Major/Minor Rules of Play
SECTION XII - RULES OF PLAY
Players and coaches shall abide by and adhere to the rules of play as established by BABE RUTH SOFTBALL. The Organization shall employ the BABE RUTH SOFTBALL official rules and regulations, as amended, for the purposes of conducting its softball league’s playing contests with the exception of the following local league options:
- Each player must play at least two defensive innings with Free Substitution. No player may sit the bench two consecutive innings.
- Any player or coach ejected from a game or contest shall be required to leave the field and remain out of sight and sound of the playing area. Said player or coach shall automatically be suspended from play for the next scheduled game with no appeal. Other disciplinary action by the Board of Directors may also be taken.
- No new inning will start after 1 hour 45 minutes. If a game has not reached regulation Babe Ruth 5 innings or 4.5 if the home team is ahead but has surpassed the league time limit of 1 hour 45 minutes it will count as a completed game. The only exception to this rule is for playoffs when games must either be complete or end by the mercy rule of 10 runs after 5 innings (4.5 innings if the home team is winning.)
- After the first inning, no infield balls will be allowed and pitcher shall be limited to three warm-up pitches (unless a new pitcher, then five warm-up pitches allowed)
- Helmets must be worn during all games and practices for safety reasons. If, in the judgment of an umpire, a helmet is intentionally thrown or knocked off while the player is running, the player is automatically out.
- Prior to the start of the game, the League will determine whether or not to call off a game because of weather. All players must come to the field where the game may or may not be called off. If a team fails to appear or does not have enough players present to field a team, that team shall forfeit the game. If both teams fail to appear or have enough players to field a team, then both teams shall forfeit and be credited with a loss. Once a game has begun, it is the Major Field’s HomePlate Umpire’s sole discretion as to whether or not to call or continue a game because of weather. In the event of lightning, all teams must leave the dugout and wait under the overhang of the concession area.
- Rubber cleats must be worn; no metal cleats or spikes are allowed. Only shirts from the current season can be worn.
- Player(s) who are not present at the start of a game may be listed at the bottom of the rotating batting order. If the player is not present at the time they come to bat, the team can choose to remove the player from the batting order or take an out. Prior to the start of the third (3rd) inning, these player(s) must be removed from the batting order if the player(s) is not present. If the player is not removed from the line up, the team will be charged with an out for the remainder of the game.
- Pitching limits:
- Majors: 8 innings in consecutive games
- Minors: 7 innings in consecutive games
- The nets on the first and third baselines are in place to protect spectators and are not considered extensions of the fence. Any ball that should hit the net will be considered out of play.
- There is a 5 run per inning limit, however additional runs scored on the play resulting in the 5th run will count up to a max of 8. Only the 6th inning in Minors and the 7th in Majors will be unlimited.
- Jewelry – no jewelry (except medical bracelets) may be worn by the players or the base coaches. Piercings may not be covered with bandages. Players seen on the field with piercings will be ejected from the game by the umpires.
- Teams short of players – if a team is missing players but can field a team of 6 they will still play. When the team that is short of players is in the field they will take up to 2 players and place them in the outfield only. The players on the opposing bench that will be used are the last batters from the previous inning. The only players on the opposing bench that will not be fill in outfielders for the team short players are the catcher and pitcher for the next defensive inning. If a team has fewer than 6 players in attendance they will take a forfeit and play a scrimmage using the opponent’s players to help them out.
- Injured player – A sick or injured player who cannot take their next at-bat cannot return to the game but their team is not charged with an out for that player’s missed at-bats.
- Coaches must sign the “innings pitched” book after each game.