Overview: Needham's AA Division offers an Instructional program for primarily 9 and 10 year old players with a lightly competitive aspect. Games are played on a 60 ft diamond. The full season is player-pitch, with umpires and called balls/strikes. Playoffs are held at the end of the season. All teams qualify for the playoffs which start with a "pool-play" format to provide multiple games for all teams. All Managers and Coaches are volunteers and parents are encouraged to volunteer.
Eligibility: To be eligible for AA, players should attend tryouts held in the fall. At tryouts, any player Little League Age 9 can opt to be considered for AAA, and any Little League Age 10 can opt to be considered for AAA and/or Majors. Any Little League Age 9 or Little League Age 10 year old who does not qualify for the AAA or Majors divisions, or who does not attend tryouts, will be assigned to AA. Please note that players that do not expect to qualify of AAA or Majors and request placement directly to AA, should still tryout for the purpose of forming and balancing teams.
Leagues: AA plays a unified schedule, but in accordance with Little League regulations, technically has 2 leagues, National and American. Starting at the AA age level, due to the large size of Needham's program (in terms of enrollment), Little League requires that Needham have 2 leagues assigned on an objective basis. Needham Baseball assigns children based on their birthdates with even numbered birthdays assigned to the AL, odd numbered dates to the NL.
Director: Nick Scola
Whenever there is a conflict between the Little League Rule Book and Home Rules (as outlined below), the Home Rules prevail.
Under no circumstances may Managers decide to override or modify the Home Rules as stated or the Little League rules. Notably, Managers may not agree to change the mound distance from the regulation 46 feet.
Home Rules - these are modifications to Little League International rules
STEALING - Stealing is not permitted. Similarly, runners may not advance on passed balls or wild pitches.
BUNTING - Bunting is NOT permitted.
INTENTIONAL WALKS – Intentional walks are NOT permitted.
INFIELD FLY RULE - the infield fly rule is generally NOT to be enforced.
MOUNDING - The fielding team may be end a play by getting the ball to the pitcher standing on the pitcher’s mound (“mounding”) – meaning the hill not necessarily the rubber. Any offensive player more than halfway to a base, in the sole discretion of the Umpire, will be awarded that base. Any player not halfway to a base in the sole discretion of the Umpire will be returned to the previous base. A batter running to first, or any runner forced as a result of the batter running to first, will receive the base to which they are being forced. (For example, on a ball hit back to the pitcher's mound, if no play is made, the batter would be awarded first base and any forced runners would be given the base to which they are forced). In no event may the pitcher act as cut-off man while standing on the mound; the ball is dead if/when is received on the mound by the pitcher from another fielder and the Umpire will call it as such, sending runners to the appropriate bases as the Umpire shall determine. (Note a ball is not "dead" if hit directly to the pitcher on the mound).
HIT BATTER - A pitcher who hits two batters in one inning or three in one game shall be removed as a pitcher for the remainder of the game.
NINE PLAYERS/PLAYER SHORTAGE/PLAYER BORROWING - No game may be started with fewer than 8 players. However, except in the playoffs - this is NOT a forfeit. The game shall be rescheduled. Nonetheless teams are encouraged to use the field time by running a joint practice or scrimmage. (e.g., the team without enough players may borrow a player from the opposing team). Please notify the director as soon as possible to reschedule the game. In the playoffs, if schedule allows, the game may be rescheduled at the discretion of the non-forfeiting team.
In the event that a manager cannot field a team of nine players, he may before the game starts, 'borrow’ enough players from any Single A to fill a lineup. In no instance may a player be brought down from Triple A or borrowed from another Double A team.
If after a 'borrowed' player has been asked to attend, the original player on a Double A roster does in fact show up on time for the game, that Double A player will start. However, the Single A player(s) “borrowed” in such instance must play according to the Minimum Requirements rule above. In the event that the player on the Double A roster shows up late, the “borrowed” Single A player(s) will start.
In no instance shall a player be borrowed if it creates a negative impact on the lending team and in no instance may a borrowed player pitch for the borrowing team. In no instance shall a player be lent if that creates a game shortage on the lending team. Shorthanded borrowing teams' games will take precedence over lending teams' practices.
PLAYING REQUIREMENTS: Over the course of the season, unless safety dictates otherwise, all players should play a roughly equal number of innings, and be given an opportunity to play every position - inlcuding pitcher and catcher. One exception is that a player that does not want to pitch shall not be forced to do so in a game (though they should still try in practice). Also, a player that cannot catch well will be at risk in any position banyut given the high frequency of throws to First the risk of injury is much greater there. Accordingly, player player that cannot catch should not be put at First Base.
Little League International rules - Managers and Coaches are reminded of these important rules:
MINIMUM PLAYING REQUIREMENTS: All players present at a game must play at least 3 innings, and have at least one at bat.
