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League Rules: Overview

MISSION
Provide family-friendly baseball competition that instills teamwork, sportsmanship and character in all who participate.

PURPOSE
Through proper guidance and exemplary leadership, West Torrance Little League (“WTLL”, “The League”) strives to assist children in developing the qualities of character, sportsmanship, teamwork, confidence and physical well-being. By instilling the virtues of character, courage and loyalty, WTLL is primarily designed to shape future upstanding citizens of our community, rather than superior athletes.

GENERAL
Regular season rules listed in the Official Regulations and Playing Rules for Little League Baseball shall be used except as noted herein. Managers are responsible for knowing and understanding the current Official Regulations and Playing Rules (the Green Rule Book). Any definitions, clarifications or apparent contradictions shall be resolved through the Chief Umpire. Rule Books will be distributed at the Annual Managers Meeting, to be scheduled before Opening Day.

  1. WTLL PREMISES:


    1. No Drugs, Alcohol, Use of Tobacco or Firearms on Premises: NO person(s) shall possess or consume and/or use any form of alcohol or drugs. Nor shall such person(s) be intoxicated and/or be under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug on the WTLL premises. No person(s) shall use tobacco (e.g., cigarettes, “chew”, etc.) on the WTLL premises (field/dugout/stands/etc) during a game or practice. No person(s) shall be in possession of a firearm on the WTLL premises at any time.

      Any person, manager, coach, or board member who has been found in violation of this rule by the WTLL Board shall be suspended. The violator will be relieved of his or her duties for the remainder of the current season and fall ball season. He or she may also be suspended the following season.

      The WTLL Board shall find and vote on a suitable replacement for the suspended person(s). As used in this rule "suspended" means and includes no participation within WTLL as a manager, coach, board member, team parent, umpire, snack bar worker, or work party volunteer.


    2. Traffic Flow: All WTLL vehicle traffic for games and practices should travel South to North - entering the complex through the South gate (Halison St.) and exit the complex via the North gate (Towers St.)


    3. Restricted Areas, etc: Children are not allowed in the Boardroom (above Major/Rookie field snackbar), snack bars and/or storage areas without adult supervision. Children under age 18 are not allowed to operate any League equipment such as tractors, lawn mowers, etc.


    4. Site Safety: All managers, coaches, spectators and players are asked to help in keeping the area clean and safe. No bicycle, skateboard riding, razor riding and/or pets shall be allowed in the spectator or snack bar areas. No horseplay is allowed. Be courteous to all people at the field and in the neighborhood. No one is allowed to pass the fence line on the hills around the fields (except to retrieve batted balls).


    5. Unsportsmanlike Conduct: The Rules Subcommittee (League President, Vice President & Chief Umpire) may take appropriate action to resolve any incidents of unsportsmanlike conduct or general behavior and ethics that do not conform to the generally accepted standards of propriety inside/outside the playing field, including foul/inappropriate language. The Board of Directors and Field Umpires are empowered to eject, suspend or disqualify any person(s) from the West Torrance Baseball complex. The game will be suspended while action is taken but time will continue based on the action. Judgment will be based on the situation.

      NOTE: WTLL’s Chief Umpire is in charge of incidents that occur on the field during play. All efforts should be made to contact him/her. Members of the Board of Directors shall not intervene, unless they are contacted by the Chief Umpire unless he/she is not present in which a decision shall be made by those Board members present.


  2. SNACK BAR:


    1. Snack Bar Duty: Each player’s parent is responsible for providing a snack bar worker for two (2) games. These games would be regular season or playoff games, depending on the needs directed by the Snack Bar Director/Coordinator. Should player’s parent not work their scheduled shift, or find a suitable substitute for their shift, their Snack Bar Deposit will be forfeited.


    2. Snack Bar Security: One male adult (Manager, Coach or their designee) from each team playing the last game of the day is to remain in the snack bar area to provide security for the Snack Bar personnel until they are ready to leave the premises. The managers, coaches (or designees) should lock the gates after everyone has left. There should be a minimum of two adult males providing security at each snack bar.


  3. FIELD/SITE PREP and CLEANUP:


    1. Field Prep: Before a game begins, the HOME TEAM is responsible for preparing the field: Dragging/Raking (if required), putting in the bases, chalking/painting of foul lines and batter’s box. This must be completed prior to the scheduled start of the game. Foul lines should NOT be redone if foul lines are clearly visible from the previous game.


