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Mill Valley Little League


Star League Rules

  1. Overview: This level of play is for first graders, generally league age 7 and older.  Player rosters should be limited to 12 players.  It is an instructional league where coaches pitch and play is with a “soft” baseball.  As in the Rookie League, teams do not keep score and there is no standing.  However, at this level, outs count!  Coaches should continue to work on and improve the player’s throwing, catching, and hitting, but also begin to emphasize making plays and a general knowledge of the rules (strikes/balls, strike zone, general base running rules).
  2. Game Basics:  Teams should attempt to play four innings per game, with game time limited to a maximum of 75 minutes.  Two adult coaches are allowed in the field, one in the infield and one in the outfield.   One adult coach should manage the dugout and the bats, and one adult coach should play catcher (a catcher’s mask is included with the equipment and it is recommended that it be worn).
  3. Defensive Positions:  All players should play in the field and rotate positions each inning.  The suggested defensive arrangement is two pitchers assistants, five infielders, and five outfielders.  No player is allowed to play catcher.  Defensive players should not stand on top of the bases – teach the players the correct place to play their positions.  It is important to ensure that over the course of the season, assignment to defensive positions is balanced so that all players have roughly the same number of opportunities at the various positions.
  4. Dugouts: The team at bat must have one adult coach in the dugout at all times.  Only one player is allowed to have a bat in their hands and that is the batter.  NO on-deck swings are permitted.  
  5. Helmets:  All hitters and runners must wear a helmet.  NO EXCEPTIONS.  Players should use the league-provided helmets, or their own properly-fitting baseball batting helmet in good repair.
  6. Batting: The pitcher should throw from a distance and in a manner that has the greatest possibility for making contact by the batter (typically, crisply thrown overhand “darts” are much better than softly thrown underhand arcs).  Each batter will be thrown a maximum of 8 pitches.  The batter can strike out swinging, but there are no called strikes.  Allow 4 swinging strikes during games played before Spring Break; thereafter, 3 swinging strikes.   If the batter does not put the ball in play after 8 pitches, they are retired to the dugout but no out will be recorded.  Foul balls on the eighth pitch will earn the batter another pitch.   Go a few more pitches if you need to for the very last batter of the game only to avoid having the game end on a strikeout.  The offensive side of the inning ends when either three outs have been recorded or all players have had an opportunity to bat, whichever comes first.  Vary your batting order so that all players have an opportunity to play in different spots in the lineup, particularly leadoff, over the season.
  7. Baserunning: Runners should learn not to overrun the bases (except 1st of course), but if they do tagging them out will not count because this happens often. Use it as a teaching moment to explain the rules.   Runners may advance only one base on an over-throw.  Sliding is prohibited at any base.  Walks, bunts, stealing, and leading-off the base are also not allowed.
  8. Umpiring: This level of play begins to introduce defensive “outs”.  All calls in the field will be made by the “Pitching” coach.  Please be lenient when making calls.  Close plays should benefit the hitter, with words of encouragement given to the fielders for an outstanding play.  Runners should be taught not to advance on pop-ups and fly balls as these outs will count.
  9. Plays at home:  Plays at home will be made by the coach/catcher.  A player is out at home plate if the ball arrives at home and the catcher fields it (or should have) before the player crosses the plate.  The catcher needs to have been able to reasonably field the throw. 
  10. Scorekeeping:  No score is kept.  Managers should discourage players and parents from keeping score as well. 
  11. Sportsmanship:   Good sportsmanship should be emphasized among players, coaches, and parents. 
  12. Field Courtesy:  
  • You must clear the field 15 minutes prior to the start of the next game (if there is a next game scheduled).  “Clear the field” means that it is available for the next team to play – players, coaches, equipment, water bottles, etc. must all be off the field and out of the dugout.  Starting late will mean you will have to play a shorter game so as not to interfere with the on-time start of the next game.   
  • Arriving squads are entitled to take the field for warm-ups 15 minutes prior to their start time.  If you arrive earlier than this, and the prior game is still underway, your warm-up must be sufficiently away from the ongoing game that there is no chance that your squad will interfere with it.
  • It is your responsibility to make sure that you leave the field neat and clean after your game – pick up your trash, collect stray equipment, etc.
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