Babe Ruth Rules, Code of Conduct, & Expectations

(also see file attachments at bottom of page)

Updated Wednesday May 16, 2018 by SBL BR Director: Will Lessard.



(Director: Will Lessard)


The new USA Baseball bat standard (USABat), which will apply to bats that are classified below the NCAA and NFHS level of play, was implemented on January 1, 2018. New USA Baseball approved bats were made available for purchase on September 1, 2017. To view an approved bat list, please visit

  • .Players can only use bats stamped with the new USA Baseball mark or bats marked BBCOR .50.


  • The bat may not exceed 34" in length, and the barrel may not exceed 2-5/8" in diameter

  • No limitations on drop size (length to weight ratio).

  • Wood barrel bats conforming to the specifications of Official Baseball Rule 1.10 are allowed.



~ SBL-Specific Rules~

  • Age Eligibility 13-15 – Any player born prior to May 1, 2005 and on or after May 1, 2002 will be eligible for Babe Ruth 13-15 League competition in 2018.

  • Babe Ruth Games - are played on a 60/90 diamond; the pitching rubber is positioned 60’6” from home plate and base paths are 90 feet long. All regulation games are 7 innings in length; extra innings are permitted in a tie after 7 innings.

  • Lineup – all Babe Ruth teams will use a continuous batting order, including regular season and playoffs.

  • Bunting – all Babe Ruth players are permitted to bunt while at bat.

  • Illegal Bat PENALTY - Any bat discovered prior to the game that does not conform to the above rule shall be directed to be removed immediately and not be allowed for use during the game. If the illegal bat is discovered prior to a batter completing his "at bat" the bat is simply removed from play and the "at bat" continues. A player who uses an illegal bat or non-conforming barrel dimension, and hits a fair ball, will be ruled out. No advancement on the bases will be allowed, and any outs during the play shall stand. This is an appeal play. The "at bat" will be considered legal once a pitch is thrown to the next batter.

  • Slash Bunting – is prohibited in the Babe Ruth League. The batter is declared out and the base runners are sent back to their last occupied base if it is attempted.

  • Leading – leading is permitted in the Babe Ruth league.

  • Stealing – stealing is unlimited in the Babe Ruth league.

  • Must Slide Rule – a runner does not have to slide unless there is a play being made on that runner. If the runner does not slide and makes contact with the defensive player in possession of the ball, or in the process of receiving the ball, then that runner will be declared out (the main purpose of this rule is to avoid injuries).

  • Infield Fly Rule – infield fly rule is in effect in the Babe Ruth league.

  • Limited Runs – unlimited runs scored in the Babe Ruth league.

  • Mercy Rule – 10 run rule after 5 innings (4½ if home team has the lead, or 5 innings if away team has the lead). Mercy rule also applies to every inning after the 5th.

  • Balks – balks are called on pitchers in the Babe Ruth league. (1 warning per pitcher per game 1st half season, 2nd half and playoffs no warnings)

  • Pitch Counts & Rest – 100 pitch limit in a single game. Each manager is responsible for tracking pitch counts for each pitcher.

    • 1-30 = 0 days rest (e.g., Pitch Monday, pitch again Tuesday)

    • 31-50 = 1 days rest (e.g., Pitch Monday, pitch again Wednesday)

    • 51-70 = 2 days rest (e.g., Pitch Monday, pitch again Thursday)

    • 71-85 = 3 days rest (e.g., Pitch Monday, pitch again Friday)

    • 86-100 = 4 days rest (e.g., Pitch Monday, pitch again Saturday)

  • Younger Age Pitching Development – Coaches MUST develop younger pitchers by having players under 15 years old (baseball age) pitch a combined number of innings equivalent to an average of 2 innings per game, for each half season. (Example: If the regular season is 14 games, an average per half season is 14 total innings pitched by under-15yr olds. Does not have to be 2 innings per game, but needs to add up to the required minimum innings per half season) To qualify as an inning pitched by a younger age pitcher, the pitcher must either: record 3 consecutive outs OR face 6 consecutive batters. The division director is responsible for keeping record of all teams and innings pitched, and will communicate this to all their division coaches on a regular basis throughout the season (e.g., weekly or biweekly). IMPORTANT: It is mandatory for Coaches to send the division director email the same day/evening the game is played with the following information: player's full name, baseball age, and innings pitched. Should the end of the first half of the season be reached without reaching the minimum younger pitcher innings by any team, that team's manager must pitch only younger pitchers in subsequent games until the minimum younger pitching innings total has been achieved. Should the end of the season be reached without reaching the minimum younger pitching innings, the coach must pitch only younger pitchers in the playoffs until the minimum inning total has been achieved. Blatant disregard of this rule and mandatory reporting on game day, could result in disciplinary action taken against the team's manager by the division director or board of directors, including but not limited to suspension and/or expulsion.

