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Ted Williams (TW) and Babe Ruth (BR) League Playing Rules

PLEASE NOTE: In the case a situation is not addressed in this set of rules the ruling will default to the "Offical Rules of Major League Baseball".

1.1. Age Eligibility
1.1.1. The age cutoff for determining age is April 30th. This date was adopted by Framingham Baseball after it was implemented by USA Baseball in collaboration with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the International Baseball Association Federation (IBAF).
 
1.1.2. The baseball eligibility age range for TW is 13-14 and age range for BR is 13-17 with an exception for 17s noted below.
 
1.1.3. Exclusion exception for 17s: A committee of BR 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.
 
1.2. Official Roster
1.2.1. 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.

1.2.2. Each 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.

1.2.3. 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.

1.2.4. Each team may name a single bench coach/score person on the roster.  A bench coach must be approved by the commissioner prior to the season.

1.2.5. Only the appointed manager or one of the approved assistant coaches is allowed to represent a team on the field.
 
1.2.6. 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 commissioners of both TW and BR and the VP of Operations for Ages 13 and Above.
 
1.2.7. Each year the TW league will redraft players and will not retain affiliation with the original team necessarily unless drafted again.
 
1.2.8. The BR league will retain its players once they are drafted and for as long as they are eligible to play in BR.

1.3. Players Absence
1.3.1. If a player misses a game and does NOT notify the manger prior to the game being played, then the manager may withhold (not play) that player in the next game that the player does show up.  The manager, if he/she chooses to exercise the team suspension, should let the opposing team 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 and ideally notified prior to a game being played.

1.4. Calling Players Up for BR Games
1.4.1. BR Managers are allowed and encouraged to call-up TW players as needed to field a team. Ideally, the BR coach will consider call ups needed to field a minimum of 10 players for a game.
 
1.4.2. The TW and BR league commissioners will compile a list of eligible players that seem to meet a skill level adequate to compete safely at the BR level. This list will be reviewed and approved by the VP of Operations for Ages 13 and Above. There are no team affiliations between TW and BR. All teams will have access to the same list of players.
 
1.4.3. If a TW League player is called up to a BR game, then the TW league player shall not play more innings than any regular member of the BR team.
 
1.4.4. BR teams are encouraged to call up different players off the approved list. For this reason, a TW player is allowed to play a maximum of three (3) times for any one BR team. After this limit is reached, a BR 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 BR game cannot be played due to insufficient number of players. Exceptions to the limit must be communicated to the commissioner of the BR league on the day of the game. However, the use a specific player for a 4th time 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.
 
1.4.5. A player called up to a BR game cannot skip his/her TW 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.  
 
1.4.6. Under no circumstances can a TW player pitch for a BR game. Failure to comply with this rule will result in the following 1) Forfeiture of the game by the BR team, 2) Elimination of the TW player off the call up eligibility list, 3) Suspension of the BR Manager for one game.
 
1.5 Calling Players Up for TW Games
1.5.1. TW Managers are allowed and encouraged to call up 12-year old Little League (LL) players as needed to field a team. Ideally, the BR coach will consider call ups needed to field a minimum of 10 players for a game.
 
1.5.2. The TW, LL Majors, and AAA league commissioners will compile a list of eligible players that seem to meet a skill level adequate to compete safely at the TW level. This list will be reviewed and approved by the VP of Operations for Ages 12 and Below. There are no team affiliations between LL and TW. All teams will have access to the same list of players.
 
1.5.3. If a LL League player is called up to a TW game, then the LL league player shall not play more innings than any regular member of the TW team.
 
1.5.4. TW teams are encouraged to call up different players off the approved list. For this reason, a LL player is allowed to play a maximum of three (3) times for any one TW team. After this limit is reached, a TW 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 TW game cannot be played due to insufficient number of players. Exceptions to the limit must be communicated to the commissioner of the BR league on the day of the game. However, the use a specific player for a 4th time 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.
 
