This section of our website is dedicated to the officials who make Blaine Area Little League (BALL) an enjoyable and rewarding experience for players, coaches, parents and the community. BALL Umpires have gone through multiple hours of classroom and practical training, and have experience levels ranging from 1 to 26 years. They are responsible for enforcing the rules and regulations of Little League Baseball, as well as monitoring the safety of all participants and spectators. Our crew this season is 19 members strong, divided into ten adult(18+) and 9 youth(14+) umpires.
The intent of this Resource Center is to provide our Little League Baseball Umpires with the tools they need to be effective and fair arbiters of the game, to provide leadership to children as well as managers and coaches, and to help train future umpires. It is also a valuable resource for coaches and managers to gain insight on issues that arise during the season. We hope all umpires and coaches, novices and seasoned veterans alike, will be able to learn from this resource. Check back OFTEN for content updates, LL news, official rulings and scheduling...we hope you enjoy it!
Rules are Rules - Year Round
It happens like clockwork. Each and every district, state, and regional tournament someone shows up with a bat that doesn’t meet specifications, or catcher’s masks without dangling throat-guards, or the coaches insist on standing outside the dugouts (as if their voices can somehow be heard better if not passing through a chain-link fence). Their excuse: “We’ve been doing this all year and nobody has said anything.”
1. PERSONNEL IN DUGOUT – Rule 3.17 (pg 63) states...No one except eligible players in uniform, a manager and not more than two coaches shall occupy the bench or dugout...we need to pay more attention to this and enforce regularly so it doesn’t become a problem down the road. Please add to your “pre-game conference” going forward.
2. BASE COACHES – Rule 4.05 (pg 64-65) states...The offensive team shall station two base coaches on the field during its time at bat, one near first base and one near third base. The coaches shall not leave their respective dugouts until the pitcher has completed his/her prepatory pitches to the catcher.
Base coaches shall –
(1) be eligible players in the uniform of their team; a manager and/or coach. Both base coaches may be managers or coaches.
(2) be a manager or coach only if there is at least one other adult manager or coach in the dugout.
Make sure teams are following the rules.
3. JEWELRY – Rule 1.11(j) [pg 53] states...Players must not wear jewelry such as, but not limited to, rings, watches, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, nor any hard cosmetic/decorative items; regardless of composition of such items. The only exception is “Medic Alert” bracelets or necklaces. (this includes rope necklaces, wrist bands, and sunglasses not worn over the eyes) Make sure you address this in your pre-game conferences!
4. SLIDING – Rule 7.08(a)(3 & 4) [pg 78-79] states...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 (Rookie thru Intermediate). Any runner is out when the runner slides head first while advancing (Rookie thru Major). These are the only two mandatory sliding rules in the “Green Book”. Add to your pre-game conference if not already discussed.
5. MISCELLANEOUS –
a) All players MUST wear designated uniforms (hat, shirt, pants), unless a substitute player is assigned by the “Player Agent” to fill a game roster (Major and Intermediate), then their original team uniform is allowed. Cannot play if they show up in shorts or other shirt or hat, etc. (applies to Rookies thru PREP)
b) Base coaches need to be a MINIMUM of 5 feet outside of the baseline when pitch is delivered, if no area is marked (safety issue and interference concern)
c) Reinforce “No On-Deck Batter” (Rookie thru Major) and “No Adult/Coach may Warm-Up a Pitcher” (Rookie thru Intermediate)
d) Catchers NEED to have a “Dangling Throat Protector” affixed to their mask to play (Rookie thru Intermediate)
e) We are using the “Continuous Batting Order” in Rookie thru Intermediate leagues...so there is NO PINCH RUNNER provision except in the case of an injury, then ‘last’ batter who was put out may pinch run
f) Reinforce 1-2 minutes between half-innings...no time for group hugs, team huddles on defense, and need to have a backup catcher to warm up pitcher or pitcher will not get proper warm up pitches...coach responsibility=warm ups / umpire responsibility=move game along (GOAL – maximum innings played in the time allotted)
DROPPED 3rd STRIKE
For 2013, the Major and Older Leagues have the SAME rule [6.05 (b)(2) in the Green Book] to be called out...ENTER THE BENCH. There could still be many different interpretations of the ruling, so here is how I would like everyone to apply this rule for BOTH Major and Intermediate League play going forward:
1. If there are less than two outs, and 1st base is occupied, the batter is immediately OUT on a dropped third strike.
2. If there are less than two outs, and 1st base is open, the batter may attempt to advance to 1st base and the defense must tag the batter or first base before the batter touches first base on a dropped third strike. If the batter touches another offensive player, coach, object or ENTERS THE BENCH by getting within 3 (three) feet of the entrance...he/she shall be considered as “ABANDONING THE OPPORTUNITY” and declared OUT.
3. If there are two outs, and 1st base is open OR occupied, the batter may attempt to advance to 1st base and the defense must tag the batter or first base before the batter touches first base on a dropped third strike. If the batter touches another offensive player, coach, object or ENTERS THE BENCH by getting within 3 (three) feet of the entrance...he/she shall be considered as “ABANDONING THE OPPORTUNITY” and declared OUT. Any base runners FORCED to advance because 1st base is occupied must also safely acquire their next base for the inning to continue.
To clarify - As long as the proper conditions exist (as outlined above) and the batter does not make physical contact with another offensive player or coach (interference penalty), pick up the bat they have previously discarded (live ball penalty), touch the baseball or their defensive equipment (live ball penalty), or get within 3 (three) feet of the bench or dugout entrance (definition of ENTERS THE BENCH we will use going forward)...the batter may attempt to acquire 1st base on a dropped third strike. They DO NOT have to try immediately or directly.