2020 LOCAL RULES
The Minor “A” Division is for ages 6 to 9 years old. 6 year olds must try out. 9 years olds must waive down to play at this level. Coach or Machine pitch all year. A safety ball is used the entire season. Games are an extension of practice - low key and non-competitive. Focus is on fundamental skills and sportsmanship. Accordingly, scores and league standings are not kept. Players and parents should expect 2 games and/or 1 practice(s) a week.
1. Team Parents Meeting – A team meeting for the team's parents must be held prior to the team's first practice. The Manager will go over the general league rules and intent, explain how the games will be played and – most importantly – make sure parents volunteer to help!
2. Home team prepares the field: (Rake the infield, base lines and install the bases and pitching machine. Visitor team close up the field and cleans up any garbage or gear left behind.
3. Each game should last 4 innings or no new inning should start after 1.5 hours, whichever comes first. If time permits and both teams’ agree, a 5th inning is encouraged.
4. In the first and second innings, all players will bat, regardless of how many outs are made.
5. All innings played beyond the second will stop after 3 outs are made. If 3 outs are not made after all players have batted, the inning will end.
6. This is a “machine or coach pitch” league. Each year NSLL Board will determine preference of Pitching Machine or Coach Pitch. 2020 NSLL encourages use the “Blue Flame” Pitching Machine for all pitches.
a. Machine Pitch Rules:
i. The Pitching Machine will be set up by the Home team and remain on the field during use.
ii. The speed & strike zone setting must be agreed by both managers.
iii. Changing of the game speed or strike zone should only be done if both managers agree it will enhance play. Any change should occur at the completion of a full inning.
iv. The batter will receive no more than 5 pitches. If a ball has not been hit into fair territory, the batter must hit from a Tee.
b. A coach from the hitting team will administer pitches
i. If a batted or thrown ball strikes the machine or coach it is a “dead ball”. Runners advance to the next base. E.g. The batter runs to first. Runners on base advances one base
c. A player will play the pitcher position. They must start behind the plane of the mound/rubber (either directly behind or to one side, with one foot on the dirt) and may not move until ball crosses the plate.
d. Coach Pitch Rules: It is REQUIRED that coaches pitch from one knee in order to give the players a better sight line on the ball.
i. Each batter will receive no more than 10 pitches. If a ball has not been hit into fair territory the batter must hit from a Tee.
ii. Underhand pitching may be recommended for players after 5 pitches if they are having difficulty hitting an overhand pitch.
7. ONE BAT RULE – Only one player (the batter) should have a bat in their hand at any time. This is the most important safety rule to follow/enforce. The on-deck hitter, and ALL other players, must remain safely behind a fence, on a bench or in a dugout.
8. Base running:
a. On an overthrow to first base, the base runner does not advance to 2nd base.
b. If a hit ball reaches the outfield, the base runner may advance to 2nd, 3rd or home. When the ball is thrown back to the infield, the base runner does not advance further.
9. All players play – To keep the kid’s interest, we encourage all players to be in the field every inning. The outfield should be overloaded, not the infield. This is an instructional league, move players around to all positions, including the pitcher position. Each player should have at least 1 inning in each the outfield and infield. (The “pitcher helper” should be rotated each inning) Safety, should be considered when stationing players at first base.
10. Dugout parents – make sure you enlist parents to act as dugout helpers during the game. They can help keep the lineup moving, and keep the kids focused and cheering the batter.
11. Coaches in the field – it is a good idea to roam the field during the defensive half innings to give coaching advice/tips and interaction with the players. Additionally, it is helpful to position a coach behind the plate to help field passed balls.
12. Lineups – Please organize batting and field lineups before each game and rotate all players to all positions during the season (1st base may be an exception. Keep organized to avoid wasting time determining positions inning to inning.
13. “A” Division games will not be made up if rained out. If it is unusually rainy the A Division may make some games up to insure at least 75% of the scheduled games are played.
14. All managers and coaches are required to attend field trainings and participate in all league trainings/meetings. Failure to do so will impact their ability to coach in the future.
15. Good sportsmanship is required. Note - Noise makers (e.g., horns, cowbells, etc.) will not be permitted.
2019 A – Summary of Changes:
1 NSLL Board Approved – March 5 Rule 3: Added Time limit option of “no inning start after 1.5”
2 NSLL Board Approved – March 5 Rule 6 and 6.a: Introduced Machine Pitch
3 NSLL Board Approved – March 5 Rule 12: Added Coach positioned behind catcher to assist .
2020 A – Summary of Changes:
1 NSLL Board Approved – February 5 Rule 6a3: Batter to receive no more than 5 pitches