Coach Q&AUpdated Tuesday June 27, 2017 by Mason Youth Organization.
Check out MYO official responses to coach / umpire / commissioner comments & questions that come up during actual game situations. Updated regularly with current rules explanations & interpretations.
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A15: Whatever the score was after the last full completed inning is recorded as the official score for games that reach the time limit.
Situation 1....Runner on second base. On the pitch, the runner steals third. The catcher does not attempt to pick off the runner, but makes a terrible throw back to the pitcher that goes to center field. Can the runner then take home?
As noted in the 10AA rule on stealing "runner may steal...until defense has controlled further advancement or play is called dead" key phrase being controlled further advancement. In this situation, the catcher would seemingly have the ball under control as he has caught the pitch initially, then made the decision not to throw to third, but instead throw to pitcher. This control essentially kills further advancement by the runner from third on this play so runner cannot score.
Situation 2....IRunner on second base. On the pitch, the runner steals third. The catcher attempts a pickoff at third but the ball goes into left field. Can the runner then take home?
Runners from third may only steal home on overthrow to pitcher, wild pitch or passed ball. In your situation, a pickoff overthrow to third does not qualify as any of those, so no the runner may not score from third.
A13: For 2017, no major changes have been implemented by LLI. Most bats from 2016 are still leagl for play in 2017 (provided they meet division size & certification standards).
For 2018 season however, note that LLI has adopted the new USA Baseball Bat Standard which will be in effect for 2018 & beyond. Bats previously approved by LLI pre-2018 will no longer be acceptible for use in 2018. 2018 bats must bear the USA Baseball Bat Standard seal without exception.
A12: In divisions with dropped third strike, on a play where the third strike is dropped in an eligible situation (unoccupied base with less than 2 outs or occupied with 2 outs), BOTH THE WHITE AND ORANGE SECTIONS OF THE BAG ARE LIVE FOR BOTH THE RUNNER AND THE FIELDER. LLI Rule 7.15.g.
A11: No coaches or parents are nto permitted to warm up pitchers, no exceptions. Note that if the catcher is not geared up, another player need only a catchers mask & a protective cup to warm the pitcher up until the catcher is fully geared up. LLI Rule 3.09
A10: No on deck batters are permitted during play on any fields at any division. However, when a team is warming up before the start of an inning, ONE batter may swing to warm up near his gate opening, but no more than one. MYO Rules, See Division Matrices, pages 21, 24, 26-30.
A9: Base Coaches shall not leave their dugout until after the catcher has "thrown down" to second base after warm ups each inning. LLI Rule 4.05.
A8: Base coaches must stay in their coaches boxes during play. When base coaches wander out of their boxes, it many times creates confusion issues for the defense, the runners, & the umpires. Base coaches will receive two warnings, on the third offense, the base coach shall be removed from the field & replaced with another coach. To be clear the base coach would not be ejected, simply removed from being allowed to base coach the rest of the game. LLI Rule 4.05 (3).
Coaching boxes are not chalked on MYO fields because our fields are used for many different divisions, each with a different size requirement. Coaching boxes are shown on pages 48 thru 51 of the Little League Rule Book. Boxes for 10u AAA & below are basically 4'x8', 6' off of the base line, not past the first/third base bags. Boxes for 12u AA thru Intermediate are basically 10'x20', 15' off of the base line, not past the first/third base bags. Boxes for the Juniors & up are basically 10'x10', 15' off of the base line, not past the first/third base bags. Some of these are not very large, but that is for a reason. The larger boxes can be a challenge at fields at Cottell & HOP due to the close fences, but that does not mean the box moves closer to the field, the box is actually reduced to fit the field.
A7: A coach/manager must remove a pitcher when that pitcher reaches the limit for his age group as noted:
Exception: If a pitcher reaches his limit while facing a batter he may continue until the batter is out, reaches base or a third out is made to complete an inning & the pitcher is only required to follow the days rest for based on the pitch count at the start of that batter.
Rest requirements for ages 14 and under:
Rest requirements for ages 15-18:
Exception: If a pitcher reaches a days rest threshold while facing a batter the pitcher may conitnue to pitch unitl the batter is put out, reaches base or the third out of the inning is made, the pitcher will only be required to observe the days rest for the threshold he reached during the at bat, provided the pitcher is removed before facing another batter.
