Promote fun, good sportsmanship and personal respect. BBSA P.O. Box 871, Burlington, Massachusetts 01803

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BBSA League Rules & Regulations 

1.0     Board of Directors 

1.1 The Burlington Baseball/Softball Association (BBSA) – “Babe Ruth Leagues” Spring Baseball League/Season shall be governed by a BBSA Board of Directors (Board).  League operations will be managed by the Minor and Major League Director(s)’, e.g., drafts, game cancellations, etc. except for game and umpire scheduling. 

1.2 The Board shall enforce the rules and regulations of Babe Ruth (Baseball) League, Inc. as so stated in the Babe Ruth rulebook. 

1.3 The Board shall also write, adapt and enforce and special rules as deemed necessary by the Board in order to further the best interest of the players it represents. 

1.4 These rules and regulations supersede the Babe Ruth League, Inc. rules and regulations.  1.4.1 All rules and regulations not covered in this document will be governed by Babe Ruth League, Inc. rules. 

1.5 These rules and regulations are for BBSA Minor and Major League Spring League play. 

1.6 Each team is allowed no more than one (1) Manager and (3) Coaches.  For player drafting, it is one (1) Manager and one (1) coach with the approval and draft choice assigned by the League Director.  Reference 2.5.

1.7 The home team is the score book of record.

2  Format of League 

2.1  Babe Ruth leagues may be separated into two leagues (Minors and Majors) or combined (as Majors only) depending on number of registered players. 

2.2 The league teams shall be formed of teams using a draft of Major and Minor League registered players comprising, teams that are an equal representation of players based on drafting Manager’s judgment. BBSA will strive to provide a roster spot for any eligible individual who wishes to play baseball. 

2.3 The League Director and Executive Board have the option to alter team(s) roster for the purpose of team/player equity.

2.4 The will be “NO” trading of players without League Director and Executive Board approval.

2.5 Each team will have one (1) Manager and one (1) coach player draft picks assigned by the League Director, based on parents being the Manager or Coach.

2.6 The League Director will determine the Manager and/or Coach player(s) draft position with input and discussion with drafting Managers and Coaches.

2.7 Brother/Brother option will be permitted upon parent’s request. 

3.0 Playing Conditions

3.1 The League Director will determine if the field is playable based on weather conditions. 

3.2 The home team shall have choice of dugouts. 

3.3 The home plate Umpire to determine field playing conditions after the first pitch. 

4.0 Umpires 

4.1 The League Director will notify assigned umpires 90 minutes before game time of cancellations. 

4.2 If umpire is not notified 90 minutes prior to game time he/she shall be paid half a fee. 

4.3 Assigned Umpires must be certified, uniformed and/or approved by the Board. 

4.4 Two (2) umpires per game shall be provided, if possible.

4.5 If an umpire does not show up for a scheduled game, that game MUST be played.  The two managers will attempt to agree on an appropriate substitute; if they cannot agree the home team manager decides on the substitute. 

5.0 Rosters & Uniforms 

5.1 League Director must approve team rosters prior to the start of the season.  No player will be allowed to participate who is not on the roster. Each player's name, address and date of birth must be listed on the roster. 

5.2 Each team’s rostered players’ medical history/emergency contact information must be carried by the Manager to all games.

5.3 The number of players on each team shall be set annually by the board of directors.  The number of players should not be less than 11 or greater than 15. 

5.4 Additions to rosters after the draft or start of the season will be by the League Director and the Director may seek Board input at his/her discretion. 

5.5 Each team will be allowed to bring up substitute player(s) from a lower level (Babe Ruth Minors if a separate league, or 12-year old players from Ripken Majors or Ripken AAA teams if necessary)), only to avoid forfeits. 

-  A player may not be called up for a temporary vacancy more than once a week or six times in a season. 

-  The team that is being drawn from must not have a scheduled game. 

5.6     Prior to the start of the game the team manager using lower league player(s) must notify the opposing manager that he is using lower league player(s). 

The lower league player(s) are included in the line-up and subject to the minimum playing requirements. 

