RHODE ISLAND MEN'S SENIOR BASEBALL LEAGUE RULES AND REGULATIONS
Current rules of major league baseball apply except as modified by Rhode Island Men's Senior Baseball League. These rules apply to every division, unless otherwise noted. All RIMSBL players and managers are expected to know and abide by these rules. Managers are expected to assist in the enforcement of these rules.
1.0 UNIFORMS AND EQUIPMENT
1.1 All teams must have full baseball uniforms by the third game of the season. Full uniform is described as a baseball cap and jersey that match the rest of the uniforms of the team they are playing for and baseball pants. A player who is not in full uniform may be disallowed from play by the league President or Division Commissioner. No refund will be made.
1.2 Managers are encouraged to provide a team jersey to taxi players for the duration of the game being played.
1.3 Metal cleats are permitted.
1.4 All batters and runners must wear a helmet with at least one earflap at all times.
1.5 All base coaches must wear a helmet. Ear flaps are optional.
1.6 Catchers must wear a helmet under their mask.
1.7 Only RIMSBL approved baseballs will be permitted.
1.8 Each team must provide three new baseballs at the beginning of each game.
1.9 If additional baseballs are needed during the game, both teams must provide balls equally.
1.10 Teams requiring additional balls for regular and/or post-season must purchase from the league.
1.11 RIMSBL is a wood bat league. No metal bats are allowed.
1.12 Wood composite bats are permitted as long as the barrel is wood and the handle is not metal.
2.0 GENERAL CONDUCT
2.1 “Zero tolerance" policy - RIMSBL provides competitive, recreational baseball with an emphasis on fun, enjoyment, camaraderie and sportsmanship. Mature adult attitudes, sportsmanship and behavior must prevail regardless of competitive nature or circumstance. Negative, slanderous behavior will not be tolerated. Inappropriate behavior may result in expulsion without refund.
2.2 Players are to strictly adhere to the rules of the various fields. Teams and/or players not following field rules and guidelines are subject to disciplinary action up to and including expulsion, without refund.
2.3 Alcoholic beverages and non-prescribed or illegal substances are not permitted before or during the game. If a player is thought to be under the influence of alcohol, non-prescribed or illegal substance he/she must be immediately removed from the game and could face further disciplinary actions and/or league expulsion. If a player is under the influence of a prescribed drug that could cause motor impairment he/she will not be allowed to play and no refund will be provided.
2.4 All ejections automatically result in a minimum one game suspension of that player. No exceptions. Additionally, a player or the manager must pay the league a $25 fine after being ejected before he is eligible to play again. A second ejection for the same player during the same season shall result in a minimum four game suspension and a $100 fine to be paid to the league before that player will be eligible again. A third ejection will result in that player missing the remainder of the season and possible expulsion from the league.
3.1 Any team forfeiting two games during the regular season faces potential disciplinary action including expulsion from any post season play and/or expulsion from the league without any refund to the expelled team. Note: If a team is excluded from post-season play under section 3.1, the team with the next best record will receive the lowest playoff seed.
3.2 Forfeits are the first standings tiebreaker for playoff determinations.
3.3 Teams forfeiting games will not be allowed any appearances for their players and/or pitchers for playoff eligibility. Therefore, players from those teams forfeiting one or more games will need to satisfy their playoff eligibility from the remainder of their games.
4.0 TEAM ROSTERS
4.1 Initial team rosters of up to 22 players shall be made available to all team managers in the division and a copy shall be sent to the Division commissioner before the start of the season.
4.2 Roster additions may be made for age and otherwise eligible players at any point during the season up until August 15th.
4.21 Roster additions may be made for age and otherwise eligible (taxi) players at any point during the season up until August 15th. Any and all taxi players who have qualified or who will qualify for the playoffs via required pitching appearances or at bats must be added to playoff rosters at this time (August 15th). If a taxi player qualifies for two or more teams and is not already on a team roster in the division, he qualifies for he must choose the ONE team he will be playing for in the playoffs at this time. If the taxi player is already on a roster of a team in that division, he must play in the playoffs for that team. In the 50’s Division ONLY, once a taxi player has qualified for the post season roster and has been added to a 50’s team roster, the regular season restrictions (batting last in the order, not being able to pitch, only being allowed to play if they are a catcher or less than 11 players are available to play as detailed in rules 7.6A, B and C below) no longer apply.
4.3 Teams shall submit a playoff roster to the appropriate division commissioner no less than one week prior to the end of the regular season. The playoff roster shall only contain players that have previously been added to the team's roster and who have satisfied the playoff eligibility rules as outlined in paragraph 9 below.
