The following are the Local Rules for SJMSBL for the 2009 season and beyond until changed by the Board of the League. These rules supersede any National rules. Any National rule not superseded remains in effect. The National rules are appended to the end of this document.
General League Rules
1. PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
1.A. A player will be eligible to a play in the SJMSBL 25+ Division in the calendar year in which he turns twenty-five. The player who achieves his 25th birthday at any time during the calendar year is eligible to play in that year’s season(s).
1.A.1. A player will be eligible to a play in the SJMSBL 18+ Division in the calendar year in which he turns eighteen. No player may play until he has achieved his 18th birthday
1.B. A player will be eligible to participate in the SJMSBL 35+ Division in the calendar year in which he turns thirty-five. The player who achieves his 35th birthday at any time during the calendar year is eligible to play in that year’s season(s).
1.B.1. A player will be eligible to play in the SJMSBL 45+ Division in the calendar year in which he turns forty-five. The player who achieves his 45th birthday at any time during the calendar year is eligible to play in that year’s season(s).
1.C. A player will not be eligible to participate if he has not paid all fees, dues, and/or assessments to the League and to his team. No player will be eligible to participate if he owes money to a previous team.
1.D. Players must provide proof of age to the manager and/or the League upon registration. 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 upon request of opposing manager(s).
1.E. Players must sign the League Waiver prior to participating in League play.
1.F. Players must play in one-half of the team's scheduled regular season games in order to be eligible to participate in the post-season play (playoffs).
1.F.1. If the season has an odd number of games scheduled, the number of games needed to qualify for post-season play shall be rounded downward from the mathematical half.
1.F.2. Managers or their designates must enter game scores and player statistics into the official League website after each regular season game. Scores must be entered no later than midnight on the day of the game. Statistics must be entered no later than the Wednesday evening following the game. Manager not in compliance with this rule may incur a fine against their team for each instance of non-compliance. For playoff games, only scores, not statistics, must be entered under this rule. Fines for non-compliance still apply. The league will use these player statistics as indicator of sufficient play during the season to be eligible for post-season play.
1.G. Former Major and Minor league professional baseball players will be eligible to participate after being completely out of professional baseball as a player for three years. This includes independent leagues such as the Frontier League, the Atlantic League, and any other league that pays its members to play baseball.
1.G.1. For 18+ and 25+ Divisions ONLY: The aforementioned Rule 1.G. does not include independent leagues such as the Frontier League, the Atlantic League, and any other similarly situated independent baseball league which is not affiliated with a Major League Baseball franchise. (Amended October 2008.)
2. INELIGIBLE PLAYERS
2.A. A player found to be ineligible shall be suspended for the duration of the current season and for the following two seasons, to include post-season play.
2.B. A team knowingly using an ineligible player shall forfeit all games in which that player participated.
2.C. A manager who knowingly uses an ineligible player shall be suspended for the remainder of the season. Reinstatement will be subject to review of the League Directors, and that decision is final.
2.D. A player/manager who is suspended as a manager under Rule 2.C. above shall also be suspended as a player for the remainder of the season. Reinstatement will be subject to the review of the League Directors, and that decision is final.
2.E. Any player who aids, abets, or otherwise conspires to facilitate play of an ineligible player shall be suspended from all regular season and post-season play for the remainder of the current year and shall be suspended from the League in any capacity for an additional two years. Reinstatement will be subject to review of League Directors, and their decision is final.
2.F. Opposing managers 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 that time and followed up within forty-eight hours with the President of the appropriate Division with a description of the protest.
3. TEAM ROSTERS
3.A. Team rosters shall have a minimum of thirteen players and a maximum of twenty players.
3.A.1 Teams must qualify a minimum of eleven (11) players to be eligible for the playoffs. (see 1.F all parts). Teams with special circumstances (for example, loss of players late in the season to injury or for other reasons) may petition the league directors for exception. League directors will review but do not need to grant these petitions.
3.B. Preliminary rosters are due to League Directors at the January, February and March League meetings.
3.B.1. A final team roster is due to the League Directors prior to the first game of the season.
3.B.2. The final roster is not subject to deletions with the exception of a player who voluntarily quits, or a player who is injured and unable to play for the remainder of the season, including post-season play. Players placed on injured reserve reduce the number of active players counted toward the minimum but continue to count toward the maximum of 20 rostered players. (See 3.D).
3.C. Players may be added to the roster after the season commences only with prior approval of the League Directors, unless the team in question has less than 13 players rostered. In any year, the league directors may specify a deadline later than the start of the season for adding players.
3.C.1. Players added after the season commences must meet all eligible requirements as stated in Rule 1.
NOTE: Teams with thirteen or more players on their roster may not request additional players to be added to their roster after the season commences (or after the seasonal deadline established by the league directors for that season). Teams with less than thirteen players may request additional players at any time during the season in order to reach and/or maintain a thirteen-man active roster but may not exceed the twenty player total limit without league director approval.
3.D. During the season, players who are injured, whether from game activity or otherwise, and are unable to play may be placed on “Injured Reserve” (IR). A manager designates an injured reserve player by notifying and receiving approval of the League Directors via their Division President. The League Directors will maintain a list of those players on IR. Players on injured reserve will receive credit for games played toward their playoff eligibility requirement for each actual game missed. The maximum credit toward playoff eligibility will be 4 games in a 16 game season and 5 games in an 18 game season. Players placed on injured reserve will be deactivated and may not play in a team’s games for a minimum of three game dates (or 4 games, whichever is lesser number of games) following their designation on which the team has scheduled games as appear on the opening day schedule of that season. A player must be on the roster (that is, have signed a league waiver and paid his/her league fees) to be eligible for IR.
