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Framingham Baseball

General Rules

PDF Version of Rules for Printing
(Rules as of 5/14/2021)
In the event that there is conflict between the rules below and the PDF version, the PDF version of the rules takes precedence.


Framingham Baseball League:

Intermediate Division Playing Rules

1      Purpose

Framingham Youth Baseball, Major League, is intended to provide a safe, fun atmosphere for all eligible youth to experience the game of baseball.  This league is intended to be primarily instructional, providing every player the opportunity to participate and be exposed to different opportunities on the baseball field.  In accordance with this, these rules have been established with the following key priorities:

·         Player and volunteer safety

·         Player instruction and development

·         Competitive balance and fairness

·         Maintain structure without impeding player enjoyment.

2      Discipline

·         All on field decisions by the umpire are final.

·         Any action reported to the commissioner that is not in accordance with the Framingham Baseball Code of Conduct, or the spirit of the league mission statement will be brought by the commissioner to the FBL Disciplinary Committee for further review.

·         Any in game ejection, by player or coach will be subject to an automatic one game suspension for the first offense.  Further ejections by the same individual will be brought to the FBL Disciplinary Committee for further review.

3      Age Eligibility

·         The baseball eligibility age range for Intermediate is 12-13.

·         An 11-year-old can play up in the Intermediate league with permission by the league

·         If a 12-year-old player is considered not ready to participate in the Intermediate division and the parents elect for that player to play Majors for one more season, permission can be granted by the league.

4      Official Roster

·         Each Head Coach/Manager, will have a roster of 10-15 players. The number of players per team will be recommended by the Commissioner of the league and approved by the Board of Directors for Framingham Baseball. The number of players per team each year is mainly dependent on the number of players that sign up to play for the league.

·         A maximum of One (1) Assistant Coach can be named on the roster before the draft

·         Each team may name a single Bench Coach/Score Person on the roster.  A Bench Coach/Score Person must be approved by the Commissioner prior to the season.

·         Only the appointed Head Coach/Manager or one of the approved Assistant Coaches can represent a team on the field.

·         The Intermediate league will retain its players once they are drafted and for as long as they are eligible to play in that league.

5      Player Absence

If a player misses a game and does NOT notify the manger prior to the game being played, then the Head Coach/Manager may withhold (not play) that player in the next game that the player does show up.  The Head Coach/Manager, if he/she chooses to exercise the team suspension, should let the opposing team Head Coach/Manager know of this situation in advance of the game being played. In any situation whereby a player will not, or did not, play the minimum playing time, the league Commissioner must be notified, ideally prior to a game being played.

6      Calling Players up for games

·         Head Coach/Managers are allowed and encouraged to call-up Majors players as needed to field a team. Ideally, the Head Coach/Manager will consider call ups needed to field a minimum of 10 players for a game.

·         The Majors Commissioner will compile a list of eligible players that seem to meet a skill level adequate to compete safely at the Intermediate level. There are no team affiliations between Majors and Intermediate. All teams will have access to the same list of players.

·         If a Majors’ player is called up to an Intermediate game, then the Majors league player shall not play more innings than any regular member of the Intermediate team.

·         A player called up to an Intermediate game cannot skip his/her Majors game in order to take advantage of a call up opportunity. A player that abuses this rule may face being eliminated from the eligibility list.  

·         Under no circumstances can a Majors player pitch in an Intermediate game. Failure to comply with this rule will result in the following: 1) Forfeiture of the game by the Intermediate team, 2) Elimination of the Majors player off the call up eligibility list, 3) Suspension of the Intermediate Head Coach/Manager for one game.

7      Game Preliminaries

Playing time

·         Every Player must play a minimum of 3 innings in the field and bat once.

·         A player that arrives late can enter a game upon arrival to the game if the player being replaced has met the minimum playing requirements, including innings and at least one at bat.  This late arriving player may not have sufficient time to meet the minimum playing requirements. A Head Coach/Manager is not required to play a late arriving player if that player does not arrive prior to the start of the 5th inning.

