Make the Call …
By Little League Operations Department
Situation – With a runner on third, the pitcher starts his/her wind-up. Midway
through his/her delivery…the batter steps out of the batter’s box. The surprised
hurler freezes in mid-stride and holds onto the ball. IS THIS A BALK/ILLEGAL PITCH?
6.02(b) - The ball is dead and no balk/illegal pitch shall be called. The batter
may not step out after the pitcher starts his/her motion. Start over from “scratch.”
Situation – Runner on first base, one out.
Two strikes on the batter. The batter swings and misses…the catcher cannot hold
onto the ball. The batter takes off for first as the runner from first takes off
for second. The catcher throws to the second baseman who tags the runner. The
batter-runner ends up on first. HOW MANY OUTS?
6.05(b)/7.08(c) - There are three outs. The batter was out automatically because
first base was occupied with less than two outs. The runner from first was out
when tagged for the third out.
Judgment calls can be
if the manager feels that the
umpire missed the call.
The word "appeal" is frequently misused. Judgment calls by umpires are not subject
to question or objection by a manager or coach.
Any umpire's decision which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether
a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether
a runner is safe or out, is final. No player, manager, coach or substitute shall
object to any such judgment decisions.
only "appeal" of this nature that a manager may make under the rules is if the
manager feels that the umpire has misapplied a playing rule.
this case, rules 9.02(b)and
9.02(b) If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire's decision
may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask
that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made only to the umpire who
made the protested decision.
9.02(c) If a decision is appealed, the umpire
making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making a final
decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse or interfere with another
umpire's decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.
for example, when a manager thinks the base umpire "blew" a safe/out call at first
base and goes to the plate umpire saying, "Can I appeal that?" he has no basis
under the rules for the request. The safe/out call is a judgment call, and thus
not questionable. Even supposing it were, the question should have been directed
to the base umpire, not the plate umpire. The plate umpire should, therefore,
simply answer "No" to this question.
being said, if the manager approaches the base umpire and requests that he ask
his partner to see if he had a better angle, this is not an "appeal," simply a
request. The base umpire is under no obligation to go to his partner, but may
do so if he feels that his partner may have information that bears on the call.
Bat (13-15 Division)
Babe Ruth Baseball 13-15 Division has adopted standards for metal bats that limit
the diameter of a bat to 2-5/8”. Wood bats conforming to the dimensions described
Official Baseball Rule 1.10 are approved for use in Babe Ruth League.
League Presidents and District, State & Regional
FROM: Steven M. Tellefsen, President/CEO
October 26, 2010
The International Board of Directors of Babe Ruth
League, Inc. has approved a moratorium on the
use of composite bats in the Babe Ruth Baseball
13-15 and 16-18 Divisions, effective immediately.
The moratorium shall be in effect until further
notice by Babe Ruth Headquarters. The moratorium
will follow the National Federation of State High
School Associations (NFHS), based on a recommendation
from its Baseball Rules Committee. The NFHS Board
enacted a rule to prohibit the use of composite
bats until they can produce compliance with the
standards through the life of the bat. If a composite
bat is legal/approved under the NHFS rule for
the 2011 season, it is legal for use in the Babe
Ruth Baseball 13-15 and 16-18 Divisions for local
league play and tournament competition. Composite
bats that are certified by an approved independent
testing laboratory as meeting the current Ball
Exit Speed Ration (BESR) and the Accelerated Break-In
(ABI) procedure will be eligible. For a list of
composite bats approved for the 2011 Babe Ruth
Baseball 13-15 and 16-18 Divisions, please visit
At present, the moratorium on composite bats does
not apply to the Cal Ripken Major, Minor, Rookie
and T-Ball Divisions, nor does it apply to any
division of Softball. Our goal is to provide our
local leagues clear direction regarding the 2¼”
barrel composite bats, and which ones meet the
standards for the Cal Ripken Divisions, if any,
as soon as possible. We hope to have information
in the very near future. SMT/tc cc: Board of Directors
TO APPROVED BATS
Little League Approved Bats Link
ASA Approved Bats Link
Ruth Cal Ripken Bat Link
Bat Rule Link
on Links to Rule Changes of Current Year
LITTLE LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON CHANGES
In case of inclement weather, four innings or 40 minutes will
constitute a complete game.
