Pitching Rules - Baseball
Note: The manager of a team shall have full responsibility for tracking and observing these rules as they pertain to pitch counts and days of rest. Violation of these rules could result in the forfeit of the game results, suspension of the manager for a set number of games, or inability to be considered for post season participation.
FCLL takes the safety of our players seriously and relies on the team manager to ensure that players are not being used to the point of physical distress as pitchers.
Any player on a regular season team may pitch. (NOTE: There is no limit to the number of pitchers a team may use in a game.)
A pitcher once removed from the mound cannot return as a pitcher.
The manager must remove the pitcher when s\he reaches the limit for his\her age group as noted below, but the pitcher may remain in the game at another position.
Rule for Pitching and Catching same game [LL - Regulation VI - Pitchers]: A player who played the position of catcher for three (3) innings or less moves to the pitcher position, and delivers 21 pitches or more in the same day, may not return to the catcher position on that calendar day.
The exception to this is if the pitcher reaches the 20 pitch limit while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch, and maintain their eligibility to return to the catcher position, until any one of the following conditions occur: (1) that batter reaches base; (2) that batter is retired; (3) the third out is made to complete the half-inning or the game; or (4) the pitcher is removed from the mound prior to the batter completing his/her at-bat.
Note: the catcher receiving one pitch to a batter in the fourth inning constitutes having caught four (4) innings. Warm-up pitches do not count, only when the ball is live will the pitches count toward innings caught.
If a player delivers 41 or more pitches, and is not covered under the threshold exception, the player may not play the role of catcher for the remainder of the day.
Pitching Limits by League Age [LL - Regulation VIc]:
The maximum number of pitches that an 11 or 12 year old may pitch is 85 (in the Majors Division) per day.
The maximum number of pitches that a 9 or 10-year old may pitch is 75 per day.
The maximum number of pitches that an 8-year old may pitch is 50 per day.
Days of Rest [LL - Regulation VIc]: Pitchers league age 14 and under must adhere to the following rest requirements, consistent with Little League Rules:
If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed.
If a player pitches 51 - 65 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed.
If a player pitches 36 - 50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed.
If a player pitches 21 - 35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar days of rest must be observed.
If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, no (0) calendar day of rest is required.
Exception: If a pitcher reaches a day of rest threshold while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until any one of the following conditions occurs: 1) that batter reaches base; 2) that batter is put out; or 3) the third out is made to complete the half-inning. The pitcher will only be required to observe the calendar days of rest for the threshold he\she reached during that at-bat, provided that pitcher is removed or the game is completed before delivering a pitch to another batter.
Note: Under no circumstance shall a player pitch in three (3) consecutive days.
Note: A pitcher’s pitch count for the purposes of day(s) rest threshold is determined by the first pitch thrown to a batter. The pitcher may not start a new batter once the limit imposed in Regulation VI(c) has been met.
Pitchers in Foster City Little League are allowed to throw curve balls in any division.
Additional Rules/Requirements Associated with Pitching
Each league must designate the scorekeeper or another game official as the official pitch count recorder.
The pitch count recorder must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by either manager or any umpire.
However, the manager is responsible for knowing when his/her pitcher must be removed.
The official pitch count recorder should inform the umpire-in-chief when a pitcher has delivered his/her maximum limit of pitches for the game, as noted in Regulation VI (c).
The umpire-in-chief will inform the pitcher’s manager that the pitcher must be removed in accordance with Regulation VI (c). However, the failure by the pitch count recorder to notify the umpire-in-chief, and/or the failure of the umpire-in-chief to notify the manager, does not relieve the manager of his/her responsibility to remove a pitcher when that pitcher is no longer eligible.
Violation of any section of this regulation can result in protest of the game in which it occurs. Protest shall be made in accordance with Playing Rule 4.19. The manager and\or coaches may also be subject to sanctions by the Board of Directors.
A player who has attained the league age of twelve (12) is not eligible to pitch in the Minor League. (See Regulation V – Selection of Players)
A player may not pitch in more than one game in a day. (Exception: In the Big League Division, a player may be used as a pitcher in up to two games in a day.)
Pitching and Days of Rest Examples
A pitcher starts a new batter and has thrown 45 pitches up to that point during that game. During this at-bat, the pitcher throws 6 pitches and strikes the batter out. While the total number of pitches thrown is 51, the threshold reached is considered 45 pitches (the start of the at-bat) and if the pitcher is removed prior to starting a new batter, (2) calendar days of rest must be observed for this pitcher. A single pitch thrown to a new batter would place this pitcher at/above 51 requiring (3) calendar days of rest.
A League Age 10 pitcher starts a new batter and has thrown 71 pitches that day. During this at-bat, the pitcher throws 5 pitches and the batter reaches base. The pitcher has thrown 76 total pitches which exceeds the 75 pitch limit for LA 9-10. This is allowed under Regulation VI (c). Based on the rest rules, (4) calendar days of rest must be observed for the pitcher.
A League Age 10 pitcher starts a new batter having thrown 32 pitches that day. A new batter comes up and the manager decides to intentionally walk that batter and alerts the home plate umpire and the batter takes 1st (no pitches were thrown for the intentional walk). A new batter comes up and the pitcher throws 3 stikes and strikes that batter out and the pitcher is removed. The pitch count for that pitcher is 32 + 4 (intentional walk) + 3 = 39 pitches. With the intentional walk, the pitcher started his last batter at 36 pitches and thus must now observe (2) calendar days of rest (an intentional walk counts as 4 pitches even if no pitches are thrown).
A league age 12 pitcher delivers 70 pitches in a game on Monday when the game is suspended. The game resumes on the following Thursday. The pitcher is not eligible to pitch in the resumption of the game because he/she has not observed the required days of rest.
A league age 12 pitcher delivers 70 pitches in a game on Monday when the game is suspended. The game resumes on Saturday. As the (4) calendar days of rest have been observed from Tuesday-Friday, the pitcher is eligible to pitch and can pitch a maximum of 85 pitches for the day.
Example 6: A league age 12 pitcher delivers 70 pitches in a game on Monday when the game is suspended. The game resumes two weeks later. As the (4) calendar days of rest have been observed from Tuesday-Friday, the pitcher is eligible to pitch and can pitch a maximum of 85 pitches for the day, provided he/she is eligible based on his/her pitching record during the previous week of play leading up to the resumption of the game. (i.e. Monday the game was suspended, then the Saturday before the resumed Monday game the pitcher pitched 35 pitches. The pitcher is eligible to play in the Monday resumption as the (1) calendar day of rest was observed. If the pitcher pitched 35+ pitches on the Saturday, the pitcher is ineligible as the (2)+ days of rest would not be possible).
1. The withdrawal of an ineligible pitcher after that pitcher is announced, or after a warm-up pitch is delivered, but before that player has pitched a ball to a batter, shall not be considered a violation. Little League officials are urged to take precautions to prevent protests. When a protest situation is imminent, the potential offender should be notified immediately.
2. Pitches delivered in games declared "Regulation Tie Games" or "Suspended Games" shall be charged against pitcher’s eligibility.
3. In suspended games resumed on another day, the pitchers of record at the time the game was halted may continue to pitch to the extent of their eligibility for that day, provided said pitcher has observed the required days of rest in between the suspension and resumption of the game.