Greater Philadelphia Men's Adult Baseball League 

 Rules 

RULES AND REGULATIONS ADOPTED 2016

The Greater Philadelphia Men's Adult Baseball League (GPMABL) is committed to providing the adult player the opportunity to play real baseball at a competitive level on a regular basis in a professionally-run environment.  Sportsmanlike attitudes must always prevail, no matter how competitive any league is.  The responsibility to ensure that this ethic prevails will remain the responsibility of the league commissioner and anyone who violates the league’s code will be suspended or expelled from the league.

The GPMABL will abide by Official Major League Baseball Rules and Men's Senior Baseball League/Men's Adult Baseball League Rules except where superseded by the following GPMABL rules.

INDEX

1. Uniforms, Helmets, Baseballs and Other Equipment
2. Game Length, Run Rule and Rain-Outs
3. Teams, Players, Line-Ups and Courtesy Runners
4. Player Behavior and Team Responsibility
5. Pitchers
6. Fielders
7. Ex-Pro Status and Regulations
8. General League Rules
9. Code of Conduct

RULES

1. UNIFORMS, HELMETS AND BASEBALLS

1.a All teams must have full baseball uniforms consisting of caps, numbered baseball jerseys, and baseball pants - each player’s uniform must be of similar design to his or her teammates’ uniforms. Teams having sponsorship will be allowed the sponsor’s name on their uniforms via patch or uniform shirt.  The colors Columbia Blue and Yellow are reserved for league tournament teams and cannot be the primary colors of any individual team uniforms.

a.1. No player out of uniform will be allowed to play without the opposing manager’s consent, which must be granted before a player out of uniform is permitted to enter the game.  Any manager who chooses to exercise the option to not consent to a player’s entry into a game because that player is out of uniform must inform the umpire of the decision.  The umpire shall then request that the out-of-uniform player comply with league rule 1.a or the umpire shall prohibit the player from entering the game.
a.2. All teams should have their uniforms by their first game. A grace period shall be extended for newly activated players or for new teams to complete their uniforms.

1.b All batters and runners must wear helmets for both at bats and on base. There is no option to this rule. Full double-ear flap helmets are encouraged for at bats and are encouraged for the bases. Catchers are also encouraged to wear a helmet underneath their mask.  All base coaches must also wear helmets while on the field of play.

For the GPMABL Classic league, all base coaches may choose to wear helmets while on the field of play

1.c Only balls provided by the local league will be permitted.

1.d Only wood or "composite" bats are allowed and both will be permitted for all games (metal bats may not be used).  If a player uses an illegal bat and a protest is made, the offending batter will be declared an out.

1.e Metal cleats are permitted (if fields allow for them).

Metal cleats are not permitted for GPMABL Classic games on artificial-turf fields.

2. GAME LENGTH, RUN RULE AND RAIN-OUTS

2.a All single games are 9 innings.  All double header games are 7 innings.  All Playoff games will be 7 innings.
Re: darkness:  7 innings complete – umpires discretion (5 innings for a scheduled 7-inning game).
Re: rain:  5 innings complete – umpires discretion (4 innings for a scheduled 7-inning game).
The umpire may suspend, cancel or call a game if, in his or her opinion, the safety of the players is compromised due to rain, darkness or time limits.  All league playoffs games must be played to completion (playoff games suspended by the umpire shall be resumed from the point the game was suspended unless the game is suspended before 4 innings have been completed -- playoff games suspended before the completion of 4 innings shall be played over from the first pitch).

GPMABL Classic games will have a 3-hour time limit.  No inning will begin after the two hour and 45 minute mark.  If the third out of the bottom of an inning is made within two hours and 45 minutes from the start time, the next inning will proceed and will be the last inning that will be played. (Note that the time rule applies to the third out of the bottom of the inning, not the first pitch of the next inning.)"

2.b Any games rained out may be re-scheduled by the league.  Final league standings will be determined by won/lost percentage.  Ties in final standings will be broken in favor of the team with the best head-to-head record and then (if necessary) in favor of the team with the fewest runs allowed per game. 

2.c In the event of rain, the league will notify teams of the status of games scheduled for that day.

3. TEAMS, PLAYERS, LINEUPS AND COURTESY RUNNERS

3.a A player is eligible to participate in an official league-sanctioned game if he or she turns 25 during the calendar year of the GPMABL season, but any player on a GPMABL team roster or prospect roster in a previous season shall be eligible to participate.  Each team may roster up to two players who will turn 22, 23, or 24 during the calendar year of the GPMABL season.

For the GPMABL Classic league, a player is eligible to participate in an official league-sanctioned game if he or she turns 35 during the calendar year of the GPMABL Classic season.  GPMABL Classic teams will be able to add up to two league players who will turn at least 30 years old during the calendar year of the GPMABL Classic season.  To pitch, a player must turn at least 33 years old during the calendar year of the GPMABL Classic season.  Any manager may appeal to have a player who does not meet these restrictions be declared eligible for GPMABL Classic play by majority vote of league managers. 

