Article I: Organization

Section 1: Organization Name
This organization shall be known as The Rancocas Valley Baseball League, hereinafter referred to as the RVL, with principal offices located in the Township of Vincentown, County of Burlington, State of New Jersey.

Section 2: Organization Purpose
The purpose of the RVL shall be to provide a structure through which the game of baseball will be played and developed in the County of Burlington, State of New Jersey.

Section 3: Organization Composition
The RVL shall be composed of teams holding franchises issued by the league as outlined in Article 2.

Section 4: Organization Voting Procedures
All league matters will be decided by the vote of franchised teams. Quorum for any meeting shall consist of a 2/3 of team representatives present and entitled to vote. Each team shall be entitled to one vote. The final decision will be determined by a majority vote of those present at the meeting in which votes are cast. In the event of tie votes, the league Vice-President will cast the deciding vote.

Section 5: Organization Officers

A. Election: League officers shall be elected for a term of one year by vote of franchised teams. The term for each Office will begin January 1st and end on December 31st of each year.

B. Officers: The RVL Offices are as follows:

a. President

b. Vice-President

c. Executive Secretary

d. Recording Secretary

e. Treasurer

C. Nomination of Officers: At the year-end organizational meeting, RVL Officers shall be nominated as follows:

a. Potential RVL Officers for the forthcoming season must be nominated by a team representative entitled to vote.

b. To be considered for Office, the nomination must be seconded by another team representative entitled to vote.

c. After a party has been nominated for an Office and an appropriate second has been made, team representatives will vote on the nomination, as outlined under Section 4.

D. The RVL Offices for the 2019 season are as follows:

a. President- Steve Kolwicz

b. Vice-President- Jamie Schwantes

c. Executive Secretary- Steve Kolwicz

d. Recording Secretary- Brian Eifert

e. Treasurer- Harry Thompson

Article II: Membership

Section 1: Franchise Fee
The fee for a franchise in the RVL shall be a one-time, non-refundable $250.00 payment.

Section 2: New Members
New franchises will be admitted in the following manner:

A. Representative(s) of the potential franchise must be present at a regular RVL meeting prior to March 1 of the forthcoming season.

B. Submission of the initial franchise fee of $250 as outlined above.

C.  Submission of a potential roster that does not include players currently under contract for another RVL team.

D. RVL team representatives entitled to vote, will vote on the admission of the potential franchise to the RVL, in accordance with Section 4 voting procedures.

Section 3:  Current Members

A.  All current team managers or a designated representative must be in attendance at all league meetings.  Violation of this rule is subject to a fine as outlined in Article VI.

Section 4: League Fees and Insurance Costs
A. The RVL President will advise each team of the insurance costs and other expenses, if any, for the upcoming season at the February meeting.
B. Insurance costs and other expenses, if any, are due from each franchise at the March meeting.
C. Failure to remit the total insurance fees and other expenses, if any, at the March meeting will result in a $50 late fee.
D. Failure to remit the total fees due by April 1 will cause that team to be dropped from the schedule for the upcoming season.

Section 5: Post Season Tournament Fees
A. The league president will notify each team by July 1st of the costs and fees associated with the post season tournament.
B. All costs and fees associated with the post-season tournament are required to be paid to the league by July 21st.
C. Any team that has not paid post-season costs and fees by July 21st will be required to pay a $50 late fee.
D. Any team that has not paid post-season costs and fees prior to 24 hours before the start of the post-season tournament will be required to pay an additional $50 late fee.
E. Failure to pay post-season tournament costs and fees by the end of the year will result in the non-paying team to be dropped from the league for the following season.

Section 6: Scheduling and Field Locations

A. Each franchised team is responsible for securing a field location for home games.

B.  At the April meeting will provide the Executive Board with written documentation of the field location(s) so that the insurance policy will reflect all fields on which RVL games will be played.

C. At the April meeting, all RVL team representatives will meet to schedule their games, independent of league involvement.

D. If a team’s playing field(s) become unavailable during the season the following options will apply:

1. If known prior to the day of the game, the game must be rescheduled to the opposing team's field or to a later date as agreed upon by both managers.  The manager of the home team must notify both the Executive Secretary and umpire assignor of the rescheduled game immediately.

