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RANCHO NIGUEL LITTLE LEAGUE
ADMINISTRATIVE LEAGUE RULES FOR 2015

Updated February 2015

 

 

These rules serve as an addendum to the Little League Official Regulations and Playing Rules, Little League Operating Manual, and Rancho Niguel Little League Constitution. Any modifications to those official rules are covered in this document.
 

I. LEAGUE FORMAT

Division

League Age

Exceptions

Senior

15, 16

14 if requested by parents

Junior

13, 14

 

Intermediate

11, 12

 

AAA

9, 10, 11

12 for safety reasons only

AA

8, 9, 10

11 for safety reasons only

Single A

7, 8

9 if requested by parents

Rookie Ball

6, 7

8 if requested by parents

T-Ball

5, 6

7 if requested by parents

Challenger

6-18

Older if still in school

 

1. Any player born on or after January 1, 2006 who will turn the ages of 4-9 during the 2015 calendar year will be eligible to participate in a local Little League program and will use the new age determination date of December 31 for the remainder of their Little League Baseball career.
 
2. Six-year-olds can play in the Rookie Ball Division if space is available and child demonstrates the skill to play at Rookie level as determined and approved by Rookie League Commissioner.
 
3. The league President on a case-by-case basis may grant other exceptions.

 

II. PLAYERS AND MANAGERS

1. All players wanting to play in the AA division or above must tryout prior to the draft date,except returning Junior or Senior division players. If a player does not tryout, he/she may be placed on the waiting list.
 
2. All managers enter the draft without coaches, except returning Junior or Senior division coaches.
 
3. The rosters of Intermediate division teams should be kept at twelve (12) players during the season. AAA and AA teams may carry fewer than twelve (12) players, but the league will make an effort to maintain teams at twelve (12) players. Replacement players, if needed, are taken from the waiting list, in order of the player's registration date. If there is no waiting list, a player is acquired from a lower division. If the player chosen by the manager declines to move up to the higher division, he must remain in the lower division for the remainder of the year. A team may have only one player moved to a higher division until all teams at the same level have had one player moved to a higher division. Acquisitions from a lower division will be made only when a player leaves the team more than thirty (30) days prior to the commencement of the RNLL playoffs. The Player Agent will manage all player movement, and make final judgments as required.
 
4. If a player misses more than a week of baseball, the manager must report it to their commissioner. If the manager does not report it, the manager will be suspended for the next scheduled game and may be subject to other penalties. The commissioner will then report it to the Board of Directors to determine the next steps.

 

III. PLAYER SELECTION PROCESS

1. Draft Procedures (To be used for AA, AAA and Intermediate)
The managers draw numbers to determine who will select the first player. In an eight-team league, the manager who draws number one makes the following player selections: 1st choice, 16th, 17th, 32nd, 33rd, etc. The manager who draws number two makes the 2nd choice, 15th, 18th, 31st, 34th, etc. This format of selection will continue for managers drawing the 3 through 8 draft positions. The number of new players eligible to be drafted into each division shall be limited. This limit will be set to insure that all returning players from that division, who have registered and gone through tryouts, are re-selected.
 
2. Options on Sons, Daughters and Siblings
 
a. Brothers/Sisters in Draft
When there are two or more siblings in the draft, and they are of the same division age and
ability (determined by the Player Agent), the parents/guardian can request that the siblings be
drafted on the same team. If such an option is submitted by the parent/guardian, and the first
brother or sister is drafted by a manager, that manager automatically drafts the other brother or
sister on the next turn. If there is no parent/guardian request, the manager who drafts the first
brother or sister automatically has an option to draft the other brother or sister on the next turn.
If the manager does not exercise that option, the second sibling is then available to be drafted by any team.
 
b. Draft Rounds for Sons/Daughters of Managers
At the draft meeting, absent agreement among managers as to appropriate rounds for mangers sons/daughters, the league commissioner, player agent, vice-president and president will determine by a majority vote, the rounds which the sons/daughters of managers will be selected. In case of a tie, the Player Agent will cast the deciding vote on the round a player is to be selected. The default rule will comply and conform to the Green Book provisions. In no event shall the mandatory round selection be later than the Green Book rules whereby 12 year olds must be selected by the end of the 3rd round, 11 year olds by the end of the 4th round and 8, 9 and 10 year olds by the end of the 5th round.
 
