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Local Rules and Rule Clarifications

We've added some local rules and clarifications to complement the Little League® Official Rules, with input from the SMLLA Board and our Divisional Commissioners.

Table of Contents

Rest Threshold

In Little League, there is a maximum limit for the number of pitches allowed, whereas SMLLA has a rule that lowers this maximum limit even further. The pitch count determines how many days of rest are required before said player may pitch again.

Additionally, Little League has rules for players that pitch and catch in the same day.

  • Any Player who has played Catcher in any part of 4 innings that day cannot Play Pitcher
  • Any Pitcher who delivers 41 or more pitches that day, cannot play Catcher
  • If a player plays Catcher for 3 innings or less, moves to the pitcher position, and delivers 21+ pitches, they may not return to the catcher position in the same day.

For more information on Little League's Rest Thresholds, see the Official Little League Rest Thresholds page.

Courtesy Runner for Pitcher and Catcher

When there are two outs, a courtesy runner will be permitted for the pitcher and catcher in the next inning, using the last recorded out. However, in PCL, Minors, Cal, and Single A leagues, if the time limit is reached and the current inning is the last inning, no courtesy runner will be allowed. This rule applies to the catcher only in Single A.

Quick Reference On-field Rule Book

  Majors PCL Minors Minors Cal League Single A T-Ball Wiffle Ball
Badged on-field Coaches - 1 coach MUST always be in the dugout 3 3 3 4 - Coaches allowed in OF on defense 4 - Coaches allowed in OF on defense 4 1 badged Manager and any number of un-badged parents
Time Limit Unlimited No New Inning after 1:50 No New Inning after 1:50 No New Inning after 1:50 No New Inning after 1:50 3 innings or 1 Hour No new inning after 0:50 3 innings or 30 Minutes
Pitcher & Pitch Count Limits March: 45, April: 65, May: 85 PCL: 50 Minors: 50 March: Standing Coach Pitch, April: Kid 40 Pitches or 2 Innings Standing Coach Pitch all Season N/A N/A
Pitcher Distance 46 feet 46 feet 46 feet 42 feet N/A N/A N/A
Batter HBP proceeds to 1B Yes Yes Yes Coach Pitch: No - Spent Pitch. Kid Pitch: Batter's option: Coach pitch with strikes carryover or take 1st. Spent Pitch N/A N/A
Other Pitching Rules None None None No Walks. Kid pitch until 4 Balls are thrown. Then a Coach enters in-relief for up-to 3 additional pitches with Strikes carrying over. At bat cannot end on a hit foul ball.  A ball that hits the Coach Pitcher is dead and will be re-pitched. No Walks. Kid pitch until 4 Balls are thrown. Then a Coach enters in-relief for up-to 3 additional pitches with Strikes carrying over. At bat cannot end on a hit foul ball.  A ball that hits the Coach Pitcher is dead and will be re-pitched. N/A N/A
Minimum/Maximum Defensive Play 3 innings 3 innings 4 innings 4 innings and no more than 2 innings at any position 4 innings and no more than 2 innings at any position N/A N/A
Minimum Infield Play 1 inning 1 inning 1 inning 2 innings 2 innings N/A N/A
Sitting out on Defense Everyone sits 1 inning before anyone sits 2 innings Everyone sits 1 inning before anyone sits 2 innings Everyone sits 1 inning before anyone sits 2 innings Everyone sits 1 inning before anyone sits 2 innings Everyone sits 1 inning before anyone sits 2 innings N/A N/A
Minimum # of Outfielders 3 in innings 1-5; 2 in 6+ 3 3 4 4 Unlimited Unlimited
Infield Fly Rule Yes Yes No No No N/A N/A
Bunting Yes (slash bunting allowed) Yes Yes No No No No
Dropped 3rd Strike Yes No No No No N/A N/A
Steal 2nd and 3rd Yes Yes Yes No No N/A N/A
Steal Home Yes No No N/A N/A N/A N/A
Other game play rules None None Runner at 3rd may only score on a Bases Loaded, Walk or a Batted Ball. One Base Only for each overthrow Dead Ball (runners may not advance) when the Pitcher has the ball with one foot in the dirt pitchers circle. One Base Only on an Overthrow. Dead Ball (runners may on advance to the next base if they are more than half-way) when any Infielder has the ball in the Infield Dirt or Grass and holds it above their head. One Base Only on an Overthrow No recorded Outs.All batters hit a single. Last Batter hits a Grand Slam. No recorded Outs. All Batters hit a Home Run.
Inning Run Limit None First 3: 5 Runs. 4th On: Unlimited First 3: 5 Runs. 4th On: Unlimited First 3: 5 Runs. 4th On: Unlimited First 5: 5 Runs. 6th (or last because of time limit):Unlimited N/A N/A
Mercy Rule 10 Runs after 4 10 Runs after 4 10 Runs after 4 10 Runs after 4 None - Play as many innings as time allows. N/A N/A

To see the complete of set of local rules, refer to the SMLLA Local Rules document.

Player Pool

SMLLA uses a "Player Pool" to assist teams with a shortage of players on game days, preventing forfeits or rescheduling. Managers can request Pool Players from the SMLLA Player Agent for upcoming games. Pool Players arrive dressed in their regular uniform.

Contact the SMLLA Player Agent to Request a Pool Player.

Bat Types

Little League Baseball® adopted the USA Baseball bat standard for mandated use effective January 1, 2018. All players in Majors and below ages 4-12 must have a bat with the USA logo. See the USA Bat website for more information.

For our Juniors Division, ages 13 and 14, bats meeting the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) standard may be used in the Intermediate (50-70 field) Division and Junior divisions (54-80 field). USA Bats may also be used at this level.

Field Prep and Scorekeeping Duties

  • The home teams are responsible for field preparation both before and after the game. Please refer to the Trinta Field Prep Manual for details.
  • Visiting teams are in charge of scorekeeping and managing the booth. For detailed information on scorekeeping requirements, please refer to the Scorekeeping Requirements.

Fall Ball

Alongside the Local Rules, we have prepared an additional addendum specifically for the Majors Division.


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