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Canton Little League

International League (League Age 8 & 9)

Season - Rules




  • Ensure that all of the kids are having fun.
  • Develop the basic skills of throwing, fielding and hitting.
  • Develop a “knowledge of the game.”
  • 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.
  • 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.  It may be helpful to have a team parent run the scorebook.
  • Respond to the player agent on a timely basis.


  • 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 60’apart.
  • The fielding team’s coaches may be in the field coaching the kids.
  • The hitting team shall have one coach behind the mound, ready to pitch, 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 wandering around.  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 pitcher from the fielding team shall pitch a maximum of four pitches per batter.  Depending on the strength of the pitcher’s arm, he may be up to 3 feet in front of the standard Little League rubber.  Teach kids the strike zone.  Encourage them to swing at strikes (generally anything close to the standard strike zone) and to take balls.  Tell them whether each pitch was a ball or a strike.
  • Pitchers may pitch only one inning per game.
  • A coach from the hitting team shall then pitch up to three additional pitches.  The coach’s pitches should be reasonably flat to get the kids used to hitting typical pitching.  Do not lob the ball.
  • If the batter has not hit the ball after the seventh pitch, he is out assuming that at least three of the pitches thrown by either the opposing pitcher or the coach are deemed to be strikes.  However, if the 7th pitch is a foul tip, the player shall receive another pitch.
  • Pitching until the player hits the ball is not allowed.
  • There are no walks or bases awarded for hit batsmen.
  • Encourage the use of a single baseball.  Catcher should try to catch the pitch and throw it back to the pitcher. (It may help to have a bucket of balls on the mound and a coach backing up the catcher to keep the game moving).


  • Pitcher, catcher and four infielders should assume normal positions.  When coach is pitching, the pitcher shall move to the first base side of the mound.
  • Four outfielders shall be spread evenly across the outfield.  Outfielders must be standing on the grass outfield and not on the dirt infield.  Remaining kids (if any) shall sit on the bench.  No child shall sit more than one inning per game.
  • 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 that remains in the infield.
  • If the hit ball reaches the outfield on the fly or on the ground, the batter and runners may advance as many bases as possible until the ball is returned to the infield.  When ball is returned to infield, runners must return to closest base.  The purpose of this rule is to teach the kids how to run the bases and how to play outfield, while encouraging kids to make plays without fear of making bad throws.  (Rule of thumb:  Runners may advance as a result of the hit, but may not take advantage of a throwing error and/or weak-armed infielder to take an extra base.)  Examples:
    • No runners on.  Batter hits grounder to pitcher who throws ball over the first-baseman’s head. -- Batter stays on first.  Hit did not leave infield.
    • Runner on first.  Batter his grounder to third-baseman who throws ball into right field trying to force runner at second. -- Runner stays on second and batter stays on first.  Hit did not leave infield, runners cannot advance because of a throwing error.
    • Runner on first.  – Grounder to pitcher who throws to first base retiring the batter.  The runner sprints all the way to third base. – Runner must return to second.  Hit did not leave infield.
    • No runners on.  Batter hits ground ball between SS and 3B.  As the batter reaches first base, the outfielder catches the grounder and makes a wild throw back into the infield that rolls past all of the infielders and out of play. – Batter stays on first.  Batter was closest to first base at the moment that the ball was returned to the infield.  Batter cannot advance to second as a result of the bad throw.
    • Runner on first.  Batter hits grounder between 2B and 1B.  Right fielder catches ball and relays to 2B who throws to 3B in an unsuccessful attempt to retire runner who was sprinting all the way to third base.  Batter originally stops at first base, but when he sees the relay throw going to 3B, runs to second.  – Runner can stay on third, but batter must return to first where he was when ball first returned to infield.
    • No runners on.  Batter hits ball into the gap between LF and CF.  By the time the CF relays throw to SS, the batter is more than half-way between 3B and home. – Home-run.
  • There will be gray areas.  When in doubt send kid back a base, not forward.
  • Note that where the ball lands on the fly is not relevant.

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.

Batting Order

  • Prior to the first game, each manager shall email their team batting order, including uniform number, to the Player Agent.  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.

Fielding Order

  • During preseason practices, each manager shall evaluate their players’ throwing and catching skills.  Prior to the first game, each manager shall assign six players as their “A” infield and the remaining players as their “B” infield.
  • 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 a player who would have otherwise been playing outfield or sitting on the bench, may be moved into the C, 3B or SS positions.  The P, 1B and 2B positions must 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, Pitcher and Catcher as it relates to player safety.
  • Coaches should avoid allowing players to play the same position twice in the same game.

Night Games

  • Every team will have one night game.  To help prepare kids for the Minor Leagues, we will hire an umpire, let the kids do all of the pitching and allow for walks and strikeouts.  There will be no stolen bases and the other Batting/Running rules stated here will still be in effect.