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Amesbury Little League

Amesbury Little League


Section 1:  Cape Ann BR Team Registration


1.              Players


1.1.         The Cape Ann BR League (the “League”) is primarily for players in 7th, 8th, or 9th grade.

1.2.         Players in 6th grade are welcome to play, if they are otherwise too old to play Little League in their community.

1.3.         Players in 10th grade may be permitted to play in the 9th Grade Division on a case-by-case basis with the approval of the Commissioner’s Office and Program Directors.

1.4.         Birth certificates must be made available to the Commissioner's Office upon request.

1.5.         Players age 12 and under who participated in their Program’s little league baseball or softball program during the current season:

1.5.1.     may be utilized as “call-ups” for regular season or playoff games;

1.5.2.     may only be the eighth, ninth, or tenth player;

1.5.3.     may not start over a player already on the roster;

1.5.4.     may not pitch; and

1.5.5.     must bat at the end of the batting order.

1.6.         Any team found knowingly playing an illegal player will forfeit those games in which said player appeared. This penalty includes starting a “call-up” player over a rostered player.


2.              Registration


2.1.         All teams must file a team registration form with the Commissioner's Office prior to the start of the season. Players can only be listed on one roster.

2.2.         To be eligible to be in any League game the player must be on a roster provided to the Commissioner's Office. The only exceptions are “call-ups” as defined above.

2.3.         The Commissioner’s Office will set an appropriate fee for each team prior to the start of each season.


3.              League Admittance


3.1.         Any Town or Regional School District (“Program”) wanting to join the League must have a minimum of 2 teams entered into the League unless the Commissioner's Office allows a single entry. Each Program must designate a league Representative.

3.2.         These rules can only be modified with the approval of the Commissioner's Office and the Program Representatives.


Section 2:  Volunteering, Insurance and Background Checks


4.              Insurance


4.1.         All Programs must purchase insurance for each of their teams through the League. There are no exceptions to this rule. The cost per player will be set by the Commissioner's Office prior to the start of each season.


5.              Background Checks


5.1.         All Programs must submit appropriate background checks (CORI) for all coaches and volunteers prior to the start of each season.

5.2.         A Program may submit a certification that their coaches and volunteers have passed the appropriate background check.

5.3.         No coach or volunteer will be allowed to be on the field without passing a background check.

5.4.         The League will provide access to a service that provides CORI checks.  The fees will be provided to Programs wishing to use this service each year.


Section 3:  Game Play


6.              All coaches must read and adhere to the coaches’ Code of Ethics and Cape Ann BR Rules.


7.              There will be no use of tobacco, cannabis, alcohol, or any other regulated or illegal substance by coaches, volunteers, or players at any game. If caught the offender will be ejected from the game and subject to suspension and expulsion. 


8.              Town/Region Team Entrance


8.1.         A Program cannot enter two B level teams into the league in the same division without a minimum of one A level team.

8.2.         To have four B level teams, a Program must have a minimum of two A level teams in that division. To have six B level teams a Program must have a minimum of three A level teams in that division.

8.3.         If a Program only enters one team at the 8th/9th grade levels and it is a B team, and it is found to have more than five (5) 9th graders on it they will forfeit any game in which more than five (5) 9th graders played.


9.              Equipment


9.1.          Each team will supply two baseballs for each game.

9.2.          If the umpire needs more baseballs, the home team is responsible.

9.3.          The HOME team will provide bases for each game.


10.           Field condition


10.1.      The HOME team is responsible for the playing condition of the field, including maintenance and repairs of holes in and around the bases and mound.

10.2.      The field must be inspected for hazards and debris prior to the game.


11.           Game Day Roster


11.1.      Each team must field at least 8 players to start a game. Failure to field 8 players results in a forfeit.

11.2.      A team playing with 8 players must record an out each time the 9th spot comes up in the order.

11.3.      If a 9th player shows up after the game starts, the player will be placed into the 9th spot in the order.

11.4.      If a player is hurt during the game, and the team does not have another player, then the injured player’s spot in the line-up will NOT be recorded as an out.

11.5.      If a team starts a game with 10 players in the batting order, and a player is hurt, if there is another player on the bench, the injured player’s spot must be filled by a bench player. A player who has not yet played in the game must be used as the substitute ahead of a player that has already played in the game.

11.6.      The rules for injured players apply to players who have been ejected.


12.           Base coaches


12.1.      Players or coaches may coach bases at all levels.

12.2.      Players are encouraged to be the base coaches, to give them experience and keep coaches on the bench near the majority of their players.

