Game/Playing Rules


Playing rules as specified in the official Little League, Inc. rule book for the current season shall govern the conduct of all games except as noted herein. Only nine defensive players allowed on the field, and only 9 spots are allowed in the batting order. No extra hitter (EH) or designated hitter (DH) is permitted.


Umpires are obliged to start games on time. Teams that arrive early for the game shall have equitable on-field warm up time not to extend beyond the official starting time. Teams that arrive after the official starting time shall have no on-field warm up time and are expected to start the game as quickly as possible.

Prior to all Bay State Baseball games, the managers and umpires should have a meeting at home plate, requiring managers to clarify pitching eligibility for the game. This should include pitching for both teams and eliminate any possible violations during the game.


3.1 Every player listed on a particular GAME roster and ready to play MUST play a minimum of 3 complete innings including at least one time plate appearance.

A. Complete” means, that players who have not played in the first three innings MUST be entered into the opposing coach’s and/or the official scorer’s score book before the first pitch of the fourth inning and play in the entire fourth, fifth and sixth innings.

B. Players must play their three complete innings (defined as playing the top and bottom of the same inning) during the first six innings of a game.

C. “Complete” also means that a player entering the game for the first time, on offense or defense, during an incomplete inning shall complete the inning and then be required to play at least the following three complete innings.

Example 1:
BILL enters the game for the first time as a pinch hitter after the second inning has started. BILL must play the remainder of the second inning and then at least all of the third, fourth and fifth innings.

Example 2:
JIM enters the game for the first time as a substitute fielder (maybe as a right fielder or a relief pitcher) after the third inning has started. Jim must play the remainder of the third inning and then all of the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Unless a batter is the ‘pinch-hitter’ to start the top half of an inning they must play 3 FULL innings in addition to the one they ‘pinch-hit’ for; should they not finish out the full inning, it does not count as an official inning played.

Example 3 (Suggested):
This is the 3-3 substitution strategy for platooning players. PETER plays for 3 innings. He is therefore guaranteed to have his one at-bat and his 3 defensive innings. BRIAN substitutes for Peter at the top of the 4
th inning.

3.2 Should a player be removed from the game before completing their playing requirements for injury or illness, the opposing coach must be informed of such. Thus, if said player recovers sufficiently later in the game, and can still fulfill his/her playing requirements, he/she may return to the game. He/she cannot return to the game if they would, in the course of a normal game, be unable to fulfill said playing requirements

3.3 There will be no special or free pinch runners allowed. Once a player comes in as a pinch runner, he/she is now officially in (or back in) the game and must comply with the substitution rules listed herein.


4.1 Any player, be it a starter or a substitute, may re-enter the game one time only.

4.2 A RE-ENTERING PLAYER for a STARTING PLAYER: A player in the starting lineup who has been removed for a substitute for any reason may re-enter the game for another starting player, in any position in the batting order, provided the substitute (that entered for the starting player about to re-enter): 1) shall have batted at least once before the re-entering player comes to bat and 2) shall have played defensively for a minimum of 6 outs.

Example 4:
BILL is a starter and has been removed from the lineup for the substitute ED. The game has progressed and ED has played in the field for 6
defensive outs but has yet to bat. His team, however, is about to come to bat, and ED will be second up and followed by Joe, a starter. The coach now has his first opportunity to put BILL back into the lineup. Since ED (a substitute) must bat before BILL can re-enter the game, BILL can substitute for Joe or any other starter in the lineup after ED.

Example 5:
BILL is a starter and has been removed from the lineup for the substitute ED. ED bats in an inning before he has been in the field for 6
defensive outs. BILL is only eligible to enter the game for any starter as soon as ED has his 6 defensive outs.

Example 6 (Suggested):
This is the “2-2-2” substitution strategy to allow 3 players to play 4 innings. PETER and STEVE start the game. At the top of the 3
rd inning, BILL substitutes into the game for PETER. Assuming that BILL bats in the 3rd or 4th innings, PETER substitutes in for STEVE at the top of the 5th inning. PETER must bat once in the game.

4.3 A RE-ENTERING PLAYER for a SUBSTITUTE PLAYER: A starter or substitute may re-enter the game after being removed for a substitute if the substitute has played three complete innings and has fulfilled rest/batting order rules. See 4.0 SUBSTITUTIONS, 4.1.A, B, C for the definition of “complete”.


Bay State Baseball has adopted the USA Baseball Pitch Smart pitch count guidelines, which are covered below.


Daily Pitch Max

Rest Days

Rest Days

Rest Days

Rest Days

Rest Days

0 Days

1 Day

2 Days

3 Days

4 Days















5.1 Pitching Eligibility rules continue without change from one round of games just finished to the next round of games about to start.

5.2 A violation of the Pitching Eligibility Rules constitutes a forfeit of the game in which the violation took place.

5.3 The withdrawal of an ineligible pitcher after that pitcher is announced, or after a subsequent pitch is delivered, but before the player has pitched a ball to a batter, shall not be considered a violation. The new pitcher must pitch to at least one batter, to completion, upon entrance.

