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Rockford Little League

Rockford Little League

News Detail

19

Apr, 2022

RLL Game Rules

rll game rules.docx

COACH PITCH BASEBALL

Thank you to each of you for your willingness to be a coach this season! Please remember the goals of coach pitch baseball are to have fun, to instruct the children in the fundamentals of baseball and to allow them to experience the value of teamwork. Fundamentals to be emphasized are hitting, base running, throwing, fielding of grounders & catching pop ups/flyballs and good sportsmanship in preparation for eventual promotion to kid pitch division teams in future seasons.

Two big points of emphasis:

  1. Three strikes and you're out.  Pretty simple, but there should be no pregame debate or negotiation on this point.  Kids will strike out, as it happens in all levels of baseball, as this is just the entry point to this reality.  It doesn't mean you're a bad coach if they do, even your best players will strike out on occasion.
  2. Batter gets up to 6 pitches, no walks but players may strike out.  If a player fouls the last pitch they get another pitch, (they can foul off multiple times).  Batter is out on pitch 6 or more if no swing.

  

As coaches, we all like to win, but please don't place this as a top goal for your Little League regular season.  In fact, for this division, no official score is kept and coaches act as the umpires, so this level leans highly instructional vs competitive.  A successful season is measured when every kid on your roster has fun, gets better, and hopefully wants to sign up again next season.  I coached this level for 4 seasons and I found things went smoothest when I had rotations scripted out ahead of time so I knew where everyone was going each time we took the field.  Also, kids should be rotated every couple innings, including both infield and outfield, as there should be no "all-time outfielders".  At this level, please let kids try all the positions, especially when they are asking to play a specific position. That being said, I would use caution with who plays two of the positions.  First baseman should be able to catch, or at least pay attention since balls will be thrown at them.  It may be best to position a coach near first base for some of these kids so you can help them stay alert.  Also, the person positioned next to the Coach-pitcher should be attentive since some balls will come back very quickly! This does not mean you put your best infielder at the pitcher position and let them run down all the ground balls every inning. Use your best judgement to allow kids to rotate through this position. 

 

When fielding ground balls in the infield the player should try to make the best fundamental  baseball play. For example, if it is easiest for the player to field the ground ball and run and step on the base for the out, then teach that correct fundamental. Again, do not have your second basemen fielding ground balls and running to first to get the runner out instead of throwing it. Remember, instructional vs competitive. As far as fielding ground balls in the outfield, an outfielder MUST THROW the ball to an infielder to get an out. They cannot run into the infield and step on a base to get an out. Remember, instructional vs competitive. 

 

Players do not advance on overthrown balls trying to get someone out at a base, or pass balls behind the catcher. 

 

Please note that catchers must wear protective cups to play the position and it is a really good idea for all players (especially since you might not always know who might end up catching that day), so please add this to your notes to your team if you haven't done so already. 

 

Games will be 6 innings and there will be a 5 run limit per team per inning. Keep in mind that on Saturday’s that games are on a tight schedule.  After you shake hands when the game is over please gather your equipment and chat with your team outside of the dugout so that the next team can get settled in for their upcoming game.

Please remember that coaches need to collect a medical form from each player. Players are aware of this and should be bringing them to the first practice.  These forms need to be present at ALL practices and games. I would suggest once collecting them putting them in a sturdy folder to be placed in the equipment bag so they are always available. 

If you have questions or need clarification on any of the rules or other items, please let me know. Thank you again for coaching and I hope you each have a fun and rewarding season!

AA MINORS BASEBALL

Thank you to each of you for your willingness to be a coach this season! Please note for kid pitch minors (AA) baseball we use Progressive Play at the start of the season for the first two weeks (4 games).  This means runners on steals can't advance an extra base on catcher overthrows, and can't score from third base on passed balls/wild pitches.  This is designed to help you as coaches develop and try lots of kids at the catcher position.  Catchers still need to be trying to stop balls from going to the backstop, as you can advance from 1st to 2nd, and 2nd to 3rd, but we're just not letting runs score this way the first week or it would be too high a percentage of runs. Baserunners can still advance one base on overthrows from other positions on the field (i.e, the shortstop throws it past first base).