Also remember a player who has played the positon of catcher for 4 or more innings in a game is not eligible to pitch on that day. A player who has played the position of pitcher & has thrown 41 pitches or more is not eligible to play catcher on that day.
In all divisions 12U AAA & below, pitchers may not re-enter as a pitcher once they have been removed in the same game.
In Intermediate division & up, players who have pitched, may re-enter as a pitcher only once per game.
A6: Recently it appears that many of our coaches have gotten much more aggressive with runners stealing bases, especially home. Remember we have a standard enforcement policy we want everyone to understand. It is in place to keep games moving, ensure that correct baseball is being taught & most importantly to keep conflict & emotions on the field in check to prevent bigger issues.
This is MYO will enforce the rule on MYO fields, no matter where the visiting team is from - no exceptions.
A runner may lead off third (or any other base) only after a pitched ball passes the plate. If the catcher gets control of the ball & is near the plate (typically within 5'-8' or so) & the runner has stopped all forward motion of stealing, the runner must return to the base immediately - he does not have to sprint back but should make a clear effort to turn back & return at a normal pace. If the throw back to the pitcher goes wild this runner still would have the opportunity to turn around & score (or advance to next base). However if the thrown ball is caught by the pitcher, the runner should quickly complete his return to the original base. If this is followed, there will be no issues. However if dancing / juking / taunting by the runner occurs, it will be stopped. It's a waste of game time, usually just starts trouble & incites negative actions.
If this tactic occurs, umpires have been instructed to do the following:
>>Initially, call for time once the catcher gets the ball, this will remove any chance of the runner advancing & keep the game moving. They may also notify the head coach of the offending team to keep the game moving.
>>If the same actions continue the next step of enforcement will be as follows; If the runner stops advancement toward next base (this essentially stops his steal attempt), & the ball gets back to the pitcher & the pitcher occupies the rubber to pitch, before the runner gets back to the bag he left from, the runner will be considered as leaving the base early & will receive a single warning for that per MYO rules. If it happens again, the runner will be called out for a second violation of the leaving early rule. Same for any subsequent runner who tries this.
Defensively, to allow this to be enforced, coaches should simply have the catcher hold the ball near home until the runner has stopped - no need to run them down or chase them back (unless of course they think they can make a play on the runner). Once the runner has stopped the enforcement noted above can occur.
This interpretation still allows a runner to score from third using either a straight steal (on a wild pitch or passed ball), or even a delayed steal (runner doesn't leave base until when catcher releases ball on throw back to pitcher), but the steal motion/play has to be non-stop.
Kids play baseball to hit, run, pitch & field - not watch some coaches waste every one's time. This type of play also typically is one that gets opposing coaches, players, & especially parents very upset & vocal - that's usually when big trouble starts. We are trying to be proactive & prevent negative situations from occurring, we appreciate your assistance in educating the coaches, assstants, players & parents on this.
A5: No, there are no pinch, courtesy or replacement runners at any division of baseball or 8u softball permitted, no exceptions.
A4: If a thrown ball accidentally touches a base coach the ball is alive & in play. However, if, in the umpires judgement, the base coach intentionally interferes with a throw ball, the runner is out.
A3: Any player who has played catcher in 4 or more innings of a game is not eligible to pitch that day. Any pitcher who has thrown 41 or more pitches in a game cannot play catcher that day. Detailed rules are on page 40 of the LL Rule Book.
A2: For all divisions except Junior & Senior, a pitcher removed from the mound cannot return as a pitcher. Additionally, a pitcher may not pitch in more than one game in a day - no matter his pitch count (no pitching in both ends of a double header). For Junior & Senior, a pitcher removed from the mound but moving to another position can return as a pitcher anytime in the remainder of the game, but only once per game. A Junior/Senior pitcher may pitch in up to 2 games per day unless he throws 31 or more pitches in the first game.
A1: In divisions with the dropped third strike rule (8U AAA, 10U AAA & up) a batter is out automatically only when a third strike is not caught, first base is occupied* & there are less than 2 outs. A batter is not automatically out when a third strike is not caught until batter is tagged or forced out at 1st base provided first base is unoccupied or first base is occupied with 2 outs.
*Remember that a runner stealing on a dropped third strike play is still technically "occupying" first base (whether leading off or not) unless that runner could actually touch second base before a pitch is delivered - very highly unlikely.