BAMS Rules & Guidelines

– WINTER 2021 REVISED RULES DOCUMENT –

SECTION I – FIELD OF PLAY

1.1 (A) EACH TEAM MUST HAVE A SAFETY BAG, MAT, AND TWO (2) BASES. HOME TEAM IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING DOWN THE BASES.

(B) IN THE EVENT THAT ONE OF THE BASE STRAPS OR SPIKES HAS BEEN DAMAGED AND IS NOT FUNCTIONAL, THE TEAM CAPTAINS SHALL CONFER AND AGREE THAT THERE WILL BE ONE PLAY ONLY AT THE BASE IN QUESTION.

1.2. EACH TEAM’S MEMBERS MUST STRIVE TO WEAR SAME TEAM SHIRT OR COLOR.

1.3. HOME TEAM MUST SUPPLY GAME BALLS. ONE (1) NEW 12″ BALL STILL IN THE BAG AND SUITABLE ADDITIONAL BALLS AS NECESSARY AND REQUIRED BY GAMEPLAY UNLESS OTHERWISE DIRECTED, SUCH AS DURING A TOURNAMENT, AND INCLUDING REGULATIONS PURSUANT TO SECTION 1.4.

1.4. (A) BALLS: Each team is expected to purchase and provide its on balls — men are to bat 12″ Hot Dot balls; women have the option of choosing between 11″ and 12″ balls beginning in the 2021 season. Teams are expected to have one new 12″ ball and one good quality or new 11″ ball plus an adequate number of spares for each of their home games. (Revised Winter 2021.)

(B) BAT RULING: THE BRIDGEWATER AND AREA MIXED SOFTBALL LEAGUE GENERALLY ABIDES BY THE SPN BAT RULE STANDARDS.

(C) WOODEN BAT PLAY DEFAULT AT LAHAVE STREET FIELD
i) All players are to use wooden bats at LaHave Street Field unless BOTH captains are in agreement that composite bats may be used by only female players or by all players.
ii) No points will be awarded for teams who refuse to use wooden bats at LaHave Street Field in the event of non-agreement with respect to modifying the default wooden bat rule. Under such circumstances, the points for the game or games shall be forfeited by the non-compliant team to the opposition.
iii) For clarity, at other locations there is no restriction on the use of wooden bats. (Revised Winter 2021)

(D) WITH RESPECT TO DAMAGED OR CRACKED BATS:
i) Any damaged bat is to be removed from a game for the safety of all players
ii) If a player uses that same damaged bat again, they will be ejected from both of that week’s games plus automatically be suspended for the following week’s games; the player will also be referred to the Captains Committee for a hearing and possible supplemental discipline
iii) If a player uses that same damaged bat again during a tournament, the player shall be ejected for the remainder of the tournament and referred to the Captains Committee for a hearing and possible supplemental discipline. (Revised Winter 2020)

1.5. SPECIAL LINES

(A) COMMITMENT LINE WILL BE TWENTY (20) FEET FROM HOME PLATE.ONCE PLAYER CROSSES THIS LINE S/HE MAY NOT RETURN TO THIRD BASE. THE SAFETY LINE FOLLOWS FIRST BASE LINE TO HOME PLATE TO BACK STOP.

(B) A LINE MAY BE PLACED TWO BAT LENGTHS (APX. 6 FT.) BEHIND THE PITCHER’S RUBBER, MEASURING FROM THE RUBBER, IN A NORTH-SOUTH DIRECTION. THIS IS THE MAXIMUM DISTANCE FROM HOME PLATE THAT A PITCHER MAY BEGIN HIS OR HER DELIVERY.

1.6. BASE MEASUREMENTS:

(A) HOME TO FIRST 65 FEET

(B) HOME TO SECOND 91 FEET 10 INCHES

(C) HOME TO THIRD 65 FEET

1.7 IF A PERSON IS NOT A ROSTERED PLAYER, THEY ARE NOT TO BE ON THE FIELD OF PLAY (INCLUDING IN A BASE-COACHING CAPACITY).

