Major League Rules

UpdatedMonday April 23, 2018 byMLL.

2018 Melrose Little League Major League Rules

1. All Major League teams will have a twelve 12 player roster for season (Waiver for 11 player roster was granted by District 12; however MLL BOD voted for 12 player roster in the Majors ).  Any vacancy on the Major League roster must be filled. The manager may select any player age 10, 11 or 12 who tried out and is playing in the minor league. This procedure is worked through the Player Agent. (A league age 12 who remains in the Minors because his parents signed off on the waiver can’t be selected to move up to the Majors).


2. No player may be brought up to the Major Leagues during the last two weeks of the season.  (I suggest a case by case review of this rule in the event of injury(ies).


3. Little League pitch count rules as stated in the rules book will be in effect for the 2018 season.


4. No team can play more than four games in one week or 7 games in 2 weeks.


5. All reasonable efforts should be made to make up rain outs on the first available open date following the rain out.  Consideration may be given to factors such as number of games already played in a week.  However the rescheduling of the game should not be simply deferred to when coaches feel like playing the game.  If possible, rain out games should be scheduled in the order they were postponed.  This will avoid problems at the end of the season.


6. Rain out will be made up on an open day in the schedule, Friday nights or on a Sunday. Major League games have priority over Minor and Federal League games.  Minor and Federal Leagues will be notified of all changes by the Major League Rep. as soon as games are rescheduled.  Make up games take precedent over previously scheduled practices.


7. Players shall play a minimum of 3 innings which shall constitute 3 innings on the field.


8. A starting pitcher may be removed but must stay in the game and meet the minimum play requirements.


9. A continuous batting is in effect for the 2018 season which may be reset for each game.  A pinch runner will not be allowed unless due to injury.  If the player cannot continue to run the substitute runner will be the player who made the last out either from that inning or the previous inning.  In the case of injury, the player may reenter as long as he does not miss his time at bat.  If the player cannot bat he/she must be removed for the remainder of the game.  Any benching for disciplinary reasons or sickness must be reported to the opposing manager, the major league representative, and the umpire prior to the game.  This will be in place for all regular and playoff games.  Playing time is indicated in rule # 8.


10. No food or soda will be allowed in the dugouts.

11. Each team will police the field for loose equipment and trash at the conclusion of every game.


12.       The batting cage will be used by the home team the day of the game on week nights from 515-530 p.m. & the home team will take infield from 530-545 p.m.  The visiting team will take infield from 515-530 p.m. & the visiting team will use the batting cage from 530-545 p.m.

            On Weekends, the home team will take batting practice in the batting cage ½ hour before game time & the home team will take infield 15 minutes before game time.  The visiting team will take infield ½ hour before game time & the visiting team will take batting practice in the batting cage 15 minutes before game time.


13. Two adult coach/manager or one adult & one player are allowed to coach the bases as long as there is an adult present in the dugout.



14. Runner must slide to avoid contact with a fielder “or attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag.”  See 7.08 (a) (3)


15. No head-first slides - runner will be called out.  See 7.08 (a) ( 4 ).


16. PLAYOFFS – See playoff handout for playoff rules.  Seeds 1 & 2 get a BYE in first round; #3 seed plays #6 seed, #4 seed plays #5 seed; higher seed is home team.  Double elimination tournament.




- Little League pitch count rules as stated in the rules book will be in effect for the season.



- Once a pitcher is removed from the mound he/she cannot return as a pitcher in the same game, even if he/she has played another position.


- Pitcher cannot have distracting clothing (no white or gray per green book) or equipment, jewelry, braclets, e.g., no batting glove hanging out of back pocket, etc. Different color batting glove under catching glove is permitted, just not white, grey, or optic yellow permitted.


-Ball is dead when in pitcher’s possession on the mound, (i.e., when the pitcher has possession of the ball on the dirt within a three-foot radius of the rubber) - Runner/s may not advance.  (enforce three foot radius of rubber; not actual pitching rubber)




-Refer to Rule 8.06 D for Manager making defensive player visits. At the manager’s discretion, any and all of his infielders may join the discussion during a visit with the pitcher.


