Minor A and B Division Rules
- The home team is expected to be at the field a reasonable amount of time before the game to rack and drag the infield and base paths (lengthwise from base-to-base so as to keep the base paths flat), tamp the pitcher’s mound and batter’s box, and line the 1st and 3rd base lines, the running lane and the coaches’ boxes. For Minor B the pitching machine shall be set up approximately three feet behind the pitching rubber to deliver a reasonably fast pitch with an arc no greater than six feet measured from the level infield surface (not the raised mound).
- The distance between the outside corner of each base shall be 60 feet.
- The front lip of the pitching rubber shall be 42 feet from the back point of home plate.
- The distance from home plate to the cones designating the end of the outfield shall be 165 feet.
- A home plate umpire is provided by the League for each game. Coaches are encouraged to arrange for a spectator to act as a base umpire. If a base umpire is used, the home plate umpire is crew chief and may overrule the base umpire.
- Teams shall have at least 8 players when taking the field defensively or forfeit the game.
- Teams must submit a lineup of players in their batting order to the home plate umpire and opposing coach a minimum of 15 minutes prior to the game.
- Only players who are actually present may be submitted on the lineup.
- Players not on the lineup are not eligible to play in the game.
- Players who arrive after lineups have been submitted must be added to the lineup, prior to the game or at the top or bottom of any inning, by advising both the umpire and opposing coach. Such players cannot enter the game either to field or bat while the top or bottom of the inning is in play. Players must be added to the bottom of the lineup regardless of the current batting order.
- The regular team of a called-up player must be noted.
- Should a player on the lineup not be able to bat in order, unless they have been permanently or temporarily removed due to declared injury, an out will automatically be called, unless the lineup submitted only contains 8 players, then the team shall forfeit the game.
- If a team begins a game with 8 players, the umpire shall NOT call an automatic out for the ninth batting spot in the order. This Local Rule amends LLB Rules 4.16 and 4.17 for this division.
- Every player must play defensively for at least six outs recorded by his/her team. Except for declared disciplinary reasons, no player may sit out more than two consecutive defensive innings.
- Minor B only: teams may play with a maximum of six infielders and a maximum of four outfielders. Outfielders must be lined up a minimum of 30 feet (10 yards) behind the base baths when the pitch is delivered. They may not encroach on that distance until the pitched ball is either contacted by the batter or crosses into foul territory. (“Crosses into foul territory” is the same concept as “crosses the plate” just more correctly worded.)
- Continuous batting order (CBO): All players on the lineup bat in order throughout the game, whether or not they are inserted in the defensive line up in a particular inning.
- An inning, except for the last inning, is complete when there are 3 outs or 3 runs have been scored. The final inning is completed when three outs have been recorded (i.e. unlimited runs in the final inning).
- A full game is six innings (five-and-a-half if the home team is leading). A game must comprise at least three innings (two-and-a-half if the home team is leading) to be considered complete.
- If, in the opinion of the home plate umpire, there will be insufficient time to complete 6 innings due to darkness, the 2-hour game time limit or the scheduled start of the next game on the field, the home plate umpire shall so indicate to the coaches of both teams before the top of the next inning, and that inning will be the final inning.
- The top of the inning 90 or more minutes from the beginning of the game must be declared the final inning. This does not preclude the umpire’s authority to call an inning the last inning as provided above.
- When the player who is to be the catcher in the next inning is on base and two outs have been recorded, the coach may substitute the last player to have been called out as a courtesy runner to enable the catcher to begin putting on the catcher’s protective equipment. In the interests of time, coaches are encouraged to designate their catcher in advance of the next inning, and act accordingly.
- The slide-or-avoid rule is in effect. Coaches are advised to be familiar this rule promulgated by Little League International, as WVLL umpires have been instructed by the Umpire in Chief to strictly enforce it.
- Lead offs are not permitted. The pitched ball must either be contacted by the batter or cross into foul territory before the base runner removes his/her foot from the base. (“Crosses into foul territory” is the same concept as “crosses the plate” just more correctly worded). The umpire shall make the determination as to whether the runner removed his/her foot before the ball crossed home plate. If the runner left the base early and was put out by the defensive team, the runner is out. If the runner left the base early and advanced safely to the next base, s/he must return to the original base, as must any other base runners who advanced at the same time unless the batter has hit safely in which case all runners advance an equivalent number of bases.
