1. THE GAME
1.1.1 APPEAL – LIVE BALL OR DEAD BALL
A live or dead ball appeal is a play or situation on which an umpire cannot make a decision unless requested by a manager, coach or player of the non-offending team.
1.1.2 DEFENSIVE TEAM
The team in the field.
When the plate umpire rules that the game is over by declaring the non-offending team the winner.
1.1.4 HOME AND VISITING TEAM
a) The home team may be determined in a variety of ways, including coin toss, mutual agreement, tournament assignment or league assignment.
b) The home team starts the game on defense, bats in the bottom half of the inning and occupies the third base dugout.
c) The visiting team starts the game on offense, bats in the top half of each inning and occupies the first base dugout.
That segment of a game when both teams either bat or field and remain batting or fielding until three outs occur. A new half-inning begins immediately after the final out of the previous half-inning.
1.1.6 OFFENSIVE TEAM
The team at bat.
1.1.7 “PLAY BALL”
When the plate umpire signals and declares live ball at the start of the game or resuming play in a game, provided that:
a) the pitcher holds the ball in the pitcher’s circle; and
b) the catcher is in the catcher’s box, and all other fielders are in fair territory to put the ball in play.
1.1.8 PRE-GAME MEETING
The meeting at home plate area at a predetermined time including the umpires, head coaches, managers or team representatives of both teams. At this meeting, line-up cards are confirmed, exchanged between teams and the plate umpire reviews any special rules.
The action of a defensive or offensive team, other than an appeal, objecting to:
a) the misinterpretation or application of a playing rule by an umpire; or
b) the eligibility of a team roster member.
The term used by an umpire to order the suspension of play in a game. During time, the ball is dead.
1.2 REGULATION GAME REQUIREMENTS
1.2.1 REGULATION GAME
A regulation game consists of seven completed innings, except as follows:
a) A full seven innings need not be played if the home team scores more runs in six innings or before the third out in the bottom of the seventh inning.
b) A game that is tied at the end of seven innings will continue by playing additional innings until one side scores more runs than the other at the end of a completed inning or the home team scores more runs before the third out in the bottom of the inning is made.
c) A game called by the umpire will be a regulation game if five or more complete innings have been played, or if the team second at bat has scored more runs than the other team has scored in five or more innings or if the run ahead rule is invoked. The umpire is empowered to call a game at any time because of darkness, rain, fire, panic or other cause, which puts the patrons or team members in physical danger.
d) A regulation tied game will be declared if the score is equal when the game is ended at the end of five or more completed innings, or if the home team has equaled the score of the visiting team in the incomplete inning.
e) These provisions do not apply to any acts on the part of players or spectators that might call for forfeiture of the game. The plate umpire may forfeit the game if any team member or spectator physically attacks any umpire.
f) A game that is not considered a regulation game or is a regulation tied game will be replayed from the start of the game. The original line-up may be changed when the game is replayed.
1.2.2 FORFEITED GAME
A game is forfeited in favor of the team not at fault when:
a) a team fails to appear on the field;
b) a team on the field refuses to begin a game for which it is scheduled or assigned at the time scheduled or within a time set for forfeitures by the organization in which the team is playing;
c) after the game starts, one team refuses to continue to play, unless the game has been suspended or terminated by the plate umpire;
d) after the plate umpire suspends a play, one team fails to resume play within two minutes after the plate umpire signals and calls “PLAY BALL”;
e) a team employs tactics designed to delay or to hasten the game;
f) after a warning by the umpire, any one of these Rules is willfully violated;
g) the order for the removal or ejection of a player or any person authorized to sit on the team bench is not obeyed within one minute;
h) because of the removal or ejection of the players from the game by the umpire or for any other cause there are less than nine (9) (10 with a DP) players on either team;
i) a declared ineligible player re-enters the game and one pitch is thrown; or
j) it is discovered that an ejected player, coach or manager is participating in the game again.
