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Framingham Baseball

General Rules

PDF Version of Rules for Printing

Framingham Baseball League

Babe Ruth Playing Rules

(as of 4/23/23)

1.0 Official Playing Rules

Playing rules as specified in the official Little League, Inc. rule book for the current season shall govern the conduct of all games except as noted herein.

2.0 Age Eligibility
2.1 The standard baseball eligibility age range for Babe Ruth is 15-18. 


2.2 Players who are 13 or 14 -year-old are eligible to be drafted into Babe Ruth.  Any 13 or 14 -year-old player who is not draft will default to the Ted Williams  division.


2.3 If a 15-year-old player is considered not ready to participate in the Babe Ruth division and the parents elect for that player to play Ted Williams  for one more season, permission can be granted by the league.

2.4 Exclusion exception for age 17 or older: A committee of Babe Ruth coaches, umpires, and the BR Commissioner may exclude any age 17 player that has reached a skill level significantly higher than the league average in BR.
3.0 Official Roster
3.1 Each Head Coach, or Manager, will have a roster of 11-15 players. The number of players per team will be recommended by the Commissioner of the league and approved by the Board of Directors for Framingham Baseball. The number of players per team each year is mainly dependent on the number of players that sign up to play for the league.

3.2 Each Head Coach/Manager must submit to the league Commissioner an official roster prior to spring season games if there are any changes to the roster after the draft.

3.3 A maximum of two (2) Assistant Coaches can be named on the roster. All assistants must be approved by the Commissioner prior to the season.

3.4 Each team may name a single Bench Coach/Score Person on the roster.  A Bench Coach/Score Person must be approved by the Commissioner prior to the season.

3.5 Only the appointed Head Coach/Manager or one of the approved Assistant Coaches is allowed to represent a team on the field.
3.6 If a player is added to a team after the draft, and the team keeps that player the following year, then a draft pick may be lost based on or due to the skill set of the player.  The skill set of the player and the determination of how that skill impacts a draft will be assessed by the Commissioner and the VP of Operations.
3.7 The Babe Ruth league will retain its players once they are drafted and for as long as they are eligible to play in that league.

4.0 Player Absence
If a player misses a game and does NOT notify the manger prior to the game being played, then the Head Coach/Manager may withhold (not play) that player in the next game that the player does show up.  The Head Coach/Manager, if he/she chooses to exercise the team suspension, should let the opposing team Head Coach/Manager know of this situation in advance of the game being played. In any situation whereby a player will not, or did not, play the minimum playing time, the league Commissioner must be notified, ideally prior to a game being played.

5.0 Calling Players Up for Games
5.1 Head Coach/Managers are allowed and encouraged to call-up Ted Williams  players as needed to field a team. Ideally, the Head Coach/Manager will consider call ups needed to field a minimum of 10 players for a game.
5.2 The Ted Williams  Commissioner will compile a list of eligible players that seem to meet a skill level adequate to compete safely at the Intermediate level. This list will be reviewed and approved by the VP of Operations. There are no team affiliations between Intermediate and Babe Ruth. All teams will have access to the same list of players.
5.3 If an Ted Williams player is called up to a Babe Ruth game, then the Intermediate league player shall not play more innings than any regular member of the Babe Ruth team.
5.4 Babe Ruth teams are encouraged to call up different players off the approved list. For this reason, an Ted Williams  player is allowed to play a maximum of three (3) times for any one babe Ruth team. After this limit is reached, a Babe Ruth Head Coach/Manager must select a different player on the approved list unless a time sensitive exception needs to be made due to a possibility that a Babe Ruth game cannot be played due to insufficient number of players. Exceptions to the limit must be communicated to the Babe Ruth Commissioner on the day of the game. However, the use a specific player for a 4
thtime in the season due to exception will be automatically a reprimand. A 5th use of that same player will mean forfeiture of the game in which the player was used.
5.5 A player called up to a Babe Ruth game cannot skip his/her Intermediate game in order to take advantage of a call up opportunity. A player that abuses this rule may face being eliminated from the eligibility list.  
5.6 Under no circumstances can an Intermediate player pitch in a Babe Ruth game. Failure to comply with this rule will result in the following: 1) Forfeiture of the game by the Babe Ruth team, 2) Elimination of the Intermediate player off the call up eligibility list, 3) Suspension of the Babe Ruth Head Coach/Manager for one game.
6.0 Game Preliminaries
6.1 Playing Time
6.1.1 Every Player must play a minimum of 3 consecutive innings (18 consecutive outs) and bat once.
6.1.2 A player that arrives late can enter a game upon arrival to the game as long as the player being replaced has met the minimum playing requirements, including innings and at least one at bat.  This late arriving player may not have sufficient time to meet the minimum playing requirements. A coach is not required to play a late arriving player if that player does not arrive prior to the start of the 5
th inning.