    2. Field Cleanup: At the end of the game, the VISITOR TEAM is responsible for cleaning up the field: dragging the infield (FOUL LINE TO FOUL LINE, DO NOT DRAG DIRT INTO OR ON TO THE GRASS), raking baselines (RAKE PARALLEL TO BASE LINE, NOT SIDE TO SIDE). The purpose of dragging & raking the field is to ensure a level surface with no areas where water can puddle. Baselines should be flat or slightly inclined to allow water to drain away from infield. All field equipment must be put back in storage areas and doors locked. This includes bases, rakes, drags, etc.


    3. Dugout Cleanup: Players, Managers and Coaches are responsible for cleaning their dugout after each game/practice. Dugouts should be swept clean and trash cans should be emptied. PLAYERS ARE NOT TO BE RELEASED UNTIL THIS IS ACCOMPLISHED.


    4. Bleacher/Snack Bar Area Cleanup: Parents/fans from each team are responsible for picking up all trash around the bleachers and snack bar areas after each game. In addition, the trash cans must be emptied into the large garbage bins at the end of each day (or more frequently if needed).


    5. Locks: Managers and Coaches are to lock all padlocks and chains after the last game of the day. This includes all dugouts, field gates, and storage. The last one to leave the premises is responsible for locking the gate(s).


    6. Field Training: All Managers and Coaches are to attend the annual WTLL Field Training session, prior to the start of the season. This session is conducted by WTLL’s Facility Engineer, and teachings from this session are to be relayed to each parent volunteer of the Manager/Coaches respective teams. Should Managers/Coaches not be able to attend this session, they will send a substitute representative from their team to attend in their absence.


  4. FIELD READINESS / MAKE-UP GAMES:


    1. Field Readiness/Game Cancellations: In the case of inclement weather conditions (primarily rain) the league president, respective vice-president(s), division coordinator(s), and field engineer(s) will determine if and when the particular field is able to be used or how long it will take to ready the field. This may warrant canceling any given game (or scheduled practice) to ensure that as many games as possible can be played after the field is readied on that given day. Please keep in mind Little League rule 3.10 which addresses the teams/managers agreement on fitness of the playing field.


    2. Darkness: Games called because of darkness will be in the judgment of the Umpire in Chief. The light on the snack bars may be used as an indicator for failing daylight that creates hazardous playing conditions.


    3. Make-up Games: No game shall be rescheduled without approval from the league President, Vice-President, Division Coordinators and Chief Umpire. Managers and coaches shall not take it upon themselves to reschedule any game.


  5. REGISTRATION:


    1. Division Age Guidelines: Age Determination Date for Little League Baseball is the actual age of a child as of August 31 of the current year. These respective dates identify the “league age” as it relates to a player’s eligibility to participate in any of Little League’s divisions of play. League Age guidelines per division are stated at time of registration.


      1. Baseball Divisions by Age (* - Denotes requiring player assessment before division draft).


        1. Tee Ball: Players who are league age 4-5 years old


        2. Rookie: League Ages 5-6


        3. Farm*: League Ages 6-8


        4. Minor*: League Ages 8-10


        5. Major*: League Ages 10-12


    2. Player Assessments: Players must attend their respective divisions Assessment time & date.


      1. Players not attending the Player Assessment Date, as scheduled; will be assigned to a team based on historical knowledge of their ability; and will be subject to reassignment during the season should the Board of Directors believe a division does not have competitive balance.


    3. Playing Up / Playing Down: No player may “play up” or “play down” in a division outside a players age bracket, unless the League receives parental request and such request is approved by the Vice President, Player Agent and respective division coordinators AND the player attends both their aged division’s assessment date & time, as well as their desired more advanced assessment date & time.


    4. Player Absences/Replacement: The manager must notify the Player Agent immediately if any player misses two (2) consecutive games or three (3) consecutive practices. The manager must also inform the player agent of any disciplinary actions involving play time before it occurs (exception is disciplinary actions associated with tardiness on game day). The Player Agent must notify the League President of such actions. A manager that loses a player for the season due to moving, injury, illness, or any unforeseen circumstances, must notify the Players Agent immediately. The player agent should then assign the next player on the waiting list for that division. In the Major Division, if no player is on the waiting list, the Player Agent, League President, League VP, and respective Division Coordinator will seek to assign a replacement player within 10 days.


    5. Refund Policy: When players are removed for any reason from the Little League program, there will be no refund of the donation. If a player withdraws from WTLL after being drafted to a team, no refund of the donation is required, and the player will be dropped from WTLL for the remainder of the season.


    6. All Star: 10-year-olds who played up in Majors shall be considered for the all-star pool. They will need to earn their position for the team.


