VBFO RULES - Updated March 2016
  1. Qualifications to play
  a) Participants Must be at least 35 yrs. or over by Dec 31st of the playing year to play 35+.
  b) Player must be 44 years of age (thus in his 45th year) to participate in a 45+ Tournament. *Change 2017*
  c) Player must be 49 years of age (thus in his 50th year) to participate in a 50+ Tournament. *Change 2017*

  2. Games will be 7 innings in duration : with a suggested (no new inning to start after) 2 hour and 15 minute time limit

  3. Pitching rules
 a) Pitchers are allowed to pitch 6 consecutive outs, however once removed from the mound, the pitcher will not return to pitch in that game. 
 b) One Pitcher can pitch 3 innings (9 consecutive outs) at any time during the game, however once removed from the mound, the pitcher will not return to pitch in that game.  

  4. Professional rules of baseball apply to the basics of playing the game. 
   a) Batting
       i) You may follow professional baseball rules with a 9 man batting order. 
       ii) An alternative (CNOBF rule) you may have as many batters (9 or more) in the order. 
       iii) In either case once a batter is removed from the batting order (pinch hitter, injury), said batter may not bat again in the current game.

  b) Body contact on the base paths is to be discouraged, and in the case of deliberate contact, an appeal to the umpire may be lodged by the team offended. A player making the violation is to be called out by the umpire and ejected from the game. 

  c) Substitutions: the following modifications may be used as alternatives to the official baseball rules:

       i) There is unlimited defensive changes,  player does not have to be in batting order to play defensively
  d) The catcher MUST be removed as a base runner and substituted with a pinch runner, when 2 outs are registered. The runner must be the last out unless the last out/outs have been noted that he has required a runner before.
  e) Batters requesting a substitute runner after reaching a base must be designated prior to game (maximum 3 batters) the courtesy runner must be the last out unless that batter/ batters have been designated to have a runner or it is the catcher (if there is 2 out) 

  f) If a batter or runner does get injured after players have been designated and that injured player has not been designated, the Manager may ask the other Manager to agree to replace that runner (again the last out)

  g) All players on the playing field MUST wear a full uniform, including a baseball cap. 

  h) There is a 6 run maximum for runs scored in any inning. The exception, when it is declared that it is the last inning, the 6 run maximum is waived. 

 i) There is a 10 run mercy rule after 5 innings (4 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead).
 j) Unique rules for MASTERS (45+) & Legends (50+). 
     1) There shall be no bunting

     2) For 45+ and 50+, Base stealing will only be allowed if the base runner's team is ahead by 2 runs or less or behind in runs scored. Runners may advance on a wild pitch or passed ball. 

     3)  If a base runner is successful at stealing a base when he is not supposed to (as per j2), the umpire rules that the play is dead (no pitch) and he directs the runner to go back to his original base.

     4) If the runner illegally runs (as per j2) and the batter subsequently puts the ball in play, the defense can decide to let the play stand or ask the umpire to direct the runner & batter back and declare a no pitch.

  5. Equipment: 

  a) Proper protective equipment is essential.

  b) Helmets with earflap/flaps MUST be worn at the plate and on the bases.

  c) Regulation baseballs are required for tournament play.
  d) Wooden bats are to be used for Tournament Play. If an illegal bat is used, it will result in an automatic out.
  6. Umpires 
  a) umpires should be OBA approved where possible. The minimum shall be that the home plate umpire is OBA accredited & that the base umpire has baseball knowledge appropriate to the "vintage level".
  b) Teams will not dispute an umpire's judgment or decision. Consistent ungentlemanly hassling of an umpire will cause immediate ejection of the player from the game. Appeals can be made as per baseball protocol.
  7. Tournaments 
 a) Each VBFO team can request to host a tournament during the season.
 b) Each VBFO team also can request to host a "Provincial" tournament during the season.
 c) One Masters (45+) & one Legends (50+) tournament shall be scheduled annually.
 d) Tournament fees are to be paid in advance of the tournament, unless otherwise specified by the tournament chairman. The fee to enter a tournament can be $300 maximum.  The fee for Provincial Championships can be $350 maximum.

      i) individual prizes and awards are left to the discretion of the tournament organizers
      ii) prizes shall be awarded to the provincial champions
      iii)  NO prize money is to be provided at tournaments.

 e) One third (1/3) of the tournament fee is to be non-refundable, and designated to cover tournament preparation costs, in the event of the cancellation of a tournament.

 f) The loss of entrance fee ($300) will occur if a team does not give at least 15 days notice of not being able to attend, and if the hosting team cannot replace the original team.

 g) Individual tournaments are the responsibility of the host team. Any protests, complaints or appeals developing out of tournament play shall be dealt with by the tournament chairman and the tournament committee hosting the competition. If the protesting team's issue is not resolved, the team may submit their unresolved issue to the President for further investigation.  
 h) tournament tie breakers - based on 2 or more teams tied with points ( 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie

      1) head to head - the winner of a head to head game advances/wins

      2) least runs allowed divided by innings played defensively ie) 10 runs allowed over 20 innings = .5 The team with the lowest number advances/wins.
      3) plus/minus runs differential based on the final score (option based on the score after 4 innings) - team with the highest differential advances/wins

      4) If a tie breaker still has not been determined highly unlikely but could be necessary - the coin toss - as per protocol the team that traveled the furthest gets to call heads or tails.