|2012 WOODBRIDGE INTERTOWN BASEBALL LEAGUE RULES
ALL GAMES ARE 7 INNINGS
For Regular Season*
OFFICIAL GAMES ARE 4 INNINGS (OR 3 1/2 IF HOME TEAM IS AHEAD)*
General: The following league rules apply to the regular season and the play-offs*where noted – all rules are in force.
The Pony division will be for 13-year-old players (cannot turn 14 prior to May 1 and the senior division will be for 14-16 year old players (cannot turn 17 prior to May 1).
No steel or metal spikes are to be worn in any game! Any player with steel or metal spikes will NOT be allowed to participate in game. NO EXCEPTIONS! Only rubber or plastic cleats – solid sole, screw-ins (must be changed when metal tip is showing), turf shoes, or sneakers. No track spikes or golf shoes. If a player is found wearing metal spikes he is to be removed (confined to bench) for the remainder of that game. The offending team will record an out for the removed batter only if the line-up falls below 9 batters. If that occurs the missing batting position will be deemed an automatic out. See rule 9.
Bats: Pony division teams may not have bats that exceed 34 inches in length and the barrel cannot exceed 2 5/8 inches in diameter (no limitations on weight to length ratio). Bats used in the seniors division may not exceed 34 inches in length, the barrel cannot exceed 2 5/8 inches in diameter and cannot be greater than a –3. IF opposing manager decides to protest and found correct, penalty will be, batter is out and all base runners return to previous base. *Please note, the home plate umpire has the discretion to remove a bat during a player’s at bat (prior to a result) WITHOUT an out being given. The player will simply have to use a different bat.
A continuous batting order will be used – example – 15 players – 15 batters will hit before first player hits again. Once lineups are exchanged, newly arriving players will be placed at the bottom of the batting order. Free field substitutions every inning – except for the pitcher – follow pitching rules. Batting lineups will list last names and uniform numbers. All players in the starting batting order must play a minimum of 3 innings in the field in a full 7-inning game.
During regular season ONLY, there is a Mandatory catcher/pitcher speed up rule – with 2 outs and the PREVIOUS INNING’s catcher or pitcher on base, the last batted out (s) – MUST run for catcher/pitcher. You can run for the PREVIOUS INNING’s pitcher/catcher at any time during the game, but it is MANDATORY with 2 outs. *Again, this rule is ONLY for regular season!
Runner/catcher safety: ALL runners must slide into any base or otherwise attempt to avoid a contact when a play is being made. If the umpire rules the contact was intentional or malicious, the player WILL be ejected at the umpire’s discretion. Fielders/catcher will also be ejected if any attempt is made to intentionally “take out” a runner.
*Catcher safety – ALL catchers must have a throat guard attached to the helmet when on the field.
Fake TAGS – This is completely different from any obstruction ruling! No fake tag causing the runner to slide or to impede the runner with a fake tag. Any judgment by an umpire of a “fake tag” will result in an extra base for the base runners (and potential confinement/ejection of fielder). This rule is SIMPLY to prevent unnecessary last second injuries!
In the JUNIOR DIVISION ONLY, ABSOLUTELY NO “fake bunt/slash swings” are allowed!
Batter is automatically OUT if this occurs.
8. Batter / Runner Obstruction rule: This will be defined in two ways:
Batters must make a clear attempt to AVOID a thrown pitch. If the umpire decides that a batter did not make an attempt to avoid a pitch (or purposely try and get hit) he can call the pitch a ball or a strike and NOT allow the batter a base.
Batters must NOT INTENTIONALLY obstruct a fielder’s chance of making a play. If the umpire feels that the batter impeded the fielder (i.e.: MADE NO ATTEMPT TO GET OUT OF WAY), he can call the batter out and send the base runners back to their previous bases.
Similarly, a defensive player may not INTENTIONALLY obstruct a batter / runner from their intended path. Catchers can NOT INTENTIONALLY run into batter in an effort to try to get an obstruction call.
*This is all at the umpires discretion to make whatever call is deemed necessary.
