BBF RULES 2019
BBF News story: Mon 26 November 2018
By way of background, the British Baseball Federation (BBF) is the National Governing Body (NGB) of Baseball in Great Britain. As the NGB of our sport, (but not limited to) our objectives are many e.g., run our BBF leagues (youth and adult), oversee our officials, promote our sport and we are in charge of deciding and enforcing the rules of our sport.
The BBF rules are all-encompassing (on and off the field) which govern our sport. Further, to take part in our Federation you are required to understand what conduct and actions are permissible, what are the rules infractions which may require an enforcement action and cover such things as how to score and what you can wear (uniform and equipment).
The BBF enforcement authority is wide-ranging and is made up to pre-empt a further breach of our rules and protect our volunteers, members, participants, officials and players. For example, any team, player, official, or club who breaches our rules may be suspended, removed from the BBF, issued warnings, and fined.
We expect all our member clubs and their participants to act in an open and transparent matter with us, which allows us to understand your members' needs better, risks, conflicts and circumstances. Hence, you should contact the BBF promptly of anything which relates to your club (and its participants) which we as the NGB would reasonably expect notice (e.g., the risk of financial sustainability, injuries, loss of fields, shortage of players to further take part in our leagues, acts of disrepute, and or legal action against your club or its participants).
Annually we release our BBF Handbook, for our participants to take part in our sport. Our Handbook for 2019, the season is in the works. Our goal to release the 2019 Handbook on or before 28 February. The 2019 Handbook will be newly organised and sections will include guidelines, policies and rules.
BBF RULES STRUCTURE
The BBF is a member of the Confederation Baseball Europe (CEB) and WBSC which also have their rules for their competitions and members. Our BBF Rules Handbook is made up of a combination of our own rules and from CEB, WBSC, Little League, PONY and MLB (i.e., version one year prior).
The British Baseball Federation will be holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday, 15 December 2018 in London for members only. Ahead of our AGM, there is a specific item on the agenda to review and receive your feedback for proposed rule changes in 2019.
We have organised a webinar for Saturday, 1 December 2018, at 11:30 am (GMT) for authorised club members only, to review our proposed changes and those of member clubs, Guildford and Northants (adult baseball).
Our webinar aims to review and get our members feedback, to pre-empt questions and make our AGM more effective.
Please if you are or authorised representative would like to be a part of our Rules Webinar, you need to register LINK. Afterwards, we will provide you with a link and information to dial in on Saturday. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us at
ISSUES (short summary)
1. Rules, principles or a combination of both. For adult baseball, we have four divisions of play, e.g., National Baseball League, Triple-A, Double-A and Single-A.
What is a Rules Based Approach?
Rules which are prescriptive and absolute i.e., there is little or no interpretation.
What is a Principles Based Approach?
Provides guidance that can be applied to the infinite variations in circumstances that arise in practice or rules. That is, the BBF is open to interpretations of the rules, there may be changes and judgement applied.
AIM: Decide which approach to take for each of the divisions above, e.g., rules or principles-based approach.
2. Timings, game lengths are a concern for our sport. For a nine-inning game, the length to a game varied depending on the division, e.g., NBL +3.20 minutes and +4.15 minutes for Single-A.
AIM: To decide on what or if any time limit rules should be be applied to reduce timeline of a game.
MLB games are also under scrutiny for the time it takes to play a game. Hence, we remind everyone, we are similar to MLB, as are strongly considering what to do to alleviate the issue of game length.
Do we put a time clock on games?
Do we enforce specific timings ie.g., mound visits (mound visits will be limited to four, five or six per team per nine innings)?
In between inning breaks reduced to two minutes only?
Pitcher timings, 25 seconds in between pitches?
The timing of pitcher changes, starts at the time reliever crosses the foul lines?
While we appreciate the above may be difficult to understand, or there may be issues of enforcement (clock timings) they can serve as guidelines or as enforceable rules for our postseason.
3. Ties after nine innings, we endeavour to consider our options for 2019.
AIM: To decide on whether to implement a tie breaking rule after regulation play. If so, which option to use.
For example, we are a part of the CEB. CEB has a rule whereby for a tied game, if the game remains tied after the completion of nine (9) innings, the following procedures will be implemented:
Each team will begin the 10th inning (and any subsequent necessary extra innings) with a player on first and second, no outs.
The batting order in any extra inning will be determined by how the previ- ous inning ended. That is, if the 9th inning ends with the #6 hitter having the last plate appearance (PA), then the 10th inning begins the #7 hitter at bat, and the #5 hitter at 2B and the #6 hitter at first base.
With the exception of beginning the inning with runners on 1B and 2B with no one out, all other “Official Rules of Baseball” and “C.E.B. Competition Rules” will remain in effect during extra innings required to determine a winner.
No player re-entry is permitted during extra innings.
The traditional system of the visiting team hitting in the top of the inning and the home team hitting in the bottom of the inning (if needed) will remain in effect until a winner is determined.