Frequently Answered Questions Please take a moment to review this page. We hope that most questions parents have can be answered here.
1. What rules does Little League use to play?
MSJLL plays under a set of rules published by Little League International out of Williamsport, PA. The rules are based on the Official Baseball Rules (OBR) used by Major League Baseball (MLB) with some changes for the safety of younger players and adaptations to play the game on fields with bases 60 feet apart versus 90 feet apart.
In addition, each Little League publishes their local ground rules. Most of these center on how the minor division and below will play their games.
2. What are the differences between Little League rules and Divisional rules?
Little League rules are those rules to which we are strictly bound. Little League rules are strictly adhered to at the Majors level of play. Each year Little League publishes updated rules that are well founded in history and are focused at every kid getting a chance to play Little League. Divisional rules are those rules adopted by the MSJLL Board to enhance the game for the players. The divisional rules generally apply to the Minors and lower levels. Divisional rules are posted on the MSJLL website and are voted on each year.
3. Are there time limits on games?
Majors and above do not have a time limit for games. Minors and below have recommended time limits. However, an official shortened game can be called on account of darkness if 4 innings are completed in Majors and below and 5 innings are completed in Intermediate and above (if tied, it should be continued another day). Your manager can provide more specifics once the season starts.
4. Are there any rules around minimum playing time?
Rules vary by division regarding playing time.
- T-ball—All players play in the field and all players bat each inning.
- Farm—Continuous batting order (no offensive substitutions, every player is on the batting lineup even if they don't play the field that inning) with 10 fielders. Each player gets at least one at bat and three defensive innings where at least one inning is in the infield and one inning in the outfield.
- Minor—Continuous batting order with 9 fielders on defense. Each player gets at least one at bat and three defensive innings where at least one inning is in the infield and one inning in the outfield.
- Majors--Continuous batting order with 9 fielders on defense. Each player gets at least one at bat and three innings in the field.
- Intermediate and above—9 players in the batting order with substitutions and 9 fielders on defense. Each player gets at least one at bat and two defensive innings.
Note: Any player who arrives after the start of the game is not required to get minimum play at the manager's discretion. MSJLL has the rules printed and displayed in each score booth as well as in the clubhouse
5. If my child is unable to attend practice, will he/she still get to play in the game?
As stated above, Little League requires that all players play a minimum of three innings in the field and get a minimum of one time at bat. However, it is very important that your child attend as many of the practices as possible so that he/she can continue to improve their skills while also working with the other players to learn to play as a team. In the Minor Division and above, the team’s discipline plan will decide the playing time for excessive missed practices. Ultimately, time of play, as well as position of play, is determined by each team's manager.
6. What happens during pre-game warm ups?
Pre-game warm up periods for players will vary by manager but generally players are expected to arrive anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes prior to game start times. Managers are expected to complete the safety checklist and provide their lineup prior to the game start time. Half an hour before game time, the visiting team may take the infield for official warm-ups for 10 minutes. Then the home team takes the field for 10 minutes. Approximately 10 minutes prior to start time, the home plate meeting with umpire and managers takes place so the game can start on time.