5.4 No player will be allowed to pitch in two separate games on the same calendar day.

5.5 Players cannot pitch on three consecutive days, regardless of previous pitch totals.

5.6 A “Calendar day” is defined as a full day on the calendar in which a player is ineligible to pitch. It does not mean that a player can rest for 24 hours and then be eligible (ie – pitch in the morning on Saturday and the afternoon/evening on Sunday). The sole exception is detailed in 11.0 OFFICIAL GAMES; 11.2.

5.7 A batter/runner may advance on a dropped third strike at the A and B Division levels, but not at the C or D levels.

5.8 Intentional walks shall be automatic. If a team wishes to walk a given batter, the manager shall call time out and notify the plate umpire. The batter will automatically be awarded first base. This may be done at any point during the at-bat and any pitches not thrown will not count towards a pitcher’s pitch count.

5.9 Any baseball-defined 10-year old pitching in the B Division will be governed by the Pitch Smart guidelines for his/her age group and can throw up to 75 pitches in a day.

  1. Pitchers may exceed their daily max limit (75 or 85) in order to complete an active at-bat. In addition, if a pitcher begins an at-bat under any pitch count threshold (i.e. under 50 pitches), they will be permitted to complete the active at-bat and then be credited with pitching only the pitch count threshold (i.e. 50 pitches) which they passed in the at-bat provided they are removed immediately following said at-bat.

5.11 Any pitcher removed from his/her position as pitcher may not pitch again in the same game.

5.12 The winning team shall be required to enter all pitching information into the website (including all pitchers from BOTH teams). It is advisable that teams confer during games to ensure all pitch count totals are accurate.


A pitcher MUST be removed from the mound on the second trip to the mound by any coach during an inning or on the third trip to the mound by any coach during a game. A “trip” is defined in the following manner:

1. Any time an umpire calls time out so that any of the coaches may confer with the pitcher either at the mound or along the foul line.

2. Any time an umpire calls time out so that any of the coaches may confer with any player who subsequently confers with the pitcher before the pitcher delivers another pitch.


All bats MUST be in compliance with current USA Baseball guidelines. Metal and composite bats must have the USA Baseball Stamp of approval. Wood bats must meet USA Baseball specifications. An illegal bat MUST be removed from the game immediately when discovered by an umpire.

7.1 The batter using an illegal bat shall be called out on appeal. The opposing manager may request that the umpire inspect any bats in use during the game.

7.2 No advancement on the bases will be allowed and any out or outs made during a play involving an illegal bat shall stand.

7.3 Slash bunting is allowed (i.e. it is not illegal) and will not be penalized by Bay State Baseball. No side deals will be allowed between coaches.


8.1 A runner MUST avoid a collision with a fielder by attempting to get by the fielder to include sliding.

8.2 If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner deliberately collides with a fielder, the runner shall be ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct and will serve a one-game suspension.

8.3 Fielder obstruction, in the opinion of the umpire, while a runner is trying to avoid a collision is reason to call a runner safe.

8.4 Head-first slides are not allowed (except when returning to a base) and the offending runner shall be called out. Any unintentional stumble/trip, as deemed by the umpire, which results in a runner entering a base headfirst shall not be subject to this rule and its’ penalties.


9.1 The first time the mercy rule can be considered is after 3-1/2 innings.

9.2 If at the beginning of, or at any time during, the bottom half of the 4th or 5th inning the HOME TEAM is leading by at least 10 runs, the game is AUTOMATICALLY ended.

9.3 If the VISITING TEAM is leading by at least 10 runs at the end of 3-1/2, 4-1/2 or 5-1/2 innings, the game continues, and the inning is completed. If at the end of the 4th or 5th inning the VISITING TEAM is leading by at least 10 runs, the game is AUTOMATICALLY ended.


10.1 Games which are shortened by either rain or darkness shall have the score revert back to the last complete inning and declared official if at least 3-1/2 innings have been played with the home team ahead or 4 innings if the visiting team is ahead. The only exception to the rule will be in the event that the home team either ties or takes the lead in the bottom half of an inning which is not completed. In this case (where each team has had an equal number of times at bat) the score shall not revert to the last complete inning, but instead shall stand as played.

10.2 If a game must be called off before the first inning can be completed, the game shall be considered no game, as if the game had never started. All records of the game are dropped, including pitchers and innings pitched. The pitchers are eligible to pitch on the same day or the next day.

10.3 If a game must be called off after the completion of the first inning but before it is an official game, the game shall resume from the point it had to stop with teams continuing with the same batting lineup, or as close as possible. The pitching rules continue without change - see: 6.0. PITCHING.

10.4 During the Tournament of Champions round at all levels, should a game be stopped after starting but has yet to complete an inning, the game will be suspended and the pitchers of record will be allowed to pitch the following day (assuming they have eligibility remaining). Stoppage of games for weather-related reasons once the game has begun will be done by the umpire in charge; the Bay State official in attendance will determine how long the wait to resume will be before restarting, or suspending said game(s).

10.5 When lightning is seen prior to the start of a game, the home team decides how long to wait before starting; if lightning is seen during a game, it is the umpire’s decision to suspend the game. The delay must last at least 15 minutes (or local rule, whichever is greater) after the last lightning sighting before restarting. Home team and umpire(s) should use best judgment in making any decision to potentially postpone game.


