Sponsored By:   F.H. Construction Corporation
Littleton, Massachusetts
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Rookie Baseball Rules
Revised May 2014



General Rules:

  • Games must start promptly at the scheduled game time (teams should arrive at least 15 minutes early, to ensure an adequate warm-up period).  If less than 6 players are present at the scheduled game time, then a 15-minute grace period will be granted.  The game will then begin immediately when the 6 player minimum is reached.
  • No forfeits, if a team does not have 6 players consider borrowing a player from the other team.
  • Coaches or approved individuals will serve as base coaches.  A player should not be used as a base coach.
  • There are no umpires so coaches make calls. The 1st base coach makes calls at 1st base; pitching machine coach make calls at 2nd base; and 3rd base coach make call at 3rd, and home plate coach will call balls/strikes during live pitching and plays at the plate.
  • A new inning is not permitted to start after 7:30 pm.   The coaches have the discretion to call a game prior to this time due to darkness or other safety concerns. 
  • No player will be allowed to sit on the bench for more than one inning (consecutively). The coach must rotate the players into the game every inning.
  • There will be ten players allowed on the field defensively.  While the pitching machine is in use, one player will be allowed to be to the side of the pitching machine behind the pitching machine coach, and one extra outfielders will be permitted. These will be the only locations in which the extra fielders will be allowed.  The pitcher shall not move in front of the pitching machine/screen prior to the batter making contact with the ball.
  • Balks will not be called.
  • Bunting is not allowed.
  • The infield fly rule will NOT be used.

Hitting/ Base-running:

  • All players will bat regardless of whether they played in the field in the previous inning.  
  • No leading off or stealing bases is permitted.  Players may leave their bases once the batter has made contact with the ball.
  • There is no restriction on the number of bases a player is allowed to take on a batted ball.
  • In the event of an overthrow which goes out of the field of play, the base runners are entitled to one additional base. The coaches should agree prior to the start of the game as to the out of play lines. During the game, the base coaches are the only ones who can determine if the ball is out of play and additional bases should be awarded.
  • On an overthrow which remains in the field of play, the runners may advance at their own risk.  
  • Play will stop when a player in the infield, receiving a throw from the outfield or fielding a ball and having no play, is in possession of the ball and makes no attempt to throw a runner out. Runners more than half way to a base may take the base; otherwise must go back to previous base. The base coaches has final ruling in this instance.
  • When pitching machine is used, a maximum of six runs may be scored by each team in an inning. As the sixth run crosses home plate, the inning ends.  
  • During the two innings pitched by players, maximum of three runs may be scored by each team per inning.  
  • When the pitching machine is in use, any batted ball coming into contact with the machine or protective screen, as a result of the hit or deflection from the player positioned at the mound, is considered a ground rule single (i.e., play is dead, batter automatically gets first base, all runners advance one base).  
  • When the pitching machine is in use, each batter will receive a maximum of five pitches.  If the batter fouls off the 5th pitch the at-bat will continue until either 1) the ball is hit in to fair territory, or 2) the batters gets an out which would include a batter swinging and missing on his 5th pitch.   Note: Walks are only given during player pitched innings.
  • The pitching machine coach will have the authority to rule that the pitching machine is throwing un-hittable balls, whereupon the machine will be adjusted and those pitches will not be counted.  The batter will receive his/hers five good pitches.  This is not an invitation to give players extra pitches.  This rule exists to encourage players to swing the bat.  The pitching machine coach has final ruling on this.
  • Hit batters take first base only during live pitching
  • Pinch runners are not allowed except in the case of an injury.  
  • No Head First slides will be allowed. A runner cannot intentionally collide with a fielder trying to make the play at the base. The home plate coach will have the authority to call the runner out if, in the coach’s opinion there was an intentional collision.

. Pitching:

  • During innings 1 – 4 all pitching will be done with a pitching machine. During innings 5 & 6 players will pitch starting about half way through the season. In the event of unavailability of a machine, a coach or other adult will pitch. The coach or adult must pitch from the rubber on the pitcher′s mound.
  • Players who will pitch during games must have demonstrated the appropriate control of the ball and ability to throw strikes during practice as judged by the coaching staff – at no point should a player who has not pitched in practice be brought in to pitch during a game
  • No pitcher may pitch more than two innings in a calendar week (Monday through Sunday), (including reschedules and makeup games). If pitcher delivers one pitch in an inning, he is charged with one inning pitched. Pitcher must have at least one full day of rest if he/she has pitched two innings during the previous game (e.g., can’t pitch on Thursday of pitched 2 innings on Wednesday).  
  • Coach may make as many trips to the mound as desired, but please use discretion.  We do not want to slow down the game too much.
  • Free substitutions are allowed with the exception of the pitcher. Once a pitcher is removed, he/she may play at any other position, but may not pitch again in that game.  
  • Intentional walks are not allowed.  
  • If any pitcher hits two batters at any time during a game, that pitcher will be removed from the mound, replaced, and will not be allowed to pitch again during that game. 
  • The normal position for player pitchers is from the rubber on the pitcher’s mound, located 42' from home plate. The pitching machine will be placed approximately 46′ from home plate during the innings it is used. 

General Safety:


  • On-Deck Batters are not permitted.  There are too many kids running around and someone will get injured.
  • Catcher must wear catcher's helmet, mask, long model chest protector, shin guards and protective cup with athletic supporter at all times (males) for all practices and games. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Pitching screens should be used at all times during Rookie League games when the pitching machine is in effect.
  • Only Coaches should run and feed pitching machines.
  • Baserunners, 1st baseman, 3rd baseman and pitcher (during pitching machine) are required to wear helmets.  A pitcher during kids pitch may elect to remove helmet.