PIONEER VALLEY BASEBALL LEAGUE CONSTITUTION
ARTICLE I. LEAGUE ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNANCE
A. League Description
The Pioneer Valley Baseball League (“PVBL”) is a non-profit adult recreational baseball league operating within the Pioneer Valley.
B. League Composition
The league is comprised of four (4) teams. The current teams are Dirt Dogs, Knights, Valley Cats and Zoar Rafters. The current managers for the four teams are:
Dirt Dogs – Colin Hosley
Knights – Jay Sadowski
Valley Cats – Ken Sloat, Edd Shumate (Assistant)
Zoar Rafters – Bob Mastorakis, Brian Benjamin (Assistant)
C. League Governance
PVBL is governed by a Board of Directors (The Board”), headed by a League President. The Board is structured as follows:
1. Advisory Members
Advisory Members of the board are all individuals who hold an official administrative position in PVBL.
b. Scope of Role
Advisory Members may attend league meetings and participate in all discussions and deliberations of issues, but may not vote.
c. Current Advisory Members
The current Advisory Members are:
Morriss Partee, League President
Jay Sadowski, League Vice President/Knights Manager
Colin Hosley, Dirt Dogs Manager
Ken Sloat, Valley Cats Manager
Robert Mastorakis, Zoar Rafters
Edd Shumate, Valley Cats Assistant Manager
Brian Benjamin, Zoar Rafters Assistant Manager
Stu Clark, Umpire Coordinator
Rob Hyde, Stat Keeper
Steve Cole, Weather Coordinator
Bob Englehardt, Alumnus
Pres Pieraccini, Alumnus
2. Voting Members
The Voting Members of the board are the team managers. These Voting Members are the only individuals designated by PVBL to vote on official league matters.
b. Current Voting Members
The current Voting Members are:
Colin Hosley, Dirt Dogs
Jay Sadowski, Knights
Ken Sloat, Valley Cats
Bob Mastorakis, Zoar Rafters
c. Tie-Breaking Vote
In the event of a tie vote, the League President shall cast the tie-breaking vote.
ARTICLE II. TEAM ORGANIZATIONAL RULES
Teams shall be organized in accordance with the following rules:
1. Open Rosters
Managers are responsible for filling their own rosters. PVBL does not have a player draft. Managers may add any player to their roster without restriction, subject to the age requirements outlined in paragraph 3 of this section.
2. Independent Players
Any player who comes independently to the league (a player who is not recruited by a team) shall be placed on a PVBL roster at the discretion of the PVBL Board. In making such a decision, the Board shall consider the competitive balance of the league and individual team needs over all other factors.
3. Age Requirement
Any player over the age of eighteen (18) may be added to a roster, with the limitation that only four (4) players under the age of twenty-eight (28) may be on a team’s roster. No player under the age of twenty-eight (28) is allowed to pitch or catch in any game. This rule shall also apply to reserve players (i.e.: if a team has 4 players under 28, that team would not be allowed to use a reserve player under 28).
B. League Costs
The League Costs are the total operational costs of the League.
2. Calculation of League Costs
The League Costs shall be determined by the League President, or other individual designated by the league, at least one (1) month before the start of the season. The fee shall be calculated by totaling the cost of the following:
a. Cost of field rentals
b. Cost of umpire fees
i. If there are two umpires at a game, each umpire is paid $65 ($130 for the two umpires), with each team paying one umpire.
ii. If there is one umpire at a game, that umpire is paid $100, or $50 per team.
c. Cost of game baseballs
d. Player fee of the league stat keeper
e. Player fee of the league umpire coordinator
f. Half of the player fee of the league weather coordinator
g. Cost of league website
h. Cost of field maintenance/lawn care authorized by league; and
i. Anticipatory Costs
Anticipatory Costs are an amount of money built into the League Costs for expenses for the following season. Anticipatory Costs may be used to pay such expenses as deposits for field usage, website, purchase of baseballs, etc. The purpose of Anticipatory Costs is to cover all preseason expenses of the League before Team Fees are collected.
3. Payment of League Costs
The League Costs shall be divided amongst the teams in equal shares. These individual team shares are referred to as “Team Fees”.
4. Payment Due Dates
a. At least half of the Team Fee shall be due on or before opening day of the league schedule.
b. Any balance owed after the start of the season, not to exceed 50% of the Team Fee, must be paid by July 1.
c. If a Team Fee is not paid in full by July 1, the Board shall have the right to impose sanctions (i.e.: canceling games of any team that has not paid their entire balance) at its discretion.
ARTICLE III. GAME PLAY
PVBL games shall be played under the standard rules of baseball as commonly understood, with the following exceptions:
A. Shortened Games
A shortened game is any game that is ended by an umpire prior to completion of nine (9) innings. Once a game has started, the umpire(s) shall have the sole discretion to end a game due to darkness, weather, field condition, or any other circumstance necessitating ending the game prior to completion of nine (9) innings.