- When the ball is returned to the pitcher and both of the pitcher’s feet are touching the dirt portion of the pitcher’s mound, any runner not advancing must immediately and swiftly return to their base at their peril. A runner who was advancing before the pitcher caught the ball may continue to advance to the next base at their peril. Once the pitcher has the ball and both of the pitcher’s feet are touching the dirt portion of the pitcher’s mound no runner may leave a base.
- Headfirst slides are not permitted and any runner doing so shall be called out unless the runner is returning to the base from which s/he left.
- If a ball thrown by a defensive player leaves the field of play, each base runner shall be allowed to advance to the base to which s/he was running plus one extra base. (In case it’s not obvious, keep in mind that this means a ball thrown by a defensive player that remains in the field of play is live. Runners may advance at their peril except as provided for in 20.)
- Stealing is permitted to all bases (except Minor B: a runner may NOT steal home). To encourage the fielding team to attempt to put a runner out, the runner may not advance more than one base on a steal/passed ball (i.e. the runner may not continue advancing in the event the catcher overthrows the base when attempting to throw the runner out even if the ball remains in the field of play).
- The infield fly rule does not apply.
Pitching and batting
- Pitchers are governed by Little Leagues pitch count rules.
- No balks are called unless in the opinion of the home plate umpire the pitcher’s actions are distracting or deceptive to the batter AND actually constitute a balk.
- No bunting or check swings that make contact with the ball are permitted, and a strike will be called on the player who bunts or shows bunt.
- Coaches should encourage players to swing the bat. Umpires are trained to provide for a large strike zone from the shoulders to the ankles and 6 inches beyond the outside of the plate.
- No walks in Minor B:
- Minor B only: Once a batter has a count of 4 balls and 2 or less strikes, the pitcher is replaced by the pitching machine and the batter assumes the same count. Pitching will continue until the batter puts the ball into play or strikes out. A coach of the team at bat will operate the pitching machine. Any pitch from the machine which (1) is NOT struck by the batter fair or foul, and (2) is NOT called a strike by the umpire, the umpire will call no pitch dead ball and base runners cannot advance. A batter hit by a pitch from either the pitcher or the pitching machine will be awarded first base. The league has provided pitching machines to encourage batters to hit, and avoid multiple walk situations.
- Minor B only: The pitching machine shall be placed toward the back of the mound, and the pitcher will throw from in front of the machine from approximately 42 feet assuring that upon delivery of each pitch, both feet are in contact with the dirt portion of the mound upon completion of the pitch. The pitching machine is not to be moved under any circumstances and should be set up ready to go.
- Minor B only: When the pitching machine is put into use the pitcher must assume a defensive position with at least one foot on the pitching mound dirt.
- Minor B only: If a batted ball or ball thrown by a defensive player in an attempt to make a defensive play hits the pitching machine or the coach operating the pitching machine (provided the coach has made a reasonable attempt to avoid contact with the ball), the umpire shall call the ball dead, the batter shall be awarded first base and all base runners will be awarded one base. If a coach did not make a reasonable attempt to avoid contact with the ball the batter will be called out and all base runners will remain at their base.
- Minor B only: If a coach interferes with a player attempting to make a defensive play other than being hit by a thrown ball (Rule 27), whether or not the coach made efforts to avoid interference, the batter will be called out and the base runners will remain at their base.
- Minor B only: Other than provided for in d. the pitching machine shall be considered part of the field of play and cannot be a cause for interference.
- Batters cannot attempt to advance to first base on a dropped third strike.
- When unable to field a team of at least 9 players from its own roster at the commencement of the game, a team may call up second-year players from one division lower (i.e. Minor A teams may call up second-year Minor B players only, and Minor B teams may call up second-year Farm players only).
- Call ups are NOT permitted if 9 or more players from the team’s own roster are at the field at the commencement of the game. If a called-up player is in the lineup submitted to the home plate umpire and/or opposing team, any 10th or other additional rostered player arriving at the field after the lineup is so submitted cannot participate in the game. Players may only be called up by the same team for a maximum of 5 games, plus 1 playoff game.
- Call-ups may not pitch.
- Unless the team has less than 10 players in the case of Minor A or 11 players in the case of Minor B, call-ups may only play a maximum of three innings defensively in any one game.
- A player cannot be called up if that player has a game for their own team scheduled to start less than three hours prior to or after the start time of the game they are being called up to play in, or if the call-up would interfere in any way with the player’s responsibilities to their own team.