SAN DIEGO COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION
2016 RULES – COED DIVISION
- THESE RULES ARE WRITTEN WITH ONE OVERRIDING GOAL IN MIND: SAFETY. SAFETY ALWAYS COMES FIRST. PLEASE SHARE THIS MESSAGE AND THESE RULES WITH THE PLAYERS ON YOUR TEAM.
- TEAM CAPTAINS: PLEASE DELIVER EXECUTED TEAM ROSTER/WAIVER FORMS TO THE UMPIRE AT THE FIELD PRIOR TO YOUR FIRST GAME. IF THE ROSTER/WAIVER IS NOT SIGNED, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PLAY. ANY PERSON WHO IS INELIGIBLE OR WHO HAS NOT SIGNED A ROSTER/WAIVER FORM WILL SUBJECT THEIR TEAM TO AUTOMATIC FORFEIT. IT IS THE TEAM CAPTAIN’S RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE EXECUTION OF THESE FORMS AND ELIGIBILITY OF PLAYERS ON HIS TEAM, AS WELL AS THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE SCHEDULE.
- The 2015 season is TENTATIVELY set to be played on the Presidio Pony League fields. Directions: Take I-8 to the Taylor Street exit and go North behind the Hunter Steakhouse restaurant. The COED field is the last field at the far end of the complex. Please be advised that this is very likely subject to change and updates will be provided should that occur.
- WARNING: DANGEROUS FLOOD CONTROL CHANNEL IS NEARBY. PLEASE BE SURE TO PROPERLY SUPERVISE ALL CHILDREN.
- ALCOHOL. Alcohol is prohibited anywhere on the playing fields and in the dugouts. Alcohol is permitted only in the spectator areas.
- PHYSICAL CONTACT. Our goal is safety, and the avoidance of player injuries whenever possible. Players shall make a reasonable effort to avoid physical contact with other players. This includes, but is not limited to, attempting to knock the ball out of a fielder’s glove during a tag. Runners are required to slide (in the direction of the base) whenever going into a base standing up would result in a collision with a fielder. Violators shall be called “out” by the umpire. Incidental contact with a fielder during a slide towards a base is “part of the game” and is excluded from the strict enforcement of this “no contact” rule. Fielders shall avoid all unnecessary contact with runners when making a tag. Any runner or fielder who violates these “no contact” rules may be ejected from the game in the discretion of the umpire. Repeat offenders may be suspended for one or more future games by the Commissioner.
- HOME PLATE. In order to further avoid unnecessary contact or risk of injury, base runners must score at home by touching the rubber mat to right of plate. Any player touching the plate to score will automatically be ruled out.
- SPORTSMANSHIP. Our goal is for everyone to have fun. Although certain types of disputes are “part of the game”, unsportsmanlike conduct (depending on how bad it is) may result in ejection from the game. Profanity or verbal abuse directed at the umpire will result in ejection from the game. After a first warning from the umpire, profanity or verbal abuse directed at another player (or at oneself) will result in ejection from the game. Any physical contact with the umpire and any shoving or fighting between players will result in ejection from the game and may result in suspension by the Commissioner. Anyone ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct must immediately leave the area.
- PLAYER ELIGIBILITY.
- Our league was established for the recreational enjoyment of members of the San Diego County Bar Association and to provide an opportunity for members to interact with one another in a non-workplace atmosphere. While our policy is for the majority of players on each team to be SDCBA members, our league is open to non-member attorneys, judges, law students, employees, and immediate family members. Each team may also have “other” players (who do not fall into one of these categories) on the roster, provided: the other players have signed the league roster/waiver form; and, no more than two such players per team may participate in any game at the same time. Any question or dispute about the eligibility of a player, shall be decided by the Commissioner.
- Each season, there are regularly complaints from various teams about teams potentially abusing the “other” player rule. In years past, we have relied upon the honor system in controlling this issue and avoiding teams stacking their roster with such players in order to gain a competitive advantage. In order for our league to continue with SDCBA support, we must maintain this rule. As such, if the commissioner receives an excessive amount of these complaints this season, he/she reserves the right to modify these rules in order to police this issue more effectively. This may result in weekly roster checks, identification checks, and verification of player eligibility on each roster.
- A player must be fourteen (14) years of age or older in order to play in any contested league game.