1. If, after five (5) innings are completed, a game is ended after the completion of a full inning, with one team leading, the score at the end of that inning is final and the team leading is declared the winner.
2. If, after five (5) innings are completed, a game is ended after the completion of a half inning with the home team leading, the score at the end of that half inning is final and the home team is declared the winner.
3. If, after five (5) innings are completed, a game is ended during an inning with the home team trailing, the score shall revert back to the end of the previous full inning, and the team leading at the end of the previous inning is declared the winner. In the event this occurs and the game was tied at the end of the previous inning, the game must be completed at a later date, but prior to the end of the regular season.
4. If a game is ended prior to the completion of at least five (5) innings (or four-and-a-half [4 ½] innings if the home team is leading), the game must be replayed in its entirety at a later date. However, if both managers agree to continue the game at a later date from the point at which the game was called, the game can be continued from that point at a later date.
5. If a game is continued pursuant to rule II(C)(4), the batting order from the start of the game remains in effect throughout the entire game. Therefore, prior to resuming a game at a later date, the manager must put all batters in the order in which they batted when the game first began. All batters in the continued game that were not in the lineup when the game first began shall be placed at the bottom of the batting order, in any order the manager chooses.
B. No Collision Rule
In the interest of player safety, the following “no collision” baserunning rules shall apply:
1. Baserunners must avoid contact with fielders if at all possible. Incidental or unavoidable contact is allowed.
2. An umpire shall have the discretion to call a runner out if the umpire determines that contact on a play was unnecessary or avoidable.
3. A catcher may not block the plate without the ball. An umpire shall have the discretion to call a runner safe if the umpire determines that the catcher violated this rule.
4. A baserunner must slide into 2nd base or abandon (peel off) the base path to avoid interfering with a fielder’s throw.
C. Baserunner Substitutions
1. Courtesy Baserunners
A courtesy runner may be substituted for an injured runner at the batting team’s discretion. The courtesy runner shall be the player who made the last out for the batting team. A courtesy runner may not steal, but may advance on a wild pitch, passed ball, or fielder error (i.e.: the catcher overthrows the pitcher when throwing the ball back to the pitcher);
2. Speed Up Baserunners
In the interest of speeding up the game, if a catcher or pitcher reaches base, a substitute runner, or “speed up runner”, may be used in their place as soon as there are two (2) outs in the inning. A speed up runner may steal.
D. Lineup With Less Than Nine (9) Players
For purposes of this section, “Short Team” or “Short Lineup” shall mean a team or lineup with less than nine (9) players in the lineup or field.
1. Each team must have nine (9) players in the field at all times. If a team has eight (8) or seven (7) players when they first take the field, the opposing team shall send one (1) or two (2) players into the field, respectively, to bring the Short Team up to nine (9) positional players. A team must have at least seven (7) players in order to start a game. If a team has fewer than seven (7) players at the start of a game, the game shall be ruled a forfeit, and the opposing (non-short) team shall be declared the winner
2. For every player provided to the Short Team, the Short Team must take an automatic out in the batting order (i.e.: if a team has seven (7) players in the lineup, it would have two (2) automatic outs in the lineup). Automatic outs may be placed anywhere in the lineup at the discretion of the Short Team.
3. In the event a player for the Short Team arrives after the game has started, that player may be immediately inserted into the game. If that player is inserted into the game, that player shall be placed into the batting order, into the spot occupied by the automatic out.
4. Reserve players may be used to fill out a Short Lineup. If a Short Team fills out its lineup with reserve players, they do not have to take an automatic out. Reserve players may be used without limitation, subject only to the age requirements outlined in rule II(A)(3).
E. Pitching and Defensive Substitutions
1. A pitcher that has been substituted for, or pulled out of the game, may return to pitch later in the same game without limitation.
2. Defensive players may be substituted without limitation. All players shall continue to bat in their regular spot in the order whether they play the field or not.
3. Teams shall bat every player who is present for a game, unless that player is injured or otherwise unable to play.
F. Manager Visits to the Mound
If a team manager goes to the pitcher’s mound to speak with the pitcher during an inning in which he is in the field., this shall not count as an official mound visit
ARTICLE IV: SPECIAL PREGAME AND POSTGAME RULES
A. Home/Away Team Dugout Assignments
The home team shall occupy the third base dugout or bench area.
