Rules

Island Baseball League Rules and Regulations

QUICK REFERENCE:

Section 1: Uniforms, Helmets, Gear, & Baseballs

Section 2: Extra Innings, Mercy Rule, Starting Games & Cancellations

Section 3: Substitutions, Equal Playing Time, Injuries, & Lineups

Section 4: Avoid Contact, Suicide Squeeze, & Courtesy Runners

Section 5: Players Behavior, Team Responsibility, & Discipline

 

SECTION ONE: UNIFORMS, HELMETS AND BASEBALLS

1.a All teams must have full baseball uniforms consisting of caps, matching baseball jerseys, baseball pants and belt – and 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 only upon the approval and consent of the league president.

a.1. No player out of uniform will be allowed to play without the president’s consent.

a.2. Players shall have their uniforms by their third game. A grace period should be extended for newly activated players or for new teams to complete their uniforms.

a.3 No part of the uniform shall include patches, stickers, or designs relating to commercial and or political advertisements.

1.b All batters and runners must wear helmets with at least one ear flap facing the pitcher for both at bats and on base. There is no option to this rule. Full double-ear flap helmets are encouraged for at bats and are encouraged for the bases. Catchers must wear a helmet underneath their mask.

1.c All league games MUST use official Island Baseball League baseballs. Only balls provided by the league will be permitted.

1.d Only wood bats and wooden composite are allowed.

1.e Metal cleats are permitted.

1.f ONLY active players and team coaches are allowed in the dugouts and on the field during games. No friends,  guests or children are allowed in the dugouts or on the field during games.

1.g Under no circumstances are players allowed to swing bats outside the field of play. On-deck circles are on the field only.

 

SECTION TWO: EXTRA INNINGS, MERCY,
MINIMUM PLAYERS, AND RAIN-OUTS

Extra Innings

2.a All games are 7 innings – If, at the end of regulation, the game is tied, each team begins their half inning(s) with a runner on second base. Customarily, the last out from the previous inning is the runner placed on second.

If the score remains a tie after 8, one final inning (9th) will be played. A tie after nine innings will be final.

Game Called (Rain or Darkness)

a.2. Darkness – 5 innings complete (umpires discretion).

a.3. Rain – 5 innings complete.

2.b Any games rained out will be re-scheduled by the league. Please notify league as soon as the game is cancelled.

2.c In the event of rain cancellation, the league president will notify the umpires and both teams (via a posting on the league website) 2 hours before scheduled game time.

Mercy Rule

2.d If there is a 12-run discrepancy at the end of five innings (or any inning thereafter), the game will be ruled final at that point.

Playoffs: All league playoff games must be played to completion by league standards. The umpire may suspend, cancel or call a game if, in their opinion, the safety of the players is compromised due to rain, darkness or time limits.

Minimum Players Needed to Start Game

2.e A team must have 8 players for an official game and may borrow players from an opposing team (with the opposing captain’s consent) or may borrow a registered player (or players) from other teams (also with the consent of the opposing captain which should not be unreasonably withheld). Only enough players shall be borrowed to reach a 9-man roster. Borrowed players must bat last and cannot pitch.

If the team’s 9th player arrives after the start of the game, the borrowed player reverts back to his team. If a team does not have 9 players and elects to play with only 8, the first time the vacated spot comes up in the batting order, an out will be assessed. After that one time, no out will be recorded for skipping the spot vacated by the displaced player.

 

SECTION THREE: AGE LIMIT, SUBSTITUTIONS,
PLAYING TIME, INJURIES, AND LINEUPS

Age Limit

3.a Players Age: A player is eligible to participate in an official league sanctioned game if their 25th birthday lands during the current season. The League makes exceptions to this rule for fathers & son situations.

New Player Team Assignments

3.b The league shall control the final assignment of new players to teams. A player who has not played in any league game in either the current or previous year shall be regarded as a new player. A new player invited by a team through that team’s own efforts shall still be subject to approval by the league and may be assigned to another team.

