Minor League Rules

Updated Tuesday April 25, 2017 by Somerset Baseball League.



Fields – games are played on a 46/60 diamond; the pitching rubber is positioned 46 feet from home plate and base paths are 60 feet long. All regulation games are 6 innings in length.

Lineup – all minor league teams will use a continuous batting order.  PLEASE have a lineup filled out prior to each game starting and have fielding assignments figured out prior to going out onto the field to help complete the game before sunset.

Pitchers – a pitcher is given 5 warm-up pitches in between innings.  Before the first inning and anytime a new pitcher enters the game, 8 warm-up pitches will be allowed.

Catchers – catchers who are on-base with 2 outs in an inning will be replaced with a pinch-runner (last batted out) to keep up the pace of the game.

Bunting– all minor league players are permitted to bunt, however, each player is only allowed to bunt once per game and each team is only allowed to bunt once per inning.

Slash Bunting – is prohibited in all divisions of the Cal Ripken League. The batter will be declared out and all base runners will be returned to their last occupied base if a batter attempts to slash bunt.

Leading – leading is prohibited in the minor league. The runner is allowed to come off the base when the ball crosses home plate. The runner will be returned to the base if the umpire declares that the runner left early. The runner will be declared out on a second infraction.

Stealing – runners are allowed to steal any base at their discretion (subject to the Rule regarding Stealing Home), however, they may not do so until either the ball hits the ground or crosses home plate. 

Stealing Home – Stealing home is allowed.  However, only 2 steals or attempts of home are allowed per inning.  (An attempt will include any play other than scoring on a batted ball or being forced in by a bases loaded walk)      

Must-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).

Pitch limit – 75 pitch limit:  1-40 = 0 days rest     41-65 = 1 day rest     66-75 = 2 days rest

Innings limit – pitchers are only allowed to pitch 6 innings per week (Monday-Saturday).  One pitch equals an inning pitched.  Please avoid using the same pitcher(s) every game for player safety purposes.

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.

Infield Fly Rule – no infield fly rule in effect in the minor league.

Limited Runs – 4 run rule per inning with unlimited runs in the last declared inning (no new inning can start unless tied and under time limit).

Mercy Rule – 10 run rule after four innings (three and a half innings if the home team has the lead). Mercy rule also applies to any full inning after the fourth.

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.

Extra Outfielder – If both teams have 10+ players then teams are allowed to utilize a fourth outfielder during game play.

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.  If a team starts a game with less than 8 players, the game will be played with outfielders given from the other team; however, the game will be considered a forfeit.

Make Up Games – The first cancelled game of the week will be played on Saturday starting at 12 with the second cancelled game of the week be played at 2 on Saturday. 

Game Reports – all managers must send pitch counts and scores to the league director within 24 hours of game completion to post on league website.  If a player’s pitch count is not recorded, that player cannot pitch for the entire following week.  Please e-mail or text scores and pitch counts (brian@pachecolawoffices.com or 401-474-5044)

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 are recorded in the scorebook.

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

Field Maintenance – home team should get bases and rakes from clubhouse and rake around home plate, pitcher’s mound and the bases if necessary…leave rakes outside dugout.  Away team MUST rake home plate, pitcher’s mound and bases after every game and return rakes and bases to clubhouse.

Late Game – games scheduled to start at 5:45pm or earlier cannot begin a new inning 15 minutes prior to sunset (which will be posted on clubhouse daily) or two hours after game start time.

Food – no food allowed in the dugout at any time during game play. Players are not allowed to go to the snack shack in uniform while their game is in progress.

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 league director and SBL President.

Snack Shack – Parents will be required to volunteer at the snack shack approximately 2-3 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. 

Note: please reference Babe Ruth League, Inc. Baseball Rules and Regulations & Official Playing Rules for any rule not covered in this minor league rules section

Updated 4/15/17

Minor League Rules.docx