Montgomery County Little League (MCLL)
2023 Local Rules
Softball Minors Division
Ratified: March 2023
MCLL will be governed by the official Little League Softball Rules 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, emphasize 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.
Note: For D2 Games rules may differ from those listed here. The Division Commissioner will notify teams participating in D2 games of any rule variations. Coaches should be sure to check-in with the Division Commissioner prior to any D2 games.
MCLL: No new inning after 1 hour 45 minutes of scheduled start time with a 2 hour hard stop. 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.
Mixer Only: 1 hour 30 minutes, drop dead.
Games will be a max of 6 innings.
All players shall wear the appropriate Little League patches on their uniforms.
Each team must field a minimum of eight players for a legal lineup. (Modification of LL Rule 4.16 and 4.17)
Only players on the official league roster provided to the manager by the league commissioner are permitted to play in a league game unless assigned by the player agent. (Summary of Regulation V)
If a team knows it will be short players for a game, the manager can make a request to the Softball Player Agent for fill-in players. (Summary of Regulation V)
11” Little League Approved Softballs.
Defensive face guards are required for all infielders. They are optional for outfielders. This rule applies ONLY to internal MCLL games. Games played against other Districts, including D2 may mandate the wearing of defensive face masks and all MCLL players must comply.
Players may not wear jewelry such as, but not limited to, rings, watches, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, nor any hard cosmetic/decorative items. This rule applies regardless of the composition of such jewelry, hard cosmetic item, or hard decorative item. Hard items to control the hair, such as beads, are permitted. Religious necklaces and medical bracelets and may be worn if taped down so they are not dangling. (LLS Rule 1.11(j)
All other equipment must comply with Little League International Rules and Regulations. (Rule 1.11 Objectives of the Game)
Home Team will occupy the 1st base dugout/bench area.
Each team must supply a scorekeeper with the Home Team keeping the official book. c. Five-Run Rule is in effect. The 5th run scored by a team in their half inning ends the inning but the play is allowed to finish with only five runs counting.
An 11-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 11 runs or more, the manager of the team with the least runs shall concede the victory to the opponent.
A 6-run mercy run rule is in effect. If after 5 innings, four and one-half innings if the home team is ahead, one team has a lead of 6 runs or more, the manager of the team with the least runs shall concede the victory to the opponent.
Teams may 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.
If the visiting team has a lead, the home team must bat in its half of the inning before the mercy run rule takes effect. (LL Rule 4.10e)
A continuous batting order that includes all players on the team roster present for the game shall be used. (Variant of LL Rule 4.04)
Slap hitting and bunting are permitted.
When a player is injured, ill, or must leave the game site after the start of the game, the team will skip over the player when that player’s time at bat comes up without penalty. If the player is able to return at a later point in the game, that player is inserted into their original spot in the batting order. If a player arrives late to the game site, the player would be added to the end of the 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)
Batters are OUT on a dropped 3rd strike. (LL Rule 6.05.b.2)
A batter is only considered hit by a pitch if the ball hits the batter on a fly. Bounced pitches that hit the batter are counted as balls.
Special pinch runners are NOT permitted.
Runners may not take a lead and cannot leave the base until the ball has crossed home plate. (LL Rule 7.13)
The following restrictions on stealing apply:
a) There is NO traditional stealing at the Minors level.
b) Runners may advance from 1st to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd ONLY on passed balls, defined a ball not in immediate vicinity and catcher has to move more than two steps to retrieve
c) If the catcher blocks a ball that remains in front or to the side of the catcher, this is NOT considered a passed ball.
d) There is one steal Home per inning at the Minors level. Otherwise, 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. 4) Runners may NOT advance on an errant throw back to the pitcher.
Overthrows to 1st base are limited to one base unless an attempt is made to get the runner out at 2nd base which subsequently results in a second overthrown.
Teams are allowed to use 10 players on defense by adding a fourth outfielder. b. IInfield fly rule is in effect. ( LL Rule 2.00)
No one player can play a single position for more than 3 consecutive innings. During the playoffs, this rule is suspended. The exceptions during the regular season are the Pitcher and Catcher.
Outfielders must play approximately 20 feet or more beyond the base path which typically means that players must be stationed on the outfield grass.
(Modification of LL Rule 4.03(c))
PITCHING: Hybrid model is only used through the first three games. Afterward, we revert to 4 ball/3 strikes.
The pitcher’s mound is set at 35 feet from home.
A pitcher is allowed 8 warm-up pitches between innings or 1 minute, whichever comes first. (LL Rule 8.03)
Managers/Coaches are permitted to warm-up pitchers between innings if the catcher is not ready. d.No pitcher will be allowed to wear long sleeve yellow shirts. Any pitcher doing so will be asked to remove the shirt/sleeve, or will be removed from the pitcher’s position. (LL Rule 1.11.a.3) e. There are illegal pitches but no balks in the Minors Division. (LL Rule 8.05)
If a pitcher hits 3 batters above the waist in the same inning, that pitcher must be removed from the game and is not eligible to return to the pitcher position for the remainder of the game.
Hybrid Player Pitch Format:
a. Player will pitch to a batter.
b. If the batter receives 4 balls, a Coach from the team hitting will come in and finish the batter. Any strikes on the batter will remain when the Coach comes in.
c. A maximum of 4 pitches should be delivered unless there is a foul tip on the 4th pitch which continues the at-bat at 1-pitch intervals. The player may only advance on a batted ball or strike out with three strikes. Failure to hit the ball after 4 pitches shall be counted as a strike out. There is no runner advancement on a passed ball when the Coach is pitching.
d. Coach Pitcher is not a play-maker, and should move out of the field of play as much as possible.
e. If the Coach is struck by the batted ball, the ball is dead, batter is awarded first base and and only runners that would be forced may advance.
Umpire Summary for Minors Softball
- 6 innings
- 10-run mercy rule after 4 innings
- 5-run limit per inning
- No new inning after 1 hour 45 minutes from scheduled start time.
- Hard stop at 2 hours from scheduled start time.
- Infield Fly Rule is in effect
- Dropped 3rd strike is an OUT
- Runners may only “steal” on a passed ball (more than two steps from catcher). - One steal of home per half inning
- No runner advance on a catcher’s return throw to the pitcher (i.e., no delayed steals).
- Balks are not called but there can be illegal pitches.
- One base on an overthrow to first base unless an attempt is made to get the runner out at 2nd which then results in another overthrow.
- Hybrid Player Pitch (only first 3 games), after 4 balls the coach comes in to finish off the batter, there are no walks. Strikes are carried over. Coach can pitch a maximum of 4 additional pitches that results in a batted ball or strike out (unless there is a foul tip, then 1 additional pitch).
- Pitch must hit the batter in the air to be considered HBP.