Official Softball Canada 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 2020 Season
1. Change Base Length to 70 feet from 65 feet and commitment line to 21 feet from 35 feet as per SPO changes. (also reflected in section 6 of the rules below)
2. If you use a pitch 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).
3. Pinch runners are not allowed to steal. If they are caught wandering too far from the base, they can be forced out if the defensive team throws the ball to the bag before the runner returns.
4. Mercy rule- 20 or more runs after 7 innings will be a mercy. (6.5 innings if home team is winning).
5. In the event of a tie, one 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. If game is still tied, it will remain a tie. (Pinch runner rules apply.)
6. Winning percentage will be used to determine the 1st thru 5th seating during the regular season. Equation to be used is: points acquired divided by points available.
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 two homeruns more than its opponent at any given time during the game (e.g. If Team A has hit 2 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 three or more homeruns than its opponent at that point in the game will be considered a single and all runners on base advance one base.
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.
2) MISSING GAMES
2.01 Any player 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.
2.02 A player should play at least 50% of the games to be eligible for the league playoffs but the decision rests with the team and if there is disagreement then the executive will decide (in the case of mid-year replacements, 50% of their available games).
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.
3.03 All games are up to 9 innings or 120 minutes, but any inning started after 110 minutes will be the last inning. In the event of a tie after 9 innings, it stays as a tie. This rule applies through the regular season and round robin pre-final weekend round. It does not apply in the final playoff weekend.
3.04 When any incomplete game is halted due to weather conditions prior to it becomingan official game, (4 1/2 innings if home side ahead, 5 if not) it shall be declared a tie.
3.05 Prior to the start of the game, the game may be called off 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.
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. A 10 minute grace period is allowed, however, if the team does not have 7 players after the 10 minutes are up, the 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. 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 outfield unless the opposing team agrees to the other field position and must bat last in the order.
3.10 Time limit - Removed. Light shut off time will be monitored.
3.11 Pitching - New pitchers get 8 warm up pitches, returning pitcher gets 3.
3.12 Foul ball - 2 strikes and you hit a foul...back to the bench...you're out!
3.13 Home Runs - Players must Run the bases.
3.14 There shall be a mercy rule of 7 runs per inning for innings 1 through 8. The 9th inning, or last inning if game shortened and the last inning declared 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 There will be no stealing when there are less than two umpires officiating. If another umpire begins to officiate during the game (prior to the start of the fifth inning), stealing can be reinstated at the beginning of the next full inning.
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 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 point 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 Senior Executive, and a Team Rep. 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.
6.01 All bases are 70 feet apart.
6.02 The commitment line shall be 21 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 2nd and 3rd is allowed only when the pitch is a ball. You cannot steal on a strike. (see exception rule 3.13) A strike is a dead ball and a runner who made an attempt to steal can return to his starting base without penalty.
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 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. 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 andallowed by the umpire refusal of a slower runner will not be allowed and the substitution will happen. Pinch runners are not allowed to steal 2nd or 3rd base.
7.07 The defensive player must touch the white portion of the first base bag 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, and will result 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.
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.
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 Fourth 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. There is no longer a 6 foot height minimum.
9.01 The pitching distance is minimum 50 feet.
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.
9.05The pitcher must have one or both feet at or beyond the 50 ft pitchers' rubber during the release.
9.06 The pitcher must pitch behind the pitcher's line 50 feet away from the home plate and within the 4 foot line which is 2 feet each way off of the centre line from home to 2nd base.
9.07 A new pitcher will have a maximum of 8 pitches to warm up and a consecutive pitcher will have a maximum of 5.
9.08 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.
10.01 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.
12.03 The executive changed the start time for Sunday games from 7:00 to 7:30 pm for 2015. This was done to reduce lighting costs. Wednesday night games are still at 8:30 pm.