Batting Order

·         Each coach must exchange a written batting and available substitutes prior to the start of the game.

·         Each team is required to use all eligible players in a continuous batting order throughout the entire game, regardless of if they are playing in the field or on the bench for any given inning.

·         If a player arrives late to the game, that player will be added as the last batter in that team’s batting order for the remainder of the game.

·          

 

 

Legal Bats

·         Beginning in 2018, all bats used in LLB must bear a legible USA Baseball logo signifying that the bat meets the USABat- USA Baseball’s Youth Bat Performance Standard.  A BBCOR bat is an acceptable alternative.  Solid, one-piece wood bats do not require a USA Baseball logo.

·         Bats may not be longer than 34” nor more than 2 5/8” in diameter. 

·         An illegal bat MUST be removed from the game immediately when discovered.

·         The batter using an illegal bat shall be called out on appeal. The opposing manager may request that the umpire inspect any bats in use during the game.

·         No advancement on the bases will be allowed and any out or outs made during a play involving an illegal bat shall stand.

·         If an illegal bat is detected after the at bat and the batter has reached base successfully and a pitch has been thrown to a new batter, the batter that reached base will be called out, runners will return to their original bases, and the at bat will continue for the current batter.

·         If an illegal bat is detected after the at bat and the batter has not reached base successfully, all remains in place. The bat will be removed from the game.

·         If after the game is over an illegal bat is detected, the Head Coach/Manager who found the bat to be illegal must speak with the Commissioner of their league to ensure the integrity of the league has not been taken for granted. The Commissioner will be responsible for directing the removal of the bat and take disciplinary actions if called for.

·         If a player is found to have more than 1 instance of using an illegal bat, the player and Head Coach/Manager will be ejected from the game and suspended for one game by the league Commissioner for each instance thereafter.

Minimum Number of Players for a Game

·         A game can start and be played with 8 players. However, excessive situations where only 8 players are presented for games may result in a suspension of the Head Coach/Manager by the league Commissioner. It is the responsibility of the Head Coach/Manager to communicate the importance of prior notification for player absences and leveraging of the player call up option.

·         No game can be started with less than 8 players.  Any team with less than 8 players will need to forfeit the game.

1      Starting and Ending a Game

Game Duration

·         Curfews are not enforced when the following day is NOT a Framingham Public School class day.

·         For regular season games: No new inning may begin after 1:45 minutes after the first pitch.  The game shall have a 2:15 hard time limit.  For example, typical weekday games should start at 7:45 PM. No inning should start after 9:30 PM, if game starts on time. The game will have a hard stop of 10:00 PM.  These time limits are to be applied and enforced to any official regular season game.  

·         All regular games that played 6 regular innings and are tied, shall play only one extra inning if they are still within the curfew guidelines.  If the game is still tied after the 7 innings, the game will end as a tie.  

·         There are no curfews in effect for the Playoffs or World Series.

·         An inning starts the moment the preceding inning ends.  The umpire’s clock is official.

·         In the spirit of fair play, no member of either team, their coaches, and/or players will deliberately delay the progress of an inning to take unfair advantage of this rule.  The game will be subject to protest by the opposing team and/or their coaches if this should occur.  Team meetings when coming off the field should be kept to less than a minute. 

Official Game

·         A complete game is 6 innings.

·         A game becomes official once 4 innings or 3½ innings (if the home team is winning) have been completed.

·         A time limit of 2 hours and 15 minutes will be enforced for all games. No new inning can begin after 1 hour and 45 minutes. Games will end in a tie if they are an official game, and the time limit has been met. This applies to weekdays, as well as games that begin at 7pm or later.  If a game begins prior to 7pm on a weekend, the home team have their final at bat if losing.  The home team will also have their final at bat if the game is not official and the home team still needs to bat.  The umpire's watch is the official time.