2. If known on the day of the game the home manager must notify both the opposing manager and umpire assignor at least 60 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.  If these conditions are satisfied, the game will be rescheduled.  

3. If the home manager is unable to notify the opposing manager and umpire assignor before 60 minutes of the scheduled start time, the game may be declared a forfeit and the home manager will be required to pay the umpire fees.

Article III: Duties of Officers

Section 1: President

A. Call and preside at all league meetings.

1. President shall notify each team representative via email or telephone call of the meeting date no less than 10 days prior to the scheduled meeting.

B. Enforce all fees, fines, suspensions as specified in these By-Laws.

C. Present for discussion at league meetings, all issues raised by team representatives.

Section 2: Vice-President

A. Discharge duties of the President in his absence.

B. Shall be the director of the post-season tournament.

C.  Perform an annual review of league By-Laws.

Section 3: Executive Secretary

A. Discharge duties of the President in absence of President and Vice-President.

B. Maintain players’ contracts and team rosters.

C.  Maintain league website.

Section 4: Recording Secretary

A. Maintain a written record of all league meetings.

Section 5: Treasurer

A. Receive all league money and deposit same.

B. Collect all fines, fees, and penalties as prescribed under the By-Laws.

C. Keep accurate record of receipts and disbursements.

D. Pay all authorized bills using league checks individually countersigned by the League President.

Article IV: Player Personnel/Eligibility

Section 1: League Contracts
Players must sign a league contract to be eligible to participate in any league game.

Section 2: Amateur Players
Any player under contract with a professional baseball team is ineligible to participate in the RVL. RVL franchises may keep a player under contract with a professional baseball team, however, the player must remain on the team’s roster, and is still subject to rules of eligibility as provided under Article IV, Section 5.

Section 3: Roster Size
Team rosters of eligible players may not exceed 25 players at any time.

Section 4: Rosters Submitted
Each team shall submit to the Executive Secretary one week prior to opening date of league schedule, their team roster and signed contract for each player on said roster. Named players on this roster are eligible to play in the team's opening game. Any players not on that roster are subject to provisions applicable to replacements as provided under Article IV, Section 4.

Section 5: Roster Replacements
A. Players may be removed or added to team rosters until 11:59 PM of July 4th of the current season by notification to Executive Secretary with signed contract for a player who is a free agent or signed contract and release from prior team manager for a player who has participated in any RVL game in the past calendar year with another currently franchised league team.

B. Such replacement players are subject to a waiting period as follows:

a. Free Agent - 48 hours
b. Player under Contract with another RVL team- one week (168 hours)

C. The waiting period begins as follows:
a. Via email/telephone call- If notification of roster change via league-wide email or telephone call, the waiting period begins at the time of the email or telephone call provided that the signed player contract is mailed to the Executive Secretary on the same date, as evidenced by the postmark. If the signed contract is not post-marked on the day the email/telephone call is made, than the waiting period begins when the Executive Secretary receives the signed contract.
i. If a player plays in a game prior to the expiration of the waiting period, the game will be ruled a forfeit due to use of an ineligible player.

Section 6: Contracted Players
Players remain on the roster of the franchised team with which they have previously signed a contract unless release is any of the following:
A. requested prior to January 1 of subsequent year and fulfill all team obligations, including financial, return of equipment/uniforms, and other obligations required by specific teams
B. voluntarily released by previous team
C. the player does not participate in any RVL games for one full season
D. Any player on the roster of an RVL team (Team A) who participates in a non-RVL tournament or league with another RVL team (Team B) is prohibited from signing with that team (Team B) for the following season, regardless of whether or not the player requests or is granted his release. (Example: If a Willingboro player participates on the Delran York tournament roster, he is prohibited from playing for Delran the following RVL season.)

Section 7: Post-Season Play
To be eligible to participate in league sanctioned post¬season activities, the player must meet regular season participation minimums as follows:

A. All position players are required to participate in seven (7)regular season games. The player will be credited with a game played when he makes an appearance as a hitter or fielder. An appearance as a pinch runner will not count as a game played.

