Structure: The program will be divided into two (2) divisions: ‘Majors’ and ‘Minors’. The ‘Minors’ division will consist of three levels: ‘AAA’, ‘AA’ and 'Single A'.
The seasonwill be played from early September to late October or early November, depending on schedules.
Player Participation- All Divisions, All levels:
A) Every team roster player will play defensively in at least every other inning; i.e. no player should sit out two consecutive innings. B) Each team roster player will bat in a continuous batting order. C) No player shall sit out 2 innings until all players have sat out one inning.
Pitching Rules- All Divisions, All Levels:
A) In any single game, Players will be allowed to pitch the lesser of: 3 innings per game or the Pitch Count single day limits used in the spring season. See table below.
B) In addition, the number of pitches actually thrown by a pitcher in any game will be used to establish the mandatory days of rest between games pitched.
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 day of rest is required.
If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, no (0) calendar day of rest is required.
C) The Home team is responsible for recording and keeping the official record for the pitch count of all the pitchers.
D) If a player has been a pitcher for 41 pitches or more, he cannot then become a catcher in the same game. E) The table below gives provides the pitch count single day limits, by ‘league age’, during the regular spring season. For Fall Ball, we will be using the same limits;
and the ‘League Age’ for Fall Ball must be the player’s age as of April 30, 2011.
Pitches allowed per day
9 and 10
7 and 8
Batting- All Divisions, All Levels
Use a continuous batting order for all divisions/levels!
AA only - Fall Ball Rules:
AA Fall Ball is somewhere in-between spring Single A and spring AA in terms of skill level. Most AA fall Ball players are rising Single A players and have never pitched before. So, we have some unique rules to make sure the game moves along and to drive some learning/developmental opportunities, which would not other wise occur with “walk-a-thons”.
Pitchers will pitch from the same distance as in spring AA. The pitching distance for AA this past spring was 41’.
Batting: ‘Coach’ Pitch to the batter after ball 4 has been thrown by the ‘player’ pitcher.
This intention is to avoid “walk-a-thons” and put the ball in play as much as possible. The batter can also ‘strike-out’. So, to clarify, there are no “walks” to first base in AA Fall Ball. Putting the ball in play creates many more learning/developmental opportunities than ‘walks’; and well as creates much more interest and enthusiasm.
After the ‘player’ pitcher reaches ball 4, a ‘coach’ pitches to the batter until the batter either puts the ball in play or strikes out.
The number of strikes on the batter will continue from the ‘player pitcher’ to the ‘coach’ pitcher. Meaning, if the ‘player’ pitcher had 1 strike on the batter when ball 4 was reached; then the batter will start with 1 strike when the ‘coach’ begins to pitch.
When the coach pitches, the ‘player’ pitcher should stand slightly behind and to the side of the coach pitcher to be able to field balls hit to the pitcher. The coach should try not to interfere with/field any batted balls.
The coach should be out on the field and behind the pitcher while the ‘player’ pitcher is pitching throughout the inning and not be running on and off the field with each batter. By doing so, this should help speed up the flow of the game.
For a player to steal a base (2nd or 3rd), the catcher must cleanly catch the ball and the runner cannot leave the base until the ball hits the catchers glove. If the catcher drops the pitched ball, the runner cannot advance. If the catcher mishandles a caught ball while attempting a throw, the runner can advance. If there is a question, the umpire will have to determine if the ball was caught by the catcher. Please coach your catchers to not intentionally drop the ball and please talk about this with the umpire at the start of each game.
Each runner is allowed to advance by stealing only one base per play (i.e. per pitched ball). The purpose of this is to encourage catchers to develop their throwing skills by trying to “throw down” and not “eat” the ball.
A player CANNOT steal home. The only exception to this is if the defensive team attempts to pick off the base runner on 3rd base.
No bunting.The reason for this is we want the players to learn to swing the bat and hit the ball.
Player participation in the field:
For every 3 innings played defensively by a team, each player must have played at least 1 inning in an infield position. Catcher and pitcher are considered to be ‘infield’ positions.
Also, everyone must play in the outfield a minimum of one inning, within the first four defensive innings of a game.
If possible, each team should use four outfielders in AA; thus, the team should have 10 defensive players on the field. These outfielders must be on the outfield grass when the ball is hit. If 10 players are not available, then use 9 defensively.
If the Catcher reaches base with 2 outs, a courtesy or substitute runner may be inserted so the Catcher may return to the bench to suit up with his/her equipment for the next half inning- All Divisions, all levels.
