Maine Woods Baseball Rules
1.1: League Officers:
Commissioner: Dick Hill
President: Michael Doucette
Scheduler: Bill Arsenault
Treasurer: Michael Courts
Scribe: John Coray
Social Chairman: Glenn Rogers
Commissioner and President Role:
The President and Commissioner are leadership positions that will focus on strategic league decisions and provide guidance and expertise on the direction of all league matters. This includes such matters as public relations, administration and league agendas. The President will preside over all league meeting and set forth the agenda. Additionally, if there is an issue that comes up outside a scheduled meeting, he is authorized present the issue via email and request a vote (per rule 1.11). The managers of every team represent their players and have the requirement to vote on all identified issues. If after discussion and vote by the managers, there is a rare tie vote that can’t be resolved…the President will be called upon to vote and break the tie. If the President is not available for whatever reason the Commissioner will be called upon to cast the tie breaking vote in the President’s absence.
1.2: MW45 - MW60 League Fee:
The per player league fee (MW45 - $195) - (MW60 - $150) 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. All players must pay their league fee in full to be eligible for playoff rosters.
1.2a: 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 $20 per game played. For example, if a player incurs a season-ending injury in his fourth game played the refund would be $195-$80 (4 games at $20 per game) for a returned amount of $115.
1.2b: 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.
1.3 Player Eligibility - New and Recruiting:
New players ages 45 and above are eligible to play in the MW45 league. A player must turn 45 in the calendar year of the season. 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 for other teams may take precedence. Shortly after the end of the spring warm up practices, the managers will conduct a draft and officially assign the new players to teams. All new players must be aware of this team assignment plan and accept the final decision.
1.4 New player draft rules:
All new players will be placed in a Player Pool. Teams shall draft in the order established from worst to best record of the previous regular season. Number of draft positions after the first round depends on the individual team rosters before the draft. The President will assign draft positions after the first round based on current size of the preseason roster of every team with an effort to balance the number of players. In the event of a tie record, it will be resolved using the following criteria:
a. Head to head competition (worst record)
b. Runs scored (lowest head to head competition)
c. Flip a coin
An alternate draft plan may be discussed and implemented if unusual circumstances occur such as significant personnel losses over the winter for some teams. A change in the above draft plan year to year shall not be considered normal and it would take a majority vote by the managers (and/or President) to implement for that recruiting cycle only. At the beginning of the season (opening day) each team must carry a minimum of 14 players assigned. Teams may elect to voluntarily roster more than 14 if circumstances require it.
1.5 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.
1.6 Mid-Season Additions:
Teams are permitted to recruit and assist in adding new players to the league at any time during the regular season. At such time, Managers may temporarily add players to their roster after notifying all the other managers/President via email or phone call. 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 for assignment to another team with more pressing roster requirements. 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 the numerical need and final placement procedures will follow the above outline.
1.6a Amendment To Mid-Season Additions:
All new players entering the league shall be subject to the yearly draft at least one time. Players joining the league mid-season may play on a team in need of players or be assigned according to our current rules (rule 1.6), but they still shall be required to enter the draft the following season. The exception being a player who qualified for the playoffs (rule 1.8), made full league fee payment and plays in the playoffs with a team. In that case, a new player is exempt from the next year’s draft. If a player does not meet the above criteria, but the manager has a strong desire to roster the player the next year then it can be brought up for manager's vote. If a majority of managers agree, then the manager making the request may designate its’ first draft choice the following year to secure the player on their roster.
1.7 League Divisions:
League divisions have been eliminated and all teams will be combined into a single division to accommodate our current playoff format.
1.8 Players-Participation (number games required for playoff eligibility):
Players must play 50% of their actual team's games to qualify for a playoff roster position (crossover games played for other teams do not count). Specific waivers will be reviewed and voted on by the President and Managers (Example... if a player is injured during the season, but is able to return to play without meeting the 50% number of games). Managers must review their scorebooks to determine and then submit their eligible playoff rosters the day after the last game of the season. 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 and the minimum games played is seven. Finally, 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 in head to head games.
Maine Woods 45 Playoff Format:
Teams will be divided into two divisions and seeded based on final standings
East Division (1st, 4th, and 6th place teams)
West Division (2nd, 3rd, and 5th place teams)
Week One: 1 vs 4 - 2 vs 5 - 3 vs 6
Week Two: 1 vs 6 - 2 vs 3 - 4 vs 5
(note: There is one division crossover game for teams 3 through 6 to facilitate scheduling, but qualifying standings will be by division)
After Week One and Two are completed, the top two teams in each division will advance to Week Three semi-finals. Standings based on number of wins with tiebreakers as follows: #1 head to head regular season record, #2 regular season standings
Week Three Match-ups 1 vs 4 - 2 vs 3
(Note: Rankings for week three based on division play results as follows)
Two division winners will be teams 1 and 2
Two second place teams will be 3 and 4
Tie breaker criteria same as above
Week Four Championship Week
Winners of semi-final games
**Home team will be higher seed from regular season final standings throughout the tournament.
1.9a 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 1.8). 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.
1.10 Weekend Games:
Maine Woods Baseball is a Saturday and Sunday league during the regular season and playoffs. We will continue to augment the schedule with weekday games when necessary.
1.11 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.
2. Field of play rules:
All baseball rules apply except for the following specific Maine Woods 45 rule modifications.
2.1: Pitcher play limitations rule:
A pitcher can only pitch five innings (15 outs) per game. A player may pitch, leave and reenter the game as a pitcher once during the game as long as he has not pitched the equivalent of five innings or 15 outs. In the event of a scheduled double header a player may pitch the equivalent of nine total innings (one or both games).
2.2: Double header schedule rule:
In the event of a scheduled double header, the games will be nine innings in duration unless BOTH managers agree prior to the start of each game that the game will be limited to seven innings. A mutual agreement to limit one or both games to seven innings is also acceptable. In all cases, the umpire must also be informed before the game begins.
2.3: Player minimum playing time per game rule:
All players in attendance (including crossovers) must play a minimum of four innings in the field unless an injury is declared and the opposing manager informed. All players attending the game shall be in the line up 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 scorebook 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 line up 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 throw back 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 hit a fair ball…the pinch runner is automatically called out for advancing early (kill a double play).
2.6: No stealing home plate rule:
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 throw back to the pitcher is errant.
2.7: Crossover player lineup rule:
All teams must have a minimum of eight roster players at the start of the game for the game to count as an official win. A manager anticipating a shortage of players attending 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 (field) 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 line up.
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.
2.9 Fielder catch/throw decoy rule:
Fielders are never 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. 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: MW-45 fielding limitation rule:
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 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.
All outfielder players (position 7,8,9) can never throw out a batter at first base (base hit grounder or dropped fly ball)
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.
All infielders must position and start each play with both feet on the infield dirt unless defending against a bunt. The play does not begin until the batter strikes the ball. The infielder may then field and make a play (throw to first base) on the hit ball either in the infield or on the grass outfield. 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 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 not receive an automatic suspension unless the ejected player does not immediately leave the field of play or playing site. Any player ejected twice during the same season, regardless of reason will receive an automatic 2 game suspension. Upon completion of the game, the manager of the ejected player must contact the President and managers and make them aware of the incident. At that time the President and manager of the ejected player will discuss whether there is need for further disciplinary action. Once a decision has been reached by the league concerning the ejection the President will communicate with the Head Umpire and inform him of the incident and the league’s position on the matter.
2.11a 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….there is no responsibly for the opposing team 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.