Updated: January 2021
NKB Babe Ruth Division (14U-18U)
Official Cal Ripken/Babe Ruth rules as outlined in the "Official Regulations and Playing Rules" booklet will be observed at all times, except for the following rules adopted by the NKB. It is important that teams follow these rules to ensure consistency of play throughout this age group. Coaches are discouraged from agreeing on "special" rules at the beginning of the game.
1. Game Schedules
(a) The League game schedule, as published by the League, will be strictly adhered to. Coaches will not be allowed to reschedule games for any reason, unless authorized by, and handled by, the Division Director, or League President. If rescheduling is approved, home team will be determined by coin flip.
(b) Postponements: The umpire coordinator must be notified of rainouts. This can be done through your Division Directors. Failure to do so will result in the head coach(s) being liable for the umpire fee. When an umpire shows up at a field where a game has been cancelled, the umpire fee is paid unless a call has been made to the Umpire Coordinator.
(c) Reporting Scores and Pitch Counts: Coaches are required to submit the results (scores and pitchers stats) on line at www.nkbaseball.com. Scores and pitch counts are required to be entered within 48 hours of the end of a game, or two hours prior to the start of the team’s next game. If this requirement is not met, the team will be subject to forfeiting that game, and the head coach will be subject to suspension at team’s next game.
2. Playing Time
(a) All players attending a game are required to roster bat and play a minimum of six (6) outs in the field. The game official and opposing coach/manager must be notified prior to the start of the game of non-participation of a player due to injury or disciplinary reasons if said player is to be seated on the bench.
(b) If a child is injured, becomes ill or must leave the game site after the start of the game, the team will skip over him/her when his/her time at bat comes up without penalty. If the injured-ill player returns he/she is merely inserted into their original spot in the batting order and the game continues. Also, if a child arrives late to a game site, if the manager chooses to enter him/her in the lineup, would be added to the end of the current lineup.
3. Roster Batting & the Substitution policy
(a) Roster Batting: A team’s entire roster will bat in order, throughout the entire game. There will be no maximum number of batters per inning. A half inning will end only when three (3) outs are recorded by the defensive team.
(b) Substitutions: Defensive player substitutions may be made freely throughout a game. However, once a player has been removed from the game as a pitcher, that player cannot return to pitch in that game.
4. Team Coaches
(a) The head coach will identify to the Home Plate Umpire a first base coach, a third base coach, and a scorekeeper. All other person’s (parents, siblings, friends, etc.) shall remain away from the bench area, from behind the backstop and away from the field of play.
5. Player Safety
(a) All male players should wear a protective cup.
(b) All catchers, including those players who warm up a pitcher between innings, are REQUIRED to wear a protective cup.
(c) Any player warming up a pitcher, either on the field or off, MUST wear a catcher’s mask.
(d) NO PITCHER MAY WEAR jewelry of any kind while on the field. Medical bracelets or necklaces are the only exception, and it is suggested that these items be left on or near the team bench where possible.
6. Field Layout
7. Bats - Bats shall not be more than thirty-four (34) inches in length and not more than 2 3/4 inches in diameter. The maximum length-to-weight ratio will be minus/drop 5 (-5). Bats with a length-to-weight ratio of minus/drop 3 (-3) are allowed. NKB discourages the use of wooden bats, however, wooden barrel bats that do not exceed 2 3/4 inches in diameter are allowed. Any bats listed on the current year’s USSSA “Withdrawn and/or Non-Compliant Baseball Bat Models” listing are not allowed.
ILLEGAL BAT PENALTY
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.
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 an illegal bat is discovered during the course of the game, the team shall also receive a warning. If a second illegal bat is discovered on the same team, the player using the bat as well as the head coach of that team will be ejected from the game.
8. Official Game
(a) Games will be 7 innings.
(b) An official game will consist of at least 3 ½ innings, where the home team is leading at the conclusion of 3 ½ innings of play, or 4 innings if the visiting team is leading at the end of 3 ½ innings, and the home team is given their at-bats in the fourth inning. An official game can be called in this manner if rain forces the end to a game.
(c) Regular season games that are tied after 7 innings or more have been played, or that are suspended (due to bad weather) are considered complete and end in a tie.
(d) If a game is called before it has become a regulation game, but after one (1) or more innings have been played, it shall be resumed exactly where it left off. If less than one (1) inning is played, the game is started over from the beginning.
Inning 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Visitors 0 0 0 4 1
Home 0 0 0 5
Game called in top of 5th inning on account of rain. Score reverts to last completed inning (4th) and the home team is the winner 5 to 4.
