Okaloosa Men's Baseball League

Rules and Regulations

CREATED FEBRUARY 26, 2002 Last Revision posted: Jul 2013

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The Okaloosa Men’s Baseball League provides an opportunity for men over the age of 18 to play baseball in a locally competitive environment.  The league is a member of the national Roy Hobbs Baseball organization, and adheres to the Roy Hobbs philosophy that all willing players deserve the opportunity to play organized baseball.  A founding principal is that all players should be fielded on teams so as to create the greatest possible parity amongst all teams in order to afford equal opportunity for victory at each scheduled game.  A second guiding principle upon which this league is founded is sportsmanship and fair play.

INDEX

1.  Uniforms, Helmets, Baseballs and Other Equipment

2.  Game Length, Run Rule and Rain-outs

3.  Teams, Players and Line-ups

4.  Player Behavior and Team Responsibility

5.      Courtesy Runners

6.      Playing Time

7.  Pitchers

8.  Fielders

9.  Ex-Pro Status and Regulations

10. General League Rules

11. Code of Conduct

12. Penalties

13. Grievances, Protests, and Appeals

14. Championship Tournament Eligibility

15. League Officers

 RULES

1. UNIFORMS, HELMETS AND BASEBALLS

1.a.  All teams must have full baseball uniforms consisting of caps, numbered jerseys, baseball pants, and sanitary socks. Each player’s uniform must be of similar design to his teammates’ uniforms. Teams having sponsorship will be allowed the sponsor’s name on their uniforms via patch or uniform shirt.

1.b. All batters and runners must have helmets.  There is no exception  to this rule. Catchers must wear a helmet underneath their mask. The same rule will apply for all national tournament play.

1.c. Wood and metal BBCOR bats are allowed and will be permitted for all league-sponsored events. Metal (BBCOR) bats will be restricted to a -3 rating and a 2 & 5/8 inch
Barrel and must be BBCOR certified. Beginning with tournament play in the Spring of 2015, the only allowable bats will be wood or wood composite. No aluminum bats will be allowed in any future league play.

1.d. Metal cleats are permitted..

1.e. Batters must wear a helmet that covers the ear exposed to the pitcher

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2.  GAME LENGTH, RUN RULE AND RAIN-OUTS

2.a. All regular season weekend games may be scheduled for nine inningsAll league championship tournament games will be scheduled for 9 innings (for both weekend and weeknight championship games). Nine inning games will have a 3 hour and 15 minute time limit All regular season weeknight games will be scheduled for 7 innings, with a 2 hour and 30 minute time limit. A game will be called for time if the “next inning” has not begun (defined as the third out made in the bottom of the current inning) and the time limit has been reached, except in the case of a tied game, as described in paragraph 2c.

Rain or Time Limit- Regular season games must be played to 5 innings to be considered complete. All league championship tournament games must be played to 7 innings to be considered complete.  The umpires may suspend, cancel or call a game if, in their opinion; the safety of the players is compromised due to rain or field conditions. If a game is stopped having played less than 3 full innings (18 total outs) the game and all stats will be thrown out and replayed at a later date. If 18 or more outs have been recorded the game will resume from that exact point (including pitching count on the batter) at a later date.

2.b. If there is a 10 run discrepancy at the end of 7 innings (or 6 and a half innings where the home team has the lead), the game will be ruled complete at this point. Seven inning games will be played to completion, subject to the time limit rule, and are exempt from the 10 run mercy rule. This rule will not pertain to championship tournament play.

2.c. Any incomplete games stopped early due to rain will be re-scheduled by the league and managers involved and may be made up at any time not conflicting with previously scheduled games.  Both managers, who will ensure the league is notified of the time and place of the make-up game, must agree to all make-up games.  Make-up games should be played within the next ten days following a postponement.

Games that are tied at the end of regulation should be played to their conclusion when possible. If there is a scheduled game following the game in question, no more than 2 extra innings will be allowed. The game will be concluded from that point at a later date, to be agreed upon by the managers and league. If no game is scheduled to follow, it should be played to its conclusion. Championship tournament games will be played to conclusion, regardless of whether or not a game is scheduled to follow.

Final league standings will be determined by won/lost percentage. Tied records will be decided by head to head competition first, followed by run differential, least runs allowed, most runs scored, and finally, by coin toss.