3.D.1 A player who started the year on IR, who has not played in any games and decides he/she will not play in any games during that season may petition the league for a refund of league fees paid. Notification must be made to the league prior to June 1 of the player’s decision to forego the season. Such refund may be reduced by any funds already forwarded to the National MSBL or other entity on behalf of that player which cannot be recovered by the league. That player will no longer be eligible for that season to play with any team in the league. Refunds, if any, of team fees are a team matter and the league shall not intervene.
3.D.2 The IR is intended to assist players and managers to maintain a playing roster that meets the league’s minimum requirements while promoting the objective of players’ participating to the fullest in the league, even when injuries occur. Any abuse of this rule by managers is reviewable by the league directors who can then decide on appropriate sanctions for such manager and/or team.
4. PLAYER PERSONNEL AND MANAGERIAL RIGHTS
4.A. A signed player (who signs and dates the league’s waiver which designates) is obligated to play for that team in the upcoming season.
4.B. A player may be on the roster of only one team in each of the SJMSBL seasons. (Note: due to the informality of play in the other seasons, the league may waive this rule for the Midweek, Fall, or other "specialized seasons").
4.B.1. Players on the roster of any one 25+, 35+ or 45+ SJMSBL team may also be on the roster of any one 18+ SJMSBL team. The intention of this is to allow for father/son or other “related persons” play on 18+ teams but the older player does not have to have a familial relationship with any other member of the 18+ team.
4.C. A player who quits a team after signing the roster cannot play for another team without the approval of his former manager, the new manager, and the League Directors.
4.C.1. A player may not switch teams without the approval of his current manager, the new manager, and the League Directors.
4.C.2. A player will not obtain a release from his present team if he owes any money, property, etc. to his present or any former team.
4.D. Any player trades must be approved by the League Directors before becoming final.
4.D.1. In the event that a player cannot obtain necessary approvals in order to change teams, he has the right to: 1. Play with his previous team, with the manager's consent, 2. Sit out for one year from the date of his last game played, 3. Declare to the league directors that he will play the current year as his final year of obligation to his current team, or, 4. Make himself available to any team by entering the next draft. In the event the player elects option 3 (declaring his/her “option year”), such declaration must be made before June 1 of that season and must be accepted by the league directors.
4.E. A player not invited back to his former team (given his release), may sign with any team that he chooses, or re-enter the draft.
4.F. In the event that a team disbands either during the season or during the off-season, all players with three years played in the League shall be free agents and free to sign with any team. Players who have not completed three full seasons must make themselves available to any team by entering the next draft (if the league determines there are a sufficient number of players to hold a draft).
4.F.1 The League directors will attempt to assign players with less than three years to a team if their team disbands during the season. Players have the right to refuse any such assignment, and re-enter the draft. If no draft is to be held, the league directors may declare the players free agents.
4.G. A player wishing to form his own team may leave his prior team and do so without the previous manager's approval. Any team movement of other players from that previous team other than to form a new team and thus become the manager are still subject to that previous manager’s approval
4.H. A manager wishing to form a new team may do so. The League Directors will act as interim manager of the old team, and in such capacity, have the right to disapprove any player changes until such time a new manager is named.
4.I A player who wishes to move into an older age bracket, i.e. 25+ to 35+ or 35+ to 45+, does NOT need to obtain the approval of his manager in order to make such a move. However, players moving into a younger age bracket, i.e., 45+ to 35+ or 35+ to 25+, must still obtain such approval. Players in the 25+, 35+ or 45+ divisions are free to also be on the roster of any single 18+ Division team without obtaining any approvals from their manager.
5.A. A signed player may not be approached or solicited to play for another team by any manager, agent, or representative of the manager, or his team, from the time the player has signed through the last game of the season, to include post-season play.
5.B. Violation of this rule shall be cause for suspension for the duration of the current season, to include post-season play, plus suspension for one additional year from the League as a player, coach, and/or manager.
6. NO PLAYER COMPENSATION
6.A. It is illegal to offer any compensation or incentive to any player, coach, or manager as payment for participating in the SJMSBL.
6.B. It is permitted to reimburse personnel for expenses incurred during the course of conducting team or League business.
6.C. It is permitted for managers, coaches, or team members to be compensated for time and expense for the performance of non-playing activities on the behalf of the team.
7. LEAGUE MEETINGS
7.A. General League meetings will be held approximately once per month prior to each season and then as deemed necessary during the course of the season. Attendance at the meeting by the team manager, or his designated representative, is mandatory.
7.B. Failure to attend the monthly League meeting shall result in the team being fined $25.00.
8. LEAGUE DIRECTORS
7.A. League Directors shall be designated in a manner that the League Commissioner chooses. The League Directors will act “in the best interests of the league” and may take any actions approved by the commissioner “in the best interest of the league”. The League Directors will be the interpreters of the intent and application of the rules of the league.
Major League Baseball Rules apply except where modified in the following SJMSBL rules.
