RULES OF THE LONDON MEN’S BASEBALL LEAGUE
The League’s purpose is to provide an opportunity for men to enjoy recreational baseball in an environment where goodwill dominates competitiveness.
A player is entitled, but not obliged, to play a minimum of three (3) defensive innings in the field each seven inning game. Managers and players should attempt to resolve playing time disputes at the team level first, before involving the Executive.
1.0 Player and Team Rules
1.1 Each player must agree to comply with the LMBL Constitution and By-laws
1.2 All players and league officials (scorekeepers, umpires) accept all the risks, foreseen and unforeseen, of the game of baseball.
1.3 All players must pay an annual fee set each year by the Board. No player will be allowed to play until the annual fee has been paid.
1.4 All players must wear a full uniform including full length pants and a numbered team shirt.
1.5 Each team will maintain a $150 performance bond. A forfeiting team will make a payment of $75 per forfeited game to the league. 2 forfeits by the same team in the same season will result in the LMBL taking the appropriate measure to ensure that team can field 9 players. Forfeited game scores will be recorded as 7-0. Failure to pay the set fine within 30 days of the forfeited game will result in the team losing their first FREE AGENT pick the following season.
1.6 At the discretion of the Team Manager, players should play in a minimum of 6 regular season games to be eligible for playoffs.
1.6.1 Players who played in the league previously are permitted (if they choose) to rejoin their former team even if they missed playing a year (or more) without having to enter the draft or use a draft position/free agent pick of that team.
1.7 A player is allowed to spare (regular season only) if he meets 1 of the following criteria:
a. He has previously played in the league (must be proved if disputed).
b. He has been approved by the league executive prior to playing; i.e. on the spare list.
c. Without previous league approval provided the following conditions are met:
i. The opposing manager is notified prior to the start of the game
ii. Name, contact info and proof that the player is at least the minimum age is presented to the scorekeeper prior to the start of the game.
iii. The spare player in question agrees to go to the bottom of the spare list and have their contact info posted on the website.
Spares cannot play as a pitcher and cannot play more than 3 games for the same team.
1.7.1 Spares who have played 3 games for the same team in the same year can continue playing for that team only if they agree to become a regular player and pay a pro-rated fee.
1.7.2 No team may add a player to their roster once the season has started if their current roster is full (15 players).
1.8 Replacement players may be assigned to roster spots for players who leave part way through the season (due to injury, relocation, etc). This allows all teams to maintain full rosters throughout the season due to unforeseen circumstances requiring players to stop playing for the season. The following rules apply to any players signed part-way through the season as replacements, who were not on the original starting lineup to begin the season:
i) Replacement players are assigned by the league, and must come from the registered ‘spare list’ of players on the website. They are randomly chosen by the league Executive.
ii) New players totally replace the injured player on the team roster, and agree to compensate the player being replaced by a pro-rated fee amount due for remaining games (annual league fee divided by total games scheduled times remaining games). Team Managers are to facilitate this money transfer to ensure it occurs and all parties are satisfied.
iii) Replacement players are NOT considered a permanent member of the current team, and must enter the draft, or become a ‘free agent’ signing (if applicable) the following season.
iv) Replacement players are only permitted to pitch if they are replacing a player who pitched in the league. This decision will be made by league executive and is binding for the remainder of the season.
v) Communication must be sent IN ADVANCE to the [email protected] for any requests for player replacement. The request must be APPROVED prior to being implemented, and the appropriate website roster lists will be updated accordingly.
vi) Communication of any players replacements will be made to all team managers once confirmed (via email).
1.9 Fighting, violence, threatening, undue physical contact, extended arguing or unsportsmanlike conduct, actions or comments detrimental to the spirit of the league, may lead to a suspension or expulsion from the league.
1.9.1 Any intentional physical contact with an umpire (direct or indirect – ie a thrown ball) will result in an automatic 3-game suspension PLUS the offending player will be responsible to attend a hearing with the League Executive to discuss these actions before being reinstated into the league.
1.10 A player ejected from a game will be suspended from playing in his team’s next game. This suspension is not subject to appeal.
1.10.1 A player ejected from a game for the second time in a season will be suspended from playing in his team's next three (3) games.
1.10.2 A player ejected from a game for the third time in a season will be expelled from the league.
1.10.3 Any suspension (other than that indicated in section 1.9), or an expulsion, may be appealed. The appeal must be in writing and given to the League Secretary within 48 hours of notification of the League imposed penalty. It must detail the players reason for appeal and any supporting documentation/statements. The appeal will be dealt with within three (3) days by a committee of the League Executive and board of officers (team managers) from uninvolved teams.
