The International Board of Directors has approved the following rule changes beginning with the 2014 season. These changes will be reflected in the 2014 Babe Ruth League, Inc. Rules and Regulations.
Background Checks (All Divisions of Babe Ruth League, Inc.)– Babe Ruth League, Inc. programs, nationwide, are required to annually conduct a background check on all managers, coaches, board of directors’ members, as well as any other persons and volunteers, who provide regular service to the league and/or have repetitive access to, or contact with, players or teams. The purpose of these background checks is, first and foremost, to protect the players.
Babe Ruth Baseball 13 Prep Division and 13-15 Division –Local League and Tournament Play Special Rules and Regulations – Extra Player (formally the “EH” extra Hitter). Prior to the beginning of each tournament game, a team may elect to add a tenth hitter to the batting order for District, State and Regional tournament competition, as well as the Babe Ruth 13-Year-Old World Series, Babe Ruth 14-Year-Old World Series and Babe Ruth 13-15 World Series. The player will be indicated in the line-up as the “EP.” The “EP” cannot be added to the line-up once the game begins. The “EP” will be treated as any other starter, and cannot be eliminated during the course of the game. If a team starts with 10 players, the team must finish with 10 players. Penalty shall be a forfeit.
Babe Ruth 16-18 Division – Designated Hitter – Rule 6.10– Any Babe Ruth 16-18 League may elect to use the Designated Hitter Rule. The rule provides as follows:
A hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher and all subsequent pitchers in any game without otherwise affecting the status of the pitcher(s) in the game. A Designated Hitter for the pitcher must be selected prior to the game and must be included in the lineup cards presented to the Umpire-in-Chief.
The Designated Hitter named in the starting lineup must come to bat at least one time, unless the opposing club changes pitchers. It is not mandatory that a club designate a hitter for the pitcher, but failure to do so prior to the game precludes the use of a Designated Hitter for that game.
Pinch hitters for a Designated Hitter may be used. Any substitute hitter for a Designated Hitter becomes the Designated Hitter. A replaced Designated Hitter shall not re-enter the game in any capacity.
The Designated Hitter may be used defensively, continuing to bat in the same position in the batting order, but the pitcher must then bat in the place of the substituted defensive player, unless more than one substitution is made, and the manager then must designate their spots in the batting order.
A runner may be substituted for the Designated Hitter and the runner assumes the role of Designated Hitter. A Designated Hitter may not pinch run.
A Designated Hitter is locked into the batting order. No multiple substitutions may be made that will alter the batting rotation of the Designated Hitter.
Once the game pitcher is switched from the mound to a defensive position, this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game.
Once the game pitcher bats for the Designated Hitter, this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game. (The game pitcher may only pinch-hit for the Designated Hitter.)
Once a Designated Hitter assumes a defensive position, this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game. A substitute for the Designated Hitter need not be announced until it is the Designated Hitter’s turn to bat.
Cal Ripken Baseball, Major/60 Division – Dropped Third Strike 6.09(b)– The batter becomes a runner when the third strike called by an umpire is not caught, providing (1) first base is unoccupied or (2) first base is occupied with two outs.
Babe Ruth Softball Tournament Regulations (10U Division) – Rule 11.05, Paragraph 12 – Increased the softball tournament pitching limitations in the 10U and younger divisions from six (6) innings to nine (9) innings in any two successive games.
Cal Ripken Baseball Major/70 Division; Babe Ruth 13-15 Division; Babe Ruth 16-18 Division – Rule 8.05(c) Comment: Requires the pitcher, while touching his plate, to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base. If a pitcher turns or spins off of his free foot without actually stepping or if he turns his body and throws before stepping, it is a balk.
A pitcher is to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base, and is required to throw (except to second base) because he steps. It is a balk if, with runners on first and third, the pitcher steps toward third and does not throw, merely to bluff the runner back to third; then seeing the runner on first start for second, turn and step toward and throw to first base. It is legal for a pitcher to feint a throw to second base.
(d) The pitcher, while touching his plate, throws, or feints a throw to an unoccupied base, except for the purpose of making a play;
(e) The pitcher makes an illegal pitch.
If you have any suggested rules and regulations changes or any new ideas you would like to see implemented in Babe Ruth League, please put them in writing and send them to my attention at Babe Ruth Headquarters with a copy sent to your District and State Commissioners. As the local league is the most important component of Babe Ruth League, we want your voice to be heard at our upcoming Board of Directors Meeting. It is only through your input that we will be able to administer another successful program in 2014.