B. All pitchers will be required to participate in five (5) regular season games. The pitcher will be credited with an a game played when he pitches at least 1/3 of an inning (i.e., recording one out).

Article V: Schedules/Game Conditions

Section 1: Season Length
The RVL regular season will begin the week following Mother’s Day. The number of games to be played in the regular season, the end date of the regular season, and the RVL Playoff start date shall be determined at the schedule meeting.

Section 2: Game Length
A. All league games shall last seven (7) innings, with five (5) innings constituting an official game in cases of darkness and inclement weather. In the event of a suspended game due to light failure, the game must be continued at a later date until seven (7) innings are completed.

B.  If a team, while losing, purposely delays a game so that the game may be postponed due to weather or called for darkness, before the game is official, shall be subject to the following:

  1. The game shall be declared a forfeit loss.
  2. The team will be responsible for payment of all umpire fees and applicable field fees.
  3. Subject to a league fine as outlined in Article VI.
  4. The manager will be subject to suspension as outlined in Article VI.

The manager of the non-delaying must notify the umpire immediately upon suspicion that the opposing team is attempting to delay or "stall" the contest from become official.  The umpire must sign the scorebook in acknowledgment.

Section 3: Game Times
A.  Twilight games will begin at 6:15 p.m. Night games will begin at the time specified in league schedule.

B.  For all games scheduled on weekdays at fields without lights, a game will be considered official as a result of the "Mercy Rule" when:

  1. The winning team is leading by 10 runs or more
  2. The losing team has not had an opportunity to bat in the 5th inning
  3. The game is called for darkness

C.  The "Mercy Rule" does not apply when a game must be stopped due to rain.   

Section 4: Forfeits, Cancellations, and Rescheduled Games

A. In the event either participant cannot field a team at game time, a grace period of fifteen (15) minutes will be permitted but upon expiration of such grace period the game shall be declared forfeited to the team ready to play. If a game forfeited, as above, is the first game of a doubleheader, game time for the second game will be one (1) hour following the first game forfeit time.

B.  If a team requests cancellation or postponement of a regularly scheduled game due to non-field or weather-related issues (i.e., insufficient number of players). the game will be declared a forfeit.  The offending team will not be subject to payment of fines or umpire fees as indicated in Article VI, Section 1.

C.  Game postponed due to weather or field-related issues must be rescheduled within one (1) week of the scheduled contest provided that:

1. Both teams do not have a regularly scheduled game.

2. A field is available.

3. Umpires are available.  

Requests to reschedule a game must be accomplished via notifying all league managers, the Executive Secretary, and the Umpire Assignor.  If a manager refuses to reschedule a postponed game, his team may be charged with a forfeit loss.

Section 5: Field Preparation
Every home team is responsible ensuring that the playing field is in safe and satisfactory condition. In the event that the playing field is not satisfactory the visiting team may request the home team reschedule the game. In this case, the home team will be responsible for covering any umpire fees.

Section 6: Field Personnel
Managers are responsible for conduct of their players on the field and bench. Only players, managers, coaches, scorekeeper, bat persons and trainer are permitted on the bench during the game.

Section 7: Uniforms
A.  All players must wear regulation baseball uniforms to include matching hats with team logo and matching shirts with no duplicate numbers. It is also desirable that matching pants be worn. Non-uniformed personnel, except team trainer, may not go on the playing field or perform coaching duties. Any player without appropriate uniform may be declared ineligible for participation.

  1. Any player will be considered in violation of the league rule when he appears in a game without a matching hat and jersey. This violation is subject to a fine as outlined in Article VI.  
    1. The opposing manager must notify the umpire of the violation and have the umpire sign the scorebook to acknowledge the infraction.  
    2. Any player in violation of this rule will be declared ineligible for post season games if all fines have been satisfied with the league office.

Section 8: Game Reports
A. Upon completion of the contest, each team is responsible for updating the RVL website and/or notifying the Executive Secretary of the final score with 24 hours.

  1. Each manager and/or a designated representative is responsible for entering all box score information on the league website within one (1) week of the completed contest.  Violation of this is subject to a fine as detailed in Article VI.

