Player Substitution

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  • @Tony - Since an eight-player roster is only available for the Minor Division and below (instructional in nature), there is no penalty. Simply bat all eight players.

  • Well - I will concede. Won't be the first time. Won't be the last.

  • In a question and response yesterday to Nolan Comm... When using tournament rules you stated that in majors division and below are more liberal meaning once minimum play time has been met by starter and substitute you may enter and remove the starter and sub at will throughout the remainder of the game. Does this also apply to Juniors division? Reading rule 10(i) T-19 it references Senior League/Big League Baseball.

  • @ Jerry - Yes, it also applies to Juniors.

  • May I make a suggestion? This year, LL unified the pitching rules for both regular season and tournament. Wonderful move. I think it will make everything run a lot smoothier.

    I am hoping that LL will do the same for the substitution rule. I love the tournament rule. I think it is simple and allows the managers a little more freedom with substituting players in and out. No player, regardless of the level, should have to sit for 2 consecutive innings. it's to long of a time frame especially at the minors level.

    However, I will beg (on my hands and knees here) that LL try to put together some sort of panel of district and/or local officials throughout the country to explore the best way to unfiy the substitution rules for the tournament and regular season. Please let us have some input. Let the people who are in the trenches on a daily basis help WP in formulating this unification.

    I volunteer for the panel (I know you can't see it, but my arm is waving in the air). LOL

  • I totally agree. But even with the rules as they are today LL is forcing Managers to play kids less in the regular season and allowing us to play them more in post season. This seems absurd. You would think it should be the other way around. Or at least remove the "consecutive" defensive outs part and allow subs to re-enter at will once minimum play time has been achieved.

  • I would suggest the following;


    CHANGE "six defensive outs" to "2 innings".

    ADD "for the purposes of this rule, an inning is defined as 3 consecutive defensive outs".

    ADD an example

    REGULATION IV(i) - "Every rostered player present at the start of the game will participate in each game for a minimum of two (2) innings and bat at least one (1) time. NOTE: For the purposes of this regulation, an "inning" is defined as 3 consecutive outs. Example: Johnny comes off the bench to play defense with 2 outs in the 2nd inning making his first appearence on defense. He remains on defensive for the 3rd inning. If Johnny does not play the ENTIRE inning on defense in either the 4th, 5th, or 6th inning, then he has NOT meet the mandatory play requirements.

    RULE 3.03 -

    CHANGE main wording to "A player in the starting batting order who has been removed for a substitute may re-enter in the game in the exact spot in the batting order provided:

    REPLACE 2. with "three (3) consecutive outs".

    DELETE 4.

    DELETE 5.

    ADD an example.

    RULE 3.03 - "A player in the starting batting order who has been removed for a substitute may re-enter in the game in the exact spot in the batting order provided:

    1. his or her substitute has completed one time at bat and;

    2. has played defensively for a minimum of three (3) consecutive outs;

    3. pitchers once removed from the mound may bot return as pitchers; JUNIOR/SENIOR/BIG LEAGUE - A pitcher who has played all defensive outs can return any time in the remainder of the game, but only once.

    4. defensive substitutions must be made while the team is on defense. Offensive substitutions must be made at the time the offensive player has his/her turn at bat or is on base.

    NOTE 1: A substitute may not be removed from the game prior to completition of his/her mandatory play requierments.

    Example: Johnny comes off the bench for Kylie to play defense with 2 outs in the 2nd inning making his first appearence on defense. Kylie can only go back into the game for Johnny and can not do so until (a) Johnny has batted and (b) until Johnny has played defense for three (3) consecutive outs. In this example, this means that Johnny must play the entire 3rd inning and not just the first two outs of the 3rd inning.

    NOTE 2: (keep as is)

    NOTE 3: (keep as is)

    I think this covers CBO as well. It's my first crack it at it so I'm sure there might be some holes.

  • Excellent input by all. Thanks!