6.1.3 A player may renter a game as long as the player being replaced has meet the criteria stated in 6.1.1. A player that re-enters a game must do so by replacing the player that replaced him/her and therefore bat in the same original batting position observed when they started or entered the game. If an agreement is made prior to the beginning of the game to do so between Head Coaches/Managers, a player that reenters the game may do so for another player besides the player they replaced, for the purpose of providing another player with more playing time and creating more equity for all players over the course of the season.

6.2 Each Head Coach/Manager must exchange a written batting order that includes available substitutes prior to the start of the game.

6.3 Tenth Player (Extra Hitter Rule)
6.3.1 A tenth player will be used by a team in a game as an extra hitter.  This player may substitute for any player in the field, but he must remain in the same position in the batting order the entire game.  The tenth player is treated just like another position on the field.

6.3.2 A team will not use a 10th player only when they do not have 10 players or more to start a game.
6.3.3 The use of a tenth player is not optional.  If a team starts with ten players in its order, it must finish with ten.  The only exception to this is if a player is injured or must depart early (either by choice or by ejection) and the team does not have ten eligible players available, it may play on with nine, and no automatic out is recorded in the open slot.
6.3.4 The Head Coach/Manager so employing the tenth player must include the tenth player in his lineup when exchanged with the opposing manager prior to the start of the game.

6.4.1 Legal Bats - All bats used in a Framingham Babe Ruth game must display a BBCOR approved label stamped on it (this label must be legible). Only minus 3 (-3) bats are allowed. Non-composite wood bats are allowed.

6.4.2 If a player is caught using an illegal bat during an at bat of a Framingham Baseball League game, that at bat will be deemed to be an illegal at bat and be held to the rules as such.

6.4.3 If the bat is detected during the at bat, the bat is removed from the game and the at bat continues with an approved bat.

6.4.4 If the bat is detected after the at bat and the batter has reached base successfully and no pitch has been thrown to the next batter, the batter will be declared out and all base runners will return to the base they occupied prior to the at bat.

6.4.5 If the bat is detected after the at bat and the batter has reached base successfully and a pitch has been thrown to the next batter, all remain in place but the bat is removed.

6.4.6 If the bat is detected after the at bat and the batter has not reached base successfully, all remains in place. The bat will be removed from the game.

6.4.7 If after the game is over and a bat is detected to be an illegal bat, the coach who found the bat to be illegal must speak with the commissioner of their league to ensure the integrity of the league has not been taken for granted. The commissioner will be responsible for directing the removal of the bat and take disciplinary actions if called for.

6.4.8 If a player or team is caught using an illegal bat more than once, coach and player will be ejected from game and serve a 1 game suspension and be subject to further disciplinary actions if deemed necessary by the FBL BOD

6.5 Minimum Number of Players for a Game - A game can start and be played with 8 players. However, excessive situations where only 8 players are presented for games may result in a suspension of the Head Coach/Manager by the league commissioner. It is the responsibility of the coach to communicate the importance of prior notification for player absences and leveraging of the player call up option.

7.0 Starting and Ending a Game
7.1 Game Duration
7.1.1 Curfews are not enforced when the following day is not a Framingham Public School class day.
7.1.2 The Commissioner or the VP of Upper Leagues  may waive curfews.  Notification needs to occur to the opposing managers and umpires at the earliest moment, but not later than 9:00PM.  The need for such a call should result from a specific condition, and NOT due to slow team tactics.
7.1.3 There are no curfews in effect for the Playoffs or World Series.
7.1.4 Evening games played prior to a Framingham Public School Class Day: No inning starts after 9:30PM or 1 hour and 45 minutes from the start time of the game. A game that starts at 7:45PM would not have a new inning after 9:30PM. A game that starts at 8:00PM would not have a new inning after 9:45PM. All school night games have a hard stop of 10:00PM. For games started at 5:45PM with a double header scheduled for the fields, an inning will not start after 7:30PM.

