El Cajon Western Little League: Rules

2012 Bat Rules

Rule 1.10 - Baseball - The bat must be a baseball bat which meets Little League specifications and standards as noted in this rule. It shall be a smooth, rounded stick and made of wood or of material and color tested and proved acceptable to Little League standards.

Little League (Majors) and below: it shall not be more than thirty-three (33) inches in length nor more than two and one-quarter (2¼) inches in diameter. Non-wood bats shall be labeled with a BPF (bat performance factor) of 1.15 or less; EXCEPTION: For the 2011-2012 Little League (Majors) and below, for regular season play and Tournament, composite bats are prohibited unless approved by Little League International.

A list of approved and licensed composite bats can be found on the Little League website at www.littleleague.org.

Junior League: it shall not be more than 34 inches in length; nor more than 2 5/8 inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen-sixteenths (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30”) at its smallest part. All composite bats shall meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) performance standard, and such bats shall be so labeled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark. The certification mark shall be rectangular, a minimum of a half-inch on each side and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting color.

Senior/Big League: it shall not be more than 36 inches in length, nor more than 2 5/8 inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen-sixteenths (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30”) at its smallest part. The bat shall not weigh, numerically, more than three ounces less than the length of the bat (e.g., a 33-inch-long bat cannot weigh less than 30 ounces). All bats not made of a single piece of wood shall meet the Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) performance standard, and such bats shall be so labeled with a silkscreen or other permanent certification mark. The certification mark shall be rectangular, a minimum of a half-inch on each side and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting color. Aluminum and composite bats shall be marked as to their material makeup being aluminum or composite. This marking shall be silkscreen or other permanent certification mark, a minimum of one-half-inch on each side and located on the barrel of the bat in any contrasting color.

In all divisions, wood bats may be taped or fitted with a sleeve for a distance not exceeding sixteen (16) inches (18 inches for Junior/Senior/Big League baseball) from the small end. A non-wood bat must have a grip of cork, tape or composition material, and must extend a minimum of 10 inches from the small end. Slippery tape or similar material is prohibited.

NOTE 1: Junior/Senior/Big League: The 2 3/4 inch in diameter bat is not allowed in any division.

NOTE 2: The traditional batting donut is not permissible

NOTE 3: The bat may carry the mark “Little League Tee Ball.”

NOTE 4: Non-wood bats may develop dents from time to time. Bats that cannot pass through the approved Little League bat ring for the appropriate division must be removed from play. The 2¼ inch bat ring must be used for bats in the Tee Ball, Minor League and Little League Baseball divisions. The 2 5/8 inch bat ring must be used for bats in the Junior, Senior and Big League divisions of baseball.

NOTE 5: An illegal bat must be removed. Any bat that has been altered shall be removed from play. Penalty – See Rule – 6.06 (d).

Rule 2.00 Definition of Illegal Bat
Illegal Bat – An Illegal bat is a bat that has been altered or a bat that is not approved for play because it does not meet specifications with regard to length, weight, barrel diameter, labeling or performance standard for the division in which it is used.

Rule 6.06 – Baseball - The batter is out for illegal action when –
(d) The batter enters the batter’s box with an illegal bat (see bat specifications Rule 1.10) or is discovered having used an illegal bat.
Note: If the infraction is discovered before the next pitch following the turn at bat of the player who used an illegal bat -

  1. The manager of the defense may advise the plate umpire of a decision to decline the penalty and accept the play. Such election shall be made immediately at the end of the play.
  2. For the first violation, the offensive team will lose one eligible adult base coach for the duration of the game.
  3. For the second violation, the manager of the team will be ejected from the game. Any subsequent violation will result in the newly designated manager being ejected.

Continuous Batting Order Rule

4.04 -- The batting order shall be followed throughout the game unless a player is substituted for another. Substitutes must take the place of the replaced player's position in the batting order except as covered in Rule 3.03. A league may adopt a policy of a continuous batting order that will include all players on the team roster present for the game batting in order. If this option is adopted, each player would be required to bat in his/her respective spot in the batting order. However, a player may be entered and/or re-entered defensively into the game anytime provided he/she meets the requirements of mandatory play. 

NOTE 1: The continuous batting order is mandatory for all Tee Ball and Minor League Divisions.  

NOTE 2: For the Tee Ball and Minor League Division (and when the continuous batting order is adopted for other divisions) when a child is injured, becomes ill or must leave the game site after the start of the game the team will skip over him/her when his/her time at bat comes up without penalty. If the injured, ill or absent player returns he/she is merely inserted into their original spot in the batting order and the game continues. Also, if a child arrives late to a game site and if the manager chooses to enter him/her in the lineup (See Rule 4.01 NOTE) he/she would be added to the end of the current lineup.  

Note 3: With CBO you don't have to play 6 consecutive outs as with 3.03 but you still have to play 6 outs but not necessary to have them 6 consecutive. 

