How to Get Your League Eligible for 2021 Tournament Competition

To be eligible to enter the Babe Ruth League tournament trail at any level of play, there are eligibility requirements that must be met.  They include: 

  • Rule 0.01, Paragraph 2 – All leagues must apply for charter on or before May 15, 2021 (or the extended deadline date of June 1, 2021).

  • Rule 0.01, Paragraph 5 – Appropriate written descriptions, maps or specifications of boundary limitations must be certified by and filed with the State Commissioner and submitted to Babe Ruth League, Inc. for final approval.  All players must play within the league’s geographical boundaries in which the player resides.  (There are some exceptions to this rule – please refer to the 2021 Babe Ruth League Rules and Regulations.)

  • Rule 0.01, Paragraph 6 – All leagues and teams must be covered by group accident insurance and commercial general liability insurance. (For requirements concerning Third Party Insurance, please refer to the 2021 Babe Ruth League Rules and Regulations.)

  • Rule 0.01, Paragraph 7 – All leagues are required to conduct a nationwide background check on all managers, coaches, board of directors, and any other persons, volunteers or hired workers, who provide regular service to the league and/or have repetitive access to, or contact with players.

  • Rule 0.04, Paragraph 3 – Team rosters must be filed and recorded in the SportsSignUp Play System with Babe Ruth League, Inc., as well as with District and State Commissioners independent of each other on or before the league’s first regularly scheduled game.  League Presidents will certify as to the authenticity of the information submitted and certify as to possession of group accident insurance and league liability insurance.  Faxed or email rosters will not be accepted.  To be eligible to participate in tournament play, a player, manager or coach must be listed on the local league regular season rosters by June 1 and on tournament rosters. 

  • Rule 0.04, Paragraph 4 – Babe Ruth League, Inc. rostered managers and coaches in all Divisions are required to complete coaching education, nationwide background checks and Abuse Prevention Training in accordance with the Safe Sports Act.

  • Rule 0.05, Paragraph 1(a) – Team Composition.  (Please refer to the 2021 Babe Ruth League Rules and Regulations for team composition for each age division.)

  • State and Regional rules and regulations as established by said State and Regional Commissioners.
Pride and Honor

It means a lot to our youth when a family member, friend or neighbor notices the official Babe Ruth Baseball, Cal Ripken Baseball or Babe Ruth Softball logo and makes a congratulatory remark. Such acknowledgements only reassure the youngster’s feeling of a sense of accomplishment and pride. 

It is important to recognize the players in your league and teach them to measure their success in terms of attaining goals, not by wins or loses.

The best way to honor our Babe Ruth participants is by presenting them with a special award, such as a plaque, trophy, pin or medallion, which contains the Babe Ruth Baseball, Cal Ripken Baseball or Babe Ruth Softball logo. 

In order to better service our leagues when it comes to recognizing their players, volunteers and sponsors, Babe Ruth League, Inc. established authorized regional award suppliers.  Our mission to offer our leagues the highest quality awards for the best possible prices.

For further information on the Babe Ruth League Regional Awards Suppliers, please visit

Take pride to the limit by ordering special awards containing the official licensed trademark logos of Babe Ruth League, Inc., to honor your players, as well as the individuals and organizations that make your program a success season after season.

Celebrate the Season

The close of the youth baseball and softball season can be a bittersweet time. While there's still plenty of summer to look forward to, coaches and players alike are bound to feel a little bit disappointed the season is over.  Here are a few ways to help ease the transition and celebrate the close of a great season.

Throw a Party

An afternoon barbecue or pool party is a nice, casual way to bring the team together if you have enough room for everyone. If space is an issue, or if you just want to plan something a little more special, check out local venues for youth gatherings. And if the grownups are up to it, host a friendly skills competition with the kids vs. the adults – like a home run derby, running the bases, etc. 

Go to a Theme Park

Most kids would fall all over themselves for the chance to visit a theme park. If there's one within a reasonable driving distance, why not treat the kids to an unforgettable day of fun as a reward for their hard work?  Look for group to make the trip more doable.

Hand Out Amazing Goodie Bags

Aside from all of the great life lessons, what could your players physically take away from their Babe Ruthe League experience?  Think about the special moments of the season and find items that will reflect those moments. It could be a framed picture of extraordinary moments from the season or maybe it’s a special ball that you decorate in some way to show how much you appreciate your team.  Perhaps a commemorative shirt.

The possibilities for celebrating the season are endless. Whatever activities you choose, always remember to continue to stay safe!


Avoid Adding to Tournament Pressure

For Babe Ruth League, tournament time is all about the experience. It’s about giving kids the opportunity to play on professional-quality fields, to make new friends, be exposed to new cultures, understand a new level of sportsmanlike behavior and compete to the best of their ability… win or lose.  If the kids walk away from our tournaments excited and energized about the game, we count that as a victory for us.

As coaches, you have to keep the big picture in mind.  The goal of youth sports is to develop players.  Sure, any time you enter a season or a tournament, the goal is to be as successful as possible, and winning certainly is more enjoyable than losing.  But, in the final analysis, there are two things that should count more than wins, losses and trophies; the improvement of your players and their overall experience. 

What we often see among youth sport coaches is a tendency to add unnecessary tournament tension through “over-coaching” - misaligned priorities and an overemphasis on winning.

We’re talking about the coach who alters a philosophy or strategy that has been successful throughout the entire season but because the league calls the last weekend of the year a “tournament,” the coach suddenly alters his or her plan.

Players get placed only in positions for which the coach thinks they’re best suited, and playing times are skewed in favor of the more skilled players. Players are placed in unfamiliar situations for extended periods of time and parents suddenly begin questioning umpires’ calls… shouting more instructions from the sidelines. An air of tension and competitiveness that did not exist during the season is now created. Despite the success the team might have enjoyed during the regular season, the subliminal message sent by the coach to players and parents is it’s all about the winning. The smiles that had been there all year are now gone. The end result, predictably, is a so-so performance by the team.

