Rules

Mississauga Slo-Pitch Rules
1. Rain Policy2. Fielding a Team

3. Keeping Score

4. Pitching

5. Hitting

6. Base Running

7. Defence and fielding

8. Umpiring

9. Sportsmanship

1. ‘Rain’ Policy (poor weather)

a) Mississauga Slo-Pitch League (MSL) is governed by the ‘rain or shine’ policy. This means all teams must report to their field regardless of weather conditions or be subject to default rules. For the remainder of the rule book, rain and/or poor weather will be referred to as ‘rain’.

b) If it is ‘raining’ at game time, the umpire will instruct teams to wait it out for at least 20 minutes before deciding to call the game. It is at the league’s discretion to reschedule the game or not.

c) If you have a double header and the first game is called because of rain, you must show up for the second game and see if the umpire calls the second game.

d) If during a game it starts to ‘rain’ and the umpire calls the game, the following rules will apply:

Once 4 innings are completed, the game is eligible for a win or a loss in the standings.

If the game is less than four innings, the game will be recorded as a tie.

e) Rain outs will be rescheduled if the schedule allows us however only teams with more than one rain will be considered. If your team has two rain outs, you will get one of them rescheduled.

f) All teams must arrive at the diamond ready to play regardless of the weather conditions. If it’s raining at 5 PM, it may not be at 6:30 or 8:15. The only time games will be called early is if the City of Mississauga pulls the permit (which is rare but does occur). Please do not email me asking if the games are still on. I will notify all team reps immediately if the City cancels any permits. Notification will come via email to the teams affected that night and I ask that all teams reply back immediately with confirmation so I know you received said email. If I don’t hear back from you, I will start the process of calling your contact number or your 2nd and 3rd contact (if I have any on file). If the 6:30 game is cancelled by the umpire and he/she also cancels the 8:15 game, the same process applies.

 

2. Fielding a team

a) All players must sign the team roster and the roster must be at all games. The roster form will be sent to the team rep during the first few weeks of the season by NSA. You must follow the instructions within the package. Once you receive said package you must also send a copy of the roster by email or fax to the League Commissioner. You may add to your roster at any time during the season but any additions must be approved by the league. Any player, not on your roster, will not be allowed to play for your team. All players must be register in the league in order to play (no exceptions). Any team that is short players MUST contact the league and the league will do it’s best to provide you with players* (please try to give as much notice as possible). Any team found using players not on their roster, without the league’s approval, will lose their playoff eligibility.

***Replacement players will only be provided during the regular season. During the playoffs, teams must field players from their own roster. No exceptions***

b) Games start at 6:30pm or 8:00pm (except for Mondays at Sheridan and Birchwood when the late game will begin at 8:30). There is a 10-minute grace period to allow for the minimum players needed to arrive for the early game or the team short players will default. There is no grace period for the late games. No grace will be granted if each team has eight players ready to play. If there is a late game on your field, no inning may start after 8:05pm and will end no later than 8:15pm. In other words, if you start late, games must be shortened accordingly if more teams are scheduled to play at 8:00 pm. Since most early games end before 8:00 PM, teams need to be at the diamond and ready to play by 8:00 PM (8:15 PM for games starting at 8:30 PM).

c) You must play at least 8 regular season games to qualify for the playoffs.

d) You may start/play/end the game with only eight players, of which two must be females.

e) If a team is short players, it could field the following combinations without default:

8 players (one less infielder and outfielder) Note: if only 2 females are present, 3 females must still appear on the batting order with the ‘3rd’ female batting being an automatic out

Note: at its sole discretion, the other team may agree to provide a catcher. Whether the catcher is an active player (fielding all balls as a member of the team or just returning pitches) must be decided amongst the captains prior to the start of the game.

f) Automatic default occurs when:

At 6:40pm, if less than 8 players on a team are ready to start.

A team fields less than 2 females.

In the event of a default, the score will automatically be 8-0.

Teams who forfeit are fined $50 for the first offence, $100 for the second and if there is a third, you lose your playoff edibility.

g) All teams must have uniforms (with numbers) by July 1st. Teams playing without uniforms after that time, will not have those games count towards playoff eligibility (players need 8 games in order to qualify for the playoffs).

h) Uniforms MUST be wore during the Playoffs and any player who arrives at the diamond without his/her uniform will NOT be allowed to play.