9. ABSOLUTELY NO “HEAD FIRST” sliding into home plate!!! Runner will be called OUT IMMEDIATELY!
Home team will provide bases, 3 new baseballs and 2 SCHEDULED umpires per game (paid in full by HOME TEAM during regular season). Umpires MUST be older than the oldest age eligibility of the specific game. ALL teams must have a copy of the league rules at all games and umpires MUST be aware of LEAGUE RULES!
Umpires are to be paid during ground rules meeting at home plate prior to game (unless a township has something else worked out – like Metuchen) by the HOME TEAM. BOTH umpires receive $40. Umpires must be attired in neutral clothing (i.e. No hats or clothing from, or with logos from local school sport teams or intertown recreational league teams.)
*In the event the scheduled umpires do not show, the game will be started on time using managers/coaches from the playing teams as umpires. Balls and strikes will be called from behind the pitchers mound. The defensive teams manager/coaches will umpire while their team is on the field thus the umpires will rotate each ½ inning.
*Absolutely NO Jewelry may be worn (shown) on the field of play (for earrings, players can cover with a band aid).
** Pitchers cannot wear a) white sleeve shirt or B) white wristband (on their pitching arm) under their game jersey.
12. Rainouts/Cancellations: This is the policy that MUST be followed for all games that are cancelled due to rain or unplayable field conditions:
1) Town’s field designates (John T - MP, Rob Pero - Colonia, M. Kelly - Fords, Bill Jeney – Metuchen & N. Soltren – Hopelawn) receives call from parks dept. stating that the field is unplayable.
2) The town designate then must call the HOME TEAM manager who is scheduled to play at that specific field ASAP as well as emailing & calling the league president, Michael Radu.
3) The HOME TEAM manager must call A) the visiting team manager & B) the umpires (or umpire assignor) to cancel the game ASAP.
4) The league president will reschedule all cancelled games.
**Any issues regarding rain, field conditions, etc should be first directed to the league Vice President, Danny Gallop @ 732-877-8153 and email of email@example.com
13. There is a Mandatory 10 run rule in effect. If one team leads another by 10 or more runs at the completion of an official game, the game will end at that point.
14. Forfeit time is 15 minutes after the scheduled starting time. Once a game starts, when to end a game because of darkness, weather or safety is totally up to the umpires. *For night games at Fords Park, no NEW FULL inning shall begin AFTER 9:40PM. If the umpires end a game for any of these reasons, the score reverts back to the last completed full inning. If the game is an official game at that point it is considered over. If the game is NOT an official game, it will be considered a “rain out” and the game will be played over FROM THE BEGINNING at a later time. Umpires will need to be paid again for any rescheduled games resulting from this condition, and that cost will be split by BOTH teams.
***For 5:30PM games > FIRST PITCH is 5:30PM! Ground rules, infield/outfield, lineups, etc. MUST all be taken care of prior to start time.
15. Games must start on time even if both teams have only 8 players. A team is allowed to play with 8 players (ONLY if they have exhausted the call up process), but if they drop to less than 8 players, the game is over and the other team gets the win *official game* or NOT. If a team has only 7 players after the forfeit time has elapsed, the game will be forfeited. The opposing manager may allow the game to be played, under forfeit (just so the kids can play), rotating his players onto the field for the other team. The eighth batting position on the team with only 7 players is an out whenever they are due to bat. The players rotating on the field will bat for their own team. This must be agreed upon before the game starts between BOTH managers.
*ALL teams MUST use the call up process to field at least 9 players. No team should be playing with less than 9 players unless it is absolutely necessary. And forfeits should be an absolute LAST RESORT!
A legal batting line-up has 9 or more batters. The only time an out is recorded for a missing batter is when a team only has 8 players. Then the 9th batting position is an out every time that slot is due up. Example – if a team starts with 10 players – then 1 has to leave – now they have 9 batters – no automatic out is assigned because they have a legal batting line-up. If another player gets hurt or must leave, etc and can’t continue, every time his batting position is due up an out WILL be recorded. If a team starts with more than 9 batters (example –12) and players leave or get injured – as long as the team has 9 batters in their line-up there are no automatic outs recorded.
