New Jersey Independent Baseball League Rules
I. General Rules
A. Player Eligibility
1. A player will be eligible to a play in that NJIBL Age Division in the calendar year in which he turns that age. To participate in the NJIBL, a player must be at least 18 years old as of January 1st of the calendar year.
2. No player will be eligible to participate in league play upon substantial proof that he owes money to his previous team.
3. Players must provide proof of age to the manager and/or the League upon registration.
4. Managers must obtain proof of age in the form of a "photo id" for each player on his roster (Valid driver's license, passport, or other official document) and must present such proof to a league official upon request of an opposing manager(s).
5. Players must fully execute a League Waiver prior to participating in League play. The execution of the waiver may be accomplished either electronically on the league web site or through a printed form.
6. Players must play in 9 of the team's scheduled regular season games in order to be eligible to participate in the post-season play (playoffs).
7. A player will be credited for one game played toward playoff eligibility if he has at least one plate appearance.
8. Innings played as a pitcher, infielder, outfielder, or catcher will not be counted toward playoff eligibility.
1. A player found to be ineligible shall be suspended for the duration of the current season. Player reinstatement for any subsequent season will be subject to review of the Board of Trustees.
2. A team using an ineligible player shall forfeit all games in which that player participated. A manager who knowingly uses an ineligible player shall be suspended for the remainder of the season. Manager reinstatement for any subsequent season will be subject to review of the Board of Trustees.
3. A player/manager who is suspended as a manager shall also be suspended as a player for the remainder of the season. Player/manager reinstatement for any subsequent season will be subject to review of the Board of Trustees.
a. Any player who aids, abets, or otherwise conspires to facilitate play of an ineligible player shall be suspended for the remainder of the season. Player reinstatement for any subsequent season will be subject to review of the Board of Trustees.
b. Opposing managers and/or league officials may at any time request proof of a player's eligibility including age. If the question is not resolved at the time of the request, a protest must be filed at the time of the game and a notice must be provided to the President of the Age Division within forty-eight hours of the completion of the game with a full description of the player involved and any other relevant facts.
1. Teams must qualify a minimum of eleven (11) players to be eligible for the playoffs.
a. Initial team roster must be entered into the league website at least 24 hours prior the team's first game. The league designated League Lineup web site roster will serve as the official team roster at all times.
b. Fully executed player waiver forms must be submitted to a member of the Board of Directors 24 hours prior to the start of the team's first game.
2. A team may add a player up to a time determined by the Board of Trustees following the beginning of the season. A subsequently added player will be eligible to play 24 hours after the Manager notifies the league of the addition, the player has been added to the official roster, and the player has fully executed a waiver.
3. A team may add a player following the league instituted cut off date if the original roster size drops below 13 due to injuries or the player quits. When a new player is added to take a players place who was originally on the roster after the league cut off date, the manager must designate who the new player is replacing. The replaced player may not rejoin the team regardless of how many games he has played up to that point.
D. Game Scores and Statistics
1. Managers or their designated representative must enter game scores and player statistics into the official League website after each regular season game.
a. Scores must be entered no later than midnight on the day of the game.
b. Statistics must be entered no later than the Wednesday evening following the game.
2. The league will use these player statistics as indicator of sufficient play during the season to be eligible for post-season play.
3. Failure to enter sufficient statistics may result in playoff ineligibility and ineligibility for league sponsored awards and/or events.
1. A player that has been injured may be added to the teams injured reserve list. Once placed on injured reserve, the player must remain inactive for 3 consecutive weeks. At the conclusion of the regular season, 3 games will be credited to a maximum of 2 players per team toward playoff eligibility. Each manager gets to chose which players receive the injured reserve credits. No documentation of the injury is necessary. Managers must complete the injured reserve form on the web site prior to the player being placed on injured reserve. There are no retroactive injured reserve requests permitted.
F. Player Personnel and Managerial Rights
1. A signed player (who signs and dates the league's waiver designating a NJIBL team) is obligated to play for that team in the upcoming season.
