Player Substitution

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  • Here Is the Scenario, A player shows up for the apposing team at the start of the 6th inning and is substituted into the game. the game is tied in the sixth so we go into the 7th inning at which time that player picthes the 7th inning. he got his 6 outs and 3 strikes is this a legal move.

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  • Glenn - You didn't mention if the player received an at-bat (or, more properly, a plate appearance). Maybe that's what you meant by the "three strikes?" ... If he did get his plate appearnace, and if, as you said, he played defensively for six consecutive outs, then it's OK. ... If not, then the manager has to be disciplined for not meeting the mandatory play guidelines. The result of the game stands, however. ... If the manager had simply left the player out of the game (which is allowable, because he was not there at the start), that would have been OK too. But once he entered the player into the game, the player is required to complete mandatory play.

  • Thank you for your quick response. Yes that is what i meant by the 3 strikes he had a plate apperance. That answers my question.

  • Glad we could help. Sorry about the spelling of "appearnace." Typing too fast!

  • Hijacking this post, RE minimum play - do players have to get their 2+1 if they do not show up at the field until after the game has begun?


  • John - We welcome hijackers. The answer is yes - and no. In the case you present (the player arrives after the game has started), the manager has a choice - whether or not the player will play. He/she could continue the status as of the start of the game (namely, that a player on the roster will not be listed on the lineup due to absence), or, inform the umpire that an eligible player who was not on the lineup has arrived, and will be entered in the game. If the player is entered, the player is treated just like any other substitute and must complete mandatory play before being removed. If the manager enters the player, however, late in the game, he/she is liable to be disciplined for not meeting the requirements of mandatory play.

  • Thanks for the speedy reply.

    I in that case, not that I would ever think of gaming the system, but, assuming this is a weaker player, I could allow the late kid to sit in the dugout and not inform the umpire of the addition until I got a sense of how the game was going to go.

  • Glad to help. That's true. On the other hand, putting a really good player in the game late, and not meeting mandatory play, could result in the manager being suspended.

  • Could I ask a related question to this one:

    We have teams play a game to end of regulation 6 innings (Little League Majors) and it is tied. It needed to be suspended and resumed another day.

    On the new day, one of the teams has 2 players that couldn't make the original date and didn't play in the original 6 innings, but they are at the resumption date - can they be played? My initial thought is no because you can't guarantee the player will get their 6 defensive outs / 1 at bat if the tie is broken in 1 inning, but we're not sure.

    Is the answer different if you are going a continuous batting order vs. 9man substitution?


  • Nancy - great question. In that case, the manager has the same choice. He/she could enter the players in the game, but by doing so risks violating the provisions of mandatory play. If the continuous batting order is used, the decision is the same, although the chances of violating mandatory play are much less likely. In that case, the league should mandate that both players be inserted into the batting order so that they come to bat first. (That way, if it's the home team, the only way mandatory play would be violated is if the first of the two players hits a home run to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning.)

  • where in the rules does jt say that a player arriving late if the manager elects to insert the late arriving player into the game that the player must meet minimum playing requirements?

    Reg iv i says that rostered players present at the start of the game must meet minimum playing requirements. To me this removes the minimum play requirement from the manager for a late arriving player and the manager would not be penalized if the player did not get the minimum playing time

  • Also if players are inserted into the continuous batting lineup under rule 4.04 the player(s) would be entered to the end of the original lineup. In a suspended game the game continues from the point it was suspended, therefore any players added to a continuous batting lineup would only be able to bat first in the lineup if the last batter in the lineup had batted as the last player to bat for the team before game was suspended.

  • Tom - The rule does refer to players at the start of the game. There is no reference to players that arrive late. So the directive on this from Little League International, in the absence of the rule, is that the player(s) who arrive late and are placed into the game, must meet the minimum. ... Regarding the continuous batting order, again, in the absence of a rule specifically referring to this, the league should mandate that the now-present players should bat first. (Once the continuous batting order begins in a game, there is no "last" batter in the order.)

  • The continuous batting order does have a rule stated in 4.04 that players who arrive late are placed at the end of the lineup. The last sentence in 4.04 is "Also, if a child arrives late to a game site, if the manager chooses to enter him/her in the lineup (see Rule 4.01 Note) he would be entered into the lineup at the end of the current lineup."