  6. COACHING


    1. Approval of Coaches: All coaches at any level must pass a safety background check conducted by the League Board of Directors and be approved by a majority vote of the Board. The Board of Directors can decline a person’s request to coach a team for any reason (ex. not enough teams, historical coaching methods/behavior deemed detrimental to player development & overall league growth). The Board of Directors does not need to provide rationale as to why a person was declined.


    2. Practice Guidelines: Practices should be scheduled for a minimum of one (1) hour each week. Teams are expected to practice 1-2 times per week during the preseason, depending on the Division. All teams are expected to practice 1-2 two times per week during the regular season.


    3. Post Practice Field Cleanup: Teams are required to follow similar cleanup procedures as stated above for games: dragging the infield (FOUL LINE TO FOUL LINE, DO NOT DRAG DIRT INTO OR ON TO THE GRASS), raking baselines (RAKE PARALLEL TO BASE LINE, NOT SIDE TO SIDE). The purpose of dragging & raking the field is to ensure a level surface with no areas where water can puddle. Baselines should be flat (or slightly inclined up to infield grass) to allow water to drain away from infield. All field equipment must be put back in storage areas and doors locked. This includes bases, rakes, drags, etc.


    4. Post Practice Dugout Cleanup: Players, Managers and Coaches are responsible for cleaning the dugout after each practice. Dugouts should be swept clean and trash cans should be emptied.


    5. School Rules (for practices): Players are not allowed on school property for practice prior to 3:30 PM. No bicycle riding, skateboarding or scooter riding is permitted on school property. Violation may result in loss of the school property for practice.


    6. Fall Ball: Fall Ball Managers and Coaches must be Board approved.


  7. GAMES (ALL DIVISIONS):


    1. Uniforms: All players must be in full uniforms (shirts, socks, pants, cap, etc.) and properly dressed (shirt tucked in, cap on straight, etc) during their respective games.


    2. Player Safety: All male players are required to wear a protective cup during their respective game.


    3. Copy of Rules: All managers, coaches, umpires and league officials shall carry an Official Rule Book and a copy of the Standing Rules.


    4. Batting Practice: Batting practice is NOT allowed on any WTLL field, by any player, on the day of his/her game. Acceptable alternatives include the use of whiffle balls, hitting sticks, use of batting cages, and/or soft toss into a portable screen. Note: Hitting directly into the backstop and/or fence is never allowed.


    5. Game Balls: Each team is responsible to supply 1 new game ball for each game. Game balls will be provided by WTLL’s Equipment Director at the beginning of the season in quantity that will allow 1 new ball to be used per game. Additional balls may be distributed before playoffs.


      1. Farm, Minor & Major to use Diamond DLL-1 baseballs, or similar


      2. Tee Ball & Rookie to use Diamond DFX baseballs, or similar


    6. Official Start Time/Time Limit: The official start time of a game is the scheduled start time even if the game starts late. Time limits (e.g., “hard stops”, “no new inning after x:xx”) are covered in the respective Division rules.


    7. Rain-Out Games: Games that are “rained out” will be rescheduled as soon as possible, subject to field availability. Field availability and re-scheduling of games will be determined by the League Vice President, Facilities Engineer and Chief Umpire. For weekday rain-outs, the plan in place is to use the Friday of the same week as the make-up day. The Sunday immediately following Saturday rain-outs will be used for this make-up day.


    8. Calender Week: A calendar week for the purposes of WTLL is defined as starting on Monday and continuing through Sunday.


    9. Ejections: The on-field umpire(s) and only members of the Board of Directors have the absolute right to eject someone from the game, stands or premises. One warning will be given as a courtesy, and then the umpire or Board member has the authority to eject an individual for disruptive or inappropriate behavior. The definition of disruptive or inappropriate behavior is solely in the eyes of the on-field umpire or respective Board Member.

      Any player who deliberately throws equipment while either on the field or in the dugout may be immediately ejected by the On-Field Umpire.

      When a manager, coach, or player is ejected from a game, they shall leave the field immediately and take no further part in that game. They may not sit in the stands and may not be recalled. A manager or coach ejected from a game must not be present at the game site for the remainder of that game. Any manager, coach, or player ejected from a game is suspended for his or her team’s next physically played game and may not be in attendance at the game site from which they are suspended. A parent ejected from the game must leave the facilities before the game may resume and could face additional penalties dependent on a board review.

      NOTE: The Umpire in Chief must notify the Chief Umpire within 24 hours of the ejection. The Official Scorekeeper must also note the ejection in the Official Score Book.


  8. GAME RULES (ASSESSMENT DIVISIONS – FARM, MINOR, MAJOR, 50/70)


    1. Lineup Cards: Each manager must include the entire team roster on the game lineup card with notations if a player is absent, sick or sitting out of the game because of disciplinary reasons.