3. Draft Rounds
 
a. Intermediate, AAA and AA Draft Processes
Players will be selected utilizing a draft process included in the 2015 Little League Operating Manual. Amendments to this draft process may be proposed by the Player Agent or a member of the Board of Directors, to address league parity or other circumstances which impact player safety or well-being. The Board of Directors, by a majority vote, must approve any amendments to the draft process prior to the coordination of league drafts.
 

IV. GENERAL PLAYING RULES

1. The home team is responsible for preparing the field before the game and is also responsible for providing an umpire if needed.
 
2. The home team provides the official scorekeeper. The official score book must be signed by the scorekeeper and both managers.
 
3. The Little League Pledge will be recited prior to each game. Each team will send at least one player to the pitcher's mound to lead the pledge. The Parent Pledge will follow the Little League Pledge and be recited after the Little League Pledge and prior to each game. The Parent's Pledge will be led by the Home Team Manager and/or Coach. The pledge will be recited in the same manner as the Little League Pledge where the parents/fans repeat after the Manager and/or Coach.
 
4. For the intermediate division, no new inning will start after 2.5 hours (150 minutes). All games will be played through 7 full innings or until 2.5 hour time period elapses unless the mercy rule is in effect or a tie game is suspended because of light curfew. If a game ends due to the time limit before the completion of a full inning, then the game score shall revert to the last completed inning. These time limits are subject to change by District 55 in the event of inter-league play.
 
5. For Single A and Rookie divisions, no new inning shall be started after 90 minutes from the time the game started. For T-Ball, no new inning shall be started after one (1) hour from the time the game started. A new inning is deemed to start at the moment the last out of the prior inning was made. In the AA and AAA division, no new inning shall be started after 110 minutes of play from the time the game started on Monday through Friday. On Saturdays in the AA and AAA Divisions, no new inning shall be started after 135 minutes of play from the time the game started. It is the Chief Umpires decision to determine when the designated "last" inning is being played. The umpire must declare last inning for the run limit to be waived and allow teams to bat through the order or make three outs, whichever comes first.
 
6. Little League Rule 3.03 is replaced with the following: Free substitution of players is permitted for all divisions of play. Pitchers once removed from the mound may not return as pitchers in the Intermediate, AAA , and AA divisions. All players must play a minimum of nine (9) defensive outs and must bat at least once. The bottom of the last inning is assumed even if it is not played. If this rule is violated, the player will play the entire game the following game and the manager will be subject to penalties as described in the National Little League rules. A player arriving after the first pitch will be placed at the bottom of the batting order and the minimum playing time will be reduced to three (3) defensive outs.
 
7. All players will be included in the batting order whether or not they are playing a defensive position.
 
8. Inter-league local rules for the Juniors or Seniors for all divisions will control in the event there are any conflicts between those rules and the RNLL local league rules.
 
9. In the event of rain, the Laguna Niguel Parks hotline (362-4351, then press 3) will indicate field availability.
 
10. The Tee Ball, Rookie Ball and Challenger divisions shall use a Level 1 Safety Ball, which has a softcover, during all games and practices. The Single A division shall use a Level 5 Safety Ball.

 

V. SPECIAL PLAYING RULES FOR AA, AAA and INTERMEDIATE DIVISIONS

1. The Mercy Rule shall not apply to AA and AAA divisions as it does in Intermediate division. Instead, there is a five (5) run or "once-through the order" limit per inning, except for the 6th inning, or last inning as designated by the chief umpire. A total of more than five (5) runs may be counted in the 6th inning, or last innings designated by the chief umpire but the teams are still limited to "once-through the order". A total of more than five (5) runs for an inning may be counted in the event of an over-the-fence home run or ground rule double.
 
