Mini-Minor Baseball provides a transition from Tee Ball to the Minor League for players who are age seven (7) and eight (8) by April 30. At this stage of ball there is still a great deal of hands-on instruction during the game. During defensive play, managers and coaches may remain on the field to give instruction. During offensive play an adult coach will slow pitch to batters. This division continues to help children learn baseball without having to be concerned over who scores the most runs or who wins or loses a game.
Team Selection: Mini Minor players are assigned to teams, with an equal number of players of the same age being placed on each team. Player requests will be granted at the discretion of the Mini Minor Director. (see also “Player Requests” in “General Rules” section).
Scorekeeping does not have a place in mini-minor regular season play. Managers, coaches, umpires and spectators should actively discourage anyone from keeping score during the game.
Umpires are selected from volunteers at the game. The home team is responsible for providing the plate umpire who will count the pitches, runs, outs, and keep the game running in a manner that is fair and consistent with the general rules of the game. The umpire should assist in returning the missed pitches in order to keep the game flowing. A base umpire may also be seconded from the parents. Parents called upon to officiate should be familiar with the rules contained herein.
Game Length: until the May long weekend, games will be four innings; after that date they will be six innings. No new innings will be started after 90 minutes.
Inning Length: each team will remain at bat until three outs or five runs, which ever comes first. This rule is to try and speed up the game and make it more exciting for our young players.
Defensive Play — Field Positions
Field Positions: There will be a maximum of seven infield players. The extra player usually plays as a rover or as a longstop between first and second base. The remainder of the team will play in the outfield and will not take a position any closer than ten feet off the base path.
Player Rotation: All players must play the infield in at least two innings in each game and all players must play all positions on a roughly equal rotation throughout the regular season (for games attended). In preparing line-ups it relieves the manager and coach of considerable stress by running a set pattern of changes from game to game. A sample line-up sheet is available from the Director of Mini-Minors.
Offensive Play — Batting
Batting: A manager or coach will pitch underhand to the batters of his/her own team. All players except the player at bat, are to remain in the dugout while teammates bat. Batters are not permitted to warm-up. Regulations prohibit on-deck batters. This means no player should handle a bat, until it is his/her turn at bat. Coaches may assist batters having difficulty but should keep it brief in order to keep the game flowing. Time at Bat: Each batter will get eight pitches, six after the May long weekend, and can swing at all of them. If a foul ball is hit on the last pitch, the batter will get another pitch. After no hit is achieved on the last pitch, the batter is out.
Batting Order: The batting order must be followed throughout the game. Over the course of the season batters should be rotated up and down the batting order in a roughly equal manner. Again, to assist managers and coaches, a sample rotation sheet is available from the Director of Mini-Minors.
Overthrown Balls: runners may advance at their own risk on an overthrow to first, second, third or to the catcher (Note: a pitched ball which is missed by the catcher is not considered an overthrow). Only one base may be gained by any runner on a single overthrow (this includes an overthrow that goes out of bounds or hits the backstop.) After this single overthrow, the ball will be returned to the pitcher and the game resumed. This is to stop defensive players from committing a string of errors in trying to catch advancing runners.
Base Running: Leading off or stealing bases is not permitted
Outfield Hits: On outfield hits, runners may advance or may be forced to advance, at their own risk, until the ball reaches the infield (yes, you can get a home run). Players who are over halfway to the next base when a ball reaches the infield will advance only to that next base (if the base is clear). If they are less than halfway when the ball enters the infield they will return to the base they have just left. In the event runners overrun, that is, move toward an occupied base, they must try to return, at their own risk, to the base they have safely left.
Infield Hits: On an infield hit, runners may advance or may be forced to advance, at their own risk, to the next base. As in other aspects of Mini-Minor, managers, coaches, and umpires should exercise common sense with base running calls in order to keep game moving smoothly.
Base Calls: A close play at any base should be called in favour of the runner in order to keep the game moving and exciting for all players.
Mini-Minor playoffs will not be held. Regular season schedule will continue until the end of the ball season. All children will receive a trophy of participation at the closing ceremonies.