All rules according to most recent Little League Rules and Regulations.
In addition, the following “Local Rules” shall apply: Introduction: the minor “A” league is strictly an instructional league, which emphasizes instructing, and coaching boys and girls in the game of baseball/softball. The final scores of the game, win-loss records and league standings are meaningless statistics. The object of the league is instruction, sportsmanship and fun.
Gameday: The games should be part clinic, part game. The first 30 minutes of the gametime should be used for drills. Drills can either be done separately by team, or with both teams together. The next 60 minutes will be used for the game.
Team size: the league goal is to play 10 player ball, however, all players present should play the field. Use 4 outfielders spaced evenly apart across the outfield (outfielders must be on the outfield grass).
Games are intended to be 6 innings, unless shortened due to darkness, bad weather, or time limits.
Batting order: use a full team continuous batting order, regardless of whether the player is assigned to a field position or not in the inning.
Guidelines regarding batting rotation:
During the first 3 weeks of the season, each team will bat half of their lineup per inning. There are no defensive outs, e.g. a player remains at first base even if a play was made at first base before they arrived there.
For example, a team with 9 players will bat 5 players in the 1st inning, the next 4 in the 2nd, then 5 in the 3rd, etc.
After the 3rd week of the season, per inning, each team will either bat until 3 defensive outs are recorded against them (there are no strikeouts) or half of their lineup bats, whichever happens first.
For example, consider a team with 9 players. Imagine no outs are recorded in the first inning, the team would bat 5 players and then switch sides. Then in the second inning they would intend on batting the remaining 4 players, but if the first 3 batters get out, they would switch sides without that 9th batter yet having a turn at bat. Then in the third inning they would intend on picking up with that 9th batter plus the next 4 batters (for a total of 5 batters), depending on how many outs got recorded, and so on.
Pitching: managers and coaches will pitch to their own team. The batting team will assign a coach or parent to back up the catcher, to keep the game moving. You will station a player on the pitching mound to act as a pitcher after the ball is hit. Allow this player to play this position with the exception of throwing to the batter.
Pitching mound: approximately 30 feet from home plate.
Balls and strikes: balls and strikes are not called. Manager must encourage their players to hit the ball. After five (5) missed swings by a batter, an offensive coach should assist the player in hitting the ball. Remember this is an instructional league give the kids a chance to hit the ball. Excess pitches and swings without hitting the ball discourages the batter and the fielders.
During the first 3 weeks of the season, there are no outs. A player who is forced out or tagged by a defender will remain on base to practice base running. There are no strikeouts.
After the 3rd week of the season, defensive outs, up to 3 per half inning, are called. A player that is out will return to the bench. There are no strikeouts.
Catchers: try to develop at least two per team. Remember as the little leaguer grows the catcher takes on an importance equal to the pitcher. You will need more than one catcher because 6 innings is too long for one player to catch in the warm weather. Teach catchers (all players) to avoid turning away from the ball exposing head, shoulders and ribs at an angle where equipment does not protect them.
Positioning: Make sure all kids get to play most positions on a rotating basis. All kids should play infield and outfield. A coach or manager should make up a position assignment prior to the game and rotate the positions as the game goes on. This eliminates discussion between players and coaches between innings and allows the game to move along. If a kid is still learning to catch, you may want to avoid placing them at pitcher, first base, and second base (since most kids are righty and swing late).
Helmets: without exception, helmets must be worn by all kids batting.
Coaches: There should be a maximum of two coaches on the field instructing the fielders on what to do. For the batting team there must be one coach/manager pitching to the players and another backing up the catcher. These actions will speed up play. One coach must remain in dugout.
Cleats: sneakers are adequate, but rubber cleats are recommended.
Scoring: all games end in a tie. Keeping score is discouraged.
During the first 3 weeks of the season, this is considered a ‘base to base’ division meaning that all hits are a single. The final batter of each half inning will hit a “home run” no matter what to clear the bases (please avoid a play at the plate for the last batter as it often leads to chaos with the batter trying to avoid the catcher who has the ball long before the batter gets there). There is no stealing and no advancing on passed balls or wild pitches. Base runners cannot take leads. If a runner leads, they should be cautioned, but they are not out. Try to teach them basic base running; do not allow them to run at will.
After the 3rd week of the season, base-runners can take extra bases at the coach's discretion. No advances on overthrows or if a player fails to catch a throw from their teammate (e.g. no advances on a situation where a player fields the ball, throws to the 1B player, but that player drops the ball and it rolls away). Coaches should use judgement about when it is appropriate to take an extra base (e.g. ball hit to the outfield) and not allow the baserunning to get out of hand. There is no stealing and no advancing on passed balls or wild pitches. Base runners cannot take leads. If a runner leads, they should be cautioned but they are not out.
Forfeits: try not to forfeit a game there are no standings and the kids come to play. Share kids and make the best of it.
Safety: begin teaching safety at the first practice and don't stop. There is no on-deck practice swings allowed. The only player who should have a bat in his hands is the batter when he/she is at the plate.
Keep all players coaches and equipment not involved in the game in the dugout.
Bunting: bunting is not allowed.
Bats: all bats must meet little league regulations. Baseball bats must have the USA Baseball logo.
Manager's biggest need: a sense of humor in this part of the program the object is to teach baseball/softball and sportsmanship.
Your job as manger/coach is to control the parents, other coaches and the kids to ensure this will be conducted as a teaching-recreation program. Give all children a chance to play and have fun.
Reread manager’s biggest need! You the manager/coach are being evaluated by the league commissioner, the executive committee and the league president. Whether you are invited back to manage/coach depends not on your win-loss record but on how you managed the team, how you taught the players and how you got along with your fellow managers, coaches, and parents etc.
CONDUCT AND SAFETY REGULATIONS:
Teams cannot harass one another.
No arguments between managers. Play the game in a happy frame of mind.
Prior to all games, managers must meet with opposing manager/ coach to discuss the ground rules.
Catchers must wear proper protective equipment, mask and helmet with throat guard, chest protector with groin protector. All boys must wear protective cup.