Baseball Instruction/Rule for playing with 8 player


I have a team of 9-10 year old kids and sometimes I have to play with only 8. I was told we can play with 8, but anytime the 9th position is due to bat, it will be recorded as a out for the entire game. Is this interpretation correct

DD, thank you for your question.

In the Little League Rule Book, Rule 4.16 - If a game cannot be played because of the inability of either team to place nine players on the field before the game begins, this shall not be grounds for automatic forfeiture, but should be referred to the Board of Directors for a decision.  Note:  A game may not be started with less than nine (9) players on each team.

There is also a section 4.17, which deals with essentially the same thing, only after a game has started, and a team is unable to field nine players.  In this case they allow for a player who has been removed to re-enter so they can continue; but that player can not be one who has been ejected.  Same situation, says referral to Board of Directors.

No matter whether it is Little League, or some other organization, I would assume there is a Board of Directors, or at least a President who handles the rules.  It is not uncommon for local leagues to create some of their own structure, to cover situations such as you are experiencing.

Should there be no governing body for your league, it would fall to the coaches to make a decision, made at the start of the season and consistent for all teams.  That may be the source of what was explained to you.

I would say locate the entity in charge of your league and see what they say.  If there is nothing to cover the situation, now would be as good a time as any to create something which is fair and consistent across the board.

The big factor for this age group, create something equitable which allows them to play the game.  Forfeits benefit no one.

Good luck as you go forward!

Yours in baseball,


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Rick Bundy


I can answer all questions relating to the fundamentals of baseball from t-ball to college, individual and team instruction, game strategy, drills, practice organizaton, coaching philosophies and, last, but not least, the mental game.


4 years little league 4 years high school baseball( 2 varsity) 2 years junior college baseball 1 summer, Central Illinois Collegiate League, Galesburg, Pioneers 2 years, four year college

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Retired teacher 31 years (retired 4) 36 years high school baseball coaching/15 as a head coach/19 varsity asst, 2010 was the 36th. I am in my 10th year as a coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks Training Centers, the official youth baseball and fast pitch softball camps of The Arizona Diamondbacks.

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