Rules

Official Slo-Pitch National (SPN) rules and regulations will apply, plus the following additions and amendments (below). For details on the league administration process including formulation and ongoing review process of the league’s rules, view the BMSPL Constitution.

New rules/amendments for the 2024 Season

1. No longer a +9 run differential on playoff weekend…no mercy rule.

2. There will now be up to 2 extra innings of international playoff in the event of a tie game

3. In extra innings, if the last out that is intended to start on 2nd is a player who took a pinch runner, the team shall go to the next previous out until a non pinch running player is reached.

4. Pitching – in alignment with official SPN Rules, a 2 foot wide line will be placed at 50 feet and 65 feet.  Pitchers must pitch within this 15′ x 2′ “box”.

5. Rainouts will no longer be counted as ties.

6. League no longer allows 2 players to share a roster position.  No more 50/50 players.

7. Teams can no longer choose to disallow a player from playing on playoff weekend if they miss more than 50% of regular season games.  Everyone Plays.

8. Stealing is allowed on any pitch that is a ball.  You cannot steal home

9. No anticipation.  No runner may leave the bag until a pitched ball strikes the ground or has been hit. (Result: The play is dead and the runner is called out.)

10. Spare players picked up if a team is short can only play catcher or RF.

 

1) GENERAL RULES

1.01 Players must be 30 years of age as of December 31 of the playing year – Proof of age may be required. Exception granted for Father with a Son 25+ years old playing on the same team.

1.02 There will be absolutely no physical or verbal abuse of any player or official. If such occurs, that person(s) will be ejected from the game.

1.03 Foul language is not permitted – players may be ejected from the game.

1.04 Smoking, alcoholic beverages and narcotics are strictly prohibited in dugouts and on the playing field – result is ejection from the game.

1.05 Any player ejected from a game is automatically suspended from the next game, and further suspension and eligibility ruling will be made by the League Executive.

1.06 Plastic or metal cleats are not permitted on the playing field.

1.07 A team may only hit 3 (three) homeruns more than its opponent at any given time during the game (e.g. If Team A has hit 3 homeruns, they may hit no more homeruns until Team B hits at least one homerun. Team A may then hit another homerun.) Every homerun hit that gives a team 4 (four) or more homeruns than its opponent at that point in the game will be considered an out.  Homerun rule resets to zero in the event of extra innings.

1.08 Batting helmets may be worn at the player’s option, but must be CSA approved.

1.09 If opposing team suspects that a banned bat is being used, they bring it to the attention of the umpire and if the bat is on the banned list, the bat is ejected. Umpire in Chief and Executive have final decision.

1.10 League standings are to be determined by win percentage and will be posted on the website and updated regularly.

2) MISSING GAMES

2.01 Any player who is absent from 5 or more consecutive games without informing his team representative may be dropped from the team roster. For a dropped player for this, or any other reason (ie. injury), an alternate may be obtained from the waiting list.

3) GAME GUIDELINES

3.01 All players must wear their team sweater to be eligible to play in the game. Wearing a cap is optional.

3.02 All players must rotate as per batting order. (e.g.) First batter in the line-up must sit out first, second batter sits out second, etc.

3.04 When any incomplete game is halted due to weather conditions at any time after the start of the game it shall be declared a tie.

3.05 Inclement Weather.  Prior to the start of the game, the game may be called off due to weather by the umpire after consultation with both teams. In the case of a disagreement, the umpire will have the final decision. After the start of the game, the umpire may call off the game at his discretion. Canceled games prior to start are not counted as ties.

3.06 Protests must be registered with the umpire before the end of the game. All protests will be reviewed by the League Executive and their decision is final.

3.07 A team must have a minimum of 7 players before a game may start. The team that is short will decide if they default the game or play shorthanded after picking up up to 2 umpires.  You have to have 7 of your own players by the 4th inning or that team shall forfeit the game.

3.08 Players arriving after the start of the game may enter at the bottom of the batting order, up to the end of the fourth inning.

