(Text in bold are rules amended, added and approved by league managers in 2022.)
1.1: League Officers:
President: Michael Doucette
Treasurer: John Coray
MW45 Scheduler: Bill Arsenault
Commissioner: Dick Hill
Scribe: John Coray
Managers Committee Chairman: Jake Webb
Maine Woods 45 Representative: Christian Kristan
Maine Woods 60 Representative & MW60 Scheduler: Michael Doucette
Rules Committee: Christian Kristan (Chairman), John Coray, Michael Doucette
1.2: Executive Committee:
The Executive Committee will consist of the League President, Commissioner, Treasurer, one Maine Woods 45 representative, one Maine Woods 60 representative, and Scribe. Members of the committee cannot be MW45 managers, and any committee member who hold two roles (Treasurer and Scribe, for example), will only have one vote. The President will be chair of the Executive Committee, set forth the committee agenda, and schedule committee meetings as needed. The President will also seek out volunteers from MW45 and MW60, via league email, to fill open committee positions. Maine Woods 45 managers will vote and have final approval over players volunteering to be members of the Executive Committee.
Executive Committee members shall be elected to one- year terms and serve until the next election. They shall be elected each year by MW45 and MW60 managers before January 15th and take office on January 15th. Any change to the committee members before the term is complete will need a two-thirds vote from MW45 managers.
Immediately after taking office on January 15th, the members of the Executive Committee will form a league Rules Advisory Committee of at least 3 members from the newly elected Executive Committee, and designate a committee chair. MWB managers must submit suggested rule amendments or additions via email before February 15th for Rules Advisory Committee review. After the review process all MW45 or MW60 managers, depending on division, will be required to vote on any and all new rule additions or amendments put forth by the Rules Committee. A majority vote will be needed for approval and if necessary, ties will be broken by the committee chair.
The Executive Committee will focus on strategic league decisions, standard and re-occurring operations and expenses, and will provide guidance and expertise on the direction of all league matters. This includes such items as public relations, advertising, league administration, and league finances. In addition to offering guidance on league matters, the Treasurer shall make the budget, handle all funds received and expended, and keep accurate records. He is to make all records available to the President or any team representative making a request through the President.
1.2a: Managers Committee:
The Managers Committee for both the MW45 and MW60 leagues shall consist of one representative from each current team. Each member will be recognized by the league as their respective team’s “Manager”. The Managers Committee representative need not be that team’s on-field manager. The Managers Committee members shall be responsible for participating in the league draft representing their team according to league rules and by-laws and any changes or alterations deemed necessary by either the President or Executive Committee.
The respective Managers Committees shall review performance and handle league issues working with the President. This includes a review of all individual league playing rules. If changes are desired then the Managers Committee will submit, review, evaluate and vote to approve the rule modifications. The changes will then be submitted and become part of the overall Maine Woods Baseball published league rules. Finally, when necessary both managerial committees will work together to develop a succession plan for the league President and Treasurer positions should they become vacant.
The Managers Committee shall elect a Chairman each year.
The Managerial Committee Chairmen will be responsible for:
--Scheduling and chairing manager’s meetings.
--Scheduling and coordinating the draft.
--Act as the committee’s liaison to the President and Executive Committee.
--The Managers Committee will meet each year in February to elect a Chairperson and once in late April or early May to hold the draft.
1.2b: Officers/Managers Compensation.
All positions of leadership are important to Maine Woods Baseball and require extra time and effort which contribute greatly to the organization of Maine Woods Baseball. For said time and effort, league officers and managers will be compensated for their work by way of a waiver of their league fee.
1.3: Maine Woods Baseball Oversight:
Maine Woods Baseball will be the governing body and provide organizational support for Maine Woods 45, Maine Woods 60, Fall Ball and Sunrise Base Ball Club of Brunswick. All four divisions will fall under the umbrella of Maine Woods Baseball and enjoy equal marketing, promotion, recruitment and financial support as needed, within reason and as the league board deems prudent.