SECTION II – GAME PLAY

2.1 (A) All games are to be seven innings in length, unless shortened by daylight/weather. (Revised 2021)

2.1 (B). All seven (7) inning games — five (5) run rule in effect until the seventh (7th) inning, which is an “open” inning. A 10-run mercy rule is in effect after five (5) complete innings. (Revised Winter 2021) >>> EDIT: AS A RESULT OF THE SHORTENED 2021 SEASON, THIS RULE WILL BE SET ASIDE FOR 2021 AND WE WILL USE SIX INNING GAMES FOR THE REGULAR SEASON. THE CAPTAINS WILL RE-VISIT THIS AT THE 2022 AGM & RULES REVIEW.

2.2. GAME TIME IS 6:00 PM WITH A 15 MINUTE GRACE PERIOD; GAME ONE MUST START AT 6:15 PM. IF THE FIRST GAME IS FORFEITED, THE SECOND GAME MUST START AT 7:00PM WITH NO GRACE. THIS APPLIES TO ALL GAMES THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.

2.3. THE LEAGUE EXECUTIVE WILL STRIVE TO MAKE A CALL ON WEATHER-RELATED CANCELLATIONS BY 4 P.M. ON A GAME DAY, AND INFORM THE CAPTAINS ACCORDINGLY. THE LEAGUE EXECUTIVE RESERVES THE RIGHT TO CANCEL PLAY AFTER 4 P.M. IF CONDITIONS CHANGE. IF WEATHER OR DAYLIGHT CONDITIONS CHANGE, (2) CAPTAINS PLAYING AGAINST EACH OTHER RESERVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE IF THE GAME (S) ARE TO BE PLAYED OR NOT. FOUR (4) COMPLETE INNINGS CONSTITUTE A GAME.

2.4. MAXIMUM OF TEN (10) PLAYERS ON FIELD; NO MORE THAN SIX (6) MALES AND NO LESS THAN THREE (3) FEMALES. MINIMUM OF EIGHT (8) PLAYERS ON FIELD.

2.5. BATTING ORDER CAN HAVE NO MORE THAN TWO (2) MALES BATTING IN A ROW. TWO (2) MALES AND ONE (1) FEMALE, ONE (1) MALE AND ONE (1) FEMALE. ALL PLAYERS, MALE OR FEMALE ACTIVE IN THE GAME MUST BAT IN THE LINE-UP (AT LEAST ONCE THROUGH THE ORDER), EVEN IF IT MEANS BATTING MULTIPLE GIRLS IN A ROW.

2.6 DEFENSIVE APPEARANCES AND TEMPORARY SUBSTITUTIONS
A) UNLESS A PLAYER IS INJURED, ALL PLAYERS IN THE BATTING LINE UP MUST PLAY AT LEAST ONE INNING DEFENSIVELY IN THE FIELD FOR THEIR TEAM EACH GAME.
B) A base runner may not “take a runner” temporary substitution once he advances past first base, unless in the event of an obvious injury. (Revised Winter 2021)
C) If a ball is thrown out of play, the batter may take a courtesy runner at second/third base.
D) There is no limit to the number of courtesy runners that may be used during a game, however teams are expected to use them in an honest manner subject to 2.6 A, B and C.
E) Courtesy runners entering a game are to be last possible male-for-male and female-for-female. (Revised Winter 2021)

2.7. IF PLAYING WITH THREE (3) FEMALES, THEY MUST KEEP ROTATING IN THE BATTING LINEUP TO COMPLY WITH SECTION 2.5.

2.8. (A) HOME RUN RULE: STRAIGHT +2 MAX. ONE TEAM MAY NOT HIT MORE THAN TWO HOME RUNS TOTAL GREATER THAN THE OTHER TEAM’S TOTAL HOME RUNS. IF A TEAM HITS A “THIRD” HOME RUN AHEAD OF THE OPPOSING TEAM, IT WILL RESULT IN THE BATTER BEING CALLED OUT. RUNNERS DO NOT ADVANCE. Home runs hit by any player, regardless of gender, count toward a team’s totals. (Revised Winter 2021)

