Rules Interpretations

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2017- Regular Season


I.The use of continuous batting order as it relates to Mandatory Play:  For the purpose of consistency in enforcing the rules regarding this issue the following guidance is being offered.  When a league is using the Continuous Batting Order (CBO) option in accordance with Rule 4.04 and Rule 3.03 dealing with substitutions, the following is the official interpretation:

  1. All players present and listed on the line-up given to the umpire are considered starters.

  2. All players are required to fulfill mandatory play requirements.

  3. Defensive replacements may be inserted at any time and are NOT required to play six defensive outs consecutively.

  4. When a player is removed from their defensive position, they will continue to bat in their assigned position in the batting order for the duration of the game. 

II.The no-pitch Intentional Base on Balls and potential Batting Out of Turn in Baseball. For the purpose of adjudicating this situation the following information is provided:

A.  In order for the defense to secure an out on the appeal of Batting Out of Turn (Rule 6.07) the improper batter must have advanced to and touched at least 1st base.  Only upon touching 1st base will his/her time at bat (Rule 2.00) be completed. If the defense appeals the infraction prior to the completion of the at bat, the offense will retain the ability to correct their mistake, resulting in the Proper Batter completing the at bat, and assuming his/her position at first base.    

B.    As with any other Batting Out of Turn situation, the offense may correct the   infraction until the improper batter has completed their time at bat. The ball is dead and no other runners may advance unless forced by the batter being awarded first base.

III. What constitutes a charged visit to the pitcher for the purposes of a pitcher returning to the mound Rule 8.06 Baseball and Softball? 

  1. In order for a pitcher to be charged with a visit according to Rule 8.06 the manager or coach must visit the pitcher either at the mound (Baseball) or in the circle (Softball).  If a manager desires to move his/her pitcher to a different defensive position but preserve the ability to return them as a pitcher without being charged a conference, they may do so by announcing the switch to the umpire or directing it from the dugout/bench area. 


    COMMENT/INTERPRETATION:  If they step into the circle or on to the mound, or converse with the pitcher or any other defensive player, the current pitcher will be charged with a conference.  


    Proper Mechanics for an Uncaught Third Strike: It has been noted by several individuals that there is no video on Little League University demonstrating the proper mechanic for dealing with an Uncaught Third Strike that was a called strike umpire (with no type of swing involved).

The umpire should verbalize the strike call (as with any other “called” strike) while simultaneously using the right arm in a crisp fashion to point away from his body as he would with any other Uncaught Third Strike.





10 Commonly Misinterpreted Little League® Rules


1. The hands are considered part of the bat. If a pitch hits the batter’s hands it is either fair or foul.

Approved Ruling: The hands are part of the batter’s body. Therefore, an umpire must judge if the ball hit the bat or the batter first. This scenario is covered by Little League rule 6.08(b). 

2. If the batter “breaks his wrists” when swinging, it's a strike.

Approved Ruling: The term “breaks his/her wrists” does not appear in the Little League rulebook. The umpire must judge whether, or not, the batter attempted to swing at the pitch as stated in the definition of a strike in Rule 2.00. 

3. If a batted ball hits the plate first it’s a foul ball.

Approved Ruling: Home plate, first, second, and third base are all completely within fair territory. The foul lines are also within fair territory. In order to rule the ball foul, it must have come to rest in foul territory or be touched in foul territory.  See Rule 2.00. 

4. The batter cannot be called out for interference if he is in the batter's box.

Approved Ruling: Offensive/Batter Interference is defined in Rule 2.00, and there is no specific exception for the batter’s box. The batter’s actions are what causes interference and not necessarily where he is, as defined in Rule 6.06(c) (1), (2) and (3). 

5. The ball is dead on a foul-tip.

Approved Ruling: As defined in Rule 2.00, the ball is always live on a foul tip. Therefore runners may be put out or advance at their own risk. 

6. The batter may not switch batter's boxes after two strikes.

Approved Ruling: The batter may switch batter’s boxes at any time while the ball is dead. According to Rule 6.06(b), the batter may only be called out for stepping from one batter’s box to the other while the pitcher is in position ready to pitch. The number of balls or strikes on the batter is not relevant. 

7. The batter who batted out of order is the person declared out.

Approved Ruling: According to Rule 6.07, the batter that is supposed to bat (the proper batter) is the one that is declared out, when the defensive properly appeals the infraction. 

8. The batter is considered “out” if he/she starts for the dugout before going to first base after an uncaught third strike.

Approved Ruling: In order to declare the batter “out” for abandoning his/her effort to advance, he/she must step into “dead ball” territory. 

9. The batter-runner is always out if he runs outside the running lane after a bunted ball.

Approved Ruling: The batter-runner may be called out for interference if he fails to run within the runner’s lane for the last half of the distance to first base. Furthermore, the defensive team must throw the ball in order for the interference to occur Rule 6.06(j). 

10. If a batter swings at a pitch, and the pitch hits the batter in the batter’s box, the batter is awarded first base.

Approved Ruling: The batter is not awarded first base. A strike is defined in Rule 2.00(e). Since the batter swung, a strike is recorded, and, if it was the third strike, the batter is out. No uncaught strike situation occurred since the ball is dead once it contacts the batter.