1.A. All teams must have full baseball uniforms consisting of caps, numbered jerseys, baseball pants, socks, and appropriate footwear.
1.B. Each player’s uniform must be of similar design to his teammates' uniforms.
1.C. Teams with sponsors are permitted to place the sponsor's name either on the jersey or on a shoulder patch.
1.D. No player out of uniform will be allowed to play without the opposing manager's consent.
1.E. A grace period of thirty days shall be allowed for newly activated players to complete their uniforms.
2. PLAYER EQUIPMENT
2.A. All batters and base runners shall wear helmets at all times, either double earflap, or single earflap, with flap facing the pitcher.
2.B. Catchers must wear a facemask, a skull cap (or all-in-one hockey style mask), a chest protector, shin guards, and a cup.
2.C. Metal cleats are permitted.
3. TEAM EQUIPMENT
3.A. The only balls permitted for game use are R-100 or other balls as designated by the league directors during the year.
3.B. For divisions that are designated as wood bat play divisions, 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. For divisions designated as allowing metal bats, only bats conforming to and with the notation of BESR certified are permitted and must not have a weight drop of greater than -3.
4. LENGTH OF GAMES
4.A. All games shall be nine innings, with exceptions noted in this section.
4.A.1 Doubleheaders shall be scheduled as two games of 7 innings. Any two (or more) games played by either of the teams on the same date shall be deemed a doubleheader and all games by that team on that date shall be scheduled for 7 innings. Any of the rules below applying to 7 inning games shall apply to these games.
4.B. A game called due to inclement weather shall be official after five completed innings.
4.B.1. A game scheduled as 9 innings called due to darkness shall be official after seven completed innings. A game scheduled as 7 innings shall be official after 5 innings when called for darkness.
4.B.2. 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 be counted as official, to include a player's participation in the game to be counted towards eligibility for post-season play.
4.C. A 9-inning game shall be ruled official and completed after seven innings if a twelve or more run discrepancy exists in the score. A 7-inning game shall be ruled official and completed after five innings if a ten or more run discrepancy exists in the score (Mercy Rule). This shall not apply to playoff games
4.D. Each 9-inning game shall have a three-hour time limit. Each 7-inning game shall have a 2.5-hour time limit. The clock starts running upon the actual start of play, not scheduled start of play. The time at the last out of the prior inning determines if the time limit has expired (not the time at the start of the next inning). Once an inning has started, it shall be played to its completion. 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. This shall not apply to playoff games.
4.D.1 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. Tie games shall be counted as ties, provided length of game rules are adhered to.
4.E. A called game that is not official shall be made up. The date for the make-up game must be agreed to by the respective managers within two weeks of the called game, and the game must be played within a time frame deemed “reasonable” by the Directors. The Directors reserve the right to mandate the schedule of a make-up game if the two managers reach an impasse.
4.F. League standings shall be determined by a point system, as follows:
* Win, or win by forfeit = 3 points.
* Tie = 2 points.
* Loss = 1 point.
* Loss by forfeit = 0 points.
* Game not played = 0 points.
5. BATTING ORDER
5.A. A team may bat as many batters as it wishes, but must bat a minimum of eleven batters.
5.A.1. For playoff games only: If, in the initial lineup at the start of the game, one team is unable to bat eleven players in the batting order, the opposing team may elect to reduce the number of batters to the same number as the opposition. (Rule 7., all sections, applies if additional players become available.)
5.A.2. For playoffs games only: in the above situation, if a team’s tenth or eleventh player arrives after the start of the game and the opposing manager has chosen to match the lesser number in the batting order, neither his manager nor the opposing manager are forced to enter additional players into the batting lineup. Both teams may choose to remain at the number of players in the batting lineup as at the start of the game.
5.B. Batters may be added to the bottom of the batting order at any time (after first filling legally required spots). They become part of the batting order and may not be removed, except as provided by rule.
5.C. 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. (See exception for Courtesy Runners.)
5.D. If a player is forced to leave a game due to: 1) Injury, 2) Commitment, or 3) Ejection, a reserve player, not previously entered into the game as a batter, must be inserted into the vacated spot in the batting order.
5.D.1. During the regular season, if no reserve player is available and a player is forced to leave the game due to an obvious injury or other reason as above, the vacated spot in the batting order is skipped over without penalty or an out being called. For playoffs only: if no reserve player is available and a player is forced to leave the game due to another commitment or an ejection or other reason as above, an out shall be called only the first time that player’s spot in the batting order comes up. Thereafter, his spot in the batting order shall be skipped without penalty. In the playoffs, if either team is reduced to 8 players, the empty 9th batting position is an out every time that empty position comes up in the order.
6. DEFENSIVE LINEUP
6.A. All players may be substituted for defensively at any time without affecting the player's status in the batting order (Free Substitution).
6.B. The pitcher, once removed, may re-enter to pitch only one time during the remainder of the game. He cannot re-enter to pitch in the same inning in which he was removed. If a pitcher completes an inning and is then removed, he may not pitch in the next inning, but must wait until the following inning before pitching once again.
6.C. A removed pitcher may play any other position.
7. NUMBER OF PLAYERS
7.A. A team must have a minimum of eight players in order to begin a game.
7.B. If a team starts a game with eight players, and a ninth player arrives, he must be inserted into the lineup immediately. He may be inserted into the batting order into any position that has not yet batted. If all positions in the batting order have already batted, he must be added to the bottom of the order.