    2. Official Scorekeeper (Home Team): Each home team is to provide an official scorekeeper where applicable (Major, Minor and Farm). This scorekeeper must use the official scorebook which is kept in cabinets mounted outside the snack bar(s). The official scorekeeper should not have any communications with either team except for the lineup changes. Each team will have at least two designated scorekeepers who are required to attend an instructional meeting provided by the League or District 27 prior to their team's first game. Scorekeeper must note any ejection(s) or protests in the official scorebook, and alert League Chief Umpire of such ejection(s) or protests.


    3. Pitch Count Recorder (Visitor Team): Each visitor team is to provide an official “Pitch Count Recorder” in the applicable Baseball divisions (Major, Minor, & Farm). The pitch count recorder must use the official “Little League – Game Pitch Log” as distributed to the managers and kept in the cabinets mounted outside the snack bar(s). The VISITOR team is responsible for reporting game results and the pitch counts on the WTLL web site within one (1) day of the game. The official pitch count recorder is encouraged to keep both managers posted of each pitcher’s pitch counts every half-inning, and/or at key pitch counts (e.g., approaching 41 pitches) as requested by a particular manager. The official “Pitch Count Recorder” total takes precedence over any other count, should there be any discrepancies with a secondary count from a coach/manager/parent.


    4. Pitching (Pitch Counts/Innings Maximum/Rest Requirements)


      1. Warming Up: League approved managers/parents


      2. Pitch Counts / Rest Requirements: The official Little League pitch count guidelines for maximum pitch counts in a game and the required rest periods between games (OPTION 1) will be adhered to (see pertinent excerpts from REGULATION VI – PITCHERS below).


      3. REGULATION VI – PITCHERS: (Excerpts are provided below … Managers/Coaches are responsible for remaining in compliance with the entire Regulation as stated in the Little League Rulebook).

        1. Any player on a regular season team may pitch. (NOTE: There is no limit to the number of pitchers a team may use in a game.)


        2. [Pitch Counts]: The manager must remove the pitcher when said pitcher reaches the limit for his/her age group as noted below, but the pitcher may remain in the game at another position:


          1. League Age:

            13-16: 95 pitches per day

            11-12: 85 pitches per day

            9-10: 75 pitches per day

            7-8: 50 pitches per day

            6 and under: Not allowed to pitch

            NOTE: For any 12-year-old playing Majors AND 50/70, the players respective teams’ managers MUST notify each other of respective pitch counts. Pitches are count per player overall, regardless of number of teams they participate.

            Players playing up a division are still limited to their age appropriate pitch count.


          2. EXCEPTION: If a pitcher reaches the limit imposed in Regulation VI (c) for his/her league age while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions occurs [whichever condition occurs first]: 1. That batter reaches base; 2. That batter is put out; 3. The third out is made to complete the half-inning or the game.


          3. NOTE: A pitcher who delivers 41 or more pitches in a game cannot play the position of catcher for the remainder of that calendar day.


          4. Regulation VI-PITCHERS (a) Any player on a regular season team may pitch. EXCEPTION: Any Player, who plays the position of catcher in 4 or more innings in a game, is not eligible to pitch on that calendar day.


          5. A pitcher who has pitched and been removed (as pitcher) from the game cannot re-enter the same game as a pitcher, regardless of whether the pitch count limit in Regulation VI has been met.


        3. [Rest Requirements]: Pitchers league age 14 and under must adhere to the following rest requirements:


          1. If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest, days rest (see e. below), must be observed.


          2. If a player pitches 51-65 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest, days rest must be observed.


          3. If a player pitches 36-50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest, days rest must be observed.


          4. If a player pitches 21-35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar day of rest must be observed.


          5. If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, no (0) calendar day of rest must be observed.


          6. EXCEPTION: If a pitcher reaches a day(s) of rest threshold while facing a batter the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions occurs [whichever condition occurs first]: 1. That batter reaches base; 2. That batter is put out; 3. The third out is made to complete the half-inning or the game. The pitcher will only be required to observe the calendar day(s) of rest for the threshold he/she reached during that at-bat, provided that pitcher is removed or the game is completed before delivering a pitch to another batter.


          7. A player may not pitch in more than one game in a calendar day


    5. Substitutions: When a player arrives late or departs early from a game during the regular season the scorekeeper should note it in the scorebook. In the Assessment Divisions, the scorekeeper should also place a check next to each player’s name in the scorebook the first time they play an infield position (to include pitcher and catcher) to ensure that the “infield play” requirement is met. If a player has not played an infield position and is not in such a position in the fourth inning the Chief Umpire should be notified. During the season ending Major Baseball tournament, substitutions also must be tracked consistent with a nine-player batting order and WTLL rules.


