What are the recommended rules for young athletes?
Scoring and standing will not be kept
The focus for young athletes is to develop skills, make friends, and have fun. When scoring or standings are kept, the focus shifts to winning, which often alters how a team is coached.
All players bat every inning, and the order is shuffled each inning.
The more a player gets up to bat in a game, the more development opportunities there are. This rule ensures equitable playing time in various spots in the batting order. Plus, kids love to hit the ball!!!
Runners cannot steal bases
Kepping more runners on base creates more defensive opportunities in, as there will be more forced plays. Additionally, players just don't have the skills to defend against stealing. So offensive and defensive players are not developing appropriate skills.
A player cannot play the same position in consecutive innings
All players need to have equitable opportunities to play in various positions. It is extremely important that all players are given opportunities to pitch, to ensure there are plenty of pitchers in future years and to avoid pitcher overuse.
Bunting is not permitted
Bunting is a specialized skill. The focus should be on the proper technique of swinging a bat. Bunting should be used as an addition to a players skill set, not in replacement of.
Runners cannot advance on an overthrow
Defensive players should be encouraged to make the appropriate play and avoid not throwing the ball for fear of making a mistake.