Atlanta College Baseball League: League Rules

Sunday, June 2

League Rules & Regulations

Atlanta College Baseball League RULES 

Revised

May 1, 2013

*** some rules may vary from NCAA rules ***

Rule 1 – Uniforms

All players must be properly uniformed with matching jerseys and like hats and “BASEBALL” pants.  Also, shirts must be tucked in at all times and caps must be worn in the traditional manner.  In addition, uniform numbers are mandatory on the back of the uniform shirts and each player must have a differentiating number.  A player will be denied participation if he is not properly uniformed.

Rule 2 – Helmets

All batters and runners must wear a helmet with at least one earflap.  The ACBL strongly urges that all helmets are double ear flapped, but at a minimum, the batter’s ear that faces the pitcher must be covered by an earflap.

Catchers, while playing defense, must wear a protective helmet.

There will be NO deviations/exemptions from this rule.

Rule 3 – Code of Conduct

Managers and players shall conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner at all times. No manager or player shall commit the following:

Lay a hand upon, shove or strike, or threaten an official. Players and managers guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until his conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players and managers guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season or expulsion from the league for life.

 

Refuse to abide by an official’s decision. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until his conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.

 

Be guilty of objectionable demonstrations of dissent at an official’s decision. Players and managers guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension from further participation in the game.

 

Discuss with an official or officials the decision reached by such official or officials, except for the manager or his designee who are authorized to participate in such discussions. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension from further participation in the game.

 

Use unnecessarily rough tactics in the play of the game against the body or person of an opposing player. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.

 

Be guilty of physical attack as an aggressor upon any player, manager, official, or spectator, before, during, or after a game. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until their conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season or expulsion from the league for life.

 

Be guilty of verbal abusive attack upon any player, manager, officialor spectator, before, during, or after a game. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until their conduct is reviewed by the board of directors. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season.

Consume or being in possession of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs at a league event, during the game or be up the field of play at any time in an intoxicated condition. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall be subject to expulsion for the remainder of the season. Alcohol is also not permitted, in open containers, in the parking lot of any fields used for league play.

Smoke on the field of play or in the dugout. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game.

 

Cursing on the field of play. Players guilty of such conduct will be suspended from further participation in the game.

Penalties

As a general rule the first ejection will result in a 1 week suspension and a second ejection will result in expulsion from the league.  All conduct issues are up for review by the league and the league withholds the right to make any need judgments without any financial reimbursement, as follows…

  • The board of directors may, by vote of the majority of the directors, suspend any player or manager for such a period and upon such terms as it may propose, for the conduct with in its opinion is prejudicial to the welfare, interest, reputation, or charter of the league.
  • Except as otherwise provided, the commissioners shall determine the appropriate action required for violations of the codes of conduct, and shall report their decision to the player, manager and the board of directors.
  • Any player found in violation of any provisions delineated in the codes of conduct, after being suspended from further participation in a game shall be subject to a one game suspension or suspended for the remainder of the season.
  • If any team presents consistent conduct issues, it will be up the board to potentially suspend that team for the remainder of the season. NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN FOR ANY REASON.

If a player is under suspension and attempts to play, the umpire will rule the player ineligible and will not allow play until player has left the field of play.  If the team and/or player fail to comply the umpire will be in touch with one of the board members immediately for further action and at that time the team will be facing forfeit and/or suspension.  Please do not make this an issue.

Any player that physically assaults an umpire WILL FACE charges and will be banned from the RSABL for life.

Any player that physically assaults another player will be banned from the league for life and the victim will be encouraged by league to press charges.

Rule 4 – Equipment & Baseballs

ACBL

All metal bats must meet the BBCOR standard.  Wood and Composite wood bats are permissible. 

 

No metal bats exceeding 36” in length and/or a 2 5/8” diameter are permitted.  Composite and metal-wood bats are permissible.  Upon protest, the penalty for using an illegal bat will be an out at the plate and the guilty player will be warned or ejected from the game, at the umpire discrection.

Metal cleats are allowed.

Rule 5 – Number of Players

Teams must have eight (9) players for an official game.  The team may borrow one player from the opposing team if the manager of this team consents.  The team with eight may also borrow a player from a team other than the one that they are playing if, and only if, the opposing manager consents.  Games will be forfeited if a team can not field at least nine players within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time, or officially adjusted starting time. 