·         If an active game that is not officially completed becomes suspended or delayed due to weather, curfew, darkness, etc., it will be resumed at the point of interruption.  The game will not be replayed in its entirety from the beginning.  Both teams should mark their books with game status and ensure that they are in synch prior to leaving the field.  If the game is official and a winner can be determined, the game will be considered complete.  If a winner cannot be determined, then the game is considered suspended. It is the responsibility of the Home Team Head Coach/Manager to inform the Commissioner within 24 hrs of the suspension of the game that the game was suspended, and a winner had not yet been determined. Failure to do report the incomplete game will result in a forfeit for the home team. All pitching that occurred during the game will not be erased and any limits and required rest will still be enforced, regardless of suspension or completion.

·         A suspended game will be continued at the next available date as determined by the Commissioner.  In most cases, this will be the next time the teams play each other.

·         All coaches and players are expected to appear at the field for the scheduled game time unless officially notified by the league or Commissioner.

·         Mercy Rule: If either team is leading by 12 runs or more after 4 complete innings or 3 ½ innings if the home team is leading, the game will be considered complete.

·         There is no cap on how many steals a team can have during an inning. 

·         If the catcher drops the ball on a 3rd strike, the batter can run to first base if the base is open.  Once the batter turns to the dugout, then he gave himself up and cannot turn around to run to 1st base. 

On-Field Postponement

·         If both teams are at the field and the weather and/or field conditions are an issue and prior to the first pitch of the game, the home team Head Coach/Manager will make the final decision related to the ability to start the game.  Player safety should be the primary factor when making this decision.

·         Once a game has officially started, it is the decision of the umpires as to whether or not a game should be continued.

·         The home team Head Coach/Manager is responsible for notifying the Commissioner that a game needs to be rescheduled or continued.

 

9      Pitching

·         All players on a roster are eligible to pitch.

·         Refer to rule 6 related to call ups

·         Rest Rules, PitchSmart guidelines will be followed (http://m.mlb.com/pitchsmart/pitching-guidelines/) and administered as listed below:

 

Age

Daily Max Pitches

Required Rest (Pitches)

0 Days

1 Day

2 Days

3 Days

4 Days

11

85

1 - 20

21 - 35

36 - 50

51 - 65

66 or more

12

13

 

·         Any pitches thrown in a suspended or delayed game will count against the pitcher’s total and all rest rules will still be in effect.

·         A coach my inform the opposing coach that the pitcher’s next batter will be their last before beginning the at bat.  In doing so, the pitcher must be removed after that players at bat and only the first pitch of that at bat will be recorded in their pitch count for purposes of required rest.   i.e if you want Johnny to stop at 65 pitches for 3-day rest.  He is at 60 pitches with his last batter coming up and pitches 10 balls to get the ball in play or strike out the batter, the official pitch count on the book will be 65. 

Coaches need to check pitch count after each ½ inning. If a discrepancy exists, then we go to the books and if there is still a disagreement, the home team’s counter will govern.

Note: Bookkeeper MUST track ALL pitches including foul balls. The pitch count recorder must provide the current pitch count for any pitcher when requested by either coach or any umpire. However, the HEAD COACH is responsible for knowing when his/her pitcher must be removed. The league will purchase counters for each team.

·         Home coach needs to confirm pitch counts with the Visiting coach at end of game. The Home coach must report game score and pitch counts on league web site within 24 hours of the completion of game.

·         Coaches are reminded that they should be mindful of players who pitch for other leagues and consider the amount of pitches thrown in total when considering pitcher usage in the FBL. 

10  Playing Rules

Pitching

Visits to the Mound

·         A coach may make one trip per inning to the mound with a maximum of two trips per game per pitcher.  On the third trip to the mound in the game for the same pitcher, that pitcher must be removed from the pitcher position. If a coach visits the mound twice in one inning (excluding injury) with the same pitcher, that pitcher must be removed.

·      As per baseball rules, a visit is any time a coach crosses the foul lines to visit the mount, except in case of an injury.

Starter Re-Entry

·         Any pitcher in the game cannot return to pitch in the same game once they are removed from the position.

Pitching Rubber

·         The pitcher’s foot must be in contact with the rubber at the start of his/her motion.