3. Keeping Score

a) Both captains will bring a score sheet to every game.

b) Teams must track the batter results each inning for their own team and runs scored by the other team. Please confirm with the other captain at the end of each half inning what the score is. Confirm the score with the other captain at the end of the game, this is so both teams report the same score. If there is a discrepancy at the end of the game, figure it out at the field so you both report the same score to the League.

c) The maximum number of runs allowed in the first four innings is 7. The last three innings are open. This rule is only in effect for the regular season and playoffs.

d) Games are 7 innings unless time, darkness or rain prohibits a full game.

e) Some diamonds will host a 6:30pm and an 8:00pm game. The two captains in the early game must ensure that the game gets started on time and is finished by 8:15pm. A new inning may not be started after 8:05pm.

f) If the team due to bat in the bottom of the 7th inning is leading the game, the game is over and the score will stand as is. There is no situation where this rule does not apply. In the bottom of the 7th inning, once the batting team has scored the winning run the game is over. This means that once the winning run crosses the plate the game is over. Any more runs that come across do not count and the fielders do not have to ‘get the ball in’. The final score would stand as the winning team winning by 1 run.

g) “Games ending in a tie after seven innings will continue using International Rules (see below) until the game is decided (time permitting) or a max of two additional innings. No early game (6:30 start) can continue past 8:15 PM and no late game (8:00 start) can continue past 9:30 PM. This rule is only in effect during the regular season. During the playoffs, games will continue until a winner is declared with no time limit and without the use of the International Rule.

 

International Rule: The last official batter from the previous inning starts on second base and the inning is played as usual starting with one out. Each subsequent inning will start the same until a winner has been determined (to a max of two innings).

h) Both captains are required to turn in their scores via email to the League by 4:00pm the next day. Failure to report scores results in a loss for both teams. If only one team reports the score, that score will be official.

Scores must be sent via email to wayne_tippett@sympatico.ca

i) Standings will be updated after week 2 and posted weekly to the website.

j) Standings are first determined by games won. Ties in the standings are first broken by head to head play and then by run differential.

4. Pitching

a) The pitch must be between 6 feet (generally, if it’s over the batter’s head it is high enough) to 20 feet or it will be deemed a ball. If the ball arcs less than 6 feet or is over 20 feet, and the batter swings then the ball is in play and the pitch counts. A ‘strike’ occurs on a foul ball, a swing and a miss, or if the batter takes the pitch and it lands on the strike matt (home plate is two feet by three feet in size). In this format each batter will receive up to 3 strikes or 4 balls. On the fourth ball, the batter walks to 1st. On the third strike, the batter is out. If a batter fouls off a pitch and already has 2 strikes, they are out. If a male batter is walked on 4 straight balls, and is followed by a female batter, the male batter will automatically advance to 2nd base on the walk. The female batter up next must bat. Other runners already on base will advance only if the walked batter forces them.

b) Pitching mount is a minimum of 50 feet from home base to a maximum of 65 feet.

c) After the release of the ball, the pitcher can move backwards (not left/right) into a defensive position providing he/she does not take a position in the batter’s line of vision or act in a manner to distract the batter with deliberate or undeliberate unsportsmanlike intent (example: movement of hands/arms, quick or distracting movement).

5. Hitting

a) You may bat as many females as you like, but the maximum number of male batters, depends on the amount of female batters. You may have seven male batters if you bat three females’ batters, eight male batters with four females, nine male batters with five females etc…

b) 3 females must appear in the batting order. In the case where only 2 females are present, you will have an automatic out. No more than 3 male batters can bat in a row.

c) A foul ball, missed swing or pitched ball hitting the mat with two strikes on the batter, results in an out.

d) Bunting is not allowed and will be recorded as an out.

e) The infield fly rule is at the discretion of the umpire.

f) Match Plus 2 “Home Run Rule” is in effect at any diamond with an outfield fence or at the umpire discretion. No team at any time can be more than two home runs ahead of the opposing team. For example, if the visiting team hits two home runs in the top half of the first inning, they cannot hit another until the home team hits one. If a player on any team hits a home run which would put their team at three home runs more than the opposing team, it will be counted as an OUT.

g) Mercy rule: If after five complete innings, one team is ahead by 15 or more runs, the game will be called and awarded to the team currently winning. This rule will be in effect during the playoffs.

h) If a batter steps across or on the home plate and/or strike mat to attempt to hit a ball and makes contact with the ball, it is an automatic out.

i) No more than three male batters in a row in the batting line up.

j) Players (not the League) are responsible for property damage incurred by said player. This is applicable at all diamond locations.

6. Base Running

a) No lead-offs – the runner is called out if they leave the bag before the bat makes contact with the ball. E.g. if the batter misses the ball, and the runner has left the bag, the runner is out, time is called and the previous pitch will not count/dead ball.

b) When running to first base, the runner must not touch the white base or they are out. The runner must tag the orange safety base. If the 1st baseman touches the orange safety base, the runner is safe. If the runner is rounding 1st base on a hit where there will be no throw to 1st base, they are allowed to touch 1st base instead of the safety base. The 1st baseman must move out of the runner’s path as he/she rounds 1st base.

c) When running from 3rd base towards home plate, the runner is to keep outside the baseline and is considered safe if they pass the home base line (the first base line is extended beyond home plate towards the backstop) before the catcher has the ball while touching home plate. If a base runner touches the home plate while attempting to score it is an automatic out. To record an out, the catcher cannot tag the runner, they must touch home plate, with possession of the ball, before the runner passes the line. Similarly, the runner will be out if they touch home plate rather than passing the home base line.

d) A commitment line will be drawn 40 feet from 3rd base and 25 feet from home plate. Once a runner passes this line (by touching the ground beyond the line), they must proceed to home plate. Therefore, they are out if the catcher with the ball, touches home plate before the runner crosses the home line.

e) No sliding at 1st or home, however sliding into 2nd or 3rd base is permitted.

f) Tagging up and running on a caught outfield fly is permitted.

g) 3rd Out Fly Out- If the third out occurs on a fly-out the inning is over. The fielders do not have to field the ball in to make any plays and any runs scored do not count.

h) Mercy Rule: If a team is up 15 runs at any point after the start of the 5th inning, the game is over. The score when the mercy rule comes into effect is what is reported.

i) Pinch running – Pinch runners are allowed for injured players. A pinch runner can step in at anytime. Each team is allowed 3 pinch runners per game. The pinch runner can be any player however it must be male for male and female for female.

