does not mandate use of Face Guards


At the pregame conference, the umpire will ask each coach to confirm the appropriate team meets the equipment requirements of MCLL and NHFS. The coach of each team is responsible for ensuring compliance with his equipment rule.


8U Minor League - Coach Pitch, Spring 2019


UMPIRE: The use of a Coach from each Team is encouraged. A Parent Volunteer may be used, but they MUST have completed a Volunteer Application and successfully undergone a Little League approved mandatory background check. Use of non-approved Volunteer is strictly prohibited.

MANDATORY PLAY: Mandatory Play in effect, Regulation IV (i), Free substitution of players is in effect [Rule 4.04]. Mandatory play – 3 consecutive defensive outs and 1 at bat.

INNINGS: Games will be a max of 5 innings instead of 6.

REGULATION GAME: A regulation game shall be considered complete after 3 innings

PITCHING:

• Coach will pitch, Players shall receive 6 pitches

• Coach is not a play-maker, and should move out of the field of play as much as possible

• There are no walks, there will be strike outs

BATTING: Continuous Batting Order is required

DEFENSIVE PLAYERS: All players on the team roster may be given a defensive position. Only one player may occupy the catcher's position at any given time. [Rule 4.01 NOTE 1]

FIVE RUN RULE: The fifth run scored by a team in their half inning ends the inning. It is expected that if the fifth run is scored during a play the play will be allowed to continue to its natural conclusion and only 5 runs will be counted. RULE: DEFINITION of INNING.

TIME LIMIT: Time limits may be imposed by the host coordinator for scheduling purposes. Any time limits imposed will be clearly communicated to both team managers and the umpires at the plate meeting prior to the game. The plate umpire will serve as the official timekeeper.

For MCLL games time will be limited to 1 hour and 45 minutes, with no new inning starting after 1 hour and 30 minutes. If a shorter time limit is necessary, no new inning may start 15 minutes prior to the official end time and will be clearly communicated at the home plate pre-game meeting.

and will be clearly communicated at the home plate pre-game meeting.

BASERUNNING:

• No Stealing;

• Runners on 3rd may only advance home on a batted ball put in play or a defensive play made on the runner at 3rd base

• On an overthrow at 1st base, the runner may attempt to advance, is limited to one base only and does so at her own peril (ie: She can be put out)

• Coaches are encouraged NOT to have base runners continue to run the bases on overthrows by the defense. This does nothing for teaching the fundamentals of the game. Run fests are not a positive display, and benefit no one. Adherence to this will be on the honor system

EQUIPMENT:

• 11” Little League Approved Softballs

• Batting helmets must have a cage attached

• All other equipment and Teams must comply with 2018 Little League International Rules and Regulations, [Rule 1.11 Objectives of the Game]

Face Guards are mandatory for all Maryland District 2 defensive players. PA D 14 strongly recommends but does not mandate use of Face Guards


At the pregame conference, the umpire will ask each coach to confirm the appropriate team meets the equipment requirements of MCLL and NHFS. The coach of each team is responsible for ensuring compliance with his equipment rule.

2021 COVID Rule Variations Apply to All Levels Unless Otherwise Noted

  1. Review and follow all COVID-19 safety protocols.

  2. A registered coach or assistant coach is permitted to warm-up the catcher if a designated catcher is not available.

  3. A "courtesy runner" shall be permitted for a player who is on base with two outs and is the designated catcher in the next half inning. The courtesy runner will be the player that made the last out (i.e., the player that made the second out of the inning).

  4. If a team only has one designated catcher at a game that player is not subject to any position requirements or limits (i.e., they may play catcher for the entire game without playing in the outfield).

  5. Coach Pitch Only: 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.