Coaching Guidelines

  1. Please remember our program is about teaching kids more than baseball or softball – it's about preparing them for leading and teaching them how to be a team member (and supporting team mates)
  2. Coaches should stress "competing" – not winning or losing – our goal is to teach them proper baseball and softball fundamentals. Find and name the positives after games/ practices
  3. Player attitudes… often come directly from their coaches. Don't be negative
  4. Don't tolerate bad behavior (throwing helmets/bat/glove), take players aside and communicate the consequences for this behavior – and follow up on these
  5. Insist on hustle on and off
  6. Be consistent and fair. Keep the line-up and positions changing, especially at the younger levels – kids should have a chance to play all positions and bat early in the line-up
  7. Don't be critical of umpires – especially in public and in front of your team – this gives kids an excuse to fail. Always talk to umps privately if there’s a grievance
  8. You are their coach – not their friend. Keep that distance in place
  9. Practices: Try and keep them moving – and mix them up – a lot of standing around is trouble
  10. Pitching: Make sure to follow the pitch count rules; this is mandatory

Season at a Glance



Your Role


Mid-January to Mid-March

  • Connect with your Division Coordinator, and make sure they have your contact information
  • Track registration in your division via Sports Connect website (log in, and find “Dashboard” for your division)
  • Assist in promoting registration in your community
  • Register yourself and any assistant coaches (Log on via the button in the upper right-hand corner at https://www.rhrbkll.comand register as an adult volunteer.
  • Authorize the background check required of coaches.

Winter & Evaluation Clinics

February, March

  • Clinic dates are set by the Board. Attend with your kid(s) if possible, and assist as needed.
  • Your team will be assigned by the Division Coordinator after the Evaluation Clinic, typically the 3rd-4th week of March.
  • Your team will be loaded into the Gamechanger App. Familiarize yourself with the app.


Late March

  • Familiarize yourself with the rules for your Division.
  • Using the App, introduce yourself to your team’s parents. Early communications can set the tone for the season, begin to establish goals, and handle logistics, such as communicating practice schedules.

Scheduling Practices

Late March

  • Work with your Division Coordinator to identify fields and times and establish a regular practice schedule.
  • Other than the T Ball division Most teams should start practicing by the first-second week of April, if field conditions allow. T Ball usually starts in the third-fourth week of April.

Scheduling Games

Early April

As the District and League schedule games, your game schedule will be loaded into the Sports Connect site and GameChanger app by your division coordinator.


Throughout the season

For home games and playing with teams from other towns, Coaches are responsible for grooming and lining the fields before the game, and for grooming the fields after the game. For games at Wager, the gate providing access will need to be unlocked to provide coaches access.


Throughout the season

The League’s Umpire Coordinator is responsible for recruiting, training and scheduling umpires for the Player-Pitch Minors division, which uses volunteers, mostly in the 13-18 year-old range. The league provides two training sessions for umpires, as well as hats and T-shirts.

Division Coordinators, working with the Umpire coordinator, provide Coaches with umpire assignments. The Home coach should confirm with the umps ahead of time, and have cash (provided by League) to pay $20 for home and $15 for field umps. If there is any issue work with your Division Coordinator to resolve.

Tracking Results

Throughout Season

For divisions that involve inter-league play, your Division Coordinator will provide you with access to a District spreadsheet to track the results of each game. You should input the scores after each game.


Throughout Season

Stay in communication with other coaches in your Division, and the Division Coordinator, and resolve issues or seek help as needed.

League Picnic


Coaches should attend the end of year picnic and encourage your team members and other coaches to attend.

All-Star District Tournament

mid-June to mid-July

Divisions with tournament play will form a single team per division, and play from June through Mid July.


Your Division Coordinator should be your first point of contact in almost every case.

If the Division Coordinator is unavailable, refer to the League Contacts list. Each season, coordinators are identified for each division as well as a coordinator for Clinics, Umpires and Concessions. When necessary, direct questions on these topics to those coordinators.



Field listing: Locations

Use of fields is prioritized, so that higher-level divisions have preference. Games and practices for Majors, for instance, will be scheduled before Minors. Games for divisions from Minors up are scheduled at the District level. Once the game schedule is set, Division Coordinators will help ensure that Coaches have fair access to fields for practices.


Your schedule will be provided by your Division Coordinator. You are responsible for rescheduling any games necessary.


Resource/contacts - division coordinators manage practice schedules in consultation with one another and the coaches for each division. These should be posted on the Sports Connect schedule.

