National League Rules (6 year olds-lower skilled 7 year olds)
The following are principles specific to coaches and assistants to make the league more successful:
Safety: Safety rules come first. Enforce the league safety rules strictly, as well as the "Return to Play" Guidelines Fun: Baseball is a game. Make sure it stays fun! Sportsmanship: Encourage players to put their best effort into improving their game regardless of the situation or score. Encourage players to recognize and respect the fact that this is a learning environment - everyone is working to improve some aspect of their skills. Development: Review the basic skills and fundamentals of baseball. Encourage children to practice them on their own. Congratulate good performance to promote a sense of accomplishment. Objectively correct mistakes by referencing back to and reinforcing fundamental skills. Keep it simple. Preparation: Keep the games interesting and moving at a good pace by being prepared. Examples: Have a defensive plan ready for each game and each inning, make sure your players are ready to bat on offense, keep track of who your catcher will be and make sure they are dressed and ready for the following inning. Motivation: Motivate players through positive reinforcement. Keep practices and games moving and active in order to maintain players’ attention. Ask players what they are going to do in certain potential situations to keep their minds in the game. Unique Talents: Baseball is a unique sport. It draws on a wide variety of physical and mental skills of the players. Every player has unique talents that can be improved through instruction and individual attention. Role Model: Portray the behaviors you’re trying to develop at all times.
4 innings, 5 runs maximum per inning. Any inning starting after the 1 hour and 15 minute mark will be the last inning as agreed upon by the coaches. If the game is under 1 hour and 15 minutes, the coaches can mutually agree to have a 5th inning.
An official score will be kept, but only to keep track of inning run limits. It is inevitable that kids will keep score, and its ok to share that with them! Since each inning has a five run limit, some games may end in a tie!
There are no playoffs in the National League. This eliminates pressure to win games. This age level is purely about developing players in a realistic game scenario.
Game Balls and game equipment
Each team should supply at least 5 new(er) level 5 game balls for their OWN usage.
Both teams are responsible for raking the field, and returning equipment to its shed after the game. Only leave equipment on the field if it is passed along to one of a following game's coaches.
50 - 60 foot base paths
This league is coach pitch.
Coach pitch has a 5 strike limit. After 5 pitches, a player will attempt to hit off of a Batting T. No strike outs.
Halfway through the season, a pitching machine will be introduced. Each batter will get 4 pitches from the machine, and if necessary, one from coach, and then the Batting T.
If the pitcher (coach) interferes with a hit ball, it is a dead-ball, and the pitch/hit does not count.
When a coach is pitching, he can adjust his batters in the box. But he cannot interact with the hitter during active play.
It is not station to station. If a player hits a double, he’s allowed to take a double, etc.
Play ends when the outfield returns the ball to the infield, and the ball is in control of an infielder. Players can advance to to the next base, only if they have passed the previous base before an infielder controls the ball.
Players can’t advance on overthrows.
There is no leading off or stealing bases in the National League. Base runners must stay in contact with the base they occupy until a pitched ball is hit.
Players must make a throw to record an out unless they are the closest player to the bag.
For force plays at 2nd, if the shortstop or 2nd baseman fields the ball, encourage them to throw the ball to their counterpart to get the force at 2nd, whenever possible.
Since there is no Catcher in the National League, the Pitcher should cover home plate if a player is running around third.
Defensive players cannot block basepaths, and should straddle the base, or stand behind it, when making a force out. A runner will be deemed safe if no available path to the base is available. Fielders are responsible for avoiding collisions at any base.
Each half-inning will end after 3 outs, or 5 runs, whichever comes first.
The hitting team’s base coaches will act as umpires and declare runners out or safe. When a runner is out he will be removed from the bases. Multiple outs on a single play are allowed. Players should be coached on recognizing double play opportunities, what base to throw to, and when there are force-outs vs. tag outs. In general, on bang-bang plays, the coaches should give the benefit of the doubt to the fielders to reward effort and good fielding plays.
The infield will consist of 5 basic positions: Pitcher, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS. There will be no catcher. Only an adult coach or parent from either team can collect missed pitches from the backstop
There will be only 1 pitcher and he will stand behind the pitcher/batting machine (coach) on either side. He will cover home if a runner is coming around third.
True baseball position setup – infielders cannot set-up on top of the bases.
The outfield will consist of 5 outfielders, since there is no Catcher, to keep more players in the game. Keep outfielders spaced out by putting one near each foul line, and three in between.
Outfielders cannot perform a force out at any base. They must throw to an infielder to record an out.
All outfielders must play well into the grass.
Encourage them to throw to a cutoff man (2B/SS), or to second base directly.
Players should be coached to play the correct infielding positions (for example, no standing on or right next to the bases) and be taught to move to the bag to get outs once the ball is in play
The goal is all kids playing the same number of innings.
No players are allowed to play more than 2 innings at a given position.
Kids must play at least one inning in the infield.
Do your best to rotate positions; however, try to avoid putting someone at first base who cannot catch a baseball, as this is a safety hazard!
General coaching rules
Head coaches should discuss ground rules prior to any games and mutually agree on how any special situations will be handled (e.g. standing water in the field, players arriving late, etc.) Under the 2020 Return to Play guidelines, please limit this to only one coach from each team.
When a coach is pitching, he can adjust his batters in the box. But he should not interact with base runners during active post-pitch play. Runners need to learn how to pickup first and thirdbase coaches' signals.
Defensive Coaches may coach from the backstop, foul lines, or outfield. Please avoid interfering with players in the infield whenever possible. Only two defensive coaches can be within fair territory (behind infielders on the grass). Once post-pitch play has started, defensive coaches within the field of play should be silent. Encourage defensive players to communicate to eachother where the play is going. Active post-pitch play coaching should only be done by offensive basecoaches to direct the runners.
Equipment & safety
Equipment must be stored in an area out of play, preferably behind the fence, during the game.
During games, bench players must stay in the designated bench area while waiting for their turn to bat. No one should be practicing hitting, climbing the fence or leaving the field area. Adult supervision is required in the bench area (a coach or team mom/dad). See our Return to Play Guidelines for new details.
An area for the on-deck batter should be designated away from the bench, with only the on-deck batter allowed.
The batter, on-deck batter, and pitcher must all wear helmets during the game.
Throwing equipment is not allowed. A player throwing any piece of equipment should be informed that it is against Victor Little League rules. If the action is repeated by the same player, he can be removed from the game. At this age it’s common for batters to inadvertently throw a bat after swinging at a ball. Regardless of intent, this rule needs to be reinforced for safety.
Players should wear Victor Little League-issued team jersey, caps, baseball pants and socks. Caps must be worn forward and shirts must be tucked in during games. Molded rubber cleats, or turf shoes are required.