Tie game halted due to weather shall be considered complete.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Visitors 0 0 0 0 4 5
Home 0 0 0 0 4
Game called in top of 6th inning, visiting team batting with two out, no base runners - this is a tie game.
Game halted due to weather in the top of the 3rd shall be picked up from that point.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Visitors 0 0
Home 0 0
Game called in top of 3rd inning, home team batting with two out, runners on first - this game should be postponed and started from the point where it stopped, including the runner on first.
9. Weather and Darkness
Relating to weather, the goals of NKB are:
* Safety of all participants and spectators first and foremost
* Attempt to “complete” games when possible
With the above goals in mind, the following guidelines should be observed for all games:
(a) Before the game begins the Coaches may discuss and decide if conditions are suitable for the game to commence. The coach of the home team is responsible for the final decision. Once the game has begun the umpire is responsible for all decisions pertaining to suspension, resumption and/or cancellation. In divisions without an umpire, the coach of the home team is responsible.
(b) At the FIRST incident of lightning OR thunder (REGARDLESS of how far away it seems), all persons will immediately clear the field and seek safe shelter, and the game will be suspended. Scorebooks should note inning, outs, count on batter, and time. The Managers/Coaches and umpire shall decide whether the remainder of the game will be cancelled OR if a 30-minute delay will be observed. (Safe shelter is a building or vehicle preferably)
(c) The 30 minute waiting period can be observed if it is likely that threatening conditions will dissipate.
(d) The 30 minute clock resets with each occurrence of thunder or lighting.
(e) During the delay players are strictly forbidden from any activity and must remain in safe shelter area.
10. Run Rule
(a) If after 4 innings of play a team is ahead by 10 or more runs, the game is complete.
(a) A player may “play up” a maximum of one year from his/her league age, which is the players’ age as of May 1st. To illustrate, a player with a league age of 12 may play on a 13U team; however, that player is not allowed to play on a 14U team or higher. Pitching limits will be based on the player’s league age, not actual age.
(b) A team must consist of a minimum of eight (8) players in order to start a game. Teams not having at least eight (8) players at the start of a game will forfeit the game. Forfeit time is fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled start of a game. A game may NOT begin until both teams have at least eight (8) players present.
(c) If a team is not going to have the minimum number of players for a game, then the team is allowed to pick up players to fill in during that game up to a total of 9 available players. A fill in player cannot be on another team in your same division or any division higher than your team participates. For example, if you are in the Majors division then your fill in player must come from the Minors division or a younger age division. If you are in the Minors division then your fill in player must come from a younger age division. A fill in player is NOT allowed to pitch for your team. All fill in players MUST be a current NKB registered/paid player. They don't have to be on your roster; however, they must be on a current NKB roster. If a team uses a fill-in player and does not abide by the established rules, then the team will forfeit that game, and the head coach will be subject to suspension at team’s next game.
Lead-offs and steals are allowed.
Headfirst slides are allowed when advancing to a base and going back into a base.
Courtesy runners are optional at any time for the catcher. The courtesy runner shall be the last batted out. The catcher for this rule is the catcher of the previous inning. If this situation arises in the first inning and no outs have been recorded, the catcher shall remain on the bases until an out is recorded.
> CONTACT RULE (ALL DIVISIONS) - If a runner attempting to reach a base intentionally and/or maliciously runs into a defensive player, the base runner will be called out on the play and ejected from the game. Defensive players are reminded that unless a play is being attempted, the batter/runner has the right to the base path and any attempt to impede the batter/runner or drawing unnecessary contact will be deemed obstruction. Repeated violations by the defense will be deemed unsportsmanlike behavior and the player is subject to ejection. This is a judgment call by the umpire. There is no "slide rule".
Dropped Third Strike - The batter-runner may advance on a dropped third strike provided there are two outs OR with less than two outs first base is unoccupied. Other base runners advance at their own risk.
Cleats – Metal or steel cleats ARE ALLOWED; however, metal or steel cleats are NOT ALLOWED on any portable pitching mounds.
13. The catcher, without the ball in his/her possession, has no right to block the pathway of the runner attempting to score. The catcher in this instance would be guilty of obstruction and the runner would be awarded home. The defensive fielder, who does not have the ball and is not in the act of fielding, is guilty of OBSTRUCTION. If the throw is in flight and CLOSE to the fielder, he has a right to move wherever it is necessary catch the ball. Otherwise, he must get out of the way. It is the umpire's judgment as to whether or not the fielder is in the "act of fielding". If the catcher has the ball and is in the base line, the runner would be called out if he does not slide or attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag.
