Wayland Little League Baseball and Softball
MINOR League Rules
Wayland Minor League Baseball is an instructional program for boys and girls in third and fourth grade. Players will evaluated prior to the season and will be assigned to teams by the league commissioner(s) and head coaches with the objective of making each team in the league equally competitive.
Players and Coaches Code of Conduct
- Follow the rules of the game and practice good sportsmanship at all times.
- Act in a manner as to bring credit to the team, league, and yourself.
- Refrain from foul language, obscene gestures, or any form of verbal or physical abuse.
- Maintain self-control, and refrain from unnecessary demonstrations including the throwing of helmets, bats, or any other equipment.
- Refrain from arguing, teasing, or taunting with the umpires, coaches, players, or spectators.
- Wear the uniform properly and with pride.
- Give 100% effort at all times with a good attitude.
- Win graciously - lose graciously.
In an effort to provide a consistent enjoyable experience for all WLL players at all levels of play, WLL has established the following objectives to be followed by all coaches:
- Make the game fun for all players, keeping their interest and enjoyment for the game alive.
- Emphasize positive reinforcement only.
- Develop the skills and fundamentals of all members of the team, regardless of skill level or knowledge of fundamentals. Instructions and lessons to players should be delivered to the players at a level the players can understand.
- Games are for the players to improve their playing skills and abilities in a low-key competitive setting. All players will be afforded an equal opportunity and be encouraged to participate and try all aspects of the game.
- Behavior at all times should reflect the behavior outlined in the Code of Conduct. All decisions should be based on what is best for the players, not the coaches, parents, or others.
- WLL has a zero tolerance policy: Any behavior deemed inappropriate by WLL will result in an automatic dismissal of the coach.
One coach per team will be designated as the head coach. Assistant coaches will be assigned to teams as well. The coaches may recruit as many assistant coaches as are willing to participate. Coaches should follow the rules and guidelines outlined in this manual and adhere to the spirit of the league. Among the coaching staff's responsibilities are the following:
- Abide by the Code of Conduct.
- Adhere to the WLL Coaching philosophy.
- Attend the coaches' clinic.
- Attend the Minor League coaches meeting, to be held prior to the beginning of the season.
- Contact all parents/players to inform them which team they are on, the coaches names and phone numbers, and to remind them of the following dates:
- First Game
- Kid’s Clinic
- Provide each player and parent with a copy of the schedule, roster, and coach’s phone numbers.
- Obtain the equipment from the commissioner prior to the first game.
- Disseminate any and all information to the players and their parents for events during the year.
- Ensure one coach is always present at the field on game nights 30 minutes prior to the game with the equipment bag.
- Do what is necessary to ensure the safety of all players, coaches, umpires, and spectators.
- Ensure the players and coaches in the league follow the leagues Code of Conduct and discipline appropriately any player who does not adhere to it.
- Keep score and report the final score of each game to the league commissioner.
- Communicate any problems, issues or suggestions to the league commissioner promptly.
- Return all equipment to the league commissioner following the end of the season.
Equipment and Uniforms
- Balls: Only the balls supplied by WLL should be used in league practices and games.
- Bats: Bats are provided by players and are to be shared with their teammates. Bats must conform to Little League rules
- Helmets: Helmets will be provided by the WLL and must be worn by the batter, base coaches, and all base runners.
- Catching Equipment: One set of catchers' protective equipment will be supplied to each team.
- Bases: Bases will be supplied by the WLL. One pitching rubber will be supplied to each team as well.
- First Aid: Each team will be supplied with a first aid kit.
- Uniforms: Uniforms will be provided to the players. Players are expected to "look like a team" and be fully uniformed for every game. Shirts must be tucked in, and caps must be worn properly while in the field. Uniform pants must be returned at the conclusion of the season.
- Footwear: Players will provide their own footwear. Sneakers or rubber cleats are permitted; no metal spikes are allowed.
- Athletic Supporters: Players will provide their own athletic supporters (required of all catchers).
- Gloves: Players will supply their own gloves.
WLL Will adopt LL Rule 1.10 - Baseball - The bat must be a baseball bat which meets Little League specifications and standards as noted in this rule. It shall be a smooth, rounded stick and made of wood or of material and color tested and proved acceptable to Little League standards.
Little League (Majors) and below: it shall not be more than thirty-three (33) inches in length nor more than two and one-quarter (2¼) inches in diameter. Non-wood bats shall be labeled with a BPF (bat performance factor) of 1.15 or less; EXCEPTION: For the 2011-2012 Little League (Majors) and below, for regular season play and Tournament, composite bats are prohibited unless approved by Little League International.
A list of approved and licensed composite bats can be found on the Little League website at www.littleleague.org.
- Standard Little League baseball rules apply except as noted below.