B. Field Maintenance
After each game, the home team shall be responsible for any and all routine pregame and postgame field maintenance. Routine field maintenance shall include any and all maintenance tasks typically performed to prepare, maintain, and repair fields before and after games, including but not limited to:
1. Raking the home plate area, batters boxes, pitchers mound, and areas around the bases before and after games as needed or if required by the facility
2. Inserting bases before the game and removing bases after the game
3. Removing tarps from the home plate area and pitchers mound before the game and returning tarps to the home plate area and pitchers mound after the game
ARTICLE IV: GAME STATS
After the completion of a league game, the game stats (total runs, hits, and errors) and individual player stats for that game must be reported in accordance with the following rules:
A. Stat Keeper
PVBL shall designate one individual as Stat Keeper for the league. The current Stat Keeper is Rob Hyde. The Stat Keeper shall be responsible for posting the scores, game stats, and individual player stats for each game upon its completion.
B. Team Stat Reporting
Each team manager shall designate one individual from their team to be responsible for reporting their teams’ team stats (total runs, hits, and errors) and individual player stats (stat line for each player) to the Stat Keeper.
C. Method of Stat Reporting
Game or individual stats should be reported to Stat Keeper by emailing, texting, or otherwise forwarding a photo or image of the scorebook page for that game directly to the Stat Keeper. If this is not possible, the individual responsible for reporting their team’s stats, should contact the Stat Keeper directly to make alternative arrangements.
D. Pitching Stats
In addition to forwarding a photo or image of the scorebook page, the following information must be provided to the Stat Keeper:
1. Winning/Losing Pitcher
2. Name and total number of innings pitched by each pitcher who appeared in the game.
E. Deadline for Stat Reporting
In the interest of maintaining up to date standings and stats, all stats must be reported to Stat Keeper within twenty-four (24) hours of completion of the game. If, for whatever reason, the stats for a game cannot be reported within this time frame, the individual responsible for reporting their team’s stats should contact the Stat Keeper directly to make alternative arrangements.
In the event of rain, or other inclement weather, any decision to cancel a game or games shall be made in accordance with the following rules:
A. Weather Coordinator
PVBL shall designate one individual as Weather Coordinator for the league. The current Weather Coordinator is Steve Cole. The Weather Coordinator shall make all decisions regarding weather cancelations in accordance with Sections B and C of this Article.
B. Weather Cancelation Policy
All weather cancelation decisions shall be made at the sole discretion of the Weather Coordinator in accordance with the following paragraphs:
1. Accuweather.com shall be the sole website used to make cancellation decisions. If the forecast on Accuweather predicts a 55% or more chance of rain during game time, the game shall be cancelled. If, on Friday night at 8:00 p.m., the forecast for Saturday morning predicts a 75% or more chance of rain during game time, the game shall be cancelled on Friday night.
2. In the event of any ambiguity or uncertainty as to the forecast (i.e.: the forecast keeps changing from hour to hour) or field condition, all cancellation decisions shall be made at the sole discretion of the Weather Coordinator.
C. Weather Cancelation Announcements
If a game is cancelled pursuant to the above Weather Cancelation Policy, the Weather Coordinator shall post a cancellation notice on the front page of the website. This will be the only notification given (individual texts, emails, or calls will not be made or sent by the Weather Coordinator).
D. Rainout Makeup Dates
There will be four (4) rainout makeup dates built into the PVBL schedule. When a game is cancelled, the game shall be rescheduled to the first available makeup date. If a game is rained out and there are no remaining makeup dates available, the game shall be made up at a date, time, and field to be determined by the managers and with the consent of the Board.
All decisions to temporarily halt or cancel a game due to lightning shall be made at the discretion of the umpires.
The PVBL playoffs shall be governed by the following rules:
A. Team Eligibility
All teams in the league qualify for the playoffs.
B. Playoff Tiebreakers
Playoff seeding shall be determined based upon the following criteria, in order:
1. Overall record
2. Head-to-head record
3. Runs allowed
C. Playoff Format
The playoff format is summarized as follows:
1. Playoffs shall consist of two rounds of play.
2. Each round shall consist of a best-two-out-of-three series (i.e.: the first team to win two games wins the series).
3. In the first round, the 1-seed shall play the 4-seed and the 2- seed shall play the 3-seed. The two winning teams shall advance to the second round and play a best-two-out-of-three Championship Series.
4. In each playoff series, home and away designation of each team shall alternate, with the higher seeded team being the home team in game one, the lower seed being the home team in game two, and the higher seed being the home team in game three (if played).
D. Player Eligibility
In order to be eligible to play in a playoff game, a player must have played in one-third (33%) of his team’s games during the regular season. No reserve player may play for a team in a playoff game, unless that reserve player has played in one-third (33%) of that team’s games during the regular season.
E. No Shortened Games
All playoff games are nine (9) inning games (8 ½ innings if the home team leads after 8 ½ innings). Article III, Sec. A does not apply to playoff games. If a playoff game is suspended due to darkness, the game shall be continued from where it left off on the next game day.