To: Babe Ruth League Presidents From: Steven M. Tellefsen, President/CEO Date: November 18, 2016 Re: 2017 Rule Changes - Pitch Count
On behalf of Babe Ruth League, Inc., we want to thank you for the extra efforts you put forth in helping make 2016 a successful and enjoyable season for our participants.
The International Board of Directors has approved the following rule changes beginning with the 2017 season. These changes will be reflected in the 2017 Babe Ruth League, Inc. Rules and Regulations.
BABE RUTH LEAGUE TOURNAMENT PITCHING REGULATIONS
Cal Ripken Baseball, Babe Ruth 13-15 Baseball, and Babe Ruth 16-18 Baseball - Tournament Pitching Rules These pitch count limitations will apply to all tournament games played in District, Area, State, Regional and World Series competition and will completely replace Tournament Regulation Rule 11.05, Paragraph 4 (innings pitch). For the local league season, leagues are still permitted to use pitching limitations as defined in Rule 0.06 and under Local League Options – Pitch Count.
As you may be aware, USA Baseball and MLB team up to help young players reduce arm injuries by providing a comprehensive resource for safe pitching practices. Baseball is a safe game to play at all ages, but research has shown that pitching too much — particularly at a young age — can increase a pitcher's risk of injury. In addition, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) announced that States must implement pitch counts limits for high school pitchers.
Babe Ruth League has historically implemented safety innovations over the years to ensure our participants are provided with a safe, healthy, educational and enjoyable environment in which to enjoy the game of baseball. As we continue to work to keep the game safe and enjoyable for all participants, we feel that protecting youth pitchers’ arms is extremely important. Therefore, we are mandating the following pitcher restrictions and pitcher rest requirements for tournament competition. These requirements are designed to minimize and (or) prevent serious arm injuries to youth players.
There are no limitations on the number of innings a pitcher may pitch in a tournament (bracket or pool play) game subject to the following pitch count limitations:
TOURNAMENT PITCHING REST REQUIREMENTS
DAILY MAX (PITCHES IN GAME/DAY)
League Age 7-8 - Pitcher shall not deliver more than 50 pitches in the same game or on the same day. Exception: If the pitcher reaches the maximum pitch count limit while facing a batter, he may continue to pitch until the batter reaches base safely or is put out.
League Age 9-10 - Pitcher shall not deliver more than 75 pitches in the same game or on the same day. Exception: If the pitcher reaches the maximum pitch count limit while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until the batter reaches base safely or is put out.
League Age 11-12 - Pitcher shall not deliver more than 85 pitches in the same game or on the same day. Exception: If the pitcher reaches the maximum pitch count limit while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until the batter reaches base safely or is put out.
League Age 13-15 - Pitcher shall not deliver more than 95 pitches in the same game or on the same day. Exception: If the pitcher reaches the maximum pitch count limit while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until the batter reaches base safely or is put out.
League Age 16-18 - Pitcher shall not deliver more than 105 pitches in the same game or on the same day. Exception: If the pitcher reaches the maximum pitch count limit while facing a batter, the pitcher may continue to pitch until the batter reaches base safely or is put out.
Intentional Walk Rule– An intentional base on balls may be given by the defensive team by having its catcher or coach request the umpire to award the batter first base. This may be done before pitching to the batter or on any ball and strike count. The ball shall be declared dead before making the award.
All pitchers must adhere to the pitch count rest requirements before pitching in another tournament game.
All players have full pitching eligibility beginning at each level of tournament competition. (District, State, Area, Regional, and World Series)
In a game suspended by darkness, weather, or other causes and resumed the following calendar day, the pitcher at the time the game was halted may continue to the extent of his/her eligibility.
Games in which an ineligible pitcher has been used, as specified above, shall be declared forfeited. The withdrawal of an ineligible pitcher after that pitcher is announced, or after a preparatory (warm-up) pitch is delivered, but before that player has pitched a ball to a batter, shall not be considered a violation. Tournament Officials are urged to take precautions to prevent protests.
Official Pitch Count Record
The Tournament Director must designate the scorekeeper or another game official as the official pitch count statistician. The pitch count statistician shall record all pitches as defined in the rule book (Rule 2.00 – A pitch is a ball delivered to the batter by the pitcher.), in addition to any pitches delivered to the batter ruled a “no pitch” by the umpire.
The pitch count statistician must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by either manager or any umpire. However, the manager has the ultimate responsibility for knowing when his/her pitcher must be removed to meet the mandated rest requirements.
The official pitch count statistician should inform the umpire-in-chief when a pitcher has delivered his/her maximum limit of pitches for the game, as noted above. The umpire-in-chief will inform the pitcher’s manager that the pitcher must be removed. However, the failure by the pitch count statistician to notify the umpire-in-chief, and/or the failure of the umpire-in- chief to notify the manager, does not relieve the manager of his/her responsibility to remove a pitcher when that pitcher is no longer eligible.
In closing, we again thank you for the time you invest for the benefit of our young athletes. The phenomenal success we enjoy is a direct reflection of your ever-increasing dedication and enthusiasm.