Minors Baseball Playing Rules
3.0 “Minors” Division
Note: Official Little League rules will govern games unless a deviation is noted below.
Official Game Ball: Rawlings RLLB or RLLB1 - Little League
.1 After two visits by the coach in one inning, or three in one game for the same pitcher, the pitcher must be removed.
.2 Once a pitcher has been removed he/she cannot return as a pitcher in that game.
a. Any player on a regular season team may pitch. There is no limit to the number of pitchers a team may use in a game.
b. The coach must remove the pitcher when said pitcher reaches the limit for his/her age group as noted below, but the pitcher may remain in the game at another position, other than catcher (See Note 1 below).
c. Coaches will exchange line-ups, including names of ineligible pitchers and review any applicable ground rules, etc., in a pre-game conference with the umpire.
11-12: 85 pitches per day
9-10: 75 pitches per day
7-8: 50 pitches per day
If a pitcher reaches the limit imposed in Regulation VI (c) for his/her league age while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch to that batter until any one of the following conditions occurs:
1. That batter reaches base
2. That batter is put out
3. The third out is made to complete the half-inning.
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 played the position of catcher in any part (at least one pitch) of 4 or more innings in a game, shall not be eligible to play the position of pitcher for the remainder of that calendar day.
Intentional Walk - Pitcher whom intends to intentionally walk a batter must throw the pitches. Those pitches will be counted toward the pitchers pitch count.
League age 12 and under must adhere to the following rest requirements:
• 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 days of rest must be observed.
• If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, no (0) calendar day of rest is required
If a pitcher reaches a day(s) of rest threshold while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions occurs:
1. That batter reaches base; 2. That batter is retired; 3. The third out is made to complete the half-inning. The pitcher will only be required to observe the calendar day(s) of rest for the threshold he/she reached during that at-bat, provided that pitcher is removed before delivering a pitch to another batter.
d. Each team must designate a scorekeeper who will maintain a record of the pitch count.
e. The pitch count recorders must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by either the coach or any umpire. However, the manager is responsible for knowing when his/her pitcher must be removed.
f. The pitch count recorders should inform the umpire when a pitcher has delivered his/her maximum limit of pitches for the game. The umpire will inform the pitcher’s coach that the pitcher must be removed in accordance with Regulation 4.1.3(b). However, failure by the pitch count recorders to notify the umpire, and/or the failure of the umpire to notify the coach, does not relieve the manager of his/her responsibility to remove a pitcher when that pitcher is no longer eligible.
g. Violation of any section of this regulation can result in protest of the game in which it occurs.
h. Pitch Count Violations – Universal Penalties
1st Offense – Head Coach Subject to Verbal Warning or Suspension. Final determination of penalty to be made by the Northwest League Board of Directors
2nd and Subsequent Offenses – Head Coach to receive Automatic Suspension and Forfeit of the game. Final determination of penalty to be made by the Northwest League Board of Directors
Any coach suspended will not be allowed within the visual confines of the field or be allowed to be in contact with the assistant coaches
1. Pitches delivered in games declared “Regulation Tie Games” or
“Suspended Games” shall be charged against pitcher’s eligibility.
2. The use of this regulation negates the concept of the “calendar week” with regard to pitching eligibility.
3. If a pitcher hits three (3) batters in one game, the pitcher must be immediately removed as pitcher. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the pitcher’s lack of control poses a safety threat to batters, the umpire may require that the pitcher be removed.
4. Coaches are allowed to warm up pitchers at home plate or in the bullpen.
Players warming up pitchers must wear protective equipment.
3.1.5 All pitchers must pitch from the rubber at the 46’ regulation distance.
3.2.1 There will be a running batting order in all games played.
.2 An inning is over when: Three (3) outs have been reached, or five (5) runs have scored in the inning. In the 6th inning and subsequent innings or the agreed upon “last” inning, three (3) outs must be reached to end the inning.
.2 Late arrivals must be immediately added to the bottom of the lineup.
.3 A batter shall not “swing away” after showing bunt. Penalty: Batter shall be called out.
.4 A batter is permitted to only use a “USA Baseball” stamped approved bat.
.5 Throwing of bat while at bat. Penalty: First incident a warning will be given to that team. Second incident the batter having thrown the bat will be called out.
.6 One on-deck batter may warm up in the designated on-deck area. All other players on the team batting must remain inside the dugout. On deck batter must wear a masked protective helmet.
.6 All batters and base runners must wear a masked protective helmet at the Minors level. C-Flaps are not allowed.