16. Protests must be told immediately upon “infraction” to the home plate umpire BEFORE the next play and by email that night to the league administrator, Michael Radu. A decision will be made within 24 hours. Protest should state the rule that was violated, the situation of the game, count on the batter, positions of any runners, outs and why or what they believe was wrong with the ruling made by the umpires. Remember you cannot protest balls and strikes, fair or foul, safe or out calls, catch/ no catch, acts of interference, obstruction or judgment calls.
17. Teams cannot participate in ANY games without their rosters being handed in. Teams without rosters handed in by opening day must forfeit their games until a roster is received by the league president! NO EXCEPTIONS! All rosters must include players’ names & birth dates and coaches information. Any roster additions must be sent to league president NO LATER THAN April 29th. Once an addition is sent to the league president, that player CANNOT participate in a game until confirmation has been given by the league. (NO players can be added to a roster after April 29).
*High school players at any level MUST be noted on roster form!
18. Players may play only on the team on which their name is listed on the roster. Players may not play as substitutes on another team within their division. If a senior team needs additional players to constitute a team, they may call up qualified players from a pony team. These players should be 13 year olds only. If a pony team needs additional players, they may call up qualified 12 year olds only, from within their own league. Rosters and score books must include players last names and uniform numbers. Substitute players (call ups) will be allowed to play any position except pitcher. A team using subs should not have any more than 11 players on their roster for that game. *NO child is allowed to participate in ANY WITBL game if they are NOT a “rostered player” no matter what the child’s affiliation may be to that town’s league! Example – Town A only has 7 available players, so they bring 2 non WITBL rostered players who happen to be on Town A’s softball team. They CANNOT participate in the game! NO EXCEPTIONS!
19. We have two disciplinary actions. They are the “confinement” and “ejection” rule.
*Confinement rule- It allows an umpire to simply confine a player to the bench for the remainder of the game. No ejections or suspensions will be assessed. This would be for unruly but not physical or verbal abuse (throwing of equipment counts!).
*Ejection rule – anytime a player, coach or manager is ejected from a game (physical or verbal abuse); their town director must be notified within 24 hours.
Player ejection - when ejected, the player must be kept in the dugout/bench if the player does not have a parent or guardian present at the game. The manager/coach will supervise the player. If the player’s parent or guardian is present the player must leave the bench/dugout or field area with the parent or Guardian. An out WILL BE RECORDED from the moment of ejection for every time that player’s turn comes up in the lineup (in the ejected game only)! The player will serve a 1 game suspension – next playable game. The player must be at the game, in uniform, but confined to the bench. If they fail to show up for the next playable game – they have not served their suspension. Opposing manager and umpire must be notified during ground rules of suspended player. Any ejection MUST be brought to the attention of that town’s league director or president as well as league director.
A player ejected a 2nd time will serve a 2 game suspension – next 2 playable games. They MUST NOT ATTEND either game.
Any manager, coach or parent (family/friend member) ejected from a game must leave the bench, dugout, stands and field area. The manager or coach will serve a ONE game suspension (next playable game). They ARE allowed to attend the game but ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT allowed in the dugout or to have contact with team in during their suspended game! *Any contact will result in immediate forfeit of that game and EXPULSION from the league for the remainder of the year (including playoffs) for offending manager/coach! NO EXCEPTIONS!
Manager or coach ejected from a 2nd game will serve a THREE game suspension (next playable games) and MUST NOT attend these games in ANY MANNER! *Any contact will result in immediate forfeit of that game and EXPULSION from the league for the remainder of the year (including playoffs) for offending manager/coach! NO EXCEPTIONS!
Any manager or coach ejected a third time will be suspended for the remainder of the season AND playoffs!
The opposing manager will notify the town reps and league director of any player / coach ejection. The ejecting umpire should also notify league director.
20. If a team fails to show or does not have enough players to field a team for an initially scheduled game or does not give a 24-hour notification they will FORFEIT that game, AND MUST reimburse the cost of umpires for that game whether they are the home team or not! If the umpires have already been paid, the forfeiting team MUST pay back the town for the forfeited game expense.
21. Pitching: All ages are eligible to pitch in their respective leagues. The following rules will be in effect with regard to players who are on a high school roster.