5.1 All players shall sign a waiver of liability, agreeing not to hold the league, its officers, directors, employees, or agents responsible for any injury of damage arising from participation in the league or its activities.
5.2 Players are participants, not members or owners in the league.
5.3 In all divisions, a player is age-eligible if they become of age during the calendar year of the current season, or if they have been granted an age waiver by the league. In addition, every 30+ division team shall be allowed up to three 28+ players and every 40 division team shall be allowed up to three 37+ players. The 28+ and 37+ players in the respective divisions must be added to the team roster before the 11th game of the year or that team forfeits their underaged player for the year. Once a 28+ or 37+ player is used in a game that constitutes one of that team’s allowed underaged player waivers. The 50+ division shall award waivers as reasonably necessary to ensure the health and competitiveness of that division on a case by case basis.
5.4 Special waivers may be granted to teams that face hardships regarding age except in the 30 division where no waivers shall be granted and the only underage players allowed are each team's three 28+ players.
5.5 Each manager is responsible for the proper ages of players on his team and overall adherence to this rule. An opposing manager or the President and Commissioner may at any time question a player's age. In such occurrences, the player must submit proof of age to the requesting person such as a license or passport. If no such proof is produced, the player must submit proof to the league President or Commissioner within one week. If a player does not meet the correct age requirement of the division they are playing in, they will be removed from any further league play effective immediately and any games an illegal player participated in will be forfeited. No refund will be made. Additionally, teams are subject to further disciplinary action.
6.0 PLAYER MOVEMENT
6.1 A player may change teams between the final game of the season and December 31st, by notifying the manager of the team that he intends to leave in writing with a copy to the league President and Commissioner before January 1st.
6.2 A player wishing to change teams on and after January 1st or during the season must notify, in writing, the manager of the team he is currently on, the league President and Commissioner, of his intentions to change teams. Changing requires the consent of both managers, the league President and Commissioner. If the required consents cannot be obtained, the player may request to be released on waivers. Teams then have the option of acquiring a player on waivers in reverse order of finish of the preceding regular season. Once a player goes into the waiver pool and they are selected by a team they must play one season for the selecting team. If the player refuses to play for the selecting team they must sit out one season. Once a refusal is submitted by the player they cannot change that refusal at any time. After sitting out one season they are free to join any team they are eligible to play on.
6.3 If certain dynamics affecting a player's decision to change teams are not in place before January 1st (e.g., player initially finds out in January that certain unfavorable changes have occurred with his/her team), a player may submit in writing only to the President or Commissioner a waiver request. This waiver request is a temporary placeholder. If a player actually decides to change teams, he must notify his manager ASAP.
6.4 The intent of this exception is to balance protecting a player's right to not have his playing fate entirely in the hands of the manager, with a manager's right to know. This option is not to be used negatively. Specifically, it is crucial that managers be given timely notice of a player's intent to leave so that they may make any necessary arrangements.
7.0 THE GAME
7.1 A team may play with eight players to start and finish an official game. In the event a team has eight players the opposing team shall provide a defensive player to fill the final defensive position. The 9th slot in the short handed team's lineup shall be an out. Any team with less than eight players shall be a forfeit (exception listed within rule 7.15)
7.2 If a team only has eight players and a player sustains injury, which precludes his/her continued play, or a player is ejected, the game becomes a forfeit.
7.3 Players must be on a team’s official roster or be an eligible taxi player.
7.4 A taxi player must meet the age requirements of the applicable division and may not be on the roster of any team in that division, except for the 50 division, which allows a taxi player from another team within the division.
7.5 An eligible taxi player in the 30, and 40 divisions is any player in one of the other three divisions who meets the age requirement, is on a roster in one division, but not on a roster in a division in which he will play as a taxi.
7.6 An eligible taxi player in the 50 division must come from within the 50 division or from the pool of age eligible players in the lower age divisions.
7.6A In the 50 division only a team can only utilize taxi players if they have less than 11 of their own players - with the exception of a catcher.
7.6B In the 50 division only taxi players cannot pitch
7.6C In the 50 division only taxi players must hit at the bottom of the order.
7.6D In the 50 division only every player that is present and in uniform must hit. If one of the teams has less hitters than the other team then that team may A/B players to match the number of hitting slots for the opposing team. However, pitchers are not required to hit.
7.6E In the 50 division only a runner cannot be thrown out by the right fielder on a hit to right field.
