Rules

Download the Rules, Waiver/Release form or the Constitution and Bylaws by clicking one of the links below:

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Table of Contents

  1. Registration
  2. Roster/Waiver
  3. Unsportsmanlike Behaviour
  4. Equal Participation
  5. Minimum Number of Players
  6. Responsibilities
  7. Home Plate/Commitment Line
  8. Benches
  9. Equipment
  10. Game Times and Duration
  11. Scoring
  12. Pitching Rules
  13. Plays at First Base
  14. Courtesy Runners
  15. Extra Innings
  16. Complete/Incomplete Game
  17. Tiebreaker
  18. Forfeiting
  19. Rain
  20. Addendums to Constitution
  21. Playoff Rules

REGISTRATION

To register in the BMSPA you must submit a BMSPA Waiver/Release - PDF (19KB) form and follow the payment schedule below:

  • March 15: 50% of league fees
  • April 15: 50% of league fees plus a $150.00 returnable team bond fee.
  • Note: Make cheques payable to “BMSPA”. Contact Mark Walton to arrange for payment.

ROSTER/WAIVER

The regular season roster and waiver form must be completed and submitted to a league executive member during the first week of the regular season. Failure to comply with this rule may result in a team forfeit for your team's next scheduled game and a 10-0 win will be awarded to the opposing team.

UNSPORTSMANLIKE BEHAVIOUR

If the umpire for any reason ejects a player from a game, an automatic one-game suspension will occur.

The League Executive will review all ejections and the captains of the teams involved, in conjunction with the umpire in Chief or the umpire involved. This review could result in additional game suspensions and/or permanent suspension from the League, at the sole discretion of the League Executive.

Any player ejected from a game because of reckless and/or dangerous play and/or fighting will receive an automatic suspension from the league. The League Executive and the captains of the teams involved may reinstate this player pending a review.

The League Executive will automatically review the ejection of a player from a game for abusive behavior towards an umpire or any other player on any team. Such a player will be subject to disciplinary action as determined by the League Executive.

If it is reported to the League Executive that a team is discriminating against poorer or weaker players, the captain of this team will be held responsible. If substantiated, the Executive has the authority to discipline, from warnings to suspensions, any captain that allows such behavior to occur. Multiple occurrences will result in the suspension of the captain from the league.

No player will be allowed to play, if in the opinion of the umpire, he is inebriated.

No player whether playing or observing a game shall taunt, badger, or bother any player during the course of an at bat, or at any other time during the course of the game. Any type of behavior is unacceptable and team captains should report such behavior to the League Executive for review.

EQUAL PARTICIPATION

All members of a team in attendance for a game must participate equally in the team's defensive play on an equitable basis. Each player in the batting order must play a defensive position in a minimum of 2 innings in the first 5 innings and a total of 3 innings in a 6 or 7 inning game.

If a player does not play the required number of defensive innings in a game, his team will default the game and the opposing team will be awarded a 10-0 win.

Members of a team who are playing must be listed in the team's batting order and take their proper turn at bat.

There will be no automatic out if a team is comprised of less than ten batters.

A player arriving to the game late may enter the rotation at any point in the game. This player will be placed at the bottom of the batting order.

MINIMUM NUMBER OF PLAYERS

A team may commence play with a minimum of eight players. Six must be from their own roster. They will be permitted to use a maximum of two league players and two of whom may be non-roster players. A maximum of two non-roster players will be allowed to play. The line-up when using spares may not exceed ten players.

Teams playing short handed will not be charged an automatic out when their turn comes up at bat.

