Babe Ruth League, Inc. (BRL) is a non-profit, educational organization dedicated to developing better citizens by providing properly supervised baseball competition for players 4 through 18 years of age. Established in 1951 and incorporated just one year later, there are now over 50,000 teams competing in over 10,000 leagues in the United States and Canada. In addition, BRL, Inc., collaborates to showcase global play in the post-season.
The primary reason for the success of the organization is in its mindful and modest adaptation of the Official Baseball Rules. The rules and regulations have been established through a democratic process with the guidance of professional recreation directors, high school athletic authorities and college coaches.
The foundation of the BRL organization is the 13-15 Division of Babe Ruth Baseball played on a regulation baseball diamond. Selection of this age grouping on the regulation-size infield was originally founded to meet the unmet need identified by amateur baseball authorities and community leaders.
The past 69 seasons clearly endorse this brand of play. It has been proven that under slightly modified regulation baseball rules, developing players rapidly adjust to the regulation diamond. Moreover, skills such as running, hitting and throwing have been found to naturally progress for each individual player.
In 1966, the Babe Ruth 16-18 Division was founded in a testament of more players wishing to continue playing organized baseball, as well as community volunteers ready to provide them with a similar adult-supervised competition. With a focus on the interest and ability to transition players, Babe Ruth League initiated Prep League for 13-year-old players in 1974 and a Prep League for 16-year-old players in 1994.
Babe Ruth Baseball was called upon again in 1981 to bring its brand of baseball to players 12 and under. In response, a test-pilot program was initiated in 11 states covering three regions. The positive outcome prompted the Board of Directors to vote to expand this younger division nationwide and into Canada beginning with the 1982 season. It was named the Bambino Division of Babe Ruth League, Inc.
With renewed momentum and the approach of a new millennium, at its 1999 Annual Meeting, BRL Board of Directors changed the name of the Bambino program to Cal Ripken Baseball, A Division of Babe Ruth League, Inc. (It was inaugurated with the 2000 season).
As in all divisions of Babe Ruth League, Inc., Cal Ripken Baseball strives to play under rules as close to the Official Baseball Rules as possible. However, certain special rules, such as using a 60’ or 70’ diamond and allowing a maximum number of innings for a pitcher, keep to the accepted standards of safety.
It is the basic intent of Babe Ruth League, Inc. that every candidate is given the opportunity to play in a program within the rules and regulations as established by Babe Ruth League, Inc. Each league must advertise registrations, conduct tryouts, and draft players. Teams should not be permitted to recruit their own players.
The Bambino Buddy-Ball Division brings the great game of baseball to children with documented special needs. It also welcomes children to the league who wish to serve as “buddies” to the players in this Division. For more information, visit www.baberuthleague.org.