2.8 (B) UNLESS OTHERWISE AGREED TO BY INDIVIDUAL CAPTAINS DURING A GAME, FOR THE PURPOSES OF CLARITY IN SCOREKEEPING THERE ARE NO WALK-OFF HOME RUNS. A BATTER LEAVING THE FIELD WITHOUT ROUNDING THE BASES AFTER HITTING A HOME RUN WILL BE DECLARED OUT AND ANY BASERUNNERS DO NOT ADVANCE.

2.8 (C) ON A BATTED BALL HIT OVER THE FENCE, THERE IS NO FOUR-BASE AWARD/ERROR. ANY BATTED BALL THAT CLEARS THE FENCE, EVEN OFF A DEFENDING PLAYER, SHALL BE CONSIDERED A HOME RUN AND SHALL COUNT AGAINST/BE INCLUDED IN THE BATTING TEAM’S HOME RUN TOTAL.

2.9. NO METAL BALL CLEATS ALLOWED. PLAYERS CAUGHT USING METAL CLEATS WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY EJECTED FROM THE GAME AND, AS THAT INDIVIDUAL HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE GAME AND, THUS, THE BATTING ORDER, EACH TIME S/HE IS DUE TO HIT, IT WILL BE RECORDED AS AN OUT.

2.10. The league now enforces and abides by the standard infield fly rule. (Revised Winter 2020) For details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infield_fly_rule

2.11. (A) IF A PITCHED BALL TOUCHES ANY PART OF THE PLATE OR THE MAT, IT IS A STRIKE. THE MAT MUST BE POSITIONED FLUSH TO HOME PLATE.

2.11 (B) A female batter, prior to beginning of each at bat, must indicate to the opposing team’s pitcher/catcher if they wish to hit a big (12″) ball or small (11″) ball. Once indicated, they may not change their preference during that same time at-bat. (Winter 2021)

2.12. IF THERE ARE ANY INCIDENTS INVOLVING A PLAYER DISPLAYING OR BEHAVING WITH UNSPORTSMANLIKE OR OTHERWISE INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOUR REPORTED TO THE LEAGUE EXECUTIVE IN WRITING, THAT INDIVIDUAL MAY BE CALLED BEFORE THE LEAGUE CAPTAINS TO DISCUSS THE SITUATION AND FACE ANY AND ALL DISCIPLINARY MEASURES DEEMED APPROPRIATE WITHOUT NOTICE.

2.13. THE PITCHER NEED NOT MAKE CONTACT WITH THE RUBBER DURING HIS OR HER DELIVERY, BUT MUST BEGIN DELIVERY FROM THE RUBBER UP TO TWO BAT-LENGTHS OR SIX FEET IN A NORTH-SOUTH DIRECTION BEHIND THE PITCHING RUBBER.

2.14. PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT: CATCHERS, PITCHERS, BATTERS, RUNNERS, AND FIELDERS MAY CHOOSE WHETHER OR NOT THEY WEAR A MASK OR OTHER PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT AT THEIR POSITION, HOWEVER THE LEAGUE CAPTAINS STRONGLY ENCOURAGE ALL PLAYERS TO WEAR APPROPRIATE PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT FOR SOFTBALL. (Revised 2018 and 2021)

2.15. SLIDING IS PERMITTED AT ALL BASES EXCEPT HOME PLATE AND FIRST BASE. ANY SLIDES AT HOME PLATE OR FIRST BASE WILL BE AN AUTOMATIC OUT.

2.16. A PLAYER RUNNING HOME MUST RUN ACROSS THE SAFETY LINE INDICATED. TOUCHING THE PLATE OR MAT WILL RESULT IN AN AUTOMATIC OUT.