Rule 6 – Courtesy Runners

ACBL

Courtesy runners are optional for the pitcher and catcher at all times. If a player gets on base and he will be entering in the defensive half of that team’s inning as a catcher or pitcher, then he is eligible for a courtesy runner. The manager needs to make the other team aware of what is happening though. Courtesy runners can only be the last recorded out or a player who is not in the line-up elsewhere. If the last recorded out is a courtesy eligible player as well, the previous recorded out will be the eligible courtesy runner

Upon meeting with opposing manager and the umpiring crew, a courtesy runner can be designated for an injured player only in pre-game meeting.  If an injury occurs during the game, the runner must take a pinch runner.  If no bench players are available to be inserted, the runner will be allowed a courtesy of the last batted out for that at bat and must be removed from the line-up for the remainder of the game.

Rule 7 – Lineup

For the sake of fairness and accuracy, team’s roster present at the game, including names and numbers and not just the starting lineups, must be exchanged by teams before the start of each game.  Proper format would be as seen below…

lineup

Managers will provide opposing manager and the home plate umpire a copy of your line-up as defined above.

The Rules Committee suggests that teams come to the event with a complete prepared roster form with all of the above stated information.

Offensively

Each manager has the prerogative to bat as many players in his initial lineup.  If the manager wishes to add players to the bottom of the lineup (i.e. hitting positions 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, etc.), he may do so at any time.  Added players to the bottom of the line-up may be added as individual hitters or as A/B.  Any added player to the bottom of the lineup or pinch hitter must notify the opposing team manager of the batting order change.  If no notification is made, and proper protest is made, an automatic out will be assessed to that batter.  If a player is pinch hit for, he may not re-enter the game as a hitter, but may stay in the game defensively.  Batters may not be deleted or skipped over, regardless of their batting position or when they were added to the game.  If a team increases the size of their lineup, their line-up must remain at that increased number for the remainder of the game.

An exception exists to this aspect of the rule.  If a player is forced to leave a game due to injury or ejection, a reserve player, not previously entered into the game as a hitter, must hit in the replaced batter’s place.  If there are no reserves who can replace the individual, the spot is skipped and all hitters below that position move up. 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.  Exception exists for injured players, there will be no out assessed for player forced out of the line-up due to injury.

A team MAY declare at the time that lineups are exchanged prior to the start of play that any batting order position will be occupied by two (2) players in each such batting position.  That is, 3A/3B, 10A/10B, etc.  The first time that position 3 gets an at bat, 3A would hit and the next time this slot hits, 3B would be up.  Then 3A hits the third time this spot in the order comes up, and so on, alternating between these two players throughout the game.  Once a team declares the use of this A/B system, it must continue using it for the remainder of the game. Hitters in the A/B position from the batting order may be pinch hit for, just as any other player.  An A/B position may be added to the bottom of the lineup at any time during the game.  Teams can not add a “B” batter to an existing lineup spot once the game begins.

In the case that a team bats a player not designated on the roster given to the home plate umpire and the opposing team, that player, upon proper protest, will be found illegal and declared out after one pitch is thrown.  The opposing team may protest this illegal player at the time of the offense.  Penalties will not be retroactive and teams may not protest the use of this illegal player once the game is completed.  If the team feels the player is not on the team’s official roster, then the protest will be heard.  The best way to prevent this issue is for any player entering the line-up to declare himself with the home plate umpire before stepping into the batters box for his first at bat, at which time the umpire will notify the opposing manager.

In the case that a team has mistakenly put the wrong numbers for their players on the lineup given to the home plate umpire and the opposing team, the team will correct the error(s) with no penalty.

The penalty for a team having a player bat out of turn is an out, if protested before the first pitch.

Defensively

All players may be substituted for, at any time, except the pitcher.  Defensive players need not be in your batting order.  In regards to substituting for the pitcher, only the starting pitcher is allowed to re-enter the game.  He can only re-enter once and it must be at the beginning of an inning.

Rule 8 – Age Requirement

Players must be 18 years of age by the first game of their respective team to participate; therefore anyone over the age of 18 can be a part of the ACBL.

Rule 9 – Length of Games, Ties , Run Rule, Rain-outs, etc.

All league games are 9 innings with no inning beginning after 2 hours and 45 minutes. For 7 inning games no inning can begin after 2 hours and 30 minutes.  5 completed innings constitutes a complete game in the event of rain. 

