2021 OFFICIAL RULES

Local Competition Operator Rules & Regulations

*All participating leagues should follow their state and local government’s guidelines surrounding youth sports participation, public gatherings, and mitigation recommendations prior to hosting a local event. All rules within the Little League® Rulebook are to be implemented and the Best Practices on Organizing, Playing, and Watching Little League During Coronavirus Pandemic should be used as a reference during the competition; including, but not limited to those contained below:

Participant Eligibility

  • Only chartered Little Leagues are eligible to host a local competition.
  • Participants must currently be registered and meet all eligibility requirements within their chartered Little League for the 2021 season.
  • The Baseball competition is open to athletes league age 9 – 12 years old.
  • The Softball competition is limited to female athletes league age 9 – 12 years old.
  • All Home Run Derby Local Operators must agree to comply with the following before registering:1) all of the T-Mobile Little League Home Run Derby Rules and Regulations; 2) Terms & Conditions; 3) Privacy Policy; and 4) will maintain and have in their possession all required releases and event documents. The local operator must further certify that they are fully eligible to enroll their league in this competition as a member of the local league Board of Directors. If the local league takes insurance coverage locally and not through the national Little League insurance coverage through AIG, the local operator must have verified with their local insurance carrier and can confirm that insurance coverage will be in effect for the T-Mobile Little League Home Run Derby.
  • All Participants are required to submit the Participant Release signed by their legal guardian prior to participating. Any participant that is found to have not submitted their Participant Release or other required documents prior to participating in their Local Home Run Derby will be disqualified and their results will not be accepted. Furthermore, any leagues that require a COVID-19 waiver for player or volunteer participation during the 2021 season will need to comply with the same process for this event.
  • There is no minimum number of participants.
  • Field Dimensions: Baseball: Fence Distance 170’ / Softball: Fence Distance 130’
    • To create a shortened fence distance, draw a chalk line through the outfield 170’ feet for baseball and 130’ for softball from home plate or use cones.
  • Judges: At least three evaluators must be stationed near the outfield fence to judge if ball landed over or on chalk/cones.
  • Pitching:
    • Adult pitcher(s) to be designated by the League Operator. Where possible, the same pitcher should be used for a minimum of five (5) batters in each round before rotating pitchers.
    • The pitcher must be positioned and pitching from behind an L-Screen for the baseball competition or square screen for the softball competition.
      • The screen is to be positioned no closer than 30ft from home plate for the baseball and softball competition.
      • Live arm pitching is preferred. Pitching machines may be used if necessary. The use of side toss is not permitted. The same pitching method should be used for all participants.
  • Dates & Timing: Local Home Run Derby date and times must be submitted, updated if weather delay, and finalized within the Home Run Derby portal two-weeks prior to the Local Home Run Derby taking place.
    • The contest can take place any time during the day as long as it is completed before 10:00 PM.
  • Results: Results must be submitted within one (1) week of the local contest taking place and no later than June 27, 2021 (date subject to change). Results will be submitted by event administrator via online portal at LittleLeague.org/HomeRunDerby.
  • Admission: No admission charge is permitted.
    • Fans should only be encouraged to attend as permitted and in accordance with local and state guidelines. Local guidelines should also be followed as it relates to social distancing, masks, and other COVID-19 mitigation requirements.
  • Field Decorum: Batboys and/or batgirls are not permitted. All players shall be on their benches in the dugouts or in the bullpen and socially distanced, if required.
  • Equipment: Should be inspected prior to the start of the competition
    • Balls – The balls used must be licensed and meet Little League specifications and standards. Baseballs shall weigh not less than five (5) ounces nor more than five and one fourth (5 ¼) ounces, and measure not less than nine (9) nor more than nine and one-fourth (9 ¼) inches in circumference. A 12” Little League licensed softball must be used for the softball competition. The ball shall be not less than eleven and seven-eight (11 7/8) inches nor more than twelve and one-eight (12 1/8) inches in circumference and shall weigh not less than six and one quarter (6 ¼) ounces nor more than seven (7) ounces.
    • Bats –
      • Prior to the start of the competition, participants must declare any bat they might use, and all bats should be inspected by a competition judge to ensure that they meet the requirements listed below:
    • Baseball Rule – The bat must be a baseball bat which meets the USA Baseball Bat standard (USABat) as adopted by Little League. It shall be a smooth, rounded stick, and made of wood or of material and color tested and proved acceptable to the USA Baseball Bat standard (USABat).
    • Softball Rule – The bat must be a softball bat which meets Little League specifications and standards as noted in this rule. It shall be a smooth, rounded stick and made of wood or a material tested and proved acceptable to Little League standards. The bat shall be no more than 33 inches in length, not more than two and one-quarter (2¼) inches in diameter, and if wood, not less than fifteen-sixteenth (15/16) inches in diameter (7/8 inch for bats less than 30 inches) at its smallest part. Non-wood bats shall be printed with a BPF (bat performance factor) of 1.20.
      • Non-wood bats may develop dents from time to time. Bats that have cracks or sharp edges, or that cannot pass through the approved Little League bat ring for the appropriate division must be removed from play.
      • If the certification mark/s on a bat are not legible, that bat cannot be used and shall be removed from competition.
      • Use of an illegal bat will result in disqualification of the participant from the competition.
    • Helmets –
      • Use of the helmet by the batter is mandatory. Each helmet shall have an exterior warning label. Helmets must have a non-glare surface and cannot be mirror-like in nature. Each helmet must meet NOCSAE specifications and bear the NOCSAE stamp as well as an exterior warning label as noted above. Warning! Manufacturers have advised that altering helmets in any way can be dangerous. Altering the helmet in any form, including painting or adding decals (by anyone other than the manufacturer or authorized dealer) may void the helmet warranty. Helmets may not be re-painted and may not contain tape or re-applied decals unless approved in writing by the helmet manufacturer or authorized dealer.
    • Uniforms –
      • All players shall wear their local league jersey for the competition at the local level following uniform guidance from Little League.
    • Catcher –
      • The catcher must wear a catcher’s mitt (not a first baseman’s mitt or fielder’s (glove) of any shape, size, or weight consistent with protecting the hand.
      • Male catchers must wear a metal, fiber, or plastic type cup, and approved long or short-model chest protector. Female catchers must wear long or short model chest protectors. All catchers must wear chest protectors with neck collar, throat guard, shin guards, and catcher’s helmet, all of which must meet Little League specifications and standards. The catcher’s helmet must meet NOCSAE specifications and standards and bear the NOCSAE stamp. All catchers must wear a mask, “dangling” type throat protector, and catcher’s helmet during infield/outfield practice, pitcher warm-up, and games. NOTE: Skull caps are not permitted. Warning! Manufacturers have advised that altering helmets in any way can be dangerous. Altering the helmet in any form, including painting or adding decals (by anyone other than the manufacturer or authorized dealer) may void the helmet warranty. Helmets may not be re-painted and may not contain tape or re-applied decals unless approved in writing by the helmet manufacturer or authorized dealer.
      • A square screen or catch net can be used in place of a catcher.
    • L-Screen/Square Screen –
      • An L-Screen for baseball pitchers or square screen for softball pitchers is to be used for the safety of all pitchers and is to be positioned no closer than 30ft from home plate for the baseball and softball competitions.
  • On-field:
    • The only Little Leaguers permitted on the field are the batter and shaggers (max of 5) all of which should remain in the outfield. Shaggers must allow all balls to land (no catching).
    • Other participants should remain in the dugouts or bullpen with an adult.
    • A square screen is recommended behind second base, manned by an adult, to gather all baseballs or softballs.
    • A First Aid Kit should be present and must be in accordance to league’s ASAP Plan and safety code.
    • Appropriate adjustments must be made for softball e.g. using softballs and square screens for pitchers.

