Little League Pitching Rules in 2019: An Easy to Understand Guide

Baseball is one of the most popular bat and ball games in the world. It first originated in America but eventually became popular all over the world.

The game is played between two teams composed of nine players each. Each of these teams then takes turns for batting and fielding and the team with the highest score, in the end, wins the game.

It is an exciting game, which has reeled in millions of players and supporters.

Now, Baseball is officially huge and there are plenty of organizations that promote it.

One such popular organization is known as the Little League Baseball Inc., which organizes and encourages children to participate and play Baseball, all over the world.

What is Little League Baseball Inc.?

Little League Baseball and Softball, officially known as the Little League Baseball Inc. is a 501 non-profit organization based in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, US.

The organization exists to organize local youth baseball and softball leagues for children between 4 to 16 years of age throughout the United States and the rest of the world.

It was first established in the year 1939 by Carl Stotz as a three-team league and has now grown into an international organization with over 180,000 teams participating worldwide. As of now, Little League Baseball Inc. is the largest organization that organizes youth sport in the world.

Little League now organizes 9 events every year, including its most popular event known as the Little League Baseball World Series, which is held every year in the month of August in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Local and regional tournaments are organized in the United States and rest of the world that leads the winning teams to the World Series.

With Courage, Character, and Loyalty as the organization’s motto, Little League encourages youth children to participate in various sports league held by the organization. Little League has a carefully designed age group division which allows them to be eligible to the sports and leagues in that age criteria.

Many popular senior baseball players have first played in the Little League tournaments and then climbed the ranks of the senior baseball division. In simple words, playing in the Little League baseball tournaments will increase the chances of recognition in the major baseball league.

Little League Pitching Rules in 2019

Little League rules for pitching

In any Little League Baseball game, the eligibility of a player to pitch is determined by a tiered pitch count which is directly related to the number of pitches thrown in a game.

This pitch count also determines the number of days a player needs to rest before he or she can pitch again in a Little League game.

In any case, the pitching rules in a regular season of Little League for Baseball are explained in detail below.

  • Any player on a regular-season team is allowed to pitch and there is no limit to the number of pitchers a team may use. However, any player who has already played the position of a Catcher in four or more innings in a game is not allowed to pitch on that particular day.
  • A pitcher who has been removed from the mound cannot return as a pitcher. However, for Intermediate (50-70), Junior, Senior League Divisions only, a pitcher remaining in the game, but moving to a different position can return as a pitcher anytime in the rest of the game, but can only do so once per game.

Moreover, any player who has played the position of Catcher for three innings or less in a game and moves to the pitcher position, and delivers 21 pitches or more in the same day (31 pitches or more for players aged 15 and 16 years), cannot return to the Catcher position on that particular day.

Exception for the above case include, if the pitcher reaches the 20 pitch limit (30 pitch limit for 15 and 16 years old) while facing a batter, the pitcher is allowed to continue to pitch and also maintain their eligibility to return to the Catcher position until and unless any of the following conditions occur:

  • That batter reaches the next base
  • That batter is made to be retired
  • The third out results in the completion of the half-inning or the game
  • It is the responsibility of the manager to must remove the pitcher when he or she reaches the limit for the number of pitches allowed per day according to the league age. However, the pitcher may remain in the game at a different position. The number of pitches allowed per day according to the league age is given below.

13 to 16 years – 95 pitches per day

11 to 12 years – 85 pitches per day

9 to 10 years – 75 pitches per day

7 to 8 years – 50 pitches per day

The exception for the above case includes, if a pitcher reaches the limit imposed above according to the league age while facing a batter, then the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions is met:

  • That batter reaches the next base
  • The batter is made to be put out
  • The third out results in the completion of the half-inning

Also note that if a pitcher reaches the limit of 40 pitches while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch and also maintain his or her eligibility to play at the Catcher position for the rest of the day, until any one of the following conditions is met:

  • That batter reaches The next base
  • That batter is made to be retired
  • The third out results in the completion of the half-inning or the game

Moreover, the pitcher can be allowed to play the position of Catcher only if that pitcher is moved, removed, or the game is completed before delivering a pitch to another batter.

However, if a player delivers 41 or more pitches during the game and is not covered under the threshold exception, then the player is not allowed to play the position of Catcher for the rest of the day.

