Unionville Slo-Pitch League Rules


(Updated to May 16, 2014)


1. Rules, as laid out by the Directorate, will be mandatory on all concerned with no exception.

2. SLO-Pitch National (SPN) rules shall govern except as amended herein.

3. (a) Team rosters will contain a maximum of 15 active players who are regular or life members of USPL and may contain one additional "member" as a manager who must not take part in the play of any game, but who, for all other purposes, will be considered as an active member with all the rights and responsibilities of an active member except he may not vote nor hold office unless he is also a life member. This Manager must be confirmed by the team each year and registered with the League. No fee is charged by the League for the Manager.

(b) All active playing members in attendance at a game will participate as equally as possible in both the offensive and defensive play of the game. This means:

Offense - all players bat in a set order –no substitutions after the game starts.
- Late arrivals must play in the game and go to the bottom of the order (see Rule #5).

- at the request of the opposing team, if a sit violation is not corrected a forfeit of the game may occur pending the review by the Executive following the completion of the game

Defense - substitutions may be made freely throughout the game, at the start of each defensive inning only
- late arrivals must play in the game and will be considered as having sat any missed defensive innings-no player may sit twice until all players have sat one inning (except in the case of a late arrival)
-no player may sit three times until all players have sat two innings, and so on.

4. Players may continue playing in the League if their residency terminates afterthe start of the current League year.  After that, their membership is governed by Constitution Bylaws 2.01 to 2.08.

5.  After the end of 3 full innings played, no new players may enter the game.

6. Recruitment for a team roster will not be permitted. Recruitment is on a League basis and all players will be assigned to teams pursuant to the By-Laws of the League Constitution.

7. All League games will have one umpire assigned. An umpire spares list will be maintained.  In the event an umpire fails to show, the game will be played under the direction of any individual, if he/she is agreeable to both teams.

8. First game home team reps are responsible for marking out the diamond and setting the bases, according to SPN rules, before the starting times specified in the League schedule.

NOTE: It is suggested that teams playing the first game on a night following a rainy morning or afternoon show earlier due to increased diamond preparation requirements.

9. Home team reps will maintain diamond throughout the evening, if required, and for the last game are responsible for putting away bases, turning off lights, and securing all locks on our USPL “Bins”.

10. The winning team is responsible to hand in a completed score sheet as instructed by the Rules and Schedule Committee within 7 days following the game. Failure to do so will result in the winning team forfeiting the points for that game. In the event of a tie, the home team is responsible for handing in the score sheet. Score sheets must contain all players’ surnames and initials, game date, team names, score, team rep and umpire signatures.  Under no circumstances can a team benefit from a penalty imposed against it. E.g. if a team is penalized for not handing in a valid score sheet, the 2 points will be added back on when determining the draft positions.

11. There is no rule #11.


12. Players must sign the current-year waiver/registration form, and ensure their League fees are paid -- to actively participate in any League games.

13. Players must participate in 10 regular season games to be eligible to play in the playoffs. This rule is waived if the player has a serious injury or illness that caused the non-participation.  If a player has a serious injury, he must show proof within 2 weeks after the start of the injury with an estimated return date.  This rule is enforced on a team-by-team basis at the team’s discretionAny attendance tracking for purposes of this Rule is to be done by the team. Any team decision to exclude a player from playing in the playoffs must be confirmed by the League Executive.

14. Game time and dates will be set by the Rules and Schedules Committee and as shown in the published schedule. Default time is game time plus five (5) minutes.

15. Games will try to be completed in a maximum of an hour and a half. No full inning may commence after eighty (80) minutes past the scheduled start of any regular game.  Any inning started before the 80 minute mark will be allowed to finish in entirety regardless of time.

16. No tie breaker innings will be played with the exception of playoff games requiring a ‘winner’. Tied playoff games will extend beyond seven innings until a winner exists. The SPN tie breaking process will be used i.e. the last official batter starts at second base.

17. The games will consist of a maximum of eight (8) innings and a minimum of five (5) innings, four and one half (4.5 innings) if the home team is winning. A game not reaching the minimum will be rescheduled by the Rules and Scheduling Committee and replayed in its entirety.

18. Metal spikes are banned.

19. In the event of an altercation, the umpire shall file a report with the League, in addition to any appropriate action taken at the time of the incident.  If a player is ejected from a game, that player is automatically suspended for his team’s next game pending a review by the umpire and Discipline Committee -- to assess if any further action is required.  The ejected player’s spot in the batting order will become an automatic “out” for the remainder of the game.


20. In the event of a deliberate attempt to injure, in the opinion of the umpire(s), the umpire(s) shall recommend suspension in his report to the League. This is in addition to any action called for in SPN rules.

21. There is no rule #21 at this time.

22. In the event of rain, four and one-half (4.5) innings shall constitute a game if the home team is ahead. Rain is defined by the umpire, after the game starts. Prior to the start of a game, rain is defined by the Rules and Schedules Director, or his designate. In the absence of a Directorate, the two team reps involved and the Umpire(s) define rain prior to the start of a game.

Note: Prior to the start of the game, you may be notified by the Directorate that the game is cancelled. If not, you are expected to show at the park. If both team reps and the Umpire(s) feel the game cannot be played after inspection and a reasonable wait, and no Directorate (normally the Rules and Schedules Director) is present, they may call the game off and re-schedule. Generally, rainouts are called on a game-by-game basis. Just because the 6:30 game is cancelled does not mean the 8:00 or 9:30 games will not be played. Not showing up on a "rain" night, with no prior game cancellation notice, will not exempt a team from a default if the game is deemed playable.

