Baseball Rules

These are a selection of rules from Little League International and our local Little League Rules. For a complete list of all Little League Rules, please visit the official Little League website or contact us to pick up an official Little League Handbook.

Regular Season Pitching

  • A pitcher once removed from the mound cannot return as a pitcher.
  • A pitcher cannot pitch in more than one game per day.
  • Pitch limit by League Age
    • 11-12: 85 pitches (League Age 12 players cannot pitch in Minor League)
    • 9-10: 75 pitches
    • 7-8: 50 pitches
  • A pitcher who delivers 41 or more pitches in a game cannot play the position of catcher for the remainder of that day.
  • Any player, who has previously played the position of catcher in 4 or more innings in a game, is not eligible to pitch on that calendar day.

Pitching Rest Requirements for Pitchers League Age 12 and Under

  • If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed
  • If a player pitches 51-65 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed.
  • If a player pitches 36-50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed.
  • If a player pitches 21-35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar day of rest must be observed.
  • If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, no (0) calendar day of rest is required.
  • For example, if a player pitches 68 pitches on Monday, he will not be eligible to pitch again until Saturday (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday = 4 calendar days).

Infield Fly Rule (Major League only)

Runners on 1st and 2nd or bases loaded, less than 2 outs – a fly ball (not a line drive) that can be caught by an infielder with ORDINARY effort (umpire’s discretion) – batter is out. Runners may advance at their own risk. There is no infield fly rule in Minor League.

No “Must Slide” Rule

Runner must either AVOID the fielder with the ball or SLIDE. A head-first slide is an automatic out (unless returning to a base). The fielder covering a base may not obstruct the runner or block the base unless he is in possession of the ball.

Equipment

All catchers MUST wear a cup. Any player warming up the pitcher must be properly equipped with a full mask and helmet, catcher’s mitt and protective cup. COACHES MAY NOT WARM UP PITCHERS AT ANY TIME.

Minimum Play Requirements

Continuous batting order is used – all players, whether playing in the field or not, bat in their order. All eligible players should play a minimum of 4 full innings in the field. In the minors, even and balanced playing time for all players is required (i.e. the same player should not sit 2 innings every game). Also, every player should have many opportunities to play infield.

Curve Balls

The throwing of curve balls is strongly discouraged.

Umpire Respect by Coaches

No coach may argue or question a judgment call. If reported and confirmed, the coach will be suspended one game. If the same coach repeats, the coach may be suspended for the remainder of the season.

Equipment Inspection

Each team’s coaches should inspect its equipment prior to each game. At a minimum, inspection should confirm that all bats are Little League approved, catcher’s gear is in working order and helmets are safe.

Dropped Third Strike (Minor League only)

In Minor League only, the batter is out on called or swinging third strike whether or not the catcher catches the ball. For Major League, please see details in the Little League Handbook regarding a dropped 3rd strike.

Only 8 Players Available

(a) Regular Season

For defense, the short team will “borrow” the player who batted last for the other team during the other team’s last at bat, and the “borrowed” player should play left or right field. If the short team is the home team, then it should use the last batter in the other team’s batting order in the first inning. For offense, the short team’s lineup will consist of the 8 players available.

In Minor League only, if a team knows in advance that it will have fewer than 9 players, the team may “borrow” another player(s) from another team, using reasonable discretion in choosing the player(s) based upon the ability of the team’s missing players.

(b) Playoffs

For defense, the short team should follow the regular season rule. For offense, the short team must take an automatic out for the 9th spot in the batting order. The Yarmouth Little League President and Vice President should be consulted when a team has fewer than 8 players in the playoffs.