League Rules

Foothill Guidelines and League Rules

Home team is responsible for making sure the fields are cleaned up after a game.

Major Division Rules

April 18, 2019
Rules are subject to modification at any time by the Executive Committee if it is deemed to correct a problem.

Home team is responsible for providing official scorekeeper and making sure the fields are cleaned up after a game.

Rule #1:  DO NOT FORGET that this is a recreational league.  Its primary purpose is to allow the kids to have fun and learn to love the game of baseball.  Be competitive, but not at the expense of undermining this primary purpose.  In short, don’t act like an idiot.

 

Rule #2:  Foothill adheres to the rules, policies, and regulations set forth in the 2019 Little League Baseball Rule Book, except as modified by the rules set forth below.  To the extent there is conflict between the Little League Baseball Rules and the rules set forth below, those below govern.  Foothill Baseball reserves the right to amend the rules at any time for any purpose.

 

Game Length and Run Rules

  • TIME/DURATION: Unless the game is tied or the umpire orders otherwise, game ends upon the earlier of (i) 6 completed innings, (2) 1.75 hours (i.e., no new inning starts after 1 hour and 45 minutes), or (3) mercy rules (as described below) is triggered.
  • RUN RULE: Only 6 runs are allowed per inning.  If a team is leading by 10 or more runs after 4 completed innings, the “mercy rule” triggers and the game is officially over and the umpire is released.  If both coaches agree, teams may continue to play for practice or fun until dark or 1:45 hours.
  • EXTRA INNINGS: A tie game after 6 innings will continue a full inning at a time until tie is broken.  If the game is discontinued due to darkness, it will resume on a date and at a time set by the Foothill League.
  • LIGHTNING: If lightning is visible, the game should be stopped and all those attending the game, including players, parents, and umpires, should seek safe shelter, i.e., an enclosed building.  If there are no safe buildings nearby, find a fully enclosed vehicle with a hard metal top and ensure windows are closed.  The game may resume no sooner than 30 minutes after the last visible lightning strike.  If the game is postponed for more than 60 minutes, the game is discontinued and will resume on a date and time set by the Foothill League.

 

Infield Fly Rule (New)

  • The infield fly rule applies only to the Major League.
  • Little League Rule definition: Rule 2.00 defines the Infield Fly as, “a fair fly ball (not including a line drive or a bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second, and third bases are occupied before two are out. The pitcher, catcher, and any outfielder stationed in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule. . . The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of being caught or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul ball.”
  • Here are the key elements in understanding the Infield Fly Rule:
    • There must be less than 2 outs;
    • There must be runners on first and second OR first, second, and third;
    • The fly ball cannot be a bunt or a line drive;
    • An infielder must be able to catch the ball with ordinary effort. The purpose of the rule is to protect the runners on base. This rule IS NOT supposed to be a free gift to the defense. The batter is ruled out so the runners are no longer forced to advance if the ball falls untouched. Without this rule, the defense could allow the ball to fall untouched to the ground and turn an easy double-play because the runners have to tag up for the fly ball.  The reason there has to be runners on first and second or first, second, and third, is because there must be at least two runners on base subject to a “force play.” Otherwise, the defense can gain no advantage by allowing the ball to drop.
    • There must be less than two outs, or it would be just as easy to catch the fly ball as let it drop and get the force out.
  • To determine whether a fly ball should be called an Infield Fly, remember the purpose of the rule. If, in an “Infield Fly situation” a fielder can allow a fly ball to drop untouched and possibly turn an easy double-play, then the batter should be called out. If the fly ball is in an area that would not allow for an easy double-play, then odds are good that the Infield Fly should not be called. However, in those grey areas where there is doubt one way or the other, a good umpire will protect the runners and call the batter out.

 

Forfeit & Automatic Outs

  • FORFEIT: Teams must have minimum of 7 players to start a game. An automatic out occurs when batting order reaches 8th player, if the missing player is still absent. If a team only has 6 or fewer players at the time the game is scheduled to begin, that team forfeits.
  • CALLING PLAYERS UP FROM MINORS: Coaches may bring up to 2 players, but no more, from the Minors (no Pee Wee or Rookie players) to complete his 9-man roster, if regular team players are unavailable for game (the “Minor Players”). Any Minor Players must play right field (and center field, if two Minor Players are playing) and must bat last (and second to last if 2 players) in the lineup.