  • Mound Visits – a coach/manager is allowed one trip per inning without penalty. The second trip to the same pitcher in an inning will require a pitching change. The umpire can rule “not an official trip” in the case of an injury.

  • Playing Time – Player safety is top priority in this rule. Each player should play at least two innings in the field during a seven-inning game. A player should not sit more than twice per seven-inning game.

  • Absent Players – If a team does not have 9 players (must have at least 8 to start a game or its a forfeit), they must borrow a player from the opposing team IF that team has more than 9 players. The player must be the last batted out from the offering team (current pitcher and catcher are exempt). The borrowed player must play outfield for the borrowing team. If a player arrives late, the player is inserted into the bottom of the lineup and the borrowed player returns to his team. For playoffs, teams must have 8 players to start a game, but no borrowing players. If a team does not have at least 8 players in the playoffs, they will forfeit the game to their opponent (no exceptions/changes allowed to this rule, regardless of ideas/concessions/agreements coaches might consider).

  • Make Up Games – Games will be rescheduled (by the Home team coach, with cooperation from the Away team coach) on the league's next scheduled practice night or off day. If weather is still inclement, or field is unplayable, then it is postponed to the leagues next scheduled practice night or off day; etc.

  • Game Reports – All managers MUST send email to the division director with pitcher names, along with age and pitch counts, as well as final scores, within 24 hours of completion of the game. Managers should share pitching records with each other to eliminate discrepancies. If pitchers are not accounted for within 24 hours, those pitchers will not be allowed to pitch again until their previous outing is posted.

  • Score Book – All managers must give the opposing team their lineup at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the game. Batting out of order is an out. Pitch counts are tracked by each coach, recorded in each score book, and compared each inning.

  • Scoreboard – If operational, the home team is responsible for providing a parent/volunteer to operate the scoreboard during game play.

  • Bat Boys/Girls – Bat boys/girls under age 11 are NOT allowed due to safety concerns, but children 11 years of age or older are allowed.  Bat boys/girls must wear a batters helmet every time they step outside the dugout (no exceptions).

  • Dugouts – The home team has 1st base dugout, and away team has 3rd base dugout.

  • Game Balls – The home team is responsible to provide the umpires with game balls (at least 3) .

  • Field Maintenance – The home team preps the field prior to game time, and away team rakes and removes the bases post game. Teams found to be repeat offenders can have their next game recorded as a loss, despite the score of the game. (penalty is at the sole discretion of the BR league director)

  • Trash – ALL trash must be picked up after games/practices to keep facilities clean. Teams found to be repeat offenders can have their next game recorded as a loss, despite the score of the game. (penalty is at the sole discretion of the BR league director)

  • Food NO FOOD OF ANY KIND is allowed in the dugout, or on the field, at any time before/during/after game play. Only drinks (water or sports drink, no soda) are allowed.

  • Late Game – Games scheduled to start at 5:45pm or later cannot begin a new inning 15 minutes before sunset.

  • Ejected Player – Any player who throws a bat, helmet, glove, or any other object, will be ejected from the game. ALL COACHES ARE TO MAKE THEIR PLAYERS AWARE OF THIS RULE. A player ejected from a game more than once during a season will be suspended from further competition, as decided by and at the sole discretion of the BR division director.

  • Suspended Player/Coach – Any player/coach displaying unsportsmanlike behavior will be ejected from the game. ALL COACHES ARE TO MAKE THEIR PLAYERS AWARE OF THIS RULE. The player or coach ejected from the game will also be suspended for their team's next played game, and will not be allowed anywhere near the field.

  • Parent Code Of Conduct – Any parent displaying unsportsmanlike behavior during the game will be removed from the field area. If the unsportsmanlike continues, their child will be removed from the game and asked to leave the complex. If the situation continues or escalates further, local law enforcement will be called in.

  • Snack Shack – If the league requests help, parents will be required to volunteer at the snack shack approximately 5 hours per child throughout the season. If a HOME team is unable to produce a parent to volunteer on the night of a game, the game will still be played, but the HOME team will receive a loss in the league standings, regardless of the score.

Note: please reference Babe Ruth League, Inc. Baseball Rules and Regulations & Official Playing Rules for any rule not covered above.

Somerset Baseball League Website:

Note: The above codes of conduct supersede any corresponding Babe Ruth League, Inc. Baseball Rules & Official Playing Rules. Please reference the Babe Ruth League, Inc. Baseball Rules and Regulations & Official Playing Rules for any code of conduct not covered or modified in these guidelines.


Babe Ruth Code of Conduct_2018.doc
Babe Ruth Expectations_2018.doc
Babe Ruth Rules_2018.doc