Please coach your players up on getting out of the batter's box when someone is stealing home.  It is a good idea to teach them to get out of the box on a passed ball past the catcher in general. This will prepare them for runners stealing home. 

There is a 5-run limit per inning, and once reached you change sides.  The only exception is in the 6th inning, where it is unlimited.  However, if because of time, you don't get to play all 6 innings, then the 5-run limit remains in effect. That does not mean if time is running short and you are not in the 6th inning that runs are unlimited in the last inning of play.  Also, for Saturday games there is a time limit of 1.5 hours.  Please be cognizant of this as coaches, especially because some of the young umpires may not always be thinking of this, and it is important to be finished as close to on-time as possible so the field can be cleared for the next teams that are arriving. Post game, Once you have shaken hands with the other team please encourage your team to quickly grab their gear and talk to your team outside of the dugout so the next team can get settled in for their upcoming game 

You should bat everyone that is present at the game, meaning 1-11 each time through the lineup.   

As coaches, we all like to win, but please don't place this as the highest goal for your Little League regular season.  Winning and losing is part of the game, but to me, a successful season is that every kid on your roster has fun, gets better, and hopefully wants to sign up again next season. Please look to develop as many kids in as many areas as possible, including looking to pitch as many kids as you can.  While I know from plenty of experience that some players may not be able to throw 3 strikes before 4 balls, it is still worth giving these kids a chance as sometimes they will surprise us coaches and themselves.  This doesn't mean you have to let them throw 12 or 16 straight balls before making a change on a given day. Sometimes these kids and their parents will use these experiences to continue to work on it at home and do better the next time you give them an opportunity.  Also, kids should be rotated into and out of infield and outfield, as there should be no "all-time outfielders".     

If you need a sub this season, please let Cindy, our League Player Agent know and he will work to help locate one.  Email her at [email protected]

Please only ask or sub if you know you'll have less than 9 available.  Subs will come from the Jr Minors/Coach Pitch division and is a nice opportunity for them to play up.

Please note that catchers must wear protective cups to play the position and it is a really good idea for all players (especially since you might not always know who might end up catching that day), so please add this to your notes to your team if you haven't done so already. 

Speaking of catchers, rule 3.09 states that a manager or coach must not warm up a pitcher at home plate or in the bull pen or elsewhere at any time.  We made this a new point of the past couple seasons at RLL and is important for us to follow due to insurance reasons.  What should happen to be in compliance is to have a player who is out of the game take his glove and a catcher's mask and start helping the pitcher warm up until the catcher is ready.  

For many minors' coaches, this could be the first time you've had to learn about pitch counts.  Here is the link to review: https://www.littleleague.org/playing-rules/pitch-count/

Please work together as a coaching staff to manage this well throughout the season and don't hesitate to reach out to me with questions.

Please remember that coaches need to collect a medical form from each player. Players are aware of this and should be bringing them to the first practice.  These forms need to be present at ALL practices and games. I would suggest once collecting them putting them in a sturdy folder to be placed in the equipment bag so they are always available. 

Finally, please remember to be patient with umpires.  Minors gets a lot of newer and younger umpires, and their confidence will vary greatly as they learn.  Please try to build them up when you can, and encourage them when possible. Mitchell , League umpire in Chief, will be overseeing the umpiring for our League this season and I will also be involved.  If you have major issues to discuss, please contact him to let him know about them as we want to help these kids improve and get better so the League can be as good as possible. I would recommend waiting until after the game, or even the next day to discuss.

If you have questions or need clarification on any of the rules or other items, please let me know.

Thank you for coaching and I hope you each have a fun and rewarding season!

 

AAA MINORS BASEBALL

Thank you to each of you for your willingness to be a coach this season! Please note for kid pitch minors (AAA) baseball we use Progressive Play at the start of the season for the first two weeks (4 games).  This means runners on steals can't advance an extra base on catcher overthrows. This is designed to help you as coaches develop and try lots of kids at the catcher position.  Catchers still need to be trying to stop balls from going to the backstop, as you can advance from 1st to 2nd, and 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to home. Baserunners can still advance one base on overthrows from other positions on the field (i.e, the shortstop throws it past first base).  

Please coach your players up on getting out of the batter's box when someone is stealing home.  It is a good idea to teach them to get out of the box on a passed ball past the catcher in general. This will prepare them for runners stealing home. 

