The purpose of this league is to develop our young players. All coaches are encouraged to develop multiple players at the skill positions in the infield and on the mound. At all times, please keep in mind the safety of the young players in your charge.
- Games will be played in accordance with the basic rules of baseball as specifically amended by these rules. Basic rules of baseball will be taken as those stated in the Little League Official Rules.
LENGTH AND FORMAT OF THE GAME
- Regulation Game– A regulation game is 6 innings long unless modified by one of the rules below.
- Official Game– A game is considered official after 4 complete innings or 3 ½ innings if the home team is ahead. The games called before they are “official” shall be rescheduled on a date set by the Junior League Commissioner. A “called game” will be restarted at the point of suspension.
- Time Limitations– No inning may start later than 30 minutes before the start of the next scheduled game (on Saturday). Until daylight savings time, no inning may start after 8:00 PM. If, in the judgment of the umpire, it is too dark to continue play, the umpire has the authority to call the game. Games are limited to no more than 2 hours. In the case of extra inning games, the above limitations apply.
- Line-ups– Players’ names shall be listed in batting order and given to the opposing manager before each game. Each player can take his turn at bat even if he is not playing the field that inning. If a player arrives late, he will be placed at the end of the original batting order.
- Number of Players– A maximum of 10 players can play in the field at any time. If 10 players are playing, at least 4 must be positioned in the outfield (beyond the skin of the infield). No team may start a game with fewer than 8 players.
- Player Eligibility– Players who demonstrate poor sportsmanship, may be disciplined by sitting out extra innings and/or excluded from the next game at the manager’s discretion and/or the Junior League Commissioner.
- Substitutions– There are unlimited substitutions. On teams with 11 players, no player may sit on the bench for more than one inning. On teams with 12 or 13 players, each player must sit out at least one inning, and no player may sit out for more than two innings.
- Batting – Teams must bat through all players present. A team will remain at bat until there are three outs in any inning or until 10batters bat. In the last inning of the game, teams will bat until there are three outs.
- Uniforms– Complete uniforms are required to be worn during the game. Team hats must be worn at all times on the field.
- Protective Helmets– All batters and base runners must wear approved protective helmets.
- Bat Restrictions– All bats must have the “Little League” approved endorsement.
- Baseballs – Each team shall supply one new baseball for each game.
- Cleats – Metal cleats are prohibited.
- Protective Cup– Catchers are required to wear cups. It is recommended (but not required) that all other players wear a cup.
- Stealing and Leading– Limited stealing ( four per inning) will be allowed the entire game in accordance with the following:
- Player may only leave first base/second base when pitched ball reaches the catcher. There will be no stealing of home base and Leading is not allowed.
- If Umpire determines that runner left prior to the ball reaching the catcher, runner will be returned to original base and issued a warning. If runner attempts to steal again during same ½ inning and leaves early, runner will be called out.
- The base runner is only entitled to one base on a steal. (ex. Runner on first steals second. He may not take third on a wild throw) If a player proceeds past second base in a steal situation, despite the fact that he is not allowed to go to third base, then that player may be tagged out at any time unless and until he makes it safely back to second base.
- A runner will be called out if they do not slide or avoid a collision with a defensive player. (see rules on Running into a Defensive Player).
- Dropped Third Strike– The batter may NOT attempt to reach first base on a dropped third strike .
- Overthrown Ball– If an overthrown ball goes outside the area of play, the runners shall advance to the base they were going to at the time the ball was thrown and shall be awarded the next base.
- Runner Hit by Batted Ball– If a base runner is touched by a batted ball in fair territory before the ball was touched by a defensive player, the base runner is out and the ball is declared dead. Other base runners must return to their previously occupied base unless they are forced to advance because the batter would be awarded first base.
- Infield Fly Rule– The infield fly rule will not apply.
- Tagging Up– The runner may tag up to advance on a fly ball caught anywhere within the field of play.
- Running into a Defensive Player– Base runners must slide or avoid defensive players. A base runner may not run into a defensive player or attempt to knock a defensive player out of the play. A base runner may slide into a base guarded by a player. If an umpire determines that a base runner intentionally runs into a defensive player, the umpire will declare the base runner out. The ball is dead and no other base runners may advance.
