2015 AMSLLA RULES
The primary purpose of the Advertising & Media Softball League of Los Angeles is to offer each participant the opportunity to pursue, through the competitive sport of softball, the physical and emotional benefits such activity offers. Each participant should not let the competitive spirit and desire to win exceed the limits of human decency.
CODE OF CONDUCT
The purpose of the Code of Conduct, applicable to every participant, is to engender and motivate good sportsmanship, proper conduct on and off the field, and observance of the rules and policies of the AMSLLA rules and the LA Municipal Sports Section.
Penalties for violations of the AMSLLA participants Code of Conduct or other violations of the Department of Recreation and Parks or Municipal Sports Section policies will be determined by the organizers: The AMSLLA Committee. Suspensions, game forfeitures, and probation are the common penalties.
All participants play at their own risk and agree not to hold AMSLLA, the AMSLLA Committee, the City of Los Angeles or the other teams liable for any reason.
The game schedules must be adhered to. Games will not be re-scheduled except for weather or field reasons. In the event of inclement weather, the Park Director will determine if the game will be played by 3:00 pm on the day of the game, no sooner.
STARTING EACH GAME
· Team captains must identify themselves to the umpire and the opposing captain before the start of the game.
· Team captains must announce players requiring courtesy runners. Courtesy runners must be the last player out of the same sex. Other courtesy runners used after play has begun should be for replacing injured players only.
· Review all special League and ground rules with the umpire before the game. Umpires have the final say on judgment calls.
· If a team has only four (4) women at the scheduled game time, five men may play until the fifth woman arrives, but the tenth batting position becomes an automatic out.
· If the 9th or 10th player arrives after the start of the game, he/she is immediately inserted in the lineup, but only between batters.
· Games must begin at the scheduled starting time if at least eight (8) eligible players are available to play. Minimum of four women is required.
· A ten-minute grace period is allowed, but those ten minutes count as part of the hour and 15-minute game time.
· If both teams are ready to play at the scheduled game time, but there is no umpire available, an alternate umpire must be selected. If an alternate umpire is not selected and the game is not played, both teams receive a forfeit.
COMPLETION OF GAMES
· No new inning during the regular season may begin after an hour and 15 minutes is completed.
· Tie games will count as a tie.
· If time permits, an eighth inning can be played to break the tie. It will be played as a regular inning with each team getting three outs. The batting order resumes where each team left off in the seventh inning. If after the eighth inning the game is still tied, then the game will count as a tie.
· In order to speed up play and attempt to get in seven innings, there will be no between-inning infield, only three warm-up pitches.
· When a team is ahead by 15 or more runs at the end of the fifth (or four and one half innings, if the home team is ahead) or subsequent inning, the game may be stopped by the team that is behind if they so choose without receiving repercussions of any kind from the opposition. This is called the "throw in the towel rule," AMSLLA's version of the "mercy rule."
Notify the opposing team captain prior to canceling or forfeiting any game.
· If a team cancels the game within 24 hours of the scheduled game time, then that team is responsible for paying the $30 umpire fee.
· On the day of a scheduled game, if it is realized a forfeit is imminent, then it is required for the manager to contact a Committee Member before 2 PM. It is important as the scheduled umpire needs to be notified. If this is not adhered to, then the team will be charged with a "blatant forfeit." If a team accrues three "blatant forfeits" throughout the year, they will not be eligible for the playoffs and may be subject to future ineligibility in AMSLLA.
· Games cancelled will not be made up. They are considered forfeits for the team that requests the cancellation.
· A forfeit results in the deduction of one point from offending team's League standing point total.
· Any team that accrues two forfeits during regular season play must replenish their $75 forfeit bond with AMSLLA within 10 days after the second offense.
· Any team (Team A) may request to reschedule a game that would otherwise be a forfeit provided there are extenuating circumstances surrounding the reasons for the forfeit.
· The game may be rescheduled if, and only if, the opposing team (Team B) agrees and the League has been notified and a field is available.
· If a reschedule is approved by the opposition (Team B) and The Committee, then the rescheduled game will count as an official regular season game.
· However, if there is a forfeit of the rescheduled game by the opposition (Team B) who originally agreed to the reschedule, then Team B will now receive the forfeit.
