League Rules

Revised 3-10-2019

This league was created to provide men 30 years old and over an alternative to softball and to enable us to play the game we all grew up playing. This was revised in 2008 to make it an over 25 league. The league was revised again in 2018 to allow each team 2 players who are 23 or 24 but those players are not allowed to pitch. Adult attitudes must always prevail, no matter how competitive any league is. The responsibility that this ethic sustains will remain the responsibility of the individual league President and the board of directors, which is comprised of the managers of each team in the league. Anyone who abuses the league’s code can be suspended or expelled from the league. These rules were established to serve as guidelines for our local league.

Index

I. Uniforms, Helmets, Baseballs, and Other Equipment
II. Game Length, Run Rule, Tiebreak Rules, and Rainouts
III. Teams, Players, and Line-Ups
IV. Player Behavior and Team Responsibility
V. Courtesy Runners
VI. Pitchers
VII. Fielders
VIII. Ex-Pro Status and Regulations
IX. General League Rules
X. Code of Conduct

Rules

I. Uniforms, Helmets, Baseballs And Other Equipment

a) All teams should have their uniforms by their first game. A grace period of two additional games will be extended for newly activated players or for new teams to complete their uniforms.

b) All batters must wear helmets while batting. The batting helmet must have an earflap covering the ear facing the pitcher. Full double earflap helmets are encouraged for all batters and are encouraged for runners on base. Catchers are also encouraged to wear a helmet underneath their mask.

c) All MSBL leagues are encouraged to use official Rawlings MSBL baseballs, RO-MSBL, RCC-MSBL, R-100 MSBL and RCC-MABL. Each home team will supply baseballs for each game played. The home team should bring a minimum of 4 balls to each game. Only balls provided by the local league will be permitted.

d) Only wood bats will be permitted. Composite bats and bats with metal handles are also allowed. If a player uses a bat not allowed, the opposing manger can protest before the next pitch and the offending batter will be out. All runners on base will return to the bases occupied prior to the offending batter’s at bat.

e) Metal cleats are permitted.

II. Game Length. Run Rule. Tiebreak Rules And Rainouts

a) Game Completion

  1. 9-inning games- there will be no time limit.
  2. Darkness – 7 innings complete – umpires’ discretion
  3. Rain – 5 innings complete.
  4. 7 inning games- no time limit.
  5. Darkness – 5 innings complete – umpires’ discretion
  6. Rain – 5 innings complete
  7. Tie games after nine innings… if game suspended in tie. Teams involved have the option of finishing at a mutually agreed upon later date. If this cannot be done, then each team will get one-half ( ½) point for a tie and zero points for a loss.

b) Calling a game due to bad weather: a game maybe called prior to starting play by the mutual agreement of both managers. (this will result in paying umpires half fee). If mutual consent cannot be reached the decision will be turned over to the umpires. Once the game is started, the umpire may suspend, cancel or call a game if, in their opinion, the safety of the players are compromised due to rain, darkness or time limits.

c) If there is a 15-run discrepancy at the end of 5 innings or a 12-run discrepancy after 7-innings, the game will be ruled final at this point.

d) Any games called prior to it being an official game will be restarted from the point at which it was called.

e) The tie break hierarchy to determine team positions is:

  1. Winning percentage
  2. Head to head
  3. Runs allowed
  4. Runs allowed against each other
  5. Vote of the board of directors, which is comprised of the manager from each team and the league president. Managers of teams who are tied will not be allowed to vote.

III. Teams, Players And Lineups

a) A player is eligible to participate in an official league sanctioned game in the year in which his 25th birthday by the end of the calendar year. Each team may have 2 players on it’s roster who are 23 or 24 years of age. Those players are not allowed to pitch. Team rosters must be submitted to the league president prior to receiving a league schedule and at least one week prior to the start of the season. This also includes league and player fees, proof of date of birth for new players (copy of drivers license), and player waiver forms.

b) All players, prior to participating in a game, must have signed waiver forms on file with the league.

c) A team manager may bat as many players as he desires, with a minimum of 9. If a game is played with 8 players, the 9th spot in the batting order will be an automatic out each time that position comes around in the order. Batters cannot be deleted or skipped over, regardless of their batting position or when they were added during the game. The manager may designate 2 players to occupy the same position in the batting order as batter “a” and “b”. The first time that the position gets an at bat, player “a” would bat and the next time around “b” would hit, and so on. Once a team declares the use of this A/B system, it must continue using it for the remainder of the game. An A/B hitting position vacancy will be handled in the same manor as stated in 3f, with the exception of player injury. If “a” or “b” are injured and no reserve player is available, then the remaining player in the position (either “a” or “b”) would get the remaining at bats at that position in the batting order. Hitters in the A/B positions in the order may be pinch hit for, just as any other player.

d) A manager may add batters to the bottom of the lineup at any time. 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, with the exception of starting players. Starting players may re-enter once during a game, and can only return to the position in the offensive line-up that they were removed from. Any player, once removed from the offensive lineup, may remain in the game as a fielder or pitcher. Each team has an offensive and a defensive lineup that are independent of each other. Players may play in either lineup or both.