7.B.1. The above rule applies to the arrival of a tenth and/or eleventh player arriving after the game has started. Players must be inserted into the batting order immediately in order to attain the legal minimum of eleven hitters.
7.C. A team may "borrow" a ninth player with opposing manager's consent. If a manager offers the opposing team a 9th player and the opposing manager refuses to take the player then the 9th position in the batting order becomes a out. If the lending manager does not offer the opposing team a player then there will be no penalty. The borrowed player stays with the opposing team for the duration of the game as if he was a member of that team unless a 9th player shows up and then we revert to rule 7.B and rule 7.C.1. The borrowed player then returns to his original team.
7.C.1. If a team's ninth player arrives after the start of the game, he must enter the game immediately, and bat in the borrowed player’s vacated position in the batting order. The borrowed player must leave the lineup of the borrowing team. He cannot become a tenth player. The borrowed player is then free to be used by his own team’s manager as the manager wishes.
8.A. Pitchers may not wear white nor gray long sleeves, batting gloves, white, gray, or multi-colored fielding mitt, wristbands, watches, jewelry, or other items, which are potentially distracting to a batter.
8.B. Intentional walks are permitted. Pitchers must throw four balls out of the strike zone in order to issue such a walk.
8.C. If a pitcher hits four batters in a game, he must be removed upon hitting the fourth batsman. The pitcher is not permitted to re-enter the game as a pitcher if removed under this rule.
8.D. There are no limits as to the number of innings a pitcher may pitch either in a game, or in a week.
8.E. Balks will be called per Official Baseball Rules.
9. COURTESY RUNNERS
9.A. Each team shall be allowed two courtesy runners per game.
9.B. The manager must name the players who will require courtesy runners prior to the start of the game. If a manager prior to the start of the game names fewer than two courtesy runners, that manager may add, without permission of the opposing manager, courtesy runners up to a total of two for any players deemed by the manager to have been injured during play.
9.C. The player making the immediately previous batted out who does not have a courtesy runner designated must be inserted as the courtesy runner. If that player also has a courtesy runner designated then the batted out previous becomes the courtesy runner.
9.C.1. 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.
9.C.2. The manager has the option of not inserting his current pitcher or catcher as a courtesy runner. In that instance, the courtesy runner shall be the player who made the next previous out.
9.D. Once the game has started, a courtesy runner may be used if:
1) Two courtesy runners have not already been named, and
2) The batter-runner has sustained an obvious injury.
9.D.1. Once the game has started, and two courtesy runners have already been named, and a player sustains an obvious injury, a pinch-runner must be used. This is a player substitution in the batting order.
9.D.2. Once the game has started, the opposing manager may allow an additional courtesy runner if:
1) Two courtesy runners have already been named, and
2) There are no reserves left on the bench, and
3) The batter-runner has sustained an obvious injury.
9.E. The courtesy runner must enter the game immediately upon completion of play.
9.E.1. If the batter-runner chooses to run or fails to get a courtesy runner prior to the next pitch, he loses his right to a courtesy runner for the remainder of the game unless the opposing manager still allows it.
9.F. Teams cannot change the batter-runner designees after the start of the game unless the opposing manager allows such a change.
9.G. The manager has the option of inserting courtesy runners for his current pitcher or catcher if they are on base with two outs. (Speed Up Rule.)
9.G.1. If a manager chooses not to use a runner for his pitcher or catcher in a given inning, he still retains the option to do so at a later point in the game.
10. SLIDE OR VEER
10.A. If a defensive player is in possession of the ball, the base runner must slide or veer in order to avoid a collision.
10.B. 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.
10.C. 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.
10.D. 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.
11.A. Any player, manager, or coach who is ejected from a game shall serve a one game suspension. The suspension shall be served the next game that the team plays.
11.B. The suspended individual shall be prohibited from participating in the game in any capacity.
11.B.1. The suspended individual shall not be in uniform if he attends the game.
11.C. Ejection from a game may incur suspension for more than one game subject to rules cited elsewhere in these Rules and Regulations.
11.D. The suspension of an individual may be appealed to the League Directors, or their designates, within forty-eight hours of the ejection. A decision will be rendered prior to the next game and will be final.
12.A. Protests can only be filed due to a misapplication of the rules. Judgment calls by an umpire may not be protested.
12.B. 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. A protest arising from a game-ending play must be lodged with the League Directors, or their designates, the same day.
12.C. Any protest may be lodged with the League Directors, or their designates, the same day as the game.
12.D. The League Directors 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.
12.E. 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.
12.E.1. In the event that a replay is ordered, the game shall be replayed as a new game.
13.A. A forfeit may be declared if a team is unable to field the minimum number of players (8) within fifteen minutes of the scheduled starting time of the game.
13.B. Before calling a forfeit, the umpire and opposing manager may allow additional time if the delay is unavoidable. (Example may be a traffic accident closing the route to the field.)
13.C. Although not mandatory, teams are encouraged to scrimmage in the event that a game has been called as a forfeit.
14.A. 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).
14.B. In the event that only one umpire arrives to officiate a game, the game shall proceed to be played and shall be official.
14.C. 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.