7.1.5. An inning starts the moment the preceding inning ends.  The umpire’s clock is official.
NOTE:  In the spirit of fair play, no member of either team (coaches or players) should deliberately delay the progress of an inning in order to take unfair advantage of this rule.  If this does occur, the game will be subject to protest by the opposing team.

7.2 Official Game
7.2.1 A complete is 7 innings.
7.2.2 A game becomes official once 5 innings or 4 ½ innings (if the home team is ahead) have been played.
7.2.3 A time limit of 2 hours and 15 minutes will be enforced for all Babe Ruth games. This means no new inning can begin after the 2 hr mark. Games can end in a tie if they are an official game and the time limit has been met. This applies to both weekdays and weekend games when there is a game immediately following the current game. The umpire's watch is the official time.

7.2.4 If a game is played on a weekend prior to 7:30PM and/or there is no school the next day, and there is no game scheduled immediately following the current game, there is no time limit and the game may continue until the 10th inning.  If the game is still tied after 10 innings, the game will be considered a tie in the standings.
7.2.5 Once a game is started and becomes suspended (weather, curfew, darkness) it will be resumed at the point of interruption.  The game will not be replayed in its entirety.  Both teams should mark their books with game status.  If the game is suspended but can be considered official per rule 7.2.2 and a winner can be determined, then the game will be considered complete.  If a winner cannot be determined than the game is suspended. It is the responsibility of the home team Head Coach/Manager to inform the commissioner within 24 hrs of the game that the game was suspended and a winner had not yet been determined. Failure to do report the incomplete game will result in a forfeit for the home team. All pitching shall be counted for this game and towards the weekly inning rule.
7.2.6 A suspended game will be continued on the next available date as determined by the commissioner.  In most cases, this will be the next time the teams meet.
7.2.7 All coaches and players are expected to appear at fields for all games unless officially notified by the league via the website or phone line.
7.2.8  Mercy Rule – if either team is leading by 12 runs or more after 5 complete innings or 4 ½ innings if the home team is leading the game will end.
7.3 On Field Postponement

7.3.1 Based on the weather and/or field conditions prior to the first pitch of a game, the home team Head Coach/Manager must make the final decision the to start the game.
7.3.2 If both Head Coaches/Managers cannot agree on whether or not to start the game, then the game umpire  or Umpire in Chief will make the determination.
7.3.3. Once a game has been started, it is the decision of the umpires whether or not a game should be continued for any reason.
7.3.4. The home team Head Coach/Manager is responsible for notifying the commissioner that a game needs to be rescheduled or continued.

8.0 Pitching
8.1 Eligibility
8.1.1 There is a pitching limitation placed on players that play for their high school team. All players on their high school baseball team roster are eligible to pitch, but are limited to pitching 3 innings per week but no more than two innings a game during their high school season. All high school players are eligible to pitch within the normal pitching rules the day after their last high school season game with the exception of players who are 17 or older, who will be held to the 3 innings regular season rules throughout the playoffs.
8.1.2 For any player that plays for a Legion (summer league) team, coaches need to be aware that a player needs to explicit permission to pitch from the Legion
Head Coach/Manager if there is an overlap between Legion practices and playoff games. The Legion Head Coach/Manager will be reasonable with all requests, but pitching is one area where the Legion coach may not give approval if that same player is slated to pitch in Legion games over that same time period.

NOTE: Framingham Baseball League has no jurisdiction over the Legion program, but the relationship is one of collaboration between leagues.

8.1.3 For any player that plays for a Sr. Babe Ruth (summer league) team, a player is obligated to play for the town spring league if there is a conflict. However, town league Head Coach/Manager are required to notify the Babe Ruth commissioner and the Sr. Babe Ruth Head Coach/Manager if a player is used for pitching to avoid pitching overuse of players.