1.4: Uniforms and Equipment:
Individual teams are responsible for purchases and upkeep of baseball equipment, not to include bats or helmets (see rule 1.4b). Maine Woods Baseball will provide game balls, score books and a set amount of funds at the beginning of the year to be used at the manager's discretion for the good of the team. Funds will be used to purchase uniforms, caps and equipment. The manager and players may choose the jersey and cap design and resource it on the open market, but all styles must correspond with their team logo.
1.4a: The team uniform and equipment budget will be up to, but not exceed $400 per team, per season. Managers will be reimbursed up to the agreed budget amount, upon receipt by the Treasurer of receipts totaling the amount claimed for reimbursement.
1.4b: Players will provide their own bats and helmets. Bats must conform to the following Maine Woods Baseball bat regulations.
1. All bats must be solid wood, single-unit construction and cannot be hollow.
2. Composite bats with wood barrels and handles of a different composition or reinforced carbon fiber polymers are prohibited.
3. Laminated wood bats and AXE Bats are approved as long as they meet the 100% wood and non-hollow specs above.
4. BAUM bats are approved for use.
5. Challenged bats used during a game will be removed from play until it can be determined by league officials that it meets league bat regulations.
1.5: MW45 - MW60 League Fee:
The per player league fee (MW45 - $225) - (MW60 - $175) or (MW45 + MW60 - $275) is expected by opening day but must be paid in full by 1 June or risk a loss of playing time. A new player introduced in the league after opening day and not on a roster will pay $20 per game to play. If a new player is introduced to the league before 1 July and rostered by a team said player must pay full individual player league fee.
1.5a: All players must pay their league fee in full to be eligible for a playoff roster.
1.6: MW45 - MW60 League Fee Refund Policy:
Pro-rated league fee refunds are extended to players who incur season ending injuries. The refund amount is pro-rated at $15 per game played. For example, if a player incurs a season-ending injury in his fourth game played the refund will be $165 if they are a MW45 player, and $115 if they are a MW60 player.
1.7: League Contract & Waiver:
All players must sign the league's Contract & Waiver form prior to their first game of the season. Download the Contract & Waiver form here or request one from your manager or any Maine Woods Baseball representative.
1.8: Player Eligibility:
Maine Woods 45: New players aged 45 and above are eligible to play in the Maine Woods 45 age division. A player must turn the eligible age in the calendar year of the season.
1.8a: Players that are 44 years old and don’t meet the age standard above, are welcome to put their name on a wait list. Periodically a waiver may be granted to permit a 44-year-old to join the league if unusual recruiting circumstances exist. To execute a waiver for an individual, a majority of managers (and/or President) must agree. In no circumstances can a 44-year-old be eligible to pitch in a game. New player’s name and phone number must be submitted to the President. Players may declare a preference for a team, but positional and roster needs take precedence. Before the season starts, managers will conduct a draft and officially assign new players to teams.
1.8b: All new MW45 players must be aware of this team assignment plan and accept the final decision.
Maine Woods 60: New players requesting to play in the Maine Woods 60 (MW60) age division need to turn 55 years old by May 1st . Players 55+ who are not currently on a Maine Woods 45 (MW45) team will be allowed to play MW60 baseball with no restrictions.
1.8c: Players 55+ but not yet 60 and currently playing on a MW45 team, and who are requesting to play both age divisions cannot always be guaranteed a permanent roster spot on a MW60 team, and will be subject to the draft or placed on a team with an urgent need. New players 55+ joining MWB will be offered MW60 roster spots before players who already play on a MW45 team.
1.8d: Players coming out of the MW45 division and requesting a roster spot in MW60 need to turn 60 by May 1st to be guaranteed an open roster spot. Players coming out of MW45 but not yet 60 may be subject to some restrictions as referenced in rule 1.8c.
1.8e: Players who turn 60 by May 1st can play both MW45 and MW60 in the same season with no restrictions, but they will be required to pay the combined league fee set by Maine Woods Baseball ($275).