2. A player is permitted to be on one team roster per season per age group. (Note: the league may waive this rule for the Midweek, or other specialized seasons).
3. Players on the roster of any one 18+ NJIBL Team, may also be on the roster of any one 25+ or 35+ NJIBL team. No player may play on a 25+ and 35+ team during the same season.
4. All players are considered free agents at the conclusion of each season provided that they are not indebted to the team that they are leaving. The burden of proof lies with the management of the team, not the player.
A. Major League Baseball Rules apply except where modified in the following NJIBL rules.
1. All teams must have full baseball uniforms consisting of caps, numbered jerseys, baseball pants, socks, and appropriate footwear.
2. Each player's uniform must be of similar design to his teammates' uniforms. If a team has more than 1 version of their uniform, a player may wear the other version of what the majority of the team is wearing for a period of 30 days in the event his uniform is lost.
3. No player out of uniform will be allowed to play without the opposing manager's consent.
4. A grace period of thirty days shall be allowed for newly activated players to complete their uniforms.
1. All batters and base runners shall wear helmets at all times, either double earflap, or single
2. Earflap, with flap facing the pitcher.
3. Catchers must wear a facemask, a skull cap (or all-in-one hockey style mask), a chest protector, shin guards, and a cup.
4. Metal cleats are permitted.
D. Team Equipment
1. The only balls permitted for game use are the specific balls designated by the Board of Trustees prior to the season.
2. Only wood or wood composite bats are permitted in League play. No part of the bat may be comprised of anything other than wood or wood composite materials.
1. All single games shall be nine innings. All games of doubleheaders will be seven innings. Exceptions noted in this section or those games which are specifically designated by the Board of Trustees at the start of the season.
2. A game called due to inclement weather or field use restrictions shall be official after five completed innings in a 9 inning game and four completed innings in a 7 inning game.
3. A game called that is not official shall not count in the standings and shall be replayed as a new game. Player and team statistics shall not be counted as official and will not be counted toward playoff eligibility.
4. All games shall be ruled complete after 5 innings of play if a 12 or more run differential exists in the score.
5. There are no league instituted time limits. Home team managers must disclose at the time of ground rules if there is a time restriction. Umpires may institute speed up rules at their discretion.
6. Games that are tied at the end of regulation play shall continue into extra innings until a winner is determined. If the game is called or if the field in use becomes unavailable or unplayable for any reason after the game is official in a tie game, the game remains an official tie and shall be including as such in the standings.
7. The home team has the right to bat in the final inning. If the home team is winning, and the outcome of the game will not be changed, the home team will not bat. If the game is called prior to completing a full inning, when the home team must bat, the score will revert to the previously completed inning. No runs scored in the incomplete inning will count.
8. Tie games shall be counted as ties, provided length of game rules are adhered to.
9. A called game that is not official shall be made up. The make-up game must be scheduled within two weeks of the called game, and the game must be played within a time frame deemed reasonable by the Board of Trustees. The Board of Trustees reserves the right to schedule a make-up game if the two sides reach an impasse.
F. Standings and Tie Breakers
1. League standings shall be determined by a point system, as follows:
a. Win, or win by forfeit = 3 points.
b. Tie = 2 points.
c. Loss = 1 point.
d. Loss by forfeit = 0 points.
e. Game not played = 0 points.
2. Ties for playoff eligibility and/or seeding will be broken in the following order:
a. Head to Head Winner
b. Best Division Record
c. Most Runs Scored
d. Least Runs Against
e. Coin Flip
1. A team may bat as many batters as it wishes.
a. In the 25+ and 35+ Divisions, a team must bat 11 players at all times, if available. In the 18+ Division, a team must bat 10 players at all times, if available.