There is a 5-run limit per inning, and once reached you change sides.  The only exception is in the 6th inning, where it is unlimited.  However, if because of time, you don't get to play all 6 innings, then the 5-run limit remains in effect. That does not mean if time is running short and you are not in the 6th inning that runs are unlimited in the last inning of play.  Also, for Saturday games there is a time limit of 1.5 hours.  Please be cognizant of this as coaches, especially because some of the young umpires may not always be thinking of this, and it is important to be finished as close to on-time as possible so the field can be cleared for the next teams that are arriving. Post game, Once you have shaken hands with the other team please encourage your team to quickly grab their gear and talk to your team outside of the dugout so the next team can get settled in for their upcoming game 

You should bat everyone that is present at the game, meaning 1-11 each time through the lineup.   

As coaches, we all like to win, but please don't place this as the highest goal for your Little League regular season.  Winning and losing is part of the game, but to me, a successful season is that every kid on your roster has fun, gets better, and hopefully wants to sign up again next season. Please look to develop as many kids in as many areas as possible, including looking to pitch as many kids as you can.  While I know from plenty of experience that some players may not be able to throw 3 strikes before 4 balls, it is still worth giving these kids a chance as sometimes they will surprise us coaches and themselves.  This doesn't mean you have to let them throw 12 or 16 straight balls before making a change on a given day. Sometimes these kids and their parents will use these experiences to continue to work on it at home and do better the next time you give them an opportunity.  Also, kids should be rotated into and out of infield and outfield, as there should be no "all-time outfielders".     

If you need a sub this season, please let Cindy, our League Player Agent know and he will work to help locate one.  Email her at [email protected]

Please only ask or sub if you know you'll have less than 9 available.  Subs will come from the Coach Pitch division and is a nice opportunity for them to play up.

Please note that catchers must wear protective cups to play the position and it is a really good idea for all players (especially since you might not always know who might end up catching that day), so please add this to your notes to your team if you haven't done so already. 

Speaking of catchers, rule 3.09 states that a manager or coach must not warm up a pitcher at home plate or in the bull pen or elsewhere at any time.  We made this a new point of the past couple seasons at RLL and is important for us to follow due to insurance reasons.  What should happen to be in compliance is to have a player who is out of the game take his glove and a catcher's mask and start helping the pitcher warm up until the catcher is ready.  

For many minors' coaches, this could be the first time you've had to learn about pitch counts.  Here is the link to review: https://www.littleleague.org/playing-rules/pitch-count/

Please work together as a coaching staff to manage this well throughout the season and don't hesitate to reach out to me with questions.

Please remember that coaches need to collect a medical form from each player. Players are aware of this and should be bringing them to the first practice.  These forms need to be present at ALL practices and games. I would suggest once collecting them putting them in a sturdy folder to be placed in the equipment bag so they are always available. 

Finally, please remember to be patient with umpires.  Minors gets a lot of newer and younger umpires, and their confidence will vary greatly as they learn.  Please try to build them up when you can, and encourage them when possible. Mitchell, League umpire in Chief, will be overseeing the umpiring for our League this season and I will also be involved.  If you have major issues to discuss, please let him know about them as we want to help these kids improve and get better so the League can be as good as possible. I would recommend waiting until after the game, or even the next day to discuss.

If you have questions or need clarification on any of the rules or other items, please let me know.

Thank you for coaching and I hope you each have a fun and rewarding season!

MAJORS BASEBALL

Thank you to each of you for your willingness to be a coach this season!  As we begin practices next week and are still in advance of games, I wanted to get out a few thoughts on rules and other items so we are as clear as we can be, and all on the same page heading into the season.  I have included all Majors' coaches on this note. 

Please remember the primary goals of Majors' baseball are to have fun, to instruct the children in the fundamentals of baseball, and to allow them to experience the value of teamwork. Fundamentals to be emphasized are hitting, base running, fielding of grounders & fly balls, throwing & pitching, and good sportsmanship in preparation for eventual selection to an Intermediates or Juniors team in future seasons.