1.9: Draft rules and roster requirements:
All new players wishing to be drafted must register online using the league website and will then be placed in a Player Pool. Teams shall draft in the order established from worst to best record of the previous regular season, unless unusual circumstances exist, and the Managerial Committees deems it necessary to amend the draft order. If several teams end with the same record, the following standard will be used to set the draft schedule.
a. Head-to-head competition (worst record).
b. Most Runs scored.
c. Flip a coin.
1.9a: Each team must carry a minimum of 14 players at the beginning of the season (opening day). Teams may elect to voluntarily roster more than 14 if circumstances require it.
1.9b: No team that has less than 15 players on their opening day roster can add a mid-season pickup unless there is a dire need. Then they must first contact the President and he will assign a player from the wait list.
1.10: Mutual consent trades:
Mutual consent trades are acceptable where the player(s) and two managers all agree. All trades must be approved by a majority manager’s votes.
1.11: Mid-Season Additions:
Teams are permitted to recruit new players for the league during the regular season. Managers may temporarily add players to their roster after the player has registered online and all other managers and the President have been notified. After playing three games the manager recruiting the new player must notify the President and all other managers, and request to either temporarily roster the player or make him available to another team with more pressing needs. If there is an objection by other managers, a discussion and vote will be called to confirm the player placement or have the President reassign the player to balance competitiveness among all teams. If there remain roster openings in the league and a non-recruited player wishes to join the league, the President will temporarily assign the player to a team with a numerical need and final placement procedures will follow the above outline.
1.11a: Amendment to Mid-Season Additions: (MW45 Only)
Players joining the league mid-season may play on a team in need of players or be assigned according to our current rules (rule 1.8), but that player will still be required to enter the draft the following season. No player added during the season may participate in the playoffs, regardless of the number of games played.
1.12: League Divisions:
League divisions have been eliminated for the regular season but may be reinstated for the playoffs.
1.13: Playoff Eligibility:
Players must play 50% of their team's games to qualify for a playoff roster position (crossover games played for other teams do not count). In the event that a player is injured or has an extenuating circumstance during the season that prevents them from playing 50% of the games, the President and Managers will review the specific situation and vote on whether to grant the player a waiver. If the waiver is granted, the player would be eligible for the playoffs even if they did not meet the 50% games played requirement. Managers must review their scorebooks to determine and then submit their eligible playoff rosters the day after the last game of the season.
1.13a: If a team finishes with an odd number of games played during the regular season, the 50% rule shall pertain to the rounded down, even number of games played. For example, if 15 games are played the 50% rule is applied to 14 games and the minimum games played would be seven.
1.13b: League fee must be paid in full to be eligible for the playoffs.
1.13c: The President shall approve all playoff rosters.
Every effort will be made to ensure all teams play the same number of games during the regular season.
At the end of the regular season, final standings of all 6 teams will determine playoff seeding and match-ups.
Playoff seeding will be determined by the following criteria and in this order:
**Number of wins.
**Head to head competition.
**Most runs scored.
Maine Woods 45 Playoff Format:
Single Elimination Tournament
First and second place teams in the standings receive a first round bye.
First Round Match-ups: #3 plays #6 -- #4 plays #5.
Second Round Match-ups: The lowest advancing seed plays #1 and second lowest advancing seed plays #2.
Third Round: Championship game and some form of Consolation Game as agreed upon by the 4 eliminated teams.
1.15: Playoff Game Day Roster:
On playoff game day, each team must start with a minimum of eight of their own playoff qualified players (per rule 1.13). During a playoff game, if a team finds itself unable to field nine players (injury, availability or emergency departure), the opposing team may be asked to provide a player to occupy a defensive position only. If asked, the opposing team will provide a temporary player that will rotate every inning. Every effort shall be made to allow the temporary fielder time to come off the field and prepare to bat as his team’s line up progresses (mid-inning change). The team short a player will bat only eight players (without penalty) and will be allowed to scratch the injured player from the lineup position without penalty (automatic out) during the game.