14.C.1. In the event that no umpires arrive to officiate a game, and both managers do not agree to play an official game; the teams are encouraged to scrimmage. The game must be rescheduled and made up at a later date.
MEN’S SENIOR BASEBALL LEAGUE & MEN’S ADULT BASEBALL LEAGUE
National RULES AND REGULATIONS
REVISED January 1, 2009
This league was created to provide for men 18, 25, 35, 45, and 55 and over an alternative to softball and enable us to play the game we all grew up playing. Adult attitudes must always prevail, no matter how competitive any league is. The responsibility that this ethic sustains will remain at the responsibility of the individual league President and his officers and anyone who abuses the league’s code can be suspended or expelled from the league. These rules were established to serve as guidelines for all local league affiliates.
1. Uniforms, Helmets, Baseballs, and Other Equipment
2. Game Length, Run Rule, and Rainouts
3. Teams, Players, and Line-Ups
4. Player Behavior and Team Responsibility
5. Courtesy Runners
8. Ex-Pro Status and Regulations
9. General League Rules
10. Code of Conduct
1. UNIFORMS, HELMETS, AND BASEBALLS
1.a All teams must have full baseball uniforms consisting of caps, numbered baseball jerseys, baseball pants, belt, sanitary socks and stirrups - each player’s uniform must be of similar design to his teammates uniforms. Teams having sponsorship will be allowed the sponsors name on their uniforms via patch or uniform shirt.
a.1. No player out of uniform will be allowed to play without the opposing manager’s consent.
a.2. All teams should have their uniforms by their first game. A grace period should be extended for newly activated players or for new teams to complete their uniforms.
1.b All batters and runners must wear helmets with at least one ear flap facing the pitcher for both at bats and on base. There is no option to this rule. Full double-ear flap helmets are encouraged for at bats and are encouraged for the bases. Catchers must wear a helmet underneath their mask. All base coaches must also wear helmets while on the field of play. The same rule will apply for all national tournament play.
1.c all leagues are encouraged to use official Rawlings MSBL baseballs: RMSBL. Each team should bring a minimum of 3 balls to each game. Only balls provided by the local league will be permitted.
1.d Wood and metal bats are allowed and both will be permitted for all tournaments. The maximum bat differential established by the National organization is a minus 3 for any type of metal or aluminum bat. No metal bats exceeding 36” in length and/or a 2 5/8” diameter are permitted. If a player uses a bat exceeding this differential and a protest is made, the offending batter will be declared an out.
1.e Metal cleats are permitted.
2. GAME LENGTH, RUN RULE, AND RAIN-OUTS
2.a All games are 9 innings -
Re: darkness - 7 innings complete – umpires discretion
Re: rain - 5 innings complete.
All league playoff games must be played to completion either by league standards, being a (7) inning or (9) inning game. The umpire may suspend, cancel, or call a game if, in their opinion, the safety of the players is compromised due to rain, darkness or time limits.
2.b If there is a 15-run discrepancy at the end of 5 innings and the game has gone 2 hours and 30 minutes, the game will be ruled final at this point. This rule will not pertain in national and regional tournaments.
2.c Any games rained out will not be re-scheduled by the league, but may be made up at any time not conflicting with previously scheduled games. All make-up games must be agreed to by both managers and league notification must take place. Rain out games must be made up in order of cancellations. Tie games can be played to completion at a later date, again with the agreement of both teams and league notification. Final league standings will be determined by won/lost percentage. Ties will be decided by head-to-head competition first, followed by inter-division won-lost record.
2.d In the event of rain, it is the responsibility of the scheduled home team to notify the umpires and opposing team of field conditions and possible cancellation of game, at least 1 hour before scheduled game time. In the event such notification does not take place, the home team solely will be responsible for any travel fees imposed by the umpiring organization.
3. TEAMS, PLAYERS, AND LINEUPS
3.a A player is eligible to participate in an official league sanctioned game on the dates of either their 25th/35th/45th birthday or 18th birthday for MSBL and MABL respectively. Individual local leagues can use the cut-off date as the calendar year.
3.b New Players: The league shall control the assignment to teams of all new players who have contacted the league in response to advertising or who have been referred to the league by any means. A player who has not played in any league game in either the current or previous year shall be regarded as a new player. A new player acquired by a team through that team’s own recruiting efforts shall be subject to the control of the team and not the league.
3.c Team rosters must be submitted to the local league by opening day, including league and player fees, proof of date of birth, player waiver forms, and team medical waiver form. Rosters may not be changed after the first league game unless:
- Players are lost to injuries.
- A player from their roster voluntarily quits for the remainder of the season.
- The local league decides to extend dates for final rosters.
3.d All players, prior to participating in a game, must have signed waiver forms on file with the league.
3.e A team manager may bat as many players as he desires, with a minimum of 10 (subject to the number of players available, if less than 10). Batters cannot be deleted or skipped over, regardless of their batting position or when they were added during the game. If a team has only 9 (nine) players and therefore bats only 9, the opposing team will have the option of batting 9 as well.
3.f A manager may add batters to the bottom of the lineup at any time but if a batter is pinch hit or run for (except under courtesy runners as outlined in section 5), the player may not re-enter the game as a hitter but may remain in the game as a fielder or pitcher. Added players to the bottom of the lineup may be added as individual hitters or as A/B. Each team has a hitting and a defensive lineup that are independent of each other. Players may play in either lineup or both.