2.d. In the event of rain, it is the responsibility of the managers of the scheduled teams to determine field condition and possible cancellation of game at least 1 hour before scheduled game time. It is the home team manager’s responsibility to notify the head umpire as soon as possible.

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3. TEAMS, PLAYERS AND LINEUPS

3.a. A player is eligible to participate in an official league sanctioned game on the dates on or after his 18th birthday.  High school students are not eligible to play in the league.

3.b. Team rosters must be submitted to the league by opening day. These include league and player fees, proof of date of birth and player waiver forms. Managers may not change rosters after the first league game.  The board reserves the right to accept late arriving players at any time throughout the season.  The board will have final say as to which team the player shall be allotted to.

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

3.d. A team manager may bat as many players as he desires, with a minimum of 10 (subject to the least number of players available if less than 10 on one team). Batters cannot be deleted or skipped over, regardless of their batting position or when they were added during the game.

 3.e. 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 but may remain in the game as a fielder or pitcher. Each team has a hitting and a defensive lineup that are independent of each other. Players may play in either lineup or both.

3.f. If a player is forced to leave a game due to injury or commitment and no reserve is present, that spot is skipped and all batters move up accordingly, with no penalty to the affected team. If a player is ejected from a game, his slot is an automatic out unless a reserve player not previously entered into the game as a hitter has filled it.

3.g. Minimum Players on the Field

Regular season: A team must have 7 original players for an official game and may borrow up to 2 players from the league with the opposing manager’s consent. Borrowed players may not pitch.  A team must be able to field at least 8 total players or forfeit the game.  If the team’s 8th or 9th player arrives after the start of the game, the borrowed player is replaced.  A manager may borrow players to create a maximum of 9 total players.  Additional borrowed players in the batting lineup are not allowed.

Championship tournament: A team must have at least 8 original players for an official game and may borrow one player from the league. Borrowed players for tournament play can only fill an outfield position and may not bat. If the borrowed player is from the opposing team, that player can bat in his original teams batting order.  Furthermore, the lending manager may elect to offer a different player in order to accommodate the player’s availability to hit in the batting order (of his original team).

If either team has less than the minimum required, they will forfeit. If both teams have less than the minimum, it is a double forfeit.

3.h. All players may be substituted for defensively, at any time, without affecting the player’s offensive status in the lineup. If the pitcher is removed, he may re-enter to pitch as long as he remains in the defensive lineup. The removed pitcher may play any other position. A pitcher may re-enter as a pitcher a maximum of one time during the game.

3.i. No player may switch teams without the consent of both managers and the league Board of Directors. If this does not meet with approval, the player must sit out the remainder of the season.

3.j. Final team rosters should have no less than 12 players.

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4. PLAYER BEHAVIOR AND TEAM RESPONSIBILITY

4.a. There will be no beer or alcoholic beverages permitted at the field before, during or after the game. The field refers to the general playing area and dugouts. No player shall be allowed to participate in any league activity in any way under the influence of alcohol.  

4.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.

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

4.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. Reinstatement can be by appeal to the Board. Anyone ejected from a game is out for the remainder of that game and the next game. Reinstatement for the 2nd game may be by appeal to the Board.

4.e. Players shall not intentionally collide with any other player. 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 (avoid a collision by stopping or leaving a base path) if the defensive player (e.g., Catcher) has possession of the ball, is in the act of receiving the ball, or is about to immediately receive the ball and will be able to make an apparent play on the base runner. If a defensive player is not in possession of the ball, is not in the act of receiving the ball, or is not about to immediately receive the ball so that he is able to record an out (apparent play at any base), he cannot block the base (e.g., Home Plate) or be in the base path so as to impede (obstruct) the base runner’s right to that base. Under such circumstances, the defensive player shall be responsible to avoid any 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 act is intentional, he must be ejected), and will be suspended from league play if the obstruction is judged to be flagrant.

4.f. 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 at anytime has the right to question a player’s age. If a manager wants to lodge a protest, proof of age and residence must be submitted to the league president or to the board for review by the following week. If an under age player is detected, penalties whether to the individual or team will be decided by the League President and Board of Directors.

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5. COURTESY RUNNERS

Speed up rule for the Pitcher is optional and for the Catcher is mandatory.

When there are two outs, the speed-up rule is in effect.  The courtesy runner will be the last batter/runner that was made out.

An injury runner may be designated before the game starts with the approval of the opposing manager. If a courtesy runner is used for an injury runner, the courtesy runner will be the last batter/runner that was made out.