2. In the Intermediate division during any games designated by the league as “preseason”, the Mercy Rule will not apply. The AAA/AA League run limit rule as listed in Item 1 will apply during "preseason". The Mercy Rule will be in affect during the regular season and playoffs for Intermediate division.
 
3. Stealing home shall not be permitted in AA. A player may not score from any base unless it follows a batted ball or the player is awarded home (e.g. walk, catcher's interference, obstruction, or batter hit by a pitch). An exclusion to this rule, allowing player’s to steal home base, may or may not be enacted by the RNLL Board of Directors at mid season.
 
4. There is no "infield fly" rule in AA.
 
5. In the AA Division, a pitcher must be removed from his/her pitching assignment if they hit three batters with a ball in flight (as opposed to hitting the ground and then the batter) in one inning.
 
6. The AAA Division will play 12 games utilizing Little League AAA rules and play the remainder of games utilizing the Little League AAA Plus rules.
 
7. An Intermediate Division pitcher remaining in the game, but moving to a different position, can return as a pitcher anytime in the game, but only once per game.

 

VI. PITCH COUNT PROCEDURES

1. AA, AAA and Intermediate divisions will follow Little League Green Book rules.
 
2. In AA, pitchers are limited to two (2) innings max per game. One pitch constitutes one inning.
 
3. A Pitch Count Data Sheet in triplicate form will be provided by RNLL and be distributed to all managers in the AA through Seniors Divisions. Extra Pitch Count Data Sheets will also be available in a binder located in the equipment room at La Paz, Crown Valley, Chapparosa and Moulton fields.
 
4. The Pitch Count Data Sheet must be completed and signed by both managers for every game played. One copy of the completed Pitch Count Data Sheet will be retained by each team manager and a third copy is to be placed in the Crown Valley (AAA and AA Divisions), La Paz (Majors Intermediate, Juniors and Seniors Division) or Chapparosa (Juniors and Seniors) equipment room binders at the conclusion of each game. The manager (or his/her designee) of the Home team for each game is required to email the game score and the data from the Pitch Count Data Sheet to the RNLL Webmaster with a copy to the division Commissioner and the opposing team manager.
 
5. Violation of any section of this rule may also subject that offending manager or coach to disciplinary action(s), including, without limitation: (a) forfeiture of eligibility to coach or manage an all-star team; (b) suspension from one (1) week of play, which shall consist of no less than one (1) practice and two (2) games; and (c) publication of the disciplinary action and the grounds therefore to all managers of the division and every parent of the team affected.

 

VII. UMPIRE REQUIREMENTS FOR AA, AAA, AND INTERMEDIATE

1. Each team will be responsible for fulfilling 12 points during the season - 6 points before spring break and 6 points following spring break. The managers will be responsible for their 6 points being on the schedule by a specific date for each half:
 
The consequences of failing to schedule the minimum number umpiring points in the first half of season may result in manager being removed from managerial duties until his team's 6 points are scheduled. In addition, if a team has not fulfilled their 12 point requirement for the season, the manager may not be allowed to manage his team for any RNLL playoff games.
 

VIII. STANDINGS AND PLAYOFFS

1. Local Rules for the "regular season" will be in effect for all RNLL playoff tournaments and games.
 
2. Unless modified, due to inter-league play the first four (4) of five (5) games of the season for the AA, and AAA divisions will be considered "preseason" and no standings will be kept. Depending on scheduling issues and coordination with District 55 for Intermediate division play, there may also be a number of games designated as preseason which will not count toward standings.
 
3. Games rained out in "preseason" will not necessarily be made up. Games rained out during
the "regular season" shall be made up at the earliest opportunity as agreed upon by the division Commissioner, Player Agent, Scheduling Director and both managers. The "preseason" games may be made up if agreed upon by both managers and coordinated with the division Commissioner and the Scheduling Director.
 
4. Playoffs for the AA, AAA, and Intermediate divisions will consist of a double elimination tournament. Playoffs for AA, AAA, and Intermediate divisions will utilize Little League Baseball and Softball Tournament Brackets
 
 
5. The seeding of teams for AA, AAA and Intermediate divisions will be determined by the
League Scheduling Director in conjunction with the Division Commissioner. Teams will be seeded according to their won-loss record. In case of ties, the higher seed will be determined through head-to-head record. When teams are tied in head-to-head competition, the team with the fewer runs scored against will be the higher seed. If a tie still remains, a coin flip will determine the seeding.
 
