GREATER VICTORIA BASEBALL ASSOCIATION
2019 Universal House Rules Governing League Play: Spring Season
South Island Baseball League (SIBL)
Note: With the exceptions outlined below, The Official Rules of Baseball (Canadian Edition) and the rules of the BC Minor Baseball Association (BCM) apply to all SIBL baseball played in the Greater Victoria Area. In addition, the following Universal House Rules also apply during all Exhibition, League, Inter-League, Mid-Season Tournament and Playoff games during the Spring season.
1. OFFICIAL GAMES
As per BCM Rule 18.01, Regulation Games shall be seven (7) innings in length. When the score is tied at the end of a regulation game, subject to the time limit, extra innings will be played until a decision is reached or the game is stopped by the umpire.
If bad weather, darkness or any other reason prevents completion of a game, the following procedures apply:
a) If 5 innings have been completed or if the home team is ahead after 4.5 innings, the game is Official and the outcome is recorded.
b) If a League or Inter-League game is called for any reason before it is an Official Game, the entire game will be re-played. If a re-schedule is not possible, the game will be recorded as a tie.
c) If a Playoff game is called for any reason before it is an Official Game, the re-scheduled game will resume where it was halted and will not be replayed as a new game. Managers must attempt to put players back in their same positions.
d) Decisions on whether to cancel/postpone a game are made at the playing field at the start time for each game. Teams are expected to show up on time for all scheduled games.
e) The game’s start time shall be declared by the umpire to the scorekeeper immediately before the 1st pitch is thrown. The scorekeeper is to record that time on the official score sheet, and indicate what watch or clock is being used to determine the game’s time limit.
2. FIELDING NINE PLAYERS
Generally, games are not to be postponed by Managers or Coaches because of a shortage of players. If a team does not have at least 10 players from its regular roster in attendance at the start of a game, the following procedures are to be followed to enable games to go ahead as scheduled:
a) Pick-up players may be used to bring the temporary roster for that game to 10 players.
b) Pick-up players must be registered on other teams in the GVBA. They must be of the same age
level or from the next lower division (Midget), as long as a pick-up's participation does not
interfere with games/practices of his/her regular team.
c) Pick-up players may play any position except they are not allowed to pitch. 2019 GVBA SIBL Universal House Rules
d) Pick-up players from the Midget Division may play a total of 12 games a season in this division (BCM Rule 10.05). NOTE: No Midget player may be picked-up from a AAA or Premier team.
e) SIBL players may not be picked-up during the play-offs. Only Midget Division players may be picked-up during play-off games.
f) Line-ups (with copies going to the Plate Umpire, Scorekeeper and opposing Manager) must list absent players and identify the pick-up players. Pick-up players must wear all required safety equipment AND the uniform of their regular team.
g) As a last resort, a team may play with only 8 players without penalty. If a team cannot field at least 8 players (including pick-ups), it will forfeit the game. NOTE: Pick-up players may NOT be used to cover a player shortage resulting from an EJECTION. If a team cannot field eight (8) players after an ejection, the game will be immediately stopped and the opposing team will be declared the winner by forfeit.
h) In the event that neither team can field 8 players, both teams will forfeit the game and a loss will be recorded for both. The game will not be re-scheduled.
3. SCHEDULED START TIMES
Teams will be given 15 minutes from the scheduled start time of a game to field at least eight (8) players. After the 15 minute delay, the game will either start or be declared forfeited, regardless of the reasons given for the inability to field a team.
4. PRE-GAME RESPONSIBILITIES AND WARM-UPS
a) 25 minutes before game time, the Visiting team has the infield and outfield for the next 10 minutes.
b) 15 minutes before game time, the Home team has the infield and outfield for the next 10 minutes.
c) 5 minutes before game time, the Umpires will call the Managers for the pre-game meeting and
exchange of line-ups.
d) In interlocking games, the home team will provide the Umpires with 4 balls at the start of each
5. PLAYING RULES
a) PLAYING TIME: Over the course of the season, the team manager and coaches will attempt to ensure that all players play an equitable number of innings (within reason). Absences, ejections, suspensions or injury may influence total innings played.
b) SUBSTITUTIONS: All players on both teams who are in attendance and available to play (except injured players and players sitting out for disciplinary reasons), and who have not played the first half of the game, must be substituted into the game no later than the middle of the 4th inning. This also applies to all playoff games.