3.g A team MAY declare at the time that lineups are exchanged prior to the start of play that any batting order position can be occupied by two (2) players in each such batting position. That is, 3A/3B, 10, 11A/11B, 12, etc. The first time that position 9 gets an at bat, 9A would hit and the next time this slot hits, 9B would be up. Then 9A hits the third time this spot in the order comes up, and so on, alternating between these two players throughout the game. Once a team declares the use of this A/B system, it must continue using it for the remainder of the game. Hitters in the A/B position may be pinch hit for, just as any other player.
3.h All teams must announce offensive additions, substitutions, and/or changes to the home plate umpire AND opposing team manager and/or scorekeeper. Only after this has been done will the added player be deemed a legal substitution.
If a team fails to announce an offensive addition/change, the player will be called out as soon as he occupies the batter’s box and the lineup will revert back to the lineup in effect prior to the player entering the game. The unannounced player will not have officially entered the offensive lineup and is therefore still available offensively even though an out has been assessed.
Example: Team A is batting 12 players and wishes to add a player to the bottom of the lineup (Player 13). Player 13 walks to the plate and is not announced to either the opposing team or home plate umpire. Once this player occupies his position in the batter’s box, the umpire will immediately call him out for an illegal substitution and it will then go back to the number 1 position in the lineup. Player 13 is still available to be added to the lineup legally.
3.i If a player is forced to leave a game due to injury or ejection, a reserve player, not previously entered into the game as a hitter, must hit in the replaced hitter’s place. If there are no reserves who can replace the individual, the spot is skipped and all hitters below that position move up. The first time this vacated spot comes up in the batting order, an out will be assessed, after that one time, no out will be recorded for skipping the spot vacated by the displaced player.
3.j A team must have 8 players for an official game and may borrow a player from an opposing team with the opposing manager’s consent or may borrow a player from another team, also with the opposing manager’s consent. If the team’s 9th player arrives after the start of the game, the borrowed player reverts back to his team.
3.k All players may be substituted for defensively, at any time, without affecting the player’s offensive status in the line-up. If the pitcher is removed, he may re-enter to pitch only one time during the course of the game, but not in the same inning. The removed pitcher may play any other position after being removed or no position at all.
3.l No player may switch teams without the consent of both managers and the league president. If this does not meet with approval, the player must sit out one calendar year from competition, from the last date of his playing, or re-enter the league’s next draft, making himself available to any team for selection. In the event a team disbands during the season or at season’s conclusion, all players with 3 years seniority in the league will become automatic free agents and will be permitted to play for any desired team. Players not having 3 years in the league will re-enter the draft. If a player is not invited back by his manager, he must be given his release so that he may go to the team of his choosing or re-enter the draft. If a player is invited back to play and he desires not to play for his former team and cannot be successfully traded, he must sit out one entire year or re-enter the draft, making himself available to all teams.
3.m In the event a player wishes to leave his existing team and form a new team, he may do so. No other player can be taken from the existing team without the consent of the existing team’s manager. No other players may be taken from any other team without the respective team manager’s approval.
3.n Final team rosters must have no less than 12 players.
3.o Last names must be used in the scorebook to allow for player identification for follow up inquiries that relate to playoff and national tournament participation requiring minimum playing requirements.
4. PLAYERS BEHAVIOR AND TEAM RESPONSIBILITY
4.a There will be no beer or alcoholic beverages permitted at the field before, during, or after the game. The field refers to the general playing area and ancillary areas.
4.b The league has the right to suspend or expel any team member who abuses league rules or who does not exhibit a sense of sportsmanship or who plays without regard to the safety of the umpires or other players.
4.c An umpire has sole discretion to expel any player or manager from the game.
4.d Fighting among players or aggressive physical contact with an umpire will not be tolerated and players expelled from the game for either violation will be subject to suspension or expulsion from the league.
4.e The rules committee is concerned about possible unnecessary and violent collisions that may occur with the catcher at home plate, and with infielders at all bases. The intent of this rule is to encourage base runners and defensive players to avoid such collisions whenever possible.
a. When there is a collision between a runner and a fielder who clearly is in possession of the ball, the umpire shall judge:
(1) Whether the collision by the runner was avoidable (could the runner have reached the base without colliding) or unavoidable (the runner’s path to the base was blocked) or
(2) Whether the runner actually was attempting to reach the base (plate) or attempting to dislodge the ball from the fielder.
PENALTY—If the runner, a) could have avoided the collision and reached the base, or b) attempted to dislodge the ball, the runner shall be declared out even if the fielder loses possession of the ball. The ball is dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.
(3) If the fielder blocks the path of the base runner to the base (plate), the runner may make contact or slide into, a fielder as long as the runner is making a legitimate attempt to reach the base or plate.
(4) If the collision by the runner was flagrant, the runner shall be declared out and also ejected from the contest. The ball shall be declared dead.
b. If the defensive player blocks the base (plate) or base line clearly without possession of the ball, obstruction shall be called. The runner is safe and an immediate dead ball shall be called.
(1) If the base runner collides flagrantly, the runner shall be declared safe on the obstruction, but will be ejected from the contest. The ball is dead.
c. Decoy Rule
Any fielder may use a decoy only if it serves a strategic purpose. For example, if a fielder, who sees a man attempting to steal second base during a hit and run, looks upward into the sky and says that he’s got the pop-up when in fact the ball has been hit on ground is a legal decoy as it may cause the runner to retreat to first base and prevent him from advancing.