6. For all playoff games, the "home" and "visitor" status shall be determined by allowing the team
with the higher seed to choose either home or visitor. Once the higher seed makes its choice to
be home or visitor, the manager must notify the opposing team, commissioner, and scheduler as
soon as possible and no later than 8pm the night before the game. The home team shall have
field prep responsibility as during the regular season.
 
7. Tournament of Champions:
 
a. Intermediate and AAA Divisions: Two (2) teams from the Intermediate division and two (2) teams from the AAA division will represent RNLL in the District 55 Tournament of Champions. The 1st place teams during the "regular season" will be allowed to decide whether they want to represent RNLL as RN1 or RN2. The playoff champions for each division will represent RNLL as the second RNLL TOC participant. If the playoff champion(s) is/are also the 1st place team(s) during the "regular season", then the 2nd place team(s) during the playoffs will be the second team for TOC.
 
b. Seniors and Juniors Divisions: For the Seniors and Juniors divisions, the 1st and 2nd place teams in playoffs will represent RNLL in the District 55 Tournament of Champions. The 1st place teams in playoffs will be allowed to decide whether they want to represent RNLL as RN1 or RN2.
 

IX. ALL STAR SELECTION

 

1. Six (6) all-star teams may be selected:

Seniors Division

Ages 14-16

No less than 12 players.

Managed by Seniors Manager or Coach

Juniors Division

Ages 13-14

No less than 12 players.

Managed by Juniors Manager or Coach

Intermediate

Ages 11-12

No less than 12 players.

Managed by Intermediate Manager or Coach

Intermediate 11 Year Old

(if offered by District 55)

Age 11

No less than 12 players.

Managed by Intermediate Manager or Coach

9 & 10-Year-Old

Ages 9-10

No less than 12 players.

Managed by AAA Manager or Coach

8/9 Year Old Superstars

(if offered by District 55)

Ages 8-9

No less than 12 players.

Managed by AAA or AA Manager or Coach

 

2. The players for each team are selected as follows:
 
a. A Board approved ballot for the Intermediate team, the 11 year-old Intermediate team, the 9&10 year-old team, and the 8/9 year-old Superstars team will be compiled from the following: Each player and parent in the respective Divisions will vote on deserving All-Star representatives from their teams. The top three parent and player selections for each team will placed on the preliminary ballot. The managers will also submit their own selections to be placed on the preliminary ballot. For the Intermediate team and 11 Year Old Intermediate Team, each Intermediate manager selects three (3) (up to four (4) if deserving) 11year old players and 3 or 4 deserving12-year-old players to be placed on the preliminary ballot immediately following the last "regular season" game. Eleven (11) year old players in the AAA division are not eligible for the 11-Year-Old Intermediate team. For the 9 & 10-Year-Old team, each AAA manager selects three (3) (up to four (4) if deserving) 9 or 10-year-old players for the preliminary ballot immediately. Nine (9) year-old and 10-year-old players in the AA division are not eligible for the 9 & 10 year-old team . The 8/9 Year Old Superstar team may be composed of players aged 8 or 9 who played either AA or AAA. Fourteen (14) year-old players in the Seniors division are not eligible for the Juniors team.
 
b. Each player placed on the ballot should be nominated based upon their playing ability, eligibility and availability for All Star practices and games. Each player and their parents will be required to sign an All Star Commitment letter.
 
c. The Board will review the preliminary ballots and discuss any additions or deletions from the list. A Board approved ballot with the names of players in that division is given to the Player Agent and each manager. For Seniors and Juniors, all players are on the ballot due to the small number of teams.
 
d. The Player Agent conducts a meeting with all managers from the Seniors, Juniors, Majors and AAA divisions. Managers or coaches designated by the manager and approved by the Player Agent must attend. A manager that fails to provide a representative from their team to attend and vote may result in the removal of players from their team from the All Star ballot.
 
