AA Game Rules 2019
Belmont-Redwood Shores Little League shall be governed by the current Official Regulations and Playing Rules (Green Book) and the procedures of the Little League Operating Manual as published by Little League Baseball unless superseded by these special Supplemental regulations and rules.
Objective of the Game: AA is a semi-competitive division. Scores are kept during the game, but are not reported to the league and no standings are maintained. The purpose of the AA division regular season is to provide training and instruction to the players and not managing to “WIN”. Managers must always keep this in mind during practices and games.
Safety: The manager must bring first aid equipment and medical release forms to all games and practices. The manager will report all accidents at practice or in a game to the League Safety Officer. Any member may report safety issues to the League Safety Officer.
Field Preparation: Both teams shall jointly be responsible for field preparation prior to the start of each game and for cleanup, takedown and lock up after the game. Instructions specific to each field are available on the league web site. Each team is responsible for post-game cleanup of its dugout. In addition to the standard process, the following AA-specific rules apply:
Pitching circle: On turf or dirt infields, a 9-foot radius is painted/chalked around the pitching rubber. Do not chalk a circle at the Marina Field! Instead, a two-foot imaginary line around the dirt area surrounding the pitcher's mound will act as the circle. It will be an umpire’s judgment call when the pitcher’s helper is touching or inside the imaginary line.
Base path half-way marks: One three-foot line shall be painted/chalked midway between 1st and 2nd, 2nd and 3rd, and 3rd and home plate.
Outfield Cones: Outfield cones are to be put in the outfield 150 feet from home plate for each AA game on a line delineating the 150 foot mark. As part of field preparation, cones will be put out along the line approximately every 25 feet. If a batted ball goes over the cones/line on a fly, it will be a home run. If a batted ball goes through the cones/line, whether or not the defender plays it, it will be awarded as a double to the batter.
Warm-ups: The home team should warm up in the corner opposite to home plate at Marlin and Sandpiper and in the Right Field corner at other fields. The visiting team should warm up in the Left Field corner.
Dugouts: The home team should use the first base dugout and the visiting team use the third base side. All Managers, Coaches and Players must stay inside the dugout area. There MUST be one adult in the dugout. Only Managers and Coaches may stand in front of the doorway of the dugout but may not stray more than one arm’s length away from the entrance (except for base coaches and pitching machine operators). Non-compliance will result in removal from the game. Up to four approved volunteers (coaches, parents, or people over 15) are permitted in the dugout. At fields where no fenced dugout exists, this rule shall apply to the “dugout area”.
Base Coaches: The team at bat is allowed coaches at 1st & 3rd base. Players may be base coaches if they wear helmets.
Pitching Machine Operator: Any approved volunteer over 15 years old may be the pitching machine operator.
On-Deck Circle: The on-deck position is not permitted and on-deck batters may not swing their bats. No player may swing a bat during a game unless they are at bat. The traditional batting donut is not permitted.
Substitutions: Late arriving players shall be added to the end of the roster batting order and both scorekeepers are to be notified. Minimum play requirements shall not apply to late arriving players.
Game Balls: The home team shall provide two game balls.
Scorekeeping: The home team is responsible for keeping the official scorebook and reporting the final score to the DC as soon as possible.
Starting and Ending the Game
Number of players: Although AA uses 10 fielders on defense, a team must have at least 9 players to start a game, and 9 players to continue a game. Game with less than 9 players may be rescheduled or canceled by the DC.
The minimum play rule shall be four defensive innings for a game featuring six or more defensive innings of play. The minimum play rule is three defensive innings for games featuring five or fewer defensive innings. Minimum play rules apply to all temporary replacement players, unless they arrive late. See Little League rule IV(i) for more.
Every player must sit one defensive inning before any player sits two defensive innings.
Managers shall exchange projected defensive rosters prior to the game. It is up to the managers to ensure compliance with the minimum play requirements. If a discrepancy is noted it should be corrected on the spot and within the inning. Protests regarding prior inning player positions are not allowed. It will be assumed the players have played in their appropriate positions per the pre-game roster if an inning has passed. Recognizing it’s difficult, both managers should use good judgment and sportsmanship when changes to the pregame lineups are required due to no-shows or injury.
Rotation of Position: All players shall play a minimum of one inning in the infield position (P, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS) and one inning in the outfield or at catcher within the first four innings. No player may play more than two innings at the same defensive position (the four outfield positions are considered four separate positions for this rule). This rule does not apply during the post-season tournament.
A team shall field no more than 10 defensive players on the field at once.
The 10th player shall be an outfielder. All outfielders may not line up on the infield dirt (or brown turf at Sandpiper or Marlin) as the pitch crosses the plate.
Pitcher’s Helper: A fielding pitcher shall be positioned with at least one foot in or on the pitching circle as the ball is put in play. The player must be behind or to the side of the machine when the ball is released from the machine.