- Eligibility – Once a player is removed from the pitcher’s position, that player may not reenter the game as a pitcher. A pitcher may only pitch for 2 innings. A pitcher who hits 2 batters in the same inning must be removed.
- Trips to the Mound– A manager or coach may take two trips to the mound in an inning. On the third trip, the pitcher must be removed. Only one person may go to the mound at a time.
- Balks– Balks will not be called in the Junior League.
- Intentional Walks– Managers may not instruct a pitcher to intentionally walk a batter. Violation of this rule shall result in the batter being awarded second base and all other base runners being advanced accordingly.
- Pitching Rules– A ball that hits the plate is a ball. A bounced ball that hits a player is not a hit by pitch.
- Strike Zone– The strike zone extends from the shoulder to the knees of the batter, and from two inches of either side of home plate.
- Sportsmanship– Without curbing the competitive desire to win, managers and coaches should always strive to maintain an atmosphere of sportsmanship on the playing field. Some specific guidelines are:
- Teach your players baseball fundamentals and game strategy.
- Encourage your players but avoid remarks which might be insulting or humiliating to both your players and the players on the opposing team.
- Take responsibility for parents of your players who do not comply with the League’s views on sportsmanship. Quiet disgruntled parents.
- The catcher may “yell” encouragement to his teammates but may not talk to the batter. No defensive player should encourage or intimidate a batter to swing at a pitch.
- Zero tolerance for abusing or yelling at any Junior Umpire. If there is a rules infraction, discuss the infraction with the umpire. If you disagree with an umpire’s judgment, keep it to yourself and control your players. If an umpire is consistently making the same judgment error, discuss the issue with the opposing manager and approach the umpire jointly. Managers should report poor umpiring to the Junior League Commissioner.
- Be flexible and compromise on minor technicalities when this is in the player’s interest.
- Penalty for Poor Sportsmanship– Players, managers and coaches exhibiting poor sportsmanship will be warned by the umpire in the presence of the manager. A second display of poor sportsmanship will result in automatic ejection from the game by the umpire. A manager or coach may be ejected, if in the opinion of the umpire, the manager or coach is promoting or unwilling to control any unsportsmanlike conduct. The Junior League Commissioner may impose sanctions against players, managers and coaches who exhibit poor sportsmanship.
- Field Discipline– All players must remain on the bench or behind protected areas while the game is in progress, unless they are on the playing field. Only designated coaches shall be allowed at 1st and 3rd base during the game. No players, coaches, parents, etc. shall be allowed behind the backstop during the game.
- Field– Both team managers should arrive at the field in sufficient time to insure the field is free of debris, playable, and to correct any problems. A delay in starting a game due to field conditions will not push back the starting times of the remaining games.
- Equipment– The home team shall be responsible for positioning and removing the bases, collecting and returning protective helmets and locking the equipment box.
- Copy of Rules– Each team is responsible for having a copy of these rules available for review by an umpire.
- Decision on Field Conditions– The decision on whether the fields are usable is made by the DPW. When weather is questionable, call the DPW Fields Hotline on (201) 251-8494. If the field is deemed usable by the DPW, but the field conditions at game time are questionable, the home team Manager (in consultation with opposing Manager) shall decide if the game is to be started. After the first pitch, the plate umpire shall be the sole authority regarding continued play, especially regarding darkness.
- Forfeits – The plate umpire shall declare a game forfeited in favor of the opposing team when, after being warned by the umpire, a team:
- Refuses to continue to play.
- Uses methods to delay or shorten a game.
- Fails to discontinue rules violations.
- Player Injury– A player may be removed from the game at any time because of injury. He may return to the game at a later time at the discretion of the manager. If an injured player is unable to bat, no penalty shall be assessed. An injured player who misses an “at bat” but subsequently returns to the lineup shall assume his original batting order position.
- Injury Reports– Any injury sustained in a practice or a game must be reported (with an injury report form) to the Junior League Commissioner as soon as possible.
PLAYOFFS, CHAMPIONSHIPS, AND ALL STAR GAMES
- Rules– All League rules shall apply to post season games unless amended by the League Commissioner. All teams will make the playoffs. The seeding will be determined by a random drawing at the end of the season.
- All Star Selection– Each manager will select 2 players from his team. Managers will be picking only second year players to participate in the All Star Game.
- All Star Pitching– The pitchers may not pitch more than 2 innings.