2.17 ON A PLAY AT HOME PLATE:
(A) THE CATCHER MUST CATCH THE BALL AND TOUCH HOME PLATE, NOT THE MAT, TO RECORD AN OUT.

(B) IF THE CATCHER HAS PART OF HIS/HER FOOT ON THE PLATE AND THE MAT, THE RUNNER IS OUT.

2.18. ANY WALK TO ANY BATTER IN FRONT OF A FEMALE BATTER SENDS THE BATTER DIRECTLY TO SECOND BASE; THE FEMALE BATTER THEN BATS AS NORMAL AND DOES NOT HAVE THE OPTION OF WALKING TO FIRST BASE AUTOMATICALLY.

2.19. IF AN INJURY OCCURS, TEAM CAPTAINS WILL DECIDE ON A RULING. IF AN INJURY OCCURS AND A PLAYER IS REMOVED FROM THE LINEUP A TEAM DOES NOT HAVE TO TAKE AN OUT WHEN THAT PLAYER IS DUE TO HIT. IN THE CASE OF A MALE PLAYER, HIS SPOT HIS SKIPPED; IN THE CASE OF A FEMALE PLAYER, THE NEXT FEMALE IN THE ORDER TAKES HER PLACE AT BAT.

2.20. A TEAM MAY APPEAL A PLAY WHEN IT IS OVER. IF THIS OCCURS, THE UMPIRE WILL CALL BOTH TEAM CAPTAINS TO DISCUSS THE PLAY, AND TO DECIDE A RULING.

2.21. AN OVERTHROW THAT GOES OUT OF BOUNDS FROM ANY LOCATION ON THE FIELD SHALL RESULT IN BASE RUNNERS BEING AWARDED THE BASE THEY ARE GOING TO PLUS ONE ADDITIONAL BASE, EXCEPT IN THE EVENT OF A CAUGHT FLYBALL AND AN ATTEMPTED THROW TO GET A RUNNER WHO FAILED TO TAG UP. IN THAT EVENT THAT, AT THE TIME OF THE THROW, THE RUNNER HAS NOT YET TAGGED UP AND THE BALL IS THROWN DIRECTLY OUT OF BOUNDS, THAT RUNNER SHALL RETURN TO THE BAG, TAG UP, AND THEN PROCEED ONLY TO THE NEXT BASE. IF A RUNNER HAS SUCCESSFULLY TAGGED UP AND AN OVERTHROW OCCURS, THEY ARE AWARDED THE BASE THEY ARE GOING TO PLUS ONE ADDITIONAL BASE.

2.22. A PLAYER WHO IS SUBSTITUTED FOR MAY NOT RE-ENTER A GAME.

2.23 IN THE EVENT OF A SCOREKEEPING DISCREPANCY, THE HOME TEAM’S BOOK SHALL BE THE DEFINING SCOREBOOK. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BOTH TEAMS TO KEEP ACCURATE BOOKS AND CAPTAINS SHOULD STRIVE TO SCORE CHECK AT THE END OR START OF EACH INNING.

SECTION III – CONDUCT

3.1. (A) REFRESHMENTS — IF ANY PLAYER IS CAUGHT DRINKING OR WALKING AROUND WITH A BEER, WINE, OR OTHER OPEN AND MARKED ALCOHOL, THEY WILL RECEIVE A WARNING FOR A FIRST OFFENCE; FOR A SECOND OFFENCE, THE PLAYER WILL NOT PLAY THAT NIGHT OR THE NEXT LEAGUE NIGHT. IF THE PLAYER IS CAUGHT A THIRD TIME, S/HE WILL BE BANNED FOR THE SEASON.

(B) ABSOLUTELY NO DRUG USE ON THE BALL FIELD OR IN THE PARKING LOT DURING LEAGUE AND TOURNAMENT PLAY. IF A PLAYER IS CAUGHT USING DRUGS AND REPORTED TO THE EXECUTIVE, THE PLAYER WILL BE ASKED TO COME BEFORE THE LEAGUE CAPTAINS AS PART OF A HEARING, ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS, TO DETERMINE AN APPROPRIATE PUNISHMENT.

