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Keene Cal Ripken Baseball, Keene Babe Ruth Softball, and Keene Babe Ruth Baseball

Greater Keene Youth Baseball and Softball Association

Spring Rookie League

Philosophies

The goal of the Rookie League is to teach the basics of batting, running, fielding and pitching. This is the first year that teams keep score of their games, although winning should not be the most important thing. The emphasis is on learning to play as a team and having fun. Children have the ability to pitch, although not every child is at the ability level to pitch at this age. Coaches are encouraged to work with any child who is willing to learn. The expanded strike zone in Rookie League (chins to shins) allows all ability levels to progress, while providing encouragement to those pitching. Junior Umpires (usually 13 or 14 year olds) are being given the opportunity to prepare their skills. Coaches and parents are expected to be lenient towards them as they learn. We strongly encourage coaches to play children at various positions, although the child’s safety is highest priority. Children aren’t expected to play (for instance) first base or catcher until they are comfortable catching a thrown ball.

Roster

  • Roster size will be determined on an annual basis. Teams will have a minimum of 11 players. All eligible players will be drafted and placed on teams. Number of teams may fluctuate with eligible players to allow for equity of roster sizes.
  • Temporary roster shortages (when a team has fewer than ten players) may be filled by first notifying the Rookie League Commissioner, then notifying the Pee Wee League Commissioner who will assist the Rookie League manager in his selection from available Pee Wee League players. Pee Wee league players will not be available if they have a game scheduled the same day as a Rookie League game.
  • Games may be played with as few as eight players, however all attempts should be made to compete with a full roster and batting order. Replacement players must be put at the bottom of the batting order and cannot pitch.

Drafting Rules

  • The draft policy will be reviewed each year.
  • The order of the draft will be determined by lottery on or before draft night. Draft order will be reversed from the selected number on the even rounds of the draft. Example: Draft order 1-9 for round 1, 9-1 for round 2, etc.
  • A maximum of up to two children and grandchildren of manager’s (only) are automatically placed on the manager’s team (at the manager’s option) before the start of the draft.
  • One assistant coach may be named before the start of the draft.  Assistant Coach’s children may be added to the team’s roster before the start of the draft, as long as roster age limitations are not violated AND the number of automatically placed players does not exceed two. 
  • If applicable, when the number of automatically placed players exceeds two players, the Board will decide the draft position of the Coach’s child, which will subsequently determine the draft position surrendered by the drafting team to obtain the Coach’s child. If the Coach has multiple children, the highest draft position will determine the draft position surrendered, hence standard sibling draft rules apply.
  • All teams will draft until they have 5 players and then they will discontinue drafting until all other teams have filled to 5 players. All teams will then resume drafting until all players have been drafted.
  • If a player drafted has an eligible brother/sister in the draft, the sibling will be added to the roster immediately.

Playing Rules

The Official Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth Rules and Regulations will apply, except as noted by the Keene Cal Ripken Baseball Association Rookie League Playing Rules detailed below.

  • No stealing, but bunting is allowed.

  • A rotating batting order will be used, i.e. all players bat, whether playing in the field or not.

  •  An eight run scoring limit will be in effect in innings one and two

  •  A five run scoring limit per inning will be in effect during innings three and four.

  • The eight run limit returns for the fifth inning.

  • Coaches will use pitching machine to pitch (from front of mound) the first two innings of each game (to their own team), then players will pitch (from the rubber) the next two innings (to the opposing team). Pitching machine will pitch the remaining innings- (fifth and sixth innings; if they are played).

  • Pitching rules are a maximum of 1 inning per game, and 2 innings per week for each player. The week begins Monday and ends the following Sunday.

  • Ten players will play in the field (one will field as pitcher, situated next to mound), after each pitch, the adult pitcher should not be involved in the play. The tenth player in the field will be a fourth outfielder. All four outfielders must be positioned at least 15 feet in the outfield and may not be used as a "short-fielder" or as an additional infielder.

  • Coaches pitch to their own team, but don't field the position. Players fielding the pitcher's mound must stay within 3 feet of either side of the rubber until the ball is hit by the batter.