As coaches, we all like to win, but please don't place this as the highest goal for your Little League regular season.  Winning and losing is part of the game, but to me, a successful season is that every kid on your roster has fun, gets better, and hopefully wants to sign up again next season. Please look to develop as many kids in as many areas as possible, including looking to pitch as many kids as you can.  While I know from plenty of experience that some players may not be able to throw 3 strikes before 4 balls, it is still worth giving these kids a chance as sometimes they will surprise us coaches and themselves.  This doesn't mean you have to let them throw 12 or 16 straight balls before making a change on a given day. Sometimes these kids and their parents will use these experiences to continue to work on it at home and do better the next time you give them an opportunity.  Also, kids should be rotated into and out of infield and outfield, as there should be no "all-time outfielders".     

Players should be subbed out as evenly as possible each game and throughout the season, and moved positions at least every couple innings.  Exceptions can be the pitcher and catcher as sometimes depth in these areas can be limited on a given day.  But please keep track of pitch counts and remember that a pitcher throwing 41 pitches can't play catcher the same day, and a catcher who catches any part of a 4th inning can't pitch the same day. Important:  Since some kids on your roster play weekend travel tournaments in addition to Little League, please keep tabs on how much they pitch during their weekend tournaments and ask questions before just putting them on the mound.  Here is the link again to review again on pitch count rule and limits: https://www.littleleague.org/playing-rules/pitch-count/ Please work together as a coaching staff to manage this well throughout the season and don't hesitate to reach out to me with questions.

If you need a sub this season, please let Cindy, our League Player Agent know and she will work to help locate one.  Email her at [email protected] Please only ask for a sub if you know you'll have less than 9 available.  Subs will come from the AAA Minors' division and is a nice opportunity for them to play up.

Please note that catchers must wear protective cups to play the position, and it is a really good idea for all players (especially since you might not always know who might end up catching that day), so please add this to your notes to your team if you haven't done so already.  Speaking of catchers, rule 3.09 states that a manager or coach must not warm up a pitcher at  home plate or in the bull pen or elsewhere at any time.  What should happen to be in compliance is to have a player who is out of the game take his glove and a catcher's mask and start helping the pitcher warm up until the catcher is ready.  We do play dropped third strike rules in Majors, so please teach this at your practices and throughout your season.

Please remember that coaches need to collect a medical form from each player. Players are aware of this and should be bringing them to the first practice.  These forms need to be present at ALL practices and games. I would suggest once collecting them putting them in a sturdy folder to be placed in the equipment bag so they are always available. 

Finally, please remember to be patient with umpires.  Majors gets a combination of both new and experienced umpires, and their confidence will vary greatly as they learn.  Please try to build them up when you can, and encourage them when possible.  Mitchell will be overseeing the umpiring for our League this season.  If you have major issues to discuss, please let him know about them as we want to help these kids improve and get better so the League can be as good as possible.  I would recommend waiting until after the game, or even the next day to discuss.

If you have questions or need clarification on any of the rules or other items, please let me know.

Thank you for coaching and I hope you each have a fun and rewarding season!

 

T-BALL

Hi T-Ball Coaches,

Thank you to each of you for your willingness to be a coach this season!  In total, we have 20 teams.  Some are all boys teams, some are all girls teams, and some are a mix of both boys and girls.  As we begin practice and we are still in advance of games, I wanted to get out a few thoughts on rules and other items so we are as clear as we can be, and all on the same page heading into the season.  This is a fun age, but also takes a lot of patience too!  😊  I have included all T-ball coaches on this note. 

Please remember the goals of T-Ball are to have fun, to instruct the children in the fundamentals, and to allow them to experience the value of teamwork. Fundamentals to be emphasized are hitting, base running, throwing, fielding of grounders & catching pop ups/flyballs, and good sportsmanship in preparation for eventual promotion to coach pitch division teams in future seasons.

As for rules, here is a basic outline of what games look like so you can prepare for this ahead of time with your practices.

  1. All rosters have 10 or 11 kids.  For T-Ball, we don’t have kids on the bench.  If you have 11 kids, please put a 5th kid in the outfield.  Keep the infield to P, 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, and you can have a kid positioned safely behind the batter as a catcher, as they will only come into play after the batter has hit the ball.  
  2. A batter can make an out.  However, please let each side bat through the entire lineup each inning before changing sides.  The last kid batting each inning can keep running all the way, so you can change this up too to let different kids experience this.
  3. Coaches on defense should be on the field with the players to help kids with positioning and instruction.  Coaches on offense can help with the batter, as well as coaching at first and third base.
  4. Games last an hour.  You can play as many innings as you can fit into that time frame, but most games typically last about 3 innings.

