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2017 Babe Ruth League Rule Changes and Clarifications

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


1.  BASEBALLCal 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:









0 Days

1 Day

2 Days


























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. 

  1. 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.
  2. All pitchers must adhere to the pitch count rest requirements before pitching in another tournament game.
  3. All players have full pitching eligibility beginning at each level of tournament competition. (District, State, Area, Regional, and World Series)
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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.
2.  Cal Ripken Baseball; Babe Ruth Baseball - CHROME CATCHER’S MASK/HELMET - Chrome batting helmets; Chrome Catcher's Mask/Helmet are not permitted in Cal Ripken Baseball and Babe Ruth Baseball 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.
3. Rule 0.04 – Paragraph 3 - A team roster and league schedule shall be filed with the SI-Play system for Babe Ruth League, Inc.
  • Team Composition – Beginning with the 2017 season, an official softball team roster (local league and tournament play) may consist of one (1) manager and three (3) coaches.  This rule change increases the number of coaches permitted from two (2) to three (3).
  • Chrome Batting Helmets – Chrome batting helmets are not permitted in Babe Ruth Softball local league and tournament play.  The batting helmet shall not have a chrome or mirror-like surface.  The chrome or mirror-like surface of the batting helmet is illegal due to its distracting nature which may be dangerous to other players.

Shown below are clarifications to existing rules:
  • Rule 0.04 – Paragraph 3
    A team roster and league schedule shall be filed with the SI-Play system for Babe Ruth League, Inc.
  • Rule 11.06 –Note
    The eligibility of teams to compete, seeding and format are under the jurisdiction of the District, State, and Regional Commissioners and the National Commissioner.
  • Rule 1.11 (h)
    Uniforms for team managers and coaches – The team manager and coaches will be required to wear identical uniforms consisting of the following: (1) a shirt in the same colors as the team’s uniform, (2) dress shorts or pants of the same style and in the same colors as the team’s uniform, and (3) athletic footwear including running shoes, sneakers, cleats and excluding open toed footwear.
2017 Tournament Trail Schedule:
  • District Competition – June 22 – 25 (All Ages)
  • State Competition – June 29 – July 2 (All Ages)
  • Regional Competition – July 6 – 9 (All Ages)
  • *Softball 14U/16U – World Series – July 19 – 27
  • *Softball 8U/10U/12U World Series – July 28 – August 5

*All Softball World Series hosted by Treasure Coast, Florida
As a chartered league of Babe Ruth Softball with teams signed up to compete in the tournament trail, your team(s) are permitted to participate in all levels of the Softball Tournament Trail.  However, you must compete in all levels of tournament play that are offered in your area to advance to a higher level.  For example, in order to compete in the regional tournament, your league must compete in District and State competition first, if such competition is offered in your area.  Please contact your District, State and Regional Commissioners for the dates, locations and reporting times for each tournament event.


  • 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
  1. 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.
An item of concern is coverage for “sexual abuse/molestation”.  It is recommended that there is coverage for this with a $1,000,000 per occurrence/$2,000,000 aggregate. This is not required to meet the current Babe Ruth League rules.

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