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Youth Baseball and Little League Rules and Regulations - Rules and Regulations For Little League Baseball

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Youth Baseball and Little League Rules and Regulations - Differences Between Different Leagues and Age Groups

If you want the basic rules of play laid out in an easy-to-read format, go to the Basic Baseball Rules section of this site. These rules apply to most youth baseball.

Little League, Cal Ripken, and other non-affiliated youth leagues all use the Official Major League Baseball Rules modified for kids age 12 and under. A nice summary of these rules is given at This Wikipedia Page and a comparison of Little League vs. Major League is given here. Also, realize that there are usually up to 4 levels of youth baseball from age 4-12 - a nice summary of how this is broken down is given at this Cal Ripken League Site. If your local league is not affiliated with Little League or Cal Ripken, it may only have 2 or 3 of these levels of play.  For example, in our local area, we only have the minor league, major league, and the tee-ball league, all not formally affiliated with Ripken or Little League, but still set up in formal manner with playoffs at the major league level. Our rules and equipment are similar, but not identical to Ripken and Little League.  To get the exact rules of your league, you need to contact a person directly involved in setting up and organization. Your local coach or volunteer umpire are good people to start with.

Here are some of the major modifications for youth play:

  • The distances between bases and the distance from the pitcher's mound to home plate are significantly less than in adult baseball.

  • In most minor league youth baseball and all Tee-ball (ages 4-9), no stealing of bases or sliding is allowed.

  • In major Little League and other youth baseball, sliding is allowed except for at first base. Stealing is usually only allowed after the ball is caught by the catcher or passes home plate (some youth leagues). In some independent leagues, stealing may be allowed in the same manner as in adult baseball.

  • Only 6 innings are played in most youth leagues.

  • In many major and minor youth leagues, there is a "five run rule".  If a team scores five runs in an inning, the inning automatically ends and the opposing team is allowed to bat.

Youth Baseball and Little League Rules and Regulations - Rules and Regulations For Little League Baseball

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