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Reduce forfeits and get more playing time for all kids.

Parents: Be prepared for last minute calls to sub in for teams short a player.

Coaches: Email [email protected] with your "NOs" as early as possible and we'll try to find similar replacements.

Substitute Player Pool

San Francisco Little League will utilize a Substitute Player Pool program in the competitive divisions (Rookie, AA, AAA, Majors, Juniors) when a team is unable to field 9 players for a game.

The goal is to allow teams to field enough players to avoid forfeits. The substitute player pool will consist of ALL registered players from ALL other teams within the same division (Rookie and Juniors) or within the same division or a division below (AA, AAA, and Majors).

Regulation V c. of the 2024 Little League Rule Book provides guidance to local leagues for utilizing pool players. A summary is as follows:

  1. Players can come from within the division or one division below, assuming they are age appropriate and have been assessed capable.

  2. Players must be assigned by the Pool Player Administrator.

  3. The Pool Player Administrator will create and run the pool and assign players to teams on a rotating basis.

  4. Managers and/or coaches will not have the right to randomly pick and choose players from the pool.

  5. Pool players are not allowed to pitch.

  6. Pool players that are called and show up for the game must meet the mandatory play rules described in the Local Rules.

SFLL Local Rules

The SFLL Pool Player program rules are as follows.

Failure to follow these rules will result in a forfeiture of the game in question and the offending Manager/Coach may face a suspension at the sole discretion of the SFLL Board of Directors.

  1. All players are eligible to be assigned as pool players and will be contacted when needed. However, it is not required to respond and only players that are interested and available will be selected by the Pool Player Administrator.

  2. The Pool Player Administrator will create and maintain the list of Pool Players for each division. The Pool Player Administrator has the discretion to ensure players are capable (meaning not a safety issue) and age eligible to play up a division. 

  3. Only the Pool Player Administrator, VP of Player Agents, and League President (if the Pool Player Administrator is unavailable) are authorized to access the Pool Player list and to contact the parents/caregivers of Pool Players. 

  4. Managers/Coaches are expressly prohibited from contacting Pool Players until one has been secured for their team. Managers/Coaches will not have the right to randomly pick and choose players.

  5. Use of pool players applies to the regular season only. 

  6. It is Managers/Coaches responsibility to track player availability for games. Managers/Coaches should provide as much advance notice as possible to the Pool Player Administrator to secure a pool player or players. At a minimum, the Manager/Coach will contact the Pool Player Administrator to request a pool player no less than 48 hours before the game is scheduled to be played. Please email Substitute Players - [email protected] , Administrator. A Manager/Coach of a team with less than 9 players available to play must request a pool player(s). Manager/Coach of a team with 9 or more players may not request a pool player(s).

  7. The Pool Player Administrator will be responsible for contacting pool players and will decide which player from the pool is selected to play on any given day. Manager/Coach cannot request specific players.

  8. Managers/Coaches must follow mandatory play rules described in the Local Rules when assigned a pool player. Even if a team player shows up unexpectedly, the pool player must meet the mandatory play requirements.

  9. Once a pool player is confirmed and introduced to the requesting Manager/Coach, the pool player cannot be uninvited. The Manager/Coach is committed to playing the pool player. 

  10. The team hosting the pool player must provide a welcoming and friendly game atmosphere for any pool player playing for their team. These players may be nervous and it is the Manager/Coach responsibility to make sure they feel comfortable and encouraged to play. 

  11. The Manager/Coach must notify the opposing Manager/Coach that a pool player is being used.

  12. Pool players are not allowed to pitch, but may catch if replacing a catcher.

  13. Pool players are placed at the bottom of the batting order.

  14. Pool players must wear their own team uniform.

  15. Pool players cannot play more innings than any team player present in a six-inning game.  

  16. Pool players MUST play at least nine (9) consecutive outs.

  17. Pool players are not to be starters (in lieu of team players).

  18. Within 24 hours after the completion of the game, the Manager/Coach shall report to the Pool Player Administrator (via email) how the game went with the pool player. The Pool Player Administrator shall then reach out to the pool player’s parent/caregiver to gain feedback on their experience.


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