 

Batting Order

  • ALL PLAYERS BAT: All players must be included in the batting order and must play in the infield for at least 1 defensive innings per every three innings, i.e., each player plays at least two innings in the infield if the game lasts six innings.
  • LATE OR LEAVING PLAYERS: All players present should be put into the batting order. If a player has to leave the game early or will be arriving late, coaches should be notified prior to the start of the game. Otherwise that player will be called out when the batting order reaches his spot. Also, if a player is expected to arrive late for the game, he should be placed into the batting lineup at the end of the order. The objective is to give all players equal chances to bat.
  • SUBSTITUTIONS: Except if there is an injury or for pitching, substitution is allowed only at top or bottom of an inning.

 

Pitching

  • A pitcher is limited to two innings per game (must be consecutive) and four innings per week. A week is defined as Sunday through Saturday. One pitch equals one inning, i.e., once a pitcher throws his first pitch, he is credited with an entire inning for the purposes of this rule.
  • Pitchers are allowed up to six pitches between innings. Batter shall be called to the box after the sixth pitch.
  • A pitcher once removed from the mound cannot return as a pitcher. For example, a starting pitcher who leaves the mound cannot re-enter the game as a pitcher.

 

Hitting

  • No more than 1 batter on deck. All other players must be in the dugout.
  • Batters helmet must be worn by on deck batter, batter, and each base runner. Catcher must wear protective gear, including cup.
  • Batter is out on third strike, regardless of whether the third strike is secured by catcher, i.e., batter cannot run to 1st on a catcher dropped ball after 3rd strike.
  • Batter must step out of the box if ball is in play and runners are advancing home. Otherwise batter cannot leave box without signaling time to the umpire.
  • USA Stamped bats are required. Players can use 2 5/8 or 2 1/4 USA Stamped bat. USA Stamped bats were released in 2018. Older 2 1/4 bats are not allowed without a USA Stamp.

 

Base Running and Sliding

  • No lead offs. However, runner can leave base when ball crosses plate.
  • Runner should avoid direct contact at all times. If sliding, must slide feet first. Players will be called out for running directly into/thru the catcher.
  • Runners may steal any base as long as ball is in play. If pitcher has ball and is on mound with foot on the rubber, the ball is dead and no steal is allowed.
  • If overthrown ball is out of play, runners may advance 1 base.
  • A fielder shall not obstruct a base runner’s path unless there is play on the ball, i.e., fielder is in position to immediately catch the ball to attempt to tag runner or create a force out by touching base. If fielder is obstructing base runner’s path where there is no play on the ball, base runner shall be awarded a base if the interference limited base runner from getting to the next base.
  • If the ball enters the offensive dugout that has its dugout gate open, all runners must return to the last base touched before the ball entered the offensive dugout.

 

Sportsmanship

  • Only positive and encouraging chatter will be allowed from players. No negative chatter is allowed. If a team is heard being negative to their own players OR the opposing team, the umpire may issue a warning to the team and ultimately call the game and declare the non-offending team the game’s winner. 
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Minor Division Rules

April 18, 2019

Rule #1:  DO NOT FORGET that this is a recreational league.  Its primary purpose is to allow the kids to have fun and learn to love the game of baseball.  Be competitive, but not at the expense of undermining this primary purpose.  In short, don’t act like an idiot.

Rule #2:  Foothill adheres to the rules, policies, and regulations set forth in the 2019 Little League Baseball Rule Book, except as modified by the rules set forth below.  To the extent there is conflict between the Little League Baseball Rules and the rules set forth below, those below govern.  Foothill Baseball reserves the right to amend the rules at any time for any purpose.

 