  • Those players who are of pitchers league age 14 and under, must obey the following rest requirements unconditionally
  • If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in a day, then 4 days of rest must be observed
  • If a player pitches 51-65 pitches in a day, then 3 days of rest must be observed
  • If a player pitches 36-50 pitches in a day, then 2 days of rest must be observed
  • If a player pitches 36-59 pitches in a day, then 2 days of rest must be observed
  • If a player pitches 21-35 pitches in a day, then 1 day of rest must be observed
  • If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, then no rest is required

The exception in the above case includes, if a pitcher reaches the said number of days of rest threshold while facing a batter, then the pitcher is allowed to continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions is met:

  • That batter reaches the next base
  • That batter is made to be retired
  • The third out results in the completion of the half-inning or the game

Also note that if a pitcher reaches the limit of 30 pitches while facing a batter during the first game, the pitcher may continue to pitch and also maintain his or her eligibility to pitch in the second game as well on the same day, until any of the following conditions is met:

  • That batter reaches the next base
  • That batter is made to be retired
  • The third out in the completion of the half-inning or the game

Here, the pitcher would be allowed to pitch in the second game as well, provide that the said pitcher is moved, removed, or the game is completed before delivering a pitch to another batter.

Also, if a player delivers 31 or more pitches during the first game and is not covered under the threshold exception, then the player is not allowed to pitch in the second game on that particular day.

  • Those players who are of pitchers league age 15 to 16, must obey the following rest requirements unconditionally
  • If a player pitches 76 or more pitches in a day, then four days of rest must be observed
  • If a player pitches 61 to 75 pitches in a day, then three days of rest must be observed
  • If a player pitches 46 to 60 pitches in a day, then two days of rest must be observed
  • If a player pitches 41 to 45 pitches in a day, then one day of rest must be observed
  • If a player pitches 1 to 30 pitches in a day, then no rest is required

The exception in the above case includes, if a pitcher reaches the said number of days of rest threshold while facing a batter, then the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions is met:

  • That batter reaches base
  • That batter is retired
  • The third out is made to complete the half-inning or the game

In any case, the pitcher will be required to observe the rest for only those numbers of days which are required for the threshold he or she reached during that at-bat, provided that the pitcher is removed or the game is completed before delivering a pitch to another batter.

  • For Minor League, Little League (Majors), and Intermediate (50-70) Division, a player is not allowed to pitch in more than one game in a single day. However, Junior League and Senior League players can be used as a pitcher in up to two games in a day.

Also note that if a pitcher reaches the limit of 30 pitches while facing a batter in the first game, then the pitcher can continue to pitch and also maintain his or her eligibility to pitch in the second game as well, on the same day, until any one of the following conditions is met:

  • That batter reaches the next base
  • That batter is made to be retired
  • The third out results in the completion of the half-inning or the game

In any case, the pitcher will be allowed to pitch in the second game as well, provided that the pitcher is moved, removed, or the game is completed before delivering a pitch to another batter.

However, if a player delivers 31 or more number of pitches during the first game and is not covered under the threshold exception, then the player is not allowed to pitch in the second game on that same day.

  • Each baseball league must designate the scorekeeper or any other game official as the official pitch count recorder
  • The designated pitch count recorder is given the responsibility of not just counting the number of pitches, but also to provide the current pitch count for any pitcher in the game when requested by either manager or any umpire. However, it is the responsibility of the manager to remove the pitcher when the limit is reached.
  • The designated official pitch count recorder should also inform the chief umpire when a certain pitcher has reached his or her maximum limit pitches for that particular game according to the league age mentioned in Rule 3.

Then the chief umpire will inform the same to the team manager that the pitcher must be removed according to the pitching limit. However, the failure to do so, will not relieve the team manager of his or her responsibility to remove the pitcher when he or she has reached the pitching limit.

  • Violation of any rules and regulations during the game can result in protest, which shall be made in accordance with the playing rule, which is as given below

“The protesting manager shall immediately, and before any succeeding play begins, notify the umpire that the game is being played under protest. Following such notice, the umpire shall consult with other umpires.”

Conclusion

Little League Baseball is an organization that has encouraged a large number of youth players to participate and play in the leagues. It is the largest sports organization in the world that promotes sports for youth children all over the world.

Little League Baseball is very professional in whatever league it organizes and has carefully laid rules and regulations to avoid any type of malpractice in the game. All these rules must be followed by every player, team manager, umpires, and any other game officials.

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Vijay Singh
I love Baseball, and I researched a lot about how to improve your game. For that, you need the proper baseball cleats, bats, helmet, and other training equipment. So, I share everything that you require to become a better baseball player.

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