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Rules

(Revised July 3, 2019)

The league will follow the "Official Rules of Baseball" and O.B.A. rules with the following exceptions: 

A deposit in an amount as set by the league must be received prior to the deadline set by the league. The balance owing shall be paid prior to the second deadline set. Failure to do so will result in game forfeitures until such time as your monies are paid and a review of your payment procedure in subsequent seasons.

Umpires will be paid $10 each for games that have NOT been cancelled but are unable to start due to weather. If a game is started, umpires will be paid in full regardless of the outcome.  
An umpire who does not attend his scheduled game, and does not notify the league executive by 12pm before a weekday game or Saturday at 8pm before a Sunday game, will lose 50% of his pay from a previously worked game.

GAME START TIME AND LENGTH
The duration of a game will be 7 innings long, but no inning may start after 2 hours 15 minutes into the game. At that point, the game will conclude at the end of the current inning.

In the regular season, if a game is tied after 7 innings, and the 2 hour 15 minute time limit has not been reached, extra innings will be played. No additional innings may be played after the 2 hour 15 minute time limit has been reached.

During the regular season, a complete game must be at least 5 innings long. If the game is called by the umpire for whatever reason (darkness, weather, etc.) before the end of the fifth inning, the game is incomplete and must be replayed in its entirety. If the game is called after the fifth inning, the game reverts to the last completed inning at the time of the call, regardless of the inning or score. If the game goes to the completion of 7 innings, and the score is tied, play will continue until either (a) the tie is broken after any complete inning, or (b) the game is called, in which case, a tie is recorded. 

During playoffs, the 2 hour 15 minute time limit is in force for the FIRST ROUND only. In subsequent rounds, 7 innings must be completed to constitute a full game. If, after 7 innings, the score is tied, play continues until the tie is broken. If a playoff game is called, at the umpires discretion it will be a suspended game and the game will continue from that point. Exception - Mercy rule. 

A mercy rule will be in effect during regular season and playoff play. If a team is up by 10 runs after 5 innings, the game will end. The 2 hour 15 minute time limit will be in effect throughout the regular season and the FIRST ROUND of the playoffs only. 

Where applicable (Saturday, Sunday or holiday Monday games), the home team has exclusive use of the field (at their discretion) for batting practice until 45 minutes prior to game time at which point the visiting team is allowed use of the diamond. 

The home team reclaims the field 15 minutes prior to game time to allow for an infield practice. Any agreement on field use between the opposing teams will preclude this rule. This rule is to be enforced within reason. 

A team must have a minimum of 8 players to start the game no later than 15 minutes after scheduled start time and must complete game with no less than 8 players. Failure to comply will result in forfeiture of game. This rule will only apply to regular season games. Playoff games must have 9 players for complete game. 
Upon conferring with the umps and reaching a mutual agreement, the team captains may elect to wait an additional 15 minutes for more players to arrive in order to avoid a forfeit.  The time spent waiting will come off the time limit.

2 hour 15 minute time limit shall be enforced from the scheduled start time, regardless of the actual time of the first pitch when delay is caused by players on either team. Teams shall not be penalized for delays outside of their control (ie; Weather, umpire delay) 


EJECTIONS AND SUSPENSIONS
Players and coaches shall be suspended by the RCBL Administration Committee for the following infractions: Destruction or abuse of property belonging to RCBL including throwing of bats or helmets; 
Theft of equipment belonging to the RCBL; and 
Showing disrespect towards game officials or RCBL personnel. 

First ejection will consist of the balance of that game, regardless of when the infraction occurs. Next ejection will result in an automatic 1 game suspension. A third ejection in one season will result in an automatic 5 game suspension and possible league expulsion.  The Executive reserves the right to review ANY ejection and serve subsequent disciplinary action if warranted.

The Administration Committee, consisting of 1 voting representative from each team, will review any further rulings on the ejection. The review must take place prior to the next scheduled game otherwise Administration Committee will decide the consequences by majority vote. The Administration Committee Executive will break ties. 

It is both the opposing team representative's and the Umpire's responsibility to notify the RCBL: 
when in the game the suspension occurred; and 
the name(s) of the player(s) suspended immediately following the game. 

It is the offending team representative's responsibility to notify the suspended player of his infraction and its consequences prior to the next scheduled game. 

ON-FIELD AND IN-GAME

Unless given a signed release, players who have signed to play Junior or Senior InterCounty Baseball for the current year are not eligible to play in the RCBL. 

Players eligible to play must be 18 years of age by May 1st in the current season. Anyone not currently playing for another member team OR signed to play Intercounty may be used as a call up. 

All members of a team on the field of play must wear the team uniform at all times. A team uniform will consist of the shirt and pants. Caps must be worn, but do not have to conform to the team uniform. 

Designated hitters are allowed for pitchers. 

Teams may choose to use the Catcher's Designated Runner (CDR) Rule.
-any player not in starting lineup may be the CDR and must be declared on game sheet 
-once CDR enters game in a regular position or as pinch hitter, last out must be used with 2 outs. 
-if no CDR is used, last out MUST run for catcher with 2 outs. 
During playoffs, the only CDR rule that is applicable is the 2 out rule, and only in the first round of the playoffs.  During the second and third rounds, the catcher must always run for himself.

