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Stamford Little League - American Division: AAA Rules


  • Lineup cards are to be exchanged prior to the start of the game.

  • Every game will start with the Pledge of Allegiance and the Little League Pledge.

  • Each team must have at least 8 players to start a game but should always attempt to field 9 in accordance with the AA call-up policy.  A team playing with only 8 players will incur an automatic out in the 9th slot in the order.

  • A team is allowed a 15-minute grace period from the scheduled start but forfeits the game if it cannot field 8 players. The official score will be recorded as 6-0 but teams are strongly encouraged to play a scrimmage.

  • Only the manager and 2 coaches are allowed in the dugout/coaching areas.


  • Each manager will confirm the start time with the umpire. A new inning may not begin more than 1 hour and 45 minutes after the beginning of the game, provided at least 4 innings have been played or 3 ½ with a home team lead. 

  • The start of an inning is as defined by the Little League rule book.   Ex: If the start of a game is 5:05 PM a new inning cannot be started after 6:50 PM. 

  • There will be no time limit for playoff games.

  • Managers should keep the pace of the game crisp and not intentionally slow the pace of play.


  • Each team will bat all of their eligible players in a “continuous” batting order.  

  • Helmets with face guards or C-flaps are recommended.

  • The manager should post their team lineup (include positions) in the dugout at the beginning of the game for the benefit of the players.

  • A player who is not present at the start of the game will be added to the bottom of the order when he or she arrives (regardless of who it is).

  • There is no substitution of one player for another in the batting order.  If a player due up has left the game for a viable reason (e.g. injury), then that spot is skipped over and the next scheduled batter will hit.  The opposing manager should be advised that a player will miss their spot in the batting order and the reason why.  If the player returns to the game, they are reinserted into their spot in the batting order. 

    • The only qualifier is that if the removed player leaves the team with only 8 players, then their spot in the batting order becomes an automatic out.

  • No dropped 3rd strike – batter may not run to first but runners may advance as the ball is live.

  • No Infield fly rule.

  • The “5-Run Rule” applies. In each half inning, the team at bat will hit until there are 3 outs or 5 runs, whichever occurs first, except for the last inning (as outlined in the Scoring section below). 

  • The “last inning” for regular season games is either the 6th inning or the 5th inning if before the inning starts the umpire declares that to be the final inning of play based on elapsed time.

  • A hit-by-pitch (HBP) occurs when a pitcher hits the batter, including on a bounce, as long as the batter did not swing.

  • Only “USA Baseball” approved bats are allowed in play. Managers/coaches should ensure that bats conform to Little League specifications. For more information, see the link below. 

  • Players may bunt, although all players should be encouraged to swing the bat.

  • NO slash bunting (faking a bunt then swinging away).


Teams will score by normal baseball rules, except that no team will be able to score more than 5 runs in an inning except under the following circumstances:

  • If a player hits a fence-clearing home run, then all runs will be counted.

  • Teams may score an unlimited amount of runs in the 6th or final inning

  • 10 run mercy rule after 4 complete innings (or 3 1/2 innings if the home team is leading)

  • 15 run mercy rule after 3 complete innings (or 2 1/2 innings if the home team is leading)


  • A steal is defined as any runner advancement where the ball was not batted and includes straight steals, passed balls, and wild pitches. This also includes an overthrow from the catcher to the pitcher.

  • Unlimited number steals allowed on the bases per inning, with a limit of 1 steal of home per team per inning

  • All runners attempting to steal, whether legally or not, are at risk of being out on the attempt.

  • On stolen base attempts in which there is a catcher overthrow, runners may continue to advance. Unless going for home and their 1 steal of home has already been exhausted that inning

  • Runners may not leave the base until the ball crosses home plate.

  • No leading.

  • Tag-ups are allowed from all bases.

  • Catchers may be pinch-run for when there are 2 outs and should otherwise be geared up ahead of time if they’re unlikely to bat. Said pinch-runner must be the last batted out.

  • Sliding. There is no must slide rule in Little League.

  • If the fielder has possession of the ball, the runner must slide or attempt to avoid a tag without causing a collision with the defensive player. If, in this case, the runner makes contact with the defensive player without sliding, it is in the umpire’s discretion whether to call the runner out.

  • If the fielder does not have possession of the ball the runner is not obligated to do anything except reach the base in a fashion that does not injure the defensive player. In this case, a fielder without possession of the ball must not block the plate/base in a manner that would prevent the runner from reaching the base. If the fielder impedes a runner, then it is in the umpire’s discretion to award that base to the runner.


  • Defense consists of 9 players in the field – pitcher, catcher, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, and 3 outfielders.