Youth baseball and softball can’t afford to lose more players and/or coaches right now. Without  committed coaches who are armed with the best tools to help ensure the best possible player experience, young players will continue to gravitate toward other sports. At Babe Ruth League, we encourage coaches to communicate a philosophy of ongoing player development and then to stick to it, no matter the perceived importance of one game or tournament. Any deviation from your stated plan can ruin what otherwise will be a successful and enjoyable season for both your players and parents.

If you can keep these objectives in focus and run your Tournament experience based on them, winning is a bonus. When a coach asks one of his or her players at the end of the season if he or she is upset about losing the final playoff game and hears this reply, “I’m not mad that we lost. I’m just mad that the season is over,” that coach should consider the season a rousing success!

Keep Your Player and Family Sun Safe

We all know that getting too much sun can be risky.  UVA and UVB rays can cause a bad sunburn and can cause the progressive skin damage that leads to skin cancer.  There are lots of choices for sunscreens available for children. Look for the SPF (sun protection factor) numbers on the label and make sure it protects against both UVA and UVB rays (referred to as “broad-spectrum” sunscreen). The American Dermatology recommends that all children, age 6 months and older, regardless of their skin tone, wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.  For your young athlete, you may want to choose one that is water and sweat resistant. Avoid sunscreens with PABA to avoid possible skin allergy if your child has sensitive skin. Look for a product with the active ingredient titanium dioxide (a chemical-free block.)

The sun is most dangerous between 10:00 am. And 4:00 p.m. Here are some tips for sun protection:

  • Make sure your child wears their hat to keep the sun off their head and face.  Have them remove it when sitting in a shaded dugout.

  • Apply sunscreen generously about 15 to 30 minutes before children go outside so that a good layer of protection can form. Don’t forget about lips, hands, ears, feet, shoulders, and behind the neck.

  • Reapply sunscreen often, about every 2 hours, as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology. Make sure to reapply after a child has been sweating or swimming.

  • Apply it even on cloudy days, as 80% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays can sneak through the clouds on the most overcast days.

  • Sun exposure damages the eyes as well as the skin. Cumulative exposure can lead to cataracts (clouding of the eye lens, which leads to blurred vision) later in life. The best way to protect eyes is to wear sunglasses. Not all sunglasses provide the same level of ultraviolet protection; darkened plastic or glass lenses without special UV filters just trick the eyes into a false sense of safety. Purchase sunglasses with labels ensuring that they provide 100% UV protection.

  • Bring frozen neck wraps.  Soak a washcloth with water and wring out excess; roll it up tightly and place in a plastic bag.  Freeze it overnight and pack in a cooler to take to the game.  While your Babe Ruth Leaguer is on the bench waiting to bat, place the frozen washcloth on the back of his/her neck to help keep them cool.  Replace the wrap back in the bag and keep it in your cooler between innings.

  • Consider purchasing a portable canopy tent for guaranteed shade at every field.

  • In between tournament games, have your child wear flip flops to help their hot, sweaty feet stay cool and dry between games.  Keep unscented baby wipes on hand to wash the face, hands and feet between games to cool and refresh.
Check your Egos at the Door!

We need each of you to be honest with yourself.  Does your ego get in the way of your child enjoying baseball or softball?  Do you create undue pressure on your child’s performance?  Do you expect more than they can deliver?  Do you give positive encouragement and are there when they need you?  Do you help your child accept loss

Whether you’re new to tournament season, or who have traveled this road before, here are some parental tips to help keep this special summer experience a positive one for your Babe Ruth Leaguer.

  • With so many children playing youth sports, the pressure is on our young athletes to be “hard-nosed” team players.  As parents, it is important that we do not let our egos get in the way of our child’s enjoyment of baseball or softball.  And it’s important that we do not try to relive our yesterdays through the lives of our children.
  • The tournament season is much different from the regular season for parents who tend to want to “check in” with their children during a game. Regardless of the field facility where the games are played, certain areas are designated “off limits” to parents during tournament games. The dugout is just such an area. Leaning into the dugout for a pep talk or getting just a couple of seconds with your child are not permitted.
  • Like the regular season, a limited number of coaches are permitted in the dugout during the game. Even when an injury occurs the manager and coaches are responsible for tending to the player, unless additional, immediate medical attention is needed.  Your role during the game is to enjoy the action and be supportive from outside of the fence, and it’s an important role.
  • The way parents and family members behave at youth sports games and practices has a significant impact on the player experience. Parents can set an example for their children by displaying the high-level of sportsmanship that Babe Ruth League expects of all its participants and respecting all players, coaches, umpires, and volunteers.
  • Show Your Support - Be part of the team by designing and wearing spirit shirts that match your player’s uniform. Sit with other team parents, and politely cheer and chant. Bring a positive energy that is infectious, and create an atmosphere that everyone, from neighbors to other family members, will want to be a part of.
  • Post-Game Fun - Most Babe Ruth participants have as much fun, if not more, at post-game gatherings than the game itself. Take the team to a restaurant or to grab a sweet treat. Don’t make it an overly structured event. Keep it light and more impromptu. Let the kids keep their uniforms on, grass-stained pants and all, and be sure to capture the fun with photos and video. It’s all but guaranteed that the laughs and discussions in the corner booth will have nothing to do with baseball or softball. It will be just kids being kids.
  • Remind your child to play by the rules and resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence.
  • Remind your child that doing one’s best is more important than winning.
  • Praise your child for competing fairly and trying hard.

Working together in a league environment, parents and coaches can provide your child the very best playing experience during tournament competition.