1.5.5. A player called up to a TW game cannot skip his/her LL 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.
 
1.5.6. Under no circumstances can a LL player pitch for a TW game. Failure to comply with this rule will result in the following 1) Forfeiture of the game by the TW team, 2) Elimination of the LL player off the call up eligibility list, 3) Suspension of the TW Manager for one game.
 
1.6. Calling BR Players Down for TW Games
1.6.1. In general, the leagues prefer players to be called up to the next relative level. However, exceptions will be allowed but with specific guidance outlined below:
a) There are less than 8 players and not adding the BR player will mean forfeiture. A game can be played if only 8 players are present on a team to begin play.
b) Must be the 8th player and allowed to play the entire game even if another player arrives late.
If this situation occurs, then the TW coach must notify the TW commissioner as soon as reasonably possible. Repeat use of BR players due to improper planning and selection of call ups may result in a suspension of the coach by the Commissioner
 
 
1.6.2. The use of highly skilled BR players in a TW game is discouraged. At no time, nor under any circumstances, is a 16 or 17-year old allowed to play in a TW game. A list of players ideally considered as call down candidates will be provided to TW coaches prior to the season. In any case, where there is use of a player not on the recommended list, and under the age of 16, used in a TW game, the TW manager must discuss the reasons with the TW commissioner and determine a plan for ways to avoid similar situations in the future. A repeat situation may result in disciplinary actions by the TW commissioner. The use of a 16 or 17-year old will mean the following 1) Forfeiture of the game by the TW team, 2) Suspension of the TW Manager for one game, 3) Suspension of the 16-year old player for his/her next game.
 
1.6.3. A BR player called down to play in a TW game must play the entire game he/she is there unless due to injury.
 
1.6.4. Under no circumstances can a BR player pitch for a TW game. Failure to comply with this rule will result in the following 1) Forfeiture of the game by the TW team, 2) Suspension of the TW Manager for one game.
 

1.7. Game Preliminaries
1.7.1. Playing Time
1.7.1.1. Every Player must play a minimum of 3 consecutive innings (18 consecutive outs) and bat once.

1.7.1.2. 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 5th inning.

1.7.1.3. A player may renter a game as long as the player being replaced has meet the criteria stated in 1.5.1.1. 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.

1.7.2. Batting Order
1.5.2.1. Each coach must exchange a written batting and available substitutes prior to the start of the game.

1.7.3. Tenth Player (Extra Hitter Rule)
1.7.3.1. A tenth player may be added by a team 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.

1.7.3.2. The use of a tenth player is optional for each team on a game by game basis.  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 with nine – no automatic out is recorded in the open slot.

1.7.3.3. If a team elects to use only nine (9) players in a given game, then a tenth player spot cannot be added during that game.

1.7.3.4. If a team wishes to use a tenth player for a given game, the 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.

1.7.4. Legal Bats
All bats used in a Framingham Babe Ruth or Ted Williams 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.
 
1.7.5. 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 coach 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.

1.8. Starting and Ending a Game
1.8.1. Game Duration
1.8.1.1. Curfews are not enforced when the following day is NOT a Framingham Public School class day.

1.8.1.2. The Commissioner or the VP of 13 may waive curfews.  Notification needs to occur to the opposing managers and umpires at the earliest moment, but not later than 9PM.  The need for such a call should result from a specific condition, and NOT due to slow team tactics.

1.8.1.3. There are no curfews in effect for the Playoffs or World Series.

1.8.1.4. Evening games played prior to a Framingham Public School Class Day:

1.8.1.4.1. TW: No inning starts after 9:30.

1.8.1.4.2. For TW games started at 5:30 with a double header scheduled for the fields, an inning will not start after 7:30PM

1.8.1.4.3. Majors: No inning starts after 10PM.

1.8.1.5. 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; their coaches or players should deliberately delay the progress of an inning in order to take unfair advantage of this rule.  The game will be subject to protest by the opposing team and/or their coaches.