  • When the pitching machine is used each batter receives 6 pitches or gets three swinging strikes, whichever comes first. Note that a foul ball on the 3rd swing that occurs beyond the 3rd pitch is not an out.

  • When the players pitch, regular balls and strikes will be called. When the players pitch no balks will be called. However, pitchers who can’t abide by the intent of 0.06 will be asked to pitch from the stretch. Pitches must be “legal” pitches; it will be up to the umpire to enforce.

  • Every player must play at least two innings in the field and must play in the field by the third inning.

  • In instances where coaches or an umpire feels that a serious injury has occurred, play will stop immediately until after the injured player has been attended to.

  • No inning shall start after 7:45 pm. Determine the watch to be used as official time before the start of the game. Note: the last out of the previous inning is the start time for the next inning. Games played on weekends will have the same time limitations as weekday games, for example, scoring restrictions will be removed 90 minutes after the start of the game after the Second Monday in May.

  • Forfeits should be avoided since games can be played with 8 players. Teams unable to field 8 players will forfeit the game and the score will be recorded as 1-0 in the home team's scorebook. The game will be played by loaning players to the team short players, but the score will not count due to the forfeit.

  • Play stops as soon as a fielder has possession of the ball in the infield.

  • One coach may be on the field to provide defensive direction. When the players are pitching, the team that is batting will provide a coach to stand behind the catcher to get passed balls back into play. However catchers should return ball to pitcher.

  • When there are two outs, a manager may remove the catcher as a base-runner and substitute another runner to allow the catcher to get his/her gear on.

  • Only one base is allowed on an overthrow and there will only be one "overthrow" per play. Runners advance at their own risk on overthrows (they are not awarded the base unless the throw has gone out of play).

Rookie League Playoffs

All teams will compete in a round robin playoff. Rookie league commissioner will determine playoff schedule and home team for each playoff game.

All playoff games must be played to completion. (In event game suspended due to darkness, Game can be completed on a lighted field from point of suspension on that or next available night). Teams with the top 2 records in the round robin playoff will play for the championship.

Tie breakers will be decided as follows:

  • Head to head record with tied team(s)
  • Runs allowed versus tied teams
  • Run scored versus tied teams
  • Coin toss will be used to determine playoff position if required

Trophies will be awarded for the Winner and Runner Up in the championship game.

Umpires

Rookie League will use coaches and adults for umpiring during regular season games.  Senior and Junior umpires will be utilized for playoff games.  Deviations from this format will be at the discretion of the Rookie League Commissioner. During the regular season, coaches on the field (either on mound, at bases, or in the field) will make field calls in Coach Pitch innings. Coaches will call Ball/Strike when their players are pitching (from the mound) and base coaches/field coach will assist in umping field calls. 

During the playoffs, umpires will make field calls in Coach/ Machine Pitch innings, and then move behind the plate when players pitch.

Safety

In case of injury that prevents a child from participation in a game, a letter from the child’s parents will be required for the child to return to league activity. Children with a cast on an arm or hand that prevents them from gripping the bat properly will not be allowed to participate in games or practices. Players should not return to play without a note of clearance from Doctors or Parents.

Managers

  • Anyone wishing to become a manager in any league must fill out the application for manager/coach position and return it to the league commissioner. The Board will review the applications annually. The Board of Directors will approve all managers. All Coaches will be subject to a national background check.
  • All Coaches must have completed Babe Ruth League/Ripken Baseball Coaching Certification Program. Coaches who successfully pass the Babe Ruth League Coaching Education and Certification Program will receive a certification that is valid for their entire coaching career with Babe Ruth League, Inc. This also applies to any coach who has already taken and successfully passed the Babe Ruth Coaching Education and Certification Program.
  • All managers will be subject to a performance review by the Board of Directors.
  • Managers must return all equipment and uniforms at the end of the season as directed by the equipment manager.
  • Any Manager or Coach who is ejected from the game will result in banishment from that game plus the following two games. Coaches may not attend games from which they are suspended. If a player or coach is ejected twice in a season, the minimum penalty shall be suspension for the remainder of the season, including playoffs.

 Last Revised March 2018


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Greater Keene Youth Baseball and Softball Association

PO Box 1044 
Keene, New Hampshire 03431

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