2017 Rule Changes

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2017 Rule Changes 

Babe Ruth League, Inc.

Latest Rule Changes for 2017
Updated 12/5/2016

The International Board of Directors has approved the following rule changes beginning with the 2017 season.  These changes will be reflected in the 2017 Babe Ruth League, Inc. Rules and Regulations.

  1. Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth 13-15 Baseball, and Babe Ruth 16-18 Baseball - Tournament Pitching Rules These pitch count limitations will apply to all tournament games played in District, Area, State, Regional and World Series competition and will completely replace Tournament Regulation Rule 11.05, Paragraph 4 (innings pitch).  For the local league season, leagues are still permitted to use pitching limitations as defined in Rule 0.06 and under Local League Options – Pitch Count.

There are no limitations on the number of innings a pitcher may pitch in a tournament (bracket or pool play) game subject to the following pitch count limitations:






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  1. If the pitcher reaches the maximum pitch count limit while facing a batter, he may continue to pitch until the batter reaches base safely or is put out.
  2. Intentional Walk Rule – An intentional base on balls may be given by the defensive team by having its catcher or coach request the umpire to award the batter first base. This may be done before pitching to the batter or on any ball and strike count. The ball shall be declared dead before making the award.
  3. All pitchers must adhere to the pitch count rest requirements before pitching in another tournament game.
  4. All players have full pitching eligibility beginning at each level of tournament competition. (District, State, Area, Regional, and World Series)
  5. In a game suspended by darkness, weather, or other causes and resumed the following calendar day, the pitcher at the time the game was halted may continue to the extent of his/her eligibility.
  6. Games in which an ineligible pitcher has been used, as specified above, shall be declared forfeited. The withdrawal of an ineligible pitcher after that pitcher is announced, or after a preparatory (warm-up) pitch is delivered, but before that player has pitched a ball to a batter, shall not be considered a violation.  Tournament Officials are urged to take precautions to prevent protests. 
  7. Swing Player Options - If a 15-year-old player swings up and participates on the 16-18 tournament team and pitches, they will abide by the 16-18 tournament pitching rules.  Same would apply if a 12-year-old player swings up and participates on a 13-year-old tournament team, they will abide by the 13-15-year-old tournament pitching rule. Whatever the age of the tournament will determine the pitch count regardless of the player's league age.

Official Pitch Count Record

  1. The Tournament Director must designate the scorekeeper or another game official as the official pitch count statistician.  The pitch count statistician shall record all pitches as defined in the rule book (Rule 2.00 – A pitch is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher.), in addition to any pitches delivered to the batter ruled a “no pitch” by the umpire.
  2. The pitch count statistician must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by either manager or any umpire. However, the manager has the ultimate responsibility for knowing when his/her pitcher must be removed to meet the mandated rest requirements.
  3. The official pitch count statistician should inform the umpire-in-chief when a pitcher has delivered his/her maximum limit of pitches for the game, as noted above. The umpire-in-chief will inform the pitcher’s manager that the pitcher must be removed. However, the failure by the pitch count statistician to notify the umpire-in-chief, and/or the failure of the umpire-in- chief to notify the manager, does not relieve the manager of his/her responsibility to remove a pitcher when that pitcher is no longer eligible.
  4. Cal Ripken Baseball; Babe Ruth Baseball; Babe Ruth Softball - CHROME BATTING HELMETS; CHROME CATCHER’S MASK/HELMET - Chrome batting helmets; Chrome Catcher's Mask/Helmet are not permitted in Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball and Babe Ruth Softball for local league and tournament play. The batting helmet; catcher's mask/helmet shall not have a chrome or mirror-like surface. The chrome or mirror-like surface is illegal due to its distracting nature which may be dangerous to other players.


  1. Cal Ripken Baseball; Babe Ruth Baseball; Babe Ruth Softball - Rule 0.01 – Requirement for Charter – Paragraph 6 – For Leagues that use a Third Party Insurance Provider (not Babe Ruth/K&K Insurance) for your League’s Liability Insurance - You must have a minimum of $1,000,000 per occurrence limit of liability insurance coverage.
  2. Your league should be named insured or referenced in the description of operations to show they are covered. 
  3. The certificate should show evidence there is coverage under the General Liability for claims of negligence brought by athletic participants against the insured league.  This can be reflected in a variety of ways.  Please use one of the following three acceptable methods to reflect this:
    1. A Legal Liability to Participant limit of $1,000,000 shown on the certificate.
    2. Under the Type of Insurance General Liability sections putting “Athletic Participants” with an “X” indicating coverage next to it.
    3. A Statement in the Description of Operations box that claims brought by athletic participants are covered or not excluded.
  1. “Babe Ruth League, Inc.” must be named as additional insured.  Also required is the wording “The Certificate Holder is an additional insured with respect to the operations of the named insured.  Our new address is:  1670 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road, Hamilton, New Jersey 08619.