    I do not believe that a league should mandate something that is already spelled out in the rulebook. Especially if it contradicts with the rule as written.

    The batting order is the players listed in the lineup handed to the umpire to start a game. As an umpire in a game resumed with a continuous lineup I would not allow a team to insert new players batting immediately unless they were at the end of the lineup and that position was due up to bat.

    I would disagree that there is no "last" batter in a continuous batting order once a game begins. The lineup is static unless new players are added to the end of the lineup. Or a player who leaves the game for injury or other reason, in which that position is skipped when it is due up (Note 2 in 4.04)

  • Tom - We stand corrected...good catch! That being the case, the manager should be sure that the inserted player(s) will receive their minimum playing time, or he/she risks violating the mandatory play rule.

  • If a manager has enough players to start the game but will lose 3 after about an hours playing time and then only has 8 what happens?

  • this is in the minors

  • Candice - In the Minors, the game may continue, since there is no requirement in the Minors to have the minimum of nine players. (An exception would be if the local league has a local rule establishing such a minimum for the Minors.)

  • I don't believe that is true for all minors, only the noncompetitive minors in which score is not kept. Competitive minors must still field 9 players.

  • Roger - It is true for all Minors, but it is an option for the local league to adopt, or not, as it sees fit. In other words, "competitive" could be applied differently at different leagues.

  • Got a new question in the general area.

    LL Majors. Manager starts with 9 players but has been told that one player will need to leave approximately halfway through the game. Can the manager ask for a pool player and use that player to replace the player leaving early? (let's assume both get minimum play) Or does he need to play the pool player for 6 innings and tell his departing player he cannot play at all? Or should he keep his mouth shut, tell the ump he's down to 8 when his player leaves, and let the B.O.D. figure out what to do?

  • John - If the local league Board of Directors has already allowed the concept of temporary replacements, then the manager should have the replacement ready to play at the beginning of the game, and proceed with 10 players from the start. If such an arrangement is in place, the temporary replacement player is required to play nine consecutive defensive outs and bat once, at a minimum. That player cannot pitch. See Regulation V (c) for complete details. Without such an arrangement established ahead of time, it is likely the team will have to forfeit the game because of the failure to have nine eligible players. (That is required throughout the game in the Major Division.)

  • This question is about Majors and up for either softball or baseball when not using the CBO. If you pull starter A out in the top of the third and he/she was batting in the three spot in the lineup and in the top of the 6th you decide to put starter A in the 8th spot in the batting order for starter B, which is legal since the sub that went in for starter A has already played 6 consecutive defensive outs and had 1 at bat, does starter A that is now batting in the 8th spot have to play 6 consecutive outs and have 1 at bat before the completion of the game, since there is no way possible starter A could get that is it a play time violation or not. I would say it is not a play time issue, but I want to verify.

  • Cary - In your scenario, Starter A (having met the minimum mandatory requirement of six consecutive defensive outs and one at-bat) would not have to re-complete mandatory play upon re-entry before being removed. It only needs to be done once. (Some managers might get in to trouble, however, by removing a starter before he/she has completed the six CONSECUTIVE defensive outs. If that happens, such a starter who re-enters the game can't be removed until he/she plays defensively for six consecutive defensive outs.)

  • Speaking of subs...

    Junior league (13-14). If we decide to play a game using roster batting, Can starters (fielders) re-enter (positions) more then once?



  • Steve - If the continuous batting order is used, defensive players may be substituted at will, starters and substitutes included. However, every player must still play defensively for a minimum of six CONSECUTIVE defensive outs in each game. See Rule 4.04.

  • That is the info I needed. Thank you for your help!


  • ---"In the Minors, the game may continue, since there is no requirement in the Minors to have the minimum of nine players. (An exception would be if the local league has a local rule establishing such a minimum for the Minors.)"---

    According to the regulation in the rulebook that is only true if the local league has elected to roster fewer than 9 players per team. If they have rostered more than 8 then rule 4.16 (and a couple of others) still applies.

  • Roger - Correct.

  • My question is wether you are using a CBO or 9 player order all players must play 6 consecutive outs. With the CBO the subs can enter at will but still must play 6 consecutive outs at some point in the game.

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