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Non-River League game rules (Babe Ruth)

The purpose of this agreement is to foster softball in various Babe Ruth (BR) league sanctioned youth athletic associations (howsoever named).  Engaging your neighboring BR league may be valuable in…

  • providing an expanded experience for youth players and parents to visit other township fields and facilities,
  • providing an expanded experience of competition outside of the intra-league teams within one BR league, and
  • aiding each league’s minimum schedule requirements needed before any BR Tournament Trail can be approved by the District Commissioner.


Current Year Babe Ruth Association Rules will be followed OR The General Rules below can be followed by agreement.  In addition any rule variations (ex. coach pitch or batting entire line-up or run rules, definition of ‘full team’, etc.), if mutually agreed upon by both teams and the umpire in charge can be instituted on a game by game basis. 

There are no fees but there may be costs borne by each league such as field maintenance, umpires, and game balls. 

The “Board” mentioned below refers to each BR league’s representative(s).

General Rules for All Age Groups:

1.  All teams must submit a team roster prior to the start of the season. Rosters must be finalized prior to mid-season tournament and cannot be changed for rest of season.  Any player on a travel team roster or playing for a travel team (ex. Pennsbury Gems) must be identified with a T on submitted rosters.  All players on a Select League roster or playing for a select team (ex. Pennsbury Heat) must be identified with an S on the submitted rosters.  Travel and/or Select players should be distributed evenly on township teams.

2.  All umpires and coaches will receive a copy of these rules prior to the start of the season.

3.  The umpire’s judgment is final.  There are no protests allowed at any time.  Only the manager and one of the coaches designated by the manager prior to the game is permitted to discuss any play in question with the umpire

4.  All discussions with the umpire must take place away from the players and spectators, so that the conversation may not be overheard

5.  No game shall be permitted to begin without a home plate umpire

6.  The umpire may eject and/or banish from the game and/or field area any player, coach, or spectator for un-sportsmanlike conduct.  This includes, but is not limited to:

·       Use of profanity

·       Unnecessary arguing

·       Fighting

·       Needling of the umpire

·       A warning may be given first

·       Team coaches are responsible for the conduct of the players, parents, and spectators on his/her side of the field

7.  The assignment and fee of the umpire is the responsibility of the home team.

8.  At the first sign of lightning, or if thunder is heard, the game must be stopped and the players removed from the field immediately.  This is mandatory. No arguments, no judgments, no exceptions.  The umpire may stop the game at any time due to unsafe field conditions.  This includes inadequate lighting or adverse weather conditions.

9.  The home team is responsible for preparation of the field prior to the game. In addition the home team should supply two new game balls.

10.  Any rule interpretation questions, suggestions for additions and/or revisions should be submitted to the Board and then discussed and mutually agreed before amending any rules.  The Board may modify these rules during the season if deemed necessary.  All coaches and umpires will receive a copy of any rule change(s) and the date the change(s) is effective.

11.  Smoking is not permitted on or around the field by anyone on or associated with the team including coaches and score keepers.

12.  Every girl bats for her team.  The lineup remains consistent throughout the game.  If a girl is injured and cannot bat when it is her turn, she is bypassed and the next batter in the lineup bats.  The injured girl may be placed back in her original place in the lineup.  Girls that arrive late are inserted at the end of the lineup.

13.  Batting Helmets.  In addition to the ASA rule requiring all offensive players to properly wear double ear flap NOCSAE-approved batting helmets; all offensive players must wear these batting helmets modified to have a face mask. These batting helmets may be provided by the club.  If a player has her own batting helmet, it can be used provided it meets these requirements.

14.  No player may participate wearing footwear other than sneakers or rubber spikes.  Metal spikes are not allowed for the safety of the players.  No exceptions.

15.  The girls may wear no jewelry.  This includes bracelets, earrings, necklaces, etc.  Any earrings left in place must be taped over.  Umpires may stop the game until players comply.

16.  All players must have a fielding glove when taking the field.

17.  All batters and base runners must wear a batting helmet at all times while on the field.

18.  Only bats marked “Official Softball Bat” may be used. 

19.  A courtesy runner can and should be used for the catcher and pitcher when she is on base and there are two outs.  The courtesy runner should be the last girl at bat to make an out.

20. Any player identified on the team roster as playing for a travel team (see 1. above) may not play the position of pitcher at any time.  (12U and 14U only)

a) Game forfeiture will be the penalty for any team found in violation of the above rule.  This penalty will be enforced during the season and playoff tournaments.

b) If a team is found to be in violation of rule 20 during regular season play, the player must be immediately removed from the pitcher position.

21.  A minimum of twenty-four hours notice must be given for rescheduling a game for any reason other than a rainout. 

22.  Rainouts or other inclement weather

  • The home team coach is responsible for determining if the game is to be played
  • The decision to postpone a game due to rain or other inclement weather must be made no later than two hours before the game time
  • The home team coach must call the opposing team’s head coach, and the head umpire.  All required phone numbers would be provided to each coach.
  • The home team coach must call the league commissioner as soon as possible, so that the commissioner can reschedule the game.