Game Length, Run Rules, and Fielders Rules

  • TIME/DURATION: Unless the game is tied or the umpire orders otherwise, game ends upon the earlier of (i) 6 completed innings, (2) 1.75 hours (i.e., no new inning starts after 1 hour and 30 minutes), or (3) mercy rules (as described below) is triggered.
  • RUN RULE: Only 6 runs are allowed per inning.  If a team is leading by 10 or more runs after 4 completed innings, the “mercy rule” triggers and the game is officially over and the umpire is released.  If both coaches agree, teams may continue to play for practice or fun until dark or 1.75 hours.
  • EXTRA INNINGS: A tie game after 6 innings will continue a full inning at a time until tie is broken.  If the game is discontinued due to darkness, it will resume on a date and at a time set by the Foothill League.
  • EXTRA OUTFIELDER: Each team shall have four outfielders, if it has 10 players available, i.e., RF, RCF, LCF, and LF.
  • INFIELD FLY: There is no infield fly rule in the Minors.
  • LIGHTNING: If lightning is visible, the game should be stopped and all those attending the game, including players, parents, and umpires, should seek safe shelter, i.e., an enclosed building.  If there are no safe buildings nearby, find a fully enclosed vehicle with a hard metal top and ensure windows are closed.  The game may resume no sooner than 30 minutes after the last visible lightning strike.  If the game is postponed for more than 60 minutes, the game is discontinued and will resume on a date and time set by the Foothill League.

 

Forfeit & Automatic Outs

  • FORFEIT: Teams must have minimum of 7 players to start a game. An automatic out occurs when batting order reaches 8th player, if the missing player is still absent. If a team only has 6 or fewer players at the time the game is scheduled to begin, that team forfeits.
  • CALLING PLAYERS UP FROM PEE WEE: Coaches may bring up to 2 players, but no more, from Pee Wee (no Rookie players) to complete his 9-man roster, if regular team players are unavailable for game (the “Pee Wee Players”). Any Pee Wee Players must play right field (and center field, if two Pee Wee Players are playing) and must bat last (and second to last if 2 players) in the lineup.

 

Batting Order

  • ALL PLAYERS BAT: All players must be included in the batting order and must play in the infield for at least 1 defensive innings per every three innings, i.e., each player plays at least two innings in the infield if the game lasts six innings.
  • LATE OR LEAVING PLAYERS: All players present should be put into the batting order. If a player has to leave the game early or will be arriving late, coaches should be notified prior to the start of the game. Otherwise that player will be called out when the batting order reaches his spot. Also, if a player is expected to arrive late for the game, he should be placed into the batting lineup at the end of the order. The objective is to give all players equal chances to bat.
  • SUBSTITUTIONS: Except if there is an injury or for pitching, substitution is allowed only at top or bottom of an inning.

 

Pitching

  • A pitcher is limited to two innings per game (must be consecutive) and four innings per week. A week is defined as Sunday through Saturday. One pitch equals one inning, i.e., once a pitcher throws his first pitch, he is credited with an entire inning for the purposes of this rule.
  • Pitchers are allowed up to six pitches between innings. Batter shall be called to the box after the sixth pitch.
  • A pitcher once removed from the mound cannot return as a pitcher. For example, a starting pitcher who leaves the mound cannot re-enter the game as a pitcher.
  • There are no walks in the Minors. After four balls, a coach, assistant coach, or other representative of the at-bat team shall pitch three pitches to the batter.  Each pitch counts, regardless of the accuracy of the pitch.  Batter may swing at each pitch.  If the batter fails to put the ball in play after three pitches, he or she is out.  However, if the batter fouls the third pitch, batter may receive additional pitches until ball is either placed in play or batter strikes out, i.e., fouls on third pitch are unlimited.

 

Hitting

  • No more than 1 batter on deck. All other players must be in the dugout.
  • Batters helmet must be worn by on deck batter, batter, and each base runner. Catcher must wear protective gear, including cup.
  • Batter is out on third strike, regardless of whether the third strike is secured by catcher, i.e., batter cannot run to 1st on a catcher dropped ball after 3rd strike.
  • Batter must step out of the box if ball is in play and runners are advancing home. Otherwise batter cannot leave box without signaling time to the umpire.
  • USA Stamped bats are required. Players can use 2 5/8 or 2 1/4 USA Stamped bat. USA Stamped bats were released in 2018. Older 2 1/4 bats are not allowed without a USA Stamp.

 

Base Running and Sliding

  • Runners may steal second and third base as long as ball is in play, including on passed balls. Base stealing may not occur on a passed ball that happens on ball four (i.e., before coach enters the field to throw coach pitch).  If pitcher has ball and is on mound with foot on the rubber, the ball is dead and no steal is allowed.
  • Runners originating from third base may not score on a passed ball from pitcher to catcher or a passed ball routine return throw from catcher to pitcher.
  • Runner should avoid direct contact at all times. If sliding, must slide feet first. Players will be called out for running directly into/thru the catcher.   
  • Runners may steal any base as long as ball is in play. If pitcher has ball and is on mound with foot on the rubber, the ball is dead and no steal is allowed.
  • If overthrown ball is out of play, runners may advance 1 base.
  • A fielder shall not obstruct a base runner’s path unless there is play on the ball, i.e., fielder is in position to immediately catch the ball to attempt to tag runner or create a force out by touching base. If fielder is obstructing base runner’s path where there is no play on the ball, base runner shall be awarded a base if the interference limited base runner from getting to the next base.
  • If the ball enters the offensive dugout that has its dugout gate open, all runners must return to the last base touched before the ball entered the offensive dugout.