2. There are no penalties for only having 8 or 9 batters available for the lineup.
3. If more than ten players (18+) or 11 players (25+ & 35+) are available for the batting lineup, a team may designate two players in one lineup spot (A/B Positioning). The A/B designated players must bat every other time around the lineup, may not be removed, and must be replaced in the lineup like any other batter.
a. If a team batting order drops below the required amount of batters (11 in 25+ & 35+, and 10 in 18+), any time during the game, and no other players are available to fill the spot, a team must use one of their A/B combinations to return to the required amount of batting spots
i. The A or B player would not move spots, the A and B would just hit every time around the lineup.
ii. For example, if your 4th hitter gets hurt and you have an A/B Combination at the 11th spot, the 4th spot would be skipped, A would become the 10th hitter, and B would become the 11th hitter.
3. If one team is unable to bat the minimum amount players per the rules of that age division at any time during the game, the opposing team may elect to reduce the number of batters to the same number as the opposition.
4. Batters may be added to the bottom of the batting order at any time. They become part of the batting order, may not be removed and must be replaced like any other batter.
5. Once a batter is removed from the batting order via substitution (pinch-hitter, pinch-runner, injury, etc.), or been dropped from the order due to injury, or having physically left the game he may not re-enter the batting order. If a player is forced to leave a game due to any reason other than game strategy, a reserve player, not previously entered into the game as a batter, must be inserted into the vacated spot in the batting order. This rule applies to extra hitters, and A/B combinations.
6. If no reserve player is available and a player is forced to leave the game due to any reason other than game strategy, the vacated spot in the batting order is skipped over without penalty or an out being called, except as indicated in A/B situations.
7. The batting order must be exchanged at ground rules. Any player that arrives after the exchange of line up must be added to the bottom of the order. If a player is added to the lineup and has not arrived at the time of his first at bat, the offending team will be charged with an out and that player will be ineligible to play for the remainder of the game.
1. All players may be substituted for defensively at any time without affecting the player's status in the batting order (Free Substitution).
2. The pitcher, once removed, may re-enter to pitch only one time during the remainder of the game. The pitcher cannot return to the game until his replacement records at least one out.
3. A removed pitcher may play any other position.
I. Number of Players
1. A team must have a minimum of eight players in order to begin a game. There is no penalty for only having eight players in the batting order.
2. If a team starts a game with eight players, and a 9th and 10th (11th for 25+ & 35+) player arrives, he must be inserted into the lineup immediately. He must be inserted into the batting order at the bottom of the lineup.
3. A lineup must be exchanged and is official at the time that the Umpires call for ground rules.
1. Pitchers may not wear white nor gray long sleeves, batting gloves, white, gray, or multicolored fielding mitt, wristbands, watches, jewelry, or other items, which are potentially distracting to a batter.
2. Intentional walks are permitted. Pitchers must throw four balls out of the strike zone in order to issue such a walk.
3. If a pitcher hits four batters in a game, he must be removed upon hitting the fourth batsman.
4. The pitcher is not permitted to re-enter the game as a pitcher if removed under this rule.
5. There are no limits as to the number of innings a pitcher may pitch either in a game, or in a week.
6. Balks will be called per Official Major League Baseball Rules.
1. Teams are permitted to have a courtesy runner for the pitcher and catcher with two outs in any inning. The courtesy runner is not mandatory. The last batted out must be the courtesy runner.
2. In the 18+ & 25+Division, there are no courtesy runners other than for the pitcher or catcher.
3. In the 35+ Division, each team is allowed to have a maximum of two players per game who can be run for each time that they reach base.
4. The individual running for these players must be the last batted out.
5. A team utilizing courtesy runners for designated players must notify the opposing manager at the time of ground rules. If not so notified, the opposing manager may deny the request.
6. Once the game begins and 2 courtesy runners have been designated, if a player sustains an injury, a courtesy runner may be exchanged for use from one of the designated players to the injured player.
7. If a batter (designated as needing a courtesy runner) opts to run, or forgets to get a courtesy runner and subsequently runs, he will lose his courtesy runner for the remaining portion of the game.
8. The offensive team that is replacing the courtesy runner has 30 seconds to make the runner change. If the runner is not replaced within this time period, the original runner must run and the right to use the courtesy runner for this particular batter will be forfeited for the balance of the game. The 30 second time limit will begin at the time the umpire calls for time to allow replacement for the runner.