·         Losing contact with the pitching rubber will constitute a balk.

·         Pitching off the side of the rubber is not allowed.

·         Each pitcher is entitled to 1 balk warning (should the pitcher balk) in each game.  When this occurs, the umpire and coaches will explain why a balk was called to educate the player.  If the infraction takes place again with the same pitcher in the same game, then the balk rule will be enforced.

The Batter

Helmets must be worn by all players while at bat, running the bases, on a base, on deck, or coaching a base.  A helmet cage is not required for this division but can be used if a player desire.

 

The Runner

On any force play, the runner must slide on the ground feet first before the base and in a direct line between the two bases. It is permissible for the slider’s momentum to carry him through the base in the baseline extended. (The situation governing whether a player was required to slide is solely based on umpire discretion). The intent of the force-play-slide rule is to ensure the safety of all players. This is a safety as well as an interference rule. Whether the defense could have completed the double play has no bearing on the applicability of this rule. This rule pertains to a force-play situation at any base, regardless of the number of outs.  This rule excludes running thru first base. 

An exception to the rule is that a runner need not slide directly into a base if the runner slides or runs in a direction away from the fielder to avoid making contact or altering the play of the fielder. Interference shall not be called.

a.    “On the ground” = slide with one leg and buttock on the ground before the base.

b.    “Directly into a base” = the runner’s entire body (feet, legs, trunk and arms) must stay in a straight line between the bases.

·         Contact with a fielder is legal and interference shall not be called if the runner makes a legal slide directly to the base and in the baseline extended.  If contact occurs on top of the base as a result of a “pop-up” slide, this contact is legal.

·         Actions by a runner are illegal and interference shall be called if:

a.    The runner slides or runs out of the base line in the direction of the fielder and alters the play of a fielder (with or without contact);

b.    The runner uses a rolling or cross-body slide and either makes contact with or alters the play of a fielder;

c.     The runner’s raised leg makes contact higher than the fielder’s knee when in a standing position;

d.    The runner slashes or kicks the fielder with either leg; or

e.    The runner illegally slides toward or contacts the fielder even if the fielder makes no attempt to throw to complete a play.

·         With less than two outs, the batter-runner, as well as the interfering runner, shall be declared out and no other runner(s) shall advance.

·         With two outs, the interfering runner shall be declared out and no other runner(s) shall advance.

·         If the runner’s slide or collision is flagrant, the runner shall be ejected from the contest.

·         If the bases are loaded with no outs, a double-play attempt is made, and interference is called, all other runners must return to their original bases.

·         If the base moves when the runner slides and the runner loses contact with the base the runner is considered safe, and should not move until time is called.  If the runner moves to the new position of the base, he is still safe if in the opinion of the umpire the player was not attempting to advance.

·         Any runner is out when the runner slides headfirst into a base.  The only exception to this rule is returning to a base previously occupied.

·         Any runner is out when the runner does not slide or attempt to avoid contact with a fielder who has the ball or attempting to make a play on the ball.  If contact occurs between the runner and fielder at a base, the runner shall be called out.   

11  Tie Breakers

In order to seed teams for playoffs and the World Series the following sequence will determine the positioning of teams with identical wins and losses.  These tiebreakers are to be applied in the following order.
TWO WAY TIES:

·         Head to head competition

·         Division record

·         Least runs allowed head to head

·         Most runs scored head-to head

·         Record against other playoff teams

·         Least runs allowed over the entire system

·         Coin flip by the Commissioner

THREE or MORE WAY TIES:
The above sequence is applied.  As soon as a tie is broken, the winner of the tie is the next seed and any remaining teams begin the tie breaking sequence again from the top, until all ties have been broken.

12  Post Season Tournament

All teams will make the playoffs.  Format, byes, etc. will depend on how many teams are in the league in a given year.  Teams will be seeded 1 through n and play each other in a double elimination format.  Same pitching rules will apply during the post-season, the pitch count does not reset from regular season to post season.

 

13  Draft

·         This draft applies only to players new to the division and playing them on a team.  Players who were in the division the prior year will remain on the same team as the prior year. 

