Curfew or Drop Dead Time Limit?

1 2
  • Where in the LL Rulebook does it state curfew and that there are no "drop dead time limits" for major boys baseball when no games follow? Can local rules make a time limit on Major games when there is no game following or should it go by curfew? I am looking for exact wording and rules please.



    Like this post to subscribe to the topic.
  • Jim - Information on the curfews is in Regulation X - Night Games. We'll let you get the exact wording from the rule book, but it also includes a statement allowing the league to place a time limit on the first of two games on the same night. Since all other games must be played to conclusion - as noted in Rule 4.10, which describes a regulation game and when it ends.

    In Regulation VII (h) it makes it clear there can be no time limits, other than the one exception noted in Regulation X that we explained above - except forthe Minor League and Tee Ball divisions.

  • You talk about a time limit for the first game out of two on one night, but what about on Saturday where you play games at 9:00am, 11:30am, 2pm and 4:30pm can you set a time limit on the first three games of the day.

  • Cary - The rule only applies to a situation when there are two games scheduled for the same night. The regulation does not permit time limits otherwise.

    However, as with anything else, the local league could apply for a waiver to have time limits on other games if there is sufficienct justification for them. (See page 12 of the rule books.)

  • Why did they put night and leave out the day, like on a Saturday?

  • Cary - We are not sure anyone currently working at Little League was there when that rule was written - probably in the 1950s. Might be a good item for volunteers to ask their District Administrator to nominate for the agenda at the next International Congress.

    We suspect that the idea of putting an artificial time limit on games at 9, 11:30, 2 and 4:30 (as in your example above), with the curfew many many hours after those games, would not be in the best interest of the teams involved. In other words, for the 9 a.m. game to have a time limit when the curfew is not even in question, could be unfair to those teams - particularly if one team is behind 5-4 with their best hitters coming up in the fifth inning. Ending that game at 11 a.m. after four innings (when it's a full 12 hours until curfew) might not go over too well with the team that's behind.

  • Major Baseball Game completes 5 full innings with score 5 to 3. Day-Thursday, Time 932pm. There is not a second game following.

    In which of the following situations is this a regulation game?:

    a) Pours down rain, umpire calls game.

    b) Too dark to play and field is not lighted, umpire calls game.

    c) Local League sets a curfew that no new inning may begin past 930pm on a school night.

    d) Local town rule that field lights must be turned off at 930pm, lights go off at 933pm, umpire calls game.

    e) Umpire gets a phone call and needs to leave the field for personal reason, umpire calls game

    I believe the book answer is all except (c) and it boggles me that the answer is not (E) all of the above.

    Is there a loop hole that allows a league to strongly encourage umpires to call games on weeknights at a curfew time?

  • @ Tom - Here are the answers, keeping in mind each one is based on the premise in your first paragraph:

    a) If the game cannot be resumed before 10 p.m., which is the curfew for the Major Division, the game is over. The umpire is required to wait a half-hour (see Rule 3.10-b), or, in this case, 28 minutes, before calling the game.

    b) Game is over.

    c) The curfew imposed by Little League is the only "official" curfew. So an artificial or locally imposed curfew is treated differently. Because of that, the game was not suspended by rule, and if either manager protests properly, the game must be resumed at a later date. However, the local league could request from the Charter Committee that its locally-imposed curfew carry the same weight at the Little League rules. See page 12 of the rule books for that process.

    d) This would be the same answer as (c) above. It does not matter that the locally-imposed curfew is by a municipality or the local league itself. Again, the local league could request from the Charter Committee that its locally-imposed curfew carry the same weight at the Little League rules.

    e) The umpire does not have the authority to call the game in this situation. If either manager protests it properly, the game must be resumed.

    The curfew (10 p.m. in the case of the Majors Division) applies to each day, not just weekdays.

  • Reference your answer to letter e....umpire does not have the authority to call the game.

    In section 2.00 definition of Called Game it says it is one in which, for any reason, the umpire-in-chief terminates play. Therefore, if ump calls it, FOR ANY REASON, and the game meets the criteria of a regulation game, isn't the game over.

  • One more while I'm on a roll.