5.7     A lower league player is NOT allowed to pitch in a Babe Ruth League game, may not start in front of or play more innings than a Babe Ruth roster player, and will bat at the end of the batting order. 

5.8     All teams must be properly uniformed and all uniforms must be numbered. Uniforms will include pants, jerseys and caps as issued.

5.9     All players must be in full uniform in order to participate.  Any player not in compliance with rule 5.8 will be ineligible to participate; cutting of jersey sleeves is not permitted. 

Good and reasonable judgment shall be administered to this rule. 

5.10  Only team players, manager and registered coaches are allowed on the benches.

5.11  If a player misses four consecutive games due to circumstances other than High School Baseball conflicts, the manager must notify the League Director or the Baseball

Commissioner of the situation.  The League Director will decide what course of action will be taken.  

5.12  Games missed due to High School game conflicts will not count against eligibility for selection to Tournament Teams.

6.0 Rules 

6.1 The Babe Ruth League, Inc. Rule Book, as supplemented by these rules, shall be the sole method of play. 

6.2 There is no “slash-bunting” (i.e., a batter fakes a bunt and then swings away); any slashbunt attempts will be a dead ball with the batter declared out.

6.3 Illegal Bats – All bats must fulfill official Babe Ruth League rules.  An illegal bat MUST be removed from the game.  Any player who reaches base safely while using an illegal bat shall be declared out and the ball declared a dead ball.  All runners shall return to the bases they occupied when the batter first took his/her position in the batter’s box.  This is an appeal play; the manager/coach of the opposing team must make the appeal before the first pitch to the next batter. 

7.0 Insurance 

7.1 Teams will be insured by BBSA for league games. 

8.0 Baseballs 

8.1 Official Babe Ruth baseballs or better must be used and/or issued by BBSA Equipment Manager.

8.2 The home team is responsible for providing at least 3 new baseballs for each game. 

9.0 Postponements, Rescheduling, Official Game And Called Game. 

9.1 The League Director will notify both teams 90 minutes before cancellation of games. 

9.2 Once the game has started, the umpires have control of the game and shall decide when a game should be called. No inning however, shall be allowed to start after 2 hours have elapsed from the official and/or actual start time of the game or resumed from the point when the field is deemed playable. 

9.3 Games shortened by rain or darkness shall have the score revert back to the last complete inning and declared official if at least 4 1/2 innings have been played with the home team ahead or 5 innings if the visiting team is ahead. The only exception to this rule will be in the event the home team either ties or takes the lead in the bottom half of an inning which is not completed, (where each team has had an equal number of times at bat) the score shall not revert to the last complete inning, but shall stand as played. 

9.4 If a game is called before becoming official, it shall be resumed and completed from the point of discontinuance. 

9.4 Make-up games will be played at predetermined times established by the League

Director. If a team is unable to play the make-up game at the predetermined time, it will result in a forfeit. 

9.5 Make-up games may be required to be played on a Saturday and Sunday or as determined by the League Director.

9.6 No game may be forfeited due to one team missing a significant number of players (4 or more) to a school or religious function.

10.0 Time Of Games 

10.1 League games will be played based on the published season schedule. 

11.0 Protests 

11.             1 In accordance with Official Baseball Rule 4.19, it is emphasized that "no protest shall ever be permitted on judgment decisions by the umpire."

11.2  Notice that the game is being played under protest must be filed with the home plate umpire by the manager immediately.

11.3  A written report setting forth all the facts of the protest must be filed with the League Director within twenty-four (24) hours of the date of the protest. 

11.4  The League Director will issue an outright decision or at his/her discretion consult with Board member(s) he/she deems knowledgeable in rendering his/her decision. 

11.5  Final decision of protest shall be decided by the League Director. 

12.0 Managers and Coaches 

12.1 All managers and coaches must fill out the latest copy of the managers/coaches application.

12.2 Each manager and coach on the field or in the dugout must submit to a “CORI Report”. 12.3 The Board of Directors of the BBSA will review the performance of all managers and coaches from the previous season.  Managers/coaches will be rated on their overall handling of players, attendance at practices, games and meetings, overall adherence to the Spirit of the BBSA Rules.  Upon completion of this review, the BBSA Board of Directors shall decide to extend an invitation to these managers, i.e., to submit their name as a Managerial candidate for the upcoming season.  Managerial positions will be offered to the bestqualified candidates who have expressed an interest in writing.  Managerial positions are not guaranteed from season to season.  First preference shall be given to Burlington residents.