· If the team (Team A) who requested the reschedule then forfeits the rescheduled game, it will be scored as a forfeit and a point will be deducted from that team's (Team A) point total for the season.
· If a team has NO forfeits during the regular season in 2015, then their $75 bond carries over to the 2016 season. If a team had 1 or 2 forfeits during the 2015 regular season, then they have to replenish the $75 forfeit bond. If a team had more than 2 forfeits during the regular season, then they have to pay $50 for each forfeit over 2 in 2014 AND they have to replenish their forfeit bond in 2016 in the amount of $100.
· Maximum of five men in defensive positions.
· A team may play with more than five women in defensive positions.
· All batters begin with a one ball and one strike count.
· No two men may bat consecutively unless the in-between position is declared an out. (4 women, 5 men rule).
· You can bat designated hitters in your line-up, but there must not be more men than women. Ideally, a team's line-up consists of an equal number of men to women. However, if a team so chooses, it may bat more women than men provided the "extra" woman batter follows another woman batter.
· Free substitution – any player may enter a game as a substitute. A player may re-enter the game after the team has batted around (including his substitute).
As long as you have a minimum of 5 girls and more than 5 guys, you may roll your lineup (i.e. 5 girls/6 guys, 5 girls/7 guys or 6 girls/7 guys, etc).
· You must announce to the umpire and to the opposing team that you will be rolling your lineup prior to the start of the game.
· You will still bat boy/girl, boy/girl, but guys will always follow the same guy and girls will always follow the same girl in the batting order.
· This rule has been implemented with the sole purpose of giving more people playing time. It goes against the spirit of the rule to manipulate it in order to gain an unfair advantage. (For example, you may NOT roll your lineup if you have 4 guys/6 girls.)
· Opposing captains may ask for your batting order, so please be prepared to exchange lineups.
· Pitches must be delivered from a minimum distance of 46' from home plate.
· For safety purposes, the pitcher may stand off the rubber. However, he/she still must be lined up directly behind the “mound.”
· There is a 6’ minimum and 15' maximum limit to the pitching arc. If a pitch is considered to be outside of the limits in the umpire’s judgment, then the umpire will verbally call it a ball while the ball is in the air and before it crosses home plate. However the batter may still choose to hit the pitch.
CONE RULE, HOME PLATE & 1st BASE EXTENDERS
· Cones will be placed 150' from home plate. They will be placed by the umpire and form an imaginary line of 150’. The defensive team's outfielders will align themselves behind the cones when a FEMALE player is at bat. Once the ball is hit, the defensive players can cross the imaginary boundary to field the ball. A good method to use while placing the cones is to walk off 30 strides (assuming an average stride is roughly 3 feet long) from both 1st base and 3rd base (both of which are 60' from home plate) and place those two cones on the foul line. For the center field cone, 150' from home plate works out to about 22 strides behind second base.
· PENALTY – Should any outfielder move within the perimeter prior to the ball being hit, the hitter is awarded first base and all other runners advance one base.
· The plate extender is generally brought by the umpire, but in the event the umpire does not have an extender, or the umpire does not show up, the home team is responsible.
· The first base “safety bag extender” is also generally provided by the umpire. It is to be used by the runner only in lieu of touching first base when running from home to first base.
· In this instance, it is not necessary for the runner to touch the first base bag when running to or through first base from home. Touching the extender is sufficient.
· However, once the runner has reached first base safely, the safety extender is no longer considered to be part of first base.
· If the first base fielder touches the “safety bag extender” while attempting to record the out, or in any way impedes the runner from touching the safety bag extender, then the runner shall be called safe and awarded first base.
A defensive team may exercise the option of using a maximum of ONE (1) intentional walk per game. An intentional walk may be signaled by the pitcher to the umpire before a pitch is thrown or anytime during the at-bat. The player then advances to first base. If any male is pitched three consecutive balls during an at-bat, without being thrown a strike, he advances to second base automatically.
Sliding is permitted. However, any player who, in the judgment of the umpire, deliberately or recklessly slides into a player, may be immediately ejected from the game. Players guilty of unnecessary roughness are subject to expulsion from the League. Runner going into second or third base should slide or veer out of the baseline in the event of a potential double play. If the umpire judges that the defensive player was interfered with, then both the runner and the batter can be declared out.