  • No player may sit out a 2nd inning until all players sit out at least 1 inning (excluding the starting pitcher as long as they remain in the game on the mound).

  • Players can play a maximum of 4 innings at any one position. At the same time, coaches are strongly encouraged to move players around to further player development.

  • The one exception to these rules is the pitcher who is governed by official Little League pitch count limits (see Pitching section below) and not inning counts. 

  • For each player, one inning in the infield is required unless there is a safety concern. Catcher is counted as an infield position. Any such safety concerns should be brought to the attention of the Commissioner.

  • On the first overthrow of a ball in play the ball is live and runners may advance. On the second overthrow of that same play, it’s a dead ball.

  • While on defense only the pitcher or coach may call for time out and the pitcher must have control of the ball on or near the mound with no runners currently attempting to advance.


  • All pitchers deliver from the 46’ mound.

  • Each team must track pitch counts during the game and it is recommended that managers agree on counts after each half inning. Each manager should designate someone, be it another coach or team family member, to be the pitch counter using either an app (GameChanger) or a mechanical counter.

  • Every pitcher’s total pitch count for the game must also be recorded.

  • Heart guards are recommended for pitchers. 

  • Per Little League rules on pitchers and catchers, no pitcher who delivers 41 or more official pitches in a game will be allowed to play catcher for the remainder of the day. Similarly, no catcher who has caught 4+ innings of a game will be allowed to pitch that day.

  • A pitcher will be removed from the game (as pitcher) after hitting 3 batters.

  • A pitcher will be removed from the game on the 2nd coach visit to the mound in one inning or on the 3rd such visit overall. 

  • Intentional walks are allowed by announcing the move to the umpire. It’s a dead ball play and the remaining number of pitches to get to 4 balls are added to the pitch count.

  • A player may not pitch in more than 1 game in a calendar day.

  • A player may not pitch on 3 consecutive days.

  • Pitch count limits: Early season pitch count limits will be tighter, capping all pitchers at 35 pitches in their first outing and 50 pitches in their second outing, 65 pitches in 3rd outing. Afterwards, the Little League pitch count limits below apply.

    • Players age 8: Maximum 50 pitches per game

    • Players age 9 & 10: Maximum 75 pitches per game

    • Players age 11: Maximum 85 pitches per game

    • If a pitcher reaches this limit while pitching to a batter, he/she may finish pitching to that batter.

  • Required rest for pitchers

    • 1-20 pitches: no days rest

    • 21-35 pitches: 1 day of rest

    • 36-50 pitches: 2 days of rest

    • 51-65 pitches: 3 days of rest

    • 66 or more pitches: 4 days of rest

  • If a pitcher reaches a days rest threshold during an at-bat and finishes the batter before coming out of the game, the pitch count used for calculating days of rest will be the official threshold reached during the at-bat.

    • Ex. If a pitcher starts an at-bat at 33 pitches, and finishes the at-bat in 5 pitches, the total pitches would be 38. However this Pitch count would revert to 35 since the threshold of 35 was passed during the at bat. In this example, the pitcher would be allows to pitch after 1 days rest.

  • For the sake of clarity, the term days of rest is defined as the number of days between, not including, the days in which games are played. Thresholds are limit of each day of Rest (20, 35, 50, 65, 66+).


  • The HOME team shall prep the field (including raking infield dirt, placing bases, lining batter's box and foul lines).  The HOME team is also responsible for opening up the field if it is the first game at that field (including opening all necessary locks), or closing up the field (including locking up, turning off lights, etc.)

  • The HOME team supplies at least two new games balls to the umpire.

  • Winning team shall promptly enter on website directly, or text to Division Commissioner or Web Master.


  • Coaches set the example. Umpires are to be respected at all times and judgment calls should not be questioned. Rule interpretations may be discussed but those should be private and courteous discussions.


  • Call-ups from AA to AAA are not eligible to pitch.

  • Rainouts should be made up as promptly as possible.

  • Re-scheduled games should be coordinated by Stamford Little League American Division Master Scheduler(s).

  • Suspended games:  On occasion, games will be suspended due to darkness or weather.  If 4 complete innings have been played (or 3½ innings if the home team is winning), it is considered a COMPLETE game.  The score will revert back to the last full inning that was completed before the suspension.  Games suspended before becoming official will be resumed as soon thereafter as possible at the spot at which they were suspended.

MID-SEASON ASSESSMENT   A midseason evaluation by the Commissioners with input from Division coaches will be used to assess the benefits of any potential rule modifications, including:

  • Stolen base limits

  • Overthrow rules

  • Playoff format (single- or double-elimination)

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