This collection of frequently asked questions is specific to Little League Rule 3.00 – Game Preliminaries. If you have a question to add to these FAQs, please email Tom Rawlings, Little League International Director of Umpire Development, at: trawlings@LittleLeague.org.
The manager is responsible for adhering to all mandatory play requirements. It is a good practice for the umpire to be aware of players that appear on the lineup card who have not been entered into the game.
A courtesy runner can only run for the pitcher and catcher with two (2) outs. A special pinch runner can run for any offensive player. A courtesy runner is a local league option game management tool designed to allow the catcher and pitcher of record to be run for with two outs in their offensive half inning. The courtesy runner also allows greater participation in the game. A special pinch runner also affords greater participation in a game. The special pinch runner allows any player to be run for one time per game by any player who is not in the current batting line-up.
When the plate umpire is informed of the change, the pitcher has assumed the position of pitcher. If the change is not reported to the plate umpire, the pitcher has assumed the position of pitcher when the player toes the pitcher’s plate and delivers a warm-up pitch to the catcher.
The pitch count is 40 pitches to remain eligible to play the position of catcher. If the pitcher reaches the 40 pitch count limit while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch, and maintain their eligibility to play the position of catcher for the remainder of the day, until one of the following occurs: 1. That batter reaches base 2. That batter is retired 3. The third out is made to complete the half inning or the game. The pitcher would be allowed to play the position of catcher provided the pitcher is moved, removed, or the game is completed before delivering a pitcher to another batter.
Yes. Remember that the pitcher or catcher for whom the courtesy runner is running for must still fulfill the requirement for that game. When a courtesy runner enters the game, this is NOT a substitution and the player being run for is not removed from the game. If the player meets the “running the bases portion” of the at-bat later in the game, there is no limitation.
Adults are not to be performing tasks that can be done by players. Little League games are for the children, which is why a player not in the lineup is designated to warmup the pitcher, while the catcher is preparing to return to the field.
Electronic scoring or pitching devices can be used in the dugout. While electronic devices for pitch counting, scoring the game, and reviewing the playing rules are allowed within the boundaries of the field, the devices may distract the base coaches from live ball action. This is potentially dangerous and is not allowed.
We can reasonably expect that the adult base coaches will be paying attention. We want to be sure that the youth are protected as much as possible.
Yes. These players are permitted to be in the dugout and should be in uniform. They are not permitted to be on the field of play (they cannot be a base coach). An injured player may be in the dugout and should be in as much uniform as the injury allows. The injured player may take part in pre-game introductions and pledges, but must not take part in pre-game warmups or take any part in the game, such as retrieving bats or warming up teammates at the break in the half-innings.
Yes. Rule 9.01(f) permits the umpire to suspend play and place both team in the dugouts until the unruly fan(s) is dealt with by a local league board member.
If using continuous batting order the courtesy runner must be the player who made the last out.
The umpire should stop this behavior. It could be a warning or possible ejection. Whatever the umpire decides needs to be reported to the League President.