Southwestern Youth Association Sports

SYA Babe Ruth Local Rules (Standard Operating Procedures)

SYA  Babe Ruth teams shall play by the Official Babe Ruth Rules with the following Local Rules exceptions.


SYA teams participate in an Interleague Schedule. The following Local rules apply when a SYA team is the Home team. When SYA is the Visiting team, the Home team’s Local rules apply. Coaches should discuss the playing rules with the opposing team’s Coaches and Umpires prior to the start of a game at the home plate meeting.

I.     League Composition


The SYA  Babe Ruth League shall consist of the following Divisions:

  1. Senior American League for players sixteen (16) to eighteen (18) years of age.
  2. Senior National League for players sixteen (16) to eighteen (18) years of age.
  3. American League for players fourteen (13) to and fifteen (15) years of age.
  4. National League for players fourteen (13) to and fifteen (15) years of age.
  5. Federal (Prep) League for players thirteen (13) years of age.


Any leagues may be combined into one Division when insufficient numbers of players are available in either League to support a sufficient number of teams to ensure competitive play

II.            Team Composition

  1. Senior American and National (or combined) Leagues:  Each team shall consist of not less than twelve (12) or more than eighteen (18) players.
  2. American League:  Each team shall consist of not less than twelve (12) or more than fifteen (15) players.  Each team will have no more than eight (8) players of any one age.
  3. National League:  Each team shall consist of not less than twelve (12) or more than fifteen (15) players.  Each team will have no more than eight (8) players of any one age.
  4. Federal (Prep) League:  Each team shall consist of not less than twelve (12) or more than fifteen (15) players.  Each team will have an equal number of players as determined by the League Director

III.             Player Registration

  1. The Registrar controls and directs the registration of players in all divisions of the SYA  Babe Ruth League.
  2. All players must register with the Registrar.  Players are ineligible to play until properly registered. Failure to comply with this regulation will result in forfeiture of all games in which an ineligible player participated.
  3. Players who do not register prior to (or during) the tryouts for their respective age group, or prior to the player draft, may subsequently register with the Registrar and be placed on a “waiting list” in the order in which they registered.  When a player is lost from a Senior National (or Senior Combined) (16-18), National (14-15), or Federal (13) League team loses a player, the Registrar will assign that team the first player from the age appropriate waiting list., providing said assignment does not violate the age composition of the team.  The waiting list will be made available to the appropriate League Directors and managers on request.
  4. Players on the waiting list may be assigned to the American or National League (the American League draws players from the National League when a player is lost).
  5. Players from the wait list that are added to a team’s roster after the season has begun will pay a pro-rata registration fee that will be assessed based on the number of games the player will be eligible to play, plus a $35.00 assessment fee.

IV.          Player Draft

  1. Drafting
  2. The American League draft will be conducted prior to the National League draft.  American and National Leagues teams will draft in reverse order of the best won and lost records from the prior regular season’s play.  In the case of a team that does not have a prior season record (e.g., newly constituted, expansion, or no returning members to form the nucleus of a returning team), the team’s record will be deemed to be zero wins – zero losses and the team will enter the draw accordingly.  In the case of equal records, a coin flip lottery among the tied teams will decide the order of the draft.  The draft will move in serpentine (snake) order (i.e., 1-2-3-4-5-6-6-5-4-3-2-1, etc.).
  3. The Federal (Prep) League will draft as one (1) league in a serpentine order based on the team number as determined by lottery.
  4. If it is necessary to expand, expansion draft procedures will be established by the League Director and approved by a committee approved by the League President.


B.       Managers may identify specific players who they reserve a right to select.  This coaches Manager’s Option List must be presented to the Registrar 48 hours prior to the appropriate League Draft.  The Registrar will provide the list to the respective League Directors by the Registrar prior to the start of the draft of each league Division.  A Manager’s Option List may include the following players:


  1. Sons, brothers, daughters, and sisters of the Manager
  2. Brothers and sisters of players already drafted; and
  3. Brothers and sisters of selected players.


C.       The League Director, in consultation with the respective League Managers, will determine and announce to the Managers prior to the start of the draft, the draft round in which each Option Listed player must be taken by the Manager who listed the player.  Criteria for assigning a draft round include the player’s performance during tryouts, as well as the player’s performance during prior seasons. Specific draft slots for all players falling within the parameters of a specific option list will be determined by the respective League Director and league managers, based on tryout performance as well as a player’s performance in prior seasons. The Registrar and the League Director will address the option and draft round in which the player(s) must be taken, prior to the start of the draft.

D.    There is no Coaches Manager’s option for Assistant Coaches.


E.       When ownership rights of a Manager’s son, brother, daughter, or sister are held by another team, the team giving up the player will get a draft choice commensurate with the player’s ability as determined by the League Director, based after consultation with the league’s Managers.