1.16: Weekend Games:
Maine Woods Baseball is a Saturday and Sunday league during the regular season and playoffs and play 9 inning games that are subject to rule 1.18 (3 Hour Limit Rule).
1.17: Weekday Games:
We will continue to augment the schedule with weekday games when necessary. Weekday games will start at 6:00PM and be 7 innings in length. Starting pitchers can only pitch a total of 4 innings (12 outs) in a 7-inning game, per rule 2.1.
1.18: 3 Hour Time Limit:
1. Games will be 9 innings in length.
2. Games cannot exceed 3 hours if there is a scheduled game following the ongoing game.
3. No new innings will be allowed to start after the 3 hour time limit has been met.
4. If an inning is in progress when the 3 hour time limit is reached play will continue until there are three outs...unless the team at bat is winning the game. In that case the game will be called at the three hour mark.
5. If the game is stopped, the score at the time of the stoppage will be the final score.
Exceptions to the Rule:
1. If a regular season game is tied after 9 innings, the game will continue until there is a winner, but each extra inning will start with a runner on second base. The designated runner will be the player who made the third out in the previous inning.
2. If the game is stopped due to weather or other extenuating circumstances and surpasses the 5 inning point it will be considered a complete game and the score at the time of the stoppage will be the final score.
3. If the game is a playoff game, the 3 hour time limit will not be in effect and the game will continue without restrictions or be subject to the regular season, extra inning rules.
1.19: Board Member Voting:
Maine Woods Baseball will use email to vote on league business when appropriate or necessary. *
*Voting by email is meant to be a tool used between meetings to help streamline the decision-making process on previously discussed or easily resolved issues. It should not replace face to face debate via meetings or video chats when new or complicated issues are up for debate.
Field of play rules:
All regular baseball rules apply except for the following specific Maine Woods Baseball rule modifications.
2.1: Pitcher limitations rule:
A pitcher can only pitch five innings (15 outs) per nine inning game or four innings (12 outs) per seven inning game. A player may pitch, leave and reenter the game as a pitcher once during the game as long as he has not pitched his maximum allowed innings.
2.1a: In the event of a doubleheader a pitcher is only allowed to pitch a combined total of 7 innings or (9 innings depending on game length...see rule 2.2:). He can either use all his allotted innings in game one or game two of the doubleheader, or split his innings between the two games. For example: In a 7 inning doubleheader the pitcher could pitch all 7 innings in game one, but could not pitch in game two. Or he could pitch 4 innings in the first game and 3 in the second.
2.2: Doubleheader rule:
In the event of a scheduled doubleheader, the games will be seven innings, unless BOTH managers agree prior to the start of the game that the games will be nine innings each. The umpire must be informed of your decision about length of game before the game begins.
2.3: Player minimum playing time per game rule:
All players in attendance (including crossovers) must play a minimum of three innings (MW45 league) and four innings (MW60 league) in the field unless an injury is declared and the opposing manager informed. All players attending the game shall be in the lineup and bat in the designated batting order. If there is a declared injury, the opposing manager will be informed to scratch the batter from the line up and make the score book annotation.
2.4: Pinch runner substitution rule:
A liberal pinch running rule is allowed once a player reaches any base safely. The chosen pinch runner must be the last batter in the lineup to make an out. If that runner is unable to pinch run, then the previous player who has made an out will be assigned to pinch run…and so forth.
2.5: Pinch runner stealing rule:
A pinch runner is not allowed to steal any base. The pinch runner can advance to the next base if there is a passed ball or a wild pitch. The runner can also advance to any base if the catcher attempts to make a throw/play at any base or if the throwback to the pitcher is an errant throw. Should the pinch runner make a mistake and attempt a steal…a timeout will be called after the pitch and the player told to return to the original base. Should the pinch runner make a mistake and attempt a steal and the batter hits a fair ball…the pinch runner is automatically called out for advancing early, fielders need only make a play on the batter and not the advancing runner.