Duties & Obligations of Local Operator

  • The Local Operator acknowledges and agrees to follow all rules, regulations, and guidelines set forth in the T-Mobile Little League Home Run Derby Rules.
  • The Local Operator of the local T-Mobile Home Run Derby competition is responsible for setting the date, time, and location of their local competition.
  • The Local Operator of the local T-Mobile Home Run Derby competition must determine an appropriate way to include league age eligible participants in accordance with the Little League mission.
  • The Local Operator of the local T-Mobile Home Run Derby agrees to collect completed Participant Releases from all participants prior to the participant taking part in the local competition and providing these forms and waivers by uploading to website when submitting results. Failure to collect and provide completed Participant Releases will lead to immediate disqualification from the competition.
  • The Local Operator of the local T-Mobile Home Run Derby agrees to upload a photo of the Champion to official website. Local Operator will receive directions on content requirements of photo prior to competition.
  • Equipment donations will be released to participating leagues only if event results and photo of event winner are submitted via online portal.
  • Upon completion of the local T-Mobile Home Run Derby competition, the Local Operator must submit final total results and completed Participant Waivers via LittleLeague.org/HomeRunDerby
  • Note: The Local Operator may host a competition for multiple Little League programs.
    • Each league must provide a roster of participants to the Local Operator.
    • One T-Mobile Little League Home Run Derby kit provided to the host league.

Event Structure

1st Round

  • All participants receive 10 outs each
  • Any pitch that is swung on with the ball ultimately not landing over the fence in fair territory is an out
  • Any fair ball that lands over the fence in fair territory is a home run. A ball that lands on the chalk/cone line is NOT counted as a home run
  • At the end of the 1st Round, the 10 participants with the most home runs will advance to the 2nd Round (*if event has less than 10 participants, all participants advance to 2nd round)

2nd Round

  • The 10 participants receive 10 outs each
  • Batting order will be determined by number of Home Runs hit in first round with the lowest total number hitting first.
  • Any pitch that is swung on with the ball ultimately not landing over the fence in fair territory is an out
  • Any fair ball that lands over the fence in fair territory is a home run. A ball that lands on the chalk/cone line is NOT considered a home run
  • At the end of the 2nd Round, the 5 participants with the most total home runs (combined totals from 1st and 2nd rounds) will advance to the Final Round (*if event has less than 5 participants, all participants advance to the Final Round)

Final Round

  • The 5 participants receive 10 outs each
  • Batting order will be determined by total Home Runs hit in first and second rounds with the lowest total number hitting first.
  • Any pitch that is swung on with the ball ultimately not landing over the fence in fair territory is an out
  • Any fair ball that lands over the fence in fair territory is a home run. A ball that lands on the chalk/cone line is NOT considered a home run
  • At the end of the Final Round, the participant with the most total home runs (combined totals from 1st, 2nd, and Final rounds) is the league’s T-Mobile Little League Home Run Derby Champion

Tie-Breakers

Should there be a tie between two participants at the end of any round that would determine advancement to the next round or the final champion, the following tie breaking procedure will be used:

In the event of a tie at the end of the first, second, or final round, there will be a swing-off between the participants who are tied that will determine which participant advance (after 1st or 2nd rounds) or wins (after final round). Each participant will receive three (3) additional outs at a time, the contestant with the most home runs after the three (3) additional outs will advance or be crowned the champion. The additional outs will repeat until the tie is broken. Tie-breaking home runs do not count towards total home runs.

Advancement

Information regarding the next stages of the T-Mobile Little League Home Run Derby will be announced in the coming months.