A playing manager ON THE FIELD may visit the mound unlimited times (at the discretion of the umpire.) For a manager making a visit from the bench, the official rules of baseball apply. 

In the event an ineligible player is used, the offending team automatically loses the game as well as incurring a 2 point penalty. (ie; Your team uses an ineligible player and wins the game, you would lose 4 points. If you lost, you lose 2 points.) 

The only time a player may re-enter the game is if in the place of an injured player. An injured player may not re-enter the game. 

Umpires assigned to games will discuss questionable calls (protests, interpretations, etc.) only with the "coach" or "captain." "Coach" and "captain" labels shall be given to those 2 persons from each team who attend the pre-game ground rules presentation at home plate, regardless of their position on the team outside of that time. 

No player shall maliciously run into another player. Contact shall be considered malicious if it involves:
Intentional excessive force 
Intent to injure 
Deliberate attempt by a runner to dislodge the ball 
A runner making no legitimate effort to reach the base 
A runner who could have reasonably slid or otherwise avoided contact and still reached the base
Penalty: Player is ejected from the game and declared out. 

Malicious contact is to be penalized whether committed by an offensive or defensive player. In the case of a defensive player being ejected for malicious contact, the runner will be called safe or out according to the result of the play.
The ball is dead and all other runners shall return to their last legally occupied base at the time of the contact. 

A runner guilty of malicious contact is out even if the fielder loses possession of the ball.
A runner guilty of malicious contact after scoring a run shall not be declared out, but is still ejected.
This rule applies at home plate and all other bases. 

If a fielder blocks the base path while in the act of making a play, the runner may make contact, slide into, or collide with the fielder as long as the contact by the runner is not "malicious" as defined above. The rule does not prohibit contact. It simply requires player to make a reasonable attempt to avoid contact, and to ensure that any incidental contact is not malicious in nature. 

If contact occurs where a defensive player blocked the base path clearly without possession of the ball, obstruction shall be called according to the provisions of Rule 7.06(b). If this obstructed runner uses this opportunity to collide maliciously with the fielder, he would be declared safe due to the obstruction, but still ejected from the game. 

A team who wishes to protest an on-field ruling, must submit it in writing within 48 hours of the incident accompanied by a $25.00 bond and all supporting information. If the protest is allowed bond will be refunded. In addition, the intent to protest MUST be announced to the umpire prior to the next play. The umpire shall then ensure both scoresheets are the same before continuing play. 

The protest will be reviewed by a committee of uninvolved team captains, with assistance by a qualified umpire where required.  If the protest is upheld, the game will be continued from the point of protest at a later date in the season.
The RCBL is a wood bat league and as such, ONLY wood bats or wood composite may be used in league play and there are no restrictions on the size of bat used. 

A $25 fine will be incurred by any team neglecting to put the bases into the bunker following their game, should there be no game following their own. 

While players may smoke, they must do so outside of the dugout area. Failure to comply MAY result in their being ejected by the umpire. 

The RCBL recommends but does not require base coaches to wear protective headgear. 

Once the season has started, no player may leave one team to play on a different team unless there are extenuating circumstances and the League Executive has given approval. 


STANDINGS AND PLAYOFF FORMAT

If the regular season standings reveal a tie in points between two teams, the following steps will take place to break the tie: 
1. Most wins
2. Head-to-head record between the two clubs
3. Best run differential between the two clubs
4. Best run differential overall
5. A coin toss

If the regular season standings reveal a tie in points between three or more teams, the following steps will take place to break the tie: 
1. Most wins 
2. Standard MLB three-way tie-breaking procedures

League standings will be kept with winning team receiving 2 pts; losing team 0 pts; ties 1 pt.    

Previous Playoff format: a one-game playoff between the 8th and 9th ranked team to determine the 8th seed in the playoffs. The first round will be a Best of 5 series, the second round another Best of 5, and the Finals will be Best of 7.

2019 Playoff Format

First Round: 3 Games Series'
Second Round: Two-5 game series (winners of first round), and two-3 game series (losers of first round)
Finals: 7-game series (winners of previous 5-game series) & a 3-game series (winners of previous 3-game series)

 

First round
2 hour 15 minute time limit, unless the game is tied. If the game is tied after 2 hours and 15 minutes, play on. No new inning to start after 8:45pm for any games which required additional time to declare a winner.

Second Round - Consolation Bracket (6:15 games)
2 hour time limit. If tied after 2 hours, play on. No new inning to start after 8:30 for any games which require additional time to declare a winner.

Second Round - Championship Bracket (8:30 games)
No Time Limit

Consolation Finals
No Time Limit

League Championship
No Time Limit

CDR
For games with a time limit, CDR applies with two outs, runner will be the second out.
No CDR for games with no time limit.

To be eligible for the playoffs, a player must have played in a minimum of five (5) regular season games. Grandfather rule will apply to a player who has had playoff eligibility in three (3) previous seasons with the team in question.

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