American Division

In the American Division a higher level of game understanding and ability is taught. Competition as it relates to winning and losing is introduced at this level. Winning and losing remain secondary to the essential goal of teaching each player to embrace success or failure with grace and to learn from both. Primary goals are to give players as much experience and playing time as possible and encouragement of ongoing development for all players in all phases of the game. This important developmental division provides a relatively even but not necessarily equal distribution of playing time among players. American includes player pitch, scoring and umpiring. Note that coach-pitch is used in this division in certain situations (see local rules below).

Unless specified below, play follows all rules and regulations outlined in the Little League 2018 Official Regulations and Playing Rules Softball and Baseball books for the Minor Leagues.

LOCAL RULES:

Baseball:

Modified Coach Pitch

  • Once 4 balls are thrown, the offensive coach comes in to pitch
  • No Stealing when the coach is pitching
  • When the coach comes in to pitch, the number of strikes continues from where the pitcher left off
  • When the coach comes in to pitch, he/she must be positioned at least 35 feet from home plate in line with the pitching rubber (the line will be marked at each field)
  • When the coach comes in to pitch, the pitcher must play within 6 feet of the rubber on either side
  • Batter either puts ball into play or strikes out
  • No Bunting when coach is pitching

Bunting

  • Two successful bunts are allowed per inning – i.e., put in to play
  • A foul bunt/tip does not count as a bunt

Stealing

  • 2 steals per inning, at own risk, while the pitcher is pitching
  • If 2 players steal at the same time, then that counts as the 2 steals for the inning
  • No stealing home on passed balls

Game- Time Limits

  • There are no game-time limits.
  • If the Umpire/coaches decide that a game should be stopped after 4 innings have been played, “the last inning” must be declared before the top of the inning has started. Otherwise, please refer to 2018 LL rule book.

Runs

  • Maximum 5 runs allowed per inning, except in last inning

Catcher Throw

  • No Advancing an extra base on an overthrown ball from the catcher on a steal –  for example, catcher to 2nd or 3rd to throw out a stealing runner
  • After a bunt, ball is live and would follow “overthrows on live balls”

Overthrows on Live Ball

  • Base Runner may advance, at their own risk, one base on an overthrow by a defensive player, when ball is live – for example, if players continue to throw the ball around, runners may advance 1 base per overthrow (this would allow a runner to score if a ball was overthrown to third base)

Mercy Rule

  • Team is winning by more than 10 runs after the team that is behind has batted 4 times

Number of Players in Field

  • 9 players maximum in the field, but game can be played with 8 players
  • If game starts with 9 players and a player is lost during the game due to illness or injury, their spot in the batting order is considered an automatic out
  • If the game starts with 8 players, there are no automatic outs

Batting

  • All players on the team’s roster bat in order
  • If a player shows up to the field once the first pitch of the game has been thrown, they are placed on the roster in the last batting position

Softball:

Modified Coach Pitch

  • Once 4 balls are thrown, the offensive coach comes in to pitch
  • No Stealing when the coach is pitching
  • When the coach comes in to pitch, the number of strikes continues from where the pitcher left off
  • Batter either puts ball in to play or strikes out
  • No Bunting when coach is pitching

Bunting

  • Two successful bunts are allowed per inning – i.e., put into play
  • A foul bunt/tip does not count as a bunt

Stealing

  • 2 steals per inning, at own risk, while the pitcher is pitching
  • If 2 players steal at the same time, then that counts as the 2 steals for the inning
  • No stealing home on passed balls

Pitching

  • Pitchers are allowed to pitch 4 innings, then require 1 day of rest

Game-Time Limits

  • There are no game time limits.
  • If the Umpire/coaches decide that a game should be stopped after 4 innings have been played, “the last inning” must be declared before the top of the inning has started. Otherwise, please refer to 2016 LL rule book.

Runs

  • 5 runs per inning, except in last inning

Catcher Throw

  • No Advancing an extra base on an overthrown ball from the catcher on a steal

Overthrows on Live Ball

  • Base Runner may advance, at their own risk, one base on an overthrow by a defensive player, when ball is live

Mercy Rule

  • Team is winning by more than 10 runs after the team that is behind has batted 4 times

Number of Players in Field

  • 9 players maximum in the field, but game can be played with 8 players
  • If game starts with 9 players and a player is lost during the game due to illness or injury, their spot in the batting order is considered an automatic out
  • If the game starts with 8 players, there are no automatic outs

Batting

  • All players on the team’s roster bat in order
  • If a player shows up to the field once the first pitch of the game has been thrown, they are placed on the roster in the last batting position.