Roster Batting: This division has adopted roster (i.e. continuous) batting order (see Little League rule 4.04). Special Pinch Runners are not allowed. If a runner is injured, the player making the last out will be the substitute runner. There is no penalty for missing an at bat, and the player will return to the same batting order assignment when ready. Minimum play rules do not apply to injured players. If a player leaves the game for any reason, there is no penalty.
Five Run Limit: A five run limit per inning rule shall apply for the first three complete innings. Note that:
Play never becomes dead because of 5 run limit; continuation is allowed until normal end of play.
Only after a play is dead do the umpires and scorekeepers:
Determine if 5 or more runs were scored by the batting team.
Halt the current half inning per the 5 run limit rule
Score keepers will only record 5 runs for the batting team even if more than 5 runners reached home safely.
10 Run Mercy Rule: The 10 run mercy rule in Green Book section 4.10(e) shall apply.
Time Outs: Only the team manager and coaches are permitted to ask for time from an umpire to visit their players on the field. They may not enter the field until they have permission to do so.
Time Limit: No new inning can start after 1 hour and 45 minutes. A new inning begins as soon as the previous inning ends. Ties are allowed during the regular season if a new inning cannot be started due to this rule. If the playoff schedule permits, game times during the tournament will be extended so no new inning can start after 2 hours.
Between innings or game stoppage activity: Pitching machine test pitches should be kept to a minimum and a maximum of two; the pitches should only be caught by players wearing necessary safety protection. Managers are not to assist the players in warming up on the field.
Protests: No protests are allowed.
Putting the Ball in Play
Pitching Machine: All teams shall use machine pitch (except for games designated player pitch).
- Pitching Machine Operator: The pitching machine can be operated by the manager, coach, or a person over 15 of the batting team. The operator will feed the machine from within the pitching circle. The machine should be in contact with the pitching rubber. Pitching Machine Operator is not allowed to base coach during live play. A verbal warning will be given on occurrence. On non-compliance the operator should be replaced with another operator.
- Pitch Speed: Prior to the game starting the managers will set the pitch speed at 38 miles per hour. The only adjustments allowed to the pitching machine are those that affect the pitch height (tilt adjustment) and inside/outside location. The pitching speed can be adjusted but only + / - 2 mph. The speed can be lowered down to 36 mph to lower the height of the pitch or increased up to 40 mph to raise the height of the pitch.
- Batted Ball hitting the Pitching Machine shall be live unless the ball travels into foul territory before reaching 1st or 3rd base (thus ruled foul) or unless the ball settles (stops) under the Pitching Machine. In the latter case the ball is immediately dead and the batter is awarded 1st base. Runners on base are awarded one base only if forced.
- Thrown ball hitting the pitching machine shall be live and runners may advance at their own risk unless the ball settles (stops) under the pitching machine. If this occurs, the umpire shall call the play dead, and runners will be placed according to their position in respect to the half-way marks.
- Batted ball hitting the Pitching Machine Operator (for all examples below) shall not count and a replay occurs. If the Pitching Machine Operator intentionally contacts the batted ball, or doesn’t use reasonable efforts to get out of the way of the batted ball, then the hitter is ruled out and all base runners shall return to their respective bases.
- Thrown ball hitting the Pitching Machine Operator shall be live. If the umpire judges that Pitching Machine Operator did not try to get out of the way of the throw or did intend to interfere with the throw, the batter shall be called out and runners shall return to their original bases, unless the throw was clearly intended for the pitcher’s helper, in which case the umpire should call dead ball as if the pitcher’s helper caught the ball in the pitcher’s circle and the results of the play shall stand.
- Ending a Play via Dead Ball:
- A ball shall be considered a “dead ball” when it goes past the “out of play line”. The “out of play line” shall be defined as the imaginary line extending from the end of the backstop parallel to the foul line. A ball hitting the chain link fence but not going beyond it is NOT out of play.
- The ball/play is dead once any defensive player has control of the ball and at least one foot in or on the pitching circle. The chalk line shall be considered part of the circle.
- If a batted ball is fielded on the ground within the pitching circle and the fielding pitcher does not attempt a play on a runner, the play is dead after the batter is safe at first base.
- Transfer of the ball to the Pitching Machine Operator: The Pitching Machine Operator may receive the ball from the defensive players only if the ball is not live. If the defense tosses the ball to the Pitching Machine Operator while play is live (e.g. tosses from outside the circle), the Pitching Machine Operator should not catch the ball. If the pitching machine operator catches the ball the play is dead at that moment and the Pitching Machine Operator should inform the Umpire and the Umpire shall issue a warning to the defensive team’s manager.
- Player Pitch: Two games will be designated in the schedule as “Player Pitch”, see section 7 for details.
- Five Pitches: The batter shall be out after five pitches or three swinging strikes unless the batter fouls off the fifth pitch, and any pitch thereafter until s/he misses or hits the ball into fair territory.
- Foul-tip Strike Out: Batter shall be out on a “foul-tip” 3rd strike caught on the fly by catcher.