7.7 There are no restrictions on the use of taxi players in the 30 and 40 divisions.
7.8 Taxi players are eligible for playoffs in all divisions, if they meet the post-season requirements for a particular team.
7.9 No more than three taxi players may be used in a 50 division game. Taxi players must hit at the bottom of the lineup in the 50 division
7.10 If a taxi player qualifies for the playoffs for more than one team in the same division, the player much choose which playoff team he will play for prior to the playoffs. Once this determination is made, he may not change this decision at any time through the conclusion of the playoffs.
7.11 (FORFEITS) There will be a 15-minute grace period to allow a team to field eight players. The fifteen minutes will begin at the scheduled game time. The umpire-in-chief of that game will determine the time. (Exception, see rule #7.15)
7.12 (FORFEITS) Teams failing to field eight players by the end of the grace period will forfeit the game (Exception, see rule #7.15). If a player arrives after the grace period and the teams decide to play, the game remains a forfeit. Umpires may not officiate a forfeited game. If both teams do not have enough players to start the game the game shall be considered a double forfeit, unless both managers agree to reschedule the game. In such case both teams are responsible for getting a field, agreeing on a date and paying for the field and umpires. In the case where a team notifies an opposing team of their inability to field a team before the scheduled game – the team being asked to reschedule has the right to refuse a future date if such date is not agreeable to the team being asked. In such cases if a date cannot be agreed on the team that originally didn’t have enough players shall forfeit the game.
7.13 The official game time for purposes of the time limit, is the plate meeting or first pitch if no plate meeting occurs.
7.14 If conditions other than a team being short players (e.g., field not available due to game before etc), then the official start time for time limit, is when the umpire orders the first pitch to be delivered.
7.15 Exception to Rules #7.1, #7.11 and #7.12. In the event a team has absolute positive cell phone confirmation that its eight player is in actual transit to the game and will likely arrive very soon after the fifteen minute grace period, then the team with the eight or more players may take the field and allow the team with seven players to hit. If the player in transit does not arrive by the time his slot is reached in the batting order or if the third out is made and the team with seven players has to take the field the game is forfeited by the team with seven players.
7.16 If a game began under the positive confirmation of transit provision of and subsequently, that representation is false, the offending team faces disciplinary action
7.17 Line-ups must be exchanged to ensure that only players who are actually present receive credit for plate appearances. Managers must exchange lineups prior to the start of the game and announce any additions/substitutes to the batting line-up during the game.
7.18 Teams must keep an accurate account of all plate appearances and innings pitched for the purpose of tracking player playoff eligibility.
7.19 All divisions are allowed two courtesy runners and the option of a courtesy runner for the catcher.
7.20 The courtesy runner is the last batted out with the exception of the catcher. The catcher may not be a courtesy runner and another player with a courtesy runner will not be one as well
7.21 If a courtesy runner is needed in the first inning, before a batted out is recorded, the courtesy runner will be the player occupying the last spot in the batting order (unless the last spot is occupied by the catcher, in which case the second to the last spot).
7.22 Teams who have player(s) that require a courtesy runner must notify the opposing team of the intent to use such runners before the start of a game.
7.23 If declaration of courtesy runners is not made prior to the start of the game, their allowance becomes the sole discretion of the opposing manager.
7.24 Courtesy runners cannot steal a base or participate in a hit and run. If a courtesy runner attempts to steal or participate in a hit and run, he is declared out.
7.25 Courtesy runners may run in force situations, when there is a full count with two outs, may attempt to advance on any pitched ball that hits the dirt, errors, pitcher's pick-off attempt and/or error. A courtesy runner may not anticipate a pitched ball in the dirt. He may not break for the next base until the ball has touched the dirt or a backstop. If the runner starts before this time, it will be ruled a straight steal, subject to rule #7.24.
7.26 Minimum number of hitting slots is nine.
7.27 Teams may choose to bat any number of players up to the number in attendance.
7.28 Teams may start with the minimum number of slots and add slots at the bottom of the line-up at any point in the game. A slot once added, may not be removed unless the player in that slot is injured or needs to leave early.
7.29 When adding slots, teams may add an A/B slot.
7.30 All players are eligible to play the field (even if not hitting). Players who have been pinch hit for, or pinch run for, while now out of the batting order, are still eligible to play the field.
7.31 Free substitutions are permitted on defense.
7.32 If a player is forced to leave the game for any reason, that batting position is skipped in the batting order for the rest of the game. If a player leaves an A/B slot, then the player sharing that slot will bat each time through the order for the remainder of the game.
