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Keystone Little League

Keystone Little League

Keystone Little League

Rookie Baseball Rules:


The Rookie baseball division is a developmental division in the Keystone Little League program. Its focus is on
reinforcing the basics of throwing, catching, and hitting and introducing additional aspects of organized baseball
including making outs, running the bases, strikeouts, and scoring runs. The Rookie division is for league age 5–8 year 
olds. League age 5-year-olds must have completed a season of T-Ball in order to play Rookie. League age 8-year-olds 
are eligible to play but are required to attend the Single A / Minor B player evaluation. Coaches should focus on
developing baseball fundamentals and maintaining a fun, positive environment. Although it is natural to start to keep
score, coaches/teams are prohibited from doing so and there are no standings or recorded wins or losses at this level.

Game Length:

The game length shall be no more than 1 hour 30 minutes or four (4) complete innings whichever comes first (no new
inning after 1 hour 15 minutes). There are no forfeits in Rookie League baseball. Players may be borrowed from the
opposing team as necessary.

Player Roster:

Each attending player shall be placed in the batting order (continuous batting order). Each attending player shall play
a defensive position every inning. Only one player shall occupy a given position in the infield during play (only one
pitcher position in Rookie). Additional players will be positioned in the outfield. The pitching position must be rotated
among different players whenever safely possible. The position of pitcher and first base shall be rotated as much as
safely possible. The catcher takes his normal position and must wear protective gear which includes a helmet, face
mask, throat guard, leg guards, chest protector, and protective cup. Each player shall play an infield position at least
two innings per game.


The coach or manager of the team at bat shall set up on one knee 25-30 feet from Homeplate to deliver up to 7 pitches
per batter. If after seven (7) pitches the batter has not put the ball in play, he shall be out. The batter can receive more
pitches if they foul off the “7th pitch”. There are no walks. Tees should not be used in this division. Coaches may elect
to deliver 2-3 front-toss (underhand) pitches from closer to Homeplate (after 4-5 standard pitches) if a player is still
adjusting to coach pitching. This should only be done on a limited basis. The ball shall be live after it is hit into fair
territory and shall remain live until it is returned to the infield (whether controlled by a player or not). Any runners still
advancing to a base may continue to that base if they have advanced at least halfway to that base. If the runner is not
halfway to the next base when the ball is returned to the infield, then he/she must return to the previous base. Runners
may not advance on a defensive overthrow. Each half-inning concludes when either three (3) defensive outs are
recorded, or four (4) runs have been scored by the offense. There are no Umpires in the Rookie division, so defensive
outs will be called by the coaches on the field. Managers (in agreement) may elect to have all players bat in the final
inning even if three (3) defensive outs have been recorded.

Intentionally bunting is not permitted.

Base Running, Stealing and Sliding:

Leading off and stealing bases are not permitted. Headfirst sliding is also not permitted except when a runner is
returning to a base. Any runner is out when the runner does not slide or attempt to get around a fielder who has the
ball and is waiting to make the tag. Infielders including the pitcher and catcher cannot block a base or home plate if
they do not have the ball and/or are not in the process of making a tag.

On-field Coaches:

The offensive team shall station three coaches on the field during play, one occupying the first base coach’s box, one
occupying the third base coach’s box, and one to pitch. All other offensive coaches must be in the dugout during play.
At least one coach (or team parent) must be in the dugout at all times. The defensive team may station two coaches
(official coaches and/or approved volunteers) in the outfield during play plus (1) coach / volunteer beside the catcher.
All other defensive team coaches must remain in the dugout at all times unless time is out. All managers, coaches, and
approved volunteers must wear their lanyards for the duration of the game.

Game Preparation:

The home team is responsible for the lining of the field before the game. Both teams shall fill in holes in the batter’s
box and on the pitcher’s mound, water the field as necessary, and/or perform any other maintenance needed to
ensure safe playing conditions (including raking the field). Please use courteous common sense as the Away Team and assist the Home Team if they are short on Coaches/Volunteers.

Post-Game Duties:

Teams must ensure that their dugout and bleacher area are cleaned up after the game. Home team should rake the
areas around the bases and other out high traffic areas of the field.

If you are holding a player meeting after the game, please clear your dugout and move outside the field of play for your
meeting - if there is another game scheduled after your game.

**** If a rule is not addressed herein, please see the Little League Rulebook for the applicable T-Ball, Minors, or
Majors rules.
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