    6. Mandatory Play – Offense: During the regular season, the batting order shall be such that every player is listed in a continuous order. This may not be changed once the game has started. Players may change positions on the field, but the batting order will remain the same. Players arriving late are placed in the last position in the original batting order. If a player leaves a game early (for any reason) his spot is skipped over in the lineup. It is not an automatic out.


    7. Pregame Infield Practice: Assuming that time permits (all games should start on time).


      1. The Visiting team is entitled to take 5 minutes of infield practice (infield only) commencing 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.


      2. The Home team is entitled to take 5 minutes of infield practice (infield only) commencing 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.


      3. NOTE: During a team’s infield practice, the other team should remain in the dugout or on its half of the outfield.

    8. Mandatory Play – Defense: During the regular season, players shall not sit on the bench for more than one (1) consecutive inning and not more than a total of two (2) innings in a regulation game. Players must not sit out consecutive innings during any “extra innings”.

      In addition, players must play an infield position (P, C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B) for at least one full official defensive inning (3 outs, or 5 runs if stated within division rules). Infield play requirement must be fulfilled within the first 4 innings.

      Defensive mandatory play rules stated above can be waived if a player arrives less than 15 minutes prior to the start of the game -OR- leaves prior to the commencement of the 4th Inning. In these situations, a player must not sit on the bench for more than one consecutive inning. NOTE: A player who is absent for part of an inning is considered absent for the full inning. Absences will not be considered as an inning on the bench.


    9. Defense Positioning: At the beginning of each pitch, infield positioning must include two (2) position players stationed to the left of 2nd Base, and two (2) position players stationed to the right of 2nd Base. Three (3) outfielders must remain in outfield grass. Pitcher and Catcher need to be at their respective positions, as well. After the pitch leaves the pitcher’s hand, players can freely move around the field. Defensive players must keep clear of their base and base path unless in possession of the ball and making a play.


    10. Incomplete Games: Games started, but do not complete the regulation number of innings for any reason (rain, darkness, etc) will be resumed on the date of the next scheduled game between the two teams. The resumed game will be played prior to the regularly scheduled game (if one exists) and will only play the minimum number of innings


    11. Hard Stop / No New Inning: If Hard Stop -OR- No New Inning time (see respective Division Rules) is reached before an inning is completed, the score reverts back to the last completed inning. All pitches thrown, and innings pitched will be counted even if a game score reverts to the previous inning. NOTE: If Home Team is ahead or takes the lead after the visitors “at-bat” in the final inning, the inning is considered complete and the game is over.

      Hard Stop is defined as stop play and clear the field/dugouts immediately. It does not mean finish the inning.


    12. Ties: Regular season games can end in a tie and will be counted as such in the standings.


    13. Forfeits: Team will be able to play a game with eight (8) players during the regular season. If fewer than eight (8) players are available at ANY time during the game, then the game will be ruled a forfeit.


      1. Should the corresponding managers agree, a game may be played as an “exhibition” game with less than eight (8) players. In this case, players may be borrowed from the opposing team as necessary to field a team. The forfeit remains in effect for the team with less than eight (8) players, even if an “exhibition” game is played.


    14. Managers/Coaches in Dugout: Each dugout may contain one manager and two coaches that have been board approved and are on the roster. Each team may have additional assistant coaches that are board approved. If the primary manager/coach is not available, an assistant may fill in. Note: During the regular season only, one additional approved “volunteer” (coach, etc.) may assist in the dugout for dugout control purposes.


    15. No Coaching from the Stands, etc.: Managers, Coaches and parents are not allowed to sit in the stands, coach from the sidelines or stand behind home plate. Rookie and T-Ball Managers/ Coaches are allowed on the field during play.


    16. Do Not Leave Playing Field/Dugout without Umpire Permission: Managers, coaches, and/or players are only allowed to leave the playing field and/or dugout with an umpire's permission during a game. That individual must return as quickly as possible and is prohibited from mingling in the stands or with spectators. Only players listed on the team roster are permitted in the dugout. Note: No player shall be served at the snack bar during the time the player's team is playing. The player may be removed from the game for this offense (at the umpire's discretion).


  9. PLAYOFFS (See WTLL Playoff Rules Addendum)


    1. A season-ending tournament will be held at the end of the season within “Assessment Divisions” (Farm, Minor & Major). All teams in the division will participate. Tournament will consist of Pool Play, following by Elimination Round.


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