Ages 6, 7 & 8Updated Tuesday April 28, 2015 by Nashua Cal Ripken.
General – No Minimum of 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 cannot field a minimum of 6 positions. This can be done since this division is not keeping track of wins and losses. All players will play in the field each inning, up to 8 Infielders (1st, 2nd, 3rd, SS, 2xP, C, Gap Between 1st and 2nd) and remaining players in the Outfield. Every player should play the infield at least 2 innings 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 catch and field first base will be at the discretion of the coach, but as the Rookies level is more about development as opposed to records, it is highly recommended that coaches provide the opportunity to as many players as possible. Exceptions should be made solely on the basis of safety (a child at first base must be aware and capable of blocking a ball even if catching it is not possible). No score or records are maintained at this level.
Pitching – The use of the pitching machine is mandatory in order to insure the most consistent pitch. If the machine does not appear to work as intended, adjustments to the location of the machine can be made. DO NOT ADJUST the positions on the pitching machine, please call upon the league coordinator for additional instruction or adjustment. The pitching machine is calibrated at the beginning of each season and if coaches make adjustments, it will increase/decrease speed and angle which can impact the development of our players at this level. Two pitchers should be used for defensive purposes, one on either side of the mound and clear from the pitching machine and coach operating it.
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). Even if a catcher is in the game, a coach should be positioned behind the plate to recover passed balls.
Batting – All players shall bat each inning (completely through the entire order) regardless of the outs called in the field of play. Balls and strikes are not called at this level and a child should receive 3-5 pitches. If contact is not made on the sixth pitch, the coach behind the plate shall throw a ball into the field of play and the batter shall attempt to reach first base. Once the batting order has reached the last batter, the coach shall announce “Last Batter” and this player will complete a walk off home run regardless of the play in the field or if contact is made. Coaches shall rotate batting line up each inning so that all players have the opportunity to bat first, last, and all in between throughout the entire season.
Umpiring – All calls are made as a cooperative effort by the coaches from both teams. The coaches for the team at bat will operate the pitching machine and instruct batters at home plate and/or first base, and make calls on plays in the field. The coaches for defense should be either in the outfield (for providing instruction to both infield and outfield positions) or behind the plate to assist with passed balls and providing instruction to the catcher.
Rules – Balls and Strikes do not count. Players should be incentivized to put the ball in play and run hard through first base during every at bat regardless if contact is made. Players called out as a result of a play shall return to the dugout. The inning is over once all players have completed an at bat for the inning. Each at bat shall result in a single (or out) unless the ball is hit in the air beyond the infield(and not caught by a defensive player), in such case a double shall be awarded the base runner.
Field Maintenance - Home team sets up and drags infield before game, Away team tears down and drags field after game.
Stealing – No Leading or Stealing under any circumstances.
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.