1.8.2. Official Game
1.8.2.1. A complete is 7 innings.

1.8.2.2. A game becomes official once 5 innings or 4 ½ innings (if the home team is ahead) have been played.

1.8.2.3. A TW League game played on weekdays prior to Labor Day will be official after four (4) innings or three and half (3 ½) innings (if the home team is ahead).

1.8.2.4. 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 official and a winner can be determined the game ends.  If a winner cannot be determined than the game is suspended. It is the responsibility of the Home Team Manager to inform his commissioner within 24 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 inning shall be counted for this game and towards the weekly inning rule.

1.8.2.5. A suspended game will be continued at the next available date as determined by the commissioner.  In most cases this will be the next time the teams meet.

1.8.2.6. All coaches and players are expected to appear at fields unless officially notified by the league via the website or phone line.

1.8.2.7  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.
 
1.8.3. On Field Postponement
1.8.3.1. As the weather of field conditions dictate and prior to the first pitch, the home team manager must make the final decision the ability to start the game.

1.8.3.2. If the managers cannot agree then the UIC or game official will make the determination.
1.8.3.3. Once a game has been started it is the decision of the umpires’ whether or not a game should be continued.

1.8.3.4. The home team coach is responsible for notifying the commissioner that a game needs to be rescheduled or continued.
 
1.9. Pitching
1.9.1. Eligibility
1.9.1.1.  There is a pitching limitation placed on players that play for their HS team. All players on their HS 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 HS season. All HS players are eligible to pitch within the normal pitching rules the day after their last HS season game with the exception of 17s who will be held to the 3 innings regular season rules throughout the playoffs.
 
1.9.1.2. For any player that plays for Legion (summer league), coaches need to be aware that a player needs to get permission from the Legion coach if there is an overlap between Legion practices and playoff games. The Legion coach will be reasonable with all requests, but pitching is one area where the Legion coach may not give approval if that same player is planned for pitching in Legion games in that same time period. Note: Framingham Baseball League has no jurisdiction over the Legion program, but the relationship is one of collaboration between leagues.
 

1.9.1.3. For any player that plays for Sr. Babe Ruth (summer league), a player is obligated to play for the town spring league if there is a conflict. However, town league coaches are required to notify the Babe Ruth commissioner and the Sr. Babe Ruth coach if a player is used for pitching in an effort to help avoid pitching overuse of players.


1.9.2. Pitching Week
1.9.2.1. The pitching week begins on Saturday and ends on Friday.

1.9.2.2. A pitcher may only pitch seven (7) innings in a pitching week.

1.9.2.3. A single pitch in an inning constitutes an inning.

1.9.2.4. Taking the mound in an inning constitutes pitching an inning.

1.9.3. Rest Rules
1.9.3.1. If a pitcher pitches more than three (3) innings then he/she must have two (2) days rest.

1.9.3.2. Rest Rules override Pitching Week restrictions at all times.

1.9.3.3. Any innings pitched in a suspended or rain delayed game count towards the pitchers totals for the pitching week and for rest rules.

1.9.3.4. Pitching eligibility in effect for rescheduled and makeup games go in accordance to the calendar week in which the games are played.
(NOTE: with runners on 1st and 3rd, the fake to 3rd and turn or throw to 1st is now considered a balk)

1.10. Playing Rules
1.10.1. Pitching
1.10.1.1. Visits to the Mound
1.10.1.1.1. The manager 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 a coach visits the mound twice in one inning (excluding injury) with the same pitcher, that pitcher must be removed.

1.10.1.1.2. As per baseball rules, a visit is any time a coach crosses the foul lines to visit the mount, except in case of an injury.

1.10.1.2. Starter Re-Entry
1.10.1.2.1. 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 manager and/or coach makes two trips to the mound in the same inning to the same pitcher, then the pitcher cannot pitch again in that game. Any other 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.

