The following rules are for the Canton Little League (CLL) baseball Instructional Age 7 Division. These were reviewed and agreed on by various members of the CLL board of directors. Our goal is to teach the rules of baseball that are used at this level in order to form a strong base that can be built upon in future play. The focus is not on winning at this level. The focus is on developing baseball skills and knowledge of the game as well as providing a positive experience in being part of a team. Most importantly – HAVE FUN.
Ensure that all of the kids are having fun.
Develop the basic skills of throwing, fielding and hitting.
Introduce rules (e.g. runs, outs and innings) and concept of positions.
Do above in a non-competitive environment. No standings are kept.
Try to keep all players engaged regardless of position.
Expectations of Managers and Coaches
Ensure that all of the kids have fun and rotate evenly through all of the positions.
Continue to develop basic skills and knowledge of the game.
Communicate with your parents, be on-time and come prepared.
Respond to the player agent on a timely basis.
Coaches should prepare lineups and player rotation prior to the commencement of the game.
In between innings, Coaches should assign players to their fielding positions as quickly as possible to avoid any delays in the game (note that it is helpful to have a team parent run the scorebook).
Games are five full innings even if the home team is ahead, subject to…
No inning may begin later than 1 hour and 45 minutes beyond the start of the game.
Five-run limit per inning including the 5th inning.
Bases should be 50’ apart.
The fielding team’s coaches may be in the field coaching the kids.
The hitting team shall have one coach pitching to his players and one coach maintaining order on the bench. A third coach may help line the kids up at home plate and retrieve wild pitches.
The players from the hitting team must be sitting on the bench – no climbing the fences, playing catch or climbing on the hill at Tilden. There is no on-deck batter.
Coaches act as umpires. Ties go to the fielder. Encourage the kids to make plays.
Cups are required for all boys playing catcher (reinforce at the beginning of the season).
A Coach from the hitting team shall pitch up to 7 pitches. The Coach’s pitches should be reasonably flat to get the kids used to hitting typical pitching. Do not lob the ball.
There is a 7-pitch count in effect. If a player has not hit the ball by the seventh pitch, the player will be out. Subject to the following exceptions:
If the 7th pitch is a foul tip, the player shall receive another pitch.
Coaches should use their discretion, if the seventh pitch is not hittable, the player shall receive another pitch.
Pitching until the player hits the ball is not allowed.
Pitcher should stand on the first base side of the Coach.
Catcher and four infielders should assume normal positions.
Remaining players should be spread evenly across the outfield. Outfielders must be standing on the grass and not the stone-dust at Tilden field.
Outfielders cannot make a force-out or tag. They can catch fly balls and assist on outs by throwing the ball to an infielder.
In general, the batter and runners may advance one base only on any hit ball, subject to being put out, regardless of any errors or overthrows. There are no walks or stolen bases.
The only exception to the rule above is a hit ball that lands in the outfield grass on the fly. In this case, the batters and runners may advance up to two bases, subject to being put out. If the ball is retrieved and returned to the infield, even on a wild throw, prior to the batter or runner reaching his first base, then the runners shall not be permitted a second base.
If a batted ball hits the Coach, the ball is dead and the batter and all runners shall advance one base.
Equity of Playing Time
Players shall be treated equally throughout the season in terms of playing opportunities. There is no discretion allowed with regard to this rule.
Prior to the first game, each manager shall email their team batting order, including uniform number, to the Player Agent (batting order by Jersey number - i.e. #1 bats first in the first game – can help both the coaches and players more easily keep track of the order).
The team shall maintain this batting lineup for the remainder of the season. The order shall be continuous from game to game. If the 5th player in the lineup is the last batter up in one game, then the 6th batter shall be the first batter in the following game.
During preseason practices, each manager shall evaluate their players’ throwing and catching skills. Prior to the first game, each manager shall assign their six best fielders/throwers as their “A” infield and the remaining players as their “B” infield. This is an injury prevention rule. We do not want players with strong arms throwing to players who cannot catch well.
Prior to the first game, each manager shall email their fielding rotation, to the Player Agent, identifying “A” and “B” players.
During the first inning of the first game, managers shall play their “A” infield in the six infield positions (P, C, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B). In the second inning, managers shall play their “B” infield. Like the batting order, this will be a continuous rotation throughout the season. If the “A” infield plays the last inning of the first game, then the “B” infield will start the first inning of the second game.
If an infielder is absent, then an outfielder may be moved into the C, 3B or SS positions. The P, 1B and 2B positions should always be played by a player from the proper infield rotation (e.g. a “B” player, if it is the “B” infield’s turn.)
Coaches should us discretion is placing players at 1B and Catcher.
Coaches should avoid allowing players to play the same position twice in the same game.