Note 4: Also using the CBO there is no SPR (Special Pinch Runner) because everyone is in the batting order.


It is not a charged conference if the manager or coach talks to the pitcher between innings, during the pitcher's warmup throws. If the manager remains with the pitcher after the allowed one minute or after the 8th throw, a conference is charged.

A manager or coach is considered to have concluded his visit to the mound when he leaves the 18-foot circle surrounding the pitcher's rubber. When the manager or coach leaves the 18-foot circle, he must keep going and not return to the mound.

If the catcher or any other player goes to the dugout and then immediately to the mound, it will be considered a visit to the mound by the manager.

If the manager or coach goes to the catcher or infielder and that player then goes to the mound (or the pitcher goes to the infielder at his position) before there is an intervening play (a pitch or other play), that will be the same as the manager or coach going to the mound.

In Little League®, if the manager calls time and meets with any defensive player, it is a charged visit.

If the defense meets when the offense calls time, it is not a visit if they break up immediately after the offense breaks up.

It is not a charged offensive time out if they meet when the defense called time, provided they break up when the defense ends their conference.


If a runner is hit by a batted ball he is out and no judgment of intent is required unless he is hit by a deflected ball, or the ball has already passed all infielders, in which case the umpire must decide if he intended to be hit to interfere, obstruct, impede, hinder or confuse the defense.

A runner must avoid a fielder attempting to field a BATTED BALL. If he does not he is guilty. He may run out of the baseline, if necessary, if the fielder is fielding a batted ball. This is a fairly easy call. Rule 7.09(j) and 7.08(b). The fielder's protection begins the moment the ball is hit. That protection continues as he completes his initial play. His protection ends if he misplays the batted ball and has to move to recover it. Contact with the fielder is not necessary for interference to be called.

The runner is out when hit by a batted ball before it passes an infielder. (Rule 5.09(f) and 7.08(f) and 7.09(k)). If it passes one infielder and another fielder who is on the outfield side of the basepath had a possible play on the ball, the runner could still be called out. This is a judgment by the umpire. The pitcher is not considered an infielder for this rule. If the ball passes the pitcher, and the runner is hit before the ball passes through or by an infielder, the runner is out. The runner is expected to avoid the ball. The interpretation to be made with regard to the phrase "a fair ball goes through, or by, an infielder, and touches a runner immediately back of him" (Official Baseball Rules 7.09(k) and 5.09(f)) is that this refers to a ball that passes through the infielder's legs, or by his immediate vicinity, and strikes a runner directly behind the infielder.

If a runner is hit by a FAIR batted ball while he is in FAIR territory he is out with the above exceptions. This includes while he is standing on a base. The bases are in FAIR territory. If he is hit in fair territory, while on the base, before the ball has passed an infielder, he is out, except if he is hit by an infield-fly.

When a runner is called out for being hit by a fair batted ball, the batter gets first base. All other runners remain at the base they held at the time of the pitch, unless forced to advance by the batter being awarded first base.

Dropped Third Strike

When a third strike is called, or is swung at and missed and the catcher does not make a legal catch, the batter may attempt to reach first base if it is unoccupied when there are less than 2 outs, or even when it is occupied when there are 2 outs. Occupied means it was occupied at the time of the pitch. The fact that the runner attempts to steal does not make the base unoccupied. Time of pitch is defined as the moment the pitcher starts his windup or commits to a pitch to the plate.
To be legally caught the ball must be caught in-flight. This means if the catcher catches the ball cleanly on a bounce it is NOT a legal catch. Rule 2.00 BALL casebook.
Rule 6.09(b) Comment: A batter who does not realize his situation on a third strike not caught, and who is not in the process of running to first base, shall be declared out once he leaves the dirt circle surrounding home plate.
If the bases are loaded with 2 out and the catcher does not make a legal catch of a third strike, a force play goes into effect because the batter has now become a runner. The catcher may step on home plate to force out the runner from third or tag the batter or throw to any other base.
In Little League® Majors and Minors (9 - 12) the batter is out on any third strike and may not attempt first base.
Rule 6.09(b)

TAG - Legal tag of the base by a fielder

When a fielder tags a base to put a runner out on a force or appeal, he may touch the base with ANY part of his body. If he has the ball in his throwing hand he may touch the base with his glove, foot, knee, elbow, hair, nose, tongue or ANY part of his body. To put out a runner while the runner is not on a base, the runner must be tagged with the ball as stated below.

Rule 2.00 TAG - A TAG is the action of a fielder in touching a base with his body while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove; or touching a runner with the ball, or with his hand or glove holding the ball, while holding the ball securely and firmly in his hand or glove.


