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LLWS 2012: Rules and Game Play

Yahoo Contributor Network

The Little League World Series is basically the whole Little League season coming to an end. The best teams from all over the world come together in Williamsport, Pa., to play each other to see who will be the top Little League of each year.

Each year, there are eight teams from the United States, and eight teams from other countries.

Here is a list of rules that Little League coaches, umpires, and players must know:

1. Pitch Count: The pitch count rule is very beneficial to the children's young arms, preventing them from injury in the future. If a pitcher throws 1-20 pitches, he will not need any rest. If the pitcher throws 21-35 pitches in a game, he must rest one calendar day before he is allowed to pitch again. The higher the pitch count, the more days the child will need for rest. If he throws 36-50 pitches, two days is required. If he throws 51-65 pitches, three days of rest is required. If the pitcher happens to go over 66 pitches, he will have to wait four calendar days before he can pitch again. No pitcher can go past 85 pitches, unless he is in the middle of a batter. Once that batter gets out, the pitcher must be taken out as well.

2. Infield Fly Rule: The infield fly rule is the same in the major leagues and in Little League. If there are runners on first and second, or bases loaded, with less than two outs, and the batter hits a pop up in the infield, the batter is automatically out, and the play is dead. The runners then go back to their bases.

3. Dropped Third Strike: Like in the major leagues, when the pitcher throws a ball in the dirt and the batter swings, the batter can then run to first base. The rule was recently added to prepare kids for the next level of baseball.

4. Catcher's Interference: Catcher's interference is very common among Little League players. It is when the batter swings and makes contact with the catcher's glove. Once that happens, the umpire rewards the batter first base and the next hitter steps into the batter's box.

5. The Baselines: You might have noticed that Little League has much closer bases than high school and college fields. The distance from home plate to first base in Little League is 60 feet. In MLB, however, it is 90 feet away from home plate.

6. Bat Size/Length: Little League ball players use metal bats, and have much smaller bat barrels than any other bat designed for high school students and up. The barrels of the bats are 2 1/4 inches.

7. Starting Players and the Bench: Starting players are allowed to come out of the game and go back in, but their substitute player from the bench must play three outs in the field and get an at-bat in the process.

8. Fences: Fences in Little League are designed to be a lot shallower than a major-league fence. Typically, fences in Little League range from around 200-250 feet. In the Little League World Series, the fences are 225 feet away from home plate.

9. How to Make the LLWS: After the season ends, coaches get together and pick an all-star team. That team then competes in districts. If it happens to win districts, the team then makes it to state. If state is won, then the next stop is regional play, which is usually a mutual location, When regional play is over, the winner from each region makes it to the Little League World Series.

10. Game Length: The Little League game length is six innings. However, if there is a tie game and the six innings is over, extra innings will occur. Extra innings will be played until there is a winner of the game.

John Smith played Little League for 6 years and made it to the state final game on his all-star team. He has also umpired many Little League games for 5 years.

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