 For a sample certificate with the suggested, contact your Headquarters Service Representative.  The certificate can be emailed to our office, faxed to 609-695-2505 or sent via email.

  1. Cal Ripken Baseball; Babe Ruth Baseball; Babe Ruth Softball Rule 0.04 – Paragraph 3 - A team roster and league schedule shall be filed with the SI-Play system for Babe Ruth League, Inc.


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2018 Bat Rule Change


USA Baseball Logo



Implementation of USABat Standard Begins on January 1, 2018


USA Baseball, the national governing body for the sport of baseball in the U.S., in conjunction with participating national member organizations (NMOs) announced the decision to adopt a new method for measuring bat performance in the testing of youth bats.  Informed by the research of leading scientists on the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee, and supported by its NMOs, -- including the American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball -- USA Baseball has concluded that recent advancements in science, engineering, technology, and the materials available to fabricate non-wood bats, now allow the manufacturers to construct youth bats that can perform at a wood-like level through the entire range of lengths and weights of youth bats.

The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), which will apply to bats that are classified below the NCAA and NFHS level of play, will be implemented on January 1, 2018, allowing the bat manufacturers sufficient time to bring these bats to the marketplace.

The Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth League, Inc. have approved the use of the 2 5/8 inch barrel bats for local league play and tournament play beginning in January 2018 and coinciding with the new USA Bat standard.

Similar to the NCAA and NFHS BBCOR standard, which helped to eliminate discrepancies with different length bats and thus provide a more direct measure of bat performance, the new USA Baseball bat standard will allow youth baseball organizations in the United States to reach their goal of establishing a wood-like standard, a standard that will provide for the long-term integrity of the game.

It is important to note there will be no immediate change to youth baseball organizations’ bat rules.  All bats, currently accepted for the respective leagues, remain permissible through December 31, 2017.  Each participating national member organization will incorporate the new standard into their rules for the 2018 season and will begin, with this announcement, to inform their membership of the USABat standard.

Frequently Asked Questions about the USABat standard:

Which national member organizations are implementing this new standard?

To date, the following organizations are participating (in alphabetical order): American Amateur Baseball Congress (AABC), Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), Babe Ruth Baseball/Cal Ripken Baseball, Dixie Youth Baseball, Little League Baseball and PONY Baseball.

Why the change to a wood-like standard?

USA Baseball’s national member organizations believe that a wood-like performance standard will best provide for the long-term integrity of the game. The new standard will not have a drop-weight limit, so young players can use bats made with light-weight materials.

Why not just use wood bats?

Wood is a scarce resource. The new bats will be designed to perform much like wood, where its performance will be limited to the highest performing wood.

How is the USABat standard different from the BBCOR standard used by the NCAA and NFHS?

Both the USA Baseball and NCAA bat performance tests are based on the coefficient of restitution from a bat-ball impact. The scale of results is different, however, since they use different test balls and test speeds. The testing difference is necessary to address the various levels of play in the respective age groups.

Why is USA Baseball involved?  

The national member organizations asked USA Baseball as the national governing body to take the lead in this process to establish a new standard.  Many other national governing bodies set and enforce standards for the equipment in their respective sports. To that end, USA Baseball established a Bat Study Committee of leading scientists and conducted theoretical modeling, field testing and lab testing. The committee shared its findings with the national member organizations, who then endorsed the new USABat standard.

Who were the scientists on the USA Baseball Bat Study Committee?

Alan Nathan, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Physics at the University of Illinois

Dan Russell, Ph.D. Professor of Acoustics at Penn State University

Glenn Fleisig, Ph.D. Research Director of American Sports Medicine Institute

Why wait until 2018?

The implementation date of 2018 will allow bat manufacturers sufficient time to conduct the appropriate research, design, testing, manufacturing and shipping needed to get new bats into retail outlets. This date also allows the participating national member organizations adequate time to educate their memberships of the USABat standard.