NOTE: No Re-Entry is permitted, even if a game goes into extra innings. 2019 GVBA SIBL Universal House Rules 2
c) MODIFIED DESIGNATED HITTER: A team may chose to use a Modified Designated Hitter (MDH) to bat for any one defensive position. If a MDH is to be used he must be identified in the starting lineup presented to the umpire at the beginning of the game.
At the halfway point in the game when all substitutions are made, the MDH may be replaced in the lineup by a MDH who has not yet played in the game.
A MDH is “locked” into one position in the batting order. If the MDH becomes a defensive player (at the halfway point) he must continue to bat in his original position in the lineup and the defensive player he was batting for must then bat in the lineup position occupied by the removed player. In addition, if a MDH becomes a defensive player the team then loses the MDH option for the remainder of the game and all defensive players must then bat.
For example, Sam is the MDH for Bob, the right fielder and Sam bats 8th. In the 4th inning, Sam then replaces Joe, the shortstop, who was batting 3rd. At that point, Joe leaves the game, Bob bats in Joe’s position (3rd) in the lineup, and Sam continues to bat 8th.
d) EXTRA HITTER: No Extra Hitter is allowed in Spring League or Playoff games.
e) Use of a COURTESY RUNNER for the catcher on base is mandatory when there are two
outs. The substitute runner is a player not in the batting lineup.
f) TIME LIMIT: In all Exhibition and League games, no new inning is to be started after 2.5 hours from the scheduled start time. Games called because of the time limit will be considered Regulation Games regardless of the number of innings played.
NOTE 1: A new inning officially begins the moment the last out is made in the previous inning. NOTE 2: If a game is tied after 7 complete innings, extra innings will only be played to
determine a winner if they can be started before the 2.5 hour make. NOTE 3: Playoff games are not subject to time limits.
g) MERCY (10-RUN) RULE: If the visiting team is ahead by 10 runs after at least 5 complete innings, or if the home team is ahead by 10 runs after at least 4.5 complete innings, or if the home team goes ahead by 10 runs or more before completing its at bat in the bottom of the 5th inning, the game is terminated and the team ahead is declared the winner.
h) SLIDE OR AVOID RULE: BCM Rule 24.01 is as follows: If a play is being made, or is about to be made, it is MANDATORY for runners to slide or make an effort to avoid a collision at all bases and home plate. Failure to do either will result in an automatic 'out'. The ball is dead and no runner may advance beyond the base that was last legally acquired. An umpire will have the option of ejection if the incident warrants such a measure. 2019 GVBA SIBL Universal House Rules 3
i) FORCE-PLAY SLIDE RULE: Refer to BCM Rule 24.02. In summary, on any force play, a sliding runner must slide directly into the base (or on the side of the base opposite to that of the fielder to avoid making contact or altering the play of the fielder). Interference will be called when (a) any contact occurs between the runner and fielder outside of the straight line between bases, or (b) the fielder is forced to avoid contact (by jumping or other means) outside of the straight line between bases. Contact is only permitted on a direct slide into a base.
PENALTY: With less than two outs, the batter-runner, as well as the interfering runner, shall be
declared out and all runners must return to the base they occupied prior to the pitch.
(NOTE: there are NO EXCEPTIONS to this); With two outs, the interfering runner shall be declared out and no other runner may
advance; If the runner’s slide is flagrant, and injures or has a high likelihood of injuring the
fielder, the runner shall be ejected from the game. j) BLOOD RULE: BCM Rule 24.04 is as follows:
Any player who is bleeding or who has an open wound during a game shall be removed from the field of play by the umpires. The player may return to the game only after the bleeding has stopped and the affected or open wound has been completely and securely covered to the satisfaction of the umpires.
Should the same player start bleeding again or the affected area shows signs of bleeding, the umpires may remove the player for the duration of the game.
Should any blood be on the player’s uniform, it must be washed out completely to the satisfaction of the umpire prior to the player returning to the game.
The substitute player is only a courtesy player until the original player returns.
If a pitcher, while pitching, suffers an injury referred to in paragraph (i) above, the
umpire will call a courtesy time for no longer than fifteen (15) minutes. If the pitcher
cannot return in this time a pitching change must be made.
Should a team only have eight (8) players available at the time of an injury referred to in
paragraph (i) above a courtesy time will be called for no longer than fifteen (15) minutes. If the affected player is unable to return after this time then the game will be forfeited.