*Any high school player who has pitched for his high school team is NOT permitted to pitch in the WITBL (regular season). High school pitchers WILL be allowed to pitch in the playoffs.
*If a high school player has NOT pitched for his high school team, he IS permitted to pitch in the WITBL (both regular season & playoffs).
If a team is found to be in violation of any of these rules, it will result in an automatic forfeit.
In addition the following pitching rules will apply:
Once a pitcher is removed from the mound, they cannot return to the mound in that game.
b. For Senior Division – balk rule is in effect starting April 23rd. Prior to that, umpires will address pitchers (each) and alert them of balk (ONCE), before actually enforcing the rule.
For Pony Division – balk rule is in effect starting Apr 30th. Prior to that, umpires will address pitchers (each) and alert them of balk (ONCE), before actually enforcing the rule.
For Senior & Junior Divisions - Pitchers MUST be removed from mound after hitting 3 batters in game.
REGULAR SEASON PITCHING INNINGS:
SENIOR Pitching week for regular season will be Saturday through Friday.
Senior Division – A maximum of 9 innings per week per pitcher.
JUNIOR Pitching week for regular season will be Saturday through Friday.
Pony Division – A maximum of 7 innings per week per pitcher.
A single pitch constitutes a full inning.
Manager – 2 trips to the mound in 1 inning must change pitcher on 2nd trip. 3rd trip to the mound in game with same pitcher must change pitcher on 3rd trip.
22. Scoring / Standings - BOTH teams are required to email results of game within 24 hours of game completion or rain out to league president, Michael Radu at BOTH of the following email addresses.
firstname.lastname@example.org and Michael.email@example.com
Teams will be awarded 4 points for a win, 2 points for a tie and 1 point for a loss (forfeits will receive 0 points). Games with no results will be issued 0 points. Scoring / standings discrepancies must be reported immediately to Michael Radu (732-738-5645 or emails above) for review. For play-off seeding purposes tiebreakers are:
Head to head
23. Playoffs: EACH TEAM will cover ½ of the umpire cost in playoff games!
All teams make playoffs in their respective leagues.
Each player must have played in at least half of the regular season games to be eligible to play in the play-offs (unless due to injury).
Playoff schedule: higher seed is home team and therefore has same responsibilities as home teams during regular season aside from payment. *Exception is semi finals and championship game umpires, which will be scheduled by league president.
Games will be based on seeding and all playoff rounds will be “re-seeded”
24. Playoff Seeding –
Top 5 teams in regular season standings will receive a first round “bye”. Remaining 6 teams will play first round games to get field down to 8 teams.
Top 7 teams in regular season standings will receive a first round “bye”. Remaining 2 teams will pay first round game to get field down to 8 teams.
25. Playoff REGULATION GAMES:
For the playoffs, OFFICIAL GAMES ARE 5 INNINGS (OR 4 1/2 IF HOME TEAM IS AHEAD)
There remains a Mandatory 15 run rule for the playoffs. *If a game is “official” (4 ½ or 5 innings) and the trailing teams is losing by 10 or more runs, their manager can “elect” to end the game and should alert both the umpires and the opposing manager. If a game is ended due to weather or lateness, and is an official game, the result is final! BUT, NO game can be ended unless official. If a game is called off before becoming official, it will be replayed in full the next day (regardless of the score at the time the game was haulted) at a field and time TBD. The umpires will once again have to be paid.
26. PLAYOFF PITCHING INNINGS:
Pitching week for playoffs for BOTH divisions will be determined before the playoffs begin.
Senior Division – maximum of 10 innings per week per pitcher.
Pony Division – maximum of 8 innings per week per pitcher.
***1 pitch in an inning constitutes a FULL inning.
Playoff format will be the following:
All rounds will be single elimination
Games in the first round in each division will be played to reduce the 2nd round teams to 8.
Second round will be a 8-team bracket
Championship games will be held at Fords Park (Unless a Metuchen team is the higher seed – If so, game will be played at Metuchen) with the times and dates to be determined.
ALL 2012 league rules supersede any old league rules, high school and or major league baseball rules covered herein.
***High school baseball rulebook will be used for any rules that have a DIRECT outcome of a game that are not stated herein.
