All games will be played in accordance with official Babe Ruth League Rules with local exceptions as noted:
Player Participation: Any player who is present at the start of the game and does not start in the field shall not sit on the bench for a second inning until all players who have appeared for the game have sat out one inning (Exception – when only one player has a cup and has to catch the whole game and can’t sit out.) All players must play a minimum of 4 innings of a 7 inning game. Players may sit consecutive innings.
Minimum Number of Players: A minimum of eight (8) players must be present to start a game; if a player has to leave a game for any reason before its conclusion, the game may be continued, in which event the player’s spot in the batting order will be skipped (and not counted as an out) and the team might have to play with less than nine (9) players in the field.
Game Length A game will consist of seven (7) innings. No new inning shall start after 2 hours and 5 minutes from the start of the game. Playoff games are played until a winner is determined.
Footwear: Plastic or metal cleats are acceptable.
Helmets: Batters and runners must wear helmets at all times when on the field. Helmets must remain on until the player has left the field and entered the dugout area.
Mercy Rule: Due to the time limit on the games there will be no mercy rule.
Heartguards: Mandatory for all players.
The pitcher may pitch no more than four (4) innings per game. They must be consecutive innings. Pitchers cannot throw for more than 7 innings over a 7 consecutive day period.
Balks: One warning per pitcher will be allowed before a balk will be called on that pitcher. Balks are called for the following illegal actions:
Turning the shoulder and not throwing to first base.
Separating the hands while still on the rubber
Faking the set position while not on the rubber
Moving towards home plate and not delivering the pitch.
Any action intended to deceive the runner while the pitcher is standing on the pitching rubber.
Coaches may only visit the mound once in an inning to talk to the same pitcher. The second trip to the mound in a given inning must result in a pitching change.
If a pitcher hits 3 batters in an appearance you must remove the pitcher.
Pitching Distance: The pitching distance will be sixty feet, six inches. Coaches must work on developing pitchers at each of their practices, so that the pitchers will be able to throw strikes, which makes for a better game for all concerned. Coaches should teach the basics of pitching “from the stretch” and the basic balk rules.
Breaking Pitches: Breaking pitches may be thrown.
Strike Zone: Encourage umpire to call a large consistent strike zone. Coaches should remind the umpire accordingly.
Batting Order: All players who appear for the game will be included in the batting order. If a player arrives late, that player will be inserted into the lineup as the last batter when he arrives.
Bats: Bats must conform to the current year Babe Ruth bat regulations which can be found on the Babe Ruth website.
If the illegal bat is discovered at any point during an “at bat” the batter is immediately called out.
If the illegal bat is discovered after the batter hits and before a pitch has been thrown to the next batter, the hitter will be called out and all base runners will return to their previous base.
Any bat discovered not conforming to the above rule shall be directed to be removed immediately
Fake Bunt and Swing Away: Fake bunt and then swinging at the pitch will not be allowed.
Bat Throwing: Bat throwing is extremely dangerous and must be controlled. A player will receive one warning for throwing a bat and will be called out for a second offense.
Coaching Batters: Coaches must coach players to be aggressive at bat. We need to have the players swing at all good pitches and attempt to put the ball in play.
Base Running Rules
Must Slide Rule: It is the responsibility of the base runner to avoid contact with a fielder who is making, or about to make, a play. The runner must slide or attempt to avoid contact by running around the fielder. A runner may not slide head first into a base. Penalty: The runner will be called out. Exception: A runner may return to a base head first after rounding the base and realizing he cannot advance to the next base. A runner must not collide with or run into a fielder in any situation. Coaches should remind the umpire before the game to enforce this and the need to avoid collisions. Must also note that defensive players need to stay clear of the base when runners are advancing. Remind the umpire accordingly.
Blocking Base/Fake Tags: Fielders may not block the base paths without the ball - in such situations, the runner will automatically be safe
Stealing Base: A runner can advance to any base on an overthrow or passed ball at his own risk. Straight steals are allowed at all bases EXCEPT home.
Courtesy Runner: In order to speed the pace of the game, a courtesy runner may be used for the catcher when the catcher is on base and there are two outs. The courtesy runner must be requested as soon as the second out is made and before the next pitch to the next batter. The courtesy runner will be the batter who made the last out, except that if the pitcher made the last out, then the courtesy runner will revert to the batter who made the out just prior to the pitcher.
Infield Fly Rule: The infield fly rule will be enforced. When called, the batter is automatically out. If the ball is caught runners may only advance after tagging up. If the ball is not caught, (provided it is a fair ball) the base runners may advance without returning to the previous base.
Base Coaches: Only coaches are permitted to coach the bases. If there are not enough coaches, and there is not a qualified player parent to assist, a player will be allowed to base coach at the Coaches’ discretion. The player who is base coaching must be wearing a helmet and be instructed not to leave the coaching box during live play.
Uncaught 3rd Strike Rule: A batter can advance to first base on a uncaught 3rd strike (pass ball or dropped by the catcher) if there is no runner on first base or there are two outs unless the batter is tagged before reaching 1st base or forced out at the base.