  • Ii have a question, (in Majors) if you start nine and sub in the top of the third, we take out a player in the fifth spot who has met all his requirements. In the top of the fourth, can the starter who was removed from the fifth spot come back in for another starter who has met all his requirements? Or, does the sub that is now in the fifth spot have to play their minimum before the starter can come back into the game for anyone? Thank you to anyone who answers.

  • Read 3.03 word for word. Don't skip any words. Don't add any words. View the text as little questions.

    Like this -

    3.03 - "A player in the starting line-up..."

    Q - Was the player I want to re-enter in the starting line-up?

    " who has been removed for a substitute..."

    Q - Was he removed for a substitute?

    "may re-enter the game once, in any position in the batting order..."

    Q - Where am I putting him in the batting order?

    "and (1) his or her substitute has completed one time at bat..."

    Q - Has his substitute completed one time at bat?

    "and (2) has played defensively for a minimum of six (6) consecutive out."

    Q - Has his substitute completed 6 consecutive outs?

    Now I think, by slowing down and reading word for word, you will be answer to answer your own question.

  • I asked a simple question and got you treating me like I can not read, I am looking for a simple yes or no, thank you.

  • I didn't mean it that way at all so my apologies. I was just giving a tip on how to approach interpreting the rules. Obviously, when one is managing the middle of a game, one doesn't have time to email or message someone, so it's a good technique when rule questions come up in a game.

    I guess if you want a direct answer - it would be "no" - the substitute has not 6 consecutive outs. it could be the same answer because you didn't mention if the substitute had batted yet.

  • if we used a CBO during the season do we have to use it for our post season? or do we go to 9 players in the lineup?

    we are in the A Minors.7,8,9 year olds. Kids pitch/coach pitch.

  • I would think Matt that the same rules would apply for the post season tournament as was used during the regular season. I don't see a logical reason why a league would want to switch it.

  • @ Matt - If post season involves playing against teams in other Little Leagues, then it would be classified as Special Games. In that event, the District Administrator determines whether or not CBO will be used. If the tournament is simply in-house, then the local league Board of Directors would determine it.

  • Greetings. I was just informed of this discussion board because an issue arose during one of our games this weekend and we have been wrestling with it. Before I launch into the scenario, I just wanted to applaud LL for making this available for real time feedback on questions as they arise.

    We believe our league has reached a resolution of the issue, but because there is a possibility that this question could arise again in LL and an earlier post above indicates a possible outcome that could be construed as inconsistent with the plain language of the Rules, I thought it would be best to tee this up for possible clarification for next years Rule book. So here goes:

    This question relates to Rule IV(i), mandatory play rules.

    The Facts: In our instance, a rostered player for the home team arrived late in the middle of the 5th inning -- after the home team had already played the field. The home team was batting a nine man order; the manager placed the late arriving player at the bottom of the 9 man order. When the player came up to bat, the opposing manager questioned whether the player could enter the game because, having arrived at the middle of the 5th inning with his team already having played the field, he could not satisfy the six outs, one at bat requirements of Rule IV(i). At most, given the time he arrived, he could only bat once, and play in the field for three outs. The manager elected to allow the child to bat and play the field under the theory that the rule should not be construed in a manner to prevent the manager from electing to play the late arriving player. Specifically, the mandatory play rule is designed to make sure kids get to play a certain amount -- and it should not be construed in a manner that prevents a late arriving kid from playing at all.

    The analysis:

    Rule IV (i) clearly states:

    "Every rostered player present at the start of a game will participate in each game for a minimum of six (6) defensive outs and bat at least one (1) time."

    Basic rules of statutory/regulatory/contract interpretation require that words be given their plain meaning and rules be read to give meaning to all the words included in a statute/regulation/contract, or rule for that matter. Rule IV(i) in it currently drafted form specifically applies to rostered players "present at the start of the game." Giving plain meaning to the words in the rule, therefore, by implication, this rule would not apply to rostered players that are not present at the start of the game.

