Major League Rules

Updated Tuesday March 21, 2017 by Somerset Baseball League.



  • Major League – games are played on a 50/70 diamond; the pitching rubber is positioned 50 feet from home plate and base paths are 70 feet long. All regulation games are 6 innings in length; one extra inning is permitted in a tie after 6 innings.
  • Lineup – all major league teams will use a continuous batting order.
  • Bunting – all major league players are permitted to bunt while at bat.
  • Slash Bunting – is prohibited in all divisions of the Cal Ripken League. The batter is declared out and base runners are sent back to their last occupied base if attempted.
  • Leading – leading is permitted in the major league.
  • Stealing – stealing is unlimited in the major league.
  • Slide or Avoid 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 purpose of this rule is to avoid injury).
  • Infield Fly Rule – infield fly rule in effect in the major league.
  • Limited Runs – unlimited runs scored in the major league.
  • Mercy Rule – 10 run rule after four innings (three and a half innings if the home team has the lead). Mercy rule applies immediately at any point after the 4th inning.
  • Balks – balks are called on pitchers in the major league.  Players will be given a warning then balks will be called.  All balk warnings will result in a dead ball.
  • Pitching
    • 85 pitch limit (1-40 pitches = 0 days rest, 41-65 pitches = 1 days rest, 65+ pitches = 2 days rest)
    • ​Mound Visits – a coach/manager is allowed one trip per inning without penalty. The second trip 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 one inning in the infield during a six-inning game. A player should not sit more than twice per six-inning game. *Playoff playing time is tournament rules (each player must play at least two innings on the field).
  • Absent Players – If a team does not have enough players they can be given an outfielder (last out from the last inning plays the outfield). If a player arrives late, then that late player is inserted into the bottom of the lineup.  Teams are permitted to play with 8 players and given an outfielder without penalty.  Teams starting the game with less than 8 players should be given outfielders in order to play the game; however, the game will be counted as a loss for that team.
  • Make Up Games – games should be rescheduled by the head coaches, preferably during the allotted team practice times
  • Game Reports – all managers must post pitch counts and scores on the SBL website within 24 hours of completion. If pitchers are not accounted for then those pitchers will not be allowed to pitch again until their previous outing is posted.
  • Scorebook – all managers must give opposing team their lineup prior to the start of the game. Batting out of order is an out. Pitch counts are tracked by the coaches and recorded in the scorebook.
  • Scoreboard – the home team is responsible for providing a parent volunteer to operate the scoreboard during game play.
  • Dugouts – home team has 1st base dugout and away team has 3rd base dugout.
  • Game Balls – home team is responsible to provide the umpires with game balls. Berkley teams will provide game balls for all games on their fields, as will Somerset teams.
  • Field Maintenance – home team preps the field prior to game time and away team rakes and removes the bases post game.  Somerset teams will be responsible for maintenance before and after games when playing a Berkley team.
  • Trash – all trash must be picked up after games/practices to keep facilities clean.
  • Food – is not allowed in the dugout or on the field at any time during game play.
  • Late Game – games scheduled to start at 5:45pm or earlier 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. A player ejected more than once from a game will be suspended from further competition as decided by the division director and SBL President.
  • Suspended Player/Coach – any player/coach displaying unsportsmanlike behavior will be ejected from the game. The player or coach ejected from the game will also be suspended for their teams next played game.
  • Parent Code Of Conduct – any parent displaying unsportsmanlike behavior during the game will be removed from the field area. If the unsportsmanlike behavior still continues then their child will be removed from the game and asked to leave the complex.
  • Snack Shack – Parents will be required to volunteer at the snack shack approximately 3 times throughout the season.  If a team is unable to produce a parent to volunteer on any given night the game will still be played, but the team will receive a loss for the league standings.