12.3.      Players must wear helmets while coaching a base.




13.           Pitching


13.1.      The League follows the “Pitch Smart” Guidelines from Major League Baseball.

13.2.      The maximum pitch count per day for all players is 95 pitches.

13.3.      For 13/14 year olds, the pitch count per days of necessary rest is: 1-20 (0 days); 21-35 (1 day); 36-50 (2 days); 51-65 (3 days); 66+ (4 days)

13.4.      For 15/16 year olds, the pitch count per days of necessary rest is: 1-30 (0 days); 31-45 (1 day); 46-60 (2 days); 61-75 (3 days); 76+ (4 days)

13.5.      In all cases, a pitcher may go over a pitch count to finish a current batter, and the pitch count will revert to the last category of required rest.

13.6.      Coaches SHALL compare and agree to the pitch count for each pitcher between every inning, to minimize disputes. Final pitch counts will be reported, by email, to the applicable Division Head and opposing coach.

13.7.      Teams discovered violating these pitching rules will be subject to discipline, including suspensions and forfeits at the discretion of the Commissioner's Office.

14.           Substitutions


14.1.      During the regular season and the playoffs, a continuous batting order and free defensive substitutions are both allowed to encourage player development. When using a continuous batting order, all players must play at least 9 defensive outs.

14.2.      Limited free substitution is also permitted, where a team only bats 9 players. When using limited free substitution, all players present at the game must play at least 6 defensive outs in the field and have at least 1 plate appearance. A starter who has been replaced can only reenter the game in their original batting spot in the order. A player may only be reentered once. A non-starter may not re-enter once removed. However, a non-starter may not be removed (absent injury) until the playing requirements above are met.

14.3.      Teams may also choose to have an extra hitter (EH) and bat 10. Once a team chooses to use the EH, it must use the EH for the entire game. The EH must also play at least 6 defensive outs in the field and have at least 1 plate appearance. Teams choosing to use the EH must follow the same rules in 14.2 for limited free substitution.

14.4.      If a player is not participating in a game for disciplinary reasons (imposed by the League or the player’s coach or Program), or injury, but is dressed in full uniform and on the bench, their coach must inform the opposing coach. If injury or discipline occurs during the game, the coach of said player must inform the umpire and opposing coach as soon as possible and confirm application of the appropriate substitution rule.


15.           Slide Rule


15.1.      Runners must slide or avoid fielders.

15.2.      Failing to slide or avoid will result in being called out, possibly completing a double-play, or possibly an ejection from the game at the discretion of the umpire.

15.3.      Intentional bad conduct will result in an ejection and possible suspension at the discretion of the Commissioner's Office.


16.           Mercy Rule


16.1.      At all levels, the mercy rule is 12 runs after the fifth inning. If the home team is losing, they have a chance to bat in the bottom of said inning.




17.           Bench and Dugout Areas


17.1.      Only rostered players, call-ups, and approved coaches/volunteers who have passed the appropriate background and CORI process are allowed on the field or in the dugout or bench area during warm-ups and games.

17.2.      coaches are expected to keep PARENTS and FRIENDS off of the field and away from the dugout and bench area during warm-ups and games.


18.           Line-ups and Scorebooks


18.1.      Each team shall keep an accurate scorebook for the entire game.

18.2.      Each team shall exchange line-ups before the game, declare the form of line-up being used, disclose which players are non-starters as necessary, disclosure which players are injured or being disciplined as necessary, and for the A Division, which players are permitted to use drop 8, drop 5, and drop 3 bats.

18.3.      Both teams should regularly compare scorebooks to make corrections if necessary, and must confirm pitch counts after each inning.


19.           Bats


19.1.      Players rostered in the 7th grade division must use a drop 8 bat or heavier, as must call-ups. These bats may be USSSA.

19.2.      Players rostered in the 8th grade division must use a drop 5 bat or heavier, call-ups may use a drop 8. These bats may be USSA.

19.3.      Players in 9th grade must use a drop 3 or heavier BBCOR bat.

19.4.      Players in the 9th grade division must use the bat appropriate to their grade or heavier. For players who intend to use a drop 8 or drop 5 during a game, their coach must inform the opposing coach and umpire at the start of the game, and show that the player has been properly so indicated on the official roster with the League.

19.5.      Failure to make the pre-game disclosure as indicated in 19.4 will result in any such player being required to use a drop 3 or heavier BBCOR bat.

19.6.      During the game, if these rules are violated:For the first violation (if discovered prior to the end of the at bat) the batter is assessed an additional strike (but not a third strike) and the bat must be removed. For the first violation (if discovered after the at bat but before the first pitch to the next batter) the batter is out and all runners return to their prior bases. For a second violation (regardless of timing, but must be before the first pitch to the next batter) the batter is out. For a third violation (regardless of timing, but must be before the first pitch to the next batter), the batter is out and ejected, and the head coach is ejected.

