These rules are modifications for enabling fair and instructive play within the T-Ball Division while trying to make the first couple of years a fun experience. As such, these rules take precedent over the Little League Official Regulations and Playing Rules. T-Ball is considered developmental. Therefore, the 2 coaches should meet before the game to discuss the rules so they may be tailored to suit the playing age of the children. The focus needs to be on development and fun.
Who Can Play?
Open to all 4 year olds by April 30 of the playing year through age 6
From a distance of approximately 20 feet, a Coach may pitch 3 balls to their own players. If the player does not put the ball into play after the third pitch, the plate Coach will place the ball on a tee. The batter will swing as many attempts needed to get a hit.
Batters cannot strike out.
No stealing is allowed
A total of 5 Adult Coaches are allowed on the field. Coaches are not allowed to touch the ball or player at any time while the ball is in play.
2 within the coaches’ boxes and 1 base coach behind 2nd base.
1 Batting Coach is allowed on the field to place a ball on the batting tee. And 1 Coach is designated as the pitcher.
3 Defensive Coaches are allowed on the playing field. These coaches must be positioned in the outfield. They are not allowed to touch the ball or player at any time while the ball is in play.
3 game balls will be in the possession of the Pitching Coach when the play begins with their half of the inning. The Batting Coach (On the Offensive Team) will retrieve each missed ball.
If the ball is not put into play after 3 pitches, the Batting Coach (On the Offensive Team) will bring the tee into play and place one of the balls on the tee to be hit. The batter will then get as many swings necessary to place the ball into play. The Batting Coach will return all balls to the Pitch Coach.
Other Specific Rules
Time Limit: Six (6) innings or 50 minute time limit. No inning can start after 50 minutes; drop dead time is 60 minutes. Teams will not finish the inning.
Batting Order: Each team must bat the entire roster in a specific order (Continuous Order). Only six players or half of the batting order will bat each inning, then the team that was batting will play defense. Then in the next inning, the next six players or remaining half will bat. In essence, each team should bat half of their players every inning. If a team bats out of order, that team will restore the correct order immediately and without any penalty.
Outs: Offensive players can be put out by the defensive team. Once a player is put out, he should be removed from the playing field and directed back to the bench (unless otherwise discussed before the game). We want the children to understand outs, but sometimes there is a need to develop their base running skills.
Changing Sides: The only time teams will change sides is after the Offensive Team has batted half of their order. Outs made by the defensive team will only remove players. Therefore, even if the defensive team makes 3 outs, the offensive team will continue to bat the rest of the players until half of their entire order has batted.
Players: Every player will play defense each inning. The league encourages the Coaches to move players to different positions. However, do not place the players in positions that they cannot handle – due to injury considerations. The infield shall be the standard number of players with all extra players being placed in the outfield.
Dead Ball: The ball is considered dead once a player has returned the ball to the infield (the area in side of the base paths) and a defensive player has (in the coaches’ opinion) control of the ball. Once the ball is declared dead, no runner may advance farther than the last base reached.
Run Limit: The Offensive Team can score as many runs as are allowed while batting only half of their order (roster).
Over Throws: A runner may advance (at their own risk) one base and only one base on an over-throw, regardless of where the over-throw occurred or where the ball ended up.
Bat Throwing: If a bat is thrown and hits the fence, player, coach or umpire, the player should be counseled by their coach. No Exceptions.
Missed Bases: There are no appeals allowed on missed bases. A missed base shall only be called by the coach, in which case, the runner must return to the missed base.
Last at bat of the Inning: When a team has their last batter of the inning up to bat, the Dead Ball rule shall NOT apply to his/her at bat. (Example: The 6th batter or batter that represents half the order hits a single to the short stop. The short stop gets the ball under control. The batter and all runners will circle the bases.)