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Small Town Teams, Big League Dreams

Small Town Teams, Big League Dreams

TLL Division Rules

In an effort to remain consistent throughout the course of the entire season, the board of directors has established a set of local “League Rules.” The approved rules will clearly define the expectations of play at each level. In addition, the guidelines establish the structure that will keep all coaches, players, parents, and umpires on the same page.

Tee Ball

Tee Ball Overview
The Tee Ball Division is the Little League's introduction to baseball or softball for players ages 4-7.  Players learn the basics of the game, including batting, throwing, catching, baserunning, positions, and general rules.  The focus is on skill development and practice opportunities.  A small number of games are offered to give players a chance to apply the skills learned.  Game are non-competitive, and score is not kept.  Practices and games are generally about an hour in length.  Players use the tee while batting, but will also have opportunities to hit a pitched ball from a coach.

We are always looking for managers and coaches at the Tee Ball level.  It is a rewarding experience, and is not as difficult as you may think.  Little League Baseball provides a curriculum to follow, and TLL will support its coaches.  If you are interested in coaching a Tee Ball team, please contact [email protected]  

TLL Tee Ball Rules

• Tee vs. Coach Pitch Expectations:
• Games 1-2, teams may use the tee for all 3 innings
• Games 3-4, pitching is required a minimum of 1 inning
• Games 5-6, pitching is required a minimum of 2 innings
• Games 7-10, pitching is required a minimum of 3 innings

• The coach will give each batter 3 pitches (pitches, not strikes). If the pitch is clearly unhittable the coach is allowed to give the batter an additional pitch
• If the ball is not put in play by the 3rd pitch, the batter will then hit off a tee
• In the event the 3rd pitch is fouled off, the at-bat will continue with coach pitch until the batter puts the ball in play or swings and misses

• Runners will advance one base at a time
• The last batter in each inning will make a complete trip around the bases and the team in the field should remain in their positions until the last batter has crossed home plate

• The entire roster will hit each inning
• No outs will be recorded
• We do not keep score at the tee-ball level
• Players should be rotated to different positions every inning
• The batting order should be rotated every inning
• The catcher MUST wear a catchers helmet with mask at all times
• Players must line-up to shake hands at the completion of every game

• No games will end after a half inning, as both teams should get equal opportunities to hit

• All games will have a 1 hour time limit

Instructional Division

Instructional Division Overview
The Instructional division, also known as Coach Pitch or Machine Pitch, is the second level in the progression of skill development for baseball and softball players.  This level is recommended for players ages 6 -8.  Age 5 players may participate if they have completed a successful season at the Tee Ball level, and have demonstrated an above average skill level.  Players at the Instructional level will bat against coach or machine pitching.  A schedule of games is provided to continue further understanding of game play.  Games are non-competitive.  There are no scores or standings at this level.   Practices are typically 60 -90 minutes in duration, and games are generally 90 minutes in length.  

TLL Instructional Division Rules

• 5-Run maximum per inning
• The inning is ended when 3 outs are recorded or 5 runs are scored, whichever occurs first
• Strikeouts are recorded as an out

• Runners may not advance on any overthrow
• Runners may advance a maximum of two bases on an extra base hit

• Coach pitch and Machine pitch are both acceptable at the instructional level
• Regardless of the method selected, each coach and/or machine must pitch from the same distance

• Each batter will receive 5 pitches to put the ball in play
• If the batter swings and misses at the 5th pitch, a strikeout is recorded
• If the batter fouls off the 5th pitch, the at-bat will continue until the ball is put in play or a strikeout occurs
• If a batter happens to throw the bat, he/she will get 2 warnings. Any bat thrown thereafter will be considered an automatic out

• Kid pitch will not be permitted, however, it is strongly encouraged that coaches introduce the basic fundamentals of pitching during practice sessions

• All games have a 1 hour and 30 minute time limit

Minor Division

Minor Division Overview
At the Minor Division, players are introduced to "kid pitch."  This level is recommended for players ages 8-11.  Players age 7 can participate if they have previously demonstrated strong skills and understanding at the Instructional level.  Players age 12 can only play at the Minor level if a waiver is approved through MD District 2 Little League.  A full schedule of games is provided, and this is the first level where scores are kept during games.  Prior to the season, all players registered for the Minor division will participate in a Player Evaluation to assess skill level and determine appropriate placement.  

TLL Minor Division Rules

• 5-Run maximum per inning

• Runners may not steal bases (Straight or Delayed)

  • The Infield fly rule will not be enforced.
• Runners are allowed to advance on a passed ball and/or wild pitch. However, the ball must get away from the catcher to the point he/she must physically get up to retrieve the ball

• 1-Runner per inning may advance home on a passed ball

• In the event a pitcher walks 5 batters in an inning, the coach of the team at-bat will enter to pitch the remainder of the inning
• The coach is required to pitch at a velocity that puts the ball on a flat or downward plane (No Arc)
• The coach will give each batter 5 pitches
• If a batter strikes out at any point prior to the 5th pitch he/she is out. (For example, if the batter strikes out on the third pitch, he/she will not get the 4th or 5th pitch)
• If the 5th pitch results in a foul ball the at-bat shall continue until the ball is put in play or a strike out occurs
• There are no walks recorded during coach pitch
• Runners may not advance on a passed ball/wild pitch during coach pitch

• A pitcher that walks 5 batters in an inning is not allowed to re-enter the game as a pitcher

• In the event a pitcher hits 3 batters in an inning, he/she will be removed from the position
• Hit Batters will also be factored into the 5 walk maximum (For example, if a pitcher walks 3 batters and hits 2, he/she will be removed from that position and unable to re-enter the game as a pitcher)

• The coach pitch option is only permitted for the first 4 games of the season. The remaining games will be “kid pitch” only

• All games have a 2 hour time limit
• No new inning shall start after 1 hour and 45 minutes of play
• The home team is responsible for announcing and recording the “start time”
• In the event the game is not complete within the 2 hour time limit, the score will revert to the last completed inning

Major Division

Major Division Overview
The Major Division, also referred to as Little League Baseball, is the most visible level of baseball in the Little League organization.  Players from this level are eligible to compete for entrance into the Little League World Series.  This level can have a high, fast-paced level of competition.  Players ages 9-12 are eligible to participate in the Major Division.  Players must participate in a Player Evaluation prior to the season to be eligible to play at this level.  A full schedule of games are provided during the season.  Scores and standings are kept.  Successful teams often have opportunities to play in postseason games, such as the Tournament of Champions.  Players at this level are also eligible to be selected on an all-star team.  All-star teams represent the league in the district tournament, and may possibly proceed to state, regional and LLWS tournaments.  

TLL Major Division Rules
• Follow the current Little League rule book

• 15-Run rule after the completion of 3 innings


Thurmont Little League
275 Westview Drive (P.O. Box 361) 
Thurmont, Maryland 21788

Email: [email protected]

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