However, if a fielder fakes a tag, forcing a player to slide, when there is no strategic purpose or apparent play, the runner will be ruled safe and all runners will advance one base.
This is entirely an umpire judgment decision and not a rule that may be protested.
d. Force Play Slide Rule
The intent of the force-play-slide rule is to ensure the safety of the defensive player. This is a safety as well as an interference rule. Whether the defense could have completed the double play has no bearing on the applicability of this rule. This rule pertains to a force-play situation at any base, regardless of the number of outs.
a. On any force play, the runner must slide on the ground and in a direct line between the two bases.
Exception—A runner need not slide directly into a base as long as the runner slides or runs in a direction away from the fielder to avoid making contact or altering the play of the fielder.
(1) “On the ground” means either a head-first slide or a slide with one leg and buttock on the ground.
(2) “Directly into a base” means the runner’s entire body (feet, legs, trunk and arms) must stay in a straight line between the bases.
(3) If a runner goes into a base standing up and does not make contact or alter the play of the defensive player, interference shall not be called.
b. Contact with a fielder is legal and interference shall not be called if the runner:
(1) Makes a legal slide directly to the base, or
(2) Is on the ground at the time of contact and the fielder moves directly down the line between the two bases to attempt a play.
(3) Makes a legal slide and makes contact with a defensive player who is on or over, but not beyond, the base.
(4) When the base runner slides beyond the base, but does not (a) make contact with, or (b) alter the play of the defensive player, interference shall not be called.
c. Actions by a runner are illegal and interference shall be called if:
(1) The runner slides or runs out of the base line in the direction of the fielder;
(2) The runner uses a rolling, cross-body, or pop-up slide and either makes contact with or alters the play of a fielder;
(3) The runner’s raised leg makes contact higher than the fielder’s knee when in a standing position;
(4) The runner goes beyond the base and either makes contact with or alters the play of the fielder;
(a) Beyond the base” means any part of the offensive player’s body makes contact with or alters the play of the fielder beyond the base.
(5) The runner slashes or kicks the fielder with either leg;
(6) The runner illegally slides toward or contacts the fielder even if the fielder makes no attempt to throw to complete a play.
(1) With less than two outs, the batter-runner, as well as the interfering runner, shall be declared out and no other runner(s) shall advance.
(2) With two outs, the interfering runner shall be declared out and no other runner(s) shall advance.
(3) If the runner’s slide or collision is flagrant, the runner shall be ejected from the contest.
(4) If the bases are loaded with no outs, a double-play attempt is made, and interference is called, all other runners must return to their original bases.
4.f Each league must set its own standards of player/team sportsmanship, but must encourage suspensions for infractions unbefitting to the image and policies of the league.
4.g Failure to abide by age regulations - the managers must all recognize their responsibility to the league and the perpetuity of it as to not cross the line where winning is more important than playing. An opposing manager may at anytime have the right to question a player’s age. If a manager wants to lodge a protest, proof of age and residence must be mailed to the manager who lodged his protest by Friday of the following week. If an under age player is detected, penalties whether to the individual or team will be decided by the league president and board of directors. As a national precedent, the penalties will be forfeiture of all games in which the under-age player participated in and a minimum two-year suspension. If the manager had prior knowledge, he is subject to similar suspension.
5. COURTESY RUNNERS
5.a Players that will need courtesy runners must have their manager notify the opposing manager prior to the start of the game. If not so notified, the opposing manager may deny the request. Each team will be allowed a maximum of 2 players per game who can be run for each time that they reach base. The individual who runs for these player(s) needing a courtesy runner is not determined ahead of time. It is always the last batted out who must run for the person needing the courtesy runner. Once the game begins and the full complement of 2 courtesy runners has not been used, if a player sustains an injury, an additional courtesy runner may be used. In the event a player becomes injured during the game and the maximum number of courtesy runners (2) have already been designated, a pinch runner must be used and no courtesy runner will be allowed. 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. 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.
6.a No player while pitching may wear white or gray sleeves, nor may a pitcher wear a batting glove or wristband while pitching.
6.b One intentional walk per game will be allowed.
6.c If a pitcher hits 4 batters in any one game, the pitcher must be removed on the fourth hit batsman.
6.d There is no regulation as to how many innings a pitcher may pitch in a game or a week.
7. EX-PRO STATUS AND REGULATIONS
7.a A player must be out of pro-ball for 3 complete MSBL seasons before becoming eligible to participate in a MSBL league. This is a general rule meant to stand as an example for other local MSBL leagues to examine. Local MSBL leagues may establish their own criteria for ex-pros as its individual board and managers see fit. Pro-ball refers to major and minor leagues. Independent leagues are to be considered separately. For the World Series and Fall Classic, the following rules will pertain without exception:
In order to guarantee fairness to all, the ex-pro rules will be as follows:
1. No team may have more than 5-ex-pros on their roster and no more than 25% of any team roster can be comprised of ex-professionals, no matter the time spent out of pro-ball.
2. No ex-pro may play, if he has been out of professional baseball for less than 3 complete MSBL seasons without the written permission from MSBL-National Rules Committee.