    As mentioned above one field has no lights and it gets too dark to play, game called regulation game.

    What if the field did have lights but there's a power failure mid game? Regulation game or suspended game?

  • @ Tom - As detailed in another post, the umpire's decision to call a game is still subject to the scrutiny of the Board of Directors. If the umpire calls the game because he/she needs to get home to watch "All My Children," the board can reverse that ruling and contintue the game.

    (Nothing against soap operas, mind you.)

    In your second scenario, again, the Board could decide this. In the International Tournament, we would consider this a human-caused failure, and probably bring the teams back to finish the game.

  • If a game is suspended due to curfew limits, what is the rule regarding pitching and entering the game. We play a continuous batting order and had two kids miss the game. Can they play in the game when we resume it even though they were not at the original game? Also, can a pitcher that pitched earlier in this game pitch again when it resumes in the 7th inning if they have the proper rest even though they were already pulled from the game that was a two to two tie in the sixth inning when the curfew limit occurred.

  • You may have the 2 kids who missed the game play in the resumed game. However, it's up to the manager, as the "new" players will need to meet MPR.

    A pitcher who pitched earlier in "that" game and was removed from the mound CAN NOT return to pitch in the resumed game......I'm guessing you are talking about a Majors or younger division game.

  • If a game is suspended due to curfew limits, what is the rule regarding pitching and entering the game. We play a continuous batting order and had two kids miss the game. Can they play in the game when we resume it even though they were not at the original game? Also, can a pitcher that pitched earlier in this game pitch again when it resumes in the 7th inning if they have the proper rest even though they were already pulled from the game that was a two to two tie in the sixth inning when the curfew limit occurred.

  • If a game is suspended due to curfew limits, what is the rule regarding pitching and entering the game. We play a continuous batting order and had two kids miss the game. Can they play in the game when we resume it even though they were not at the original game? Also, can a pitcher that pitched earlier in this game pitch again when it resumes in the 7th inning if they have the proper rest even though they were already pulled from the game that was a two to two tie in the sixth inning when the curfew limit occurred.

  • If a game is suspended due to curfew limits, what is the rule regarding pitching and entering the game. We play a continuous batting order and had two kids miss the game. Can they play in the game when we resume it even though they were not at the original game? Also, can a pitcher that pitched earlier in this game pitch again when it resumes in the 7th inning if they have the proper rest even though they were already pulled from the game that was a two to two tie in the sixth inning when the curfew limit occurred.

  • The two kids that missed the game can be inserted into the bottom of the lineup, if the manager wishes to do so. It's his choice, as they are also required to get their minimum play requirement (6 innings of defense and one at bat).

    A pitcher who was removed from the mound during this game may not reenter as a pitcher, no matter the days of rest. It's still the same game.

  • Per our House league rules; Our league has a 2 hour limit where no new Inning can start after 2 hours, the umpires get an official time at the start of the top 1st and go 2 hours from there; we also have a "drop" dead no new pitch after 2h 30m

    So am I reading the above posts right, specifically the ones that are 3 years old from LLB&S that our rules are not in agreement with LL Int'l rules?

    RE: Majors Division only: During the week, we play one game on one field. They start at 6 p.m. and end roughly 2 hours later using the rules above. On Saturday's we play at 3 hour blocks starting at either 9:00 a.m. or Noon.

    As an umpire, mgr, coach etc, I've always accepted these as the law.

    Assuming that we don't have a waiver on file from the mother ship.. In our typical scheduling as shown a couple of lines above this paragraph, could I as an umpire ignore the house rules on playing time limits (except the 10PM rule of course) of 2 hours and 2 1/2 hours. Better yet, should I be inquiring with the Board whether we have a waiver? Assuming we don't, what should we as a league (ump, mgr, or Board) do?

    or did I just misinterpret everything written above by LLB&S?

  • Stan, as LL has mentioned above, you may place time limits on Minors and younger. Majors and old should not have time limits. Now, do league place time limits without requesting waivers/approvals from LL?.....yep

    At my local league, we have no time limits on games.....we do have curfews based on requests from our neighbors on weeknight games during the school year. However, it's very rare that a games lasts until the curfew.