Spare players must be placed at the bottom of the batting order.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Home team must ensure the bases are pegged down prior to the start of the game. If the home team from the previous game incorrectly pegged the bases, it is the responsibility of the home team of the middle or late game to fix the bases.
    • The distance from the back of home plate to the back of first base: 65 feet (last pole on fence)
    • The distance from the back of home plate to the back of second base: 91 feet 11 inches.
    • The distance from the back of home plate to the back of third base: 65 feet (last pole on fence).
    • The commitment line is drawn in the sand: 20 feet (from home plate).
  2. Home team of the middle game must ensure that the diamond lights are turned on.
  3. Home team provides new game ball to the umpire; the visiting team provides second ball.
  4. Home team from the last game of the evening must ensure bases and pegs are removed from field, stored and locked in storage unit.
  5. Both team captains must send the official score from each game to the Web Administrator. Scores should be received no later than noon the following day. In the event that the team captain is unable to submit a score, he must designate another player on his team to send in the score on his behalf.
  6. No illegal substances or alcoholic beverages will be allowed on the playing field or on the bench. In the event a player (active/inactive) is caught by another player or umpire consuming alcoholic beverages around the playing field or team benches, that player will be automatically ejected from the game by the umpire. An automatic out shall be applied to that player and team when that player is due to hit in the batting order.
  7. Profane language, rough play, unsportsmanlike conduct and fighting will not be tolerated. Such actions may result in the offender being ejected from the game and season suspension and loss of all league fees.

HOME PLATE/COMMITMENT LINE

A line will be marked 20 feet from home plate towards third base. A base runner that has advanced from third base to a point on or beyond this line must continue home.

In order to score, the base runner must plant his foot on the ground on or across a line extending from the back of the home plate to the backstop, parallel to the first base line, before the defensive player touches home plate (not the player).

The defensive players may not attempt to touch the base runner once the commitment line has been passed.

A base runner will not touch home plate under any circumstances. He will be declared out by the umpire if he does so.

BENCHES

Benches are predetermined before the start of each game. The visiting team will take the first base bench while the home team will take the third base bench.

The bleachers directly behind the visitor and home benches are for those players currently participating in the game. Players from teams not participating in the ongoing game must watch the game from either the parking lot or the bleachers directly behind home plate. Family/friends of the teams participating in the ongoing game may also share their respective team’s bleachers.

EQUIPMENT

  1. All batters and base runners have the option of wearing protective helmets. Each team will be responsible to provide helmets for each game and encourage each player to wear the helmet.
  2. No player is allowed to wear metal cleats at any time.
  3. Pitchers, catchers and first basemen may wear a glove or mitt of any size, including a "trapper" style glove.
  4. The BMSPA uses the Worth Hot Dot Classic Plus Optic ball for all games.
  5. The BMSPA adheres to the SPN Bat Policy. Visit the SPN Bat Policy for a list of approved and non-approved bats.
  6. If a player is caught using an illegal bat, his team must forfeit the game. A 10-0 win will be awarded to the opposing team.

GAME TIMES AND DURATION

No games will be more than 90 minutes in duration. This is calculated from the official starting time not the actual start time. The umpire will immediately terminate the game once the 90-minute point is reached. Games reaching the 90-minute point will be considered complete regardless of the number of innings played.

When, after the completion of an inning, it is the umpire's opinion that it is impossible to complete another inning before the 90-minute point, the umpire may terminate the game.

On evenings in which three games are scheduled, the game start times will be 6:30pm, 8:00pm, and 9:30pm. The clock starts whether the teams have or have not. The umpire and team captains of the late game will ensure that their game will not extend past 11:00pm.

If a game does not start on time because of the umpire, the finish time of the game is not extended. The League President is to be notified and he will in turn contact the umpire in Chief to express our displeasure. The game will still count if the teams are able to complete four full innings (or 3.5 innings if the home team has the lead).

SCORING

A 7 Run Rule will be used each inning except for the last inning which is declared an “Open-run” inning.

PITCHING RULES

The ball must travel through an arc of no less than 6 feet and no more than 12 feet.

A black mat will be used at home plate and a strike will be called for each fairly delivered pitched ball by the pitcher, that lands entirely or partially, on any part of the home plate/strike mat, before touching the ground.