Fee’s and Waiver Form

3.c All players, prior to participating in any league game, must pay the league fee and have a signed waiver form on file with the league. No exceptions.

EQUAL PLAY TIME

All Players Must Bat

3.e A team manager must bat all players able and willing to bat. Batters cannot be deleted or skipped over, regardless of their batting position or when they were added during the game. Team managers are required to provide equal play time (equal number of innings in the field and an equal number of at-bats) for all players who are ready and able to play.

Field Playing Time

For example, if 3 players each sit out one inning during a game in week 7, different players should be chosen to sit out innings as necessary in week 8. Likewise, no player should sit out 2 innings until every other player has sat out 1. This rule is integral to the league mission and managers who don’t follow it will be replaced. This rule applies to regular season and post-season games. Managers shall prepare lineups in advance of each game to post in the dugout assuring equal play time for all players.

Substitutions

3.f A manager may add batters to the bottom of the lineup at any time but if a batter is pinch hit or run for (except under courtesy runners as outlined in section 4a), the player may not re-enter the game as a hitter but may remain in the game as a fielder or pitcher.

3.g No batting order position can be occupied by two (2) players in each such batting position. It is NOT allowed to have A/B lineups (3A/3B, 10, 11A/11B, 12, etc.). Only straight lineups are permitted.

3.h All teams must announce offensive additions, substitutions, and/or changes to the home plate umpire AND opposing team manager and/or scorekeeper. Only after this has been done will the added player be deemed a legal substitution.

PENALTY— If a team fails to announce an offensive addition/change, the player will be called out as soon as he occupies the batter’s box and the lineup will revert back to the lineup in effect prior to the player entering the game. The unannounced player will not have officially entered the offensive lineup and is therefore still available offensively even though an out has been assessed.

Example: Team A is batting 12 players and wishes to add a player to the bottom of the lineup (Player 13). Player 13 walks to the plate and is not announced to either the opposing team or home plate umpire. Once this player occupies his position in the batter’s box, the umpire will immediately call him out for an illegal substitution and it will then go back to the number 1 position in the lineup. Player 13 is still available to be added to the lineup legally.

Injured Player

3.n If a player is forced to leave a game due to injury or ejection and this results in less than 9 players on the team, the first time this vacated spot comes up in the batting order, an out will be assessed. After that one time, no out will be recorded for skipping the spot vacated by the displaced player.

Sub Players

3.p Team captains are responsible for assuring at least 11 players are present and on-time at the start of each scheduled game. Captains can accomplish this by requiring each player to confirm his game day status no later then Wednesday and then requesting enough substitute players.

A sub-list will be maintained by the Island Baseball League. Sub players must bat last and cannot pitch. A forfeiture for not having an 8-man roster at game time can result in the captain being replaced.

3.q All players may be substituted for defensively, at any time, without affecting the players offensive status in the line-up. If the pitcher is removed, he may re-enter 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.

3.r No player may switch teams without the consent of the league president. If this does not meet with approval, the player must sit out one calendar year from competition, from the last date of his playing, or re-enter the league’s next draft, making himself available to any team for selection.

3.s Last names must be used in the scorebook to allow for player identification.

 

SECTION FOUR: AVOID CONTACT, SUICIDE SQUEEZE,
& COURTESY RUNNERS

Courtesy Runners

4.a Players that will need courtesy runners, must have their manager notify the opposing manager prior to the start of the game. It is always the last batted out who must run for the person needing the courtesy runner. Courtesy runners may not steal but can advance on any other type of play.

Pitchers

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

4.c One intentional walk per game per player will be allowed.

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

4.e No pitcher can appear in more than a total of 7 innings over any two consecutive games. Violation will result in a 1 game suspension of the manager and pitcher.

Playoffs: Pitch counts reset after the final regular season game. Pitchers start with zero innings once playoffs start. They do not reset for the championship game.