    Most of our majors games last 1.5 hours or less (6 inning full game). I worked the 2nd game of the season and it was just under 2 hours (Not bad for the 2nd time out for the teams, but they'll get quicker).

    One thing that MUST happen is for the umpires, managers, and coaches to make sure the game moves quickly and efficiently. Start the game on time. Players need to hustle on and off the field between innings. If the pitcher and catcher dilly dally, then the pitcher won't get his "normal" warm-up (once the coach sees his pitcher not getting the # of warm-up pitches he'd like, he gets them hustling out more).

    Games can last too long if there's too much chit chat or other stuff going on between innings.

    I do a lot of timed non-LL softball games. I see the girls there run on and off the field. I try to carry that energy to my LL baseball and softball games.

  • according to one member of the board, we do not have a waiver

  • The Regulation (as noted by LLB&S) says majors can only have a time limit on the first night game on a field with another game on it.

    Do leagues put time limits on major games (for example when there are multiple games on a Saturday), Yup.

    Do they bother getting a Waiver - Nope.

    Is it a "fight" worth fighting - probably not.

    Unless someone "complains" up the LL Ladder then it is what it is.

    Now, if someone does complain and it gets investigated you may have to drop your time limits.

  • Answered in your other thread.

    Please just post in one place.

  • If anyone cares to comment, I would love some feedback on what you think about this situation.

    Let me set the scene for you:

    Majors game: Redsox @ Diamondbacks

    1:00pm on a sunny Saturday afternoon.....

    Bottom of the sixth,Bases loaded, two outs....

    After rallying to score 3 runs in the inning, the Diamondbacks are now trailing 7-5...

    AND......

    Four Peaks Little league has a 1:45 min drop dead rule and the game is over.....

    POOF!! Game over

    They didn't finish the game!! Two outs in the sixth, bases loaded, tying run at second in a MAJORS game, and they pulled the kids off the field.

    I have never seen such a poor handling of a sporting event in my life!

    I would highly doubt that the league has the authority under little league rules to do such a thing.....any answers?

  • Time limits, in Majors and above, are allowed only if the following game is the last game of the evening. 1pm start, so there's no way there should ever be a time limit on this game. If the manager had protested before the umpires had left the field, he would have had a case. Talk to someone in charge about this illegal local rule. It sounds like interleague play, so this needs to go to the DA.

    Drop dead time limits are nuts, if the scoreboard is lit. It encourages working the clock. As does "no new inning after X". We use, in our minors, "One more inning after X", where the 5 run limit is removed for the last inning. That's worked out a whole lot better for us.

  • We just suspended play in the AAA championship game tonight on account of darkness and will resume play tomorrow. I realize that all the pitchers who pitched today cannot re-enter the game and with the pitchers of record having pitched more than 20 each, they will both be ineligible to continue tomorrow. But here is a tricky question: One pitcher was ineligible to pitch today because he had throw 29 pitches the day prior. Since he was declared ineligible for the game today, should he be allowed to come into the continuation of the suspended game tomorrow since he will have observed 1 day rest at that point? It would seem to be an advantage for one team over another as that would not have been possible if we had just kept playing the game in its entirety. Thanks.

  • Yes, he will be eligible.

    "Fair" doesn't play into it. It would be the same as a player who was out of town one day, being able to play in a continuation game the next day. No problem.

  • It doesn't matter that he was declared ineligible for the start of the game and this is the same game just being continued at a later date? I can't see how a player can become eligible during a game that he started as ineligible. The out of town player example isn't the same thing - he was eligible to play both days, he just didn't show up for the first day. This is a case where the player was not eligible to pitch and now he suddenly becomes eligible?

    Section 4.19f talks about how pitchers can be ineligible at the start of a game. If a suspended game is the continuation of the same game, shouldn't that ineligible list carry over?

  • Nope, sorry, he can pitch. Pitching is purely by days rest, not games, like it was years ago.

    Plus, any catcher that caught over 4 innings yesterday is now eligible to pitch.

    However, any pitcher who threw under twenty, but was replaced during that game, is not eligible to return.

    Continued games are confusing, especially when played at a much later date. This one is pretty straight forward. Good luck tonight, Stephen.

1 2