3.b To be eligible, players must submit to the league:  all applicable fees, proof of date of birth, player waiver forms and team medical waiver form. 

3.c A team manager may bat as many players as he or she desires, with a minimum of 9.  Batters cannot be deleted or skipped over, regardless of their batting position or when they were added during the game. 

For GPMABL Classic games, at least 14 uniformed players must have at least one plate appearance during the game. If a team has 15 or more uniformed players, they may elect to bat 14 players only (at least one plate appearance for 14 players).  If a team has 13 or fewer uniformed players, the opposing team will have the option to bat the same number of uniformed players despite the number of uniformed players they have.  Example: Team A has 13 uniformed players and Team B has 21 uniformed players. Team A must get all 13 players at least one plate appearance. Team B has the option of only getting 13 players one plate appearance as well, despite the fact they would normally have to get 14 players one plate appearance.  In the event that the game ends with unbatted players, the violating team, under proper protest, will forfeit any win garnered.  A team MAY declare at the time that lineups are exchanged prior to the start of play that any batting order position (i.e. 9, 10, 11, etc.) can be occupied by two (2) players in each such batting position. That is, 9A/9B, 10, 11A/11B, 12, etc. The first time that position 9 gets an at bat, 9A would hit and the next time this slot hits, 9B would be up. Then 9A hits the third time this spot in the order comes up, and so on, alternating between these two players throughout the game. Once a team declares the use of this A/B system, it must continue using it for the remainder of the game. Hitters in the A/B position may be pinch hit for, just as any other player.

3.d A manager may add batters to the bottom of the lineup at any time but if a batter is pinch-hit or run for, he or she may not re-enter the game as a hitter, but may remain in the game as a fielder or pitcher.  Each team has a hitting and a defensive lineup that are independent of each other. Players may play in either lineup or both.

3.e If a player is forced to leave a game for any reason, a reserve player, not previously entered into the game as a hitter, must hit in the batter’s place. If no reserve is present, that spot becomes an out in the lineup.

3.f Players that will need courtesy runners must have their manager notify the opposing manager before game time. Each team will be allowed the maximum of two courtesy runners per game. Any player not in the batting order at the time or in the inning before a courtesy runner is required may be the courtesy runner. The player requiring a courtesy runner may do so at any time once that player has reached base safely. All players running for batters who reach base but are not designated as needing a courtesy runner must be pinch runners and assume that batter's place in the batting lineup.

For GPMABL Classic games, players that will need courtesy runners, must have their manager notify the opposing manager prior to the start of the game. If not so notified, the opposing manager may deny the request. Each team will be allowed a maximum of 2 players per game who can be run for each time that they reach base. The individual who runs for these player(s) needing a courtesy runner is not determined ahead of time. It is always the last batted out who must run for the person needing the courtesy runner. Once the game begins and the full complement of 2 courtesy runners has not been used, if a player sustains an injury, an additional courtesy runner may be used.

In the event a player becomes injured during the game and the maximum number of courtesy runners (2) have already been designated, a pinch runner must be used and no courtesy runner will be allowed unless the opposing manager consents to allow a courtesy runner for the injured player.  With two outs, pitchers and catchers may receive a courtesy runner to speed up games.

3.g A team must have 9 players for an official game.

3.h All players may be substituted for defensively, at any instance when time is out, without affecting the players offensive status in the line-up. If the pitcher is removed, he or she may re-enter to pitch only one time during the course of the game, but not in the same inning. The removed pitcher may play any other position after being removed or no position at all.

3.i No player may switch teams during the league season (which, for the purposes of this section, shall extend from March 1 through October 1) without the consent of both managers and the league commissioner.  Any player may switch teams without consent of both managers or the league commissioner outside the league season.

3.j Team rosters must have no less than 18 players.  No team may have more than 22 players before all other league teams have 22 players without the approval of the league commissioner.

There is no roster limit for GPMABL Classic teams.

3.k Players will be added to the league prospects roster until July 1 when the prospects roster will be frozen for the year. After July 1, teams may only add additional players to their rosters by choosing a player from the league prospects roster.

3.l.To qualify for playoff play, a player must appear (get credit for appearing in a league game in the official league statistics as a pitcher, batter, or runner) in six league games.  The official league Season Statistics will determine appearances to for playoff eligibility.  Any manager may appeal to have a player who has not appeared in six league games declared eligible for playoff play by majority vote of league managers.

4. PLAYERS BEHAVIOR AND TEAM RESPONSIBILITY

4.a The league commissioner has the right to suspend or expel any team member who abuses league rules or who does not exhibit a sense of sportsmanship or who plays without regard to the safety of the umpires or other players.

4.b An umpire has sole discretion to eject any player or manager from the game.

4.c Fighting among players or aggressive physical contact with an umpire will not be tolerated and players ejected from the game for either violation will be subject to suspension or expulsion from the league.