7. Defence and fielding

a) A team can field 10 players (maximum of 7 males)

b) No more than 7 males may take the field during any inning. Therefore, a full line-up would include a minimum of 3 females.

c) Infielders may not play closer then the baselines when a female is batting. The outfielders must remain in the outfield. The only exception is at Dunton #1, where the outfielders may be ten feet in from the outfield grass.

d) A foul ball (any arch) caught by the catcher or any fielder is an out.

e) The catcher cannot tag the runner at home (see rule 6.c).

f) Both teams must bring their bases to every game and the bases must be down 15 minutes prior to the start of the first game. If the home team does not have their bases, the visiting team can either loan their bases to the home team or they can put the bases down and become the home team (their option).

g) Two pegs must be used to anchor 1st base.

h) 1st and 3rd base should be 65 feet from home base.

i) If/when a female is hitting, if she makes contact and the ball reaches/touches grass, the batter will be automatically awarded 1st base and there should be no throw towards 1st base unless the runner rounds 1st with the intention of running to 2nd. Any throw towards first from any fielder, the runner will be awarded 2nd.

j) When a team fields a female pitcher, the team must also have a male catcher unless said team has four or more females playing defence.

8. Umpiring

a) All Mississauga Slo-Pitch games are umpired by NCA and/or SPN carded umpires.

b) No game will be official unless an umpire is present. If no umpire arrives by game time, you are to call the league at 416-347-8609 and I will do my best to make it to the diamond within 15 minutes (depending on location of diamond). If I cannot make it to the diamond, then I will reschedule the game. If the umpire leaves the diamond (for whatever reason), the game will be official if 4 innings have been played or if the home team is winning after 3 1/2 innings.

c) REMEMBER THIS LEAGUE IS FOR FUN, PLAYERS MAKE MISTAKES AND SO WILL THE UMPS. A ‘BAD’ CALL IS ONLY GOING TO BE UPSETTING, IF YOU LET IT UPSET YOU. If you are a player who cannot remain calm or just walk away from a ‘bad’ call without an argument or being upset – you are playing in the wrong league!

9. Sportsmanship

Spirit of the Game – The MSL encourages all players to play with a ‘fun first, winning second’ attitude. The MSL believes that encouraging good sporting behaviour is why many players join and remain in our leagues. Playing with ‘MSL spirit’ provides a non-threatening, fun environment for all levels of players. Good sporting behaviour: behavioural tendencies of a person who can take loss or defeat without complaint, and victory without gloating, AND who treats all opponents with fairness, generosity, courtesy and respect.

Captains are responsible for dealing with their teammates at the field. Any players who are playing aggressively, swearing or exhibiting any other types of inappropriate behaviour should be removed from the field or diamond by their Captain. Failure to leave the diamond, if requested by the umpire, will result in a forfeit by the offending team and suspension from the league for the player involved.

Conduct: Only Team Captains may question an umpires’ call. Abusive language or profanity may result in player ejection. A player ejected from a game for a first offence will miss the remainder of the game and one more. A suspended player may be subject to further discipline depending on the situation. A second offence during the season will result in a disciplinary hearing and may result in further suspensions.

a) New rule for player ejections:

  • Ejected player will automatically receive an additional one game suspension which must be served with the team’s next game (same rule as in years past). No appeal.
  • If the same player is ejected a second time in the same season, he/she will receive an automatic two game suspension and will be not allowed to participate in the playoffs.
  • If a different player (same team) is ejected, he/she will receive a two game suspension and the team rep (for that game) will also receive a one game suspension.
  • Three ejections from the same team within the same season, the team will be suspended from all league play.
  • There is no reason for any player to be ejected from a game. Our umpires are willing to discuss any call or rule with the team rep however once he/she states that the discussion is over, all players need to return to their position or bench and the game must continue. If you force the matter, you will be ejected and will face league discipline.

 

***Any team not abiding to all league rules will be asked to leave the league immediately and will be reimbursed $85 for each game remaining in their regular season schedule (playoffs are not part of the league fee). The $85 per game is calculated as follows: $1400 minus $200 admin charge (covers NSA associated and insurance plus game balls) which equals $1200 divided by 14 games which amount to $85 per game.

 

Consumption of alcohol on or around the ballpark is prohibited and may result in player/team ejection or suspension for the balance of the season.

 

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