 

Sportsmanship

  • Only positive and encouraging chatter will be allowed from players. No negative chatter is allowed. If a team is heard being negative to their own players OR the opposing team, the umpire may issue a warning to the team and ultimately call the game and declare the non-offending team the game’s winner. 

 

Pee Wee Rules

March 23, 2019

1. Every player must play at least half of the game in the field.
2. Every player will bat in the order established at the beginning of the game, whether playing in the field or not.
3. Only 10 defensive players are allowed on the field – 1 player in each field position and 4 outfielders. Please assign players to each of the 10 positions.
4. The offensive team is limited to 3 outs or 6 runs in each inning, whichever occurs first.
5. Batters can strike out. A player is allowed 3 strikes then he or she is out. A strike is defined as a swing and a miss or a foul ball (except on the third strike), but try to keep the players from standing at the plate and letting everything go by.
6. Runners are not allowed to remain on base after getting out.
7. If a ball is hit into the outfield, base runners must stop at the next base once the ball has been thrown back to the infield, whether the defensive team controls the ball or not.
8. All batters and base runners must wear helmets.
9. The offensive coach will operate the pitching machine.
10. The offensive coach or an assistant will coach 1st and 3rd bases and call outs.
11. There shall be no leading off and no base stealing.
12. Runners may not advance on an overthrown ball.
13. Games shall last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. No new innings shall start after 1 hour.
14. At the start of each game, each team will have 5 minutes for infield practice beginning with the visiting team. The home team will follow then and will stay in the field to start the game. This time is not to be used for batting practice.
15. Since there is no official score kept, there will be no forfeit rule. Do not delay starting the game to wait for late players. Start the game with the players on hand.
16. Batters must not throw the bat after a hit. Please teach your players the proper method of dropping a bat.
17. Unless specifically mentioned above, the Cal Ripken Official Playing Rules will apply. Again, since there is no official score kept, be somewhat lenient on minor infractions – especially if there is disagreement on the rules – and use such opportunities to teach the rules rather than to penalize young players. Some examples are: infield fly rule, interference rules, base-path rules, etc.
18. The purpose of Pee Wee league is to teach the skills of baseball, good sportsmanship, teamwork, and to have FUN. Coaches please remind parents of these priorities, if necessary. We are all volunteers as well as friends and neighbors.

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Rookie Rules

April 2, 2017

1. Games last 50 minutes or 3 full innings, whichever comes first.
2. The visiting team bats first and the home team takes the field first.
3. The home team provides the balls for each game.
4. All batters and base runners must wear batting helmets.
5. Scoring is not officially kept at this level.
6. The coach pitches to his own team.
7. The fielding team may have up to 2 adult infield coaches on the field.
8. The batting team may have base coaches for 1st and 3rd bases.
9. Each batter gets 5 pitches to hit a fair ball. If after 5 pitches the batter has not hit a fair ball, he shall use the batting tee.
10. Every fair ball hit is a single and base runners can advance only one base per play, except the final batter of the inning hits a home run and clears the bases.
11. No leading off on any base.
12. No stealing any base.
13. No advancing runners on an overthrown ball.
14. Everyone plays each inning. Play one player at each infield position and at least one player in each outfield position.
15. Everyone bats. All players should bat in the order listed for each game.
16. The inning continues until everyone has batted through the lineup.
17. There are no strikeouts. Outs on base are called by the pitching coach, but the runner is allowed to stay on base since there is no scoring.
18. The play ends when the fielders throw the ball to the pitcher. If a fair ball is hit but does not leave the infield, runners may advance to the next base unless they are tagged out or unless there is a force out on the base. If an out is made, the runner may stay on the base and he need not return to the bench.
19. Unless specifically mentioned here, rules from the Cal Ripken Official Playing Rules book apply.