Please try to mix up your lineups and give different kids the opportunity to bat leadoff too.  Please also mix up your defensive positions every inning.  Rotate everyone between infield and outfield, allowing kids to play everywhere throughout the season.  It would be recommended to have a coach positioned near the first baseman, as throws will be aimed in their direction and you want to make sure they are paying attention to this.  Also, if you notice a bigger hitter at the plate, it would be wise to move the pitcher back a bit too. 

Both coaching staffs should work together each game to create a fun atmosphere, while also keeping the pace moving along.

Please remember that coaches need to collect a medical form from each player. Players are aware of this and should be bringing them to the first practice.  These forms need to be present at ALL practices and games. I would suggest once collecting them putting them in a sturdy folder to be placed in the equipment bag so they are always available. 

On your rosters, you may notice some of you have a team parent who has been assigned.  These were volunteers who signed up at the time of registration who can help you as coaches with team needs

Finally, here are two items for your to-do list.

1. Contact your team- Please send a team note ASAP if you have not done so already.  You can email all families directly from your team home site.  A few people have had technical issues, usually due to having created multiple accounts.  For quickest response, please contact [email protected] to help with this issue.  A league email will be going out soon with all the current COVID safety protocols.  They also will receive a medical release form that each family should give you at your first practice.  Please keep those throughout your season in a binder or folder for reference if/when needed.

2. Concussion training- https://www.cdc.gov/headsup/youthsports/training/index.html

This training is mandatory for all coaches and must be completed prior to your first game

By taking this free, online course and using what you learn, you will be well positioned to recognize a potential concussion, and the actions you need to take to protect our players.  Your actions will help create a safe environment for our young athletes, so that they can stay healthy, active, and thrive- both on and off the playing field.  Once you complete the training and quiz, you can print out a certificate.  Please provide a copy of this certificate to Rockford Little League prior to your first game, which begins the week of April 19.  Please email it by replying to this email.  For Little League, they are valid up to three years, so if you have one from a recent previous sports season, you may email or text me a copy of that instead of retaking the course.

I am looking forward to a fun season, and please feel free to reach out anytime with questions/concerns.

 

COACH PITCH MINORS SOFTBALL

Hi softball coaches,

Thank you to each of you for your willingness to be a coach this season! Please remember the goals of coach pitch softball are to have fun, to instruct the children in the fundamentals of softball and to allow them to experience the value of teamwork. Fundamentals to be emphasized are hitting, base running, throwing, fielding of grounders & catching pop ups/flyballs and good sportsmanship in preparation for eventual promotion to kid pitch division teams in future seasons.

As coaches, we all like to win, but please don’t place this as the highest goal for your Little League regular season.  Winning and losing is part of the game, but to me, a successful season is that every kid on your roster has fun, gets better, and hopefully wants to sign up again next season.  Please look to develop as many kids in as many areas as possible. 

Two big points of emphasis:

  1. Three strikes and you're out.  Pretty simple, but there should be no pregame debate or negotiation on this point.  Kids will strike out, as it happens in all levels of softball, as this is just the entry point to this reality.  It doesn't mean you're a bad coach if they do, even your best players will strike out on occasion.
  2. Batter gets up to 6 pitches, no walks but players may strike out.  If a player fouls the last pitch they get another pitch, (they can foul off multiple times).  Batter is out on pitch 6 or more if no swing.

As coaches, we all like to win, but please don't place this as a top goal for your Little League regular season.  In fact, for this division, no official score is kept and coaches act as the umpires, so this level leans highly instructional vs competitive.  A successful season is measured when every kid on your roster has fun, gets better, and hopefully wants to sign up again next season.  I coached this level for 4 seasons and I found things went smoothest when I had rotations scripted out ahead of time so I knew where everyone was going each time we took the field.  Also, kids should be rotated every couple innings, including both infield and outfield, as there should be no "all-time outfielders".  At this level, please let kids try all the positions, especially when they are asking to play a specific position. That being said, I would use caution with who plays two of the positions.  First baseman should be able to catch, or at least pay attention since balls will be thrown at them.  It may be best to position a coach near first base for some of these kids so you can help them stay alert.  Also, the person positioned next to the Coach-pitcher should be attentive since some balls will come back very quickly! This does not mean you put your best infielder at the pitcher position and let them run down all the ground balls every inning. Use your best judgement to allow kids to rotate through this position. 

