Mini-Minor Baseball provides a transition from Tee Ball to the Minor League for players who are age seven and eight by September 1. At this stage of the game there is still a great deal of hands-on instruction during the game. During defensive play, managers and coaches may remain on the field to give instruction. During offensive play, an adult will slow pitch to batters. This division continues to help children learn baseball without having to be concerned over who scores the most runs or who wins or loses a game.
Team Selection: Mini Minor players are randomly assigned to teams, with an equal number of players of the same age being placed on each team.
Scorekeeping does not have a place in mini-minor regular season play. Managers, coaches, umpires and spectators should actively discourage anyone from keeping score during the game.
Game Length: Each game shall consist of a skills session, followed by a game. The skill session will be 45 minutes in length, followed by a 45 minute game, typically including a “dragon race”. Until the May long weekend, games will be two innings; after that date they will be three innings if time permits.
Inning Length: each team will remain at bat until everyone has had a turn to bat. After the May long weekend, outs may be recorded on the bases but an unlimited number of outs is allowed.
Defensive Play – Field Positions
Field Positions: Coaches shall position players equally around the field and designate a player to cover each base.
Player Rotation: All players must play all positions on a roughly equal rotation throughout the regular season (for games attended). In preparing line-ups it relieves the manager and coach of considerable stress by running a set pattern of changes from game to game. A sample line-up sheet is available from the Director of Mini-Minors.
Offensive Play – Batting
Batting: A manager or coach will pitch underhand to the batters of his/her own team. All players except the player at bat are to remain in the dugout while teammates bat. Batters are not permitted to warm-up. Managers or coaches may assist batters having difficulty but should call for ‘time’ if they wish to demonstrate.
Time at bat: Each batter will get eight pitches, six after May long weekend, and can swing at all of them. If a foul ball is hit on the last pitch, the batter will get another pitch. After no hit is achieved on the last pitch, the batter shall have the option to hit off a tee or be called out.
Batting Order: The batting order must be followed throughout the game. Over the course of the season batters should be rotated up and down the batting order in a roughly equal manner. Again, to assist managers and coaches, a sample rotation sheet is available from the Director of Mini-Minors.
Overthrown Balls: Runners may advance at their own risk on an overthrow to first, second, third. (Note: a pitched ball which is missed by the catcher is not considered an overthrow). Only one base may be gained by any runner on a single overthrow. After this single overthrow, the ball will be returned to the pitcher and the game resumed. This is to stop defensive from committing a string of errors in trying to catch advancing runners.
Base Running: Leading off or stealing bases is not permitted.
Outfield Hits: On outfield hits, runners may advance or may be forced to advance, at their own risk, until the ball reaches the infield (yes, you can get a home run). Players who are over halfway to the next base when a ball reaches the infield will advance only to that next base (if the base is clear). If they are less than halfway when the ball enters the infield they will return to the base they have just left. In the event runners overrun, that is, move toward an occupied base, they must try to return, at their own risk, to the base they have safely left.
Infield Hits: On an infield hit, runners may advance or may be forced to advance, at their own risk, up to two bases. As in other aspects of Mini-Minor, managers and coaches should exercise common sense with base running calls in order to keep the game moving smoothly.
Base Calls: A close play at any base should be called in favour of the runner in order to keep the game moving and exciting for all players.
Mini-Minor playoffs will not be held. Regular season schedule will continue until the end of the ball season.