League Rules

Approved by the Board of Directors - April 13, 2017

UpdatedMonday November 20, 2017 byNashua Cal Ripken.

Article I:  League Rules

  • The Board of Directors will govern all league rules. Rules not specified within this document are specified within the Cal Ripken Division Rules and Regulations. Rules not specified within the Cal Ripken Division Rules and Regulations are specified within the Official Baseball Rules.
  • The rules contained herein are the official league rules. In addition to league rules, the Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth Baseball Rules and Regulations shall apply as well as the Official Baseball Rules.  The order of precedence shall be League Rules, Cal Ripken Division of Babe Ruth Baseball Rules and Regulations, and Official Baseball Rules.

Article II: Tryouts/Registration

  • Any player aged 8 through 12 years old who is selected for a Major League or a AAA roster must play for that team.
  • Any player that attends tryouts and is not selected to a Major League team shall be drafted to a AAA team.  Players 10 – 12 years old, provided they attended tryouts, may be brought up by any Major League Team to fill a roster vacancy.
  • If any applicant (any individual who has completed and returned a valid application) is unable to tryout at the scheduled tryouts, he/she may tryout during a supplemental tryout scheduled by the president, provided he/she or their parents or legal guardians have contacted the league president and requested that the applicants name be added to the supplemental draft list.
  • All registration fees must be paid prior to tryouts. 
  • All refunds of league fees to a player (or parent/guardian of the player) who has quit or been injured during the season is prohibited.

Article III: Draft Process

  • Each year the league will conduct a draft for the Majors and AAA levels. Minors, Rookie & T-Ball players will be assigned by the registrar.
  • Following tryouts, the team manager (or his assignee) will draft prospective players from the draft list.
  • To be eligible for selection, a prospective player must have registered and performed during the tryout, or have been evaluated in advance of the tryout (if the player cannot attend the tryout).  This includes children of managers, assistant coaches and brothers/sisters of players already on the team (players already on a Major league or AAA roster do not have to try out again each year.) Registrations after the draft will be placed on a team by the board.
  • Parents may petition the league for an exemption from any minimum/ maximum age requirements before tryouts and the draft process. The minimum league age for Majors is 10 years old and 8 years old for AAA. The maximum league age for AAA is 11 years old.
  • Majors will draft first, followed by AAA. All 12-year olds must be selected by the Majors unless the parent or player agent requests otherwise.
  • The Majors draft will be conducted serially according to the inverse order of the previous year’s regular season final standings until all team roster openings are filled. The AAA draft will utilize a random drawing to determine draft order and will use a serial draft order process whereby the person with the last draft pick in the first round will have the first draft pick in the second round.  The teams would be in normal order in odd rounds and reversed in even rounds.
  • A new manager to the league should not automatically get an assistant coach, they would need to draft for one. (Majors only)
  • Siblings* (who are trying out) of players already on a roster when the draft begins can be protected for the first two rounds but must be selected as the third round pick in order to be protected. The same holds true for manager’s children. If there is more than one sibling, manager’s child trying out, those children must be selected in the draft rounds immediately following the 3rd round, that is, the fourth round for a second child, fifth round for a third child, etc, if it is desired to protect those children.

* Natural, adopted, or documented legal guardianship

Expansion Teams

  • Expansion team is to get the 1st pick of the draft (if two teams are required, a coin flip will be utilized to determine 1st and 2nd overall pick).
  • A Manager’s child will be picked by the 2nd round.  (*Exception to this rule can be made due to that player’s ability.  When a Manager of an expansion team is chosen, the Board members will then discuss and decide (at that time) that child’s ability and what round in the draft he should be picked in).
  • After the first two rounds, one (1) 12 year old player will be chosen by the expansion team(s).
  • After the 3rd round, two (2) 12 year old players will be chosen by the expansion team(s).
  • After the 4th round, one (1) 12 year old player will be chosen by the expansion team(s).
  • The remainder of the draft picks will be chosen accordingly to fill in all remaining spots for each team.  

Article IV: Rosters

  • There shall be no more than 8 players of the same age on each Major League roster. There shall be a maximum of one (1) ten year old on each major league roster at the end of the draft.
  • All major league rosters must have a minimum of twelve (12) players. In the event that any major league team has a roster spot opening during the season, the roster spot opening must be filled within one (1) league week.  A league week is defined as the period of time in which two (2) or more regular season league games are scheduled.
  •  A roster opening will be created when a player is unable or unwilling to complete the season including playoff tournament. Any injury, which will cause a player to miss a league week, must be reported to the League President.  Any player who does not complete the season due to injury will remain on the team’s roster for the following season subject to League age guidelines. Players who quit, may tryout and be drafted by any team subject to League age guidelines.
  • The League President must approve any requests to move a player to different levels based on skill and level of play.  All players moved to the Major league level must have tried out. 
  • A AAA team will draft any tryout applicant not selected to a Major League roster during the draft.  If however, during the course of the season a Major League roster opening occurs, any tryout applicant is eligible to be drafted onto any Major League team’s roster.
  • No trades are permitted for either players or draft choices