App Access

All games and practices must be scheduled using the Sports Connect site. There is built-in integration with the GameChanger app (the "new" version, not "classic"), as long as you sign in with the same email address you log into Sports Connect with. You can find more information in this support article. This app should be the default choice for coaches.

Skill Building

Your success as a coach and team will involve helping your team achieve at the highest level possible, based on their age and experience. Every team is different. The following will help you identify some key skills you might focus on for each division, based on the experience of current and past League coaches. At all levels, fundamental throwing, batting and fielding skills need to be reinforced and built on. Find more about the levels of play at

Division Some Key Skills

T-Ball is the introduction to baseball, and focuses on four fundamental skills:

  1. Running (i.e. know the bases)
  2. Catching
  3. Throwing
  4. Batting

Little League publishes a printable program guide with practice tips and drills on their site

Minor League - Coach-Pitch

Instructional level for baseball fundamentals. Parents/coaches provide pitching, while kids learn the basic rules of the game:

  • How to play a position
  • Fundamental hitting and fielding mechanics
  • Potential for players to pitch or play catcher at some point in practice or a game

There are no standings, score is still generally not kept, each player bats during every inning. You can find more info on Little League's website, including a printable program with drills and activities.

Minor League - Player-Pitch Softball

First level of softball, in an instructional environment. Players learn:

  • Hitting mechanics
  • Deeper understanding of the rules
  • Base running and stealing
  • Pitching mechanics and accuracy
  • Pitcher-Catcher fielding skills, especially on passed balls

You can find more info on Little League's website.

Minor League - Player-Pitch Baseball

Next level of instructional baseball. Coaching at the player pitch level involves additional instruction in these areas:

  • Pitching, fielding the infield positions, batting and baserunning – especially stealing
  • Pitchers should be encouraged to develop strong fundamentals in their windups, and to throw strikes, not to throw hard
  • Catchers can develop skills blocking the ball, hustling to retrieve passed balls, and throwing to second or third on a steal
  • Fielders should learn when to cover their bases in common game situations, how to identify and throw out the lead runner when possible
  • Outfielders should practice catching pop flies, moving toward the ball, throwing to the infield and backing up common infield throws

You can find more info on Little League's website.

Major League Softball

Primary level for Little League softball. At this level:

  • All rules apply
  • Teams have standings and playoffs

You can find more info on Little League's website.

Major League Baseball

Primary level for Little League baseball. Coaching at the Majors level involves additional instruction in these areas:

  • Pitching, fielding the infield positions, batting and baserunning
  • Batters should develop their ability to hit with power, and to bunt
  • Baserunners should develop their abilities to advance on live balls in various game situations
  • Pitchers should continue to develop fundamentals, with a continued focus on throwing strikes, while building additional speed into their pitches. Pitchers should also practice additional aspects of fielding their position, and practice preventing runners from advancing on live ball situations
  • Catchers should learn to prevent runners from advancing on live ball situations, strengthen their throws to second and third, backing up and other aspects of the position
  • Infielders should learn more specialized skills of their positions, including playing cutoff, backing up and getting lead runners out
  • Outfielders should advance in their ability to catch and field balls hit into the outfield, they should practice hitting the cutoff and backing up common plays

You can find more info on Little League's website.

Big League Baseball - Intermediate (50/70)

First experience on larger field for baseball. Most rules are the same as in the Majors division. You can find more info on Little League's website.

Big League Baseball - Junior/Senior

Full baseball experience on full-sized field. You can find more info on Little League's website.

Division-Level Info

All Divisions

  • Bat-through rule: All players are in the batting lineup, regardless of whether they're in the field
  • Substitutions: Managers may substitute players in the field from the bench at any time, including pitchers (as long as pitch count and rest day rules are followed – see below for more details)


  • Fun! This is the primary goal, along with learning the basics. Maintain their interest with fun, and the skills will follow in time. Avoid over-coaching
  • Teams of no more than 8-9 players
  • Games mostly played on grass areas - not on official fields - with a smaller diamond size set up with rubber bases
  • Use of tees is not mandatory for the whole season. Coaches may choose to begin with close-in coach pitching at some point during the season, assuming the players seem ready
  • Keep session time to a maximum of 1 hour, even if you think you can squeeze in an extra inning
  • Sessions are divided between practice activities an a scrimmage
  • Keep things moving, avoid standing around (see "fun" at the top)
  • Teaching should focus on the basic essentials - field positions, bases, where to play, hitting fundamentals