12.4 The winning team manager or their designee must update the BBSA website with the score of the game within 24 hours after the completion of the game.

12.5 Managers will be provided with necessary equipment before the season, and are required to return the equipment to the League Director or Equipment Director shortly after the season is completed.

12.6 Rating sheets are an important part of the equipment, and as such MUST be filled out and turned in to the League Director or the Baseball Commissioner BEFORE THE PLAYOFFS.  If the ratings sheets aren’t turned in, the manager cannot participate as manager or coach in the playoffs until the sheets are completed and turned in. 

13.0 Playing Requirements 

13.1 Each player in attendance at the game must be included in the batting order for their team and bat in a rotating/perpetual batting order. 

(i.e. all players for each participating team are included in the batting order).  · If a player must leave the game for whatever reason, his/her batting position becomes vacant for the remainder of the game. 

NOTE: This DOES NOT assume an out for the missing player.  

· If a player arrives after the lineups have been given to the opposing team, the player will be put into the last batting position after notifying the opposing manager of the late arrival. 13.2 All properly rostered players must play a minimum of four (4) defensive innings (12 defensive outs) per game.  A manager can substitute players at the beginning of every defensive half inning.

13.2.1 In the event of a shortened game (less than 7 innings), each player must play at least ½ the defensive innings.

               13.2.2 Players should not sit on the bench for more than 2 consecutive innings, including extra-innings.

13.3 There shall be free substitution of all players in defensive positions, except for pitchers who are governed by rule 15.0. 

Nevertheless, this rule does not supersede any part of Rule 13.2 which must still be complied with. 

The penalty or infraction of rule 13.1 or 13.2 will be forfeiture of the game played in which the violation occurred, unless:

· The player is removed for injury or illness or of his own volition and the manager has properly notified the opposing manager; 

· The player arrives after the lineups have been given to the opposing team and it is beyond the control of the manager to comply with 13.1 or 13.2. 

13.4 If a runner is injured a courtesy runner may be used. The runner is chosen by the opposing Manager and may not be the batter on deck or double deck batter. 

14.0 Forfeits 

14.1 If a team cannot field nine (9) official roster players or eligible substitute(s) within 15 minutes of the designated starting time for the game, a forfeit shall be declared. 

14.2 Managers are cautioned that forfeits are discouraged in the strongest terms. Proper communication with players (and parents) is necessary to ensure that games are played at the scheduled times. 

14.3 No game is to be started without a minimum of nine (9) players per team. If a team cannot field nine (9) players during the game due to illness, injury or ejection, a team may continue the game with at least eight (8) players.  Team forfeits if less than eight (8) players.

14.4 Forfeit game score should be recorded as 7-0. 

15.0 Pitching 

15.1 During the regular spring season League players may pitch not more than seven (7) innings in a calendar week (Sunday through and including Saturday). A team violation of these rules will be a game forfeit. In the playoffs, pitchers are instead limited to (7) seven innings in any two successive playoff games, ref 22.7. 

15.2 Before the start of the season, The Director will issue a list of players that may NOT be used as pitchers in games. Players on these lists will be ineligible as pitchers in League games until the high school season is complete, including play-offs if applicable. There may be instances where a high school pitcher may be released to pitch for his/her team. If this is the case the Director will communicate to all other teams. 

15.3 Minor League players are not allowed to pitch in Major League games.

15.4 Major League players are not allowed to pitch in Minor League games. 

15.5 The penalty for using an ineligible pitcher is forfeiture of the game(s) that the subject pitcher pitched in. 

15.6 Managers using high school pitches MUST abide rule 15.1 during the spring season, if in violation forfeiture will be enforced, ref. 15.5.

15.7 No intentional walks are permitted.  If the umpire judges that an intentional ball was pitched, the umpire will call “no pitch”, the ball is dead and all base-runners return to their original base.    