23. All players must wear team jerseys.Otherwise, the player is considered ineligible to play.

24. Home team to supply a new League approved ball each game. Visiting team to supply a second used ball, approved by the umpire. All teams will be supplied with sufficient new balls prior to the start of the regular schedule to last the entire regular season. Shortages for any reason during the regular season must be made up with the League approved ball at the team's own expense. If a team fails to produce a new League approved ball for a home game, it will lose the home game advantage and both teams produce their best used balls.

25. A minimum of eight (8) players per team, six (6) of whom must be from said team, is required to start and continue a game, or the game will be defaulted in favour of the non-offending team.  Under no circumstances can players from the opposing team be used in a regulation game to avoid a default. In the case of a double default of a regularly scheduled game, no points will be awarded and the provisions of By-Law 5.05(c) will apply to both teams.


Under exceptional circumstances, a team may apply in writing to have a game rescheduled. The Scheduler must receive a written request 7 days prior to the game in question. The request should also be followed up with a phone call to ensure the Scheduler is available to act on the request. There is no guarantee that the request will be approved due to diamond or umpire availability. The Team requesting to have the game reschedule is liable for the Umpire costs if the rescheduled game cannot be included in a partially scheduled night. This cost must be paid by cash or cheque, 7 days prior to the game.


If a team is to be short of players for a future game and as a result may have to default under rule 25, it may utilize from the SPARE or RESERVE list, provided;

(a) if the spare is called to play he will play regardless of how many players show up for the game

(b) no player on the SPARE list may play for a particular team in more than three league games excluding the playoffs. No player from the RESERVE list may play for a particular team in more than one league game, excluding playoffs. Use of the same spare in a fourth or subsequent league game or the same reserve in a second or subsequent league game by any particular team will result in forfeiture of that game(s).

(c) The team advises the umpire and the opposition of their use of the spare who will not be required to wear a team sweater.

(d) The spares or reserve players full names are noted on the score sheet as a SPARE or RESERVE.

The inability of a team to contact a spare will not relieve the team of the penalties under Rule 25 and By-Law 5.05 . The responsibility for obtaining an up-to-date spare list from the Player Allocation Committee rests with the TEAM REPS of each team.

26. For teams tied in a division at the end of the regular season, the tie-breaker formula is:

1. Head-to-head record (points)
2. Record (points) within the division
3. Record (points) against common opponents on other division
4. Run differential in head-to-head games
5. Coin toss, unless tie is for last Championship place or last Consolation place, in which case a 5-inning sudden death game will be played at the end of the regular season.

For teams tied in the overall standings (used for determining home team in the playoff games and for the next season's draft order) the formula is:

1. Head-to-head record (points)
2. Record (points) against opponents in each other's division
3. Coin toss

NOTE: Teams are awarded two (2) points for a win, one (1) point for a tie, and zero (0) points for a loss.

27. Teams are allowed a maximum of 5 different pinch runners per game.

28. In accordance with the Liquor License Act and Town of Markham policy, the USPL does not condone the consumption of alcohol in the parking lots or ballpark property after games. Alcohol must be consumed on private property or at a licensed establishment. If the Town takes action against the USPL because of a complaint or incident, then involved players will be suspended for a period of time to be set by the Directorate and their team will forfeit all games during the suspension period with the provisions of By- Law 5.05(c) not in force.

29. The use of the commit and home plate lines are mandatory in all league, exhibition and tournament games.

The commit line is defined as a line in foul territory drawn 20 feet from the front left corner of home plate (corner closest to third base) and perpendicular to the third base line. When a runner crosses this line by touching the ground beyond the line but does not reach home plate, he shall be called out when the ball is legally held by a defensive player in contact with home plate. A base runner may not be tagged out between the commitment line and the scoring line. Runners, who have not crossed the line or who cross the line but must tag up on a caught fly ball, may return to third base with liability to be put out.

The home plate line is defined as a line drawn in foul territory starting at the front left-hand corner of home plate perpendicular to the third base line. A runner attempting to reach home plate must do so by touching the ground in foul territory on or beyond the home plate line whether or not a play is being made. A runner is not out if the plate is touched in an attempt to avoid a collision. There is no sliding into home plate or across the scoring line at any time The player is to be called out.


30. A mat, of dimensions to be established by the Directorate, will be used to determine if a pitch is a strike or ball.  If the pitched ball touches any portion of the mat, that pitch is a strike.  If a pitched ball touches any part of the plate, including the black trim, that pitch is a strike.  The Umpire’s decision is final.


31. A “home run +2” rule is in place.  This applies only to “outside the park” home runs that are “clean”, i.e. did not get deflected outside the park.  Neither team in any game can have greater than two home runs more than the opponent.  If a third “outside the park” home run results in a differential of 3, that home run will be counted as a strike.  The umpire shall track the home run count and make final decisions.


32. Illegal Bat – if an illegal bat is observed by the Umpire to be used during an at-bat, the player shall be declared out and the bat shall be removed from the field.  In the event that the Umpire does not notice an illegal bat, the opposing team may appeal to the Umpire.  Should the illegal bat not be observed until after a hit has occurred, the batter will be declared out, and any runners returned to their original position, as long as the next batter has not received a pitch.


33. Jewelry and Braces – the Umpire will remind the team reps of the jewelry rule prior to the game.  If a batter enters the batter’s box with visible jewelry, he will be told to remove it by the umpire.  Braces with visible metal must be removed or covered.  The only exception is Medic Alert bracelets.


34. Pitcher’s Lines – tow lines will be drawn at 50 and 55 feet from home plate.  The pitcher will have to have contact with at least one foot on a line or within the lines when releasing the ball.