4.d Players shall not intentionally collide with any other players. In the case of a runner intentionally colliding with a fielder, the runner will be called out and may, at the umpire’s discretion, be ejected from the game. All base runners must either slide or give up their right to a base (avoid a collision by stopping or leaving a base path) if the defensive player (e.g. catcher) has possession of the ball, is in the act of receiving the ball, or is about to immediately receive the ball and will be able to make an apparent play on the base runner.

If a defensive player is not in possession of the ball, is not in the act of receiving the ball, or is not about to immediately receive the ball so that he or she is able to record an out (apparent play at any base), he or she cannot block the base (e.g. home plate) or be in the base path so as to impede (obstruct) the base runner’s right to that base. Under such circumstances, the defensive player shall be responsible to avoid collision. If a collision does occur under these circumstances, the runner will always be considered safe and the obstruction rule shall be enforced. The defensive player may be ejected from the game (if the action is intentional, he or she must be ejected), and will be suspended from league play if the obstruction is judged to be flagrant.

4.e Failure to abide by age regulations – all players shall certify that they are in compliance with rule 3.a.  Anyone found to be out of compliance shall be expelled from the league.

5. PITCHERS

5.a No player while pitching may wear white or gray sleeves, nor may a pitcher wear a batting glove or wristband on his or her pitching hand while pitching.

5.b If a pitcher hits 4 batters in any one game, the pitcher must be removed on the fourth hit batsman.

6. FIELDERS

6.a Infielders are not allowed to decoy a throw or catch. If a decoy throw or catch is detected, all runners shall be allowed to advance one base beyond the base held after all play stops. If the same fielder decoys twice in the same game, the fielder shall be expelled from the game. Decoying is referred to as a false catch or throw done in an attempt to get the player to slide unnecessarily, where no strategic value is gained.

7. EX-PRO STATUS AND REGULATIONS

7.a A player must be out of pro-ball for 3 full years from that player's last appearance in a professional game before becoming eligible to participate in GPMABL games. Pro-ball refers to major and minor leagues including unaffiliated and independent leagues in the United States or another country.

8. GENERAL LEAGUE RULES

8.a  All league rules will be promulgated by the league commissioner and approved by a majority of the board of league managers, which will comprise the manager of each league team (any vote resulting in a tie shall be broken by the league commissioner). 

8.b All protests should be lodged to the league commissioner within 24 hours after the game for which the protest is made. All protests shall be decided by league commissioner. 

8.c Each year, all players on the league’s prospects roster will be invited to a draft.  The annual draft will be conducted in a manner to allow parity in leagues by having the prior year’s teams with the lowest finishing records drafting first.

9. CODE OF CONDUCT

Prohibitions

Managers and players shall conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner at all times. No manager or player shall commit the following:

1. Lay a hand upon, shove or strike, or threaten an official. Players and managers guilty or such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until their conduct is reviewed by the league commissioner. Players and managers guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season or expulsion from the league for life.

2. Refuse to abide by an official’s decision. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until their conduct is reviewed by the league commissioner. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.

3. Be guilty of objectionable demonstrations of dissent at an official’s decision. Players and managers guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension from further participation in the game.

4. Discuss with an official or officials the decision reached by such official or officials, except for the manager or his or her designee who are authorized to participate in such discussions. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension from further participation in the game.

5. Use unnecessarily rough tactics in the play of the game against the body or person of an opposing player. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.

6. Be guilty of physical attack as an aggressor upon any player, manager, official, or spectator, before, during, or after a game. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until their conduct is reviewed by the league commissioner. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season or expulsion from the league for life.

7. Be guilty of verbal abusive attack upon any player, manager, official, or spectator, before, during, or after a game. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall remain suspended until their conduct is reviewed by the league commissioner. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season.

8. Consume alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs during the game or be upon the field of play at any time in an intoxicated condition. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately suspended from further participation in the game and shall be subject to probation or suspension for the remainder of the season.

Penalties

1. The league commissioner may suspend any player or manager for such a period and upon such terms as he or she may propose, for the conduct with in its opinion is prejudicial to the welfare, interest, reputation, or charter of the league.

2. Except as otherwise provided, the league commissioner shall determine the appropriate action required for violations of the codes of conduct, and shall report his or her decision to the player, manager and board of league managers.

3. A player found in violation of any provision delineated in the codes of conduct, after being placed on probation for the remainder of the season shall be suspended for the remainder of the season.

4. Any player found in violation of any provisions delineated in the codes of conduct, after being suspended from further participation in a game shall be suspended for the remainder of the season.

Grievances, protests, and appeals

1. Grievances may be filed by an individual player or by the manager of a team provided that a grievance is formally submitted to the commissioner. The commissioner shall adjudicate all such grievances and shall report any action taken to the board of league managers.

2. An appeal of any action or ruling may be filed with the board of league managers by an individual player or by the manager of a team provided that the appeal is formally submitted.  The board of league managers may overrule the league commissioner by a vote of two-thirds of its members. All decisions by the board of league managers are final and not subject to appeal.

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