Babe Ruth League, Inc.
Latest Rule Changes for 2021
Last Updated 1/27/2021

The Babe Ruth League, Inc. International Board of Directors has approved the following rule changes beginning with the 2021 season. These changes will be reflected in the 2021 Babe Ruth League, Inc. Rules and Regulations for the baseball and softball divisions.

NOTE: In the 2021 printed Baseball Rule Book there is a typo affecting 3.i below. The rule as stated in this memo is correct. Please refer to 3.i below for the correct rule definition.
Rule Changes/Clarifications for the 2021 Season
  1. Rule 0.01; Number 7 - BACKGROUND CHECKS: Babe Ruth League requires all managers, coaches, and volunteers with consistent active engagement with players to register with our National Athletic Safety Program for Background Checks and Abuse Prevention Training. Babe Ruth League, Inc. chartered leagues are required to conduct a nationwide background check on all managers, coaches, Board of Directors, and any other persons, volunteers, or hired workers, who provide regular service to the league and/or have repetitive access to, or contact with, players. Once a volunteer has successfully completed the background check, it is valid for a two (2) year period from the date of completion. (Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth Baseball, Babe Ruth Softball)

  2. Rule 0.02; Number 2 - Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 Division – Any player born prior to May 1, 2005 and on or after January 1, 2002 will be eligible for Babe Ruth 16-18 League competition. Any player eligible to participate in high school athletics will be eligible to participate in the Babe Ruth League 16-18 Division. Any player born in 2002, 2003 and 2004 is eligible for the Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 Division. Players born in January, February, March, and April of 2005 must play in the 16-18 Division.

  3. Rule 6.10 and Rule 11.05 - Number 12 - Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 Division - Designated Hitter (DH) (Local League Option and Tournament Play) – Any Babe Ruth 16-18 League may elect to use the Designated Hitter Rule option for the pitcher only. The rule provides as follows:

    1. The hitter may be designated to bat for the starting pitcher and all subsequent pitchers in a 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.
    2. The Designated Hitter named in the starting lineup must bat at least one time unless the opposing team changes pitchers. It is not mandatory that a team 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.
    3. Pinch hitters for a Designated Hitter may be used. Any substitute hitter for a Designated Hitter becomes the Designated Hitter.
    4. 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 or be used as a courtesy runner.
    5. 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.
    6. Once the game pitcher is switched from the mound to a defensive position, then this move shall terminate the Designated Hitter role for the remainder of the game.
    7. Once the game pitcher bats for the Designated Hitter, then 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.)
    8. Once a Designated Hitter assumes a defensive position, then 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.
    9. A 16-18 League may use both the Extra Player (EP) and the Designated Hitter (DH) in a game. If one or both start the game, the team must finish the game in accordance with the Extra Player and Designated Hitter rules.

    (6.10 NOTE: Babe Ruth Baseball Rule 6.10 does not apply to the Babe Ruth Baseball 13-15 Division or Cal Ripken Baseball Division.)

  4. Local League Option and Tournament Regulation Rule 11.05; Number 12 - Babe Ruth Baseball 16-18 Division – Courtesy Runners - At any time, the team at bat may use courtesy runners for the pitcher and/or the catcher. In the event the offensive team bats around, the pitcher and/or catcher who had a courtesy runner inserted on their behalf may bat in their normal position in the batting order.

    1. The same individual runner may not be used for both positions (pitcher and catcher) during the game.
    2. Neither the pitcher nor the catcher will be required to leave the game under such circumstances.
    3. Players who have participated in the game in any other capacity are ineligible to serve as courtesy runners.
    4. A player may not run as a courtesy runner for the pitcher or the catcher and then be used as a substitute for another player in that half inning. If an injury, illness, or ejection occurs and no other runners are available, the courtesy runner may be used as a substitute.
    5. The Umpire-in-Chief shall record courtesy runner participation and announce it to the scorer.
    6. A player who violates the courtesy runner rule is considered an illegal substitute. Should an injury, illness or ejection occur to the courtesy runner, another courtesy runner for the pitcher or catcher may run.