END OF INNING - an inning is ended upon the first of either 3 outs made by the defensive team or 5 runs scored by the offensive team. (Note, if the final play results in more than one run scoring, only 5 runs are recorded for the offensive team). The five-run limit is in effect in ALL innings.
BATTING ORDER - a continuous batting order will be in effect for all games (i.e. the batting order will contain the entire roster of players).
MERCY RULE - In keeping with Little League rule 4.10 (d), "if after four (4) innings, three and one-half innings if the home team is ahead, one team has a lead of ten (10) runs or more, the manager of the team with the least runs shall concede the victory to the opponent." This will be enforced in ALL games. However, teams are expected to then continue through 6 innings or as long as weather and field availability permit. The remainder of the game should be used by both Managers as a scrimmage, to put players in new positions, try new pitchers, etc. The outcome of the game cannot be changed based on what occurs after the mercy rule is invoked. Umpires shall remain for the full playing time.
PITCH LIMITS - Pitchers are limited to the National Little League rules regarding pitch counts and days of rest. Managers are responsible for managing pitch count and reporting pitches thrown in the online system as soon as practical after each game. This is a Health and Safety issue. See https://www.littleleague.org/playing-rules/pitch-count/. Coachse must enter pitch counts on the website following each game.
CATCHERS - Any player who has caught four or more innings may not pitch on that calendar day. Any pitcher who throws 41 or more pitches may not play the position of catcher for the remainder of that day.
ON DECK SWINGING - At all fields (at all levels), there is NO on deck swinging. The umpire will assess a warning on the first offense to both benches (one warning per game, not per team) and will assess an out to any team whose player is swinging a bat while not at the plate on any subsequent violations.
BATS- All bats must either be wood or be Little League sanctioned bats displaying the USA Baseball logo.
USE OF UNAUTHORIEZED BATS - If a batter steps into the batter's box and takes a pitch with an unauthorized batthe batter is out. The bat will be removed from the game. If a batter uses an unauthorized bat and puts the ball in play, the play will be nullified, the player called out, and any runners returned to their original positions – unless such use of an unauthorized bat is not identified until after the next batter has taken a pitch. In that case, the play will stand, the offending team will be assessed an out.
BALK - A balk is NOT called in AA.
GAME BALLS - The home team will supply 3 game balls.
Other Important Notes:
CATHCER’s EQUIPMENT – All catchers must where the standard catcher’s equipment (chest protector, shin pads and helmet). They must also wearing a cup, and the helmet must have a throat guard.
HIGH ROCK FIELD - At High Rock Field, a ball hit either on the fly or on the bounce/roll into the high grass and bushes surrounding the rock in the center field is a ground-rule double. A player may not intentionally throw or kick the ball into this area.
CURFEW/TIME LIMIT - No inning is to start after 7:45 PM. If another game is scheduled to follow, NO game shall last more than 2½ hours. Do not start an inning if the game will last past 2 ½ hours. In the event of darkness before 7:45 PM, play will continue until such time as the umpire determines that it is too dark to safely play.
CONFERRING WITH UMPIRES – Managers and coaches should be aware that many of the umpires at the Double A level are children themselves. There is NO arguing or conferring with an umpire on ANY ruling by an umpire, even for an interpretation of a rule.
DUGOUTS/BENCH ASSIGNMENT - The Home team will occupy the 1st base dugout or bench.
SUBSTITUTE MANAGERS - In the event that a manager is not able to attend a scheduled practice and/or game, only his/her officially registered assistant coaches may substitute as manager. In the event that no Board-approved manager or assistant coach is available, the manager must coordinate with the League Director to recschedule or arrange for a Board-approved coach to take over for that game and/or practice.
SCHEDULING/RAINOUTS/RESCHEDULING - The League Director makes the ultimate determination on the timing and location of rescheduled games. The game schedule stands and may not be altered at the discretion of individual managers. If a game is called or cancelled due to bad weather, the affected managers must contact the League Director to arrange the time and location of the makeup game. Though managers will have input into the scheduling of any makeup, individual managers may NOT schedule or reschedule makeup games at their own discretion.
PLAYER ELIGIBILITY FOR PLAYOFFS – For any individual player to be eligible to participate in the playoffs, they must play in at least 50% of the team’s regular season games. A player will be deemed to have played in any postponed games that were not made up (e.g. if a team played 11 games and another 12th game was rained out and not made up, a player who played in 5 of the played games would be eligible for the playoffs because they would get credit for the non-made up game).
PARADES - No vehicles of any kind will be permitted to transport teams in either the Needham Baseball & Softball Opening Day Parade or Fourth of July Parade. All players are invited to participate in the Opening Day parade. The following teams and their managers and coaches are invited to march in the Fourth of July Parade following the Majors & AAA level players:
1. AA Town Champs and Runners Up
2. AA All-Stars