When fielding ground balls in the infield the player should try to make the best fundamental  baseball play. For example, if it is easiest for the player to field the ground ball and run and step on the base for the out, then teach that correct fundamental. Again, do not have your second basemen fielding ground balls and running to first to get the runner out instead of throwing it. Remember, instructional vs competitive. As far as fielding ground balls in the outfield, an outfielder MUST THROW the ball to an infielder to get an out. They cannot run into the infield and step on a base to get an out. Remember, instructional vs competitive. 

Players do not advance on overthrown balls trying to get someone out at a base, or pass balls behind the catcher. 

Please remember that coaches need to collect a medical form from each player. Players are aware of this and should be bringing them to the first practice.  These forms need to be present at ALL practices and games. I would suggest once collecting them putting them in a sturdy folder to be placed in the equipment bag so they are always available. 

I have heard Minors’ softball coaches have at times come out to help pitch as needed.  This is different from the baseball side, and I know there are other nuances as well.  For this reason, we have asked Sara Robach, who is a softball coach to help the league as a softball director for this season.  She can help be a point person at practices and games if you see her, and also can relay questions/concerns to me and the Board as needed.  To reach Sara, please text her at (616) 862-1921.  I look forward to working with each of you to make this a successful and fun season for all involved.

PLAYER PITCH SOFTBALL

Hi softball coaches,

Thank you to each of you for your willingness to be a coach this season!  As we begin practices next week and are still in advance of games, I wanted to get out a few thoughts on rules and other items so we are as clear as we can be, and all on the same page heading into the season.  

Please remember the primary goals of Little League are to have fun, to instruct the girls in the fundamentals of softball, and to allow them to experience the value of teamwork. Fundamentals to be emphasized are hitting, base running, fielding of grounders & fly balls, throwing & pitching, and good sportsmanship.  

As coaches, we all like to win, but please don’t place this as the highest goal for your Little League regular season.  Winning and losing is part of the game, but to me, a successful season is that every kid on your roster has fun, gets better, and hopefully wants to sign up again next season.  Please look to develop as many kids in as many areas as possible, including looking to pitch as many girls as you can.  While I know from plenty of experience that some players may not be able to throw 3 strikes before 4 balls, it is still worth giving these kids a chance as sometimes they will surprise us coaches and themselves.  This doesn’t mean you have to let them throw 12 or 16 straight balls before making a change on a given day.  Sometimes these kids and their parents will use these experiences to continue to work on it at home and do better the next time you give them an opportunity.  Also, kids should be rotated into and out of infield and outfield, as there should be no “all-time outfielders”.    

Please note for Minors’ softball we use Progressive Play at the start of the season for the first two weeks (4 games).  This means runners on steals can’t advance an extra base on catcher overthrows, and can’t score from third base on passed balls/wild pitches.  This is designed to help you as coaches develop and try lots of kids at the catcher position.  Catchers still need to be trying to stop balls from going to the backstop, as you can advance from 1st to 2nd, and 2nd to 3rd, but we’re just not letting runs score this way the first week or it would be too high a percentage of runs.  Baserunners can still advance one base on overthrows from other positions on the field (i.e, the shortstop throws it past first base).  

 If you need a sub this season, please let Cindy Oakes, our League Player Agent know and she will work to help locate one.  Email her at [email protected] Please only ask for a sub if you know you’ll have less than 9 available.   Subs for Majors will come from Minors, and Minors subs will come from the Jr Minors/Coach Pitch division.  This is a nice opportunity for them to play up.

Please remember that coaches need to collect a medical form from each player. Players are aware of this and should be bringing them to the first practice.  These forms need to be present at ALL practices and games. I would suggest once collecting them putting them in a sturdy folder to be placed in the equipment bag so they are always available. 

