Brookline Major Boys Baseball League Rules

Brookline Baseball recognizes all rules of play as put forth in the Official Babe Ruth rules and regulations with the following exceptions or clarifications:

Field Dimensions - For Major Boys only the bases will be set 70 feet apart— outside edge to outside edge. The front of the pitching plate (i.e., the "rubber") will be set 50 feet from the back point of home plate.

Game Times - A grace period of 15 minutes past the scheduled starting time will be allowed to field a complete team. Failure to do so will result in a forfeit. 

An inning may not start more than 1 hour and 45 minutes after the scheduled start time. At exactly 2 hours from the scheduled start time, the game must be discontinued; if the full inning has not been completed, the game will revert to the last complete inning. If there is no scheduled game following, play may continue.

Rescheduling of Games - If a manager faces a situation where it is impossible to field a complete team due to unusual circumstances (i.e. Boy Scout outing, Confirmation, etc..) he may petition to reschedule. It will be the League Commissioner's decision to grant the request, based on the availability of fields and time in the schedule.

Complete Games - A complete game is one that is played to a regulation six (6) innings with the following exceptions:

  A. Four (4) innings in April

B. In the event of inclement weather, five (5) innings will be considered a complete game (4 1/2 if the home team is ahead). A five (5) inning tie will stand as a tie (regular season). Games of four (4) innings or less will be replaced from the beginning and all records, including pitching, will be disregarded (Regular season only).

C. If an inning cannot be completed due to weather (umpire's discretion) or time, the score will revert to the last full inning.

D. If a team is ahead by ten (10) runs at the completion of five (5) innings, the game becomes official (4 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead).

Suspended Playoff Games - During the playoffs, the score and situation of a game will be retained after a rain postponement. When play resumes, the game will pick up exactly where it left off (same score, inning, outs, baserunners, batter, and count). Coaches should make every effort to maintain the same batting order in resumed playoff games.

Cancellations - All regular season games will be played at the date, time, and location listed on the League's official schedule, unless the League Commissioner finds it necessary to cancel some games due to unforeseen circumstances. Cancellations must be approved by the League President and Director of Baseball Operations.  Only the League Commissioner, Scheduler, or VP of Baseball should amend any game details on the site.

Time Limit - All regular season games are subject to a strict two (2) hour time limit. In games that have a time limit, no new inning can start after 1 hour and 45 minutes. At the 2 hour mark play must stop immediately regardless of the game situation, and the score reverts to the score at the end of the last completed inning. Runs scored in the final (incomplete) inning do not count.

Rain Outs - The decision prior to the scheduled start of the game is the responsibility of the President of Brookline or his representative. Once the game has started, it will be the responsibility of the umpire. If two teams are scheduled to play, but take it upon themselves not to play, a forfeit will result for both teams.

Equipment - Brookline Baseball will provide bats, balls, catcher equipment, and batting and running helmets. Shoes and gloves are the players' responsibility.

A. Catcher's masks must have throat protectors

B. Catchers must wear all equipment provided, including a cup

C. Batting helmets must be worn on the base paths

D. Metal spikes or cleats are prohibited

E. Wooden bats are allowed

F. Metal bats must have rubber grips

Players - Each team must have no less than nine (9) players to start a game and no less than Eight (8) at the end of the game. A manager may "call up" a player from MB(farm) to meet this requirement (see Call-Ups). Failure to reach these numbers will result in a forfeit.

Uniforms - All players must be in complete uniform to be eligible for play. This consists of team hat, shirt and socks, along with game pants (gray). Only exception is if a player arrives at game after participating in a school game.

Substitution Rule - Each Player must play a minimum of three (3) innings on defense in a six-inning game.  During the regular season, all players must play at least one (1) defensive inning in the infield.

Call-Ups - A manager must contact his League Commissioner to request a callup player from the Minor Boys division to fill out his roster. If the Commissioner is unavailable, the Director of Baseball Operations should be contacted. The League Commissioner will have a printed list of eligible players for call-up. Call-up players will be selected from this list ONLY! They will be chosen in order and once selected they will be moved to the bottom of the list. Once a player is selected, the League Commissioner will call both managers involved and announce the player's name. Managers have up to 30 minutes before game time to secure these players. A manager may not at any time "pick up" a player from the area around the field. A call-up must play a minimum of nine (9) defensive outs and remain in the batting order for the entire game. At no time can a call-up pitch, catch or receive more playing time than a rostered player.

Penalty - Failure to comply with these rules will result in a loss (forfeit) regardless of the score. Managers are to use the protest rule to report any infraction.

Legal Protest - A protest must take place prior to the next pitch. The umpire must sign the score book at the point of the infraction. He must write a brief description of the action. The score book must be legible. Within 24 hours a written description must be received by the League Commissioner and Vice President of Baseball, along with a copy of the score book and legal ruling number.

Ejections - The ejection of a player, coach or manager from any game will result in a minimum 1-game suspension. A second occurrence will result in a 3-game suspension. Any and all ejections will result in a disciplinary board review that may lead to dismissal from the league.

Bats - Please refer to the statement regarding bat rules


1. No pitcher may throw more than 85 pitches in a day. If a pitcher reaches his 85th pitch while pitching to a batter, he may continue to pitch until the batter completes his at-bat.