The pitcher will be allowed to pitch from a distance of between 50 and 60 feet.

PLAYS AT FIRST BASE

All games will be played with a dual colored safe-base at first base. If a pitched ball is hit and a play is made at first base and the batter/base runner fails to use the orange portion of the base on his first attempt to reach the base, he will be declared out. The batter/base runner must be 100% on the white portion of the base to be declared out.

Once first base has been reached, only the white portion of the base can be used by the base runner.

The defensive player must always use the white portion of the base.

COURTESY RUNNERS

Teams are allowed three courtesy runners per game, but the runner must be a different person each time. The base runner/coach is required to make the request for a courtesy runner to the umpire immediately upon reaching base and when the play has stopped. Both teams are to be notified. The fair and equal play principle applies. Use of a courtesy runner is not a tool with which to discriminate against a slower runner.

The courtesy runner can be anyone in the lineup, but each runner can only be used once per game.

Courtesy runners can be used in extra innings as long as it doesn't exceed the maximum of three courtesy runners in a game.

EXTRA INNINGS

If the two teams are tied at the end of the regulation seven innings, they may continue to play if time permits (without going over the 90 minute point). The last batter when the inning ended will start at 2nd base with 1 out in order to improve chances of breaking the tie game. Extra innings must be fully completed within the allotted time or the game will revert to the last complete inning's score.

COMPLETE/INCOMPLETE GAME

A game is considered to be complete after the end of four full innings (or 3.5 innings if the home team has the lead). A game that does not reach these times because of unplayable conditions will be considered an incomplete game and will be replayed in its entirety.

TIEBREAKER

Regular season tiebreakers, at the end of the regular season play (2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss) will be determined by:

  1. The team with the higher number of points will be placed higher (2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 points for a loss)
  2. If two teams are tied with the same number of points, the team with the higher number of points in the head-to-head games will be placed higher
  3. If two teams are still tied, the team with the better +/- record in the head-to-head games will be placed higher (max +10, min -10 per game)
  4. If two teams are still tied, the team with the most runs for will be placed higher
  5. If two teams are still tied, the team with the lowest runs against will be placed higher
  6. If more than 2 teams are tied, the team with the highest +/- would place highest, then the team with the second highest +/-, etc

FORFEITING

If a team should forfeit a regular season or playoff game, the team proposing to forfeit must notify the opposing team captain and league executive members by 12:00pm (latest) on the day of the scheduled game. The team that has enough players/willing to play the game will receive a win and rewarded with a 10-0 score.

The team causing the forfeit will be required to pay a $150.00 fine to the league. The fine will be deducted from the team bond.

The team affected by the forfeit will receive $125.00 cash. The remaining $25.00 will help pay for the umpire.

The forfeiting team will not be allowed to play its next scheduled game until they've submitted another $150.00 to the league executive to put back in their team's bond; otherwise the game will not commence.

RAIN

  1. On days where it is calling for rain, players, captains and umpires must show up to the start of each game where both team captains and the umpire collectively make a game time decision.
  2. If lightning occurs during a game, the umpire is empowered to call the game at any time for the safety of all participants.
  3. Umpire's judgement decisions may not be appealed.
  4. In the event that the City of Ottawa closes all city fields, at no time is the BMSPA permitted to play a game until the city reopens the field.

ADDENDUMS TO CONSTITUTION

Until further discussion the membership agrees to the following changes contrary to regular S.P.N. Rules and Insurance:

