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Minor League Baseball

(League Age 9-11) 

Principals 

 

1)         The minor league strike zone is expanded to encourage batters to swing. Managers shall encourage their players to swing. The umpire may call any pitch a strike if he feels a batter is intentionally taking a pitch or trying to be walked.

 

2)         During the regular season Managers are encouraged to play all players as reasonably equal as possible. The regular season rules ensure reasonable playing time (3 innings per game and restrictions on sitting out). 

 

3)         No restrictions are placed on field positions. Allowing only your top players to play the infield while players with lesser skills only play the outfield should be minimized. Managers and Coaches need to use good judgment in selection of field positions. The same philosophy stated above for playing time should be invoked for field positions. During the regular season Managers should attempt to play everyone in the infield reasonably equal. 

 

4)         During the regular season Managers and Coaches are encouraged to give every player an opportunity to pitch at least once. 

 

5)         Bunting is discouraged but there are no rules against bunting. The minor league philosophy is for the players to develop regular hitting skills. 

  

6)         Managers and coaches are not allowed to argue or question a judgment call made by the umpires. Calls such as balls & strikes, out or safe at first, or foul verses fair balls are not disputable. For rule based calls, Managers and Coaches shall approach the umpire in a discrete and mature fashion. No matter how poor or incorrect a call may be, the players will follow the lead of their Managers and Coaches. Only the team Manager may discuss rule interpretations with an umpire provided that the Manager can identify the specific rule from the rulebook. Protests should be avoided by resolving a possible rule violation at the time it happens through the course of a discussion with the umpire and opposing team manager. For the regular season it is recommended to avoid questioning the umpire unless it significantly affects the game.   A zero tolerance policy is in effect and any Manager or Coach violating this rule will be subject to disciplinary actions. 

 

7)         The regular season pitching rules are geared to have each team develop enough pitchers to sustain playing 3 to 4 games per week in the playoffs. Under the old rules you could use your best pitchers two innings every other night. Under the new rules, a pitcher may have up to a mandatory three day rest period and could be restricted from pitching in two consecutive games. Canton Minor League adopted additional rules that develop 9-year old pitchers, limit all players to a 75 pitch count and prevents any one pitcher from dominating more than two innings of a game.

 

8)         If the pitch count is reached in the middle of an at bat, then per National Little League rules the pitcher may continue to pitch to the batter until he/she is out or reaches base. This rule has a curveball that occurs if a base runner causes the third out (caught steeling) and the pitch count has been exceeded. By National Little League regulations, the pitcher is allowed to pitch to the same batter leading off the next inning. For Canton Minor League, this will not be allowed.

 

9)         Where it expected that a team will not have nine (9) players for a scheduled game, the use of substitute players from another minor league team is acceptable with prior approval from the Minor League Player Agent. Managers are expected to communicate well enough in advance with their team parents to know when this problem might occur. Managers should arrange for the replacement player and notify the Minor League Player Agent as early as possible. The Player Agent will only approve a replacement player so that he/she will not significantly benefit or hurt the team. Once the substitute player has been approved to play and arrives at the field then all of the applicable playing rules shall apply except that they are not allowed to pitch. 

 

10)    Stealing is allowed one base at a time except for home (no stealing home). The catcher is encouraged to throw the ball and attempt to throw out the base runner. The runner(s) can not advance any additional bases on a wild throw by the catcher or an error by the fielder. 

 

11)    Managers and coaches are expected to show up to all games a minimum of 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Teams are expected to be warmed up and ready to start within a few minutes of the scheduled start time.

 

12)    Managers and coaches are expected to have their rosters completed prior to the start of the game. This is required to eliminate any extended delay time in between innings trying to figure who is playing what position. 

 

13)    Warm-up time between innings should be minimized in order to get games completed within the 2 hour scheduled time.

 

14)    Each team will supply one new baseball for each game. The home team should also have a good used ball or balls available upon umpire’s request to keep the game moving. 

 

15)    Within 24 hours of a completed game the Manager (or designee) on the HOME team shall post the score and pitching chart on the Canton Little League web page.  

 

16)    Managers must insist that all players are in FULL UNIFORM and dressed properly for each game. GAME SHIRTS MUST BE TUCKED IN. 

 

17)    Players on the bench are not allowed to ridicule anyone involved in the game. This includes team chants to distract any player on the opposing team. Players in the field are not allowed to distract or yell at the batter.  Managers and coaches must enforce to their players that only positive reinforcement of their teammates is the ONLY ACCEPTABLE FORM OF CHEER.  This also goes for the parents and fans of the players.

 

18)    Managers and all players are to shake hands after each game and should be led in this procedure by the manager in a show of good sportsmanship.