19.7.      Multiple infractions of this rule, as well as ejections, are subject to further discipline and potential suspensions by the Commissioner's Office.


20.           Game Time, Cancellations, and Makeups

20.1.      All games will try to start as close to 5:30 as possible.

20.2.      Umpires should be at the field 10 minutes before the scheduled start for ground rules.

20.3.      In the event of bad weather, the HOME team must make the cancellation decision no later than 1 hour prior to the scheduled start time.

20.4.      The HOME team is responsible for notifying the visiting team and umpires about any cancellation or delay.




20.5.      Absent significantly advance notice, and approval from the Commissioner's Office, bad weather, school related functions, or other issues making the field unplayable are the ONLY REASONS for cancellations. Convenience or lack of players is not a reason - absent consent from all coaches and significantly advanced notice to the Commissioner's Office and the Commissioner's Office approval.

20.6.      A canceled game MUST BE RESCHEDULED WITHIN 72 hours and must BE PLAYED WITHIN 10 DAYS from the original date scheduled, absent extraordinary circumstances approved by the Commissioner's Office.  Both coaches are responsible for making arrangements to get the game rescheduled and must contact the Commissioner's Office or Division Head immediately if there are any issues.

20.7.      The Commissioner's Office may deem a game forfeited if a team does not follow these rules. Once the game is rescheduled, the HOME team must contact the division head and give the date and time of the rescheduled game so it can be posted on the website.

20.8.      Batting practice must end 45 minutes prior to game time start.

20.9.      Home team takes the field 30 minutes prior to game time and the visiting team has it for 15 minutes prior to game time start. coaches may switch this order as agreed for the most efficient use of time.

20.10.   Both teams have on the field warm-ups for 15 minutes.

20.11.   If a team cannot field a team to start with at least 8 players after 30 minutes from the scheduled start time, that team forfeits.


21.           Official Games.


21.1.      An official 7th or 8th grade division game is 4 innings (3 ½ if the home team is winning).

21.2.      An official 9th grade division game is 5 innings (4 ½ if the home team is winning).

21.3.      A game halted by the umpire prior to it being an official game shall be picked up from that point at a rescheduled date.

21.4.      coaches from both teams must compare scorebooks prior to leaving the field in such a circumstance, agree to the status of the game, and report the status to the Division Head, including pitch counts.

21.5.      Pitch count and rest rules apply to suspended games.

21.6.      Any game halted by the umpires during an uncompleted inning after it has become official shall revert back to the last full inning played for the final score and shall not be picked up later.

21.7.      If a game is tied after 7 innings, an 8th inning shall be played (time and darkness permitting), with the last player to make a plate appearance batting the prior inning starting on second base.

21.8.      If a game is tied after 8 innings, a 9th inning shall be played (time and darkness permitting), with the last three players to make plate appearances the prior inning starting on third, second, and first in the order of their plate appearances.

21.9.      Pinch runners/substitutions may not be used in extra innings for the runners placed on base at the start of the inning. However, pinch runners/substitutions may be used for any player new to bat during the inning.

21.10.   Playoff games must complete at least 7 innings, and extra innings will not have automatic baserunners. The mercy rule IS NOT in effect for playoff games.







22.           League Standings


22.1        The scoring system to determine the standings is: 4 points for a win; 2 points for a tie; 1 point for a loss.

22.2        No points are awarded to a team that forfeits. The “winning” team from the forfeit receives a win and 4 points.

22.3        The Commissioner's Office and Division Heads will assess the impact of forfeits on the standings and may alter the awarding of points depending on the circumstances surrounding the forfeit. This may include DEDUCTING points from the forfeiting team if the circumstances so warrant to ensure each team is making a genuine effort to play all games.


23            Game Reporting


23.1        All scores and pitch counts are to be reported by BOTH coaches to the appropriate Division Head by email within 24 hours, copying the other coach.

23.2        Failure to accurately or timely report scores and pitch counts may result in the loss of points in the standings, at the discretion of the Commissioner's Office.


24            Players Playing in Multiple Divisions


24.1        A player may play up at a higher level as a call-up, but may not pitch at that higher level.


25            Playoff Eligibility


25.1        Rostered players must participate in a minimum of 50% of the scheduled regular games for their division to be eligible for the playoffs, absent injuries or approved absences, in the discretion of the Commissioner's Office.

25.2        Games played at different levels may be counted towards playoff eligibility.

25.3        Any player suffering from an injury sustained during a league game that required a visit to a medical doctor, may not play in a league game until the Commissioner's Office received a note from a medical doctor clearing the player to play.