6. PITCHING RULES
a) For general pitching rules, refer to BCM Rule 23.
b) SIBL pitchers are restricted to 14 innings per calendar week (Monday to Sunday). Only one
additional inning is permitted for pitchers in the event of tie games.
c) A pitcher's delivery of one pitch to a batter shall be recorded as pitching one inning.
d) Two (2) nights rest are required after pitching in five or more innings in the same calendar
e) Pitchers in violation of any of the pitching rules shall be considered ineligible players, subject to the penalties outlined in BCM Rule 22. 2019 GVBA SIBL Universal House Rules 4
7. CODES OF CONDUCT
All players, managers, and coaches in the GVBA must follow the BC Minor Code of Conduct as defined in the BC Minor Rule Book (BCM Rule 15.01):
BC MINOR CODE OF CONDUCT
BC Minor is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect. Furthermore, BC Minor Baseball supports equal opportunity and prohibits discriminatory practices. Members are expected to conduct themselves at all times in a manner consistent with the values of BC Minor Baseball. Members may be subject to sanctions according to BC Minor Baseball Discipline Policy for engaging in any of the following behavior:
a) Not complying with the rules, regulations or policies of BC Minor Baseball, as adopted and amended from time to time;
b) Deliberately disregarding the Rules of Baseball as amended from time to time;
c) Verbally or physically abusing an opponent, officials, umpires, spectators, or sponsors;
d) Showing disrespect to officials, including the use of foul language and obscene or offensive gestures;
e) Abusing playing equipment or playing area;
f) Failing to comply with the conditions of entry to an event including any rules with regard to eligibility or advertising;
g) Using tobacco products on-field at any BC Minor baseball sanctioned competition;
h) Any other unreasonable conduct which brings the game into disrepute, including but not limited to, abusive use of alcohol, non-medical use of drugs, use of alcohol by minors. 2019 GVBA SIBL Universal House Rules 5
8. EJECTIONS & AUTOMATIC SUSPENSIONS
In the event of an ejection of a player, coach, or manager, the following will occur:
The ejected player, coach, or manager will leave the field of play immediately. A player may remain on the bench however a coach or manager must remove him/her self from the vicinity of the ball park. The ejected player, coach, or manager will AUTOMATICALLY serve a ONE game suspension following the first game he/she is ejected from. If a player, coach or manager is ejected more than once in the spring season, he/she will AUTOMATICALLY serve a THREE game suspension following the second (etc.) game he/she is ejected from. No appeal will be allowed for these automatic suspensions. In the case of an automatic suspension, if there are less than the prescribed number of games remaining in the spring season (including playoff games), then the suspension will be carried into the next year.
Within 24 hours, the umpire who performed the ejection will submit a BC Baseball Umpires Association Ejection Report by filling out an electronic form at the BCBUA website (www.bcbua.ca). A copy of this form will be forwarded to the GVBA Umpire in Chief and the GVBA President by the BCBUA. If the ejection is deemed by the umpire or GVBA UIC to be considered “offensive” or “very offensive,” as defined by the BC Baseball Umpires Association, copies of the ejection report must be forwarded on to a GVBA Discipline Committee for review within 24 hours of receiving it. The Discipline Committee will review the ejection report and will decide if further disciplinary action beyond the one or three game suspension is warranted. After the automatic one or three game suspension is satisfied, the player coach or manager may resume play pending the decision of the Discipline Committee. If further suspension is required, the player coach or manager must begin the suspension immediately after the decision is given.
A penalty greater than the automatic one or three game suspension may be appealed in writing to the GVBA Discipline Committee Chair, within 48 hours of the Discipline Committee submitting its decision. The player, coach, or manager is still under suspension until the appeal is heard by a GVBA Special Board Meeting, which will occur within 72 hours of the appeal submission. The GVBA President will notify all Association Presidents and Association UICs of the final outcome of all ejections.
9. INCIDENT REPORTS
Incident reports can be submitted by anyone involved in a baseball game (on or off the field) that involves a GVBA team. An Incident Report is used to report behavior from any player, coach, manager, or umpire involved in a game that is felt not to be in accordance with the BC Minor Code of Conduct. Incident Reports should not include complaints of an umpire’s judgment calls or rule interpretations. Incident Reports can be submitted to any GVBA Board Member and may be reviewed by a GVBA Discipline Committee. It is at the discretion of the Discipline Committee Chair to decide on the appropriate course of action to deal with the situation.
Incident Report forms may be downloaded from the GVBA website (www.victoriabaseball.com).
2019 GVBA SIBL Universal House Rules 6