Extra Inning Procedures
season games that are tied after the time limit has expired will end in a tie,
but if there is still time remaining, extra innings will be played. If a tournament
game is tied at the end of the time limit, extra innings will be played until
a winner is determined. No time limit will be in effect for championship games.
Balls, bats, and catcher's mask
(recommended for the catcher) will be provided, but players are encouraged to
bring their own equipment. Only slow pitch softball bats may be used. No Mikens.
Metal cleats are illegal and any player caught wearing them will be disqualified
from the game. No jewelry may be worn, and after warning players will be disqualified.
Extra players may be substituted
into the line-up one time in any spot in the lineup. A team will receive an out
in the lineup in the case that a player leaves that spot for any reason, and there
is no substitute available. In a case that less than 8 players are in a lineup,
an out will be recorded for the missing player(s).
A base on balls allows a batter to gain first base without
liability to be put out. An intentional walk may be granted by having the pitcher
notify the home umpire.
The imaginary 3' on either
side of the runner's line between the bases.
Any ball that hits the bat
or is hit by the bat. No intent to hit the ball is necessary.
A ball that is batted down slowly and/or deliberately. A batter
that is considered to have done this is out.
The catch is not legal until the ball is in the grasp of the fielder's hand or
glove and complete control is demonstrated. The release of the ball must be voluntary
and intentional. A catch may not be made with anything other than the hand or
glove. It may be released for the transfer to the throwing hand.
A catch that is made in fair territory and then carried into
dead ball territory by a fielder.Dead
Area marked parallel to both foul lines, any area beyond the fence,
and the area between the fence entering the dugouts.
A batted ball that:
a) Settles in fair territory or on home
b) Is on or over fair territory when bounding toward the outfield,
passing first or third base
c) Touches an umpire or fielder in fair territory,
d) Goes over the fence in fair territory,
e) Hits the foul pole or the foul
A batted ball that:
a) settles on foul territory between home plate and first or third base
touches the batter while in the batter's box,
c) is on or over foul territory
when bounding toward the outfield,
d) touches an umpire, object, or player
in foul territory before reaching first or third base while in flight
offensive team is responsible for retrieving all foul balls and home runs
The black part of the plate is
not considered part of home plate.
The batter who is up
after the current batter. This batter must stand inside the designated area to
take warm-up swings.
II. Rules and Penalties
Obstruction is an act by a catcher that hinders or prevents
the batter from hitting a pitch or an act by a fielder that impedes the progress
of a base runner. The fielder may be in the act of fielding the ball, about to
throw the ball, or not in possession of the ball. When obstruction occurs, the
umpire will give the delayed dead ball signal.
1. If a play is being made
on an obstructed runner, or if the batter is obstructed before he reaches first
base, the ball is dead and all runners advance to the bases they would have reached,
in the umpire's judgment, had there been no obstruction.
2. If no play is
being made on an obstructed runner, play continues.
3. If, in the umpire's
judgment, the obstructed runner would not have reached the next base, regardless
of the obstruction, and he/she is put out prior to reaching the next base, he
shall be returned to the last base touched at the time of the obstruction.
4. A base runner obstructed in a rundown will be awarded the base to which he/she
would have achieved at the time of the obstruction.
Interference is any act by the offensive player that impedes
or confuses a defensive player while attempting to execute a play. When interference
is called, the ball is dead and all other runners must return to the last base
1. If a runner, in the umpire's judgment, obviously attempts
to prevent a double play, that runner and the immediate succeeding runner are
both called out.
