Minor League Rules

UpdatedTuesday March 30, 2021 byMLL.

Minor League Rules

Melrose Little League will follow the official Little League Rules for play, this document is to outline Melrose Little League policies for Minor League play.

 General Rules of Play

Regular season games time cannot exceed two hours of play. No new full inning can start after 1 hour 45 minutes of play.

Regular season games may end in a tie.

Batting Order

A continuous batting is in effect 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.

For the first ½ of the regular season teams must maintain their batting order picking the order up where it left off the previous game to promote equal plate appearances for each player. 

For the second ½ of the season and the playoffs managers are free to reset their batting order each game.

Defensive Substitution

Free substitution is in effect.

All players must play a minimum of three defensive innings provided he/she is present at the start of the game.



Bunting is allowed.

Infield Fly Rule

The infield fly rule is not in effect.

5 Run Rule

The 5-run maximum per inning for both teams is in effect until the final inning.  If the final inning is not the 6th inning due to time, darkness or weather; both managers and the umpire will determine the final inning prior to the start of the inning.




Base Running/Stealing

Stealing 2nd or 3rd base is permitted the entire season. 

Prior to May 1oth of each season stealing home is not permitted. This includes passed balls, wild pitches, or any exchange between the pitcher and catcher. Catchers may not attempt to pick off runners leading at third base between pitches.

On or after May 10th stealing home is permitted including passed balls, wild pitches, pickoff attempts and exchanges between the pitcher and catcher.  Catchers may attempt to pick off runners leading at third base between pitches.

No base advancement is allowed on overthrows by catcher or misplay by the defense during a steal attempt.

Throws from catchers to pitchers between pitches must be made at reasonable distances as determined by the umpire. 

Dead Ball Rule

Runners may not advance when the pitcher is in possession of the ball on the mound (i.e., when the pitcher has possession of the ball on the dirt within a three-foot radius of the rubber) with the intent to end the play.  Runners advance or return to the closest base based on when the umpire declares the ball dead.

If a pitcher, in possession of the ball on the mound, attempts to make a play before the umpire calls the play dead the ball is still live and runners are free to advance until the pitcher is again in possession of the ball on the mound with the intent to end the play or the umpire declares the ball dead.


No 12-year old may pitch in the minors.

Drop 3rd strike advancement by the batter is NOT allowed in minor league play.

Ground Rules

Conant and Lewis Monk: The umpire will review the field specific ground rules with managers prior to each game.

Hesseltine Diamond:

Prior to the game, home team manager will place cones 200 feet from home plate down the foul line and along the outfield to establish an outfield wall boundary.


Batter hitting a ball that travels on the ground past the outfielder and past the outfield wall cones can get a maximum of two bases.  This is not automatic (i.e. a ground rule double) the runner must earn second base.


Batter hitting a ball in the air that travels over the head of the outfielders; lands on the ground and rolls past the outfield wall cones can get a maximum of three bases.  This is not automatic, and the runner must earn third base.


Batter hitting a fly ball on or past the cones is a home run.  Determined by the umpire.

All Stars- Minor League (Little League International Tournament play is covered in the MLL Constitution)

1st place Manager in each league (American and National) as of Saturday Memorial Day Weekend, will be Manager of their respective leagues All-Star Team.  The All -star Manager along with the President shall have the final ruling over any player placement issues. 

Each Minor 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 Minor League managers. The managers may not vote for their own players.


Any player, coach, volunteer or spectator ejected from a game by the umpire will receive an automatic one game suspension. Additional disciplinary action may be distributed after review of the Executive Board of Directors or the full Board of Directors

MLL - Minor Rules.pdf