If a fielder happens to drop the ball, the runner who gave him/herself up will NOT be awarded 2B. He/she still has a chance to get back to the bag, but the umpire will not call a ‘dead ball’ because it could affect other runners on the base paths. If you are concerned about a fielder dropping a ball, then the runner should slide into the base rather than giving him/herself up.
The defensive players covering second base or third base or home plate shall NOT fake a tag on an incoming runner to elicit a slide. If a fake tag (a tag by the fielder without the ball in possession) is applied, all runners will be awarded one extra base beyond the base they reached or were about to reach. The fielder will then be warned and a second violation by anybody on that same team will be ejected from the game.
For the safety of all players, runners going from third base to home plate CANNOT “bowl” over the catcher. At the same time, the defensive player shall not block home plate either by standing on the plate or by standing on the third baseline without possession of the ball. The runner must make a genuine attempt to slide if a close play at home is imminent. The umpire has the discretion to rule a runner safe or out when there is a collision from the fault of the runner or fielder. Any malicious collision in the opinion of the umpire will result in the immediate ejection of that player and the incident will be reported to the League for further evaluation. The player in question may be subject to additional suspension or expulsion from the League.
The second foul ball after two strikes is considered a strikeout.
If a batter hits a ball (i.e. a hard hit line-drive at his/her head, etc.) that puts a pitcher’s safety in jeopardy (assuming the pitcher is in an area just before, on, or directly behind the pitcher’s mound), the umpire has the discretion to issue a warning. This warning will extend to BOTH teams (similar to the Major Leagues when a pitcher ‘plunks’ a batter). After that warning, the umpire will take every batted ball up the middle at a pitcher on a case-by-case basis to determine if another warning is warranted or if the batter shall be called OUT for that at-bat. Any subsequent occurrences of such batted balls “up the middle” will also be ruled on by the umpire.
Severe reoccurrences could ultimately lead to a batter and/or captain being ejected from a game and possible suspension from future game(s).
Again, this is a recreational league and if a batter accidentally hits middle, he/she should always offer an apology when getting to first base. This will go a long way to assist the umpire in determining the intent of the batted ball. The Umpire Crew has been instructed to be very stringent in this regard.
· THE OFFICIAL BAT shall be round, made of hardwood or metal, no more than 34 inches long, and no more than 2 1/4 inches in diameter at its largest part. A tolerance of 1/32nd of an inch is permitted for expansion. The bat must have a safety grip of cork, tape, or composition material. The safety grip shall not be less than 10 inches long, and shall not extend more than 15 inches from the small end of the bat. All bats must be marked "Official Softball" by the manufacturer. Bats cannot be altered or tampered.
· ALL bats must conform to the Non-conforming Bats List, which is posted on the AMSLLA website.
· Note that it is each team manager/captain’s responsibility to ensure that illegal bats are not being used by their team.
· ALL bats that are to be used in a game are to be on display outside the dugout BEFORE the game begins.
· Such bats should be reviewed with the opposing captain and the umpire before the game begins.
· Any bat that is on the Non-conforming Bats List must not be used or on display after the game commences.
· Any bats introduced AFTER the start of the game must be shown to the umpire and opposing captain BEFORE being used.
IN THE SPIRIT OF FRIENDLY COMPETITION, IF THERE IS A QUESTION REGARDING A BAT'S LEGALITY, IT SHOULD NOT BE USED UNTIL AN OFFICIAL DETERMINATION CAN BE MADE BY THE AMSLLA COMMITTEE. The mere presence of an illegal bat inside a dugout (as in one that has been taken out of a bat bag and is accessible to players during the course of the game) or one that is visible anywhere in the field of play is considered a violation and will immediately render the owner of the bat ineligible for the playoffs. A second offence of the visible illegal bat rule will disqualify the entire team from the playoffs. Furthermore, actual use of illegal bats during the course of a scheduled AMSLLA game is a major offence and the penalties are as follows:
1. Player guilty of offence will receive a two game suspension from League play in addition to being rendered ineligible for the playoffs.
2. Team committing offence will receive a forfeit for game in which offense is committed. Repeat offenses may result in additional penalties such as ineligibility for playoffs and disqualification from future League play for the entire team.
