Rules - Machine Pitch
- Coaches must exchange line-ups prior to the game
- Line ups must list each players defensive position by inning
- All players in attendance will bat in the order listed in the line-up card.
- All players must play at least 2 innings in the infield by the end of the 5th inning. Please note catcher does not count as an infield position.
- All players will sit out one defensive inning before a player is schedule to sit out a second defensive inning.
- Games are Six (6) innings maximum until playoffs where teams can play extra innings if tied after 6 complete innings.
- Scores are kept, but no standings or win/loss records during the regular season.
- A new inning cannot be started after 90 minutes from the start of the game (no time time-limit in the playoffs). Any inning, once begun, must be completed. Coaches and umpires are to agree on the starting time prior to first pitch.
- Eight players are required to start and finish a game. Failure to field at least 8 players will result in a forfeit. If agreeable to both teams, once the game has been forfeited, non-roster players may be included to allow for a practice game. Non-roster players must be M-A Little League players.
- Pitching machine speed is 4.5 setting or 40-42 MPH. Speed will increase speed to 5.5 or 45-50 MPH in May (and playoffs).
- We will decide at the pregame coaches’ meeting regarding in game pitching machine adjustments. Recommendation is to allow umpire to make adjustments at their discretion.
- Umpire must show the ball to batter and defense before feeding machine.
- Players may not hit off the pitching machine prior to the game (same day) unless all available players from both teams are given equal time
- Defense fields 10 players (using 4 outfielders).
- The "player pitcher" must have one foot within the circle surrounding the pitching machine, and not be closer to home plate than the machine, until the ball crosses the plate or is hit by the batter.
- Runners may not advance beyond their initial target base once the ball is under the control of a fielder.
- Outfielders will start the play 10 yards behind the dirt infield (a line will be painted delineating this point - and you need to make sure you touch up that line when getting the field ready for your games). Remind your players to stay at or behind that line. Coaches for the team at bat should feel encouraged to remind the other coaches (defensive team) if the defensive team’s players are crowding into the infield.
- Outfielders cannot move into the infield and make an out as an infielder (e.g. Runner on 1B, CF fields a single up the middle, CF picks up the ball and runs to second base to get the force out - he can throw the ball to the second baseman but cannot make an unassisted out).
- If a player throws the ball and hits the pitching machine during the normal course of play, the play is called dead and base runners are allowed to advance one base. For instance, a ball is hit to 3B and the player throws through the cylinder hitting the machine, batter is awarded 1B and any runner is allowed to advance one base from where they started.
- Teams bat until 3 outs are recorded or 5 runs have been scored whichever comes 1st.
- Mercy rule - 5 runs per inning regardless of how many outs or number of runners on base. If a 6th or 7th run is scored in conjunction with the 5th run that is fine. Stop the inning after the play ends and runners have stopped/scored. Only 5 runs count.
- In the agreed upon last inning (coaches need to agree on the last inning before it starts), each team will hit until the defense gets three (3) outs or the batting team goes through their entire line-up once, whichever comes first. There is no run limit in the last inning but you may only bat through your lineup one time.
- No bunting – this is a developmental league and kids need to learn proper swing mechanics!
- No batting warm ups – Little League rules clearly state there are to be no warm up swings inside or outside the dugout. All warm up swings should be taken when the batter gets to the batter’s box. This is a major safety issue we must abide by; keep your kids in your dugout at all times.
- If a player is not swinging at good pitches, the umpire will be directed to start calling strikes. The limit for these situations is 3 good pitches in a row not swung at and this does not “re-set” after a swing. There are no walks.
- If a hit ball makes contact with the pitching machine the batter is awarded a single and any runner(s) is/are allowed to advance one base. Play is dead when the ball hits the machine
- No composite or “big barrel” bats are to be used in either regular season or playoffs. Bats with a composite handle are OK.
- No sliding into first base unless avoiding a likely collision with a defensive player that is covering the entire base. Teams will be given one warning in a game, then future occurrences will be called outs.
- No head first sliding into any base and if a runner does slide head-first the runner will be called out.
- There is no base stealing and no leads. Runners cannot leave their bases before the ball is hit.
- There are no advances on a passed ball.
- Overthrows into the bleachers/stands at first base will NOT generate an extra base call by the umpire. We want to encourage fielders to make the throw to first base and not punish inaccurate throws. Runners may advance on overthrows to 1st base that do not go out of play (e.g., into the bleachers) but their advancement is at their risk.
- If a play is made on a child coming into 2nd or 3rd base and an overthrow is made. An extra base is not to be taken. This helps to encourage the players to make the throw to the appropriate base rather than always throwing to the pitcher’s cylinder.
- With a runner on second, if a batted ball eludes the infielders (either by error, indifference or through a gap) and the ball makes it onto the outfield grass, then the runner at second will stop/stay at 3rd base if a fielder has control of the ball before the runner reaches 3rd base or if the initial fielder in the outfield controls the ball before the runner reaches 3rd base and throws it into the infield resulting in an uncontrolled ball (no advancement on the error in the infield). If the runner reaches 3rd base and the ball is uncontrolled by the initial fielder in the outfield, then the runner can attempt to score
- The batter (and lead runners) can continue to advance on a ball hit significantly past the outfielders until the ball is controlled by a fielder and in the process of throwing the ball back to the infield. If the runner is between bases when the ball is thrown back to the infield, the runner can continue to the forward base and then stop.