14. Coaches are permitted one trip to the mound per pitcher. The second trip the pitcher must be removed.
15. On deck batters are allowed.
16. Players are not allowed to bait, taunt & are required to be good sports at all times. Failure to maintain this high level of sportsmanship is to result in ejection from the game. Encouragement for your own team is to be the focus of all concerned with the game. This is a local rule and stems from the league's use of High School certified umpires. At the high school level, this is a rule that calls for immediate ejection when violated. The ejection removes the player from that game and the next game. The umpire may recommend further suspension based on the severity of the situation.
17. Time Limit on game: 1 hour and 50 minute time limit. No inning may start after 1 hour and 50 minutes. Regular season games may end in a tie.
1. The manager must remove the pitcher when said pitcher reaches the limit for his/her age group as noted below, but the pitcher may remain in the game at another position:
* Age 13-16: 95 Pitches per day
Exception: If a pitcher reaches the limit imposed in Regulation VI (c) for his/her league age while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until that batter reaches base or is put out. Note 1. If the pitcher reaches the limit imposed in Regulation VI (c) on his/her last pitch to a particular batter, the pitcher must be removed before delivering a pitch to the next batter. Note 2. Intentional Walk: Before a pitch is delivered to the batter, the catcher must inform the umpire-in-chief that the defensive team wishes to give the batter an intentional base-on-balls. The umpire-in-chief waves the batter to first base. The ball is dead.
Pitchers league ages 14 and under must adhere to the following rest requirements:
• If a player pitches 66 or more pitches in a day, four (4) calendar days of rest must be observed.
• If a player pitches 51 - 65 pitches in a day, three (3) calendar days of rest must be observed.
• If a player pitches 36 - 50 pitches in a day, two (2) calendar days of rest must be observed.
• If a player pitches 21-35 pitches in a day, one (1) calendar day of rest must be observed.
• If a player pitches 1-20 pitches in a day, zero (0) calendar day of rest must be observed.
2. Each team must designate the scorekeeper or another game official as the official pitch count recorder. The pitch count recorder must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by either manager or any umpire. However, the manager is responsible for knowing when his/her pitcher must be removed. Pitches delivered in games declared “Regulation Tie Games” or “Suspended Games” shall be charged against pitcher’s eligibility. A violation of the pitch limit or rest requirements, whether intentional or unintentional, can result in a protest of the game for an ineligible pitcher and, if substantiated, then the violating team will be subject to forfeiting that game, and the head coach will be subject to suspension. NOTE: The withdrawal of an ineligible pitcher after that pitcher is announced, or after a warm-up pitch is delivered, but before the player has pitched the ball to a batter, shall not be considered a violation.
3. BALKS – Umpires will issue one warning per pitcher. After one warning, balk rules will be enforced.
4. In suspended games resumed on another day, the pitchers of record at the time the game was halted may continue to pitch to the extent of their eligibility for that day, provided said pitcher has observed the required days of rest.
Example 1: A league age 14 pitcher delivers 70 pitches in a game on Monday when the game is suspended. The game resumes on the following Thursday. The pitcher is not eligible to pitch in the resumption of the game because he/she has not observed the required four days of rest.
Example 2: A league age 14 pitcher delivers 70 pitches in a game on Monday when the game is suspended. The game resumes on Saturday. The pitcher is eligible to pitch up to 95 more pitches in the resumption of the game because he/she has observed the required four days of rest.
Example 3: A league age 14 pitcher delivers 70 pitches in a game on Monday when the game is suspended. The game resumes two weeks later. The pitcher is eligible to pitch up to 95 more pitches in the resumption of the game, provided he/she is eligible based on his/her pitching record during the previous four days.
Note: The use of this regulation negates the concept of the “calendar week” with regard to pitching eligibility.
Note: A pitcher who pitched in the first game of a doubleheader may also pitch in the second game provided that pitcher has eligibility remaining.
1. All individuals involved (players, coaches, fans) should show respect for all of our umpires.
2. Abuse of umpires in any form, verbal or physical, will not be tolerated by NKB. Individuals found to be abusive to the umpires, whether it is coaches, players, or parents, will be asked to conduct themselves in an appropriate manner. Where the abuse continues, the offending individual will be asked to leave the area surrounding the ball field.
3. During the game, if a conversation with an umpire is necessary regarding a disputed call – these must be handled by the Head Coach exclusively.