Ages 7, 8 & 9Updated Tuesday April 28, 2015 by Nashua Cal Ripken.
General - Minimum of 8 kids to play a game, Coaches may combine players from one team with another team if needed to balance a roster in the event a team has less than 8 players. This can be done since this division is not keeping track of wins and losses. No more than 10 players will play in the field each inning (6 infielders / 4 outfielders). No player shall sit on the bench more than one inning per game, and coaches should do their best to keep bench time balanced between all players over the course of a season. Every player should play the infield at least 1 inning per game, but as we are developing all players, it is highly recommended that fielders be rotated between the infield and outfield as much as possible. Players selected to pitch, catch, and field first base will be at the discretion of the coach, but as the Minors level is more about development as opposed to records, it is highly recommended that coaches provide the opportunity to as many players as possible. We are trying to develop as many pitchers and catchers for the next levels of play as possible. Score can be kept at the Minors level, but no records are maintained.
Pitching – The use of player verses coach pitching (or combination of the two) shall be determined by the coaches prior to each game. If a team has children who can pitch, every attempt should be made to allow them to pitch. Rather than walking multiple batters (due to inconsistent pitching) the coach of the team at bat should finish the count once it has reached 4 balls (no walks). The alternative to this approach is to permit multiple walks within an inning and force a pitching change once a maximum has been reached. If an opposing team has no pitchers (or runs out) a coach may pitch (to his own team), all balls and strikes should count under these circumstances (no walks). Our goal is to get players used to pitching and their arms strong enough so that the last half of the season coaches do not pitch at all. A player will be placed at the pitching mound for defensive purposes regardless if pitching or not (when coach pitch, the player should stand to the side of the mound).
Catchers - Each team should have a catcher every inning, if one is not available then a coach will field the position from well behind the plate unless wearing a helmet. Catchers must wear protective cup (boys).
Batting - Only 10 batters maximum in one inning, once reached, inning is over regardless of the number of outs.
Umpiring – All calls are made as a cooperative effort by the coaches from both teams. While in the field, the coach from the pitching team will call balls and strikes from behind the pitching mound. That coach will also call outs for all bases and plays in the field. The coaches for the team at bat will coach first and third base (if available), and assist the opposing coach with calls on plays in the field if requested. The coach on the mound however is always considered the head umpire and his decision is final.
Rules – Balls and Strikes count, players may strike out, but all attempts to avoid walks should be made. Players should be incentivized to put the ball in play and encourage swinging verses “seeking the free base”. Players called out as a result of a play shall return to the dugout. The inning is over once 3 outs have been called or a maximum of 10 batters has been reached.
Field Maintenance - Home team is lines and prep, Away team is post game cleanup. If it is raining do not do the lines and if there is a chance of rain after the game, rake out the lines as they will turn to cement.
Stealing - Once a pitch passes home plate teams can steal. No stealing home under any circumstance. No Leading.
Bats - must say "Official Babe Ruth Baseball". No T-ball bats as they can explode with the hard balls.
Rainouts - are either determined by the league president for the entire league, or if the league chooses to hold games and it is questionable, it is up to the head coaches to decide.
Note: Makeup games are very hard to come by.