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6.      PLAYING TIME

All Team Members present at the beginning of game play must meet the minimum playing time requirements.  Each player must play at least 3 events per game.  An event is defined as turn at bat or an inning played in the field (3 outs).  At least one of the three events must be an at bat and at least one of the events must be an inning in the field.  The third event can be either.  A team member that arrives late or must depart early due to circumstance or injury is not subject to the minimum playing time rule.

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7. PITCHERS

7.a. No player while pitching may wear white or gray sleeves past the elbow, nor may a Pitcher wear a batting glove or wrist band while pitching.

7.b. Intentional walks are allowed. Pitches must be thrown.

7.c. If a pitcher hits 3 batters in any one game, the pitcher must be removed on the 3rd hit batsman.

7.d. A pitcher can pitch a maximum of 6 innings/18 outs (in a 9 inning game) or 4 innings 12 outs (in a 7 inning game).  There is no regulation as to how many innings a pitcher may pitch in a single week. 

7.e.  A minimum of 6 outs in each game must be pitched by a 30-over pitcher from the team roster where they are available and reasonably physically able to do so. If, due to injury or circumstance, a team is unable to fulfill any part of this requirement, the team manager must immediately notify the opposing team manager. The opposing team is thereafter only obligated to match an equal number of outs pitched with his 30-over pitcher.  Managers must take into account all circumstances and make every effort to oblige this rule, but not at the expense of the pitchers’ well being.  Willful violation of this rule is grounds for forfeiture of the game and possible disciplinary action by the board.

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8. FIELDERS

8.a. Infielders are not allowed to decoy a tag. If a decoy tag 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 tag done in a attempt to get the player to slide unnecessarily, where no strategic value is gained.

9. EX-PRO STATUS AND REGULATIONS

9.a. A player must be out of pro-ball for 2 complete seasons (major league) and 1 season (minor league) before becoming eligible to participate in  the League.  Pro-ball refers to major and minor leagues. 

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10. GENERAL LEAGUE RULES

All protests should be lodged to the League Board within 24 hours after the game for which the protest is made. All protests shall be decided by the League Board of Directors.

11. CODE OF CONDUCT                

PROHIBITIONS

Managers and players shall conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner at all times.

 

No manager or player shall commit the following:

11.a. 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 conduct is reviewed by the Board of Directors. 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.

11.b. 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 conduct is reviewed by the Board of Directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.

11.c. 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 and the next scheduled game.

11.d. Discuss with an official or officials the decision reached by such official or officials, except for the manager or his designee who are authorized to participate in such discussions. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension from further participation in the game.

11.e. 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.

11.f.  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 their conduct is reviewed by the Board of Directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season or expulsion from the League for life.

11.g. 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 their conduct is reviewed by the Board of Directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season.

11.h. 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.

11.i. Smoking on the field of play or in the dugout before, during or after games. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game.

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12. PENALTIES

12.a. 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 which in its opinion is prejudicial to the welfare, interest, reputation, or charter of the League.

12.b. Any player found in further violation of any provisions delineated in the codes of conduct, after being suspended from participation in a game shall be suspended for the remainder of the season.

13.  GRIEVANCES, PROTESTS, AND APPEALS

13.a. Grievances may be filed by an individual player or by the manager of a team provided that a grievance is formally submitted to the appropriate Board. The Commissioner shall adjudicate all such grievances and shall report any action taken to the Board of Directors.

13.b. An appeal of any action or ruling may be 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.

13.c. All grievances, protests and appeals must occur within 24 hours of the action or occurrence in question.

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14. CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT ELIGIBILITY

14a. In order for a player to qualify and participate in his team’s championship tournament games as a pitcher, he must participate in a minimum of 3 games.  Players added after opening day must participate in a minimum of 3 games, or 55% of his team’s regular season games from the point he joined the team, whichever is less. If such a player fails to meet the requirements due to injury, a letter should be submitted to the League President explaining non-compliance, and requesting an exemption to the rule. A player must play in at least 1 regular season game to qualify for any other position.

15. LEAGUE OFFICERS

15.a.  League officers schedule, arrange and direct the rules and actions detailed in this document that are required to run the Okaloosa Men’s Baseball League.  Officers shall consist of a President, Secretary, Treasurer, and a Board of Directors.  The Board shall consist of a minimum of four individuals, including the President, Secretary, and Treasurer. 

15.b. The President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be selected by the Board from among its members. 

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