3.09 A team having only 7 or 8 of their own players at the start of the game, may pick up one or both umpires assigned to the game to a maximum of 9 players. The umpire picked up must be of similar skill/calibre to the missing player, i.e. if you have your #1 or #2 ranked player present you may not pick up another high rated player unless there is no other option availalble.  If the opposing team has eight players, only one umpire may be picked up. Any team players arriving up to the end of the fourth inning must replace one of the umpires. The order to which umpires remain in the game will be determined by a coin toss prior to the start of the game. Umpires may not be used as a pitcher unless the team does not have a pitcher and the opposing team agrees. Umpires must play catcher or Right Field and must bat last in the order.

3.10 Time limit – Removed. Light shut off time will be monitored.

3.13 Home Runs – Players don’t run the bases…run and get your ball.

3.14 There shall be a mercy rule of 7 runs per inning for innings 1 through 8. The 9th inning is open in terms of runs that may be scored.

3.15 The Home Team shall supply the Official Scorekeeper.

3.16 The Home Team is responsible for completing the game card and submitting it to the Umpire in Chief in order to ensure the standings are kept correctly and up to date.

3.17 Stealing is allowed on any pitch that is a ball.  You cannot steal on a strike.  You cannot steal home.

3.18 Mercy rule (regular season only)- 20 or more runs any time after 7 innings will be a mercy. (6.5 innings if home team is winning). Mercy Rule does not apply for Playoff weekend.

3.19  In the event of a tie, up to two (2) inning of international rules will be played. Last out of the previous inning to start at 2nd base, one out to start each Half inning. In the event the last out of the previous inning is a pinch runner, the team will go to the previous out until a non pinch running player is reached.  If game is still tied after 2 innings, it will remain a tie. (Pinch runner rules apply.)

4) UMPIRES

4.01 Umpire(s) shall be assigned to each game.

4.02 Any changes or requests for changes must be reported to the Umpire in Chief.

4.03 Protests concerning an umpire’s judgement are not allowed.

4.03.2 Appeal – players may respectfully ask for an appeal. It is at the discretion of the umpire to decide if they will allow an appeal to the other umpire. All parties are required to respect the final decision of the umpires. You already made the play-offs…calm down!

4.04 Any team that fails to fulfill its full complement of 4 umpires (by the end of the fourth inning), will forfeit one half (1/2) of a win in the league standings.

5) TEAM GUIDELINES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

5.01 A team will consist of a minimum of 13 players and a maximum of 15 players (10 on the field). A team losing a player or players during the season will replace them from the waiting list, up to the middle of July.

5.02 The home team is responsible for the equipment and the preparation of the playing field during the regular season, (base set up and lining etc.), and the system will reverse in the playoffs.

5.03 Each team must have a Team Rep who is able to attend monthly executive meetings. The Team Rep cannot be a member of the Senior Executive.

5.04 The Team Rep shall complete a batting order and submit it to the scorekeeper before the game. The Team Rep shall also complete his section of the game card.

6) BASES

6.01 All bases are 65 feet apart.

6.02 The commitment line shall be 20 feet from home plate, on the third base line.

6.03 All bases will be fastened down.

6.04 First base shall be a dual bag, orange and white, with the orange bag on the foul side of the first base line.

6.05 Home plate will be constructed from plywood.

7) BASE RUNNING

7.01 No runner may leave the bag until a pitched ball strikes the ground, home plate, or has been hit. (Result: The play is dead and the runner is called out.)

7.02 Stealing is allowed on any pitch that is a ball.  You cannot steal on a strike.  you cannot steal home.

7.03 A runner at third may advance only on a hit ball or an out of bounds pitched ball (as noted in 9.04).

7.04 When attempting to score, a base runner must have their foot down on or across the score line (line drawn from the left hand top corner of home plate and parallel to the first base line), before the defensive player has control of the ball and is in contact with home plate, to be called safe. Once a runner is across the commitment line, he can not be tagged out but must be thrown out with a force play at the plate.

7.05 The scoring runner must not touch home plate. (Result: The runner will be called out.)

7.06 Pinch Runners – At the request of an injured or slightly injured base runner, unlimited pinch runners will be allowed, before the next legal pitch only at first base, not at second or third base. The pinch runner must be the last out, or the previous last out if the last out is not available due to injury. Pinch runners are not permitted to steal at any time. If a pinch runner is left on base when it is his turn to bat, he will be called out (as a batter) but will continue as the pinch runner. Since the intent of this rule is to allow runners for injured players and NOT to replace runners for strategic reasons, the umpire may deny the request for a pinch runner. Once a pinch runner is requested and allowed by the umpire refusal of a slower runner will not be allowed and the substitution will happen. 