2. When a base runner is struck with a fair batted ball while
off the base and in fair territory, and before the ball passes an infielder, excluding
the pitcher, and no other infielder is in position to catch the ball, that runner
is called out.
3. When a runner intentionally kicks a ball that an infielder
has missed, that runner is called out.
4. When anyone, other than another
base runner, physically assists a base runner, that runner is called out.
5. When a batter hinders a catcher from fielding the ball, the batter is out.
6. When a defensive player has the ball and is waiting for the runner, if the
runner remains on his/her feet and deliberately crashes into the defensive player,
the runner is out. (The runner must either slide or give himself/herself up to
C. Infield Fly
Infield fly occurs
on a fair fly ball that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort. Runners
must occupy first and second, or first, second, and third base with zero or one
out. The batter is out, the ball is alive, runners advance at their own risk.
There are two types of appeal plays:
1. Live ball appeal play
a. The umpire must make an immediate decision.
b. The ball remains in play.
c. Runners may advance at their own risk.
2. Dead ball appeal play
a. The umpire's decision is rendered upon request.
b. The ball must be returned to the infield.
c. Any defensive player may make
d. A "play" does not have to be made.
e. The ball
f. Runners may not advance.
There are two types of appeal
1. Batting out of order.
2. Missing a base.
appeal may be made for batting-out-of-order:
1. If discovered before turn
is completed, proper batter resumes count.
2. If discovered after the turn
is completed, it must be appealed before the first pitch to the next batter. The
batter who should have batted is out. The next batter in order comes to the plate.
E. Overthrow/Dead Ball Area
1. If an overthrow
enters dead ball territory, the runners get two bases from where there were at
the point of release of the throw.
2. If a fair batted ball enters dead ball
territory it is a ground rule double.
3. If a batted ball hits an object that
is in dead ball territory (i.e. a tree) and bounds back into play it is not live
and cannot be played.
F. Fake Tag
tag made by a fielder without the ball is an unsportsmanlike act that will not
be tolerated. The first time in a game that an umpire notices a fake tag, both
teams will be warned. The next instance will result in the ejection of the offending
G. Illegal Bat
All legal bats
must say "Official Softball Bat". If a metal bat is used it must have
a metal knob. If a ball is batted with an illegal bat, ball is dead, batter is
H. Force Out
Occurs only when a
runner loses the right to the base he/she is occupying because the batter becomes
I. Batter's Box
batter's foot is completely out of the box on the ground when the ball ihit, fair
or foul, the ball is dead and the batter is out. This would include stepping on
the plate, or stepping into fair territory.
Any pitch called illegal may be taken for a ball. If the batter
swings at an illegal pitch, the ball is live, and the result of the play stands.
The following criteria must be met for a pitch to be legal.
1. The peak of
its arc must be between 6' and 12'.
2. Before the pitching motion begins,
the pitcher must come to a stop with at least one foot on the pitching rubber.
The same foot must remain on the rubber until the ball is released.
Prior to pitching, the pitcher shall come to a full and complete
stop with both feet firmly on the ground, and with one or both feet in contact
with the pitching rubber. The ball must be held in the pitching hand or both hands
in front of the body. This position must be maintained at least one second prior
In the act of delivering the ball to the batter, the pivot foot
must remain in contact with the pitcher's rubber until the ball leaves the hand.
The pitcher's shoulders must be in line with first and third base. NOTE: A dead
ball should be called, an illegal pitch ruled, a warning issued, and repeated
action would result in a pitcher being ruled illegal and removed from that position
for the game.
A maximum of 5 warm up pitches will be given prior to the first
inning. A maximum of 3 will be given in between innings. New pitchers will be
given 3 pitches. NO INFIELD PRACTICE MAY BE TAKEN AFTER THE FIRST INNING.