.1 Runners may not leave the base until the pitched ball reaches the batter.
Leaving the base early results in being returned to that base.
.2 Runners may not advance if the pitcher has possession of the ball in the area of the pitcher’s mound.
.3 Runners may not advance to any base (including home) as a result of an over throw from the catcher back to the pitcher.
.4 Runners may not advance more than one base on stealing attempts. If there is a runner on third base when the runner on first base attempts to steal second base, the runner on third is not permitted to wait for the results of the attempt to steal second before leaving for home. The runner on third must attempt to steal home at roughly the same time the other runner attempts to steal second.
.5 Three attempts (successful or not) to steal home on a passed ball or wild pitch are allowed per inning, except for the last inning, which is unlimited. Once the ball is in the possession of a defensive player at home plate, the runner must return to third base and make no further attempt to run home.
.6 Pinch/Courtesy Runners – A Courtesy Runner may be provided for an injured player once per game and must be the last player to make an out while at bat. Since there is a continuous batting order, there are no pinch runners allowed.
3.4.1 A maximum of ten (10) Players are allowed on the field at one time.
.2 Each player must play a minimum of three (3) innings or nine (9) defensive outs. The innings or outs need not be consecutive.
.3 Minimum Number of Players: 8 to start game. The 9th position in the batting order will be an out. No penalty for starting with 9 players. All players arriving after the first pitch must go to the bottom of the batting order and the 9th position is no longer an out. If a player leaves after the game has started due to injury, etc. their position in the order will be skipped and is not an out. If line-up drops to 7, the game stops immediately and the status of the game (forfeit, reschedule, etc.) will be determined by the Northwest League Board of Directors
3.5 Replacement Players
3.5.1 Replacement players may not pitch.
.2 Replacement players are only allowed to enable a team to start a game with nine (9) players. If a roster player shows up after the start of the game with a replacement player, the replacement player does not have to be removed from the game. Replacement players must be allowed the required minimum fielding and batting time as defined above.
.3 Coaches from both teams must agree upon the selection of the replacement player.
.4 Full time Majors roster players may not participate in Minors games.
3.6 Interference / Obstruction
.1 Fielders may not block any base or the base path with his/her body without the ball. If a base is blocked in the judgment of the umpire, the base will be awarded to the runner.
.2 The first basemen must make every reasonable attempt to leave first base accessible to the runner.
.3 If a play occurs in the base path, the runner must make a reasonable attempt to avoid a collision with the fielder. Failure to make a reasonable attempt to avoid a collision will result in the runner being called out by the umpire. If the contact was intentional in the opinion of the umpire, the umpire has the option of ejecting the player from the game. Runners must either slide or avoid contact while a play is being made. There is no "must slide rule", only a no contact rule. Players are not required to slide but must avoid contact. The best way to avoid contact is to slide
3.6.4 It is interference by a batter or runner when - (i) in the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists that runner in returning to or leaving third base or first base.
.5 Catcher’s interference: One warning will be issued per game per catcher. On each warning, a ball will be awarded to the batter. On subsequent occurrences, first base will be awarded to the batter.
4.7.1 The ball is in play unless the ball is thrown over the fence or gets stuck in or under the fence.
4.7.2 If the ball is stuck in or under the fence, the ball is dead and runners advance one base.
4.7.3 If the ball is thrown over the fence, the runner is awarded the base to which he/she is advancing to (or retreating to) plus one.
4.8.1 Mercy Rule: If a team has a 15 run lead after four (4) innings, or three and a half (3½) innings if the home team is leading, the game is over. However, if time and conditions permit and by agreement of the coaches, the game can continue to allow additional playing time for the players.
At the time the mercy rule is invoked, the score will be recorded as final however, pitch count recording and all rules and thresholds will continue until play is stopped.
4.8.2 Games are six (6) innings in length. In the event of a tie, additional innings may be played as needed.
b. Official game (in the event of rain or darkness) is 4 innings or 3-1/2 innings if the home team is leading
4.8.3 Each team is permitted to have a maximum of three (3) adult coaches (including the head coach) One adult coach must remain in the dugout.
.4 No new inning may start after two (2) hours from the first pitch of the game.
This rule may be waived on a weekend in the event the score is tied after two (2) hours or if time permits and is agreed to by both coaches and the umpire.
.5 Darkness rule: Coaches should agree at the top of an inning if the next inning shall be the last due to darkness or time constraints. The agreed upon last inning there will be no run limit.
.6 The infield fly rule shall be called at this level.