11.1 If the score is tied after six innings, play shall continue into extra innings until there is a winner. Local curfew rules (re; lights, start of an inning), are to be followed.

11.2 All playing rules MUST be followed in extra inning games including pitching rules.

11.3 If the umpire must call an official game, as per rule 11.1, and the score is tied, the game shall be considered a tie game.

11.4 Tie games, as per rule 11.1, shall be considered final and the teams shall share the available points for said game.

11.5 Trophy Weekend or Tournament of Champions games cannot end in a tie and must be played to conclusion, or as specified in 11.1. Games may be suspended and finished at a later time/date if time allows. If not possible, use tie-breakers to determine winners.


12.1 A maximum of four adults shall be allowed on the bench during the game; one manager, two coaches and a scorer.

12.2 Adult coaches shall be allowed in the baseline coaches’ boxes. Players are also allowed in the coaching box but must wear helmets when doing so.



A. The manager should immediately notify the home plate umpire of the protest.

B. The game stops. The manager should clearly explain his basis for the protest, with the Bay State and/or Little League rule book present to reference the claim. Failure to have a copy of either present will not disqualify the protest but presence of such may speed resolution of protest.

C. The Division Commissioner or his representative resolves the protest before the game continues.

D. The decision is final.


A. The manager should immediately notify the home plate umpire of the protest. The game stops. The manager should clearly explain his basis for the protest, with the Bay State and/or Little League rule book present to reference the claim. Failure to have a copy of either present will not disqualify the protest but presence of such may speed resolution of protest.

B. The complete and detailed status of the game at the point of protest shall be recorded in the home team’s scorebook and signed by the umpire. The game then continues as the umpire rules.

C. Within 48 hours, the protester should contact the Division Commissioner, or, if not available, a member of the Board of Directors, to develop an acceptable written protest.

D. The Division Commissioner shall resolve the protest, assisted by members of the Board of Directors, if needed.

E. The decision is final.



  1. Each team must have a home field available. Exceptions may be considered on a per-case basis.
  2. If fenced outfield, the distance must be at least 200 feet, preferably more. Unfenced fields will be allowed. Bay State Baseball reserves the right to visit a proposed field prior to entrance into the A Division.
  3. Portable pitching mounds and ‘skin’ fields allowed.


  1. 50-foot pitching distance and 70-foot base paths are in use.
  2. Full baseball rules in use, including runners leading off bases, runners sliding into bases head-first, pitchers pitching from the stretch position, balks and runner/batter advancement on dropped third strikes.
  3. Balks will be called following Major League rules. There will be no warnings given to pitchers.


15.1 Coaches are responsible for the conduct of their players, parents and themselves.

15.2 There shall be no smoking or chewing of tobacco, drinking alcohol or using unlawful substances by anyone on the field and at the team benches.

15.3 If a manager wants to bench a player during a game for disciplinary reasons, he must inform the opposing manager, and he shall also inform the Division Commissioner before the player is eligible to play again.

15.4 If a manager, coach or player is ejected by an umpire or BSBTOC official, they shall leave the field immediately and take no further part in the game. An ejected participant cannot be in sight or hearing distance of the on-going game once ejected and he/she shall not be in attendance at the following game(s) due to suspension (see 16.5). In the event a player is ejected, it is required of the manager to provide responsible supervision off-premises for the ejected player.

15.5 If a manager, coach or player is ejected by an umpire or BSBTOC official:

A. First time* - The person shall not take part in the next scheduled game. There is no appeal.

B. Second time - The person shall not take part in any games scheduled over the next seven days. An appeal may be made.

C. Third time - The person is suspended for the entire season. An appeal may be made.

*Note: Any manager/coach suspended for a game must vacate the premises of said game no later than 30 minutes before the scheduled start time. A violation of this will incur the next level of penalty, a seven-day suspension. Further violation(s) will be subject to additional penalties, to be determined by the Bay State Board of Directors.

15.6 No player shall be allowed to harass opposing players or coaches. Such action shall be cause for ejection.

15.7 Any manager or coach who repeatedly harasses umpires shall be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Directors.

15.8Any team whose parents are abusive to either the umpires, a BSBTOC official or the opposing team shall face disciplinary action by the Board of Directors to include the disqualification of the team for or in the TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS ROUND.

15.9 No disciplinary action shall be taken unless there is a meeting of a disciplinary committee appointed by the president along with all interested parties. Failure of an interested party to attend a “disciplinary action meeting”, after having been notified, shall not delay any disciplinary action which might be taken by the board as a result of the meeting.

15.10 Any coach suspended/ejected by an official from a game is ineligible to coach at any Bay State Baseball League game at any level until the next contest at the same level he/she was suspended for has/have been completed.

15.11 Processes for reporting ejections - Both managers/coaches involved are required to report any ejection (manager, coach, player or spectator) to their division director and enter it onto the Bay State web site. The umpire involved is required to report the ejection to the umpire-in-chief.

15.12 All organizations shall be reviewed at the end of the season by the Board of Directors.