Article IV: League Rules

Section 1: Local League Options

  • The Babe Ruth League, Inc. Baseball Rules and Regulations and Official Playing Rules” – Cal Ripken Division allows a number of local league options to be adopted by each league.  The following are the options chosen by the League:
    • Dual participation by a player on a team or in a league of another baseball program is allowed.
    • The League will use Cal Ripken tournament pitching rules during league playoffs.
    • The League allows re-entry of already used players if all substitutes have been used and an injury occurs. Selection of this substitute must be made by the opposing manager. This type of re-entry can only take place when an injury prevents a player from continuing in the game. The injured player, once removed from the game, cannot re-enter.
    • Each team may use a EH (extra hitter) in the lineup.   The same substitution rules apply. He/she must remain in the same spot in the batting order and any substitution into a field position will not change the batting lineup position at any time. In the case where an injury occurs and the team started with 10 players, the batting order will be compressed to 9 players and the opposing team will continue to use a 10 position batting order.
    • Games at the Majors level will be played a full six innings, or until called by the umpires (darkness, weather).
    • The 10 Run Rule Option from the Babe Ruth League Inc., (Cal Ripken Division) rulebook will be used by the Majors during regular season games or league playoff games.
    • If a runner attempting to reach home plate intentionally and maliciously runs into a defensive player in the area of home plate, he/she will be called out on the play and ejected from the game.  The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for crashing the defensive player, rather than trying to reach home plate.  Obviously, this is an umpire’s judgment call.
    • A home run is defined as a ball being hit over the outfield fences in fair territory.  A ball hitting the yellow line on the top of the fence must clear the fence to be ruled a home run.

Section 2: Special League Rules (AAA level)

  • Time Limit AAA: No new inning shall begin after 2 hours of play (Does not apply to play-offs).
  • All available offensive players will bat in concurrent order whether they played defense or not.
  • 10 players must play defense.  The 10th player must play in the outfield.
  • A maximum of ten batters may bat in an inning. When the tenth batter bats, there are automatically two outs.
  • Play will cease and no further runs will score when the third out is recorded following standard baseball rules or when the defensive player touches home plate while holding the ball.
  • Last Batter: The offensive team shall announce "Last Batter" prior to the last batter taking his at-bat. In the event the offensive team does not announce "Last Batter," the offensive team shall be retired and any score made on the at-bat is nullified.
  • Free substitutions will be allowed.
  • The infield fly rule does not apply.
  • Stealing bases is allowed (including home plate).
  • No balks will be called against the pitcher.

Section 3: Other Miscellaneous League Rules

  • “Slash bunting” is prohibited. A slash bunt infraction will result in the batter being called out and the ball is dead.
  • Away teams must drag the field before and after games. Home teams are responsible for manning the concessions booth with two parents.
  • All batters, on deck hitters, and players in the batting cage must wear helmets.  

Article V: Substitution (Majors Only for Regular Season and Playoff Games)

  • Every player must play 6 outs in the field, and come to bat. Player injury or illness is the only exception to this rule.
  • A player is not legally in the game until he/she has played in the field or has come to bat.
  • A starter may reenter the game one time. He/she must reenter the game in the same spot in the batting order.
  • Each team must start the game with a minimum of 9 players. Any team who does not field the minimum of 9 players automatically forfeits that game.  Once begun, a game may be played with 8 players. 
  • Penalty for violation of any rule contained in this section will result in automatic forfeiture of the game in which the violation occurred.