8.1.4 For any player that is also playing for a travel/club/AAU team, coaches need to be aware of whether or not a player is also pitching for their travel/club/AAU team, and if they have permission to pitch for their Babe Ruth team if both seasons overlap.  This is to avoid pitching overuse of players.

8.1.5 For any player who is a catcher for any of the teams outlined in rules 8.1.1 through 8.1.4, coaches should ensure that the player has permission to pitch for their Babe Ruth team if both seasons overlap.  This is to avoid pitching overuse of players.

8.2 Pitching Week
8.2.1 The pitching week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday.
8.2.2 A pitcher may only pitch seven (7) innings in a pitching week.
8.2.3 A single pitch in an inning constitutes an inning.
8.2.4 Taking the mound in an inning constitutes pitching an inning.

8.3 Rest Rules
8.3.1 Framingham will follow the national Pitch Smart pitching rest guidelines for ages 13 – 18.  As of 2019, these guidelines are the following:











1 - 20

21 - 35

36 - 50

51 - 65





1 - 30

31 - 45

46 - 60

61 - 75





61 - 80




8.3.2 Rest per rule 8.3.1 overrides Pitching Week restrictions under rule 8.2 and all of its sub rules at all times.
8.3.3 Any innings pitched in a suspended or rain delayed game count towards the pitchers totals for the pitching week and for rest rules.
8.3.4 Pitching eligibility in effect for rescheduled and makeup games is in accordance to the calendar week in which the games are played.

Rules for 2024 

Please see below the pitching rules in place for the 2024 season, including the modifications we discussed earlier.

1.       The pitching week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday

2.       There are 7 innings permitted per player per pitching week, with the following exceptions

a.       17 year olds are permitted 5 innings per pitching week, and a maximum of 3 innings in a game

b.       High school pitchers at any level (Freshman, JV, Varsity) are permitted 3 innings per pitching week, and a maximum of 2 innings in a game. The day after their last high school game, regular pitching rules as stated above apply. Regular pitching rules as stated above apply to high school position players (i.e. players who do not pitch on high school times)

3.       Framingham will follow the national Pitch Smart pitching rest guidelines for ages 13 – 18. These guidelines supersede pitching week restrictions and are outlined in the table below:


9.0 Playing Rules
9.1. Pitching

9.1.1 Visits to the Mound Any coach
may make one (1) trip per inning to the mound with a maximum of (2) trips per game per pitcher.  Exceeding these limits requires the pitcher to be removed from the position. If any coach visits the mound twice in one inning (excluding injury) with the same pitcher, that pitcher must be removed. As per baseball rules, a visit is any time a coach crosses the foul lines to visit the mound, except in case of an injury.
9.1.2 Starter Re-Entry A starting pitcher removed from pitching may pitch again in the game as long as he has not been removed from the game. If he is removed from the game or if the Head Coach/Manager makes two trips to the mound in the same inning to the same pitcher, then the pitcher cannot pitch again in that game. Any relief pitcher in the game cannot return to the mound in the same game once he is removed from the mound, irrespective of whether that pitcher assumes a field position or is removed from the game. A starting pitcher can return as a pitcher anytime in the remainder of the game under rule, but only once per game.