F.        In the American and National 13-15 Leagues, bonus picks will be awarded to those Managers who must draft 8 or more players in order to make a team comprised of the minimum 12 players.  The Manager will receive one (1) bonus pick for draft picks eight (8) and above. For every draft pick beyond seven (7), the manager shall receive a bonus pick.  The first bonus pick will be granted at the completion of round three (3) four (4).  Additional bonus picks will be granted at the completions of each round thereafter equal to the number of picks until the Manager has drafted 12 players needed in excess of seven (7).  For example:  A manager needing eight (8) players will receive one (1) bonus pick after round three (3), before the start of round four (4) five (5) (e.g., RD1, RD2, 1-2-3-4-5-6-BP-6-5-4-3-2-1-BP-1-etc.-).  A Manager needing nine (9) players will get another bonus pick after round four (4) five (5) and before the start of round six (6) five (5).  Under circumstances warranting bonus picks, Managers will participate in a draft round only until they reach the minimum number of players needed (i.e., 12). When all teams have drafted the minimum number of players (i.e., 12), the draft will continue with all teams participating until all players have been drafted.


G.       Managers must draft the number of players needed to fill the team roster as described in Section II.


H.       Any registrant remaining after the American League draft will be drafted into the National League.


I.        American League teams retain ownership rights to all players drafted by a team and retained by that team for the current season and succeeding seasons until the player is over-aged for the division, is released, or is traded. National League teams retain ownership rights to players returning to the National League.


J.        Any player resigning during the current season may not play with his former team or any other team during the season.  Ownership rights to the resigning player are retained by the team from which he resigned for the period of eligibility in that division even though he may be replaced under the call up provisions.  The gaining team will have ownership rights to the called-up player for the period of eligibility in that Division.


  1. The resigning player may apply for a waiver to join another team from the League Director. Decisions will be made on a case by case basis.


V.       Free Agency


Any player (American or National) may declare himself a “free agent,” thereby terminating any ownership claims a team may otherwise have.  Such a declaration will be made in writing to the Registrar, who will inform the League Director and the losing team.  Once announced, the decision may not be revoked.  The player enters the draft as if never before placed on a team.  The losing team may not re-draft the player.




VI.     Borrowed Players



A.       Should the temporary loss of players cause a Manager to be unable to field nine (9) regular team members, the Manager may borrow players for a specific game from a junior league.


1.      Senior League may borrow from either the Senior League or American League


2.       American League may borrow from the American League or National League.


3.       National League may borrow from the National League or Federal (Prep) League.


4.       Federal (Prep) League may borrow from the other Federal (Prep) League teams.



B.       No player shall be borrowed without first contacting the borrowed player’s Coach and permission is granted.

1.      Any number of borrowed players may be used in a game.


2.       Borrowed players may not pitch.



VII.         Team Strength



A.       In the Senior and American Leagues, the minimum number of players required to play a game is nine (9).  If a Manager feels he may not have the minimum of nine (9) players available, he should attempt to borrow a player to achieve the minimum required.  Borrowed players must start the game; play at least 6 defensive outs, and get one at bat.  They may wear their team’s own SYABR team uniform.  When borrowing a player, the roster requirement (for the 13-15 American League) of no more than eight (8) players of one age is waived.  Permanent replacement players added to team rosters must still need to conform to the no more than eight (8) players of one age requirement. Players that arrive after the game begins will be inserted at the end of the lineup.



B.       In the National and Federal (Prep) Leagues, the minimum number of players required to play a game is eight (8).: However, National League Managers should make every effort to use the borrowed player rule in order to field a nine (9) player team.  During the play of the game, teams do not have to field the same number of players as the opposing team.  The team with eight (8) players will play eight (8), while the team with a full complement will play nine (9). Players that arrive after the game begins will be inserted at the end of the lineup.





VIII.       Game and Time Restrictions


A.       Games will consist of seven (7) innings, except as limited by the following paragraphs.  A minimum number of innings is not required to determine a complete game, except in the case of bad weather or poor field condition (see paragraph 4 below).


B.      Time Limits.


1.     Official Start Time. Games are scheduled for two (2) hours.  The two (2) hour clock begins to run at scheduled start time, not the actual start time.  When the start of game is delayed due to bad weather or poor field conditions and no scheduled game follows, the official time to be used in determining game time limits will be the time announced by the umpires.


2.       Limitation on Start of a New Inning.  A new inning may not begin after two (2) hours from the scheduled start time.  Additionally, Fairfax County regulations prohibit the start of a new inning after 10:30 p.m.