23. All games played will have a drop dead two hour time limit from the scheduled start time. If the score of a game is tied at the end of the two hours and the inning is not complete the game will end and the score will revert back to the last complete inning. The umpire will keep the official time.  

24. Any coach who cannot field a full team during the season and end of season tournament will forfeit the game. A full team is 8 players but the 9th spot in the batting order is recorded as an out. 

25. With the exception of the Championship Game all playoff games will follow the tournament schedule and the tournament game time limit. If a game is interrupted by weather or other problems each team will be credit for a tie game. The Championship Game must complete 7 innings of play and the tournament game time limit will be waved. The Tie-Breaker Rule will be in effect.

26. Players must play at least 60% of regular season games to be eligible for the play-off tournament.  Any coach is entitled to review the opposing team’s book to verify eligibility.  (All age groups)     

27. All players are to play in all games, and are not to sit on the bench more than 2 consecutive innings, or half of the game, with the exceptions of injuries. This applies to regular season and tournament games.                                    

American Softball Association (ASA) rules will be used for play with the following modifications as specified for each age group.

   14 & Under

    1.  A pitcher may pitch a maximum of four innings in a game. One pitch delivered in an inning will count as an inning pitched.

    2.  The inning ends when the team at bat has three outs or as a result of the ten batter rule.

   12 & Under

    1.  The infield fly rule is not in effect.

    2.  A pitcher may pitch a maximum of four innings in a game. One pitch delivered in an inning will count as an inning pitched.

    3.  The inning ends when the team at bat has three outs or as a result of the ten batter rule.

    4.  Stealing is permitted only after the pitched ball crosses the home plate.  The runner is not permitted to advance on an overthrow by the catcher on an attempted steal.

    5.  The drop third strike rule is not in effect.


    The Ten Batter Rule

    1. If a team bats ten batters in an inning the tenth batter will be played as if there are two outs.

    2. If a tenth batter in an inning hits a fair ball, play will continue until the third out is made at any base or at home plate.

    3. If the tenth batter walks, the batter will be awarded two bases and baserunners who are forced will advance.  When the batter reaches second base, the inning is over. If there are baserunners forced to score, the runs will count and the inning is over.    


Frequently Asked Questions

Question: If the base runner does not slide and there is a play, is it automatically an out?

Answer: In BR there is NO "Slide or Surrender" rule. The correct wording to be used is "AVOID CONTACT OR BE CALLED OUT" a baserunner is to avoid contact with a baseman making a play however she does NOT need to slide into a base. If she collides due to not sliding, then she will be called out. A fielder who is putting a tag on a runner is not considered a collision when the glove touches the runner. Also Catchers or fielders cannot block bases if they are not making a play.

Question: With the 10th batter up and playing “as if 2 outs” as soon as the ball is put into play, can the defensive team get an out by simply throwing the ball home and touching out plate, regardless if it’s not a force out?

Answer:  If there is a legitimate play at home that is one thing. If a catcher has to stand on home plate and wait for a runner to trot from 1st to home that is another. In the case of the former, the common sense thing to do would be to call the out and avoid any future collision. However because of the latter, the rule cannot be WORDED or INTERPRETED that simply touching home plate results in an out.  That would open up a can of worms whereas you have the 10th batter up with a runner at second representing the tie or winning run, the batter hits a single to the outfield and there is a legitimate play at the plate.  The umpire needs to make the call based on the same rules that apply at every other point in the game which is to say – Did she beat the tag? and Did the catcher hold onto the ball?

Question: While the 10th batter is up, a runner is out stealing either at a base on home plate.  Does this mean the inning is immediately over since we are playing it as if there are 2 outs?

Answer:  No, unless of course there were already 2 official outs made.  The playing “as if” 2 outs rule does not go into effect UNTIL the batter either puts the ball in play, walks, strikes out, or reaches base safely or is called out in any other way.  In the case mentioned above, the batter reserves the right to complete the at bat.


Question: if a catcher attempts to throw out a base runner during a steal and the ball does not reach the base, but falls short, can the runner continue to advance as if it is a live ball.

Answer: an under thrown ball is treated the same as an overthrown ball in the 12 U division 

Question: The catcher overthrows the pitcher while a runner is stealing home, and the ball rolls around the infield, can the rest of the base runners continue to advance?

Answer: No, this is still considered to be an over throw, home plate is considered a base just like all of the others.


Question: A fielder attempts to throw out a runner at first or [third base], however, the fielder throws a high-arching ball, and by the time the ball hits the ground and rolls out of play, the runner has already touched the first base she is heading to, and on her way to second. The ball finally rolls out of play just as the runner is reaching second base. Dose the runner automatically get one more base? As if the batter going to First Base would get Third Base automatically, or a runner on First Base going to Third Base would automatically get Home Plate

Answer: Once a ball is deemed “out of play” by the umpire, the runner will get the base she is going to “PLUS ONE” This happens at the time of release from the fielder hand towards the base in which she is throwing to. So basically, no matter how fast the runner is and no matter how slow the throw is, or how long it takes to roll out of play, the runner will only be awarded one additional base from where she was at the time of the throw.  Balls not going out of play are considered “Live”


An Over throw to the pitcher while she is in the circle is considered a LIVE Ball, Runners can advance to any base at their own risk.