9.2 Helmets must be worn by all players while at bat, running the bases, on a base, on deck, or coaching a base.

9.3 The Runner
9.3.1 The intent of the force-play-slide rule is to ensure the safety of all players. This is a safety as well as an interference rule. Whether the defense could have completed the double play has no bearing on the applicability of this rule. This rule pertains to a force-play situation at any base, regardless of the number of outs. On any force play, the runner must slide on the ground before the base and in a direct line between the two bases. It is permissible for the slider’s momentum to carry him through the base in the baseline extended. (The situation governing weather a player was required to slide is solely based on umpire discretion). A runner need not slide directly into a base as long as the runner slides or runs in a direction away from the fielder to avoid making contact or altering the play of the fielder. Interference shall not be called.
NOTE:  “On the ground” means either a head-first slide or a slide with one leg and buttock on the ground before the base.
NOTE: “Directly into a base” means the runner’s entire body (feet, legs, trunk and arms) must stay in a straight line between the bases. Contact with a fielder is legal and interference shall not be called if the runner makes a legal slide directly to the base and in the baseline extended. If contact occurs on top of the base as a result of a “pop-up” slide, this contact is legal. Actions by a runner are illegal and interference shall be called if:
        (1) The runner slides or runs out of the base line in the direction of the fielder and alters the play of a fielder (with or without contact).
        (2) The runner uses a rolling or cross-body slide and either makes contact with or alters the play of a fielder.
        (3) The runner’s raised leg makes contact higher than the fielder’s knee when in a standing position.
        (4) The runner slashes or kicks the fielder with either leg.
        (5) The runner illegally slides toward or contacts the fielder even if the fielder makes no attempt to throw to complete a play. PENALTY for scenarios 1 – 5 under rule will be the following:
        (1) With less than two outs, the batter-runner, as well as the interfering runner, shall be declared out and no other runner(s) shall advance.
        (2) With two outs, the interfering runner shall be declared out and no other runner(s) shall advance.
        (3) If the runner’s slide or collision is flagrant, the runner shall be ejected from the contest.
        (4) If the bases are loaded with no outs, a double-play attempt is made, and interference is called, all other runners must return to their original bases.
9.3.2  If the base moves when the runner slides and the runner loses contact with the base the runner is considered safe, and should not move until time is called.  If the runner moves to the new position of the base, he is still safe if in the opinion of the umpire the player was not attempting to advance.

10.0 All Stars
10.1 The coaches will make selections to the All-Star teams. Each team, no matter their record will select the same number of players.

11.0 Post Season
11.1 Eligibility for Tournament and Travel
11.1.1 A player is eligible for post-season tournament play only if they played in at least ½ of their team’s regularly scheduled spring games. If a player is injured and cannot play during the regular season, they need to notify the commissioner of their league. The commissioner shall make the decision if the player can play during the post season.
11.1.2. No player is eligible to play travel baseball for Framingham Baseball if they did not participate in the spring season and played in at least ½ of their spring team’s games. An exception will be made for any high school player.

11.2 Tie Breakers
11.2.1 In order to seed teams for playoffs and the World Series, the following sequence will determine the positioning of teams with identical wins and losses.  These tiebreakers are to be applied in order.
        · Head to head competition
        · Division record
        · Least runs allowed head to head
        · Most runs scored head to head
        · Record against other playoff teams
        · Least runs allowed over the entire system
        · Coin flip by the Commissioner
As soon as a tie is broken, the remaining teams shall immediately start at the top of the appropriate tiebreaker. If two teams are eliminated on the same tiebreaker, the remaining team is the winner. It is the intent of this rule to eliminate the bottom team, that is, the tie is broken from the loser’s standpoint.
        · Head to head competition
        · Division record
        · Least runs allowed head to head
        · Most runs scored head to head
        · Record against other playoff teams
        · Least runs allowed over the entire schedule
        · Coin flip by the Commissioner

11.3. Tournament: Assuming 6 teams are in the league, the following double elimination playoff format will be followed:

        *Game 1 - seed 4 @ seed 5

        *Game 2 - seed 6 @ seed 3

        *Game 3 - Winning High Seed from Games 1 and 2 @ seed 2

        *Game 4 - Winning Low Seed from Games 1 and 2 @ seed 1

        *Game 5 – ELIMINATION GAME: Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser (high seed home team)       

        *Game 6 – ELIMINATION GAME: Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Loser (high seed home team)

        *Game 7 - Game 3 Winner vs Game 4 Winner (high seed home team)

        *Game 8 – ELIMINATION GAME Game 5 Winner vs Game 6 Winner (high seed home team)

        *Game 9 – ELIMINATION GAME Game 8 Winner vs Game 7 Loser (high seed home team)

        *Game 10 - Championship Game 1

        *Game 11 - Championship Game 2

        *Game 12 - Championship Game 3 (if necessary)

11.4 Pitching Rules
11.4.1 For all of the above, regular season rest rules under rule 8.0 always apply.
11.4.2 The championship series (Games 10 – 12) is considered a different pitching week.
11.4.3 The tournament should begin no sooner than 2 days following the last regular season game of the participants.


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