I have heard Minors’ softball coaches have at times come out to help pitch as needed.  This is different from the baseball side, and I know there are other nuances as well.  For this reason, we have asked Sara Robach, who is a softball coach to help the league as a softball director for this season.  She can help be a point person at practices and games if you see her, and also can relay questions/concerns to me and the Board as needed.  To reach Sara, please text her at (616) 862-1921.  I look forward to working with each of you to make this a successful and fun season for all involved. 

INTERMEDIATE BASEBALL

Thank you for being a coach this season for Intermediate (50/70) baseball.   

As coaches, we all like to win, but please don’t place this as the highest goal for your Little League regular season.  Winning and losing is part of the game, but to me, a successful season is that every kid on your roster has fun, gets better, and hopefully wants to sign up again next season and be part of the Juniors program.  Please look to develop as many kids in as many areas as possible, including looking to pitch as many kids as you can.  While I know from plenty of experience that some players may not be able to throw 3 strikes before 4 balls, it is still worth giving these kids a chance as sometimes they will surprise us coaches and themselves.  This doesn’t mean you have to let them throw 12 or 16 straight balls before making a change on a given day.  Sometimes these kids and their parents will use these experiences to continue to work on it at home and do better the next time you give them an opportunity.  Also, kids should be rotated into and out of infield and outfield, as there should be no “all-time outfielders”.     

Players should be subbed out as evenly as possible each game and throughout the season, and moved positions at least every couple innings.  Exceptions can be the pitcher and catcher as sometimes depth in these areas can be limited on a given day.  But please keep track of pitch counts and remember that a pitcher throwing 41 pitches can’t play catcher the same day, and a catcher who catches any part of a 4th inning can’t pitch the same day.  Important:  Since some kids on your roster play weekend travel tournaments in addition to Little League, please keep tabs on how much they pitch during their weekend tournaments and ask questions before just putting them on the mound.  Here is the link again to review again on pitch count rule and limits: https://www.littleleague.org/playing-rules/pitch-count/  Please work together as a coaching staff to manage this well throughout the season and don’t hesitate to reach out to me with questions.

Other notes to familiarize yourself with.  For practices, leadoffs, and holding runners will be new to many kids, so those will be key items to provide instruction on.  Balks are also called, so another key concept to teach.  Please teach correct sliding, and head first is allowed now at Intermediates.  However, not everyone might feel comfortable with this, which is absolutely fine.  Head first sliding statistically leads to more injuries, so it isn’t anything to be stressed or encouraged.  Metal cleats are now allowed at this level.  They are more effective digging into harder dirt surfaces and grass, but kids wearing rubber cleats is absolutely fine too.  Bats still need to be USA stamped, but at this level, some of the bigger/stronger kids might prefer -8, or even -5 bats instead of -10.  We use fields 4 and 7 for Intermediate home games at ERMS.  Fences are deeper on those fields, and we have a portable mound that can be used for games on field 7.  Still looking into how that will work for practices.

Please note that catchers must wear protective cups to play the position, and it is a really good idea for all players (especially since you might not always know who might end up catching that day), so please add this to your notes to your team if you haven’t done so already.  Speaking of catchers, rule 3.09 states that a manager or coach must not warm up a pitcher at  home plate or in the bull pen or elsewhere at any time.  What should happen to be in compliance is to have a player who is out of the game take his glove and a catcher’s mask and start helping the pitcher warm up until the catcher is ready.  We do play dropped third strike rules, so please teach this at your practices and throughout your season.

Please remember that coaches need to collect a medical form from each player. Players are aware of this and should be bringing them to the first practice.  These forms need to be present at ALL practices and games. I would suggest once collecting them putting them in a sturdy folder to be placed in the equipment bag so they are always available. 

Finally, please remember to be patient with umpires.  Intermediates gets a combination of both new and experienced umpires, and their confidence will vary greatly as they learn.  Please try to build them up when you can, and encourage them when possible.  Mitchell will be overseeing the umpiring for our League this season.  If you have major issues to discuss, please let him know about them as we want to help these kids improve and get better so the League can be as good as possible.  I would recommend waiting until after the game, or even the next day to discuss.

If you have questions or need clarification on any of the rules or other items, please let me know.

Thank you for coaching and I hope you each have a fun and rewarding season!

Contact

Rockford Little League
P.O. Box 513, Little League ID #1220932
Rockford, Michigan 49341

Email: [email protected]

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