3.       Game End.  Games will end:


  1. At the end of the last full inning that began prior to the start time plus 2 hours; or
  2. At the 2 hour mark if the home team is at bat and ahead (counts as a win for the home team); or
  3. At the 2 hour and 15 minute mark when a scheduled game follows (“walk-off” time); or
  4. All night games will end at 10:45 PM with the outcome per paragraph 2a. (in accordance with Fairfax County regulations).
  5. At the end of an inning in progress, if the game is tied or the visiting team is ahead, until the home team takes the lead (counts as a win for the home team); the inning is completed (counts as a win for the visiting team or as a tie); or the 2 hour and 15 minute “walk-off” time is reached; or
  6. Upon the umpire’s determination that it is too dark to continue play; or
  7. Upon the umpire’s determination that weather (e.g., lightening observed in the vicinity) or field conditions are unsuitable to continue to play.


4.       Delays Due to Weather or Poor Field Conditions.  In the case of bad weather or poor field conditions, the start of the game may be delayed by no more than forty-five (45) minutes from the scheduled start time.  Any game delayed beyond forty-five (45) minutes from its scheduled start time will be postponed and rescheduled.  Further, once a game begins, if more than forty-five (45) minutes is consumed in delays (i.e., time between the scheduled start time and the actual start time plus prior to the start of the game and/or delays encountered after the game begins), the umpire will declare call the game ended.  The game will be considered official and completed if four (4) innings have been completed, or at the end of three and one half (3½) innings if the home team is ahead at the end of three and one half (3 ½) innings with the home team ahead. Otherwise, the game will be rescheduled or cancelled, as the League Director may determine is appropriate or practicable.


a. Lightning; when lightening is observed all players, coaches, umpires and spectators will immediately clear the field and dugouts. Everyone is asked to take adequate shelter preferably in a vehicle. The umpires will monitor and will wait thirty (30) minutes before play may resume. Every new lightening flash the thirty (30) minute wait will reset.



5.       An official game ending in a tie will count as one half (1/2) win and one half (1/2) loss for each team and will not be continued or replayed.



6.       An attempt to delay the game in order to cause an expiration of the time limit shall be deemed unsportsmanlike conduct.  Any occurrence should be brought to the attention of the respective League Director.  Repeated offenses by a Manager, Coach, or Player could result in suspension.


7.       SYA  Babe Ruth will coordinate these time limit rules with the Umpire Association that is contracted to call games.  Nonetheless, umpires have the discretion to end the game at the 2 hour mark.  Therefore, it is imperative that Managers determine from the umpires, prior to the start of the game, how the umpires intend to address the situation brought about by an unfinished inning where the home team has not finished their at bats and the game is either tied or the visitors are winning.  All Managers shall work with one another, in a sportsmanlike manner, in handling problems created by the time limit.



IX.      Participation


  1. The SYA BR league baseball program is conducted for the benefit of all players.  One of the league’s major goals is to ensure that all players on a team’s roster have an opportunity to play.


  1. The Senior League has no minimum player participation requirement except as defined in section VI. A, Borrowed players.  Nonetheless, Managers are encouraged to allow players who attend practices and games to play baseball.  However, to increase Manager awareness and to help ensure at least minimal player participation, the following applies: A manager will notify the Senior League Director anytime a player, who was present for two consecutive games, is not afforded the opportunity to bat and play defensively in the field.  If the manager fails to notify the Senior League Director, or if the reason given for such non-participation appears to be inconsistent with the SYA BR goals, mentioned in paragraph A above, the Senior League Director will refer the matter to the SYA BR League President and Board to decide the appropriate action to be taken.
  2. American, National, and Federal League players shall each play a minimum of three (3) full defensive innings in each full game for which they are available. All players must have entered into the game before the first pitch of the fourth inning (i.e., all players must be entered into the defensive line-up prior to the top of the 4th inning). Teams in violation of the player participation rules will forfeit that game.
  3. Free Substitution and Continuous Batting Order

1. Each team will play the game with free substitutions, as long as the minimum playing time requirements are met. A player can start the game in one spot in the batting order, be taken out of the game, and then re-enter the game as many times as desired. The same holds true for non-starters. One exception: Pitchers must follow standard Babe Ruth pitching rules for re-entry.

2. Each team will play the game with a “Continuous Batting Order”, batting its entire roster of players all the way through for the entire game. Players may enter and re-enter the game an unlimited number of times.

E.    Courtesy runner

1. A courtesy runner may only be used for the catcher or pitcher if there are two outs in the inning only. GFBR encourages the use of the courtesy runner to speed up the game.


2. The courtesy runner shall be the player that made the previous out in the inning.

F.        Five Run Rule (13-15 National League only). Each half inning will end when the batting team makes 3 outs or scores 5 runs. Whichever occurs first.


G.       13-15 National League. Each team is required to supply one parent or coach to umpire the field when they are the Home Team. Training will be provided prior to the start of the season by the Chief Umpire.