Allow intentional walks by announcing the decision to the umpire rather than throwing four balls. Must be before the first pitch to the batter. Four pitches will be added to the pitch count.



-Maintain scorebook for each game.   Game scores and summaries will be posted on the league website.  It is the responsibility of the winning team to update the game results and pitch count within 24 hours.


-One manager and two coaches may be allowed in the dugout, or in the first or third base coach’s boxes.  One adult-base coach and one player-base coach.


-No one is allowed behind the fence behind home plate.


-No coaches are allowed on the field, except to meet with pitcher, or to tend to an injured player.   See 8.06 also 4.05 of green book.



-All managers/coaches are responsible for team deportment/behavior (see below).


-At the reasonable discretion of either or both coaches spectators may be requested to be removed from the field area if their presence is disruptive to the game.  If a spectator is removed, please notify MLL President & Major League Rep


-Each player must play a minimum of three innings in a six inning game.   Players may be assigned to any field position; this will not affect the standing batting order. 

-Every effort should be made to keep games moving and on schedule, including ensuring that the next batter is prepared to go to bat and that catcher’s equipment is on as close as possible to the end of each inning.


-Both teams using Lewis-Monk or Conant need to ensure that one adult is available to staff the concession stand





-Provide two new baseballs at each game; see League Representative for additional baseballs as needed.  Please do not use game balls for practice.  During a game please replace a ball only if it is wet or dirty enough to make play difficult or unsafe.


-A red First Aid kit will be provided to each field and put in an accessible/visible spot.  If the First Aid kit from the field is used, it should be returned to its original location after the game.


-Ensure that all equipment including umpire gear, bases, are returned to storage shed.


-If bad weather or poor field conditions are a concern, consult with the President and/or Safety Director and the visiting team manager before game time to determine if the game should be called off.  Every effort should be made to call off games by 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 45 minutes before game time on weekends.    Please also let the Major League Representative know about field concerns or cancellations.


-Pay umpire in cash and record their name(s) in your scorebook.  A game should never be cancelled because an umpire did not show up.  Coaches or other Melrose Little League (MLL) personnel should umpire games instead.  See UMPIRE section below.




Entire team must be in dugout unless on the field and playing the game, assigned to coach first or third base, warming up a pitcher, or given another specific game-related assignment by manager.


There is no on-deck circle, no player should ever be allowed to swing a bat except in the batter’s box at home plate.  In addition, no players should be allowed to play catch during the course of a game.  All batters must wear batting helmets.


Players must not wear watches, rings, pins, jewelry, or other metallic items.  See 1.11 (j).


All male players must wear athletic supporters.  Male or female catchers must wear protective equipment (including hard cups for males) as set forth in section 1.17.


All catchers must wear masks including a throat guard in a game or warming up a pitcher. 


Manager is encouraged to assign a player to be a first/third base coach.  Player-coach must wear a batting helmet and cannot have a catching glove.  One base coach must be an adult. 



Umpires will be provided for all games.  Managers/coaches should respect the decisions of the umpire, and make every effort to ensure that players and spectators are equally respectful.  Concerns over an umpire’s decision should be handled discretely.  Under no circumstances should a coach, player, or spectator be allowed to yell at or in any other way intimidate or interfere with an umpire.


Home team pays the umpires in cash at the prevailing rate.  Managers will receive a check from MLL treasurer at the beginning of the season for the number of home games on the schedule.



1st place Manager as of Saturday Memorial Day Weekend, will be Manager of the All Star Team.  The All Star Manager along with the President shall have the final ruling over any player placement issues. 


The process of selecting the eleven to twelve year old all-star players for the all-star team’s roster is done as follows. Each Major League manager nominates candidates from their team, and then voting to decide which players will go on the all-star team is done by all Major League managers. The managers may not vote for their own players.