- Games are played according to the published schedule and follow normal standard Little League baseball rules apply except as noted in the sections below.
- For games starting @ 6PM no inning will start after 7:40PM. For ANY OTHER start time no new inning can start after 1hour 40 minutes from actual game start. Game starts should be noted when the game begins and the Umpire is the official keeper of the time. Umpires and Coaches should make every effort to start game at scheduled start times. NOTE - Once an inning is started the teams will use every effort to complete the full inning. If the inning is not completed, the score reverts back to the score at the start of the inning. Umpire has full discretion and authority to implement the rule and determine appropriate continuation of play under these guidelines. If start time of game is delayed due to issues beyond the control of the coaches, the umpire will use discretion to determine actual start time. An umpire has full authority and discretion to halt a game at any time if the safety of the players is an issue, (darkness, field conditions or inclement weather)
- 4 Full innings constitute a regulation game, and will count in the standings. If the team that’s up at the bottom of the 4th is leading and game is suspended, it is still a complete game. If a game is suspended by the umpire’s decision before becoming a complete game, it shall be resumed from its point of discontinuance and played to a regulation conclusion.
- Bases should be placed the regulation Little League distance of 60 feet apart. The pitching rubber should be regulation Little League distance of 46 feet from home plate.
- To check for a rainout check the web site at WaylandLittleLeague.org. Do not call coaches or commissioners for rainout information. Rained out games are generally not rescheduled, however, if deemed necessary, the Commissioner(s) will communicate otherwise.
- The Umpire is the final authority on the field.
- Home Team will be in the 1st base dugout and away team in the 3rd base dugout
NOTE: INNING MERCY RULE: Besides the normal three outs, a half-inning will end after the batting team scores six (6) runs, regardless of the number of outs or other base runners able to score.
- Each team will field 10 players: pitcher, catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, and 4 outfielders (no short fielder). Coaches are not allowed on the field during play.
- After the first pitch in a half-inning, a player may not be removed until the half-inning is over, except for injury.
- Additional players not playing an inning should stay on the bench. No player should sit on the bench twice until everyone else has had at least one turn on the bench. Coaches should plan a rotation that allows for all players to play in the field for the same number of innings during each game.
- It is up to the coaches to determine where to position players. Coaches should rotate their players to allow them to try different positions and enjoy different parts of the game. Many coaches have found that “grids” prepared in advance are helpful and easy to understand for the players. No player should be forced to play a position if it is unsafe to do so.
- A pitcher may pitch no more than 4 innings in a week with 2 games or 6 innings in a week with 3 games. (week runs from Sunday-Sat)
- And a pitcher may NOT throw more than 50 pitches per game. Should the pitcher reach 50 pitches mid batter, he may finish the batter he is pitching to and then must be removed after that batter.
- Any part of an inning, even a single pitch, counts as a whole inning pitched. Once a pitcher has been removed, he cannot pitch again in that game.
- The pitcher shall pitch from the pitching rubber (located 46 feet from home plate). No balks will be called and there are no intentional walks allowed.
- Four balls constitute a walk. Three strikes constitute a strikeout.
- A pitcher must be pulled if they hit 3 batters.
- Pitch counts and records must be maintained by coach and be available if requested by opposing team.
- No balks will be called.
- No intentional walks are permitted.
- The batter’s strike zone is the area from the shoulder to the top of the knee and the width of the plate.
- New pitchers in relief are allowed no more than 5 warm-up throws.
- Coaches should make trips to the pitcher’s mound only when absolutely necessary. No more than 2 trips per inning are allowed. The coach must remove the pitcher following a second trip to the mound.
- Coaches should make every attempt to keep the game moving by limiting conversations with pitchers to a few brief words.
- 1-20 pitches no days rest
- 21-35 pitches 1 calendar days of rest
- 36-50 pitches 2 calendar days of rest
- Pitching machines should not be used before the 4th inning of a game. Players should pitch the first four innings of a game. The pitching machine is to be used as a resource if a team has no more eligible pitchers. Pitching limits are posted above.
- Pitching machines will not be used at all in the playoffs, our goal is to develop more pitchers during the season and decrease the need for the pitching machine as the season progresses.
Coaches should give every player the opportunity to pitch. No pitcher is allowed to pitch in more than 2 innings in one game, or in 4 innings in the same week. Any part of an inning, even a single pitch, counts as an inning pitched. No pitcher may start 2 games in a row; no pitcher may close 2 games in a row. Emphasis should be placed on throwing the ball over the plate rather than speed.
Catchers must wear catching equipment and an athletic supporter. No one will be allowed behind the plate without the proper equipment. Players may use their own catching equipment. All catchers should be instructed on proper positioning before they play behind the plate.