Delivery Consists of:
1. The delivery
must be a continuous motion
2. The pitcher must deliver the ball towards
home plate and in an underhand motion
3. The pitcher must not deliver the
ball behind the back or between the legs.
Quick Pitches are not allowed. A
quick pitch is one where a pitcher attempts to deliver a ball when the batter
is not yet in the batters box, or still off balance from a previous swing attempt.
An illegal pitch will be called on an attempted quick pitch.
will be called when a ball slips out of a pitchers hand on a delivery, when a
runner is called out for leaving the base early, or a pitcher pitches a ball before
the signal to play is given.
No stealing is allowed. Runners may leave the base when a pitch is hit. If the
runner is off the base before the pitch reaches the plate, the runner is out and
the umpire declares no pitch. Players may over run first base. If an attempt to
advance to second base is made, the runner puts himself or herself in jeopardy
to be put out.
1. I.D. cards may be required of all players at the start of each game.
Players may only participate for ONE TEAM. If a person participates on more than
one team he/she places their teams eligibility in question for the regular season
3. No Miken bats!!!
N. Rules Of
1. Players will refrain from the use of profanity.
of tobacco products & alcoholic beverages will NOT be permitted at or near
the softball fields.
3. Any disruptive behavior by a team or its fans will
permit the umpire to forfeit the game. IM Officials have full authority in all
aspects of the game. NO PROTESTS OF ANY KIND WILL BE ALLOWED!
will not be tolerated and may result in suspension from the intramural program.
CAN A PITCHER WEAR SUNGLASSES
is no mention of sunglasses in the rulebook.
accepted ruling is that a pitcher is allowed to wear them if they are not reflective
or distracting in any other way.
are taught to be very careful about the pitcher conforming to the rules and regulations
regarding uniforms and equipment.
pitcher cannot have any unessential and distracting thing on his
body such as jewelry, adhesive tape, or a batting glove. So, if
a team complained about a pair of sunglasses I would think the umpire would be
compelled to ask the pitcher to remove them.
UMPIRES ONLY RESPONSE
FOR THIS SITUATION IS:
(c) Each umpire has authority to rule on any point not specifically covered in
- Pitching The pitcher shall take a position
with her pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate. The non-pivot foot must
be on or behind the pitcher's plate (8.01(d))
A backward step may be taken before or simultaneous with the hands being brought
together. The pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitching plate at all
times prior to the forward step (8.01(g)).
Raising the pivot foot off the pitching plate and returning it to the plate creates
a rocking motion and is an illegal act (8.01(h))
Pushing off with the pivot foot from a place other then the pitcher's plate is
pivot foot must remain in contact with or push off and drag away from the pitching
plate prior to the front foot touching the ground. (8.01(s)).
A manager or coach can make two visits to the mound during one inning or a total
of three in the course of game. If a manager makes a third visit during an inning
or a fourth during a game, the pitcher must be removed from the game. Any time
out called to talk to a defensive player will be charged as a visit to the pitcher.
Any visit due to injury will not count as a visit to the pitcher. (8.06)
If a ball slips from the pitcher's hand before, during or
up to the delivery of a pitch, the umpire shall call a ball on the batter. The
ball remains in play and runners may advance at their own risk (8.07)
Any runner shall be called out,
on appeal, when_ (a) After a fly ball is caught, he fails to retouch his original
base before he or his original base is tagged; "Retouch," in this rule,
means to tag up and start from a contact with the base after the ball is caught.
A runner is not permitted to take a flying start from a position in back of his
base. (b) With the ball in play, while advancing or returning to a base, he fails
to touch each base in order before he, or a missed base, is tagged. APPROVED RULING:
(1) No runner may return to touch a missed base after a following runner has scored.
(2) When the ball is dead, no runner may return to touch a missed base or one
he has left after he has advanced to and touched a base beyond the missed base.