B. Upon completion of the contest, the winning team is responsible for notifying the Burlington County Times, and the Courier Post of the contest results. In the event of a tie, the home team will notify the aforementioned newspapers.

Article VI: Fines and Penalties

Section 1: Game Forfeits

Season's first forfeit - $25.00 plus umpire fees.
Season's second forfeit - $50.00 plus umpire fees.
Season's third forfeit - Suspension from league and loss of franchise fee.

Fines for forfeits must be paid to the Treasurer before the forfeiting team's next regularly scheduled playing date, except in case of first game of doubleheaders, or within 48 hours of the occurrence, whichever is sooner.

Section 2: Personnel Ejections
Immediately upon ejection, team personnel (including players and/or managers) must leave the playing field and bench area (i.e., the player/manager must be out of "sight and sound" from the playing area). Refusal to comply may result in forfeiture of the game for the team in which the player/manager is a member. Any ejection of a player and/or manager must be reported immediately to the RVL President by both managers involved in the contest. Subsequently, all league managers will be notified of the ejection.

Upon ejection, each player or manager is subject to the following penalties...

A. First offense: The player or manager is removed from that contest and receives no further penalty.
B. Second offense: The player or manager is removed from that contest and receives a fine of $25 payable to the RVL league office.*
C. Third offense: The player or manager is removed from that contest and receives a fine of $50 payable to the RVL league office.*
D. Fourth offense: The player or manager will be suspended from future participation in the RVL until a hearing with the League Officers. At that time, League Officers will render a recommendation for action. The final decision will be made by the vote of all managers of franchised teams as outlined by the RVL Voting Procedures outlined in Article 1, Section 4.

* The involved player or manager will remain ineligible for participation in future contests until the appropriate fine is paid. All league managers will be notified of ejections and payment of fines by the RVL President. In the event that the time frame of the infraction (i.e., during a doubleheader) does not allow for payment directly to the RVL League office, the involved player or manager may submit the fine to the opposing manager. The opposing manager will maintain the payment in trust and submit to the RVL League office in a timely manner.

There will be no appeals on any of the aforementioned suspensions or fines. However, the involved player or manager may be held to more stringent penalties if extenuating circumstances exist (i.e., physical violence against another player, manager, spectator, or umpire; verbal threats of physical violence against another player, manager, spectator, or umpire; or general behavior detrimental to the league). In this case, the RVL President will conduct an investigation with the involved teams (including players and managers), involved spectator(s), and/or umpires. This matter will be discussed with the Executive Committee. At that time, the Executive Committee will render a recommendation for action. The final decision will be made by the vote of all managers of franchised teams as outlined by the RVL Voting Procedures outlined in Article 1, Section 4.

Section 3:  Additional Fines and Suspensions

A.  Failure to attend a league meeting or sending a designated representative shall result in a $25.00 fine to the offending team.

B.  Failure to enter the box score statistical information on the league website within 1 week of the completed contest shall result in a $25.00 fine to the offending team.

C.  Violation of the league uniform policy shall result in a $10.00 fine per player for each infraction.

D. Teams in violation of the "Stall Rule" as detailed in Article V:  Section 3 will be subject to a $100.00 fine.  In addition, the offending manager will be suspended for 1 game for the first offense and 3 games for each subsequent offense.  

Section 4:  Payment of Fines

A.  Any fine incurred as a result of league infractions must be paid to the league Treasurer prior to the team's next regularly scheduled contest.  

B.  In the event that the fine is not paid, the following may result:

  1. A fine resulting from a team infraction may result in a forfeit for the offending team.  That team will then be subject to additional fines as outlined in Section 1.
  2. A fine resulting from a player infraction may result in that player being declared ineligible from game participation until the fine is satisfying.
  3. Any fines not satisfied prior to the beginning of post season play may result in the offending team or player being declared ineligible.

Article VII: Umpires

Section 1: Season Contract
At the January meeting, team representatives shall appoint a committee to negotiate all umpire contracts. All umpire contracts must be approved by league vote.