 

19)    After every game, it is the responsibility of each team manager to ensure that his or her team’s dugout and bench areas are clean. 

 

20)    After every game, managers and coaches should rake out the field around the base paths, home plate, and pitchers mound. It is the responsibility of the HOME team Manager and coaches to ensure the fields are maintained after the game, which includes ensuring field lights are turned off if they are not on a timer.  

  

 

SECTION 1: PLAYING RULES

 

1)      Stealing is allowed one base at a time, except for home.  The runner must score on a batted ball or by reaching by a walk.

 

2)      No leading is allowed.  Runners cannot advance until the pitched ball crosses the plate.  Little League rules are strictly enforced on runners leaving early.

 

3)      Games are scheduled for six (6) innings. An official game is four (4) innings (or 3- ½ innings with the home team ahead).

 

4)      There is a five (5) run limit per inning except the sixth inning. 

Ø  SLAUGHTER RULE EXCEPTION: At the end of four innings, if a team is losing by more than five (5) runs, then the losing team has the option of declaring the fifth inning as the last inning and the five run limit would not apply.  This exception does not apply for playoff games which must complete six innings.

 

5)      Teams will bat through their entire line-up.  All players will bat evenly.  Managers shall submit their batting order to the Minor League Agent prior to the start of the season. The batting order will remain the same for the entire season.  In each successive game, the first batter shall be player whose name follows that of the last batter who legally completed a time at bat in the preceding game. 

 

6)      Late arriving players shall be inserted in the normal position in the batting order.  The opposing manager should be notified of any late arriving kids.

 

7)      The batting order may be revised for playoff games.

 

8)      Managers will submit their batting order to the opposing manager prior to the start of the game.  This will be enforced.  Managers are responsible for ensuring all players receive the same at bats during the season. 

 

9)      All players must play a minimum of three (3) innings in the field.  There is free substitution.  No player shall sit more than one (1) successive inning in a row before returning to the field. 

 

10)   For the regular season, no player shall sit out a third inning prior to every player on the team sitting out at least one inning.
 

11)   Bunting is allowed.  See minor league principles below. 

 

12)   There is no on-deck batter.  All players except for the batter and base runners shall be on the bench (dugout). 

 

13)   The infield fly rule is in effect.  Umpires should reiterate this to the coaches prior to the game.  For the first few games the umpire may decide to forgo the infield fly rule. It will be strictly enforced in the playoffs.

 

14)   An adult manager or coach shall be with the players on the bench (dugout) at all times.  Adult managers or coaches are allowed to coach a base (inside the coach’s box) as long as this requirement is met. 

 

15)   Head first sliding is not allowed.  The runner will be called out and the play is dead.  Base runners are expected to slide into second or third and to slide thru home plate.

 

16)   The base runner must initiate a foot first slide with the intent of avoiding contact with the fielder.  It is the umpire’s judgment call if contact could have been avoided by sliding, if the contact prevented the fielder from making the out, or if the contact allowed a base runner to advance.  Incidental contact caused by making a tag is acceptable.  The rule is slide or avoid.  A runner is not automatically out if he or she does not slide.
 

17)   The following time curfews are in place for a minor league games.
 

  • 5:00 PM games:  No new inning can start after 6:45 pm and all games shall end regardless at 7:00 pm with the exception of;

Ø  Games played at any field which does not have a scheduled 7:00 pm game may be extended. The curfew for starting a new inning is 7:45 and the game must end no later than 8 pm.

  • 7:00 pm games: 7:00 pm games must end at 9:00 pm and no inning shall start after 8:45 pm with the exception of; 

Ø  For playoff games on non-school nights, the curfew for starting a new inning is 9:30 and the game must end no later than 10 pm.

 

18)   All games must start within 10 minutes of their schedule start times.  If a team does not have the required nine (9) players within this time period then the game will be forfeited. 
 

19)   Games that are ended by a time curfew will return back to the score of the last complete inning played.  All pitches thrown by the pitcher counts towards the required rest period regardless of incomplete innings. The only exception to this rule is when a game is suspended with less than one (1) inning played.
 

20)   All batters should be encouraged to swing.  The umpire may call any pitch a strike if he feels a batter is intentionally taking a pitch or trying to be walked.
 

21)   Any game in which a team has eight (8) or fewer players is a forfeit.  The teams may scrimmage without use of the Umpires but it shall not be counted in the standings. Playing with eight (8) or less players is a major insurance violation. If a player should be injured in a game that is being played with eight of fewer players on the field, Little League insurance does not cover this injury.
 

22)   Use of a helmet by the batter, all base runners, and base coaches is MANDATORY. This is the manager’s responsibility.  Masks are not required for helmets, but it is strongly recommended that players use helmets with masks. 
 

