Ancaster Vets Slo Pitch: Rules

 **Except as noted in the rules below, the league will generally adhere to Slo-Pitch Ontario (SPO) and Slo-Pitch National (SPN) rules**       

SPN rules can be read by following the link below.   


        I.    Playing Fields
  1. Regular season games will be played at the
Community Centre diamonds #1,#2 and #3 beginning at 2pm and 3:30pm, and the Copetown diamond beginning at 9:30am.
Keep the fields and grounds neat and clean by using the receptacles for any litter.
  1. Home Plate:
When the term “home plate” is used it is understood that what is meant is the “home plate board”.
  1. Commitment Line:

A line in foul territory (perpendicular to the third base line) will be drawn half way between home plate and third base.  Once a runner touches or goes past this line he (has committed to and) must go home.
4. Home Plate Scoring Line:
The first base foul line shall be extended through home plate to the backstop.  The runner from 3rd base must touch or cross this line with his foot on the ground before he is considered safe.  The runner must avoid home plate and will be called out if he touches it (except for an over-the-fence homerun).  All plays at home are force plays, i.e. there are no tag plays.  

5. Safety precaution:  
Players must be in their dugouts at all times except for the two base coaches, the batter and the on deck hitter.  To avoid chances of injury there is no loitering in front of the dugout when the other team is warming up.

6.  Field Dimensions:

Base lengths will adhere to SPO/SPN specifications of 65 feet between bases and the pitcher's box to 50-60 feet from the back corner of home plate and inline with second base.

II.          Equipment:
1. Only softball equipment will be permitted.
2. Steel or hard plated plastic cleats are not allowed to be used.   
3. A second spike will be used to anchor both 2nd base and 3rd base.  
4. Players may only use bats supplied by the league.
5. Players may use any type of glove at any position.
6. Players should wear team shirts and hats during the games.
7. Home teams are to supply one new and one used ball per game.  
8. Helmets and face shields are provided for pitchers as are batting helmets for batters and base runners.  Any player may use their own helmets and/or face shields.  Although it is optional to wear any of these, the league strongly encourages and recommends the use of protective headgear.
 9. Ice packs are supplied to all managers.
10.(i) At the Community Centre:  For the 1st game of
the day, both teams are to put out the home plate and bags and mark the field.  After the last game of the day both teams are to put the bases and home plate away.  Base pegs should always be taken out of the ground.  The AVSPL shares the storage room on the south side of the equipment room with the other men’s league.  We have our own wooden box there for the home plate and bases and it must be locked at all times.  Everything should fit in the box.
(ii) At Copetown:  The defibrillator is to be taken home by one of the teams, as outlined in the schedule, that plays the last game. That team is responsible to return it when playing the first game on the next date.

  1. Playing the Game:
Since model sportsmanship and friendliness among all league players is our highest priority, improper behaviour, especially aggressiveness towards all other players, will not be tolerated.  Furthermore, abusive and foul language will not be tolerated.  Players may be ejected from the game for either of the above.  It is the umpire’s and/or manager’s responsibility to report unacceptable behaviour to the Executive Committee.  The Good Sportsmanship Committee, chaired by Mark Edmondson, shall review this and may submit recommendations to the Executive Committee for further disciplinary action(s).           
1.  All disputes or protests must be forwarded to the Executive Committee in a timely fashion.

2.  Schedule:

There will be an 22-game regular season schedule, ( 12 team league for 2017). Games will be scheduled for 7 innings with no curfew but a tie remains a tie after 7 innings. 
  1. Mercy Rule:
  2. There will be a 6-run mercy rule per inning except for the 7th inning, which will be an open inning.
  3.  If the visiting team is winning by 8 or more runs going into the 7th inning, the home team shall bat first in that (7th) inning.  
4. Sitting Out Rule:
Everyone must take his turn sitting out as follows: (a) with 10 players no one sits out, (b) with 11 players, 7 players sit once, 4 players do not sit, (c) with 12 players, 10 players sit once and two players sit twice, (d) with 13 players, 5 players sit once and 8 players sit twice and (e) with 14 players all players sit twice.  If a team doesn’t use this system it will forfeit the game.  If an injury occurs the injured player can sit out for another player and the other team must be notified.

5.  Short Handed Rule:

Teams may start and continue a regular season game with a minimum of 8 players, plus a catcher borrowed from the opposing team.  The team may have replacement players to have gotten up to 8.
6. Infield Fly Rule:
This rule is in effect when there are fewer than two outs and there are runners on 1st and 2nd or 1st, 2nd and 3rd. The batter hitting a pop fly (that is a fair ball) that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort will be called out although the runners may advance at their own risk.

7. Infield Warm-up during the game:
To keep the game moving, only in the 1st inning shall the first baseman throw grounders to the infielders.

8. Late Arrivals:
A player who arrives late to a game shall be allowed to play but must bat at the bottom of the order.
9. Rained out game(s): 
These games will be replayed in their entirety (a) if 4 innings aren’t completed or (b) if 3 ½ innings aren’t completed with the home team ahead.
  1. The Players:
1. Pitchers:
  1. The pitcher’s box is 2 feet wide and 10 feet long.  It’s front edge will be 50 feet from the back corner of home plate in line with second base.  The pitcher must begin and release the pitch with his pivot foot on the line or inside the box or it will be called an “illegal” pitch by the home plate umpire.  Such a pitch will be considered a ball although the batter may swing if he wishes. 
  2. In the 1st inning the pitcher will get 5 warm-up pitches as will any relief pitcher in his 1st inning.  After that each pitcher will get one warm-up pitch per inning. 
  3.  Each pitch must have a minimum arc of 6 feet and a maximum arc of 15 feet.  (The cross bar on the backstops may be used as a reference for the 15 feet.)   Any pitch not meeting this criteria shall be called an “illegal” pitch by the home plate umpire.  Such a pitch will be considered a ball although the batter may swing if he wishes.
2. Batters:
  1. In order to bat a player must play in the field, unless given special permission by the league.  
  2.   The batter is out if the catcher catches any foul tip. 