2.6: No stealing home plate or advance on passed ball rule: (MW60 only) (Does not apply to MW45)
Any runner on third base cannot steal or advance to home plate on a wild pitch or passed ball. The runner can only advance to home plate if the catcher attempts to make a throw/play at any base or if the throwback to the pitcher is errant.
2.6a: Passed Ball, Two Outs, Bases Loaded: (MW60 only) (Does not apply to MW45)
No runner can steal or advance to home plate on a catcher passed ball. This also applies when there are bases loaded, two outs and a 3-2 count when runners traditionally break for the next base. If a batter swings and misses for a third strike and the catcher drops the ball it is consider a third out, strike out with the ball dead and the inning over.
2.7: Crossover players rule:
All teams must have a minimum of eight rostered players at the start of the game for the game to count as an official win. A manager anticipating a shortage of players may pick up one or two crossover players (up to a lineup of ten only) to augment their game day lineup. If a team cannot field eight original team players…the game will be played but considered an official forfeit. Any manager using crossover players must start the game using ALL original team members first (a crossover cannot start in front of a team player). The only exception is a crossover player filling the catcher position where there are limited or no options for team players to fill this skill position. Crossover players are not allowed to pitch unless mutually agreed upon by both mangers prior to the game. All crossover players shall bat at the end of the batting order.
2.7a: Crossover players rule - MW60:
In addition to crossover players rule 2.7, the following applies to Maine Woods 60.
MW60 crossover players need to be at least 55 years of age or older.
Every effort will be made to recruit crossover players from the current MW60 teams before picking up a MW45 crossover player.
Only if a team is in jeopardy of forfeiting or in need of a catcher can they recruit a MW45 crossover player who is younger than 55 years old.
2.8: Runner/Fielder collision rule:
Runners intentionally colliding with a fielder will be called out and may be ejected by the umpire. Runners must either slide or give up their right to a base if the defensive player has possession of the ball. At no time can the fielder intentionally and fully block access to a base. During the play at the base, the runner must always have a clear path to touching some part of the base. Should the umpire determine that the fielder fully blocked the runner's access to a base, the runner shall be called safe. If the fielder’s action was determined to be intentional, he may be ejected from the game.
2.8a: Potential Double Play Situation:
If the infielder has the ball and is attempting to make a throw to first base…the runner advancing to second must either slide spikes down or give up their right to the base and allow an unobstructed throw to be made to first base. Should the umpire determine that the runner did not slide or give up their right to the base, both the runner advancing to second and the batter shall be called out.
2.9: Fielder catch/throw decoy rule:
Fielders are never allowed to decoy a throw or catch. If a decoy throws or catch is detected, all runners shall be allowed to advance one base beyond the base held after all play stops. Decoying is referred to a false catch or throw done in an attempt to get the runner to slide unnecessarily when no strategic value is gained.
2.10: Fielding limitation rules: (MW60 Only) - (These rules do not apply to MW45)
***Because of the variance in age and or limited ability of batters to run to first base after hitting the ball, the following unique rule pertains to all batters. The intent of this rule is to provide a fair opportunity for older players and or players with restricted running capabilities to reach first base on hits to the shallow outfield.***
A) A batted ball hit in the air and landing on the outfield grass (line drive or pop fly) is considered an automatic base hit and the batter CANNOT be thrown out at first base by ANY fielder.
B) All outfielder players (position 7,8,9) can never throw out a batter at first base (base hit grounder or dropped fly ball)
C) In all situations, runners already on base CAN be forced out if an infielder or outfielder throws to second, third or home plate after fielding a hit to the outfield.
D) All infielders must position themselves, and start each play with both feet on the infield dirt unless defending against a bunt. After the batter puts the ball in play the infielder may then field and make a play on a ball, either from the infield dirt or the outfield grass. An infielder making a play on a ground ball traveling to the outfield grass may throw a runner out at first base provided he started the play positioned on the infield dirt first. Should the infielder’s position adherence to the rule be challenged during the play, and the umpire agrees…the batter shall be ruled safe at first base.