7.07 The defensive player can touch any part of first base as long as they are touching part of the white to record an out. If there is a play at first, the runner must touch the orange portion of the first base bag.

7.08 All appeals must be made prior to the next pitch.

7.09 If a fielder makes contact with the ball with a piece of his equipment detached from his body, the runner shall be awarded 3 bases on a hit ball and 2 bases on a thrown ball.

7.10 If the catcher touches the ball before it contacts the ground, the plate, or the batter, all runners in a legal position to steal shall advance one base.

7.11 If the pitch hits the batter, the ball is dead and no runners may advance.

7.12 Safety is a prime consideration at all times, and any attempt to injure a fellow player will not be tolerated, resulting in immediate ejection.

7.13 A runner turning across the foul line after reaching first base safely can not be tagged out, unless in the umpire’s judgement, the player made a definite move toward second base.

7.14 Pinch runners from home to first base are not allowed.

7.15 If you use a pinch runner, you must use a pinch runner for the rest of the game. (If a player slightly injures himself running or is hit with the ball, he may use a pinch runner for that at bat and not for the remainder of the game provided umpires and opposing team is made aware)

8) BATTING

8.01 Bunting is not allowed. (Result: The batter is called out and all play is dead.)

8.02 There is no defined batter’s box, however, if the batter steps on home plate (fair or foul) or his rear foot is on or ahead of a line drawn parallel with the front of home plate at the time the batter makes contact with the ball, the batter will be called out.  Batter’s front foot is allowed anywhere in front of the plate as long as the back foot is in the box,

8.03 All players bat according to the pre-game batting order submitted to the scorekeeper.

8.04 A player may leave the game due to an injury, however, if he misses his turn in the batting order, he is out of the game and cannot return.

8.05 A ball hit off home plate into fair territory is a fair ball.

8.06 Third strike foul is an out.

8.07 Infield fly rule: Less than two out, runners on 1st and 2nd or bases loaded. Batter is out, if in the opinion of the umpire, the ball can be caught by an infielder with reasonable effort. Runners may advance at their own risk.

8.08 A foul tip off the bat caught by the back catcher is an out.

8.09 If a ball hits the tree branches that hang over the small diamond it is a foul ball/strike/non-playable.

9) PITCHING

9.01 The “Pitching Zone” is a box 24 inches wide located 50 to 65 feet from the original home plate.

9.02 The ball must be pitched underhand.

9.03 The minimum height of a pitched ball is 6 feet. Any ball pitched under 6 feet and not swung at or hit is a ball. If the low pitch is hit, it is in play.

9.04 Intentional Walk – the pitcher can wave the pitcher to first if no one is on 1st base, 2nd base, or 1st and 2nd base. If the pitcher throws the ball out of bounds, all players advance one base including any player on third base. The pitch is declared a ball.

9.05 The pitcher must have one or both feet within the 15′ x 2′ “pitching zone” during the release.

9.06 A new pitcher will have a maximum of 8 pitches to warm up and a consecutive pitcher will have a maximum of 3.

9.07 If a pitcher pitches the ball and then catches it himself vs it going to the catcher any runner on 1st or 2nd base would advance one base. 

10) DISCIPLINE

10.01 When discipline of a League member is required, the President will form a discipline committee consisting of himself, the Vice President, The Umpire in Chief, or any other Senior Executive. They will convene as soon as possible after the incident to hear all evidence. After hearing all of the evidence, the committee shall render a decision. This decision will be final, and no appeal will be allowed.

11) RESERVE CLAUSE

12.01 During our tournament weekend, for the Saturday round robin on diamond 2; the winner of game 1 will be umpiring game 2. The reason for this is to ensure that the 3rd game is meaningful.

12.02 On the night of our double header, the executive reserves the right to change the order of the games. This will be done in order to try and keep the later games meaningful to the standings.