All major league baseball rules and regulations apply within the Minor division with the following local modifications and exceptions: (Reference Cal Ripken Division or ‘Old Bambino’ League Rules and Regulations)
• Game Time Limit: Games are scheduled for 6 innings, subject to time limits. The time limit is that no new inning can be started after 1 hour and 45 minutes (1:45) from the start time of the game. Please try to start the games on time as per the start time listed on the schedule. However, the start time will be considered as when the home takes the field to start the game. This time should be noted by the umpire and provided to the official score keeper (home team scorer) who should mark it in the score book. The umpire or his/her designee will keep the official time. Once a new inning is started, it should be completed (if the home team is leading, they do not need to bat in the bottom of the last inning). When the time limit for starting a new inning is reached, the umpire should inform both Managers that this is now the last inning. In the event of a tie after 6 innings, extra innings may be played until there is a winner as long as within the time limits provided. All games are subject to the time limit. It does not matter if there is a game following your game or not. We want to maintain one set of rules for all games and not have different rules for different situations. If a game is tied and the new inning limit has been reached, the game will end as a tie.
• Run rule - A Minor game will be considered complete and shall end after four or more complete innings have been played if the home team is ahead by 12 or more runs.
• A regulation game requires a minimum of 9 players at the start of the game and playing each inning. Less than 9 player’s results in an automatic forfeit (i.e.: you start the game with 9 players and Player A has to leave or gets injured in the 3rd inning. The game is forfeited at that point when you fall to less than 9 players). Both managers may elect to split their teams and play a practice game if the event of a forfeit.
• If a player shows up late (after the game has started), he/she is inserted in the batting order in the last position. If a player leaves during the game, when it is his/her turn to bat, an out is declared at that point in the batting order.
• Free substitution is permitted (except for Pitcher). Each player must play a minimum of 2 defensive innings.
• All players are in the batting order. All players should play a minimum of 2 innings in the field per game.• When 10 or more players are present, an additional outfielder (4 outfielders) must be used. The extra player can only be used in the outfield. This gives more playing time to each player. This extra outfielder can be no closer than 15 feet from the infield at the start of play.
• A six run maximum rule applies (Minors only) to all innings except for the last designated inning (inning 6 or when the time limit to start a new inning is reached). There must be equity between the home and visiting team so if the visiting team is limited to the 6 run rule prior to reaching three outs, then the home team will also be limited to the 6 run rule for that inning. It should never be the case that the one team was limited while the other team was not as this would not be fair. This rule does not apply to the Major Division.
• There is a 12 run rule that ends the game after a game becomes official (3 1/2 innings). For the Fall season, the 12 run rule is not enforced. The spirit of the league is to play baseball and learn.
• Only players and coaches are allowed in the dugout. After the game has started, all players must stay in the dugout when they are not in the field (restroom breaks excluded).
• Smoking or profanity is not permitted in the dugout or on the field at any time (set the right example for your players). Alcoholic beverage consumption is not allowed on city property at any time.
• Any unsportsmanlike conduct (throwing bats, helmets, etc... ), use of profanity, fighting, arguing or nasty comments to the umpire will result in ejection from that game. This also (dependent on the situation) may result in disciplinary action including expulsion from the league. The severity of the action will be provided from the Board of Directors.
• Dugouts and bleachers must be cleaned up after each practice and/or game. These are your fields so KEEP THEM CLEAN PLEASE.
• Only the team Manager may discuss calls with Umpires. All discussion with Umpires must be conducted in a respectful manner. Judgement calls are at the Umpire discretion. The league rules are to be the final say on calls. If a Manager wishes to contest a non-judgement call with an Umpire, he should be able to produce the league rule demonstrating his issue in question.
• In the event of a suspected rule violation, the process is to protest the game. Indicate in the score book the point of the violation and cite the specific rule and circumstances. The protest must be done at the time of the incident to the umpire and per proper baseball rules. Play should then continue. Please report the protest in writing to the Asst. Commissioner after completion of the game within the specified time period.
• Infield fly rule is in effect.
• Sliding is permitted. Leading off is not permitted. The runner must wait until the ball crosses the plate before leaving the base (reference rules book for additional details).
• The runner is not required to slide into home plate. The rule now is that the runner is required to attempt to avoid intended malicious contact at any base. If in the umpire's judgment, intended malicious contact did occur, the runner will be called out (i.e.: you cannot barrel over the player with the ball to try to knock it loose). Sliding is considered an attempt to avoid intended malicious contact. On the other hand, the defensive fielder is not allowed to block the base without the ball in hand or in the process of receiving the ball. Blocking the base would result in interference and the runner would be awarded that base safely (this is an umpire judgment call). The intent of this is to try to keep the kids from hurting each other by contact and also keep from getting hurt by having to slide. If you are called out for malicious contact, this also results in an automatic ejection from that game.