2. Pitcher's rest:  

a. Two (2) Calendar days rest required for any outing over Two (2) innings

b. Three (3) Calendar days rest required for any outing over Four (4) innings

3. Any Player that catches in a game can only pitch 2 innings Max.

4. Pitch counts should be monitored by both teams, and scorekeepers should crosscheck pitch counts after each inning.  

a. The pitching week starts Sunday and ends Saturday

b. April - 4 inning per game limit; 6 innings per week, 65 pitch per game max. If a pitcher reaches his 65th pitch while pitching to a batter, he may continue to pitch until the batter completes his at-bat.

c. May thru end of regular season - 7 innings per week; 85 pitch limit per game. If a pitcher reaches his 85th pitch while pitching to a batter, he may continue to pitch until the batter completes his at-bat.

d. Playoffs - Rolling 6; 85 pitch per game limit. If a pitcher reaches his 85th pitch while pitching to a batter, he may continue to pitch until the batter completes his at-bat.

e. One (1) pitch in an inning constitutes an inning pitched

5. Hit Batsman: A pitcher must be replaced after hitting his third batsman in the game or two (2) batsmen in the same inning. He may stay in the game at another position. Relief pitchers will not be charged with the hit batsmen of the previous pitcher.

6. Balk: The pitcher cannot receive the ball while on the rubber. This applies to a ball thrown back from the catcher to the mound. Quick pitching is not allowed. Once the pitcher begins his delivery, he must follow through. If a pitcher stops his motion, a balk may be called (at the umpire's discretion)-there will be warnings issued by the umpire in the regular season.  In playoffs, each pitcher will receive ONE (1) Warning by the umpire.  After that, the runner or runners will be awarded to advance to the next base at the umpire’s discretion.

7. Distractions: A pitcher may not have any distracting objects on his glove or arms. No white sleeves below the elbows.

8. Trips to the mound: A manager may visit each pitcher once per inning and a total of three (3) times per game. After the second visit in an inning or the third visit in a game, the pitcher must be replaced. Only the catcher may join the conference.

Batters and Base Runners

  1. When a runner is running the bases, he cannot remove his helmet or tilt his head to cause his helmet to fall off. Offenders will be called out and any other runner will return to the last base touched. The ball is dead.
  2. If a batter throws his bat, a team warning will be given out by the umpire. On subsequent offenses, the offending batter will be called out.
  3. Leads may be taken from bases at the baserunner's own risk.
  4. Stealing Bases: A baserunner may steal a base at any time, at his own peril of being thrown out.
  5. No Walk Steals!  A Player may not take 2nd base on a walk.  The ball is however live, and other baserunners may advance on a wild pitch at their own risk.
  6. Base coaches may not touch a baserunner for the purpose of assisting them to run the bases. The runner will be called out, the ball is dead, and no further advancement by other runners will be allowed.
  7. Slide or Surrender: A runner will be called out if he does not slide or attempt to avoid a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag.
  8. No Head-First Slides, unless going back to the base in a pick-off attempt.  Base-runner will be ruled out if the umpire deems it was a head first slide.
  9. Overthrows: On all overthrows into dead ball areas, runners will be given two (2) bases from the last legally touched base at the time of the release.
  10. With two (2) outs, a catcher may have a courtesy runner replace him on the base. This player must be the player who made the second out.
  11. Every uniformed player will participate in the batting order.

Miscellaneous Rules

1. The "Infield Fly Rule" is in effect with runners on first and second base AND less than two outs.

2. Bunting is permitted.

3. Strikeouts: A batter may run to first base on a dropped third strike if

  (a) first base is unoccupied OR

(b) there are two outs prior to the strikeout. A batter who does not realize his situation on a dropped third strike, and who is not in the process of running to first base , shall be declared out once he leaves the dirt circle (or approximate area) surrounding home plate.

4. Coaches: Managers may name three (3) assistant coaches.

5. Playoffs: The Commissioner and Director of Baseball Operations will decide on the playoff format.

6. Equipment: It is the responsibility of both teams to prepare the field for play and to secure all equipment at the game's conclusion.

7. Field Maintenance and Snack Bar: It is the responsibility of all managers, coaches, and parents to provide volunteer help in these areas. It is the manager's responsibility to see that the scheduling for these operations is met.

8. If a player is in the line up and leaves the field complex for any reason, that player will not be permitted to re-enter the game for any reason. His place in the batting order will NOT be ruled an out.

9.  Games will not go into extra innings in the regular season and will be ruled a tie.

10.  No Butcher boys - A "butcher boy" is a batter who squares around to bunt, only to pull the bat back and make a short, downward swing – Umpire Discretion

Standings & Playoffs

Tie breakers for league standings are the following in order:

  1. Head to Head
  2. Run Differential
  3. Runs Against(Lowest)
  4. Runs Against in Head to Head Games(Lowest)


***Playoff Games - Two hour rule does not come into play and game is played to completion - Coaches need to keep the game moving and get their teams on and off the field quickly.  Any complaints should be made to league commissioner***


***All pitch counts and number of innings pitched should be kept and agreed after each playoff game and emailed to the league commissioner after the game***