Avoiding Contact/Collisions

The rules committee is concerned about possible unnecessary and violent collisions that may occur with the catcher at home plate, and with infielders at all bases. The intent of this rule is to encourage base runners and defensive players to avoid such collisions whenever possible.

Suicide Squeeze
4.f Suicide squeeze and stealing of home is not permitted. A base runner that in the umpire’s judgment runs from third base in an attempt to either steal home or is in the process of running home while batter is attempting to bunt will be automatically declared out and the batter returned to the batters box with a strike added to the count. Safety squeezes are permitted. Runners on third base may attempt to take home plate on an error, passed ball, wild pitch, sacrifice fly, hit, or if a pitcher or catcher attempts to pick off the runner at third, or throw out/pick off another base runner.

When there is a collision between a runner and a fielder who clearly is in possession of the ball, the umpire shall judge:

(1) Whether the collision by the runner was avoidable (could the runner have reached the base without colliding) or unavoidable (the runner’s path to the base was blocked) or

(2) Whether the runner actually was attempting to reach the base (plate) or attempting to dislodge the ball from the fielder.

(3) If the fielder blocks the path of the base runner to the base (plate), the runner may make contact or slide into, a fielder as long as the runner is making a legitimate attempt to reach the base or plate.

(4) If the collision by the runner was flagrant, the runner shall be declared out and also ejected from the contest. The ball shall be declared dead.

If the defensive player blocks the base (plate) or base line clearly without possession of the ball, obstruction shall be called. The runner is safe and an immediate dead ball shall be called.

(5) If the base runner collides flagrantly, the runner shall be declared safe on the obstruction, but will be ejected from the contest. The ball is dead.

PENALTY—If the runner, a) could have avoided the collision and reached the base, or b) attempted to dislodge the ball, the runner shall be declared out even if the fielder loses possession of the ball. The ball is dead and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the interference.

Decoy Rule

4.g Any fielder may use a decoy only if it serves a strategic purpose. For example, if a fielder, who sees a man attempting to steal second base during a hit and run, looks upward into the sky and says that he’s got the pop-up when in fact the ball has been hit on ground is a legal decoy as it may cause the runner to retreat to first base and prevent him from advancing.

However, if a fielder fakes a tag, forcing a player to slide, when there is no strategic purpose or apparent play.

PENALTY—Runner will be ruled safe and all runners will advance one base.

This is entirely an umpire judgement decision and not a rule that may be protested.

Force Play Slide Rule

4.h The intent of the force-play-slide rule is to ensure the safety of the defensive player. This is a safety as well as an interference rule. Whether the defense could have completed the double play has no bearing on the applicability of this rule. This rule pertains to a force-play situation at any base, regardless of the number of outs.

On any force play, the runner must slide on the ground and in a direct line between the two bases.

Exception: A runner need not slide directly into a base as long as the runner slides or runs in a direction away from the fielder to avoid making contact or altering the play of the fielder.

(1) “On the ground” means either a head-first slide or a slide with one leg and buttock on the ground.

(2) “Directly into a base” means the runner’s entire body (feet, legs, trunk and arms) must stay in a straight line between the bases.

(3) If a runner goes into a base standing up and does not make contact or alter the play of the defensive player, interference shall not be called.

Contact with a fielder is legal and interference shall not be called if the runner:

(1) Makes a legal slide directly to the base, or

(2) Is on the ground at the time of contact and the fielder moves directly down the line between the two bases to attempt a play.

(3) Makes a legal slide and makes contact with a defensive player who is on or over, but not beyond, the base.

(4) When the base runner slides beyond the base, but does not (a) make contact with, or (b) alter the play of the defensive player, interference shall not be called.