  1. Any bat that is deemed excessively dangerous by the umpire will be removed when requested to do so by the umpire.
  2. The "Mercy Rule" for the league will be 15 runs after 5 innings. If the home team reaches +15 runs during the bottom of any inning after the 5th, no matter the number of outs, the game is over.
  3. If a game is tied after seven innings and time permits, extra innings shall be played. Should the game not be completed prior to the 90 minutes, it will revert to a tie. During extra innings, the last batter when the inning ended will start at 2nd base with 1 out in order to improve chances of breaking the tie game.
  4. Match plus two over-the-fence home rule is in effect. Match plus two basically means that at no time during a game will the number of over-the-fence home runs hit by one team exceed two more than that hit by the opposing team. Teams can keep track of their home runs at the bottom of their score sheet so they know if they are in a match, match plus one, or match plus two situation (umpire(s) should be aware as well). If a team is in a plus two situation and hits an over-the-fence home run then that home run shall be deemed an out. Any fair batted fly ball deflected over the home run fence by a defensive player is not considered a home run for the match plus two rule nor is an inside-the-park home run - both are to be considered four-base hits.
  5. Out of play will be determined prior to the game between the umpire and both team captains.

PLAYOFF RULES

  1. Regular season rules apply. Any changes/variations outlined in this section supersede the regular season rules.
  2. No spares are eligible to play under any circumstances.
  3. No player can enter a game after the 3rd inning. A late player entering a game prior to the 3rd inning must be announced to the umpire and opposing team captain. If a late player is not announced to the umpire and opposing team captain, his team will default the game and the opposing team will be awarded a 10-0 win.
  4. Players are eligible to play in the playoffs if they have signed the team roster/waiver form and have played at least 11 regular season games. A list of all eligible playoff players must be submitted to a member of the league executive prior to the start of each team's first scheduled playoff game. Failure to comply with this rule will result in a team forfeit and a 10-0 win will be awarded to the opposing team. Players eligible to play in the playoffs will be posted on the league web site.
  5. Teams must have a minimum of 9 players to start a game during playoffs. If the team cannot field 9 players within 5 minutes of the official start time of the game, a 10-0 forfeit will be declared. If both teams are unable to field 9 players within 5 minutes of the official start time of the game, both teams forfeit and each team receives a loss and no points are awarded.
  6. Walk-off home runs are permitted if both teams and the umpires agree before the game otherwise all base runners must properly touch all the bases and the line at home plate.
  7. In Round Robin play, the team finishing higher in the regular season has the choice of being "home" or "visitors". If the home team is ahead going into the bottom half of the last inning, the home team will not bat, the game is over. Similarly, if the home team is trailing going into the bottom half of the last inning, the game will be declared over once they go ahead by 1 run.
  8. In Round Robin play, games will start at 6:30pm, 8:00pm, and 9:30pm. The umpire and team captains of the late game will ensure that their game will not extend past 11:00pm. No new inning may start after 80 minutes from the official start time of the game (i.e. no new inning after 7:50pm, 9:20pm, or 10:50pm). If the game is not finished after 90 minutes from the official start time of the game, the unfinished inning will not count, and the final score will revert to that at the end of the last complete inning.
  9. For both Pool A and B Championship games, a coin toss will decide the home team.
  10. Playoff tiebreakers, at the end of Round Robin play:
    A. If two teams are tied with the same number of points:
    1. The winner of the head-to-head game will be placed higher
    2. If two teams are still tied, the team with the highest +/- will be placed higher (max +10, min -10 per game)
    3. If two teams are still tied, the team with the lowest runs against will be placed higher
    4. If two teams are still tied, the team with the highest runs for will be placed higher
    B. If more than 2 teams are tied with the same number of points (head-to-head games do not factor into this scenario):
    1. The team with the highest +/- would place highest, then the team with the second highest +/-, etc. (max +10, min -10 per game)
    2. If two or more teams are still tied, then the team with the lowest runs against will be placed higher
    3. If two or more teams are still tied, then the team with the highest runs for will be placed higher
    4. If two or more teams are still tied, then the team that won the head-to-head matchup in the regular season will be placed higher
  11. During semifinals/finals play only, no time restriction will be enforced. If team's are tied after regulation 7 innings, we will use the International Rule for tiebreaking (the last batter when the inning ended will start at 2nd base with 1 out). Game play will continue until a winner is declared. The start times of following games will be pushed back, if needed.