Is my current bat good for league play?

Yes.  Current league-approved bats can be used through December 31, 2017.

Is safety the reason for the change?

No.  Youth baseball continues to be one of the safest of all sports for youth participants.

How will I know which bat to buy?

All new bats that bear the USABat licensing mark will be permissible for play in the leagues and tournaments of the participating youth baseball organizations.

When can I buy the new bat?

It is the intention of the bat manufacturers to make the new bats available in the fall of 2017, in sufficient time for the 2018 season.


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2016 Rule Changes

Babe Ruth League, Inc.

Latest Rule Changes for 2016
Updated 10/7/2015

The International Board of Directors has approved the following rule changes beginning with the 2016 season. These changes will be reflected in the 2016 Babe Ruth League, Inc. Rules and Regulations.

  • Cal Ripken Division – Fake Bunt – Slash Bunt – A batter is out for illegal action when the player fakes a bunt and then takes a full swing, thus eliminating a player from fake bunting the ball.  Penalty:  Batter is out, the ball is dead, no runners may advance.
  • Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth 13-15 Baseball, and Babe Ruth 16-18 Baseball – Rule 11.06 Paragraph 7 (NOTE) – A Cal Ripken Baseball (all divisions) host league, a Babe Ruth 13-15 Baseball (all divisions) host league, and a Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 host league is given the option of having one or two tournament teams – one team as the host team and one team to compete through the regular tournament competition bracket. At no time is it permissible for a player, manager or coach to appear on more than one tournament team roster in the same season.
  • Tournament Team Administration Fee Beginning with the 2016 season, Babe Ruth League will implement a Tournament Team Administration Fee to help offset the cost of the Official Tournament Trail leading the Cal Ripken Baseball World Series, Babe Ruth Baseball World Series, and Babe Ruth Softball World Series. Babe Ruth League continues to offer a first-class, positive and memorable experience for all players, coaches, families and local league officials. Please note the following fees:
 Cal Ripken Baseball Division
10-Year-Old Tournament Team- $25
12-Year-Old Tournament Team Major 60- $25
12-Year-Old Tournament Team Major 70- $25
Babe Ruth Baseball Division
13-Year-Old Tournament Team- $25
14-Year-Old Tournament Team- $25
13-15-Year-Old Tournament Team- $25
16-18-Year-Old Tournament Team- $75
Babe Ruth Softball Division
8U Tournament Team- $25
10U Tournament Team- $25
12U Tournament Team- $25
14U Tournament Team- $25
16U Tournament Team- $25


  • Cal Ripken Baseball and Babe Ruth Baseball – Any Cal Ripken Baseball or Babe Ruth Baseball League may elect to use a pitch count during local league games.  For more information on Pitch Counts, please visit www.baberuthleague.org and click on the “Pitch Smart” link.
  • CLARIFICATION - Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, and Babe Ruth Softball – Rule 11.05, Paragraph 10 - All protests concerning player eligibility must be presented in writing from the protesting League President with clear indication of proof for the protest.
  • CLARIFICATION - Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, and Babe Ruth Softball – – Rule 0.01,Paragraph 5 (b.) – With the State Commissioner’s approval, if the physical location of the school where a player attends classes during the traditional academic year is within the boundaries of an established league, the player is permitted to participate in the established league. (Note: This excludes home schools, cyber schools, sports-related schools, sports academies, or after school where a student participates outside of the primary school in which the player is enrolled.) A player is only eligible to participate in one Cal Ripken Baseball; Babe Ruth Baseball; or Babe Ruth Softball League.
  • CLARIFICATION - Babe Ruth Baseball, Cal Ripken Baseball, and Babe Ruth Softball - ALCHOHOL/TOBACCO (All Divisions) – Babe Ruth League prohibits the use of all alcohol and tobacco products on all field and dugouts for both local league and tournament competition. These products include smokeless tobacco, E-cigarettes, vapors, and all related alcohol products. 

  • CLARIFICATION - Babe Ruth Baseball, Cal Ripken Baseball, and Babe Ruth Softball – Rule 11.04, Documents – NOTE – These documents must stay in possession of the Tournament Director during each tournament level. These same documents shall accompany the team as they advance in tournament competition. Failure to produce the required documentation can result in the disqualification and elimination of a player, team or league from tournament play.

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