3.2. FOUL LANGUAGE AND/OR VERBAL ABUSE WILL RESULT IN GAME(S) SUSPENSION(S) AS DECIDED BY THE PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT OF THE LEAGUE ON A CASE BY CASE BASIS, AFTER WEIGHING INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THOSE INVOLVED, CAPTAINS AND WITNESSES.

SECTION IV – ADMINISTRATIVE

4.1. PLAYERS MUST BE 17 YEARS OF AGE IN ORDER TO PLAY. PLAYING WITH AN UNDERAGE PLAYER RESULTS IN THE FORFEIT OF ANY GAMES IN WHICH THE UNDERAGE INDIVIDUAL HAS PLAYED AND THAT PLAYER IS BANNED FOR THE LEAGUE FOR TWO CALENDAR YEARS. (EXAMPLE: IF A PLAYER IS FOUND TO BE UNDERAGE ON JULY 15, 2022, HE/SHE IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO PLAY AGAIN UNTIL JULY 15, 2024.) NOTE: PLAYERS TURNING 17 DURING A SEASON MAY BE PLACED ON A ROSTER BEFORE TURNING 17, BUT ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO PLAY UNTIL THEY TURN 17 YEARS OF AGE. (Revised Winter 2020)

4.2. (A) INITIAL ROSTERS ARE TO BE E-MAILED OR TURNED IN TO THE LEAGUE PRESIDENT NO LATER THAN THE APRIL 23RD PRIOR TO THE START OF EACH SEASON. UP TO TWENTY (25) PLAYERS PER ROSTER. IF REQUESTED, THE PRESIDENT SHALL DISPERSE EACH ROSTER TO THE CAPTAINS IN A TIMELY FASHION. TO BE CONSIDERED A LEGAL ROSTER MOVE, SUBSEQUENT ROSTER TRANSACTIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE PRESIDENT IN WRITING. IN THE EVENT OF DISAGREEMENT BETWEEN WRITTEN ROSTER CHANGE REQUESTS AND THE ROSTERS DISPLAYED ON THE WEBSITE, THE FORMER SHALL BE CONSIDERED AS OFFICIAL PROOF OF LEGAL TRANSACTION, RECOGNIZING IT IS NOT ALWAYS POSSIBLE TO UPDATE THE ONLINE ROSTER PAGE IN A TIMELY FASHION. TEAMS THAT FAIL TO SUBMIT INITIAL ROSTERS SHALL AUTOMATICALLY FORFEIT ANY AND ALL GAMES UNTIL SUCH TIME THAT A ROSTER IS SUBMITTED.

(B) ANY MALE ADDITIONS AFTER THE FIRST FRIDAY IN MAY TO A TEAMS ROSTER MUST BE COMMUNICATED TO THE LEAGUE PRESIDENT, WHO THEN INFORMS THE REST OF THE LEAGUE CAPTAINS VIA E-MAIL.

(C) A TEAM CAPTAIN WISHING TO MAKE CHANGES TO HIS/HER ROSTER INVOLVING MALE PLAYERS MUST SUBMIT SUCH CHANGES TO THE LEAGUE PRESIDENT FOR APPROVAL BY E-MAIL BY 11:59 P.M. ON JUNE 30, ANNUALLY. IN EMERGENCY CASES, AS JUDGED BY THE FULL PANEL OF LEAGUE CAPTAINS UNANIMOUSLY, MALE PLAYERS MAY BE ADDED AFTER THE DEADLINE IF INJURY, ILLNESS OR ANOTHER FORM OF ROSTER DEPLETION WARRANTS SUCH ACTION.

(D) BECAUSE OF THE DIFFICULTY IN MEETING THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF FEMALES IN A MIXED LEAGUE, A TEAM MAY ADD A FEMALE OF AGE TO THEIR ROSTER AT WILL, WITHOUT FORMAL LEAGUE APPROVAL, IF THE FEMALE’S RIGHTS DO NOT BELONG TO ANY OTHER TEAM’S ROSTER.