Teams cannot arbitrarily stop a game (quit) if the score is lopsided and the team that is losing decides it does not want anymore runs scored against them.  If a team “quits” before the time or 9 innings, the final score will be changed to reflect 10 additional runs to the ending score.  The game must be played a minimum of 5 innings/2 hours for this rule to be in effect.  In addition, no team can arbitrarily forfeit a game because they will “benefit” by not playing.  Any team that purposefully forfeits a game will be fined $150 to cover cost of umpiring and will come under review by the league.

Games can end in a tie and standings are determined by points.  For example, your team will receive two points for every win you post, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss.  Playoff seeding will be set based upon the point system.

The umpire may cancel or call a game if, in their opinion; the safety of the players is compromised due to weather or darkness.

9 inning games ending in a tie may be played out if time permits.  However, teams will be responsible for added umpire fees.  See Umpire Fee section for more details.

Rain out games will be re-scheduled if at all possible.  Managers of the involved teams and the commissioners will work these situations out as it best fits the schedule of both teams and available umpires

There is no mercy rule in effect for league play.  The losing team can put the mercy rule into affect without penalty if there is a 15 run deficit after 7 complete innings in a 9 inning game and 5 innings complete for a 7 inning game.

Rain outs will be at the discretion of the umpire after consulting with managers and any other league or field officials present. 

Rule 9b – Forfeits

Any team that forfeits will be fined $150 for their first forfeit and kicked out of the league on their second.  The $150 fine will be due by the Friday before their next scheduled game, if they do not pay the fine on time, they will be removed from the league.  If a team gives Locke Wheeler or Mark Williard due noticed we will do our best to re-schedule a game if needed, however last minute changes will be considered a forfeit.  I believe it’s fair to the league, umpires, and us working for the league to request a 24 hour MINIMAL NOTICE, if you call me Saturday night.  It’s too late…if you have enough men on your roster, you should NEVER have to forfeit a game anyway… 

Rule 10 – Collisions, Decoys and Slide Rule

Collision Rule

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.

a. 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.

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.  The player will be ejected from the remainder of that game, and will not face further suspension beyond that game.

(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.

b. 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.

(1) 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.

Decoy Rule

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, the runner will be ruled safe and all runners will advance one base.

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

Force Play Slide Rule

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.

a. 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.

b. 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.

c. 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.

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

(6) 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. 

Rule 12 – Protests and Makeups

All protests must be lodged with the League President within a reasonable time frame after the completion of the game in question.  All protests will be decided by the Rules Committee.

Protests regarding a player’s eligibility must be made before the game or as soon as the player in question enters the game, offensively or defensively.

In the event of a rained out game or games, every effort will be made to make up the contest(s), but this is not guaranteed.

We will not be completing tie ball games this season.  There are too many hurdles to face yearly; the burden of rescheduling of tie games is not a worthy hurdle.  As outlined above, teams will have the ability to finish tie games if scheduling allows.

Rule 13 – Player and Team Participation Requirements

Determination of eligibility to participate in the Red Stick Amateur/Adult Baseball League will be based solely on the decision of the Rules Committee.

Team rosters must be submitted to the local league by date of final payment.  Rosters can not be changed after 75% of regular season games have been played.  Any needed roster additions after that date must be filed to the board and decided upon appropriately by a majority vote among the board members. 

All players, prior to participating in a game, must have signed waiver forms on file with the league. Any players added after the initial rosters are turned in at the beginning of the season will incur a $25 player fee payable to the league. Any team charged with using ineligible players will be given a forfeit loss and the penalty that come with a forfeit.

To participate in a playoff and/or championship game, each player must have had one plate appearance that must be documented within the league games; otherwise the player will be deemed ineligible.

Rule 14 – Umpiring

Umpire fees will be $70 for a scheduled 9 inning game and $60 for a scheduled 7 inning game with a $5 dollar per umpire additional fee for any extra inning play.  Managers are expected to pay umpires before game at the home plate meeting.  Home team will be determined by a coin flip in the pre-game meeting.

Umpires are responsible for holding a pre-game meeting with one coach, manager, or team representative before each game.  Managers are expected to comply and conduct all needed business at this time.  The team representative present at the pre-game meeting will be the only person allowed to approach the umpire during game play for any disputes.  Any player who attempts to argue with an umpire can be ejected at the umpire’s discretion.  Appropriate etiquette is required when meeting with an umpire.  In the event the team representative is removed from the game for any reason, the team will be responsible for designating an interim manager to the home plate umpire for the remainder of the game.

 

***ANYTHING NOT COVERED IN THESE RULES & REGULATIONS WILL

BE LEFT TO THE DISCRETION OF THE LEAGUE BOARD***



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