Article VI: Conduct and Field Decorum

  • Any Manager or Coach who is ejected from a game is automatically suspended from the following game.
  • Any Manager or Coach who physically abuses or threatens physical abuse upon any umpire will be is suspended by the league for the remainder of the season.
  • Reinstatement will be determined after a written application for reinstatement is reviewed by the league president / board of directors.
  • Only the manager or, in the manager’s absence, the manager’s designated representative, may confer with the umpire regarding any game related discussion, (i.e. rules interpretation) during the game.
  • During pregame warm-ups, the team that does not have authorized use of the field, players must be kept either in the assigned dugout, batting cage or outside the fence, removed from the perimeter of the field, and under adult supervision. The only exceptions to this rule will be persons warming up the pitcher or pitchers and players protecting the pitchers warming up.  One team will have use of the playing field while the other team has use of the batting cage and then switch appropriately before game time.
  • Any abusive language by any player or coach directed at or to any opposing player or coach, done with the intent to intimidate said player or coach shall not be tolerated at any time before, during, or after any game. Any player or coach who refuses to comply with this rule, after receiving a warning by any umpire, shall be ejected from the game. If the incident occurs after the game has been completed, the offending player or coach shall be suspended from the following game.
  • Cause for ejection and suspension. If in the judgment of the umpires on the field, any player who makes contact with another player with the intent to injure, will be immediately ejected from the game.  This applies to all players on offense or defense.  There is no appeal.  At the time of the infraction, the ball is dead.  The umpire may issue an out or award additional bases in addition to ejecting the player, at their discretion
  • Any league player who is responsible for any damage or vandalism to the facilities and/or property used by the Nashua Cal Ripken League will immediately be suspended from further league play, pending a review of his/her actions by the League President and the Board of Directors.
  • No alcoholic beverages are allowed on the field, in the immediate areas at any time.  Any person who does not cooperate with this rule will be ejected from the premises and will be suspended from league participation in the future.         
  • Any disruption of a game by a player, parent, relative or any other adult will cause immediate ejection and removal of the person or persons from the premises identified by the umpire and or league officials. 
  • Any player deliberately throwing a bat, helmet or any other piece of equipment or that is displaying inappropriate conduct (including profanity, obscene language or gestures) will be subject to removal from the game by any umpire and subject to suspension from the league.
  • Smoking is not permitted on or near the field at any time.                                  

Article VII: Coaches  

  • Coaching vacancies are filled by a majority vote of the Board of Directors. Each person interested in a position must apply for the position in order to be considered.
  • There may be 1 Manager, 2 Assistant Coaches, and a scorekeeper.  The name of a fourth coach can be added to the roster in place of the batboy. This would enable that person to coach on an all-star team.
  • No more than 4 adults are allowed within the confines of the playing area per team. The Manager is responsible for field decorum of all team-related adults within the respective team’s playing area.
  • In the event that a Manager is unavailable due to personal reasons, no one other than 1 of the 3 assistant coaches named on the roster shall assume the duties of Manager.
  • In the event that none of the 4 coaches named on the roster are physically present for a game, an exception may be made subject to the approval of the opposing manager and League President.
  • The names of the Manager and 3 assistants shall be those on official league rosters, submitted to the league president.

Article VIII: Protest

  • All formal protests must be delivered in writing to the League President within 24 hours of the incident. Upon receipt of the protest, the League President and Board of Directors shall meet, discuss and agree upon appropriate action.



Article IX: Official Scorebook

  • The home team scorebook is the official scorebook. However, both scorebooks (visitor and home) must be verified at each half-inning relative to: score, substitutions, batting order integrity, and any changes or performances, which would affect the pitching, rules.

Article X: League Rule Changes

  • No rule modifications are permitted without a majority vote of the Board of Directors.

Section 1: Regular Season Playoffs

  • Two or more teams tied with the same regular season record will be seeded for playoff seeding, and drafting purposes the following year, by the following sequential tie breaking procedure:
    • Regular season wins and losses versus each other.
    • If (a) fails to break tie the teams will look at win /lose against the third place, then if the same will drop to fourth, then again through division until a difference has been met where one team has more wins against a higher seed team  If all are equal with wins to the same teams then will go to total runs given up( Defensive), then if equal then go to a sudden death one game for first and second place only, All others go to a coin flip
    • In the event that the sudden death format is not feasible based on time / schedules / other conflict, a coin flip will be used to break the tie in place of the sudden death playoff format.
  • Playoff format:
    • Double elimination tournament.
    • Teams will be seeded based on the regular season records.  Tiebreakers will be determined first by head-to-head record, and then by coin toss.
    • Higher seed is home throughout the tournament, with exception to an ‘if’ game in the championship that will be determined by coin flip.

Section 2: Tournaments and All Star Coaches

  • The All-Star coaches are responsible to provide all necessary documentation and paperwork to the district commissioner for qualification to participate in the All-Star tournaments.  This includes a copy of the leagues insurance policy, age and birth certificates or certified Babe Ruth cards, team roster details and any other obligation summarized in the managers responsibility document provided in advance of the tournament by the state commissioner of NH.  Each eligible All-Star coach is obligated to make their decision / commitment to coach each respective All Star team to the League President by prior to the draft of each applicable year. Failure to commit by the deadline may result in removing the privilege to coach the associated All Star team.
  • No coach or player can participate in two All Star teams in any capacity.
  • The head coach of each All-Star team selects assistant coaches but must be a coach named on a league team roster.
  • All-Star teams must have a minimum of 12 players on the roster with a maximum of 15 players allowed.
  • Prospective All-Star players may only play for their respective league age team, with the following exception:
    • All players League age 8 are allowed to try out for the 9 year old all-star team in that year.  The All-Star Manager is not required to pick any 8 year old to play on the team.  If the All-Star Manager does pick 1 or more 8 year olds to play on the team he is not required to have a specific number of 9 year olds or guarantee any player playing time regardless of age.
  • Players must have played in 50% of the regular season games except for injury to be eligible for the All-Star team.