PLAY. (a) Batter hits ball out of park or ground rule double and misses first
base (ball is dead)_he may return to first base to correct his mistake before
he touches second but if he touches second he may not return to first and if defensive
team appeals he is declared out at first. PLAY. (b) Batter hits ball to shortstop
who throws wild into stand (ball is dead)_batter runner misses first base but
is awarded second base on the overthrow. Even though the umpire has awarded the
runner second base on the overthrow, the runner must touch first base before he
proceeds to second base. These are appeal plays. (c) He overruns or overslides
first base and fails to return to the base immediately, and he or the base is
tagged; (d) He fails to touch home base and makes no attempt to return to that
base, and home base is tagged. Any appeal under this rule must be made before
the next pitch, or any play or attempted play. If the violation occurs during
a play which ends a half inning, the appeal must be made before the defensive
team leaves the field. An appeal is not to be interpreted as a play or an attempted
play. Successive appeals may not be made on a runner at the same base. If the
defensive team on its first appeal errs, a request for a second appeal on the
same runner at the same base shall not be allowed by the umpire. (Intended meaning
of the word "err" is that the defensive team in making an appeal threw
the ball out of play. For example, if the pitcher threw to first base to appeal
and threw the ball into the stands, no second appeal would be allowed.) Appeal
plays may require an umpire to recognize an apparent "fourth out." If
the third out is made during a play in which an appeal play is sustained on another
runner, the appeal play decision takes precedence in determining the out. If there
is more than one appeal during a play that ends a half inning, the defense may
elect to take the out that gives it the advantage. For the purpose of this rule,
the defensive team has "left the field" when the pitcher and all infielders
have left fair territory on their way to the bench or clubhouse. If two runners
arrive at home base about the same time and the first runner misses home plate
but a second runner legally touches the plate, the runner is tagged out on his
attempt to come back and touch the base or is called out, on appeal, then he shall
be considered as having been put out before the second runner scored and being
the third out. Second runner's run shall not count, as provided in Rule 7.12.
If a pitcher balks when making an appeal, such act shall be a play. An appeal
should be clearly intended as an appeal, either by a verbal request by the player
or an act that unmistakably indicates an appeal to the umpire. A player, inadvertently
stepping on the base with a ball in his hand, would not constitute an appeal.
Time is not out when an appeal is being made
Unless two are out, the status of a following runner is not affected
by a preceding runner's failure to touch or retouch a base. If, upon appeal, the
preceding runner is the third out, no runners following him shall score. If such
third out is the result of a force play, neither preceding nor following runners
THERE IS NO "MUST SLIDE" RULE!!!
7.08 - Any runner is out when -
(a) (3) the runner does not slide
OR attempt to get around a fielder who HAS THE BALL and is waiting to make the
key phrases here are: "or attempt to get around" and "has the ball
waiting to make the tag."
runner may slide or attempt to get around the fielder. He does not have to slide.
Plus, unless the fielder has the ball, the runner doesn't have to do either.
purpose of the rule is to prohibit the runner from deliberately crashing into
a defender who has the ball, for the sole purpose of knocking the ball loose,
because the runner knows he is going to be out otherwise.
fielder should not be in the base path without possession of the ball. If he is
it is obstruction. Anytime a runner deliberately and maliciously crashes into
a fielder he should be ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct. However, if a close
play occurs and the runner does not slide and makes incidental contact with the
defender before he has the ball, no call should be made. If the defender has the
ball, the umpire should judge as to whether the runner made an attempt to get
around the fielder. If he did, he should not be called out simply because he did
not slide or made contact.
attempting to get around a fielder who has the ball waiting to make the tag, the
runner must not run more than 3 feet to either side of a line that goes between
him and the base he is advancing to. If he does, he is out for violation of rule
7.08 (a) (1)
the defender does not have possession of the ball, and a collision occurs as he
steps into the path of the runner as he attempts to catch a thrown ball, there
is no penalty, unless the umpire judges the collision to be deliberate and malicious