Majors Baseball Playing Rules
4.0 Majors Division Rev. 5/26/21
Note: Official Little league rule will govern games unless a deviation is noted below.
Official Game Ball: Rawlings RLLB or RLLB1 - Little League
4.1.0 All pitchers must pitch from the 46’ pitching rubber, no exceptions
.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.
A pitcher who intends to intentionally walk a batter must throw the pitches. Those pitches will be counted toward the pitchers pitch count.
Pitchers 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
.Each team must designate a scorekeeper who will maintain a record of the pitch count.
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.
c. 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.
d. Violation of any section of this regulation can result in protest of the game in which it occurs.
e. Pitch Count Violations – Universal Penalties
1st Offense – Final determination of penalty to be made by the Northwest League Disciplinary Board.
2nd and Subsequent Offenses – Final determination of penalty to be made by the Northwest League Disciplinary Board
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.
.4 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.
.5 Coaches are allowed to warm up pitchers at home plate or in the bullpen.
Players warming up pitchers must wear protective equipment.
.1 There will be a running batting order in all games played.
.2 All roster players present at the game must have at least one plate appearance.
.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 helmet.
.7 All batters and base runners must wear a helmet.
*Barkhamsted: A face mask is recommended for personal helmets. All helmets provided Barkhamsted Youth Baseball/Softball will be equipped with a full face mask.
.8 Dropped 3rd Strike – Once the batter leaves the dirt area around home plate, they will be called out and cannot advance to 1st base
.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 and foot on the pitchers plate.
a. The pitcher possessing the ball with a foot on the pitcher’s plate does not stop a play in progress.
b. Once a pitcher has possession of the ball and foot on the pitcher’s plate, all runners must continue to advance towards the base they were headed to, or return to the base they came from, at the risk of being put out.
c. Any runner on a base and not attempting to advance must remain on the base.
.3 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.
4.4.1 A maximum of nine (9) 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. 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
4.5.1 Replacement players may not pitch or catch.
.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 A list of potential replacement players will be compiled by a designated Minors coach. When it is known prior to game time that a team shall be short a player(s), the list will be referred to and replacement players will be asked to play. Replacement players will be asked on a rotating basis.
Interference / Obstruction
4.6.1 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 base runner.
.2 The first basemen must make every reasonable attempt to leave first base accessible to the runner.
4.6.3 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.
4.6.4 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.
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 (Rain or Darkness, etc.) – 4 innings or 3-1/2 innings if 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.