Little League Pitcher Rule Clarification
In an effort to provide additional guidance on the application of “Tournament Rule IV (d) Pitchers, Exception” regarding the new pitching threshold, the tournament committee has prepared the clarification outlined below regarding end of game threshold. This clarification is a result of questions from the volunteers in the field seeking confirmation of the threshold exception as it applies to end of game scenarios.
In a Major Division (11- and 12-year olds) Baseball game, in the sixth inning with no outs, the manager replaces the pitcher, the replacement pitcher throws 19 pitches and reaches two outs. The pitcher then faces another batter, throws five (5) more pitches for the third out, which ends the half inning and the game.
Rule VI (d) – Pitchers
e. Pitchers league age 14 and under must adhere to the following requirements:
• 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 to 65 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar day of rest must be observed.
• If a player pitches 36 to 50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar day of rest must be observed.
• If a player pitches 21 to 35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar day of rest must be observed.
• If a player pitches 1 to 20 pitches in a day, no rest is required.
EXCEPTION: If a pitcher reaches a day(s) 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 retired; 3. The third out is made to complete the half-inning. The pitcher will only be required to observe the calendar day(s) of rest for the threshold he/she reached during that at-bat, provided that pitcher is removed before delivering a pitch to another batter.
Clarification / Intent
In the above scenario, the pitcher reached 24 pitches. The third out was made ending the half inning and the game, preventing the manager from removing the pitcher before delivering a pitch to another batter, and thus no calendar days rest must be observed. In essence, if any pitching threshold is reached with the last batter in the game, any instance which would cause the half inning to end, it is to be treated the same as being removed from the game before delivering a pitch to another batter.