- No player may be on the roster of more than one team in the COED Division.
- No player may be added to a team’s roster after the fifth (5th) week of the season.
- To be eligible for the playoffs, a player must have played in at least two (2) of his team’s regular season games.
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS.
- A team must have at least ten (10) players on its roster. Further, each team must have an equal number of men and women (i.e. 5 and 5) in order to play ten players on the field at one time.
- All teams are strongly encouraged to have substitute players on the roster to avoid forfeits when regular players are unavailable.
- PICKING UP PLAYERS.
- At least seven (7) players that are on a team’s roster must be present and ready to play to avoid a forfeit. A team with less than this number shall not be allowed to “pick up” players for that game.
- During the “regular” season, a team with only seven (7), eight (8) or nine (9) roster players present at game time will be allowed to pick up additional players (that are on another team’s roster) for that game only without the consent of their opponent.
- No team may pick up players after it has ten (10) players for that game.
- Any players on a team’s roster that arrive after the game has started may play in that game and any player’s that have been picked up for that game may continue to play until the end of that game.
- Any team that picks up one or more players for a particular game may not at any time during that game have more defensive players on the field than the other team.
- No team may pick up players during the playoffs.
- Forfeit time is five (5) minutes after game time. Any team intending on forfeiting any game ahead of time must notify the Commissioner’s Office and the opposing team captain ASAP and no later than 12:00 p.m. (noon) on the preceding Friday.
- Any team that forfeits two (2) or more games may continue to play future games, but will not be eligible for the playoffs unless otherwise determined by the Commissioner for good cause. Eligible teams finishing lower in the final standings will be moved up accordingly.
- To avoid a forfeit, any team with a major conflict should attempt to pick up players from another team before the day of the game.
- Forfeited games will not be rescheduled or made up later.
- LENGTH OF GAME. Games are seven (7) innings long, time permitting. No new inning may be started fifty-five minutes (:55) after the time the game begins. Umpires reserve the right to call any game as a result of its conflict with the start of another scheduled game. Each team should be ready to go at game time. To increase the possibility of playing a full seven innings, players should hustle in and out between innings, and no infield or outfield warm-up throws are permitted after the start of the game.
- FIELDING/DEFENSE. Ten (10) players play in the field. Further, a minimum of three (3) women is required in order to play. Should the team only have three (3) women, they may play no more than five (5) men on the field. Free substitution is permitted on defense. All players in the batting order may go in and out of the game to and from any fielding position or the bench.
- DEFENSE POSITION. Once again safety is paramount goal in this league. As such, the following rules apply when females are batting:
- There must be at least THREE players behind the outfield cones when female is batting. Once the ball has been hit, the outfielders are free to move in as they see fit.
- When a female is batting, no defensive player may position him/herself no closer to the batter than the pitcher.
- BATTING ORDER.
- All players present at game time may be in the batting order. However, regardless of number of women playing, the team must bat a woman after each man.
- A team may add any number of additional players to the batting order once the game has commenced. These players must be added to the bottom of the original batting order.
- If any batter leaves the game (due to injury or emergency) prior to the conclusion, his/her next at bat will not be considered an out. His/her spot in the batting order will simply be skipped each time it comes up after he/she has left as long as the team continues to bat a woman after each man. Should a batter leave the game prior to conclusion for any reason other than injury/emergency, his/her next at bat will be considered an out. After the team has taken one out, that spot in the batting order will be skipped and no further outs will result.
- This is a slo-pitch league. Each team pitches to its own batters. Each batter gets three (3) pitches unless a hit ball makes contact with the pitcher. In that event, the pitch is ruled dead and an additional pitch is allowed if a batter has not hit successfully after three (3) pitches, they are out.
- BASE RUNNING.
- “LEADING OFF” Rule: Runners may “take a lead” at any base and advance to the next base once the ball leaves the pitchers hand. The fielding team may pick-off the base runner (catcher throwing to the base). All pick-off plays will be considered a force play at that base (no tag on the runner is needed). If there is a pick-off attempt and the ball gets away from the fielder, the ball will be considered a “live-ball” and the runners may advance at their own risk.
- MAT AT FIRST BASE. A runner crossing first base may touch either
the first base bag or the orange first base mat. This rule does not apply to any fielding players attempting to make a put out. Fielding players may not touch the orange mat in lieu of the regular first base bag to record an out.