23)   All catchers must wear a mask and a cup during the game and while warming up pitchers. This is the manager’s responsibility.
 

24)   It is strongly recommended that all players wear a cup.

 

25) Mounding rule:  anytime the ball is held by a player at the mound area - the play is dead - runners may not advance.  If a base runner was halfway or more to the next base when the ball was mounded the base runner will awarded that next base.  If a base runner is less than half way to the next base when the ball was mounded the base runner must return to the previous base.​  This is a judgement call that will be made only by the umpire(s).  Arguing these calls will not be allowed.

 

26) Overthrow rule:  If there is an overthrow on a batted ball, and the ball is still in the field of play, a runner may advance one or more bases.  A runner may score on an overthrow, assuming a batted ball was put into play.  For a non-batted ball play (ie. a steal), a runner may not advance to another base on an overthrow.  For an overthrow that leaves the field of play, a base runner will be awarded only 1 additional base.  ​  

 

27) After a walk, the batter may not automatically advance to 2nd base (even if ball 4 goes to the backstop).  If a walk occurs, the batter is only entitled to 1st base.

 

SECTION 2: PITCHING RULES

 

  1. Pitch Count Rule:  For Canton Minor League a limit of 75 pitches per game is applicable for all ages.
  2. The rest periods required during the 2010 regular season are listed below:
    • If a player delivers 66 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed
    • If a player delivers 51- 65 in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed
    • If a player delivers 36 - 50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed
    •  If a player delivers 21 - 35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar day of rest must be observed
    • If a player delivers 1-20 pitches in a day, no calendar day of rest is required before pitching again.

Canton Minor League has placed additional pitching restrictions as noted below. The purpose of these rules is to provide as many kids as possible the opportunity to pitch during the regular season and to prevent any one player from dominating more than 3 innings of a game.

  1. Each home team manager shall assign an official pitch count keeper (must be an adult) who will count the number of pitches thrown each inning.  The pitch counter should have no other responsibility during the game. 
  2. The Manager is responsible for knowing the pitch count of his players.  It is not the responsibility of the Scorer/Umpire to notify the Manager as the pitch count limit is approaching or has been exceeded.  The pitch count rule will be strongly enforced throughout the season and into the playoffs.  Violations of this rule will result in suspension. 
  3. All pitchers are subject to the rest requirements per National Little League rules.
  4. A player can only pitch in one game per day.  If a game is suspended and made up prior to another game, then this restriction applies.
  5. If a pitcher throws 20 or less pitches then he or she can pitch the next day.
  6. Any player who has been removed as a pitcher in a game in which he/she has thrown 41 or more pitches is restricted from playing the position of catcher for the remainder of that day.  A player cannot pitch that day if they have played catcher for 4 innings in that game.
  7. If a game is suspended prior to the end of the first inning then those pitches do not count. 
  8. If a game is suspended after the first inning, every pitch thrown will count.  This rule applies even if the game is resumed or brought back to the end of the previous inning.
  9. If a game is suspended and finished the next day, then the rest requirements apply.  Example: If a game is suspended for rain in the third inning and a pitcher has thrown 21 pitches then he/she can not pitch the next day. They must observe the 1 day calendar rest requirement.
  10. If a pitch limit (75 pitches) is reached in the middle of an at bat, then the pitcher may continue to pitch until the batter is out, the batter reaches base or the inning is ended.
  11. A pitcher shall be removed from a game after hitting three (3) batters in one (1) inning.
  12. No league age twelve (12) year old player may pitch in the minor league.
  13. For Canton Little League there are no intentional walks.  All pitches thrown will count.
  14. For Canton Minor League; a 3 inning (9 outs) per game limit for a pitcher is still in effect.  This limitation applies even if a pitcher has not reached his/her pitch count limit.  This rule will not apply in the playoffs.
  15. For Canton Minor league; a pitch count of 75 pitches per game is in effect for all ages.  Eleven year old kids will not be allowed 85 pitches. 
  16. Once a pitcher is removed from a game then he/she can not return later in the game as a pitcher even if his/her pitching limit has not been reached.  If the game is suspended due to rain and completed on another day then the pitcher can return to the same game as long as he/she observes the required rest period and does not exceed the 3 innings (9 out) per game rule. 
  17. For Canton Minor League; prior to the start of every game the manager of each team will provide the umpire and the opposing team’s manager an updated roster which includes ineligible pitchers for that game.
  18. For Canton Minor league; a nine year old player should pitch at least 2 innings per game.  This rule will be in effect during the regular season.  For the playoffs this rule is not in effect

    The intent of this rule is to develop 9 year old pitchers and to provide everyone the opportunity to pitch during the regular season.  Team managers have the flexibility to use discretion when kids are struggling at pitching and to prevent games from becoming out of hand. 