H.       SYA BR does recognize a 10 run rule.



X.       Pitching Limitations


A.       The playing calendar week for all SYA BR Leagues is Monday through and including Sunday.


B.       There are no limitations on innings pitched or required rest between pitching assignments in the Senior Leagues for 16-18 year old. However, SYA BR strongly cautions extreme care be used so an individual player is not over extended. i.e., protect the player’s arm.


1.  15 year old or swing players are bound by the Babe Ruth 13-15 pitching limitations regardless of which league they participate.


C.       A pitcher in the American, National, or Federal league may pitch a total of seven (7) innings per calendar week.


D.       If a pitcher delivers one (1) pitch in an inning, that pitcher will be charged with one (1) inning pitched.


E.       A pitcher must have two (2) calendar days rest between pitching assignments following a game where the player pitches in more than three (3) innings (i.e., if a player pitches 3 innings on Monday, he cannot pitch again until Thursday).


F.        Should the manager or a coach go to the mound to talk to the pitcher two (2) times in an inning, or three (3) times in a game, the manager must immediately relieve the pitcher with another player.  If not enforced by the umpire and a valid appeal is made and upheld, the game shall be replayed from the point of the violation.


G.       Each game in which a pitcher pitches shall be considered one (1) assignment. Therefore, a pitcher in the same game may start out as a pitcher, play another position then return to the mound. This is still considered one (1) assignment.


H.       A pitcher, who is removed from the mound because of a second “mound visit” in an inning or a third “mound visit” in a game, may not return as a pitcher.


J.         If a game is called before it has become a regulation game and the umpire declares a “no game” the pitching eligibility is the same as it was prior to the beginning of the “no game” situation.


K.       Failure to comply with the above stated rules will result in forfeiture of the game in which the offense was committed, except that a violation of the “mound visit” rules of paragraph (F) above will result in replaying the game from the point of the violation.




XI.          Protests


A.       Judgment calls made by umpires will not be protested.  Protests in general should be avoided where possible.


B.       When a Manager announces that he is protesting the game, the umpire will stop play, meet with both managers, and record in the home team score book, the exact situation so that the game may be resumed from that point if the protest is later upheld.  Play will then resume.


C.       Except as noted in paragraph D. below, if a protest is not announced to the umpire and to the opposing manager at the time the disputed event occurred, the protest is untimely and will not be accepted.


D.       Exception for Illegal Player or Pitching Violation.  A protest based on the use of an illegal player or pitching rule violation may be filed within twenty-four hours after the scheduled start time of the game in which the alleged violation occurred.




E.       The follow procedure will apply to all protests:


1.       The protesting team Manager must record the protest to the respective League Director (or the On-Field Director) orally within twenty-four (24) hours of the scheduled start time of the game in which the alleged violation occurred.


2.       The protesting Manager must provide to the League Director a written statement of the facts and circumstances of the alleged violation, including therewith any evidence relevant to the issue, within forty-eight (48) hours of the scheduled start time of the game in which the alleged violation occurred.


3.       As soon as possible after receipt of the written protest, the League Director will obtain a copy of the game’s official score sheet as contained in the home team’s score book.  The respective League Director (or On-Field Director) will furnish a copy of the written protest to the opposing Manager.


4.       The opposing team Manager must provide to the League Director his written rebuttal and any evidence relevant to the issue within forty-eight (48) hours of receipt of the written protest from the League Director.


5.       The respective League Director or On-Field Director will furnish a copy of the opposing Manager’s rebuttal and evidence to the protesting manager.


6.       Within ninety-six (96) hours of receipt of the opposing Manager’s rebuttal and evidence, the respective League Director or On-Field Director will refer the matter to the SYA BR Board of Directors.


7.       A committee of 3 members of the SYA BR Board of Directors shall decide the protest, except that any member of the Board who is also one of the managers involved in the protest shall be disqualified from participation.  The Board may, but is not required to, hold an informal hearing at which witnesses and evidence may be considered. The Board shall deliberate in closed session and shall vote by secret written ballot to deny the protest or to uphold the protest, with a majority constituting the final decision of the Board.  In the case of a tie vote, the protest will be considered denied.  The Board Secretary, or if unavailable or disqualified, another member of the Board will take minutes of the proceeding and record the result.

XII.       Tournament Teams

A.         All Tournament Team Coaches will be selected by a committee of the Board.

B.         Players will then be selected by either;

1.    A tryout organized by the league director.

2.    A selection committee of all coaches from each age group or division.

C.       All Tournament entry and participation must be approved by the Board.

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Office Location:
5950 Centreville Crest Lane
Centreville, VA 20121
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 471
Centreville, VA 20122
Phone: (703) 815-3362
Fax: (703) 815-2180