- MAT AT HOME PLATE. As stated above, a runner crossing home plate must touch the mat near home plate to be considered safe. A fielder must touch home plate (not the mat) to make a “put out” on a force play.
- As stated above, safety is paramount goal in this league. While sliding is always potentially dangerous, there are also times wherein it is more dangerous not to slide. As such, base runners who slide, do so at their own peril. Further, under no circumstances can sliding occur when it results in physical contact with the fielder (as stated above).
- BUNTING/DRAG SWINGS. No batter may intentionally bunt or take any
partial or slowed swing intended to create a bunt or infield hit to advance runner(s) during the game. In short, each batter must take a full swing. Understanding that such a rule opens the door for debate as to whether there was, in fact, a full swing and/or what is meant by “full swing”, the umpire is vested with sole discretion to make the call on any disputed play involving such a hit. The umpire will consider the current status of the game (i.e. score and base running situation); past at bats of the player at issue; and his observations of the batter during the at-bat. The umpire’s decision on this issue is final as it is obviously not something the commissioner can effectively review on protest.
- COED Division Bat Rule: Bats shall have a bat performance factor (BPF rating) not exceeding 1.20 and must be approved by the American Softball Association (“ASA”). See the entire ASA list at http://www.asasoftball.com/about/getManufacturerDetail.asp. Further, there will be no “double wall” bats allowed in the coed league. Due to the ever growing market of single wall composite bats, it has become impossible to track them all for purposes of restriction in this league. In order to provide teams with some guidance, no bats on the “2015 ASA Nonapproved List” will be allowed in this league. The Commissioner reserves the right to update the non-approved list at any time or deem any high performance bat illegal after inspection even though it may not be on the current “ASA Nonapproved List”. All bats will be kept in plain view in or around the on-deck area. Team captains may inspect the opposing team bats at any time before or during the game. It is the opposing team’s responsibility to contest the use of an illegal bat before the first pitch to the next batter. If a player is caught using an illegal bat, his at bat will be considered an automatic out. If any runners were on base, those runners will go back to their original base(s). The Commissioner reserves the right to suspend any player for use of an illegal bat.
- BALLS. Official game balls will be provided by the league, and only these balls shall be used in games.
- SHOES. All players must wear shoes while playing. Shoes with metal spikes/cleats are not permitted and any player found wearing them may be ejected by the umpire and suspended by the Commissioner.
- HOME TEAM. For the regular season, the home team is the team listed
last on the schedule. For playoffs, the home team is the team that finished higher in the regular season final standings. Home teams will bat in the bottom of the inning and will have their choice of dugout.
- Ties at the end of the season will be broken in the following order: 1) record in head-to-head competition; 2) if two teams split, then run differential in head-to-head games; 3) run differential for entire season. [Note: Any forfeits will count as a run differential of 9.]
- COED Division Playoffs: The playoff format is to be determined once total teams known and field availability is clear. Under no circumstances will they run more than three weeks (weather and field conditions permitting). A proposed format will be forwarded to all teams once determined at or near Week 8 of the regular season. All teams will have an opportunity to provide feedback or concerns. The Commissioner will make every effort to accommodate team concerns. However, the Commissioner ultimately reserves the right to modify playoff format due to weather and/or field condition/availability.
- COED DIVISION GROUND RULES.
SEFTON FIELD (Presidio Little League Fields)
- Any batted ball that goes over the outfield fence in left, center, or right field is a homerun without exception.
- DISPUTES. All disputes not settled by the Umpire must be submitted to
the Commissioner in writing, by Tuesday following the game along with a $10 fee made payable to “SDCBA”. NO EXCEPTIONS! Should such a dispute involve any issue involving the team
- RULE CHANGES. Any proposed rule changes for the 2014 season must be received by the Commissioner before the start of the season. The Commissioner further reserves the right to modify or add rules should disputes arise as to existing rules and/or situations arise during the season that require immediate action for safety of all players.
- CLARIFICATION. These rules may be modified and/or clarified at any time by the Commissioner.
For questions about these rules, please contact Commissioner Stephen G. Cline
Phone: (619) 235-5638 or Cell: (619) 851-2711
Fax: (619) 234-8770
Address: Law office of Stephen G. Cline
3500 Fifth Avenue, Suite 304
San Diego, CA 92103