Little League Baseball organization serving Menlo Park, CA and Atherton CA. Volunteer run organization. Majors, Minors, Triple A (AAA), Double A (AA), Single A, T-Ball, Coach Pitch and Challenger Divisions.
Umpires. If only one umpire shows up for a game, coaches will jointly appoint someone (e.g., a parent) as the field umpire. If coaches cannot agree on the appointee, then only one umpire will be used. Coaches must not make “shadow” calls or other gestures which might influence an umpire’s call. For example, coaches must not signal outs or make safe signs before a call is made. An umpire’s judgment call shall not be questioned after it has been made. Coaches may request clarification on the proper application of rules to a specific situation. At their sole discretion, umpires may request help from another umpire, but they are not required to do so.
Fielding a Team/Forfeit. A team forfeits a game if it does not have nine (9) players and an official coach ready to play within 15 minutes after the umpire’s official start time. A team also forfeits if it does not have at least eight (8) players playing throughout the game.
Lineup. Coaches will exchange lineups before the game. Lineups consist of both batting order as well as defensive positions for each inning. Players must be identified on the lineup card by full name and number. Coaches shall identify on their line-up cards players who are not eligible to pitch under the pitching rules below. Line-up cards shall be in a form so that the players are listed in the first column in the order they are batting and their positions by inning are listed in the same row as their name. Substitutions are allowed provided that they are clearly communicated before the substitution to the opposing coach. Minimum playing time and other rules requirements must still be observed.
Game Length. A regulation game consists of 6 innings. The top of a new inning cannot start once the game duration has reached one hour forty five minutes or longer. Once an inning has begun, it will be played to conclusion. In the event weather, darkness or other conditions cause a halt to play before the game is concluded, the game may be resumed at the discretion of and a time determined by the AAA Commissioner. A regular season game that has completed four innings will not be resumed. Resumed games shall pick up exactly where they were halted (with the same line-ups, pitch count etc.) with the rules applying to the game as if it were played continuously. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the pitch count limit and rest rules are applied based on the status of the pitcher at the time of the resumed portion of the game. With the exception of playoffs, games can end in a tie.
Coaches. When a team is at bat, two adult base coaches are allowed on the field. A team may only have three (3) coaches on the field or in the dugout at any given time.
Inning Length. An inning is 3 outs, or five runs, whichever happens first. There is no five run limit in the last inning of the game. The umpire will announce the final inning if, in his/her determination, the inning will exceed the time limit.
Batting Order. All players present shall bat based on their position in the team’s batting order that is presented to the coach of the opposing team at the beginning of the game. Players arriving at the game after the game has begun shall be moved to the bottom of the batting order and shall remain at that position in the batting order for the entire game. If a player leaves the game, that player will be skipped in the batting order and no out is recorded.
Minimum Playing Time. In each game, all players must have played a total of four full innings, two full innings of which must be in the infield prior to the conclusion of the 5th inning. By the end of the game, no player shall have sat on the bench any greater than 1 inning more than any other player on the same team. Pitcher and catcher are infield positions. Protests regarding a violation of this rule must be made before the end of the game and to the umpire and the opposing coach. They shall be referred to the AAA Commissioner immediately after the game. If the winning team is found in violation of this rule, the winning team will forfeit the game.
Batting/Walks. Bunting is not allowed. Walks are allowed. Strikes are called. A pitcher may walk a runner home. Intentional walks require the pitcher throwing four pitches (and will be assessed against pitch counts).
Game Pitch Count Limits. Pitchers have specific pitch count limits for each game based on their league age. Eleven year olds are allowed to pitch in AAA, unless there is a batter safety concern in the opinion of the coaches. Disagreements in this regard shall be presented to the AAA Commissioner. The maximum number of pitches per day by age of player is shown in the Table below.
A pitcher who reaches the below limit while facing a batter may continue to pitch until that batter either reaches base or is put out. These extra pitches are NOT included for purposes of calculating required rest, provided that the coach notifies the opposing team that he intends to remove that pitcher after the current at bat is concluded.
Rest. The number of pitches delivered in a game will also determine the amount of rest the player must have before pitching again:
Maximum Pitches per Day
11 - 12
9 - 10
7 - 8
Number of Pitches
4 calendar days
51- 65 Pitches
3 calendar days
36 - 50 Pitches
2 calendar days
21 - 35 Pitches
1 calendar day
1 - 20 Pitches
No rest required
Required rest is calculated in calendar days and not hours or any other measure of time. For example, a pitcher who throws 40 pitches in a game Wednesday morning cannot pitch until Saturday.