27. All players, managers, coaches, parents, fans and umpires will read, understand and follow attached “Sportsmanship Policy”.
***In lieu of sportsmanship rule, NO “hidden ball tricks” are allowed in the WITBL at coaches requests.
SEE BELOW for sportsmanship policy
WOODBRIDGE INTERTOWN BASEBALL LEAGUE (WITBL) Page 1 of 2
The purpose of the league is to allow kids to just have fun”. Unfortunately, adult agendas and attitudes frequently poison that simple goal. Violence leading to injury and even death has been reported in the media.
The executive board of the WITBL has elected to put into place a policy with respect to the conduct of players, managers, coaches, parents and fans. The scope of this policy ranges throughout all league activities not only the games themselves.
Sportsmanship is the goal. Abusive behavior by players, managers, coaches, parents and fans will not be tolerated. Abusive behavior includes, but is not limited to, foul language and arguing unreasonably with, taunting, or cursing at a player, manager, coach, umpire, parent, and or fans. Fighting will not be tolerated.
Umpires have been directed to discuss their “warning” policy during the meeting at home plate when ground rules are discussed. They have been told to warn any person who engages in abusive behavior. If this behavior persists after warning, the offending person will be ejected. There will be no appeal. Umpires will be allowed to submit reports on managers / coaches / attendees that will be evaluated by the WITBL Executive Board.
Managers and Coaches
Managers will be responsible for their coaches, players and fans:
Managers and coaches are expected to set a proper example and act as adults
Managers or coaches will be ejected from a game by an umpire for using foul or abusive language (ZERO TOLERANCE)
Manager or coach ejected from a game for any reason (expect (b) above) will be automatically suspended from the next playing game. (ZERO TOLERANCE)
A second ejection will result in a 3 game suspension. (ZERO TOLERANCE)
A third ejection will result in a suspension for the remainder of the playing season including playoffs and tournament play. (ZERO TOLERANCE)
If a manager or coach engages in a fight, he or she will automatically be suspended from managing or coaching in the WITBL. No second chance or appeals and no release of responsibility due to extenuating circumstance. (ZERO TOLERANCE)
Behavior on the field must be above reproach. No smoking on the field or in the dugout. For any disagreements during a game, only the managers will be allowed on the field.
(Note: A manager may designate a coach to hold these discussions on his behalf.)
No coach or player can willfully distract the opposing player by talking or performing any action that might confuse him or her.
Only manager’s coaches will be permitted in the dugout. Only managers and coaches will be permitted in the coach’s box. The manager is responsible for maintaining control over parents or fans affiliated with his or her team. If abusive behavior by the team’s parents or fans will not or cannot be controlled, a forfeit can be declared and the game will end. (ZERO TOLERANCE)
WOODBRIDGE INTERTOWN BASEBALL LEAGUE (WITBL) Page 2 of 2
Intertown league players:
You should take pride when playing in this Intertown League. If you are issued a uniform, you are expected to be at your best and be a sportsman. A player who follows this need not worry about suspension or expulsion from the league. At home, or at the ball fields, you should respect the uniform, the league and not disgrace your parents.
When you are a player taking part in the game:
You will wear your uniform and cap properly at all times. You will not leave the playing area while the game is in progress. You are to remain in the dugout during the game, except when you are at bat, next at bat, or fielding. You are advised NOT to bring or receive refreshments (within reason) in the dug out or the field at any time.
You are expected to not abuse the playing field or equipment and not distract other baseball players or fans. You will not throw a helmet or bat in a fit of anger or you will receive a warning, ejection or suspension.
When you are a spectator (fan) attending the game:
All attempts are to be made to not distract the players in the field or interfere with the conduct of the game in progress. You are not to gather in an area forbidden by the rules of the game of baseball, for example, by the backstop behind home plate or congregate near the dugouts. Please do not block the view of those seated in the stands (where every fan should be!).
Failure to follow this policy will result in prompt removal of player, manager, coach or fan from the field or stands and be subject to further penalty by the WITBL as determined by the Executive Board. For example, further participation in the league by that person or his / her child may be discontinued.
WITBL League President