1.2.3 RUN AHEAD RULE
a) Applies to any game at all Tournaments and Championships when one team leads another by: 15 runs after three (3) innings; 10 runs after four (4) innings; or seven (7) runs after five (5) innings.
b) Complete innings are played unless the home team scores the required number of runs while at bat. When the visiting team reaches the required number of runs in the top half of the inning, the home team bats in the bottom half of the inning. All play must have finished before the game is declared won by the score of the run ahead rule. If in the bottom of the inning, no scores above the run ahead score shall count unless the game-ending play is a home run, then all runs scored because of the home run shall count.
a) Starting with the top of the eighth inning and for each half-inning thereafter until the game ends, the offensive team starts its turn at bat with the player scheduled to bat ninth in that respective half-inning placed on second base as a runner.
b) The runner on second base may be substituted in accordance with the substitution Rules.
c) If an incorrect runner in the line-up is placed on second base, this error may be corrected as soon as it is noticed. There is no penalty.
1.2.5 SCORING RUNS
a) One run is scored each time a runner touches, in order, all three bases and home plate and before the third out of that half-inning.
b) When the tie-breaker is used, the runner starting at second base does not have to touch first base in order for a legal run to be scored.
c) A run does not score if the third and/or last out of the inning is a result of:
i) a batter-runner being out before they touch first base;
ii) a runner being forced out including on an appeal play;
iii) a runner leaving a base before the pitch is released, or
iv) a preceding runner being out.
d) Additional out appeals may be made after the third out to remove a run(s).
1.2.6 APPEAL PLAYS
On an appeal play, the runner will not be out unless the appeal is made legally.
a) An appeal may be made while the ball is live or dead, but the defensive team loses the opportunity of making an appeal if it is not made:
i) before the next legal or illegal pitch, except for an illegal substitute, unannounced player, illegal re-entry, replacement or withdrawn player and runners switching bases;
ii) before all defensive players have left fair territory on their way to the bench or dugout area. If a fielder makes the appeal, the fielder must be in the infield when making the appeal; or
iii) in the case of the last play of the game, before the umpires have left the field of play.
b) Runners may leave their base during live ball appeal plays when:
i) the ball leaves the pitcher’s circle;
ii) the ball leaves the pitcher’s possession, or
iii) the pitcher makes a throwing motion indicating a play or fake throw.
c) DEAD BALL APPEAL. Once the ball has been returned to the infield and “Time” has been called or the ball becomes dead, any defensive team member in the infield, with or without possession of the ball, may make a verbal appeal on a runner missing a base or leaving a base too soon on a caught fly ball. A coach or manager may only make a dead ball appeal after stepping onto the playing field. The administering umpire should acknowledge the appeal and then make a decision on the play. No runner may leave their base during this period as the ball remains dead until the next pitch. EXCEPTION: A runner who has left a base too soon on a caught fly ball or who has missed a base may attempt to return to such base while the ball is dead.
i) If the ball goes out of play, the dead ball appeal cannot be made until the plate umpire places a new ball into the game.
ii) If the pitcher has possession of the ball and is in contact with the pitching plate when making a verbal appeal, no Illegal Pitch is called.
iii) If the umpire has declared “Play Ball” and the pitcher then requests an appeal, the umpire would again call “Time” and allow the appeal process.
d) Additional out appeals may be made after the third out as long as they are made properly and are made to remove a run, or made to reinstate the correct batting order.
e) These are the types of appeal:
i) missing a base;
ii) leaving a base on a caught fly ball before the ball is first touched;
iii) batting out-of-order;
iv) attempting to advance to second base after reaching first base;
v) illegal substitutions;
vi) the use of an unannounced player under the Replacement Player Rule;
vii) Illegal Re-entry;
viii) the use of an unannounced player under the Designated Player Rule;
ix) runners switching positions on the bases they occupied; or
x) SC: illegal pitcher returning to the game as a pitcher.