(iii) A foul ball on the third strike is an out.  
(iv) For pitcher safety, a batter will be declared out if he swings at a pitch with both feet ahead of home plate or if he swings at a pitch with a foot either on home plate or directly in front of home plate.
(v) A batter, with a pinch runner from home, who hits a home run over the fence, will be given a home run.

3. Runners:

  1. It is the base runner’s responsibility to avoid collisions AT ALL TIMES.  (The umpire reserves the right to call a base runner safe due to an attempt to avoid a collision.)  
  2. The runner must use the orange safety bag if a play is being made at 1st base.  If he doesn’t he will be declared out.  If the 1st baseman interferes with the runner’s path to the safety bag the runner will be declared safe.
  3. Lead offs are not allowed and a runner will be declared out if he does lead off. “There is no anticipation by a base runner, prior to the batter putting the ball in play. Players may advance only on contact. If a base runner anticipates a pitch being hit and steps off a base and the batter does not make contact with the ball, the runner shall be called out.” 

(iv) A pinch runner is allowed only from home plate, or first base, unless the runner is hurt while running.  The pinch runner will be the last out in that or the prior inning.

(v) A pinch runner from home must have a hand or foot touching the screen post to the right of home plate. The runner from home may only go to first base. At the umpire's discretion, if a pinch runner from home makes an intended move toward second base, the umpire will call the ball dead. The runner from home must return to first base and all other runners will advance one base from the start of the play.

(vi)  A pinch runner may pinch run only once per inning.

(vii) A pinch runner in the first inning when there are no outs must come from the bottom of the batting order or as close to the bottom as possible if the manager has to consider injuries, etc.

4. Replacement Players:
(i) A replacement player from the waiting list may play any position, but a replacement player from our league may only play the outfield or as a catcher.  Both must bat at the bottom of the order.
(ii) If a team can’t field 10 players in the regular season they may draft the necessary players needed from our league (up to 10 players).  They may have 11 players or more if the replacement players come off of the waiting list.  
(iii) During the regular season managers should try to draft replacement players of equal rating. 
(iv) The other team should be notified of the replacement players being used.
(v) Once a game has started, no replacement players may play, except in the case of an injury.  
(vi) If there is a replacement player placed on a team from the waiting list as a result of an injury and the injured player returns, then the replacement player shall be returned to the waiting list.

(vii) The committee that is approved to assign a Permanent Replacement Player will do so only after the player has spared for a minimum of 2 games on a temporary basis. The committee will only assign new players on an equitable replacement basis. The assignment is not intended to try to rebalance the competitiveness of teams in mid season.

V. Umpires and the Playoffs:
1. Umpires:  
  (i)There will be paid (carded) umpires during the                          regular season and the playoffs.
(ii) Only the manager or, in his absence, his designate may debate a call. (Please do not put any undue stress on an umpire.) 
2. The Playoffs: 

  1. All teams make the playoffs.
  2. Short Handed Rule: Teams may start and continue a playoff game with a minimum of 9 players although the opposing team shall not supply a catcher.  There will be no automatic outs for vacant spots in the batting rotation. 
  3.  If a team is short a player, a “C” rated player (less than 30 points) may be used to bring the roster up to 10 and he may play any position.
  4. The playoffs will be a seeded 12-team tournament held on both Saturdays and Sundays over two or more weekends.  
 For seeding purposes if teams are tied in points at
The end of the regular season (a) the team with the
most wins will get the higher position but if there is still
a tie, (b) the team with the best heads up record will get    the higher position; if there is still a tie, (c) the
 team with the greater run differential in the head to head games will get the higher position, and if there is still a tie, (d) a coin flip will determine the higher position (seeding). 
  1. The team with the higher seeding shall be the home team in each of the playoff games.   
  2.  A tie after 7 innings in a game will be broken by playing full innings (3 outs for each half inning) until a winner is declared.  There is no Mercy Rule in extra innings.
(vii) The playoff schedule with dates will be posted at the beginning of the season (on the website and in the handouts) based on diamond availability provided to the league.
(viii) In the event of rain, the following will apply:
a) Games will be delayed on a game by game basis until the fields are deemed playable.  The decision to delay such games will be made by the Executive (Playoff) Committee and the umpires. If a game is called after 4 complete innings the game will be continued at a later date from the point at which it was stopped and the same line-up must be used.
(b) The entire schedule will be pushed back for the length of the rain delay so that the order of the games is maintained.  Any games not completed will be moved to the next playoff date.
(c) Players are expected to be available to play the games anytime during the scheduled playoff dates since games will not necessarily be cancelled for an entire day.
VI. Rule Changes:
For a rule to be added, changed or deleted the following procedure will be used:
  1. Potential rule changes may be submitted by any member, at any time.
  2. Any potential rule change will be reviewed by the
Rules Committee. They may suggest a change to
the Executive Committee who shall have the ability to add, delete or change any rules.
  1. The Executive Committee may, at their discretion, decide to put potential rule changes to the league membership, for input or for a general vote.

To suggest changes to the rules, please contact one
of the following members of the Rules Committee:

Dave Dykeman, Jim Staois, Frank Hruska,

Rick McKenzie, Russ McLeod, Dave Sawatzy

Mike Hiltz





Open Letter to Current AVSPL Players