1.11 Player Registration
a. Free agents will be permitted each season. The top 50% of league teams as noted by the prior year regular season standings are permitted 1 free agent, while the bottom 50% of league teams from the prior year regular season standings are permitted 2 free agents.
b. Free agents must be selected prior to the registration, and register as a member of the team they wish to play for. The Team manager must be aware and approve all free agents for their team prior to them being confirmed registrants of said team.
c. A player may declare a desire to change teams. Such a player may not be selected as a free agent but will be required to go into the draft to be allowed to continue to play in the league. Players who sit out 1 full season are permitted to re-enter the league as a standard ‘free agent’, being permitted to be signed by any team with an eligible free agent draft pick.
2.0 Playing Rules
The Official Rules of Baseball will apply with these exceptions:
2.1 The OBA non-contact rule applies.
2.2 The OBA rule on the prohibition on the use of tobacco products applies.
2.3 Beginning in 2008 metal bats may be used only by a player with a handicap who has been approved by the LMBL Board. Players age 60 or over are automatically approved to use aluminum bats. Approval to use an aluminum bat is automatically carried over into subsequent seasons.
2.3.1 No batter shall be thrown out as a force play at first base by any outfielder.
2.4 There will be a time limit with no new inning starting after 2 hours and 20 minutes FROM THE ORGINALLY SCHEDULED START TIME. Games will be 7 innings if time allows. Extra innings will be played in tie games if time allows.
2.5 There will be unlimited defensive substitution.
2.6 Pitchers may pitch only until 9 outs have been made. If a pitcher hits 3 batters he must be removed from the pitching position.
2.7 Teams will present a batting order at or before the first game of the season. This order will remain until the first 50% of regular season games (or greater) have been played (9 of a 17 game schedule) but may be revised for the balance of the regular season and may be further revised for playoffs. The batter due to be the next batter in a game will be the first batter in the next game. Late arriving players will take their assigned place in the order.
2.8 With 2 outs, if a player who is catching in the immediately following defensive inning reaches base, he may have a replacement base runner (in order to get his gear on in a more timely manner). This replacement player must be the player who was the second out of the inning.
2.9 Teams may begin play with 8 players provided the opposing managers agree prior to the first pitch being thrown. No forfeit will be declared. Late arriving players may be inserted into their original place in the line-up and enter play once they arrive. The missing batter will be declared out once that position is reached in the batting order, until such time as he arrives. If managers do not agree to starting with 8 players, and once the 15 minute grace waiting period is over, the game will be declared a forfeit.
2.10 If a team that had 9 players to begin a game is reduced to 8 players due to an ejection, that spot in the order will be declared an out. If reduced to 8 players for another reason (injury, work obligations), the order will be collapsed and no out will be declared for that position in the order.
2.11 If a player is injured during an at bat and cannot complete his turn at bat, he will be an out. If a player is injured while a base runner, he may be replaced by the last out of his team. If replaced, he can not return to the game in any capacity.
2.12 Innings 1 to 6 will end after the 6th run of the inning is scored. Teams may score more than six runs in innings 1 to 6 in the case where a player hits a home run over the fence with runners on base ahead of him. Inning 7 allows for unlimited scoring until such time as three outs are recorded.
3.0 Game Rules
3.01 - Home Team is assigned the FIRST BASE dugout, while the Away Team is assigned the THIRD BASE dugout for all games
3.1 Rainouts: The managers of the first game (at each location) must decide whether or not to cancel a game. If the first game is cancelled, then the second is automatically cancelled. It is the responsibility of the home team manager of the first game to contact the umpires and managers of the second game.
3.2 No game may be postponed without prior executive approval. Games are official after 3.5 or 4 innings.
3.3 In the case that the start of the first scheduled game at Labatt Park is delayed the following shall apply:
a) If the first game cannot begin within 40 minutes of its scheduled start time, the LATE game shall be postponed. The first game shall be played as soon as the diamond is ready. Managers of the second game are to be contacted ASAP by the team manager of the home team for the early game.
b) If the first game can begin within 40 minutes, the playing time for that game shall be extended by one half of the duration of the delay and the start of the subsequent game shall be delayed by that same time.
3.4 A game is forfeit if either team is not ready to play 15 minutes after the scheduled start time.
3.5 In the event that after 7 complete innings the score is tied and there is sufficient time to start another inning, the International tie-breaker will be in effect. Starting in the top of the eighth inning, the batting team starts with a base-runner on second base, which is the player who is the last available to bat (in other words, the batter who last took their position in the batter's box; regardless whether they were the last out or another runner was put out).
THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE PLAYOFF GAMES - PLAYOFF GAMES WILL HAVE REGULAR 'EXTRA INNINGS' AND CONTINUE TO BE PLAYED PER THE NORMAL RULES OF BASEBALL UNTIL A CLEAR WINNER IS DECLARED. All regular pitching limitation rules etc remain in place.