 

 

PLAYOFFS

Section 1:  Playoff Principals

  1. During the regular season Managers are encouraged to play all players as reasonably equal as possible.  During the playoffs the emphasis shifts slightly towards a competitive tournament. Only the minimum play time of 3 innings per game is in effect.
  2. During the regular season Managers should attempt to play everyone in the infield reasonably equal. During the playoffs the emphasis can shift towards a competitive tournament.
  3. During playoffs, every effort must be taken to ensure 6 innings are played.  If there are concerns with playing the full 6 inning game, the Manager of the HOME team must contact the player agent to approve completing a game under 6 innings.  Finishing a game before the 6th inning is highly discouraged and the Player agent will only approve finishing a game under 6 innings under extenuating circumstances.
  4. The batting order may be revised for playoff games.
  5. The infield fly rule is in effect for all playoff games.  Keep in mind this rule is only applied when a defensive player is within an acceptable range of catching the fly ball.  Judgement is at the sole discretion of the umpire and arguments of his or her call will not be allowed. 

Section 2:  Playoff Pitching Rules

  1. Pitch Count Rule:  For Canton Minor League playoffs, a limit of 75 pitches per game is applicable for all ages.
    • If a player delivers 66 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed
    • If a player delivers 51- 65 in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed
    • If a player delivers 36 - 50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed
    •  If a player delivers 21 - 35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar day of rest must be observed
    • If a player delivers 1-20 pitches in a day, no calendar day of rest is required before pitching again.

Failure to comply with the pitching rules will result in automatic suspension and forfeiture of the game during the playoffs.  No exceptions.  It is the managers responsibility to ensure the safety of their players by following these rules.

  1. Each home team manager shall assign an official pitch count keeper (must be an adult) who will count the number of pitches thrown each inning.  The pitch counter should have no other responsibility during the game. 
  2. The Manager is responsible for knowing the pitch count of his players.  It is not the responsibility of the Scorer/Umpire to notify the Manager as the pitch count limit is approaching or has been exceeded.  The pitch count rule will be strongly enforced throughout the season and into the playoffs.  Violations of this rule will result in suspension and game forfeiture.
  3. All pitchers are subject to the rest requirements per National Little League rules.
  4. A player can only pitch in one game per day.  If a game is suspended and made up prior to another game, then this restriction applies.
  5. If a pitcher throws 20 or less pitches then he or she can pitch the next day.
  6. Any player who has been removed as a pitcher in a game in which he/she has thrown 41 or more pitches is restricted from playing the position of catcher for the remainder of that day.  A player cannot pitch that day if they have played catcher for 4 innings in that game.
  7. If a game is suspended prior to the end of the first inning then those pitches do not count. 
  8. If a game is suspended after the first inning, every pitch thrown will count.  This rule applies even if the game is resumed or brought back to the end of the previous inning.
  9. If a game is suspended and finished the next day, then the rest requirements apply.  Example: If a game is suspended for rain in the third inning and a pitcher has thrown 21 pitches then he/she can not pitch the next day. They must observe the 1 day calendar rest requirement.
  10. If a pitch limit (75 pitches) is reached in the middle of an at bat, then the pitcher may continue to pitch until the batter is out, the batter reaches base or the inning is ended.
  11. A pitcher shall be removed from a game after hitting three (3) batters in one (1) inning.
  12. No league age twelve (12) year old player may pitch in the minor league.
  13. For Canton Little League there are no intentional walks.  All pitches thrown will count.
  14. For Canton Minor League playoffs there will be no 3 inning (9 outs) per game limit for a pitcher.   
  15. For Canton Minor league; a pitch count of 75 pitches per game is in effect for all ages.  Eleven year old kids will not be allowed 85 pitches. 
  16. Once a pitcher is removed from a game then he/she can not return later in the game as a pitcher even if his/her pitching limit has not been reached.  If the game is suspended due to rain and completed on another day then the pitcher can return to the same game as long as he/she observes the required rest period and does not exceed the 3 innings (9 out) per game rule. 
  17. For Canton Minor League; prior to the start of every game the manager of each team will provide the umpire and the opposing team’s manager an updated roster which includes ineligible pitchers for that game.
  18. For Canton Minor league playoffs, nine year old players do not need to pitch in a game.
  19. Managers will be solely responsible for adhering to all playoff rules and regulations for their team.  Failure to comply will result in possible suspension and forfeiture of their game.  The Minor League Player agent should be notified immediately (preferable to be notified DURING the game when the violation occurred) of the violation so that he or she can take immediate action.