Little League Announces Changes to Policies, Rules, and Regulations for the 2011 Season
Little League International, the world’s largest and most-respected youth sports organization, has announced the changes to the Policies, Rules and Regulations for the 2011 season.
The exact wording of the changes will appear in the 2011 rule books, which will become available in the coming weeks.
Below is a synopsis of the significant changes in the divisions noted, as of this date.
(Note: Unless noted otherwise, these changes apply to all divisions of baseball and softball)
Residency Eligibility Requirements: Added language to strengthen the policy, including adding a date of February 1 to establish residence for eligibility.
Regulation I: Added language that would prohibit league president from resigning in an effort to be tournament team coach, after January 1.
Regulation I – Senior League Softball: Added language allowing Senior Softball Divisions to be chartered at the District level. (This change applies to Senior League Softball only.)
Regulation III – Tee Ball: Added language allowing local leagues to accept league-age 4-year-olds, and reduces the maximum age permitted in the Tee Ball Division to league-age 7.
Regulation IV – Major and Junior Softball Divisions: Added language allowing 12-year-old softball players to play in the Major and/or Junior divisions of softball, if drafted at the same time. Requests for league-age 12-year-olds to participate as pool players (to be move up occasionally to the Junior Division) must be approved by the Charter Committee in Williamsport. (This change applies to Major League Division Softball and Junior League Softball only.)
Regulation VI: Added language prohibiting the catcher from pitching if he/she caught in (4) four or more innings. (This change applies to baseball divisions only.)
Regulation VI – Junior and Senior Baseball: Added language to prohibit players from pitching in more than (1) one game in a day if they exceed 30 pitches in the first game. (This change applies to Junior League Baseball and Senior League Baseball only.)
Regulation IX (f): Added language allowing Tournament Teams to participate in Special Games after June 15th.
Regulation XIII: Added language to preclude an individual or league from receiving compensation for requiring players to use or wear a certain item.
Rule 1.07 – Senior and Big League Softball: Added language increasing the pitching distance in Senior League Softball and Big League Softball from 40 feet to 43 feet. (This change applies to Senior League Softball and Big League Softball only.)
Rule 1.10: Added language prohibiting the use of composite bats in the Junior, Senior, and Big League Divisions. Note that the new standard for 2011-2012 will be BBCOR for Junior, Senior and Big League Baseball. (This change applies to Junior League Baseball, Senior League Baseball, and Big League Baseball only.)
Rule 2.00: Added language to the definition of a bunt, mandating that the umpire call a strike when the batter holds the bat in the strike zone when the pitch is delivered, even if the batter does not “offer” at the pitch. (This change applies to softball divisions only.)
Rule 3.03 – Senior League: Added language permitting the use of a designated hitter.
Rule 3.17: Added language allowing the use of electronic devices in the dugout, provided these devices are not used for communication.
Rule 6.09 (b) – Major Division Softball:Added language allowing the batter to become a runner on a dropped third strike. (This change applies to Major League Division Softball only.)
Rule 7.08 (a) (5) – Major Division Softball: Added language allowing runners to leave the base when the pitcher releases the ball. (This change applies to Major League Division Softball only.)
Rule 8.03 (c) – Junior, Senior and Big League Softball: Removed wording that allowed pitchers the ability to “waive” a batter to first base for an intentional walk. All pitches must be thrown. (This change applies to Junior League Softball, Senior League Softball, and Big League Softball only.)
Rule 9.03 (d): Added language allowing local leagues to designate an adult Game Coordinator if an adult umpire is not present at the game.
TOURNAMENT RULES AND GUIDELINES
Tournament Organization – Managers and Coaches: Removed the requirement limiting a tournament team to a manager and one coach if the team had 12 or fewer eligible players in uniform at the game site. Any team, regardless of the number of players on the affidavit or at the game site, is now permitted to have one manager and up to two coaches (provided such manager and coaches are eligible).
Tournament Team Practice: Added wording allowing Tournament Teams to practice with other players in their own chartered Little League, another chartered Little League in their district, or another chartered Little League in a contiguous district.
Selection of Fields: Added wording requiring host leagues for the tournaments beyond the District level to have an approved plan under the “A Safety Awareness Program.”
Curfew: Changes were made to allow a later curfew for all divisions of play.
Rule 4 – Pitching Rules: Removed requirement for protests to be lodged before umpires leave the field and allows the Tournament Committee to take action even when there is no protest.
Rule 9 – Mandatory Play - 9-10 Year Old Division, 10-11 Year Old Division, Little League and Junior League: Remove requirement for protests to be lodged before umpires leave, and allows the Tournament Committee to take action even when there is no protest.
Rule 9 – Mandatory Play – 9-10 Year Old Division, 10-11 Year Old Division, Little League and Junior League: Changes were made to increase the mandatory playing time if a team has 12 or fewer eligible players in uniform at a game.
Rule 13 – Regulation Game: Removed wording requiring games to “revert” to the previous full inning’s score when – after the game reaches the point of a regulation game – the visiting team ties the game or takes the lead, and the game is suspended before the home team completes its at-bat and does not take the lead, and the game cannot be resumed on that same day.
Again, the complete wording of these Policies, Rules and Regulations will be provided in the coming weeks when the rule books are made available.