1.2.7 WINNER OF THE GAME
The winner of the game is the team that scores more runs than the other team scores in a regulation game.
a) The score of a called regulation game is the score at the end of the last complete inning unless the home team scores more runs than the visiting team in the bottom half of the incomplete inning. In this case, the score is that of the incomplete inning.
b) The score of a regulation tie game is the tie score when the game was terminated.
c) The score of a forfeited game is 7-0 in favor of the team not at fault.
1.2.8 GROUNDS FOR A PROTEST
a) A protest that will be received and considered includes matters of the following types:
i) the misinterpretation of a Rule;
ii) the failure of an umpire to apply the correct rule to a given situation; or
iii) the failure to impose the correct penalty for a given violation;
b) After one pitch has been thrown (legal or illegal), no umpire ruling can be changed.
c) At any time, a protest may be submitted to the appropriate authority other than the plate umpire for the eligibility of a team roster member.
A protest may involve both a matter of judgment and the interpretation of a rule.
An example of a situation of this type follows:
With one out and runners on second and third bases, the batter hits a fair fly ball that was caught. The runner on third tagged up after the catch but the player on second did not. The runner on third had crossed home plate before the ball was played at second base for the third out. The umpire did not allow the run to score. The questions whether the runners left their bases before the catch and whether the play at second was made before the player on third crossed home plate are solely matters of judgment and may not be protested. The failure of an umpire to allow the run to score was a misinterpretation of a Rule and was a proper subject for protest.
1.2.10 INVALID PROTESTS
No protest may be received or considered if it is based solely on a decision involving the accuracy of judgment by an umpire, or if the team lodging the protest won the game. Examples of protests that will not be considered are:
a) whether a batted ball was fair or foul; b) whether a runner was safe or out;
c) whether a pitched ball was a strike or a ball;
d) whether a pitch was legal or illegal;
e) whether a runner did or did not touch a base;
f) whether a runner left the base too soon on a caught fly ball;
g) whether a fly ball was or was not caught;
h) whether a fly ball was or was not an infield fly;
i) whether there was or was not an interference;
j) whether there was or was not an obstruction;
k) whether a player or live ball did or did not enter a dead ball territory or touch an object or person in a dead ball territory;
l) whether a batted ball did or did not clear a fence in flight;
m) whether the field is fit to continue or resume play;
n) whether there is sufficient light to continue play; or
o) any other matter involving only the accuracy of the umpire’s judgment.
1.2.11 GIVING NOTICE OF A PROTEST
a) Other than for player eligibility, notice to protest must be given clearly to the plate umpire: immediately before the next pitch, legal or illegal: if at the end of an inning, before all fielders leave fair territory on their way to the bench or dugout area; or, if the last play of the game, before the umpires have left the field of play.
b) Any notice of protest given in accordance with this Rule means that the remainder of the game is played under protest.
c) The manager or acting manager of the protesting team may give such notice. The plate umpire must notify the opposing manager and the official scorer.
d) All interested parties must take notice of the conditions surrounding the making of the decision that will aid in the correct determination of the issue.
1.2.12 DEADLINE TO FILE AN OFFICIAL PROTEST
An official written protest must be filed within a reasonable time.
a) In the absence of a league or tournament rule fixing the time limit for filing a protest, a protest should be considered if filed within a reasonable time, depending on the nature of the case and the difficulty in obtaining the information on which to base the protest.
b) Generally, 48 hours after the scheduled time of the contest is considered a reasonable time.
1.2.13 REQUIREMENTS FOR A FORMAL WRITTEN PROTEST
A formal written protest must contain the following information to be valid:
a) the date, time and place of the game;
b) the name(s) of the umpires and scorer(s);
c) the rule(s) or local rules under which the protest is made;
d) the decision and conditions surrounding the making of the decision; and
e) all essential facts involved in the matter protested.
1.2.14 RESULT OF PROTEST
The decision made on a protested game must result in one of the following:
a) The protest is found invalid, and the game score as played remains unaltered.
b) When a protest is allowed for misinterpretation of a Rule, the game is replayed from the point at which the incorrect decision was made, with the decision corrected.
c) When a protest for ineligibility of a team roster member is allowed, the game is forfeited by the offending team.