e) If a player is forced to leave a game due to a commitment or if a player is ejected from a game, a reserve player, not previously entered into the game as a hitter, must hit in the batter’s place. If no reserve is present, that spot becomes an automatic out each time that spot comes around in the batting order. If a player forced to leave a game due to injury and no reserve is available that spot is skipped and all batters move up accordingly, with no penalty to the affected team. (for “a” and “b” batting order positions see 3.d)

f) A team must have 8 players for a game to be official, and may borrow a player from the 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, a player borrowed from the opposing team reverts back to his team, a player borrowed from another team (not the opposing team) must be removed or the arriving player must sit out. The arriving player cannot be added to the lineup as a 10th man. If the borrowed player allows the team to play with an 8-man line-up and a 9th player shows, the 9th player can be added to the line-up and the borrowed player can remain in the game. If at any time a team has 7 remaining players, without the ability to get an 8th player; they then forfeit the game even if the game was started.

g) 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 reenter 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.

h) No player may switch teams during the season without the consent of both managers and the league president. If the switch is not approved, the player must sit out the remainder of the season or play with his original team.

i) Final team rosters must have no less than 14 players.

IV. Player Behavior And Team Responsibility

a) There will be no beer or alcoholic beverages permitted at the field before or during the game. The field refers to the general playing area.

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.

c) An umpire has sole discretion to expel any player or manager from the game.

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.

e) Players shall not intentionally collide with any other players. In the case of a runner intentionally colliding with a fielder, the runner will be called out and may, at the umpires’ discretion, be expelled from the game. All base runners must either slide or give up their right to a base if the defensive player (e.g. Catcher) has possession of the ball. If a defensive player is not in possession of the ball or is not in the act of receiving the ball so that he is able to record an out, he cannot block the base (e.g. Home plate) or be in the base path so as to intentionally impede or obstruct the base runner’s right to that base. Under such circumstances, the defensive player shall be responsible to avoid collision. If a collision does occur under these circumstances, the runner will always be considered safe and the obstruction rule shall be enforced. The defensive player may be ejected from the game if the action is intentional, and he will be suspended from league play if the obstruction is judged to be flagrant.

f) Each league must set its own standards for player/team sportsmanship, but must encourage suspensions for infractions unbefitting to the image and policies of the league.

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 any time have the right to question a player’s age. If a manager wants to lodge a protest, proof of age must be provided to the manager who lodged his protest by Friday of the following week. If an underage 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.

V. Courtesy Runners

a) Players that will need courtesy runners, must have their manager notify the opposing manager before game time. If not so notified, the opposing manager may deny the request. Each team will be allowed the maximum of 2 courtesy runners per game. The player to make the last batted out, who is not the pitcher or the catcher, must be the courtesy runner. A pitcher or a catcher may be a courtesy runner if they chose, but they then must be available to be a courtesy runner for the remainder of the game. Once the game begins, only by obvious injury can an additional courtesy runner be used. A courtesy runner may not straight steal a base unless the pitcher elects to pitch from the full windup, or if he is caught off base on a pick off play. The courtesy runner may steal on the back end of a double steal. The courtesy runner may take part in a hit and run play but if the hitter does not make contact with the pitch, the runner is out. A courtesy runner may advance on a passed ball or wild pitch. 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.

VI. Pitchers

b) No player while pitching may wear white or gray sleeves, nor may a pitcher wear a batting glove or wristband while pitching.

c) If a pitcher hits 4 batters in any one game, the pitcher must be removed on the fourth hit batsman.

d) There is no regulation as to how many innings a pitcher may pitch in a game or a week.

VII. Fielders

a) Infielders are not allowed to decoy a throw or catch. If a decoy throw or catch is detected, all runners shall be allowed to advance one base beyond the base held after all play stops. If the same fielder decoys twice in the same game, the fielder shall be expelled from the game. Decoying is referred to as a false catch or throw done in an attempt to get the player to slide unnecessarily, where no strategic value is gained.

IX. Ex-Pro Status And Regulations

a) A player must be out of pro-ball for 3 complete MSBL seasons before becoming eligible to participate in an MSBL league. Independent league or rookie pro ball are not considered pro ball under league rules.

9. General League Rules

a) 2 forfeits by any team could mean immediate expulsion from the league with no money refunded to the team. Each situation will be evaluated and circumstances reviewed before rendering a decision.

b) All protests should be lodged to the league protest committee/board within 24 hours after the game for which the protest is made. The league board of directors shall decide all protests.

c) 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 games.

d) In order for a player to qualify and participate in his team’s league playoffs he must participate in at least 43% of his team’s regular season games. (7 games for a 16-game season, 6 games played for 15 or 14-game season; and 5 games played for a 13,12, or 11-game season). If a player fails to meet the requirements due to injury, a letter should be submitted to the league president explaining non-compliance.

X. Code Of Conduct

X.1. Prohibitions:

Managers and players shall conduct themselves in a sportsman like manner at all times. No manager or player shall commit the following:

  • 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 the board of directors reviews his conduct. 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.
  • 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 the board of directors reviews his conduct. 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 is 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 the board of directors reviews their conduct. 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 the board of directors reviews their conduct. 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.

X.2. Penalties

  • 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.
  • Except as otherwise provided, the league presidents 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

X.3. Grievances, Protests and Appeals

  • Grievances maybe filed by an individual player or by the manager of a team provided that a grievance is formally submitted to the league president or appropriate board. The league president shall adjudicate all such grievances and shall report any action taken to he board of directors.
  • An appeal of any action or ruling maybe 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.
  • All decisions will be made by a vote of the board of directors. Teams involved in the action in question will not have a vote in the action. In the event of a tie vote, the league president will break the tie.