    From a policy perspective, the mandatory play rule is designed to make sure that kids get to play. Reading the rule in a manner that prevents kids from playing that were not present at the start of the game unless they can meet the six outs, one at bat rule could effectively prevent a kid from playing if they arrive too late to play in the field six outs. This outcome would also be inconsistent with the plain language of IV(i) which only imposes the requirement upon "rostered players present at the start of the game."

    Other sections of the Rules make it clear that such decisions are for the manager. Specifically, See Rule 4.01(d)(NOTE), which provides:

    "Rostered players who arrive at the game site after a game begins may be inserted in the lineup, if the manager so chooses. . . ."

    See also, Rule 4.04, discussing the batting order, Note 2, "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 [cited above], he/she would be added to the end of the current lineup.

    I would propose that the outcome of this question should be one of the following:

    1) The mandatory play rule, IV(i), by its own terms, does not apply to players not present at the start of the game -- such that late arriving players can be inserted into the lineup at the managers discretion without the need to comply with the two innings in the field, one at bat requirement. This would be consistent with the purpose of Rule IV(i) which is intended to make sure kids get to play ball.

    2) The mandatory play rule, IV(i), also applies to late arriving players. Therefore, managers should not add a player who arrives late in the game if meeting the requirements is impossibe -- eg, player arrives during the middle of the 5th inning. If this is the intent of the Rule, then the Rule should be modified to delete the "present at the start of the game" language as this interpretation fails to give meaning to this prescription. The above cited Notes should also be modified to make it clear that while the manager has authority to "so choose" to add the player to the lineup, the mandatory play rule still applies and the player should not be permitted to play if they cannot satisfy the rule.

    Personally, I believe that, in light of the purpose of Rule IV(i) -- making sure kids get to play at least some baseball, the Rule should not be construed in a manner that would prohibit a late arriving player from entering the game at all. If that is the case, then I respectfully submit we need to make this clear that if managers exercise such discretion, the mandatory play rules apply and if they cannot be satisifed, then the player is prohibited from playing at all. Again, really appreciate the use of this forum for the opportunity to seek clarification and provide comments. I look forward to your response. Regards.

  • Wow, Lance, that's a lot of words.

    We agree that Regulation IV (i) specifically refers to players present at the start of the game. We disagree that it precludes a manager from entering a player who arrives later - as the player only has a DIMINISHED chance of meeting the mandatory play requirement. The game can, after all, go into extra innings.

    So, in your statement of facts, "At most, given the time he arrived, he could only bat once, and play in the field for three outs," is not true. The manager could, then, enter any player who arrives late and is otherwise eligible.

    With that being the case, one would turn to Rule 3.03, which states (in plain language) that any substitute who enters the game is required to play defensively for six consecutive outs and bat once.

    A possible loophole here is that the rule states the subsitute cannot be removed until he/she has completed the six-and-one, and someone might make a case that the end of the game prevented the manager from having the opportunity to "remove" the sub. We don't buy that either.

    As we made clear earlier in this thread, if a manager does choose to enter a player who has a diminished chance of meeting the requirements of mandatory play, he does so with the knowledge that the Board of Directors could discipline that manager for doing so.

  • I should get my attorney degree. LOL.

    Case-by case basis. Right LLB&S?

    Lance, thanks for the post and welcome. With that said....

    One thing your situation does not address is why the player was late. It may not be relevant to the game itself. However, it may be to the BOD in deciding any punishment to the manager if the player does not meet the MPR.

    Was the player at a travel game? Was his ride in an accident? Get stuck behind an accident? Are their issues at home that cause his being late?

    The manager should attempt to find out prior to the game why the child isn't present. Once that information is ascertained, then he should notify both the Umpire in Chief and the opposing manager that a rostered player will be late attending the game. This way everyone is on the same page.