25.4        All significant injuries shall be reported to the appropriate Division Head within 24 hours.


26            Cleats


26.1        There are no prohibitions on metal cleats at any division, generally.

26.2        Parents should note that there are certain turf fields that prohibit metal cleats. In those circumstances, the coach of any team with a turf field that prohibits metal cleats must timely inform the opposing team and must inform the umpire at the beginning of the game. Players caught wearing metal cleats on such a field will not be permitted to play with metal cleats in that game.


27            Umpires


27.1        Only umpires assigned by the League’s Chief Umpire may be used.

27.2        7th and 8th Grade Division games have one umpire during the regular season, who will be paid $90. During the playoffs, there will be two umpires, who will be paid $70 each. The 9th Grade Division will always use two umpires, which will be paid $70 each.

27.3        In the event a game goes into extra innings, each umpire shall be entitled to an additional $20. Teams are encouraged to pay the umpire at the conclusion of the game, but may also make arrangements for future payment if needed.

27.4        Teams will split umpire fees 50/50.

27.5        A ½ a fee will be paid to the umpire(s) if the game is canceled at the field prior to game time. If a game is forfeited or canceled after the start of a game the umpires get a full fee.

27.6        A forfeiting team is responsible for paying the umpires.

27.7        If the forfeiting team is not at the field, the non-forfeiting team shall pay the umpires in full if possible, and will be reimbursed by the League. The League will be reimbursed by the forfeiting team.

27.8        If the assigned umpire fails to appear, the game must be rescheduled unless another patched league umpire can be reached to do the game.

27.9        NO PARENTS or COACHES may umpire league games.


Section 4:  Game Play and Miscellaneous


28            Communicating with Umpires


28.1        Umpires and coaches will discuss ground rules prior to the start of each game.

28.2        Only the head coach is allowed on the field to protest a call or discuss a play with an Umpire.

28.3        Players, assistant coaches, other volunteers, parents, fans, or anyone else who inappropriately interacts with an umpire may be ejected from the game at the umpire's discretion.

28.4        In the event an ejected person continues to cause disruption, it shall be the responsibility of the coach of the team to which said person is related, to the extent known, to intervene if safe to do so, and attempt to end the disruption peacefully. Failure to appropriately control disruptive fans may result in the game being suspended and possibly forfeited.


29            Protests


29.1        The Commissioner's Office and Division Heads, with the assistance of the chief umpire, shall resolve any protested games.

29.2        All protests must be asserted at the field to both the umpire and the other team at the time the reason for the protest becomes readily apparent.

29.3        The assertion of a protest does not stop the game from continuing if not yet ended.

29.4        The protesting team must notify the Program’s Representative and the Division Head the same day as the protest.

29.5        The protesting coach must submit his protest to the Commissioner's Office and Division Heads by email within 24 hours of the conclusion of the protested game.

29.6        Failure to follow these steps will void the protest.


30            Player Discipline and Ejection


30.1        In the event an umpire ejects a player or coach from a game, the player or coach is automatically suspended for the team’s next full game, including playoffs. The suspension applies to a call up, and a suspended player may not be called up until the suspension has been served.

30.2        Questions of severity may result in additional suspension or expulsion, which will be handled by the Commissioner's Office and Division Heads.

30.3        All ejections will be reviewed by the Commissioner's Office and Division Heads, who will accept appeals of the automatic suspension within 24 hours of the ejection. Any such appeal must show extreme circumstances as to why the ejection was not warranted, and be supported by the opposing coach.



31            Playoffs and Tie Breakers


31.1        First tiebreaker for all standings purposes is comparing head to head records.

31.2        Second tiebreaker for determining which team makes the playoffs is a one game playoff, with a coin flip deciding the home team.

31.3        The number of teams that make the playoffs will be announced prior to the start of the season.

31.4        If teams are tied for a playoff spot and the teams in question are already guaranteed a playoff spot, then a coin flip will decide the standings (the coin flip can be virtual if the coaches agree).


Section 5:  Disputes


32            Rulings

32.1        If a coach has a question about a rule or a problem concerning a baseball related issue the coach should first contact the Program Representative. The Representative can then contact the appropriate Division Head as needed. Division Heads will bring issues to the attention of the Commissioner's Office as they deem appropriate.


33            CAPE ANN BR is governed by a Commissioner's Office, in consultation with the Program Representatives. The 2024 Commissioner's Office consists of Tim Fazio - Commissioner; Mark Leff - 7th Grade Division Head; Tom Holland - 8th Grade Division Head; Richard “RW” Williams - 9th Grade Division Head; Mike Quinn - Chief Umpire and Head of Discipline.


34            The Commissioner's Office and the Program Directors will enforce all rules in a way that supports fair play and puts the best interest of the players first. Anyone participating in the League who deliberately breaks these rules will face possible suspension or expulsion from the League.


Amesbury Little League
PO Box 104 
Amesbury, Massachusetts 01913

Email: [email protected]

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