2016 Junior Rookie Division Rules
The basic concept of this program is to make the game safer, more fun and interesting for these young players by...keeping their interest active in playing baseball. Keeping all the kids “in the game” all of the time should be our primary concern....Hitting, fielding, and running the bases, are the primary objectives of this concept. – From the Babe Ruth Leagues Rulebook
Unless noted here, the Junior Rookie Division is governed by Babe Ruth League’s “Baseball Rules and Regulations and Official Playing Rules.”
- The Junior Rookie Division is for players with a playing age of 6. Players with a playing age of 7 who have never played organized baseball before are also eligible.
- Teams shall be selected in a live draft format following a skills evaluation.
- No new inning shall begin after 1 hour 30 minutes. Official game shall be 3 innings.
Maximum innings per game for the regular season shall be 6 innings. Regular season games can end in a tie.
- Ten players are allowed on defense. The extra player allows four outfielders. Managers are encouraged to give players an opportunity to play all positions during the course of the season. However, positioning of players is left to the discretion of the manager based on a player’s skill level and personal safety.
- The offensive team batting line-up will consist of every team member that is available for that game. Players will bat in the same order throughout the game. If a player arrives after the game has started, he/she will be added at the bottom of the batting order. The opposing manager must be notified in the event of a late arrival.
- All eligible players must play a defensive inning by the end of the second inning and no player should sit for more than one consecutive inning. Violations of this rule brought before the Grievance/Protest Committee could result in suspension of the manager. The opposing manager must be notified of any exceptions prior to the start of the game.
- All players who arrive by game time must play at least one inning of outfield and at least one inning of infield. For this rule, catcher shall count as an infield position. This rule shall be applicable in all regulation games.
- First offense – Warning
- Second offense – Suspension from next game
- Third offense – Removal for the year
- A team may play with a minimum of 8 defensive players if it does not have 10 available players. The pitcher position is mandatory. If a manager cannot field 8 rostered players for a game, the opposing team manager may allow team members to play for the other team so that there are enough players on each team to play the game. Any team playing with only 8 players will be charged an out every time the 9th batter was due up. A team cannot finish game with less than 8 players.
- No player that arrives by game time can sit out for a second inning prior to every other player sitting at least one inning.
Home team is responsible for Official Score Book. This includes lineups being entered and position played per game with infield/outfield rotation being noted. Also must write official start time in Score Book
- Only players in uniform, the manager, two coaches, umpires and league officials shall be allowed on the playing field during a game. During play, manager, coaches and substitute players must remain in the dugout. Managers or coaches of the offensive team shall occupy the base coach boxes. A soft baseball, E.g. “Incredi-ball,” will be used during the season.
- A half inning is over when 5 runs have scored or three outs have been made, whichever occurs first.
- The catcher must wear protective gear including a protective cup. Catcher must also be in the catcher’s box and in a catcher’s position.
- The Batter will receive 3 pitches from the machine. If the ball is not put in play after 3 pitches the batter will receive 2 attempts from the tee. If the ball is not put in play on the 2nd swing from the tee, the batter will be called out. The tee is positioned directly over home plate. Coaches shall not coach a player as part of their strategy to take a pitch in an effort to hit off the tee. The batter must make a reasonable attempt to hit the ball off the machine. If this occurs it shall be reported to the Division Director and disciplinary action will be taken on the Coach. THE MAXIMUM SWINGS ANY BATTER MAY GET DURING ONE AT BAT IS (5).
- A player will not be allowed to strike out on the machine. The focus is to get the players to have strike zone recognition. If the ball is in the strike zone, they must make an attempt to hit the pitch from the machine. Coaches should coach the players to swing at good pitches and not swing at every pitch.
- Only wooden or aluminum bats not exceeding 28” in length will be used.
- A batter within the batter’s box may move toward or away from either the pitcher or the plate. However, any batter using an opened or closed stance for the obvious purpose of aiming a hit in a particular direction will be automatically called out.
- In the event the pitching machine continues to throw balls that are out of the strike zone, the umpire feeding balls to the machine will call time. The batter will step out of the box while the machine is re-adjusted. Once the machine is again consistently throwing strikes, play will resume with the strike count intact.
- When a batted ball strikes the pitching machine, prior to being touched by a defensive player or umpire, the ball will be considered dead. The batter will be awarded 1st base and all runners forced to advance, will advance one base. If in the judgment of the umpire, the safety of a player making an attempt to field a ball in any way threatened by the existence of the pitching machine, a dead ball shall be immediately called and all runners shall return to their position prior to the previous pitch.
- The tee must totally cover home plate. The batter must be in proper batting position in the batter’s box. Batters may not be purposely “lined up” down the first or third base lines.
- A hash mark will be placed on each side of the pitching machine, which identifies the location of the pitcher when a pitch is made. The League Commissioner will determine the location of this mark prior to the season. Managers may position the pitcher on either mark. The pitcher must remain behind this mark and must have at least one foot in contact with the mark until the ball is hit. If a violation occurs, the offensive team is give two options:
Take the result of the play; or
No pitch and the count remains the same.
- Pitching machine shall be put on speed 7.
- Bunting is prohibited.
- A team will be warned by the umpire the first time any player throws a bat. Once a team has been warned, all other bat throwing incidents will result in the batter being called out.
- All base runners must remain in contact with base until the batter hits the ball. Any runner leaving the base early must return to the base, or if a batter reaches safely, the nearest open base.
- Base runners may advance at their own risk on any overthrow that remains in fair territory. Base runners may advance one base on any overthrow into foul territory. Base runners may advance to the base they were heading, plus one base on any ball thrown into a dead ball zone. The dead ball zone includes the dugout, batter’s cage, and any area outside the fence.
- A three-foot long chalk mark will be placed perpendicular to the imaginary baseline stnd rd rd midway between 1 , 2 , and 3 base and the actual baseline between 3 and home. When a batted ball is hit in fair territory, play is halted when a defensive player controls the ball in a position that would naturally cause the lead runner to hold his current base. The umpire, upon stopping play, shall return any runner who had not reached the midway line to return to the previous base.
- If the pitcher makes a play on a hit ball, he must attempt to throw the ball to the base or plate to record an out. The pitcher may not “chase” the runner to the base. EXCEPTION: if the pitcher makes a play close to the first or third baseline that naturally would allow him to tag a runner, he may do so.
- Defensive coaches may be stationed in the foul territory during a defensive half of the inning.
- All teams shall strive to run practices in a similar fashion. All teams shall make an effort to make sure that each player possesses the same fundamentals upon completion of the Junior Rookie season. Practice routines shall be submitted to the Division Director prior to the start of the season for approval.
POST-SEASON TOURNAMENT / PLAYOFF:
- Same rules apply for post season. EXCEPTION: players DO NOT have to be rotated between infield/outfield and players do not have to be rotated between positions. Example: a defensive player can play pitcher for the entire game.
- For seeding purposes, tie breakers will be as follows:
o Tiebreaker #1: Head to head o Tiebreaker #2: Runs Allowed o Tiebreaker #3: Runs Scored