1.10.1.3. Pitching Rubber
1.10.1.3.1. The pitcher’s foot must be in contact with the rubber at the start of his/her motion.

1.10.1.3.2. Losing contact with the pitching rubber will constitute a balk.
1.10.1.3.3. Pitching off the side of the rubber is not allowed.
 
1.10.1.4.1. For the TW League, each pitcher is entitled to 1 balk warning (should the pitcher balk) in each game before Memorial Day.  After Memorial Day, all balks will be called


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

1.10.3. The Runner
1.10.3.1. 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.
 
a) 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).
Exception—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.
 
(1)  “On the ground” means either a head-first slide or a slide with one leg and buttock on the ground before the base.
 
(2)  “Directly into a base” means the runner’s entire body (feet, legs, trunk and arms) must stay in a straight line between the bases.
 
b. 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.
                               
A.R.—If contact occurs on top of the base as a result of a “pop-up” slide, this contact is legal.
c. 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; or
 
(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 1-5
 
(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.
A.R.—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.
 
1.10.3.2   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.
 
1.10.3.3.  Any runner is out when the runner slides head first into a base.  The only exception to this rule is when the runner is returning to a base previously occupied.

1.11. All Stars
1.11.1. The coaches will make selections to the All-Star teams. Each team no matter record will select the same amount of players

1.11. Post Season
1.11.1. Eligibility for Tournament and Travel
1.11.1.1. A player is eligible for post-season tournament play only if they played in ½ of their team’s regularly scheduled spring games. If a player is injured and cannot play during the regular, they need to notify the commissioner of their league. The commissioner shall make the decision if the player can play during the post season.

1.11.1.2. No player is eligible to play travel baseball for Framingham Baseball if they did not participate in the FBL season and played ½ of their spring team’s games. Exception is made for any 16 or older player in consideration for Senior Babe.

1.11.2. Tie Breakers
1.11.2.1. 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.
TWO WAY TIES:
·         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
 
THREE or MORE WAY TIES:
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

1.11.3. Tournament (Babe Ruth)
1.11.3.1. The playoffs will consist of the top 3 teams from each division.  The number 1 seed in each division will get a bye.  The number 2 and number 3 seeds will play a single game.  The winner of this game will play a best 2 out of 3 with the number 1 seed.  The number 1 seed is the home team for the first game.  The winner this series receives the pennant.
 
1.11.3.2. The winner of each pennant will play each other in a 3 game series with the home team decided by the tiebreakers above.

1.11.4. Pitching Rules
1.11.4.1. The play in game between the 2nd and 3rd place teams and League Championship Series are considered one pitching week.
 
1.11.4.2. The World Series is a different pitching week.kk

1.11.4.3. For all of the above rest rules always apply.

1.11.4.4. The playoff games should a played no sooner than 2 days following the last regular season game of the participants.

Ted Williams Division Playoff Rules:
All teams make the playoffs in the Ted Williams Division. There will be sets of preliminary series set up in each division culminating in a World Series with one team representing the American League and one representing the National League.
 
The format is as follows:
 
Divisional Series
AL seed #1 – vs – AL Seed #4
AL seed #2 – vs – AL Seed #3
 
NL seed #1 – vs – NL Seed #4
NL seed #2 – vs – NL Seed #3
 
All are best 2-out-of-3 with the higher seed being the home team in games 1 and 3
 
League Championship Series
Winner of Divisional Series 1 – vs – Winner of Divisional Series 2 (AL)
Winner of Divisional Series 1 – vs – Winner of Divisional Series 2 (NL)
 
All are best 2-out-of-3 with the higher seed being the home team in games 1 and 3
 
World Series
Winner of AL Divisional Series – vs - Winner of NL Divisional Series


Addendum regarding non-approved bats

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, for example:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 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