e. Each manager is given a few minutes to discuss players on his/her team.
 
f. Each manager votes for up to twelve (12) players. AAA managers may not vote for players on his/her own team.
 
g. The President and the Player Agent count ballots prior to the announcement date, as determined by Little League National Headquarters.
 
h. No less than twelve (12) players with the most votes and available to participate are selected for each team, subject to Board approval.
 
i. Current RNLL managers and coaches will be eligible to become a manager for RNLL All-Star teams. Managers and coaches in AAA are eligible to manage the 9/10 and the 8/9 year-old All-Star teams. Managers and coaches in Intermediate Division are eligible to manage the 11 Year Old Intermediate or the 12 year old Intermediate All-Star teams. The Board of Director's selection committee will make the selection of the All-Star team manager. The selection committee will be made up of the president, player agent, division commissioner and chief umpire. Criteria used for selection will be behavior, attitude, leadership and performance throughout the entire season. In making this selection the committee will consider final team standings, but the selection will not be based solely on team performance. Interested managers & coaches must submit a letter to their division commissioner indicating their interest. All letters must be received by the second Friday in May. The selection committee will interview all candidates and forward their selection to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will make final approval of all managers. The approved manager will select his coaches with final approval by the Board of Directors.
 
3. Statistics in Intermediate, AAA and AA divisions will be kept for the "regular season" to aid in All Star selection. The only required offensive statistics are On Base Percentage (OBP) and strike outs (K) as a percentage of plate appearances. On Base Percentage is defined to include reaching base as a result of a hit, walk, error, fielder's choice or being hit by a pitch. To determine strike outs as a percentage of total plate appearances, appearances are defined as any appearance at the plate that results in a hit, walk, error, fielder's choice, strike out, out or being hit by a pitch. The only required defensive statistics relate to pitchers. The following pitching statistics will be kept: (i) total number of strike outs versus walks, (ii) the ratio of strike outs to walks, (iii) the total pitches thrown and (iv) the total innings pitched. Other statistics may be kept by a manager and discussed during All-Star selection, but are not required.
 
4. All-Stars will not be selected solely based upon the statistics referenced above. In addition toanalysis of these statistics, all-star selection will be based upon the following criteria: The ball players' demonstrated performance as it relates to fielding ground balls and fly balls, hitting, throwing arm strength and speed; versatility (able to play several positions); and attitude - which includes mental make-up, maturity, discipline, commitment to the sport, work ethic during practices and games, game knowledge and willingness to cooperate.

 

SUMMARY OF SIGNIFICANT CHANGES

 

2014

  1. Replaced Majors Division with Intermediate Division rules and guidelines.
  2. Mandated “spring training” as four games for AA, AAA, and Intermediate divisions.
  3. Added new “8/9 Year-Old All Star Team.”
  4. Standardized tournament brackets by utilizing Little League Approved materials.
  5. Directed tournament seeding authority to Scheduling Director in combination with the Division Commissioner.
  6. Established game time limit for Intermediate division at 2.5 hours (150 minutes).
  7. Re-formatted Administrative League Rules document.

 

2012

  1. Managers must report to their Commissioners if a player misses more than a week of baseball.
  2. Adopted a substitute Little League Player Selection System in Majors and AAA to determinethe draft order of a manager's child.
  3. Umpire requirements for each team along with the penalties to the manager.
  4. Modified determination of "home" or "visitors" status for all playoff games such that higher seed will be allowed to choose either home or visitor.
  5. Modified TOC selection for AAA and Majors divisions such that 1st place teams during regular seasons will be allowed to decide whether they want to represent RNLL as RN1 or RN2.
  6. Modified TOC selection for Juniors and Seniors divisions such that 1st place teams in playoffs will be allowed to decide whether they want to represent RNLL as RN1 or RN2.

