A player shall not be permitted to participate in either a practice or a game unless a Little League Baseball Norwalk Little League Medical Release Form has been submitted to the league for the current season. The manager shall retain copies of the form for players on his team. All injuries must be reported to the league immediately and an injury report must be filed.
Prior to the game the hitting tee shall be placed inside the batting cage to eliminate the stigma a player might feel when he/she is unable to hit a pitched ball
Each player shall get 7 swings and misses before using the tee. There are no strikeouts. There are no walks. While this rule has not been strictly enforced in the past, managers/coaches need to realize that continuing to allow an at-bat to continue through 20 plus swings and misses brings the game to a grinding halt and contributes to distinct loss of player focus, especially on the defensive side. The main emphasis is on batters putting the ball in play.
For the initial portion of the season (date set by the commissioner), all managers/coaches shall use a running batting order where all players on the at-bat team have a plate appearance. Batting around is not allowed. Once all players have batted, the half-inning is over. During this initial time period, batters /runners who are put out may remain on the bases as a runner in order to provide an opportunity for the player to continue to work on their base running skills.
For the balance of the season (date set by the commissioner), managers/coaches shall effectively play a variation (based on time) of a three inning game. In all but the last inning, the half inning will end when the defensive team gets three outs. The batting order will resume from the spot in the order where the third out was made. For the final inning, a running batting order shall be used. In all but the last inning, the maximum number of batters is limited to the number of players in the lineup (no batting around). During this time period, batters/runners that are put out may NOT remain on the base paths and must return to the team bench or take their place in the field if the half inning is over. Note that if innings are moving along quickly and there is agreement by managers of both teams, the games can be extended beyond 3 innings. There is no reason to complete a game in 40 minutes. Managers and coaches should make every effort to play as long as possible. In other words, “give the kids their money’s worth.” It is suggested that 1 ½ hour games be played during the week and 2 hour games on the weekends (due to the additional time spent with pitching and catching).
On a ball hit to the outfield, runners may advance until the ball is thrown into the infield. Once the ball reaches the infield, runners must stop.
On a ball hit the infield, runners may advance until the ball is fielded and controlled. No advances on overthrows or missed balls.
All players shall be used in the field for defense. Use extra infielders and outfielders as needed. Please keep player’s abilities in mind when choosing infield positions.
This year we will be attempting to have Minor League write-ups placed in the Norwalk Hour coaches should keep track of which players are mentioned so that all players are mentioned equally. More details to follow including a sample writeup.
Player Pitching and Catching Rules
Beginning in the second half of the season (date set by the commissioner), Saturday games will be augmented with player pitching and catching.
Pitchers are required to pitch from the official 46 foot distance. This is by Little League rule and is necessary to ensure player safety.
Prior to the start of the half-inning, a coach for the batting team shall stand near the pitcher's mound. The player/pitcher may deliver no more than 5 pitches to a given batter. After the 5th pitch, without the batter putting the ball in play, the coach will step in and complete the remainder of the at-bat. A player/pitcher may face a maximum of 4 batters per game. After a pitcher faces his or her 4th batter, a new player/pitcher shall be used. Experience has shown that batters who hit well from coaches may have a difficult time hitting from player pitchers. Do not allow batters to become frustrated. It is suggested that the coach pitch the final inning of the game in order to finish on an "up" note. Also, please keep in mind that some batters may not be ready for player pitching right away, so use coaches to pitch to those players. Please show batters how to get out of the way of a bad pitch (one big difference over coach pitching). The goal here is to keep the game moving, ensuring the batter's safety and maintaining fielder focus.
Managers and coaches need to make an effort to allow ALL players who have both a desire and the ability to pitch to do so. Do not use the same 3 players as pitchers each game.
Catchers need to wear a cup and all protective catching equipment (helmet/mask with throat protector, chest protector, and shin guards)
Managers and coaches need to assign an adult to backup the catcher in order to retrieve missed balls and to keep the game moving.
Catchers may be used during weekday games given that a team has sufficient adult resources to provide a backup and to help the catcher in/out of the gear.
Managers and coaches need to attempt to keep their finger on the "pulse of the game" and make adjustments accordingly; meaning that if the game is dragging and the players are losing interest, on-the-fly changes to speed the game up will be required. Some suggestions: allowing the player-pitcher to throw 3-4 pitches to a batter before the coach pitches or skipping player pitching for a batter or two.
Managers and coaches will notice the positive effect that the 3 out format has in terms of garnering player interest and focus. Please make adjustments accordingly to ensure that player pitching and catching doesn't negate those positive effects.