THE DETERMINATION AND RENDERING OF PENALTIES FOR FIRST AND REPEAT OFFENSES OF ILLEGAL BAT USE IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE AMSLLA COMMITTEE.
· Metal cleats are not permitted.
· First baseman's gloves may be used by any fielder.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited at all city parks, and umpires are required to enforce this rule. Please be responsible.
PLAYER & TEAM ELIGIBILITY
The League requires that players earn the majority of their living (greater than two-thirds) from advertising or advertising related employment. This includes advertising agency employees, marketing/advertising department personnel, media company employees and representatives, advertising printing and graphic art salespersons, photographers, illustrators and public relations/media communications personnel.
Agency teams must be hosted by eligible sponsoring companies whose roster may consist of the following:
· Minimum number of five (5) players from the sponsoring company.
· Maximum number of five (5) "outsiders." Outsiders are considered players not employed by the host team’s company, but who comply with the definition of the AMSLLA player eligibility rule above.
· Composite teams may consist of an unlimited number of players who comply with the definition of the AMSLLA player eligibility rule above.
· Any player who wishes to participate in a newly formed Composite team and works at an Agency that has a team in the League needs to obtain an exemption from the Agency team manager that he/she may play on the Composite team.
· Both Agency and Composite teams may have a maximum of three (3) non-advertising players on their rosters.
· All teams will play in the AMSLLA divisions during the regular season according to seeding based on team strength and past playing record.
· All player entries submitted for participation in the League are subject to approval by the AMSLLA Committee, who may require further proof of eligibility (for example provide a business card, work email address, or redacted pay stub, etc).
· Player eligibility forms must be submitted no later than the date indicated by the League for that year. Teams not submitting paperwork and fees on time will forfeit their first game and all subsequent games until eligibility forms and fees are received. Each player must submit a registration form. Players are not permitted to play until their registration form is approved by the Committee. Teams will forfeit games if non-approved players play.
· Players may be added to team rosters throughout the season until four (4) games before the playoffs, after which no players may be added. A player must play in four (4) regular season games to be eligible to participate in the playoffs.
· If a player works for the host company, there will no longer be a minimum games played to qualify for the playoffs. Proof may be requested to ensure the player in question is a bona fide agency employee (i.e. a redacted pay stub).
· Players changing teams must submit their revised eligibility form one week prior to their first game with the new team.
· Players may register to play on more than one team provided:
1. He/she pays the player registration fee ($20) for each team.
2. The two teams must not be in the same division (i.e. cannot be on the rosters of two B division teams).
· If you do not have at least eight players (4 guys and 4 girls) for your game, you may borrow a player ONLY to avoid a forfeit (for example, if you have 4 guys and 5 girls, you may NOT borrow a 5th guy).
· Inform the opposing captain that you need to borrow a player. That captain has the right to deny your request.
· Any player you borrow must be a currently registered AMSLLA player.
· The borrowed player will bat last in the lineup and play Right Field or Catcher for first three (3) innings of the game.
· Borrowing players will NOT be permitted during the playoffs.
If a player is found to be ineligible after the season begins, possible suspension could be enforced including:
· Ineligible player/s, and others responsible, including captains, will be suspended from the League for three games.
· Game during which offense occurred is forfeited.
Repeat offenses may result in the following:
· Team placed on probation.
· Team suspended from that year's playoffs.
· Appropriate sponsor management notified.
Players who were eligible in the year preceding the year in question, but are currently unemployed, are eligible even if they may be temporarily employed in a non-advertising related industry. If these players take a full-time non-eligible position, eligibility ceases immediately.
POST SEASON PLAY-OFF FORMAT
The post-season format will be developed once team registration is complete, and the regular season divisions and schedule have been decided.
The format may involve playoff games, which then progress to Semi-finals and Finals. However, this schedule is dependant on the scheduling and availability of fields as provided by the City, and is therefore subject to change.
Trophies and medals will be awarded at the Closing Party to teams participating in the Finals. Trophies will also be awarded to regular season Division winners.
Please refer to the Department of Recreation and Parks LA Municipal Sports Softball Rule Book for the specific rules not listed above. All rules contained here within are subject to review by the AMSLLA Committee and the interpretation of these rules is the Committee's responsibility.
These new rules are subject to change by the AMSLLA Committee after the first round of League play if the Committee feels teams are abusing the spirit of these rules.