(E) ALL ROSTERS ARE FROZEN AS OF AUGUST 31 AT 11:59 P.M. UNTIL THE CONCLUSION OF THE SEASON, UNLESS, IN EMERGENCY CASES, AS JUDGED BY THE FULL PANEL OF LEAGUE CAPTAINS UNANIMOUSLY, PLAYERS MAY BE ADDED AFTER THE DEADLINE IF INJURY, ILLNESS OR ANOTHER FORM OF ROSTER DEPLETION WARRANTS SUCH ACTION.

NOTE: FOR 2021 SEASON ONLY, BECAUSE OF THE LATE START TO THE SEASON, PLAYERS OF ANY GENDER MAY BE ADDED UP UNTIL THE ROSTER FREEZE DEADLINE ON AUGUST 31 AT 11;59 P.M.

4.3. ALL PLAYERS WHO ARE ON THE ROSTER ARE APPROVED TO PLAY IN THE END YEAR TOURNAMENT.

4.4. A TEAM CAUGHT WITH AN INELIGIBLE PLAYER WILL FORFEIT ALL GAMES UP TO THE POINT WHERE THE INFRACTION WAS NOTED.

4.5. PLEASE CONTACT THE APPROPRIATE LEAGUE REPRESENTATIVE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE FOLLOWING YOUR GAMES ON FRIDAY NIGHT WITH RESULTS FOR OUR LEAGUE SITE. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF BOTH HOME AND AWAY TEAMS TO CALL-IN OR E-MAIL RESULTS.

4.6. MAKE-UP GAMES ARE TO BE INDICATED WHEN NEEDED AT A LEAGUE MEETING.

4.7. TEAMS MUST SEND AT LEAST ONE REPRESENTATIVE TO CAPTAINS MEETINGS. A TEAM FAILING TO ATTEND REPEATED MEETINGS WILL BE PLACED ON PROBATION BY CONSENSUS OF THE TEAM CAPTAINS. ONCE A TEAM IS ON PROBATION, A SUBSEQUENT FAILURE TO PROVIDE A REPRESENTATIVE FOR A LEAGUE MEETING WILL RESULT IN THE TEAM BEING EJECTED FROM THE LEAGUE.

4.8. IN MID-SEASON TOURNAMENTS, SUCH AS THE UPCOUNTRY CLASSIC, TEAMS SHALL BE PERMITTED TO:
i) “PICK UP” ENOUGH FEMALE PLAYERS SO AS TO PERMIT THE TEAM TO FIELD THE MINIMUM NUMBER OF EIGHT PLAYERS ON THE FIELD OR
ii) “PICK UP” ENOUGH FEMALE PLAYERS SO AS TO MEET THE MINIMUM REQUIREMENT OF FEMALES TO PLAY A GAME (THREE).

TEAMS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO “PICK UP” MALE PLAYERS WHO ARE NOT ON THEIR EXISTING ROSTER, NOR ARE THEY ALLOWED TO “PICK UP” FEMALES TO GIVE THEM FOUR OR MORE FEMALE PLAYERS. IN CASES OF INJURY REPLACEMENTS, THE CAPTAINS INVOLVED IN A GAME MAY COME TO THEIR OWN TERMS.

4.9 LEAGUE DUES
Deadline for payment of LEAGUE DUES, as recommended by the TREASURER and agreed upon by consensus of the LEAGUE CAPTAINS, shall be on or before April 15 each year. Full payment of all league fees is REQUIRED by opening night – the first Friday night in May – or else the team will not be permitted to take the field and be subjected to forfeit losses until dues are paid in full. If payment is not made in full by May 15, a team will be expelled for one season. If that team reapplies for entry the following season, they will be required to make a 50% deposit on dues by February 15. (Revised Winter 2019)

4.10 FAILURE TO FIELD A TEAM
If a team cannot field enough players to form a team on more than five occasions in a season, then that team must formally reapply for entry into the league the following season, subject to review and approval of the LEAGUE CAPTAINS. (Revised Winter 2019)