·          The new player draft will be run as a "SNAKE Draft", in odd numbered rounds, the draft order will be ascending, starting with draft position 1.  In even rounds, the draft order will be descending, starting with the last pick in the previous round.

·         Order of the draft will be as follows:

a.    Teams grouped by round of playoff elimination.  Earliest elimination drafts first.  For teams eliminated in the same round, reverse order of regular season seeding.

b.    If a loser bracket was used, the loser bracket runner up has the third to last selection.

c.     World series runner up.

d.    World series champion.

·         Prior to the start of the draft, all new to the division players (sons or daughters) of the head coach and assistant coach (up to 1 assigned assistant coach/team) and new players that are siblings of returning players to the league will be assigned a draft round, with consideration given to the team’s draft order.  This will be considered an automatic draft pick when that teams selection occurs in the draft and no other team may draft those players.  The final decision of the round of a given player is the sole discretion of the commissioner.  

·         No trades are permitted, either for players or draft picks.

·         “Carpooling” and “being with friends” requests are NOT considered MANDATORY reasons for drafting players. We encourage coaches to honor such requests when the request does not impact our league parity. These requests must have the unanimous agreement of all coaches in division.

·         No collusion between coaches is permitted.  

·         The roster size of teams will be communicated before the start of the draft by the commissioner.  Each team will be required to draft players until the specified number of players as decided by the commissioner is filled by the team.  If the combination of registered returning players and newly drafted players is fulfilled, the team will no longer make selections in the draft and their draft position will be skipped in further rounds.  

·         In the event that an uneven number of players are required by each team (for example, half of the teams require 12 players, and the other half 13), the higher number roster sizes will be required to be fulfilled before a team is allowed to discontinue drafting (ie, in the above scenario, if team A makes a selection that brings their roster to 12, then team B makes a selection that brings their team to 12, and one more team needs to have 13 players, team B will make their next round selection to get to 13 players.

14  Coaching Responsibilities

Pre-Season

·         All head coaches, assistant and bench coaches must read and agree to the FBL Code of Conduct. (https://www.framinghambaseball.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1328207)

·         A maximum of One (1) Assistant Coach can be named on the roster before the draft, each manager may submit to the league commissioner.  After the draft, a list of all coaches and assistants must be approved by the commissioner and the board and undergo a CORI background check prior to the season per FBL Bylaws.

·         Coaches will attend any required pre-season meetings or clinics as communicated by the commissioner.

·         Obtain before the season and return at season end the team’s equipment.

In-Season   

·         Coaches will contact all team parents/players to inform them of team placement, coaches contact information and first games and practices.

·         Contact the commissioner to request additional practice field time, in game issues or violations of the league Code of Conduct or needs to reschedule games.

·         Coaches must ensure at least one approved coach is at the field with the team equipment at least 30 minutes prior to game start.

In-Game

·         All coaches must remain in close proximity to the dugout entrance.  A coach should not go further towards the foul line than the coach’s box in front of their dugout and should not go closer to home plate than the dugout entrance.  Exceptions to this are:

a.    Base coaching

b.    Mound visits

c.     Communicating with the umpire or opposing coach

d.    Checking on an injured player

e.    Pre and post-game

·         Coaches must assist the umpire and other league representatives to ensure the safety of all players, coaches, umpires and spectators.

·         No person shall represent a team on the field without approval of the Board of Directors.

·         Each team may only have a maximum of 3 league approved field coaches for that team during a game.  Parents, guardians, siblings and other guests must stay outside the dugout and off of the field during the game.

·         Each team shall designate a representative to keep score and pitch counts for their team.

·         The coaches/parents of the home team are expected to arrive at the field prior to the start of the game to perform any necessary field activities (rake the field, place bases, etc.).

·         The home team shall also find a volunteer to operate the scoreboard at the field if one is operable there.

 

 

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Framingham Baseball, Inc.

PO Box 1053 
Framingham, Massachusetts 01701

Email Us: [email protected]
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