2.11: MW60 Base Stealing Rule:
Players are not allowed to steal second base or home plate, but they are allowed to steal third base. All leads are limited to two strides, but players are allowed to take a secondary lead as the pitch is being delivered. Pinch runners, including pinch runners for catchers (see rule 2.13), are not allowed to steal at any time.
2.12: MW60 Passed Ball/Wild Pitch Rule:
Runners are allowed to advance on a passed ball or wild pitch only if it leaves the dirt area around home plate. Runners on third base are not allowed to advance to home plate on a passed ball or wild pitch at any time.
2.13: MW60 Pinch Runners for Catchers:
Base runners who are also the next inning catcher are allowed (optional at discretion of the team on offense) a pinch runner when there are two outs in an inning, and they occupy a base. This will give the catcher time to put on gear and reduce game delays.
2.14: Player Ejection:
Escalating an argument with an umpire or committing an un-sportsman like act resulting in an ejection from a game is not conducive with the ideals and mission of the Maine Woods Baseball league. Should a player be ejected from a game for any reason, the manager and teammates must ensure he immediately gathers his equipment, exits the dugout and proceeds to the parking lot. Players ejected for the first time in a season will receive an automatic suspension for the next scheduled game. Any player ejected twice during the same season, regardless of reason will be suspended from play the remainder of the season. Upon completion of the game, the manager of the ejected player must contact the President and managers and make them aware of the incident. The President will then communicate with the Head Umpire and inform him of the incident and the league’s position on the matter.
2.14a: Player Ejection Playoffs:
If a team is playing a playoff game with a line-up of only nine players and a player is ejected from the game by the umpire the opposing team is not responsible to provide a temporary fielder. Due to the ejection, the team will be required to play (field) with only eight players the remainder of the game. The ejected player will be scratched from the lineup without penalty (automatic out). If a team is playing with eight players and a player is ejected, the game is then forfeited per rule 2.7.
2.15: Pitcher hitting three batters rule:
Any pitcher who hits three batters with pitched balls must be removed from the mound and may not return to pitch in the game.
Home Team Responsibilities:
3.1: Home team will provide 3 new game balls.
3.2: Home team will pay the umpire prior to start of the game.
3.3: Home team will report game results to the Webmaster or post on the website so standings can be updated, and scores documented.
3.4: The home team takes priority when deciding whether or not to cancel a game. Both managers must discuss the issue, but ultimately the home team will make the final decision.
3.5: Home team must immediately notify the umpire if a game has been canceled.
3.6: Home team will immediately notify the Scheduler and Webmaster if a game has been canceled.
3.7: Home team is responsible for covering home plate and the mound if you're the last (or only) game of the day. NO METAL CLEATS when standing on the tarps.
3.8: For all MW60 games the home team is automatically assigned the first base dugout.
Canceled Game Checklist:
4.1: Kelley Field - Bath Rec. will contact the league by at least 7:30AM if the field is closed - (by 2:00PM for weekday games). A league individual will contact the managers and webmaster immediately. The managers will contact their team, the webmaster will update the website.
4.2: Edwards Field - Brunswick Rec. will contact the league. A league individual will contact the managers and webmaster immediately. The managers will contact their team, the webmaster will update the website.
4.3: The home team manager is responsible for contacting the umpire immediately to let him know a scheduled game has been canceled. Umpire contact information can be acquired by accessing the Arbiter website.
4.4: If managers want to cancel a game or move it to a different day, they are welcome to do so. Contact the manager of the opposing team and settle on a mutually agreed upon date and time. If you cancel.... see items 4.3, 4.5 & 4.6.
4.5: If managers decide to cancel a game, you must notify the umpire, Scheduler and league President. The Scheduler will contact the grounds crew and the President will notify the Webmaster to make him aware of the canceled game.
4.6: Rescheduling a game is the responsibility of the two managers of a canceled game. Managers will agree on a day and time and coordinate with the Scheduler so the game can be rescheduled ASAP. The Scheduler will ensure the field is available and an umpire is assigned.