All players will take their turn in the batting order regardless of whether they played in the field that inning or not. Coaches should rotate their batting order from time to time to try to get each player on the team an equal number of at bats during the season.
All batters must wear batting helmets when batting and running the bases - no exceptions to this rule will be allowed. An on-deck circle will be permitted so long as there is a responsible person (coach or volunteer parent) to help ensure the safety of the person in the on-deck circle and spectators. Only one player will be allowed in the on-deck circle at a time. Only players at bat or in the on-deck circle are allowed to hold bats.
The following batting rules will apply:
- Bunting is not allowed.
- Batters are not allowed to advance on dropped third strikes.
- Umpires will enforce the “Infield Fly Rule:” if there are runners on 1st and 2nd base or bases loaded with less than two outs, a batter hitting a fly ball that could be fielded by an infielder will be automatically called out.
Players on the hitting team may coach first and third base. For the first half of the year, coaches or parents are permitted to stand in the coaches' box with the players. Coaches should instruct the players on how to coach the bases during practices and the season. Base coaches must wear helmets. Players coaching is strictly the option of the head coach, however it is encouraged by WLL.
All coaches and players not on base, batting, in the on-deck circle, or coaching the bases, are to remain in the bench area. Nobody, including parents and spectators are allowed behind the backstop while the game is underway.
- All runners must wear batting helmets when on the bases - no exceptions.
- There will be no stealing this year. Our intent is to teach kids to catch live pitching, some for the first time, without having to worry about players running on balls not caught and going to the backstop (Pitch from the pitcher). It also lets kids make more plays in the field at second or third enabling us to teach them how and when to cover different bases.
- A runner must slide or move to avoid contact if a fielder has the ball or is in position to make a play at the base. A runner will be called out if he slides headfirst or collides with a player in position to make the play, regardless of whether the fielder makes the tag or holds onto the ball.
- A play is considered over when the ball is secure in the pitcher’s mitt. At this point, runners may not advance further.
In general, umpires (and coaches) should use the following guidelines to determine what the proper number of bases a runner is allowed to advance:
- Runners may advance at their own risk when the ball is in the "in-play" area. The "in-play" area is defined as the as the extension of the backstop along the right and left field foul lines, parallel with the baselines. Balls thrown out of the "in-play" area - over first base, third base, or past the catcher - each runner can advance one and only one base beyond the base that they were approaching when the ball was thrown (released).
- Umpires have the final say as to which bases the runners may advance.
WLL will provide umpires for the Minor League. These umpires will be adults and in some cases high school-aged teens. In the event that an umpire does not show for a game, the umpiring will be left to team representatives or any volunteers who can be mutually agreed upon. In any case, the umpire is the final authority on the field.
All players and coaches must provide 100% cooperation to the umpires. Coaches MUST maintain proper perspective--setting an example for the players, parents, and spectators--by not arguing any calls involving the umpire's judgment. If a coach wishes to protest an umpire's interpretation of the rules, the coach should speak to the umpire at the time of the infraction in a calm and restrained manner in a private conversation away from the players. If the matter cannot be resolved, the game should continue without further discussion, and the commissioner will subsequently review the protest. The commissioner's decision will be final.
Coaches should limit conversations with umpires to a few brief words and make every effort to keep the game moving.
Scores and Standings
Game scores and league standings will be published on the WLL web site: WaylandLittleLeague.org. Coaches of each team must keep score using the scorebooks provided. Coaches from both teams should agree on the number of runs scored by each team after each half-inning and at the end of the game. Both teams should report the final score to the league commissioner. The league commissioner will enter the scores into the web site. The standings on the web site will update automatically.
There will be 3 rounds of playoff games at the end of the season. The final standings will determine the seedings. It is possible all teams will not play the same amount of games. Winning percentage will determine the seedings. The Commissioner of the league is responsible for breaking ties in the standings. Ties will be broken first by head-to-head competition, followed by least runs given up in the season, followed by most runs scored in the season.
The playoffs will be structured as follows:
- Round 1:
- Game 1 - The 4th place team versus the 5th place team.
- Round 2:
- Game 1 - Winner (4th/5th) vs. 1st place team
- Game 2 - 2nd place team vs. 3rd place team
- Championship Game
Trophies will be awarded to the winners following the conclusion of the championship game.
All Star Game:
The annual All-Star Game will be played under the lights at Cochituate field. Each team will send players to the game. The players select the All-Star representatives from their team by secret ballot after the last regular season game. Coaches should cast any tie-breaking votes privately before informing the team of the results. Please give the winning names to the Commissioner as soon as possible.
The All-Star game will have representatives from the four National League teams against the four American League teams in a 6-inning game. Pitchers will be limited to one inning. Each All-Star player will receive a special All-Star cap to wear during the game and will be announced in a special ceremony prior to the game.