16.0 Trips To The Mound 

16.1 The second trip to the mound to the same pitcher in the same inning automatically results in the removal of the pitcher from the game as a pitcher only. 

16.2 In all other cases Official Baseball Rules 8.6 applies. 

17.0 Balks 

17.1 Major League - Official Baseball Rules apply. 

17.2 Minor League - one warning will be allowed per pitcher per specific balk violation. (Example: The pitcher strides towards the plate but then throws to first base attempting to pick off a base runner. That is one specific violation. Later in the game the same pitcher starts his motion towards the plate but then stops without delivering the pitch or attempting to pick off a base runner; this will be considered a separate singular violation since the pitcher did not make the same balk violation as in the first case. No penalty shall be assessed for this latter violation. Should the same pitcher commit a similar violation to either of the two previously stated violations the appropriate balk penalty will be assessed.) This rule will apply in the regular season only, since we are attempting to familiarize pitchers with the balk rule. A runner cannot be called out on a balk warning, it is a dead ball. 

17.3 Minor League playoffs, the Official Baseball Rules balk rule will apply. 

18.0 Code of Conduct 

18.1 Managers and coaches are responsible for the conduct of their players, parents and themselves.  (Refer to Attachment A for Managers-Coaches Code of Conduct and BBSA Code of Ethics which includes sections for Player and Parent behavior)

Anyone ordered to leave the field and/or the park when told by the umpire and/or on site

BBSA representative will cause the offending side to be held responsible 

and possible forfeiture of the game.

18.2 Any player, manager or coach ejected from a game shall face disciplinary action by the League Director and/or the BBSA Executive Board with the minimum penalty for the first ejection being suspension from the next game in addition to the ejection from the subject game. If a player, coach or manager is ejected twice in a season, the minimum penalty shall be suspension for the remainder of the season, including playoffs. 

18.3 Any manager or coach who repeatedly harasses umpires shall be subject to disciplinary action. 

18.4 Any team whose spectators are abusive to the umpires or opposing team shall face disciplinary action, removal from the field by the offending Managers spectators,  (Ref. Code of Ethics). 

18.5 No player shall be allowed to harass/taunt opposing players, managers or coaches.

Such action shall be cause for ejection by the umpire. 

19.0 Collision Rule, Base-runners and Base Coaches 

19.1 A runner shall be called out when he does not slide or attempt to get around a fielder, at any base, when the fielder has the ball and is waiting to make the tag, or the throw is on the way (umpire's judgment) and the fielder is about to catch the ball for the purpose of making the tag on all force plays at any base. In any case contact must be made for this rule to apply (umpires judgment). 

19.2 All batter’s and base-runners must wear a batting helmet at all times.  There must be NO REMOVAL OF HELMETS.  First offense: warning; second offense: Expulsion from game.

19.3 Any players on the field acting as first or third base coach must wear a batting helmet.

20.0 Mercy Rule 

20.1 An automatic mercy rule will be in effect for the regular season and playoffs.  If a team is winning by 12 runs or more once a game is official (4 1/2 innings if the home team is winning, or 5 innings if the home team is losing), the umpires shall stop the game. 

21.0 Playoff Seeding 

2 1.1 All teams shall be eligible for a post season double elimination playoff. Teams will be seeded according to the following point system based on regular season records.

•        Win 2 Points

•        Tie:  1 Point

•        Loss:  0 Points

•        Forfeit:  -1 Point

21.2 In the event of a tie that should occur in the seeding of teams for the playoffs, tie breakers shall be applied in the following order: 

1.  Head to head competition. 

2.  Fewest runs allowed in head to head competition

3.  Run differential (all regular season games)  4. Coin flip 

22.0 Playoff Rules 

22.1 All League Rules apply unless specifically superseded by any provision of these rules. 

22.2 This is a double elimination playoff format. A team is eliminated upon its second loss in the playoffs. 

22.3 Since the following day's game assignments hinge on each game's results, the results must be called in to the League Director within 2 hours of completion of the game. 

22.4 The home team for any game will be the team with the higher seeding on the basis of regular season results. 

Exception: in the game between the winners' bracket winner and the losers' bracket winner, the winners' bracket winner shall be the home team. 