7.33 In the event of a forfeited game the players on the prevailing team will be credited with 3 plate appearances.
7.34 In the event of a forfeited game, the manager of the prevailing team may divide the innings pitched among his pitchers to total 9 innings (ie. 9 innings to one pitcher, 3 innings to 3 separate pitchers etc.). However, a pitcher may only be credited one appearance for the forfeit.
7.35 All regular season games shall be played until the natural conclusion with the following exceptions: 1. Games that are stopped due to the time limit or curfews set by fields shall be final once the home team bats; 2. For any games stopped by weather, lighting issues or other acts of god the Major League Baseball rules shall apply to determine whether a game is final or whether it is a suspended game and must be completed or replayed.
7.36 Prior RIMSBL rule 7.36 is hereby revoked.
7.37 In the case of games being played on fields with curfews no inning will start after the curfew, unless a field supervisor is present and allows the game to continue. In this case the umpires shall allow the game to continue to it's natural conclusion or until the field supervisor seeks to enforce the curfew.
7.38 Curfew shortened and time limited games may end in tie.
7.39 Teams will receive two points in the standings for a win and one point for a tie.
7.40 If there is a twelve run discrepancy at the end of five or more complete innings or a ten run discrepancy at the end of seven or more complete innings, the game will be ruled complete. If the home team is trailing, they will be allowed to bat.
7.41 If the home team scores the mercy rule game-ending run, the game is over.
7.42 The mercy rule is in effect during the playoffs.
7.43 With the exception of the mercy rule, all playoff games must be completed to the regulation number of innings.
7.44 If a playoff game is suspended, the game will be resumed at the exact point of suspension.
7.45 If, in the umpire's judgment, an infielder decoys a runner with a fake tag, all runners will advance one additional base.
7.46 If the same fielder decoys twice in the same game he will be immediately ejected from the game. A decoy is defined as a move by a fielder designed to force an unnecessary slide by a runner.
7.47 All runners must avoid intentional collisions with a fielder. There is to be NO CONTACT with the catcher. If the catcher is waiting with the ball at home plate the runner MUST give himself up. the catcher must position position himself so as to give complete access to home plate for the runner as long as the catcher does not have possession of the ball. The catcher cannot in any way block home plate with any part of their body.
7.48 If the umpire concludes that a collision was intentional by the runner, the runner causing the collision is automatically declared out and may be ejected from the game.
7.48A RIMSBL Force Play Slide Rule (All Divisions)
On a force play at second base the runner must either slide or avoid the defensive player who is about to make a play on the batter runner at first base.
1. The runner must slide low and direct to the base. The runner may not slide through the base or use a pop up slide if there is a play being made at second base.
2. The runner may also avoid the defensive player by running in the opposite direction of the play at second base prior to any continuation of the play to throw to first base.
3. The runner may not run into second base standing up if there is a play being made at second base. No contact has to be made between the runner and the defensive player.
4. The runner may use a pop up slide if the defensive player misplays the ball and continue on to third base at his own risk.
Penalty: If the runner goes into second base standing up while there is a play being made then the runner will be called out and if in the judgement of the umpires the batter runner has not crossed first base or is about to cross first base then the batter runner may also be called out. The same would be penalty would be enforced if there is illegal contact between the runner and the defensive player.
7.49 If a fielder blocks a base or baseline without possession of the ball, the runner who avoids a collision shall be declared safe.
7.50 To issue an intentional walk, the pitcher may signal his intent to the umpire and does not have to deliver the ball to the plate.
7.51 In all divisions, any pitcher who hits five batters in one game shall be automatically removed from pitching in that game.
7.52 If an umpire detects a pitcher intentionally throwing at a batter, the pitcher will be ejected from the game and be subjected to further league disciplinary actions.
7.53 Children are not permitted inside or around the dugouts. Any batboy or girl, scorekeeper or other non-player must be at least 12 years of age and wear a helmet if 18 or under.
7.54 The league will make every effort to supply two league-sanctioned umpires to each game but a game may be played with one umpire.
7.55 No game may be played and counted without at least one league-sanctioned umpire.
7.56 The League president must sanction the managers, players and coaches for any World Series team that represents RIMSBL.
7.57 Protests - All protests involving MLB or RIMSBL baseball rule interpretation must be lodged first with the umpires in accordance with major league rules.
7.58 Protests - All protests must then be submitted to the league President and Division Commissioner in a timely manner. Protesting an illegal player or non-game issue does not have to be filed with the game umpires.
7.59 The Dispute Resolution and Protest process is as follows: 1. The division commissioner will initially decide all protests/disputes; Upon notification to the division commissioner of a desire to appeal his ruling, the protest/dispute may be appealed to the league President; The league President's decision shall be final.