NOTE: Protests regarding violation of these rules shall be made upon discovery to the opposing coach and to the umpire. The AAA Commissioner shall be notified immediately following the game.
Reporting. After each game, coaches must confer and agree on the number of pitches thrown for each pitcher who pitched during the game. Pitch counts and result should be posted to the league website within 24 hours of the conclusion of the game.
Substitution. Players once removed from the mound may not return as pitchers. A player may not pitch in more than one game in a day. A pitcher that is replaced in the middle of a count inherits the count for purposes of the game. The replacement pitcher does not inherit the pitches for purposes of the Game Pitch Count Limits and Rest rules.
Hit Batters. If a pitcher hits two batters in the same inning, or three batters total over multiple innings, he/she must be replaced. That pitcher may not return to the game as a pitcher.
Mound Visits. A coach may visit a pitcher on the mound once per inning. That pitcher must be replaced after a second visit to the mound in the same inning. Once the pitcher is replaced, the coach may visit the new pitcher on the mound in that inning once before having to replace the new pitcher. A pitcher must be replaced after a third (total) visit to that pitcher on the mound over the course of the game.
Catching After Pitching. A pitcher who delivers more than 40 pitches in a game cannot play the position of catcher for the remainder of that day.
NOTE: As a point of clarification, a pitcher can have played the position of catcher prior to pitching more than 40 pitches in a game.
Pitching After Catching. Any player who has played catcher in four (4) or more innings (whether playing in all of an inning or in any portion of an inning) in a game is not eligible to pitch on that day.
NOTE: As an example, this rule would prohibit a player from playing catcher in the 1st and 2nd innings; pitching in the 3rd inning and then catching in the 4th and 5th innings.
Catching. The catcher must wear a catcher’s glove and may not wear a fielder’s glove.
Uncaught Third Strike. An uncaught third strike does NOT require a put out at first base or that the runner be tagged out.
Leadoffs/Stealing/Base Running. Base runners are not allowed to take leads. Once a pitcher is in contact with the pitcher’s rubber, in possession of the ball and the catcher is in the catcher’s box, base runners shall not leave their bases until the ball has been delivered and has passed home plate. Base runners may advance only after the ball passes home plate. If the pitcher does not control the ball on a throw back from the catcher, runners may steal.
A runner may only steal one base per at bat.
Stealing home is not permitted.
Overthrows of the pitcher by the catcher may not result in a runner advancing to home from 3rd base.
No Advancement on an overthrow
A runner who steals second base shall not be permitted to advance to third on an overthrow to second base. The rule is intended to encourage catchers to try to throw out runners, and to make the offensive team earn its runs by batting them in.
A runner who steals 3rd base shall not be permitted to run home if the catcher overthrows the third baseman.
If there are runners on 1st and 3rd Base. The runner on 1st base is allowed to steal, however, the runner on 3rd is unable to advance to home base on an overthrow to 2nd
Coaches may not physically assist base runners (e.g., pushing the runner off a base or grabbing a runner to stop the runner from taking another base). If a coach physically assists a base runner, the base runner will be called out.
Pinch Runners. In the event a runner is injured and cannot continue on base, the pinch runner shall be the last batter out (i.e., not the last runner out). A courtesy runner will also be allowed for any player on base with two outs who will be catching the next inning. This is intended solely to expedite the pace of the game. The courtesy runner shall be the last batter out.
Outfield. Teams will field three outfielders.
Overthrows. Base runners may only advance one base on an overthrow that goes out of play. The out-of-bounds line is typically defined as the fence in front of the dugout extended into the outfield unless the out-of-bounds is otherwise clearly marked. If, and as long as, the ball remains in bounds, there is no limit to the number of bases that the runner may advance. This rule is applicable regardless of the base being thrown to.
Blocking Bases. See Little League National “Obstruction” Rule 7.06 and Rule 2.00 (definition of “Obstruction”).
Minimum Play Rules in Pitching Machine, AAA, Minors and Majors.
The above rules are only a minimum requirement and coaches are encouraged to offer each player the same quality playing time as all others regardless of ability. If a coach has a player or parent inform them that they do not want the player to play in the infield due to safety or other issues, then upon notice to and approval of the appropriate Commissioner this requirement will be waived for this particular player.