That's how I see it...
Mom’s Eye View: CRLL Local Rules
Over the past few years, there has been a concerted effort to introduce the rules of the game at age and ability-appropriate levels. So what starts out as cute T-ballers in baggy pants learning how to swing a baseball bat and run to the correct base progresses to “real baseball,” complete with muscles and attitude and everything else that goes along with adolescents. So here you go, a bleacher-view (read: basic, basic, basic) of the progression you see from T-ball to Majors.
So with T-ball, everyone hits, everyone is safe, everyone learns the basics. And one kid every half-inning gets a home run. Overthrows are rampant, as are players that whack the tee and then take off for third base.
In Single A, we’ve got a few new things going on. First of all, the kids are trying to hit a live pitch from their coach, and only “get the tee” after a certain number of pitches. We are also trying to get the kids used to the fact that you have to run, FAST, to the right base… or you may get out. In combination with that, the fielders are learning that if they grab the ball quick enough and get it to the right base, they’re going to get someone from the other team out. But we still want every kid to hit each inning, so what to do? If you’re out, you’re out – bummer, you have to join your buddies on the bench. If the team on defense happens to make three outs in an inning, all the runners must leave the bases. But the rest of your team still gets their promised at-bat. Oh, and the last batter “home run” from T-ball is now a thing of the past.
In AA, we’re starting to find pitchers. The players pitch until the batter should “walk,” and then the coach comes out, drops to a knee, and pitches to his own player. The count continues, though… so if the kid pitcher threw 2 strikes, the batter only gets one more strike. And yes, at this level, I’ve seen dad coaches “strike out” their own kids. Outs are counted, and after three, the half-inning is over. The catchers start to play more of a role here, too. However, runners cannot advance on “passed balls,” (pitches that the catcher doesn’t catch).
In AAA, you won’t see a coach take the mound unless he is consulting with the pitcher. The pressure is on the catchers, too, because on any passed ball, the runners can advance. So at this level, there are a lot of walks (the pitchers are still learning their craft) and base running. No outright stealing, though… the pitch has to cross the plate before the runner can go for it.
Majors, Intermediate and Juniors are the real deal… game on, kids! Rules are similar to what you see in the MLB with some exceptions and Intermediate is played on a field with a pitching distance of 50 feet and 70 foot base paths and Juniors division is played on a field with a pitching distance of 60 feet with 90 foot base paths.
For the OFFICIAL rules, go to the Local Rules page and refer to the attachments for each division.