This collection of frequently asked questions is specific to rule interpretations for Little League Softball®. If you have a question to add to this FAQ, please email Tom Rawlings, Little League International Director of Umpire Development, at: trawlings@LittleLeague.org.
Yes, See Rule 8.01(g) Approved Ruling 2
These deliveries are illegal pitches and the pitch will be called a ball. If the ball is put into play after the illegal pitch, the offense’s manager may decline the illegal pitch penalty and accept the result of the play. If the batter-runner and all runners advance one base, the play proceeds without reference to the illegal pitch. See Rule 8.05(d) PENALTY
Rule 1.10 requires all Softball bats meet Little League specifications and standards. There is no exception outlined for Tee Ball bats in the Softball Rulebook.
Correct. See Rule 1.11(j).
Laminated bats are not specifically discussed in Rule 1.10 for Softball. The common interpretation is that a laminated bat is not of a one-piece construction and should not be treated as a “wooden” bat. This leads to the requirement (in addition to length, diameter and “smooth, rounded stick”) that the laminated bat have a BPF of 1.20 marking and a non-slip sleeve of at least 10 inches.
Rule 3.03(c) specifies that a pitcher remaining in the game, but moving to a different defensive position, may return as the pitcher only once in the inning the pitcher was removed. For Majors/Minor Divisions, a player removed for a substitute may not re-enter the game as a pitcher. There is an EXCEPTION if the pitcher was not removed from the mound. In the Juniors/Senior Divisions, a pitcher may be removed from the game and re-enter as a pitcher provided this does not violate the substitution, visits per pitcher, or mandatory play rule(s).
Rule 3.01(b) requires that all playing lines, including the eight-foot circle, are marked before the game can begin. Rule 7.08(5)(b) PENALTY requires the eight-foot circle be marked.
Rule 1.15(c) prohibits a pitcher from wearing any item on the pitching hand, wrist, or arm. An EXCEPTION allows the pitcher to wear a single color (black, white, gray, or uniform color) compression sleeve on the pitching arm.
Yes. The seven innings pitched in the morning’s Junior Division game allow this player to pitch for five more innings in a Major Division game later that day. The limit for consideration is that Majors Division pitchers are limited to 12 innings in a day. See Regulation VI(b) Example 3.
Yes. See Rule 8.01(e).
No. Rule 2.00, Crow Hop, defines this illegal delivery. Since the pitcher is dragging the pivot foot as the pitch is released, and not re-planting the pivot foot prior to releasing the pitch, this is a legal delivery.
No. Rule 8.01(s) requires the pivot foot to … “push off and drag away from the pitching plate … while the pivot feet remains in contact with the ground.”
Rule 8.05 PENALTY states that an illegal pitch is a ball to the batter with no award to any runners. However, if a play follows the illegal pitch, the offense’s manager may inform the Plate Umpire of a decision to accept the play and decline the illegal pitch penalty.
- Call “Time.” The ball is immediately dead.
- Point to the offending runner and call her out (whether for leaving her base early or not advancing/returning as required).
- As the umpire calls the runner out, verbalize a short descriptive reason: “Runner left early” or “Runner did not advance immediately.”
- The Plate Umpire will rule “No Pitch” if the ball were delivered to the batter.
- Runners not subject to the violation return to their entitled base.
No. Rule 7.08(5) NOTE 2 requires runners to immediately advance or return when the pitcher has possession of the ball within the eight-foot circle, unless the pitcher is making a play. A play requires a ball, a runner, and a defensive player. A shoulder movement alone does not constitute a play.
Rule 8.05 NOTE 1 specifies that if the ball slips from the pitcher’s hand, the ball remains in play and all runner(s) may advance at their own jeopardy.