- Invalid Pitches: A pitch may be ruled by the umpire as an invalid pitch if it travels more than two feet outside the batter’s strike zone. An invalid pitch does not count as one of the five pitches unless batter makes an attempt to hit it.
- No Hit-By-Pitch: If batter is touched by a pitched ball, the batter will not be entitled first base. The pitch shall count as one of the five pitches unless the pitch was the fifth pitch - in which case the batter will be entitled to one more pitch.
- No Infield Fly: The Infield Fly Rule shall not apply.
- No Bunting: A bunt or attempted bunt shall be called a swinging strike even if the ball is bunted fair. Any ball that is hit due to a full swing is a live ball regardless of how far it goes.
- Throwing the Bat: A thrown bat violation shall be called when the batter does not drop the bat after a swing, but rather throws or releases it with dangerous force outside the batter’s box. Determining the severity of a thrown bat and whether to consider a given incident as a thrown bat violation is up to the discretion of the umpires. If the batted ball is a fair ball, the ball is live, and play is allowed to continue. At the next stoppage of play, the umpire will call time out and inform both managers that there was a thrown bat. The scorekeeper shall advise the umpire if this is the batter’s first, second, or third infraction. The Penalty is as follows:
- First Offense: The batter shall receive a warning.
- Second Offense: The batter is out, the out is treated as a strikeout, and all base runners return to the base they occupied when the batter finished his at bat. If the out is the third out of the inning, the inning is over.
- Third Offense: The ruling from (ii) above will be applied and the player will be removed from the game (offense and defense) for next three innings.
- Halfway Lines: Halfway lines determine whether a base runner can advance to the next base when the play is dead.
- If the runner has completely crossed the halfway line and has not reached the base they were running to at the moment the ball becomes dead, the runner will be awarded that base they were running to.
- If the runner has not completely crossed the halfway line at the moment the ball becomes dead, the runner will be returned to the last acquired base.
- If after the play is dead, two runners occupy the same base, then the following base runner (and any other following base runners) shall return to the previous base. If previous base(s) is (are) occupied, then the leading base runner advances one base.
- Out of Play: When a thrown ball goes out-of-play (i.e., into the dugout, over a fence, etc.), all runners advance at least one base and may advance two bases if they had completely crossed the halfway line before reaching their next base. If the runner did not completely cross the halfway line at the moment the ball becomes dead, the runner advances only one base.
- No Steals, No Leading Off
- Tagging up: Tagging up is permitted.
- No Head-first Slides: Runner is out on head-first slide except when returning to a base
- Appeals: Appeals regarding whether runners touched or missed bases while advancing are permitted even when play is dead. The pitcher or manager will ask for an appeal and the pitcher will throw or run the ball to the appealed base, which will be touched by a defensive player with the ball and the appropriate umpire will rule on the play.
- The runner in question may try to get back to the base only while the play is live. If the runner has completely crossed the halfway line while heading back to a base when the play goes dead he is awarded the base he was nearing. Once the play is dead, or the runner has entered the dugout, the runner may not return to the appealed base. To get back to the appealed base during a live ball, the runner must retouch each base in reverse order.
- No runners may advance or be tagged out during an appeal play, as the ball is dead.
- Who: Each team supplies one to two umpires (adult/parent/person over 13). The umpires must be certified by the league certification program.
- Chief Umpire: The umpires shall decide who the Chief Umpire will be prior to the start of the game. Both teams shall be notified who the Chief Umpire will be.
- When: The player pitch rules will be in effect for up to six games as designated in the AA division schedule. Player pitch is not to occur in games not designated for player pitch. Prior to player pitch games, the league will offer age appropriate developmental instruction for the players.
- Pitching Distance: Player pitch must be from the pitcher’s rubber.
- Balls and Strikes: Balls and Strikes will be called by an Umpire stationed behind the pitcher’s mound.
- Seven Pitches: Each player pitcher gets a maximum of 7 pitches per batter. If pitcher throws 3 strikes batter is out. If pitcher throws 4 balls or reaches pitch 7 without a strikeout, the offensive coach will inherit whatever count the batter has and will throw a maximum of 3 pitches to complete the at bat. No walks are awarded to a batter.
- Coach Pitches: Every coach pitch will be considered a strike. The coach must pitch overhand from the rubber at a speed close to that of the pitching machine during games. A neutral pitcher may pitch to both teams if approved by both managers and is certified to be on the field by the league.
- Hit by Pitch: If a player pitcher hits a batter, the batter is awarded 1st base.
- Ending the play: Rule 3(f) still applies.
- No player can pitch more than two innings or throw more than 35 pitches in one game.
- No player who throws more than 20 pitches on Saturday may pitch on Sunday. All rules for rest in the Green Book apply.
- No player can pitch over a maximum of 20 times the number of kid pitch games.
- Reporting Pitch Counts: The home manager or official scorekeeper must report the final score and the pitch counts for all pitchers used in the game to the DC.
Please consult the Green Book for more detail.