2019 Rule Changes

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2019 Rule Changes


Babe Ruth League, Inc.

A Non-Profit Tax-Exempt Organization for 4 to 18 Year Old Players

Website: www.baberuthleague.org 

International Headquarters:  1670 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road
                                         Hamilton, New Jersey 08619
                            Phone: 800-880-3142
                       Fax: 609-695-2505

 

 

Dear Babe Ruth League Presidents - 

 

On behalf of Babe Ruth League, Inc., I want to thank you for the extra efforts you put forth in helping make 2018 a successful and enjoyable season for our participants.
 
The International Board of Directors has approved the following rule changes beginning with the 2019 season.  These changes will be reflected in the 2019 Babe Ruth League, Inc. Rules and Regulations.
 
Part 1 – Rules modified to meet the standards of the Safe Sports Act  

  1. Rule 0.01, Paragraph 7 – Background Checks (Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball) - Once a volunteer has successfully completed and passed background screening, it is valid for a two (2) year period.
  2. Rule 0.04 – Paragraph 5 (Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball) – Babe Ruth League, Inc. rostered managers and coaches in all Divisions are required to complete coaching education, a nationwide background screening, and Abuse Prevention Training in accordance with the Safe Sports Act.
  3. Rule 0.01 – Paragraph 6 – Requirement for Charter – Leagues that use 3rd Party Insurance must show $1,000,000 liability coverage for sexual abuse and molestation coverage.

Part 2 – Rule Changes for the 2019 Season (Please note Division or Level Play)

  1. Rule 0.02, Paragraph 2(a) – Cal Ripken Baseball – Any player that turns 4-years-old in the months of May, June, July, and August is eligible to participate in the Cal Ripken T-Ball Division.
  2. Shoulder Emblems (Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball) – Leagues have the option to purchase Alleson Athletic jerseys from approved Alleson Athletic dealers containing the Official Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball or Babe Ruth Softball shoulder emblem.  These jerseys with the sublimated official shoulder emblems of Babe Ruth League, Inc. will satisfy the Official Shoulder Emblem requirement for local league and tournament play.
  3. Jewelry (Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball) – Jewelry is prohibited.  Players shall not wear jewelry.  Medical alert and religious bracelets or necklaces are not considered jewelry.  If worn, they must be taped to the body to remain invisible.  Wireless communication devices are not allowed.  However, Electronic Scoring Devices are permitted.  No device on the field or in the dugout may be used as a means of communication.
  4. Diamond Kinetics (Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball) – The Diamond Kinetics “Swing Tracker” sensor that is attached to the bottom of a baseball/softball bat can be used during live, in-game bats. 
  1. Tournament Team Administration Fee – As Babe Ruth League continues to create and offer more tournament opportunities to allow our leagues a competitive alternative to travel baseball, it is important to keep our league team fees as low as possible. In order for the World Series Invitationals and the World Series National Qualifier Series to be held to the same standard as our current Tournament Trail experience, we need to look at our future and the changing needs of the communities we serve.  Effective with 2019, the tournament team administration fees will be: Cal Ripken Baseball (Rookie, Minor, Major Divisions) - $40 per Tournament Team; Babe Ruth 13-15 Baseball (All Divisions)- $40 per Tournament Team; Babe Ruth 16-18 Baseball - $100 per Tournament Team; Babe Ruth Softball (8U, 10U, 12U) - $40 per Tournament Team; Babe Ruth Softball (14U, 16U, 18U) - $40 per Tournament Team.
  2. Rule 11.04, Paragraph 1(a) – Documents - (All Divisions) Birth documents/Babe Ruth League officially laminated or electronic I.D Cards are no longer required as part of the tournament credentials. The player’s birth will be recorded on the tournament roster. The local league president will certify the players age as he/she does with all aspects of the roster as being accurate.