Actions by a runner are illegal and interference shall be called if:

(1) The runner slides or runs out of the base line in the direction of the fielder;

(2) The runner uses a rolling, cross-body or pop-up slide and either makes contact with or alters the play of a fielder;

(3) The runner’s raised leg makes contact higher than the fielder’s knee when in a standing position;

(4) The runner goes beyond the base and either makes contact with or alters the play of the fielder;

(a) Beyond the base” means any part of the offensive player’s body makes contact with or alters the play of the fielder beyond the base.

(b) The runner slashes or kicks the fielder with either leg;

(c) The runner illegally slides toward or contacts the fielder even if the fielder makes no attempt to throw to complete a play.

PENALTY

(1) With less than two outs, the batter-runner, as well as the interfering runner, shall be declared out and no other runner(s) shall advance.

(2) With two outs, the interfering runner shall be declared out and no other runner(s) shall advance.

(3) If the runner’s slide or collision is flagrant, the runner shall be ejected from the contest.

(4) If the bases are loaded with no outs, a double-play attempt is made, and interference is called, all other runners must return to their original bases.

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

4.j 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 and residence must be mailed to the manager who lodged his protest by Friday of 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. 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.

 

SECTION FIVE: PLAYERS BEHAVIOR AND TEAM RESPONSIBILITY

The Island Baseball League reserves the right to specifically and indefinitely disallow the membership of a player, manager, team official, and/or team at the president’s sole discretion.

5.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 ancillary areas.

5.b The league president 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. Any player who is suspended, or expelled from the league for misconduct, or any other behavior deemed inappropriate by the league president, is NOT entitled to any refund or reimbursement of his league fees.

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

5.d Fighting or aggressive physical contact with an umpire/and or player will not be tolerated. Players expelled from the game for either violation will be subject to suspension or expulsion from the league.

The league president may suspend and/or fine any player or manager for such 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.

PENALTIES

Except as otherwise provided, the league president shall determine the appropriate action required for violations of the code of conduct, and shall report the decision to the player and manager.

A player or manager found in violation of any provision delineated in the code of conduct, after already being placed on probation for the remainder of the season shall be suspended for the remainder of the season.

Any player, coach, manager, or team affiliate that is ejected or has a grievance on file for taking part in any aggressive physical contact (such as fighting), shall receive no less than a (6) game suspension and may be subject to further suspension or expulsion from the league depending on the involvement and intensity of the contact. If a punch is thrown, the suspension is indefinite until reviewed by the league president. NO APPEAL WILL BE ALLOWED.

(A) Anyone violating rule 5d shall automatically receive (1) year of probation (not subject to appeal). If this rule is violated a second time while on probation, the individual in question shall be expelled from the league.

(B) Anyone under investigation for harmful physical contact will not be allowed to play until the matter is resolved.

Any player, coach, manager, or team affiliate that is ejected from a game and escalates the ejection into a heated argument, throws equipment, or verbally abuses others shall receive an automatic (2) game suspension and shall be subject to review for possible probation and/or a fine ($50.00) by the league president. NO APPEAL WILL BE ALLOWED.

Any player, coach, manager, or team affiliate that is ejected from a game and accepts the ejection without further incident shall be AUTOMATICALLY suspended for the next scheduled game.

EXCEPTION: If opposing manager and at least one umpire submit game reports that sufficiently demonstrate that the person ejected should not be suspended further, then appeal will be considered.

A grievance may be filed by an umpire, individual player, or manager of a team, provided that a grievance is formally submitted to the league president.

An appeal of any “appeal eligible” ruling may be filed with the league president by an individual player or by the manager of a team, provided that the appeal is formally submitted.

RULE INFRACTION PROCEDURE

If there are any issues with rules during a game they should be addressed as gentlemen by pulling the opposing captain and home plate umpire aside to make the situation known. This should be a discussion, not an argument, and take no longer then 1 to 2 mins. If the problem persists after the home plate umpire has been made aware of the infraction an incident report can be filled out online. The board will review the situation as a whole and take appropriate actions.

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