9. A team in any age division may designate one courtesy runner for an injured player prior to the start of the game. Further, a courtesy runner may also be designated for a player during the course of the game after an obvious injury.
10. The team requesting the courtesy runner for an injured player must notify the opposing manager prior to the start of the game or immediately after an obvious in-game injury that the courtesy runner is necessary or no runner will be permitted. In return for the allowance of an injured player courtesy runner, the player using the runner will not be permitted to play the field unless the requesting team only has 8 or less players available to play.
11. The runner requesting a courtesy runner because of injury must use the courtesy runner throughout the game with no exceptions. The last batted out will be the courtesy runner.
12. In the event that a courtesy runner is needed prior to an out being recorded in the first inning, the last batter in the batting order must be inserted as the courtesy runner.
1. If a defensive player is in possession of the ball, the base runner must slide or veer in order to avoid a collision.
2. Players are required to slide through the bag. Any attempts by a player to slide outside of the base to make contact with a defender in order to disrupt a throw will cause the other runner to be called out. This will be at the discretion of the umpire.
3. If the defensive player does not have possession of the ball, he may not block or obstruct the base runner, and must avoid a collision if possible. Any contact or collision deemed by the umpire to be intentional and avoidable shall be cause for ejection from the game of the offending player.
4. Any contact that is deemed flagrant, avoidable, or as an attempt to injure an opposing player shall be cause for ejection, suspension, and review by League Officials.
1. Three Strikes Rule
a. 1st Ejection: A player, manager, or coach that is ejected from one game is not permitted to participate in the remainder of that specific game.
b. 2nd Ejection: Any player, manager, or coach who is ejected from a second game shall not be permitted to participate in the remainder of the specific game and must serve a one game suspension.
i. The suspension shall be served the next game that the team plays. The suspended individual shall be prohibited from participating in the game in any capacity.
ii. In the event of a second ejection during the first game of a double header, the player will be permitted to play in the second game provided that the player is going to appeal the ejection/suspension.
c. 3rd Ejection: Any player, manager or coach ejected from three games will be ineligible to participate in the NJIBL for the remainder of the season.
i. In the event of a third ejection during the first game of a double header, the player will not be permitted to play in the second game of the double header regardless of his anticipated appeal of the ejection/suspension.
2. Appeal: The ejection or suspension of an individual may be appealed to the Board of Trustees, or their designated representatives, within forty-eight hours of the ejection. A decision will be rendered prior to the next game and will be final.
1. Protests can only be filed due to a misapplication of the rules or player eligibility issues.
2. Judgment calls by an umpire may not be protested.
3. A manager who wishes to protest must advise the opposing manager and the home-plate umpire of his decision to protest the game prior to the next pitch thrown or a runner is retired.
4. A protest arising from a game-ending play must be lodged with the Board of Trustees, or their representatives, the same day.
5. The Board of Trustees shall either appoint a protest committee, or themselves act as the protest committee. In the event that a committee member is a member of one of the teams involved, a person deemed neutral shall replace him. Even if the protest is upheld, no replay of the game shall be ordered unless it is the opinion of the protest committee that the violation adversely affected the outcome of the game.
6. In the event that a replay is ordered, the game shall be replayed as a new game.
1. A forfeit may be declared if a team is unable to field the minimum number of eight players within fifteen minutes of the scheduled starting time of the game.
2. A team that forfeits a game is responsible for payment of both umpires. If a team begins a game with 8 or more players then loses a player to fall below 8 will be charged with a loss regardless of the score or inning the game is at.
3. If a team forfeits 2 games during the course of a season will be ineligible for playoff eligibility.
1. It is the responsibility of the both teams to split the payment of the umpire fees, in accordance with the then current agreement between the League and the umpire association(s).
2. In the event that only one umpire arrives to officiate a game, the game shall proceed to be played and shall be official.
3. In the event that no umpires arrive to officiate a game, both managers must be in agreement to proceed with the game as official, and agree as to a method of officiating the game, prior to the commencement of play.