Baseball - Rookie Division Rules

Updated Saturday August 6, 2016 by Franklin Little League.

The following is the adopted rules of the Franklin Little League - Rookie Baseball Division.  These rules will be in place for all regular-season games played at the Franklin Little League Complex.


  1. A team can have up to three (3) FLL approved manager/coaches on the field while on offense.  This includes the manager utilizing the pitching machine, a base coach at first base and a base coach at third base/ dugout area. Base coaches are optional and not required.  One coach is required to be by the dugout anytime there is at least one athlete in the dugout.
  2. The team manager (or coach if manager designates) will handle the pitching machine for their own team.  No one else may use the pitching machine.
  3. The batter will receive up to five (5) pitches or three (3) swinging strikes whatever comes first to put the ball in play. After five (5) pitches the batter will be out if the batter doesn’t put the ball in play. If the batter fouls the fifth (5th) pitch they will get another pitch until the ball is put into play or the batter swings and misses the ball.
  4. The team manager will be allowed a substitute pitch only if it is obviously clear that the pitch would be determined “unhittable” and the batter did not swing.  Examples include: The ball did not cross home plate, the ball hit home plate or the ball was so high or so low in proportion to the hitter it would be unreasonable to anticipate a hit could be likely. 
  5. A continuous batting order will be used throughout the game.   A player arriving late will be inserted after the last batter listed on the lineup card.  There are no substitutions allowed.
  6. A half inning ends when: Three (3) outs are made, five (5) runs are scored or the offensive team has batted through the order once – whichever comes first.


  1. A team can have one (1) FLL approved coach in the outfield while on defense the first 4 weeks of the official season to offer guidance.  If the coach interferes with the ball in any way the hitter will automatically advance one (1) base without peril.  If that advance forces another player to advance they will do so without peril.  The Rookie Baseball Division VP reserves the right to extend this rule based on feedback from the managers.
  2. Ten (10) fielders will be used if available. You need a minimum of nine (9) to play. If you feel you may not have the required nine (9) players please contact the Rookie Baseball Division VP for guidance ahead of time.  We do not forfeit games.
  3. The team defensive pitcher (position) is not allowed to start the play ahead of the front leg of the pitching machine. The pitcher may start on either side of the pitching machine but there is no charging the batter. If the pitcher has longer hair it must be tied back for safety around the pitching machine.
  4. The first (1st) baseman, second (2nd) baseman and third (3rd) baseman cannot be any closer than six (6) feet in front of their respective base towards home plate. 
  5. Outfielders must play either in or at the grass line and not on the infield.
  6. Unless in play, the catcher should throw the ball to the team pitcher who will than hand the ball to the manager to use in the pitching machine.
  7. As a courtesy to the batting team the defensive team should wait until the batter leaves home plate on a strike out before exiting the field.


  1. A hitter will be awarded second base on an outfield fly that is not caught without peril.  For clarity purposes, an outfield fly is defined as a batted ball that hits the grass edging or beyond.
  2. Except for above, a runner may not advance after an outfield ball is thrown to an infielder.  If a runner is in between bases they must decide to advance to the next base with the risk of peril or retreat to the previous base. 
  3. Only one base advancement is allowed on an overthrown ball (with peril).
  4. A batted ball that hits the pitching machine will be considered a dead ball. Base runners will be allowed to advance one base without peril. We do not want athletes by the pitching machine for safety.
  5. A thrown ball back to the pitcher from a batted ball that hits the pitching machine will be a dead ball and runners will go to the last touched base.
  6. There is no base stealing of any kind.
  7. There is no lead off allowed.
  8. There is no bunting allowed.
  9. There is no pinch hitting allowed. 
  10. The infield fly rule does not apply in the FLL Rookie Baseball Division.
  11. Sliding is allowed – but only for just cause.  Sliding MUST be feet first.
  12. All players should be rotated both infield and outfield during each game.  No player should sit more than one (1) inning a game.
  13. Unofficial scores will be kept for the purpose of keeping the game moving forward.  However, there will be no official Win/Loss record or team standing in the Rookie Baseball Division.
  14. We have a hard stop of play at 1:15 hours or 6 innings – whichever comes first.  If the hard stop is time constrictive the batter may finish at-bat.  If the last batter scores the winning run or is the third out, the final score will be after that batter's at-bat.  If the last batter does not score the winning run or is not the third out, the final score will stand as of the time.
  15. Rainout games will not be rescheduled if the teams complete the third inning or further before the game is called.
  16. If your scheduled game is rained out please contact the Rookie Baseball Division VP to reschedule if possible.


  1. Pitching machines should be handled with care.  Please utilize the pitching machine designated cart/ wagon for transportation to and from the fields.
  2. The home team manager/ coach is responsible for the set up prior to game time and return of the pitching machine to the FLL shed.
  3. The pitching machine shall be situated over the pitching mound or just in front of the mound if the mound is not level.
  4. Only the FLL manager (or FLL coach if manager designates) is allowed to use the pitching machine.  There are no exceptions.
  5. The pitching machine should go through a “test” run for adjustment prior to the game officially starting.
  6. All managers/ coaches should supervise and encourage athletes to stay clear of the pitching machine for safety.
  7. We will use the yellow dimple balls with the pitching machine.  New dimple balls should be reserved for games.
  8. The pitching machine speed will be set at approximately 36 mph.  The Rookie Baseball Divison VP reserves the right to adjust this if warranted.  Notification will be made to all managers ahead of time if that occurs.
  9. It is possible the pitching machine vibrations and long term use may throw the quality of pitches off.  Calibrations and adjustments are allowed to the pitching machine at the beginning of the inning providing both managers are in agreement.


  1. Any unique circumstances must be discussed and mutually agreed upon during the managers meeting at home plate prior to the start of the game. Core rules should not be altered in any way in the interest of consistency and fairness amongst games. The expected guidance is the rules stand unless there is a unique circumstance.
  2. Please be respectful and conduct yourself in a way that positively promotes Franklin Little League’s program and supports the experience of all athletes.
  3. After the game please promptly clean up your dugout and ensure the field is available for the next team to use on time.
  4. If you are the last game of the evening, kindly re-tarp the field with the tarp and stakes provided in the dugouts.