Article VIII: Protests

Section 1: Game Protests
Protests of umpires' interpretation of baseball playing rules or any violation a team manager may feel warrants a ruling, may be filed with the Vice President within 48 hours of occurrence in written form. Vice President shall render a decision independent of team representatives. In the event the Vice President is unable to render a decision, protests shall be decided by league vote.

Article IX: Playing Rules

League officials shall refer to official baseball rules of the American League to settle any disputes not otherwise specified in these By-Laws or the following league playing rules.

The league shall function under rules specified in the RVL By-Laws and American League Rule Book with the exceptions outlined below.

Section 1: Equipment

A. Home Teams will furnish a minimum of two (2) new baseballs and one (1) slightly used ball to umpires at start of game and additional new balls as required by umpires to complete game. Official ball adopted by the RVL shall be Wilson Model A1010 or Rawlings Models RO, RO-N, or RO-A.
B. Wooden bats or wood composite bats, which conform to American League size and weight specifications, must be used.
C. Protective helmet (either double flap, single flap or no flap type) must be worn while at bat.

Section 2: Special Personnel

A. The RVL will use the Designated Hitter Rule in effect in the American League and specified in Official Baseball Rules, Section 6.10.

B. Courtesy Runner: Following the second out of any inning, a designated runner may be used in place of the catcher only without affecting either player's eligibility for remainder of the game. Such runner must be eligible for use in game at time of insertion. (i.e., courtesy runner cannot be a player currently in the line-up or a player removed from the game.) Courtesy runner can only be used in games starting at 6:15pm or when failure to complete a game is an issue due to darkness.

Section 3: Field Regulations
A. Prior to each game, the home team will provide ground rules covering play. Ground Rules to be discussed by the Umpires and a representative of each team.
B. Light failures shall not end a game. In such circumstances the game will be considered as suspended and is to be completed at a later date from the point which lights failed.

Section 4: League Standings
League standings shall be determined by a point system, as follows:
A. Winning team awarded 2 points.
B. Losing team awarded 1/2 point.
C. Tie games - each team awarded 1 point.
D. No points will be awarded to a team that forfeits game.

In the event that the final regular season standings result in an equal number of points for multiple teams, the following procedures will be used to determine final standings and seedings for the playoff tournament.

A. Head to head competition between involved teams.

B. Winning percentage, calculated by the number of wins divided by the total number of regular season games.

C. Each team’s record against the highest team in the standings shall be used.

a. Sample Standings

    1. Vincentown 10 points
    2. Delran 8 points
    3. Willingboro 8 points
    4. Cinnaminson 6 points
    5. Burlington 6 points

b. Delran and Willingboro have 1-1-1 head to head record and same winning percentage.  The tie breaker becomes Delran’s record versus Vincentown and Willingboro’s record versus Vincentown. If that results in a tie, then Delran’s and Willingboro’s record versus Cinnaminson shall be used, etc. until the tie is broken.

Section 5: Post Season Tournament

A. The post season tournament will include all teams who are eligible and have paid the required post season tournament fee. The default tournament format will involve a best of three series. Teams will be seeded based on their regular season finish as outlined in Article IX, Section 4. In the event that the number of teams involved in the regular season does not permit the post season tournament to be completed in an efficient manner, the Executive Committee may propose alternative suggestions. This will be voted on by franchised teams per RVL Voting Procedures as outlined in Article I, Section 4. The post season tournament format will be determined prior to the scheduling of regular season games as outlined in Article V, Section 1.

B. Times of post season tournament games will be determined based on availability of playing fields and vote of all franchised teams. If a franchised team is hosting the playoff tournament, that team will receive priority in selecting their preferred game time.  The remaining game times will be selected based on the final standings/seedings.

C. The Vice President shall be the tournament director and all disputes will be decided solely by the Vice President.

Article X: By-Law Changes

Section 1: Changes to By-Laws
These By-Laws may be changed and/or amended only as follows:

A. These by-laws must be ratified each year, via league vote as outlined above, prior to the start of the regular season.
B. Changes or amendments must be proposed by a team representative at a league meeting .
C. All proposed changes shall be decided by league vote as outlined above.


By-Laws were reviewed and amended on April 11, 2019.