 

2011

  1. Modified Little League rule 3.03.
  2. Modified preseason mercy rules in Majors.

 

2010

1. Modified Little League rule 3.03.
2. Modified preseason mercy rules in Majors.

 

2009
  1. a. Modified AAA Playoff format for six(6) teams
  2. b. Modified Pitch Count Reporting responsibilities for Home team manager
  3. c. Selected National Little League Pitching Rule Option (1)

 

2008

  1. Implemented a new Modified Plan A Player Selection System.
  2. Modified Playoff Format for AA (new seeding format) and AAA/Majors (double elimation format).
  3. Modified All-Star Selection Process using parent and player input.
  4. Modified All-Star Selection Process to allow 11 yr-olds to play on Tournament Team
  5. Modified Local T-Ball rules to incorporate 5-on-5 or 6-on-6 simultaneous games being played on one field

 

2007

  1. Six-year-olds can play in the Rookie Ball Division only if they played Tee ball during the 2006 season.
  2. Adopted local pitch count rule for AA, AAA and Majors divisions, which is stricter than Little League Regulation VI.
  3. Modified Tournament of Champions selection for AAA and Majors divisions such that 1st place teams during regular seasons will represent RNLL as first seeded teams.
  4. Decreased number of players on each all-star team to no less than 12 players.

 

2006

  1. Modified playoff format for AA division to best 2 of 3 format for the final playoff round.
  2. Modified playoff format for AA division to a double elimination format.
  3. Six-year-olds can play in the Rookie Ball Division even if they did not play Tee ball during the 2005 season.
  4. Adopted local pitch count rule for AA, AAA and Majors divisions.
  5. Increased number of players on each all-star team to no less than 13 players.

 

2005 

  1. Modified playoff format to accommodate six teams in Majors and incorporate best 2 out of 3 format.
  2. Changed "spring training" season to first five (5) games in Majors to accommodate six-team division.
  3. Added changes to minimum defensive outs for players arriving late.
  4. Changed maximum number of pitcher innings for AA to 2 innings per game.
  5. Modified minimum number of players on AA and AAA teams to less than 12.

 

2004

  1. Changed the minimum number of innings in Majors before application of the Mercy Rule from 3 to 4 innings.
  2. Instituted standings for the last fourteen games (2/3rds) of the season for AA, AAA, and Majors.
  3. Changed name for "Lower Single A" (LSA) to "Rookie Ball" and "Upper Single A: (USA) to "Single A."
  4. Added an all-star team for the "11 Year Old" All Star Tournament per decision of District 55.
  5. Changed method in which player names are placed on All Star ballots.
  6. Eliminated the 9/10 Year Old Tournament Team per decision of District 55.
  7. Modified the method of seeding the playoff tournament.
  8. Eliminated the applicability of tournament rules during playoffs.

 

2003

  1. Removed the rule pertaining to a pitcher hitting two batters in one inning. Applies only to AA.
  2. Eliminated the Infield Fly rule for AA.
  3. Changed the playoff format.
  4. Only one 9/10 all-star team, per District 55 decision.
  5. All-star manager has no arbitrary picks. All team members voted by division managers in secret ballot.
  6. Clarified rule IV.4 (3 inning pitching limitation in Minors).

 

2002
  1. LSA (now, Rookie Ball) and Upper Single A (now Single A) divisions are changed from machine pitch to coach pitch.This means that 6-yr-olds who have one-year experience with T-ball can play LSA.
  2. Juniors will send two teams to TOC.
  3. Change the process by which all-star managers are selected.
  4. In AA, allow 2 adult base coaches, but only if an adult is also in the dugout.
  5. In AA, limit weeknight games such that no new inning can be started after 8:00 p.m.
  6. In Majors, allow the all-star manager 3 selections, versus 5.

 

2001

  1. The Tee Ball Division is extended to include league-age 5-yr-olds.
  2. Due to previous oversight, the rules for Tee Ball and Lower Single A (LSA) were modified to specify the use of a SafetyBall (soft cover) during games and practices.
  3. The annual draft procedure for the Majors Division was modified. Beginning in the year 2001 the entire Major division will be redrafted every year according to Plan B on page 60 of the 1999 Little League Operating Manual. This means that returning Major players must now participate in the annual tryout.
  4. Clarified the process for determining home and visitor assignments in the tournament bracket.