  • Fun! This is still the primary goal, along with learning the basics. Maintain their interest with fun, and the skills will follow in time. Avoid over-coaching
  • Teams of no more than 9-10 players
  • Coaches should stand relatively close to home plate and the batter when pitching — do not need to stand at legal distance. They can also choose to pitch in one knee to lower the pitch angle
  • Keep game times to maximum 1 hour
  • Keep things moving, avoid standing around (see "fun" at the top)
  • As well as the fundamentals taught in T-Ball (catching, throwing, hitting, base-running), introduce the concepts of innings and outs
  • There are no playoffs or standings, so pay little attention to the score and a win or a loss. After games, call out the positives
  • Each player should be rotated through each position on the field. It is more important to experience different positions than to win games
  • Batting: everyone may bat once per inning
    • Exception: a team with fewer players than the other may bat-around, or hit up to the number of players on the opposing team)
    • Keep number of pitches per batter to 5. If no contact is made in this time, place batter on first base (need to keep the game moving — work with the batters needing more help during practices)
    • No bunting, leading or stealing
  • Fielding: Substitute defensively at will. Everyone has the chance to play both infield and outfield. Recommendation: if you are worried about a player’s safety, 2nd base tends to be the safest infield position. Give basic instruction as far as how to play each position
  • Catchers: Have a parent/coach backup their own catcher to keep the game moving. (This is important!)
    • All catchers must wear a cup
    • Catchers must wear shin pads, helmet with mask, neck guard & chest protector. This equipment will not be provided in your equipment bag, but is available from one of the sheds, should you have one or more players interested in playing the position
    • A catcher’s mitt is optional, but encouraged, and are included in your bag (most are adult sized, if a coach wants to use with a pitcher in training)
    • Try to dress your catcher before reaching the end of your line up to speed up the game. Have him bat earlier in the lineup to give him more time
    • If you have another player warming up the catcher, the catcher must be wearing a catcher’s helmet with mask
  • Each game will have a home team. The home team is responsible for:
    • Determining if a game needs to be rescheduled due to weather
    • Field Preparation (for games on Father Carroll in charge of lining — lining is optional)
    • Providing 2 game balls (may need to re-use towards end of season)
    • Raking of Father Carroll and Wager fields after game (take care not to create mounds of dirt in the grass at the edge of the dirt)
    • Put bases from Father Carroll field away after the game if it's the last game of day

Player-Pitch and Majors

Several rules are common to both Player Pitch and Majors Divisions. Refer to the Little League Rulebook for complete rules, including for Tournament play, when rules are often more strictly enforced. Some key rules to remember include:

  • If one team is ahead by 10 runs after four innings (3.5 innings if the home team is ahead), the mercy rule is applied.
  • Games are six innings. In case of a game shortened by rain or darkness, a game is considered official if four innings can be played. No new innings should start after 1 hour 45 minutes.
  • USABat standard bats must be used. Bats may not exceed 33-inches, nor 2 ⅝ diameter.
  • Stealing is allowed, including of home. Leading is not allowed. Once a pitcher is touching the rubber, a runner may not leave a base until the pitch has crossed home plate.
  • Players must wear athletic supporters / cups.
  • All players in the catching position must wear protective gear, including a throat guard.
  • Pitches may not wear any distracting clothing, jewelry sunglasses, etc.
  • Pitchers get up to eight warmup pitches from the mound per inning.
  • Pitchers cannot be removed and then return to later as a pitcher.
  • Pitchers must be held to pitch counts and rest periods to protect their arms. (A pitcher may complete an at-bat if the pitch count is reached in the middle of an at-bat.) Also note that any player who catches four innings may not pitch that game.


Age Pitches allowed per day
6-8 50
9-10 75
11-12 85


Pitches thrown in a day Days of rest required
1-20 0
21-35 1
36-50 2
51-65 3
66+ 4

Player Pitch

Some rules particular to the Player-Pitch Division include:

  • Players are introduced to additional game fundamentals. Coaches may choose to play or suspend many of these rules by agreement before a game
  • Innings end after three outs or when a team has batted through its order once
  • If a team is ahead by 7 runs or more, its players are no longer permitted to steal


In the Majors Division, some additional rules not applicable to Player-Pitch are in effect, including:

  • Innings end after three outs
  • Stealing is allowed no matter the score
  • Batters may attempt to reach first on a dropped third strike
  • The infield fly rule is in effect

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