    When the player does arrive, the BOD may not favor a manager who inserts a player so late in the game for reason that were in the control the player and/or family of the player such as attending another game. In turn, they may be okay if the player was hindered in attending the game earlier by some unfortunate and unexpected situation.

    The fact remains that by inserting the player, the manager is taking away an at-bat from a player who was in attendance the entire game. Subsequently, since the player now has to go into the field, that same player is also taking field time from the player he replaced.

    The reason for the above happening, may play into the BOD's decision.

  • I have the post above and cannot agree that the post season sub rules are better. If you put your subs in and they are playing well and a starter is not playing as well. During the regular season it give the coach the chance to put the starter he took out and put him in as a sub for the starter not playing well. While doing this leave the subs that came in to continue play. During tournament play this would not be true. He could only go in for the sub that he came out for. you cold flip flop them but you could not take a player out that has not been doing his job. I know there is no perfect answer and you will always have someone saying this or that is better.

  • LLB&S and Dave -- Thank you for your responses. Regarding Rule 3.03, respectfully, I would read this rule to simply apply to what conditions needed to occur before you pull a substitute out of a game and return the starter back to the lineup. Your comment is interesting --

    "A possible loophole here is that the rule states the subsitute cannot be removed until he/she has completed the six-and-one, and someone might make a case that the end of the game prevented the manager from having the opportunity to "remove" the sub. We don't buy that either."

    Again, to the extent the policy re mandatory play is to make sure kids do not get shorted the opportunity to play, this rule clearly sets a condition precedent prior to their removal from a game. It does not indicate that you should not place a kid in the game if there is a possibility (likelihood?) that they will not get their two innings and one at bat. (excusing games shortened for acceptable reasons).

    While I agree with your "diminished chance" point, this is really cold comfort when you are trying to manage in a league with colleagues and friends and the goal is to try to do the right thing -- and hopefully have fun and win a game or two. As we all know, the vast majority of the games do not go to extra innings -- and a manager trying to do the right thing should not have to rely upon the mere possibility that an additional inning(s) could exist to enable the player to meet the mandatory play rule. Anyone would be rightly skeptical of a manager trying to proceed in this manner.

    I would submit that we should be very clear if the mandatory play rule can be used in a manner to prevent a manager from exercising discretion to put a late arriving player into the roster if there is a likelihood that the player, because he/she was not available to play the entire game, will not be able to meet the mandatory play rules.

    Dave, as for your comment, I think it is a very relevant point as pertaining to what needs to be considered for a sanction if a violation occurs. A kid not there for the right reasons could mitigate the punishment; if the kid was not there for reasons that are perceived as "wrong," then the manager could somehow bear the brunt of taking advantage of a rule/situation. I agree that any time you place one player in the game and sit another one down you are taking playing time and at bats away from the player being sat -- clearly my least favorite part of the job.

    I just think that if it is LL's intent to have everyone be subject to the mandatory play rule such that a player arriving late in the game should not be played -- then we should make it clear that the managers discretion / judgment is appropriately limited in the rules. I appreciate the interesting comments and discussion.

  • Lance - but that's exactly why the rule is the way it is.

    Billy and Mom get into accident on the way to the game. The cops come. Thank god, no one was injured. An ambulance comes and checks everyone out. However, Billy is committed as are his parents. They are concerned (as in your situation) there are only nine kids there and if one of them gets hurt, the game can't continue and they might have to forfeit. Aunt Mary comes and gets Billy while Mom waits for the tow truck. They get to the game in the top half of the fifth is ending.

    LL has a lot of rules and regulations but they can not account for every scenario not only throughout the US, but throughout the other 80 countries where LL is played. Therefore, many things are left to the descretion of the local league.

    Situations like these are one of them. The manager can enter a player into the game for first time at any point. However, the manager has to be aware that he/she may face disciplinary action if the player doesn't meet MPR. In your scenario, the manager has to be able to justify why he/she entered a player into the game for the first time in the bottom of the fifth. The local board decides his fate, not LLI.