  3. Rule 0.04, Paragraph 3 (Note) (Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball) – To be eligible for tournament play, all players must be listed on the local league regular season rosters by June 1.
  4. Rule 11.03, Paragraph 1(c) - Player Eligibility (Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball) – To be eligible to participate in tournament play, a player, manager or coach must be listed on the local league regular season rosters by June 1 and on tournament rosters.
  5. 15 RUN RULE(Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball 12U and Younger Divisions) Any tournament game for Cal Ripken Baseball or Babe Ruth Softball 12U and younger divisions must be terminated immediately if one team is ahead by fifteen (15) or more runs after two and one half (2 ½) or three (3) innings and each team has had equal times at bat. 
    Any tournament game for Cal Ripken or Babe Ruth Softball 12U and Younger Divisions must be terminated immediately once becoming regulation (3 ½ or 4 innings) if one team is ahead by 10 or more runs and each team has had equal times at bat, or the home team is leading. 
  6. 15 RUN RULE (Babe Ruth 13-15 and 16-18 Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball 14U and Older Divisions - Any tournament game for Babe Ruth 13-15 or 16-18 Baseball, or Babe Ruth Softball 14U and Older Divisions must be terminated immediately if one team is ahead by fifteen (15) or more runs after three and one half (3 ½) or four (4) innings and each team has had equal times at bat.  
    Any tournament game for Babe Ruth 13-15 and 16-18 Baseball or Babe Ruth Softball 14U and Older Divisions must be terminated immediately once becoming regulation (4 ½ or 5 innings) if one team is ahead by ten (10) or more runs  and each team has had equal times at bat, or the home team is leading.
  7. Rule 0.05, Paragraph 1(a) – Team Composition – Cal Ripken Baseball – Recommend a minimum of twelve (12) players per team roster with a maximum of fifteen (15) players, one (1) manager, and three  (3) coaches.  Please be advised that the NOTE under this rule, which read “Once a player is selected to play in a major league division, he must complete the season within that division” has been eliminated.
  8.  Rule 0.05, Paragraph 1(a) – Team Composition – 13-15 Baseball – Recommend a minimum of twelve (12) players per team roster with a maximum of fifteen (15) players, one (1) manager, and three (3) coaches.  The Note under this rule has been revised to read, “If a league registers with Babe Ruth League, Inc. , a minimum of four (4) teams is required to register a 13-Year-Old Prep League.  Thirteen-year-old players listed on the league’s 13-15 team rosters may also participate in the 13-Year-Old Prep League at the local league’s option.”
  9.  Rule 0.05, Paragraph 1(a) – Team Composition – 16-18 Baseball – Recommend a minimum of twelve (12) players per team roster with a maximum of eighteen (18) players, one (1) manager, and three (3) coaches.  The Note under this rule has been revised to read, “If a league registers with Babe Ruth League, Inc. , a minimum of four (4) teams is required to register a 16-Year-Old Prep League.  Sixteen-year-old players listed on the league’s 16-18 team rosters may also participate in the 16-Year-Old Prep League at the local league’s option.”
  10. Rule 0.05 – Team Composition – Babe Ruth Softball 12U, 14U, 16U – Recommend a minimum of twelve (12) players per team roster with a maximum of fifteen (15) players, one (1) manager, and three (3) coaches.
  11. Rule 0.05 – Team Composition – Babe Ruth Softball 18U – Recommend a minimum of twelve (12) players per team roster with a maximum of eighteen (18) players, one (1) manager, and three (3) coaches.
  12. Rule 11.02, Paragraph 1(a) – Team Composition – Babe Ruth SoftballNew Wording:  Players are eligible to participate on a Tournament Team in their proper age division, regardless of the division they played for during the regular season, provided the player meets all eligibility requirements.
  13. Babe Ruth Softball Rule Change – Face Masks – Face Masks are required for the infield positions – First, Third and Pitcher.
  14.  Babe Ruth Softball Bats (Clarification) – Softball bats with an adjustable knob are allowed, provided the knob is permanently fastened by the manufacturer.  Any devices, attachments or wrappings that cause the knob to become flush with the handle are also permitted.
  15. Babe Ruth Softball Tournament Competition – Time Limit – 1 Hour and 30 Minutes.  No time limit on championship games.

