Minor League Rules

Updated Monday April 23, 2018 by MLL.

2018 Melrose Little League Minor League Rules


  1. Batting Order

1a. Continuous batting order game 1 through 7 .  Beginning first game of second half of season and through all MLL playoff games, Manager may modify batting order prior to each game.

  1. Strike Zone:

2b. The strike zone is from the batter’s knees to the shoulders while the ball crosses home plate.

2c. Bunting: Bunting is allowed.

2d. Infield Fly Rule:  The infield fly rule is not in effect.  During District play, the infield fly rule is in effect.

2e. 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.


Hesseltine Diamond:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Batter hitting a fly ball on or past the cones is a home run.  Determined by the umpire.

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


4a . No leading.  Runner may not leave base before ball crosses home plate.

4b. Stealing 2nd or 3rd base is permitted.  No base advancement on overthrows by catcher during a steal attempt.

4c. The runner must slide or avoid contact with the fielder “or attempt to get around the fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag”.  Runners colliding with fielders will be called out.  If the fielder blocks access to the base, the runner will be given the base.

4d. No head-first slides.  The runner will be called out.

4e. The runner can advance from third base to home on a bad exchange from the catcher to pitcher.

4f. The ball is dead when in the pitcher 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.


5a. No 12-year old may pitch in the minors.

5b. Little League pitch count rules as stated in the Little League Baseball Rulebook will be in effect.

5c.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.

5d. The pitcher cannot wear distracting clothing or equipment, 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. 

5e. MLL will use Rule 6.05 (B2): a third strike does not have to be caught by the catcher in any situation.  Drop 3rd strike is not in play in Minor Division

5f. No Intentional Base-on-balls.

5g. Little League Rule 8.06 is in effect: (President’s note, I’d like to leave this rule in the hard copy of the rules so managers can see it in writing)

A. Manager may not visit a pitcher more than two times in one inning without removing the pitcher;

B. Manager may not visit a pitcher more than three times in any game without removing the pitcher;

C. Manager or coach cannot visit any number of pitchers more than two times during any one player’s at bat.

D. Manager may call time and visit another defensive player, but this will count as a visit to the said pitcher.


6a. Maintain scorebook for each game.  Game scores and summaries will be posted on the league website.  It is the responsibility of both teams to update the game results and pitch count within 24 hours of the end of the game on the MLL website.

6b. One manager and two coaches may be allowed in or near the dugout, or in the first or third base coach’s boxes.  One adult-base coach and/or one player-base coach.  6c. Nobody is allowed behind the fence behind home plate.

6d. No coaches are allowed in the field of play with the exception of meeting with the pitcher or defensive player, or tending to an injured player.

6e. 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.


6f. All players must play a defensive position a minimum of three innings in a six inning game.  Players may be assigned to any position and this does not affect the standing batting order.

6g. Every effort should be made to keep the games moving and on schedule, including ensuring that the next batter is prepared to bat and that catcher’s equipment is on as close as possible to the end of each inning.

6h. No inning will begin after 1 hour and 45 minutes of play.  This must be agreed by both managers and the umpire prior to the start of the next inning. 


7a. Provide two new baseballs at each game; see MLL 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.

7b. 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.

7c. For games played at Lewis Monk or Conant, the home team manager will ensure that at least one adult is available to staff the concession stand.

7d. Ensure that all equipment including umpire gear, bases, and cones are returned to the equipment box or storage shed.

7e. 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 postpone games by 4:30 pm on weekdays and one hour before games on weekends.  Please also let the Minor League Representative know about field concerns or cancellations.

7f. Home team pays the umpire in cash at the prevailing rate and record their name(s) in your scorebook.  Managers will receive a check from MLL treasurer at the beginning of the season for the number of home games on the schedule. 


8a. 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 circumstance should a coach, player, or spectator be allowed to yell at or in any other way intimidate or interfere with an umpire.

8b. The umpire is responsible for calling off a game after it starts.

8c. A game should never be cancelled because an umpire did not show up.  Coaches or other MLL personnel should umpire games when an umpire is not present.


9a. Entire team must be in the dugout unless on the field and playing the game, assigned to coach either first or third base, warming up to pitch or warming up a pitcher, or given any other game-related specific assignment by the manager.

9b. There is no “on-deck circle”.  No player should swing a bat except in the batter’s box at home plate.

9c.All batters must wear batting helmets.

9d. Players must not wear watches, rings, pins, jewelry, or other metallic items.

9e. All male players must wear athletic supporters.  Catchers must wear protective equipment including hard cup for males.

9f. All catchers wear masks, including while warming up a pitcher, including throat guard.

9g. Players coaching first or third base must wear a batting helmet and cannot have a catching glove.


10a. Managers/Coaches will, in conjunction with League Representative, determine frequency of practices based on availability of fields.

10b. Minor League teams will have use of only the Lewis Monk batting cages on Sundays as scheduled.  Major League teams will be using the field for practice at these times. 


11a. 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. 

11b. 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.


12a. All players will play a minimum of 3 innings.

12b. All players bat even if they are not on the playing field (continuous batting order).