  • Excellent answer Dave.

    *Judge bangs gavel*

    Case dismissed.

  • Wait a minute!!!

    LL says that if a player arrives late and the manager puts him into the game he has to meet MPR.

    So, Billy gets there late because of mom's accident and the manager decides to "reward Billy" for getting there so he puts Billy into the game but since it's so late Billy doesn't meet MPR.

    Well, the game was not "shortened" so where in the Rules does it say the BOD can Waive the Manager Penalty?

    Are you saying the Manager Penalty is not "mandatory"?

    Seems to me, according to the rule (IV(i) Note 2) the only time the BOD can Waive the Manager Penatly is if the game is shortened.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the manager did the right thing, I just don't see where the rules allow for Waiving the Penalty.

    How about this one?

    Play is suspended at the bottom of the 5th with the game tied.

    Game is resumed 2 days later.

    A player who was not at the first part of the game shows up for the resumed game.

    Only eight of the players at the first part of the game show up for the resumed game.

    So, does the manager play the kid who was not at the first part of the game and risk an MPR Violation (which could result in the manager being suspended) or does the manager not play the kid and forfeit the game?

    What a choice!!!

    Personally I wish LL would "re-think" their position on MPR for players arriving late.

    The way it is now the best thing for the manager (in many cases) is to not play the kid, leave him on the bench.

    Is that what LL is about?

    Why not let the manager put the kid in the game and if he meets MPR great but if he doesn't that's OK too. Isn't some playing time better than none?

  • If LL ever went to that you would have coach have kids show up late so that they would not have to meet MPR. If a child was in an accident and could play then it is up to the coach to play him. If this is the 5th and you running the risk of him not meeting it. Chances are it was not a simple accident and the child should be checked out by a hospital anyway. Maybe he should not be playing just saying after an accident you feel all right but really your body is not. If the coaches do not have a problem with a kid showing up late and not meeting MPR then there is no issue of the coach getting into trouble. I have said it before and will say it again you will always fond someone trying to bend the rules because he cares more about winning then about teaching the kids about the game. Sad but it is very true.

  • Seen a lot of disagreement on here about the MPR and continuous batting order. I had seen where rule 4.04 came up saying the a player may come in and out provided the player has meet MPR. They have to play 6 consecutive out. In rule IV under note 3 it explains the if an inning ends because of the 5 run rule in minors then the player on defensive would have meet played the whole inning and be considered to have played 3 consecutive outs for this rule. If the play was not out for the whole inning then he would only be credited for the out he played. Minors use a continuous batting order and it makes it clear the outs need to be continuous. So if other divisions use the continuous batting order they would fall under the same rule.

  • Not what I intended to say.

    All LLB&S stated was that the manager must make the decision knowing full well that there may be disciplinary action if the player does not MPR.

    If the manager is doing it to just win a game, then the BOD can impose additional penalties. What's in IV(i) must stand as is. I thought we were talking about addditional penalties.

  • @ Dave - We agree with your assessment. If the Board feels that any discipline is unsustified, it could certainly apply to the Charter Committee to vacate the punishment. Under those circumstances, without this forum speaking for the Charter Committee, we think such a request would be approved.

  • Folks, let's clear this up for the season ahead.

    When you run CBO, you make out a line up. Everyone in the dugout is a starter. This came from the UIC in Williamsport. Until WP gets a UIC in place, I'm going with what he said. Nobody has to complete their MPR before coming out of the game. Free substitution means just that.

    WP, if you're going to allow CBO in the Majors, you're going to need address the issues that go along with. This one, and the who comes in for injuried batter/runners?

  • Kyle - Geesh - you are really digging into the archives. I thought I didn't have a life and I don't have 60 guitars in my profile pic either. LOL!

    I agree Kyle. I think the last sentence in 4.04 addresses that. It's free substitution.

  • It just came up on an umpire board, and I wanted to stir the pot a bit this morning.

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