7.60 Managers or players cannot override existing rules. No special agreements between teams that in any way modify, alter, change or break existing rules may take place. If there is such an occurrence between teams then both teams are subject to a forfeit of said game at the discretion of the President/Commissioner.
7.61 In limited cases, league administration reserves the right to override rules to act in the best interest of the league.
7.62 Official communication on game cancellations and reschedules includes any or all of the following; the league website, texts and email. Game cancellations, rainouts, reschedules etc. will typically be made by text or email. Phone calls may be made, but are no longer to be expected.
7.63 Once the game begins the decision to cancel play is the sole discretion of the umpires.
7.64 Field curfews are set and maintained by cities and field supervisors. The league has no control over such curfews. If the field supervisor voluntarily chooses to override a curfew, the game may continue. If the field supervisor allows a game to continue beyond what is normally the curfew, the umpires may not enforce the curfew.
7.65 Time limits are set and controlled by RIMSBL. There is a 3 hour time limit (no inning shall start after 2 hours and 45 minutes) for all regular season games Playoff games have no time limit
7.66 Any player that is ejected from a game shall not be eligible to play in that team's next game.
8.1 The schedule will be set by the league.
8.2 Teams planning any in-season travel must notify the league by March 1st.
8.3 Cancelled games due to rain, poor field conditions, field unavailability, or act of God will be rescheduled at the sole discretion of the President and Commissioner.
8.4 A minimum one-week (7 days) notice will be given to the respective team managers for games being rescheduled from April through July.
8.5 Games being rescheduled from August through October do not require the minimum one week notice but rather just reasonable notice determined by the league.
8.6 Rescheduled games will become part of the official schedule.
9.0 Post Season
9.1 Players must have 25 plate appearances or pitch a minimum of 12 complete innings with a minimum of six appearances. An appearance is defined as a pitcher throwing at least one complete batter in a game. Pitchers must be credited with a minimum of 36 outs and get those with a minimum of six appearances in six different games.
9.2 The only exception to this playoff eligibility rule is if a player is injured and is granted a medical waiver by the league. Medical documentation may be required to substantiate injury. A request for a medical waiver must be made to the division commissioner, prior to the end of the regular season. The league division commissioner shall have sole initial discretion on whether to grant the medical waiver. Any decision may be appealed to the league president who shall have final say over the granting or denial of all medical waivers.
9.21 Masters Rule for 50 division only. Players who are 65 and over are qualified as “Masters” (polite way of saying “over the hill”). Masters can attend a game in uniform and if the opposing team has less hitters than the team with Masters then the Masters don’t have to hit but remain in uniform, can play the field and be added to the hitting lineup during the game. If the hitting rosters are equal including the Masters on both teams, the Masters must be in the hitting lineup. In addition, since the Masters might not hit every game, playoff qualifications will be reduced to the number of regular season games; this year 16 games. Also, to help the Masters obtain the 16 plate appearances masters can be in the hitting lineup once and then removed from the hitting lineup as long as the Masters hitting lineup is more than the opposing team.
9.3 Teams must qualify at least twelve players for playoffs or they will forfeit their slot in the playoffs and the next eligible team will take their place.
9.4 Taxi players are eligible for post season in all divisions as long as they satisfy the requirements of playoff eligibility for a particular team.
9.5 If a taxi player qualifies for the playoffs for more than one team in the same division, the player must choose which playoff team he will play for prior to the start of the playoffs. Once this determination is made, he may not change this decision at any time through the conclusion of the playoffs.
9.6 The following criteria will be used to determine playoff seeding and to break ties: 1. Overall record, 2. Forfeits, 3. Head to head record, 4, Run differential against the opponent tied with, 5. Fewest runs allowed to all teams, 6. Coin flip
9.7 The playoff format shall be agreed to and discussed prior to the season. Typically in divisions with 6 or less teams the top four teams will make the playoffs and the highest seed will play the lowest seed in best of three round, while the #2 seed plays the #3 seed, also in best of three round. In Divisions with 7 or more teams, the top six teams qualify. The top two teams earn a first round bye. In the semi-final round, highest remaining seed will play the lowest remaining seed. In all series the higher seed will be home team in games #1 and #3. All postseason series are best of three
9.8 The mercy rule is in effect during the playoffs.
9.9 With the exception of the mercy rule, all playoff games must be completed to the regulation number of innings.
9.10 If a playoff game is suspended, the game will be resumed at the exact point of suspension.