Rules for teams that CANNOT field nine players- All Divisions, All Levels:
Please remember the object of fall ball is to PLAY THE GAME. There are no forfeits because of lack of players.
If you do not have enough players, then:
The manager of the shorthanded team shall make arrangements with the manager of another team to borrow a player to fill out his roster in order that the game may be played as scheduled.
The borrowed player MUST be from the same level, or lower.
The borrowed player shall not pitch.
The borrowed player shall bat last in the continuous batting order.
The borrowed player shall not play defensively any more innings than any other available substitute.
B) If all else fails, borrow a player from the opposing team to play defensively in the field. The opposing manager should then designate a substitute of his choice to play defensively in the field for the shorthanded team in order that the game may be played as scheduled. As the game is governed by a continuous batting order, the designated defensive substitute will assume a position in his own team's batting order rather than bat for the opposing team against his own team mates. In order that the game may be played in an efficient manner, this designated substitute should preferably be the last player to have completed an official at bat in the previous half inning.
Injured/Disqualified Players- All Divisions, All Levels
A) If a batter is injured and cannot complete his/her turn at bat, the on deck batter shall assume the count of the injured batter and complete the turn at bat. If the injured player is removed from the game, his/her place in the batting order shall be skipped without penalty to the team at bat.
B) If a base runner is injured and cannot continue, the previous player to have been put out shall take the place of the injured base runner. If the injured player is removed from the game, his/her place in the batting order shall be skipped without penalty to the team at bat.
C) If a fielder is injured and cannot continue, a substitute player shall replace the injured player in the field. If the injured player is removed from the game, his/her place in the batting order shall be skipped without penalty to the team at bat.
D) If a player is disqualified from the game by an umpire for disciplinary reasons, a substitute player shall replace the disqualified player in the field. An out shall be awarded to the defensive team each time the disqualified player was to bat. The disqualified player must be removed from the dugout and the manager of this player must report the incident to the VLL Commissioner and VLL Fall Ball Director.
The penalty for players not participating in the minimum playing time, as described in Little League Regulation IV (i) does not apply if the player is unable to play because of injury or illness.
TIME LIMIT ON ALL GAMES- DROP DEAD AT 2:00 HOURS FROM SCHEDULED START TIME! This is the ‘scheduled’ start time, not the time the game actually began.
In the minors (AAA, AA and Single A), the half inning shall end when the batting team scores five (5) runs before 3 outs are made. This applies to all innings for AA and Single A; and applies to the first 5 innings for AAA. The sixth inning in AAA is unlimited.
Umpires: VLL will try to provide umpires. However, if there are no umpires for the game, the managers shall get together to decide how they want the game umpired. It is suggested that one adult from each team share these duties. The game is NOT cancelled or postponed because an umpire is not present.
Home team/Visitor Team:The order the teams are listed in the game schedule determines who is the ‘home’ team and who is the ‘visiting’ team. The ‘visitor’ team is the first team listed and the ‘home’ team is the second team listed. The ‘home’ team shall occupy the 3rd base dugout/bench. Visitors shall occupy the 1st base dugout/bench.
Pre-Game Warm-ups: The visiting team has warm-up rights to the field from 25 minutes before the scheduled game time until 15 minutes before game time. Home team has the rights to the field 15 minutes before scheduled game time until 5 minutes before game time. The last 5 minutes before the game time is reserved for the managers/umpire plate meeting.
No Standings kept and no slaughter rule in effect for fall ball, as this is training and development. No standings are to be kept. The offensive manager may, at his discretion, decide to end his team’s time at bat (applies to any inning). After the game has reached the status of a ‘complete game’, a manager will have the right to concede.
Home team is responsible for preparing the field for play. And, each team is responsible to keep the area between their bench or dugout and the nearest foul line clear of equipment and unauthorized personnel.
Field cleanup and maintenance will be performed by BOTH teams at the conclusion of every game and practice. At a minimum, the pitchers mound will be brought back to the elevation of the top of the pitching rubber and the home plate area maintained at the elevation of the top of home plate.
Rain-outs will be NOT rescheduled by the League Scheduler. If you wish to play a rained out game, you will need to be pro-active and organize that yourself. You can contact the scheduler for an available field.
League personnel, spectators, parents, etc. will not consume or be under the influence of alcoholic beverages when they are on Yeonas Park property, Town of Vienna property and Fairfax County Park Authority property with a Little League Baseball team. Nor will can they smoke within 50' of a field/facility.