• A batter may not advance on a third strike missed by the catcher. He/She is out.
• The batter is out if the catcher holds on to or catches a tipped third strike.
• No chatter or chants from either team, including the fans in the stands or the surrounding areas of the playing field will be allowed once the pitcher has toed the rubber and is getting ready to deliver a pitch.
• If a player, manager or coach is ejected from the game, they may also be suspended for the team's next game. This will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
• A player is limited to pitching 6 innings per week and 3 innings per game in the Fall Season and/or 4 innings per game in the Spring Season (a week is Monday - Sunday). Below are the pitch count rules that will apply in addition to the available inning per week by season.
• A pitcher must be pulled after hitting any 2 batters in the same inning or any three batters in the same game. Once removed for hitting the batter, this pitcher cannot return as a pitcher in that game under any circumstance.
• The pitching limitation of innings per game, per week, and days of rest apply to all innings pitched in Oviedo Babe Ruth League ONLY.
• A pitcher may not re-enter the game as the pitcher.
• If a manager takes 2 trips to the mound in the same inning, the pitcher must be removed from the mound as a pitcher. Calling time out and going on the field and/or calling the pitcher to you near the dugout to talk is also considered a ‘trip to the mound’. This is an umpire’s judgement call. If you switch pitchers between innings, this is not considered a ‘trip to the mound’.
Daily Maximum Pitches
1 Day Rest
2 Days Rest
3 Days Rest
4 Days Rest
• A pitcher may complete an at bat that puts him/her over 65 pitches without penalty. Example: Pitcher A is at 60 pitches when he/she pitches the 1st pitch to a new batter. During this at bat Pitcher A can pitch over 65 pitches, without penalty, to finish this batter. The batter will be considered finished when he/she reaches base safely, is struck out or put out.
• The official scorer (the home team score keeper) must provide the pitch count for any pitcher when requested by a manager, coach or umpire, as well as notify the umpire when that the pitcher has reached the pitch limit. The umpire will then notify the pitcher’s manager the pitcher must be removed. However, the manager is responsible for knowing when his/her pitcher must be removed.
• Pitch counts and innings must be submitted to the Minor Div. Commissioner following each game within 24 hours.
• Failure of the pitch count recorder (home team official scorekeeper) to notify the umpire, or the failure of the umpire to notify the manager does not relieve the manager of his/her responsibility to remove the pitcher when that pitcher is no longer eligible to pitch.
• Throwing a single pitch in an inning, constitutes pitching an inning. Example: if a relief pitcher is brought in with 2 outs in the 3rd inning, both the starter and the reliever threw 1 inning in the 3rd.
• Violation of the pitch count rules may result in a protest of the game at the point it occurs using the proper protest procedures.
• A pitcher that throws 41 or more pitches is not available to catch for the rest of the day.
• The home team should keep the “official” scorebook. In addition to the score, the score keeper should also keep track of the innings for each pitcher from both teams (remember - one pitch in an inning is considered as a full inning pitched). At the end of the game, both managers should sign this score book attesting to their agreement of the results and also the innings pitched for each pitcher. If the book is not signed by a manager, it will be assumed that the results and information in the score book are correct as written. Managers should make sure that they review what is written and agree with it prior to signing the book. The Asst. Commissioner should be informed of any disputes concerning the score book information immediately.
Catcher to Pitcher
• A catcher that catches 50+ pitches is not available to pitch that game.
• A catcher that will be brought in to pitch must rest or play infield/outfield for 1 full inning (3 consecutive outs) before being inserted as a pitcher. Example: Player A starts at catcher, after catching for 2 inning’s Player A has to play the infield or rest the entire 3rd inning before he/she can become the pitcher of record.
FALL ONLY RULE: if you have less than 9 players and are using a borrowed player from another team in your division, the borrowed player may not pitch.
• The catcher should use proper equipment including throat protector, catcher's mitt and protective cup. All male players should use a protective cup. Female players should use current equipment on the market for protection in this and other areas as required.
• Helmets must be worn by all batters, runners, and players in the on deck circle. Helmets should be conservative in nature and should adhere to league policy.
• Metal spikes are not allowed at this level.
• Bats should meet the Babe Ruth guidelines for this age level.
• If a player hits a home run (over the fence), the Manager should give that ball (the one retrieved) to that player as a memento/keepsake. This applies to each homerun hit (if a player hits 2 homeruns in a game, he/she gets 2 balls). The home team manager (as they supply the baseballs for the game) should inform the Asst. Commissioner of the home run occurrence so that the league can provide that team with some additional baseballs. The Asst. Commissioner should inform the Communications Director so that these events can be placed in the league website.
• Additional rules and/or interpretations and/or exceptions will be added as required during the season and in the future dependent on situations that may occur and are not addressed above.
REMEMBER... THIS GAME IS FOR THE KIDS TO LEARN AND HAVE FUN!