Part 3 - Eliminated Rules 

  1. Rule 0.01, Paragraph 5 – Geographical Boundaries - Babe Ruth Softball – Geographical boundaries are eliminated for the 14U, 16U and 18U Divisions.
  2. Rule 11.03, Paragraph 1(d) and NOTE – Player Eligibility (Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball)The following has been eliminated: “To be eligible for tournament play in any division of Babe Ruth League, Inc., a player must have played in at least one-half (1/2) of his/her team’s scheduled league games prior to the start of tournament play.”
  3. Rule 0.04, Paragraph 1 and NOTE (All Divisions) – Babe Ruth League ID Cards will no longer be offered.  Previously issued ID Cards can still be used for proof of birth to the local League Presidents.
  4. Rule 0.04, Paragraph 4 (All Divisions) – The league will no longer be required to keep scorebooks detailing all league games.
  5. Rule 11.03, Paragraph 1(d) (All Divisions) – Players will no longer have to play in at least one-half (1/2) of his/her team’s games to be eligible for tournament play.

8-YEAR-OLD MACHINE PITCH RULES (Used in Cal Ripken Invitational World Series)

  1. TIME LIMIT – One hour, 30 minutes (1:30) or six (6) innings, whichever comes first.  In the event of a tie, the games will continue until there is a winner.  In the Championship Games, there is No Time Limit.
  2. BUNTING – Bunting is allowed in “Machine Pitch.” However, NO FAKE BUNTING IS ALLOWED.  If the batter offers to bunt, then the batter must bunt the ball or pull the bat back to take the pitch.  If the batter offers to bunt, pulls the bat back, and then swings at the pitch, the batter will automatically be declared out by the umpire.
  3. BASE STEALING – Base stealing is not permitted in Rookie Machine Pitch.
  4. OUTFIELDERS – There will be four (4) outfielders.  All outfielders must remain in the grass area of the outfield.  They cannot be positioned in the infield at any time.  This means there will be ten (10) batters in the line-up.
  5. EXTRA PLAYER (EP) – An Extra Player (EP) can be used as the 11th batter.  If a team elects this option, it must start and finish the game with the EP or the game is a forfeit.  Both teams in a game are not required to use the EP.
  6. 15 RUN RULE  – Any Cal Ripken tournament game must be terminated immediately if one team is ahead by fifteen (15) or more runs after two and one half (2 ½) or three (3) innings and has had equal times at bat.
  7. 10 RUN RULE – Any Cal Ripken tournament game must be terminated immediately once becoming regulation (3 ½ or 4 innings) if one team is ahead by ten (10) or more runs and has had equal times at bat. Or the home team is leading.
  8. Spring-loaded portable pitching machine – Speed: 43 MPH.  The speed is established when ball crosses home plate.  The front two legs of the pitching machine are placed in front of the pitching rubber.
  9. The player that assumes the pitcher’s position must remain within the radius circle, behind the machine, and on one side or the other, until the ball is hit.  If a pitcher violates these requirements, then (1) the play will stand, even if the pitcher is involved in the play, and (2) the umpire(s) will warn the violating pitcher’s manager that if the same pitcher violates one of both requirements again, the player will be removed from the pitcher’s position.  The player can assume another position, but cannot re-enter as a pitcher in that game.
  10. If a batted fair ball hits any part of the pitching machine without touching any defensive player, the ball is immediately dead.  The batter will be awarded first base.  All other runners return to the base they last occupied before the ball was hit, unless forced to advance as a result of the batter being awarded first base.  If a batted fair ball is first touched by a defensive player and then hits any part of the pitching machine, it is a live ball.  If a thrown ball hits any part of the pitching machine, it is a live ball.
  11. The catcher takes the normal position in full gear.  Catcher catches the ball – gives the ball to the plate umpire – the umpire puts the ball in the bucket – the catcher DOES NOT throw the ball back to the player on the field.
  12. Each batter receives a maximum of four (4) pitches.  If the batter strikes out, or if the ball has not been hit into play after four pitches, the batter is out.  (If in the umpire’s judgment the machine delivers a ball out of the strike zone, a “no pitch” will be called unless the batter swings, in which case it will be called a strike.)  NO INTENTIONAL WALKS.
  13. If the batter fouls the fourth (4th) pitch, the batter will receive pitches if the batter continues to foul pitches.  (Note:  Any foul bunt after two strikes is an out.)  The batter is out if a batter swings on a third strike and misses the ball.
  14. Hit by Pitch – If the batter is hit by a pitch from the pitching machine, the batter will be awarded first base.
  15. Infield Fly Rule – There is NO infield fly rule.

8-YEAR-OLD PLAYER PITCH RULES (Used in Cal Ripken Invitational World Series)

  1. TIME LIMIT – One hour, 45 minutes (1:45) or six (6) innings, whichever comes first.  In the event of a tie, the games will continue until there is a winner.  In the Championship Games, there is No Time Limit.
  2. BUNTING – Bunting is allowed in “Player Pitch.” However, NO FAKE BUNTING IS ALLOWED.  If the batter offers to bunt, then the batter must bunt the ball or pull the bat back to take the pitch.  If the batter offers to bunt, pulls the bat back, and then swings at the pitch, the batter will automatically be declared out by the umpire.
  3. Pitching Rule – No pitcher is allowed to pitch in more than two (2) innings per game, with a pitcher not being permitted to pitch in more than three (3) consecutive days/games.  If a pitcher pitches in three (3) consecutive days/games (6 innings max), the pitcher is required a day’s rest.  The two (2) innings per game would reset after a day’s rest.  No pitcher shall appear in a game as a pitcher for three (3) consecutive days/games regardless of pitch count.
  4. BASE STEALING – Base stealing is permitted in Rookie Player Pitch.
  5. EXTRA PLAYER (EP) – An Extra Player (EP) can be used as the 10th batter.  If a team elects this option, it must start and finish the game with the EP or the game is a forfeit.  Both teams in a game are not required to use the EP.
  6. 15 RUN RULE – Any Cal Ripken tournament game must be terminated immediately if one team is ahead by fifteen (15) or more runs after two and one half (2 ½) or three (3) innings and has had equal times at bat.
  7. 10 RUN RULE – Any Cal Ripken tournament game must be terminated immediately once becoming regulation (3 ½ or 4 innings) if one team is ahead by ten (10) or more runs and has had equal times at bat. Or the home team is leading.

We value the opinion of our membership and base our future actions and any rule/policy changes on a group consensus.  Our goal has always been, and will continue to be, to keep as many players as possible in the great games of baseball and softball, and to make it a fun and memorable experience for all.
 
In closing, we again thank you for the time you invest for the benefit of our young athletes.  Babe Ruth League, Inc. has always been a volunteer driven organization.  The phenomenal success we enjoy is a direct reflection of your ever-increasing dedication and enthusiasm. 
 

Sincerely,

Steven M. Tellefsen
President/CEO, Babe Ruth League, Inc.