A player is not an ex-pro if:
A) the player is over 38 years old and he has been out of pro-ball for at least 3 complete seasons.
B) the player has been out of pro-ball for more than 8 years.
No more than 3 ex-pros, as defined above, will be allowed on the roster without written permission from the National Tournament Rules Committee.
Continental division - Limit 1 ex-pro as defined above.
Federal/Mountain divisions – Limit 1 ex-pro as defined above. For 35+ & 45+, no ex-pros allowed as defined above.
Central division - No ex-pros allowed under any circumstances.
For National Tournament Play
25 and over - player becomes eligible on the date of his 25th birthday
35 and over - player becomes eligible if turns 35 during the calendar year
18 and over - player becomes eligible on the date of his 18th birthday
45 and over - player becomes eligible if turns 45 during the calendar year
50/55 and over - player becomes eligible if turns 50/55 during the calendar year
60/65 and over - player becomes eligible if turns 60/65 during the calendar year
Father/Son - minimum age for son is 16 years old
8. GENERAL LEAGUE RULES
8.a Two forfeits by any team could mean immediate expulsion from the league with no money refunded to the team. Individual leagues should evaluate circumstances before rendering a decision.
8.b All protests should be lodged to the league protest committee/board within 24 hours after the game for which the protest is made. All protests shall be decided by the league board of directors and/or protest committee.
8.c Only MSBL and MABL leagues are eligible for all MSBL and MABL sanctioned regional and national tournaments, unless waived by national tournament committee.
8.d Determination of eligibility to participate in MSBL regional and national tournament competition will be based solely on the decision of MSBL National Tournament Rules Committee. In general, no player will be allowed to participate in a regional or national tournament unless the player has participated in at least 50% of his regular season MSBL/MABL games.
8.e In order for a player to qualify and participate in his team’s local league playoffs, tournaments and post-season events, he must participate in at least 50% of his team’s regular season games. In order for a player to qualify as a pitcher he must make two plate appearances in one half of his team’s regular season games played or pitch in 25% of this team’s regular season total innings or pitch in 75% of his team’s games. If such a player fails to meet the requirements due to injury, a letter should be submitted to the league president explaining non-compliance. Local leagues retain the right to their own qualifications for local tournament only.
8.f In the case of a player whose team plays a regular season local league schedule that had 15 or fewer games, the player must play in a significant way in the greater of eight (8) games or 75% of the number of regular season games on the schedule. A player shall be deemed to have played in a game in a significant way if; (a) he has at least three (3) at bats in the game; or (b) plays at least four (4) innings in the field; or (c) plays at least three (3) innings in the field and has at least one at bat; or (d) plays at least three (3) innings in the field, has no at bats, but pitches the game. The National Rules Committee, and its conclusions, shall be binding.
8.g Each year, all players on the league’s waiting list will be invited to a draft. The annual draft will be conducted in a manner to allow parity in leagues by having the prior year’s teams with the lowest finishing records drafting first.
8.h In regard to the Men’s Adult Baseball League, players upon reaching the age of 28 do not automatically have to enter the senior division. When desired, MABL players, unless entering as a full team, when reaching age 25 will enter the senior division draft. MABL players already entered into the league cannot be solicited to join senior division teams and when entering into the senior division must go through the draft, unless entering as a full team.
9. CODE OF CONDUCT
Managers and players shall conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner at all times. No manager or player shall commit the following:
1. Lay a hand upon, shove or strike, or threaten an official. Players and managers guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until his conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players and managers guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season or expulsion from the league for life.
2. Refuse to abide by an official’s decision. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until his conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.
Be guilty of objectionable demonstrations of dissent at an official’s decision. Players and managers guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension from further participation in the game.
Discuss with an official or officials the decision reached by such official or officials, except for the manager or his designee who are authorized to participate in such discussions. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension from further participation in the game.
Use unnecessarily rough tactics in the play of the game against the body or person of an opposing player. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.
Be guilty of physical attack as an aggressor upon any player, manager, official, or spectator, before, during, or after a game. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until their conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season or expulsion from the league for life.
Be guilty of verbal abusive attack upon any player, manager, official, or spectator, before, during, or after a game. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until their conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season.
Consume alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs during the game or be upon the field of play at any time in an intoxicated condition. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.
Smoke on the field of play or in the dugout. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game.
1. The board of directors may, by vote of the majority of the directors, suspend any player or manager for such a period and upon such terms as it may propose, for the conduct with in its opinion is prejudicial to the welfare, interest, reputation, or charter of the league.
2. Except as otherwise provided, the commissioners shall determine the appropriate action required for violations of the codes of conduct, and shall report their decision to the player, manager and the board of directors.
3. A player found in violation of any provision delineated in the codes of conduct, after being placed on probation for the remainder of the season shall be suspended for the remainder of the season.
4. Any player found in violation of any provisions delineated in the codes of conduct, after being suspended from further participation in a game shall be suspended for the remainder of the season.
Grievances, protests, and appeals
1. Grievances may be filed by an individual player or by the manager of a team provided that a grievance is formally submitted to the commissioner or appropriate board. The commissioner shall adjudicate all such grievances and shall report any action taken to the board of directors.
2. An appeal of any action or ruling may be filed with the board of directors by an individual player or by the manager of a team provided that the appeal is formally submitted. However, all decisions by the board of directors are final and not subject to appeal.