INTERFERENCE is an act by the team at bat (notice it says "TEAM") which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play.
There are instances where the runner or batter are given some latitude. A runner is not out when hit by a deflected batted ball, unless the umpire judges the runner intentionally was hit to hinder a play. A runner is not out for being hit with a thrown ball unless the act was intentional. The batter is not expected to evaporate while in the batter's box. If he could not reasonably avoid a play because he just swung or ducked a pitch, he is safe. He can be called for interference while inside the batter's box.

  1. There are no "safety zones" on the field.
    The batter's box, the coach's box, the running lane, the dugout and the base path are not automatic safety zones. An offensive team member MAY be called out for interference in some situations while occupying any of these spaces.
    The offensive team is NEVER allowed to interfere with the defensive team's ability to make a play. In most instances the umpire is required to make a judgment. Sometimes judgment of intent is required. Sometimes an act is clearly defined by the rules and no judgment is necessary.
  2. The ball is dead immediately in most cases. There are some exceptions. If the umpire or the batter interfere with the catcher attempting to make a throw to retire a runner, the ball is delayed dead. If the runner is put out, the interference is ignored.
  3. Members of the offense must vacate any space necessary to allow the defensive player to make a play. This includes the batter's box, the coach's box, the dugout and the base path on a batted ball. See also Interference
  • BATTER's BOX - The batter MAY be charged with interference even though he is within the batter's box. This is a judgment call. In most cases he is given the benefit of doubt. However, if the ump judges that he intentionally interfered with a play or did not try to avoid interfering when he could have, he can be called out even though he is in the box. He IS considered safe when he is within the box when touched by his own batted ball. He is considered to be in the box if one foot is touching the ground within the box when he is touched. Rule 6.06(c)
  • COACH's BOX - The coach's box must be vacated if a player needs that space to make a play. If the coach interferes with a player attempting to catch a foul-fly in the coach's box, the batter is out and the ball is dead. No runners may advance or score.
  • RUNNING LANE - A runner is not free from interference while in the lane, nor automatically guilty when out of the lane. If he is out of the lane he is in serious jeopardy of being called for interference, but it is not automatic. The rule states that he is out when out of the lane AND causes interference. If he is in the lane he could still cause interference, but it would have to be something obviously intentional (like grabbing the fielder's arm or glove, or deliberately touching a thrown ball). If the catcher does not make a throw because the runner is outside the lane; this is not interference. Interference with a thrown ball must be intentional. Like, deliberately making contact with it. Or in this case if the runner is hit by the throw while outside the lane. Rule 6.05(k)
  • DUGOUT - Unless local ground rules define the dugout as a dead ball area, a player may enter the dugout to make a catch. If it's his own dugout, he can be held and prevented from falling by his own teammates, while attempting the catch. If he makes a catch and his momentum takes him into the dugout, the ball is live and he can make another play. If he falls down after a catch, or drops the ball after a catch, in an attempt to make a throw, the ball is dead and all runners are awarded one base from the time of the pitch.
  • BASE PATH - The base path belongs to the runner EXCEPT when a fielder is in the path attempting to field a batted ball or when a fielder is in the path and in possession of the ball. After a runner has been put out (typically on a force play at second) he has NO rights to the base path. If R1 is put out at second by a long distance, he must duck or get out of the path. If he is hit with the throw while in the path, or makes contact with the fielder who is in the act of throwing, while on his feet, he is guilty. Rule 7.08(b), 7.09(L)

Appeals and the proper procedure

If time has NOT been called by the umpire an appeal may be made by the defense in any of the following ways;

  1. by touching the runner whom they believe committed a base running infraction (missed base or left before catch);
  2. or by touching the base they believe was missed while the runner was advancing;
  3. or by touching the original base that a runner left before a fly ball was caught.

In all cases a verbal appeal must be made to the umpire or an act that is unmistakably an appeal. Accidentally touching a base that was missed is not an appeal. A throw to a base to catch a runner who has not retouched is unmistakably an appeal.
Appeals must be made before the next pitch or play. If time has been called (or the ball is dead for any other reason. HR or foul ball etc.) and the defense makes an appeal, the umpire should say "put the ball in play and appeal again." Since no runner may advance or be put out while the ball is dead, this is not a play and the defense has not lost their right to appeal after the ball is put in play. The appeal itself is not a play. A fake throw to hold a runner is not a play. A balk committed during an appeal is a play. Plays that occur during continuous action after an infraction do not cancel the defenses right to appeal.
The defense loses their right to appeal when any of the following actions occur:

  1. The throw to a base made in an appeal attempt goes into dead ball territory.
  2. A balk is committed before or as part of an appeal attempt.
  3. A pitch is made to the batter.
  4. A play is made that is not part of continuous action.

Calling time prior to making an appeal does not cause the defense to lose their right to appeal. The ball must be put back in play by the pitcher stepping on the rubber with the ball and the umpire stating "Play." Then the appeal may be made.

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