Exception: if there is an "if" game, the home team will be the team that was the away team in the prior game. 

22.6 The League will provide baseballs via the umpires or League Director. 

22.7 A pitcher may pitch in no more than seven innings in two successive games, regardless of the length of those games and regardless of what his pitching status may have been at the conclusion of the regular season. One pitch in an inning constitutes an inning pitched.


•        Game 1 eligible to pitch 7 innings, pitches 3 innings 

•        Game 2 eligible to pitch 4, pitches 2 

•        Game 3 eligible to pitch 5, pitches 0   Game 4 eligible to pitch 7, etc. 

There will be no balk warnings in play-off games, ref. Minor League rule 17.2.  

22.8         There will be no time limits or ties in play-off games. All games will be played to completion unless called by the umpire because of weather or darkness. For purposes of this rule, a game which ends because of a twelve (12) run mercy rule is considered a complete game (rule 20.0). A game which is called before it becomes an official game must be resumed and completed on that day or on the following day. A game which is called after it becomes an official game and/or a tie, it must be resumed and completed on that day or on the following day from the point of the called game. Resumption of any game is from the point at which it was called, taking into account all aspects of the game situation, including the count on the batter, if any. The home team score book is the book of record. 

22.9         Protests will be determined in the same manner as the regular season, ref 11.0, except that the written report (ref 11.2) is extended to a verbal report or phone call to the League Director for action, see 22.10. 

22. 10 Except the potential final ("championship") games. Championship games will each have a three-member protest committee, headed by the League Director and /or his/her delegate and comprised of one additional person from each participating team. All properly lodged protests will be resolved by the Protest Committee before the game proceeds, ref 11.2.             

Attachment A 


All managers and coaches, softball and baseball, will abide by code of conduct which includes the following provisions. If any of these rules are broken, the BBSA Executive Board, the violators League Rep, and appropriate Commissioner shall have the authority to impose a penalty ranging from probation to suspension, to expulsion from the BBSA. The penalties imposed shall be progressive in nature and will carry over from season to season. 

Managers and coaches shall: 

1.     Not smoke and /or use smokeless tobacco products at any practice, game or any other BBSA event of which children under the age of eighteen are present. 

2.     Not criticize players in front of spectators and/or teammates, but reserve the right to constructive criticism for later, in private, or in the presence of the other members,  if others might benefit. 

3.     Accept decisions of game officials in games as being fair and called to the best ability of said official. 

4.     Not criticize an opposing team, its players, coaches, fans, or parents by word of mouth or by gesture. 

5.     Emphasize that good athletes strive to be good students and that both are physically and mentally alert. 

6.     Strive to make every softball/baseball activity serve as a training ground for life, and a basis for good mental and physical health.

7.     Emphasize that winning is a result of good teamwork. 

8.     Together with team officials, be jointly responsible for the conduct of team fans, players and parents. 

9.     Not engage in excessive sideline coaching and shall not leave the bench/dugout area to shout instructions from the foul lines. 

10.  Not use abusive language or profane language at any time. Managers and coaches will absolutely refrain from swear and or cuss words in front of all BBSA players. 

11.  Not receive any payment, in cash or kind, for services as a manager or coach in the BBSA. 

12.  Not permit an ineligible player to participate in any BBSA Games. 

13.  Not deliberately incite unsportsmanlike conduct from his/her players and/or team parents. 

14.  Abstain from the possession and drinking of alcoholic beverages before and during, and the possession or use of any illegal substances before and during on both game  and practice fields and/or facilities. 

15.  Remove from a game or practice any participant when even slightly in doubt about his/her health, whether or not as a result of injury, until competent medical advice is available. 

16.  Uphold all the rules and regulations, National, State, and Local regarding Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken and Softball. 

17.  Not physically touch any player with force or to endanger their well being. 

18.  Turn in BBSA equipment within 48 hours of their final game, play-off or otherwise. 

19.  Complete and turn in all necessary paperwork for Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken, and Softball in a timely manner. 

Complete and turn in player evaluations immediately upon the completion o