JMS Playing Rules
Where not mentioned specifically, JMS League games will be governed by the rules of Slo-Pitch Ontario (SPO).
1.00 – Playing Procedures
1.01 – Dimensions of the diamond will be as governed by the SPO. Pitching distance will between 50 feet and 60 feet.
1.02 – A commit line of 28 feet will be added, players crossing the commit line and returning will be called out
1.03 – A mercy of 5 runs per inning will be in effect for the first 6 innings of the game. The 7th or last (as declared by the umpire) inning shall be unlimited
1.04 – Unless otherwise stated, the home team will be the team listed first in the schedule and will be the defensive team at the start of each inning
1.05 – Warm up prior to games must be restricted to the outfield. No infield warm up may take place.
1.06 – An injured player may be removed from the game, and will be skipped in the batting order without resulting in an out.
1.07 – A time limit of 60 minutes will be imposed, no new inning may begin after 60 minutes has elapsed.
1.08 – A team shall be declared winner if they are 12 or more runs ahead of the opposition after 5 complete innings (4½ if the home team is leading).
1.09 – Bases will be 65′ apart.
1.10 – All at bats will start with a 1 ball, 1 strike count
2.00 – Equipment
2.01 – Only softball bats are allowed to be used in the league. There are no restrictions on governing bodies for approval. Final ruling is judgement of the umpire.
2.02 – Pitchers and catchers and any defensive players may wear a facemask if so desired. This is optional and at the discretion of the fielder.
2.03 – Players should refrain from wearing any metal jewellery. For all other types of jewellery, if distracting the umpire may ask the player to remove it.
2.04 – Players that do not have the minimum uniform will not be eligible to play in the game. Minimum uniform consists of the league provided jersey.
2.05 – If players are wearing a hat, it must be the JMS provided hat.
2.06 – Players may wear their hats forwards or backwards without being called out at bat.
3.00 – Extra Players
3.01 – A minimum of 7 players is required to start a game. A 10 minute grace period will be given, after which the offending team will forfeit. A $75 fine will be issued in the case of a forfeit.
3.02 – A team having 7 or 8 players may request a NON-fielding catcher from their opponent. The opponent MUST provide this player.
3.03 – Late arriving players can be added to the lineup at any time in the game upon their arrival. They will assume the last position in the batting lineup
3.04 – Failure to field 7 players will result in a forfeit.
3.05 – In the case where a team has <9 players, they may request a reserve that will be assigned by the league. The number of reserves on a given team cannot exceed 4, and will not be permitted to take the available roster above 9. The team will play short handed.
4.00 – Running
4.01 – There is a limit of 5 courtesy runners per game. Any player can act as a courtesy runner for any other player.
4.01 Exception – In the case of a league exemption, players on a given team may be granted an unlimited ability to have a courtesy runner applied to them. This exemption does not discount the team’s ability to use the provisions of 4.01. There are two types of exemptions that will be granted – permanent and temporary. (a) Permanent – There will be no restrictions on this exemption, if the player wishes to run in a game, it will not impact the team’s ability to courtesy for them later at no charge. A runner running from a position parallel to home plate at the backstop may be designated, that runner can only run once the ball is hit. (b) Temporary – In this case, the player must declare at the start of the game if they are using the exemption or not. If they elect to do so, they MUST be substituted each time they reach base. If they elect not to do so, the team will be charged a courtesy runner should they ever elect to do so within the game. This election must be made prior to the game commencing.
4.02 – A courtesy runner replaces the batter after the batter has safely reached a base.
4.03 – Sliding is permitted at all bases, except home plate
4.04 – Stepping on the strike mat by a runner shall be ruled an automatic out
4.05 – Except in the case of rounding the base, stepping on the white portion of first base, and not the orange safety portion, shall be ruled an automatic out.
4.06 – Leading off is not permitted. Runners may only leave once the ball is contacted. Any player leaving early shall be declared out.
4.07 – In the event of an intentional walk, as in 6.05, the batter (or runners) will not touch the bases in sequence and can proceed directly to their awarded base. This is a dead ball award and runners advance as awarded. The defensive team cannot appeal a missed base in this scenario.
5.00 – Batting
5.01 – A foul ball on second strike will be deemed an out
5.02 – There is no home run limit in effect
5.03 – Bunting is illegal. Any player ruled to have bunted be it fair or foul shall be declared out.
6.00 – Pitching
6.01 – The pitcher must start with both feet inside the pitching circle and end with at least one foot in the pitching circle
6.02 – A pitch must be thrown between 6 feet to 12 feet high, failure to do so will result in an illegal pitch
6.03 – An illegal pitch is a live ball that can be hit or swung at. When not swung at the pitch will be automatically called a ball, regardless of where it lands
6.04 – A strike is a ball that either lands legally on home plate or the strike mat, offered at by the batter, or is fouled off.
6.05 – A designated player (1 per team indicated on the lineup card prior to start of game) issued 3 straight balls (due to 1.10) or an intentional walk to start an at bat will automatically be given a 2 base award for himself and all other players on base. If a strike is thrown then the walk rule does not apply. All other players will remain unaffected by the provisions of this rule.
6.06 – If a team wishes to intentionally walk a player, they do not need to throw a pitch. They can simply indicate their desire to walk the player. The provisions of rule 6.05 would still apply.
7.00 – Umpires
7.01 – Any rule not covered by these rules will be at the discretion of the umpire
7.02 – Any intent to injure shall be ruled an automatic ejection and is subject to suspension and/or fine.
7.03 – Any ejection will result in an automatic next game suspension. Additional suspension and fine is at the discretion of JMS Commissioner.
7.04 – An ejected player must leave the park and cannot remain on the bench, bleachers, or vicinity of the diamond.
7.05 – The umpire will monitor the timing of the game on his clock and will declare the last inning when appropriate. See 1.07.
7.06 – The umpire is the ultimate authority on the field.
8.00 – Fines & Suspensions
8.01 – A forfeit will result in an automatic $75 fine to cover the cost of the diamond and umpires – teams should advise the league as early as possible to avoid this fine.
8.02 – No profanity in any language will be tolerated. Fines will be issued according to the following stipulations. For list of players and their infraction level, please see the swearing list
(a) First Offence – $20 Fine
(b) Second Offence – $20 Fine, Player to be called out in his next AB
(c) Third and Subsequent Offences – $20 Fine, Player to be called out in his next AB, suspension from the next game
8.03 – Any player found to be consuming alcohol or using drugs will be automatically removed from the game. Suspended pending review, and be issued a $200 fine.
8.04 – Any inappropriate behaviour on the field can result in a suspension issued by the JMS Commissioner, this suspension is independent of any action taken by the umpire at the game.
8.05 – Smoking of cigarettes, cigars or other products, be they conventional or electronic, on the field or inside the dugouts will result in immediate ejection of the player committing the offence. Players are permitted to smoke outside of the dugouts and away from the playing field.
9.00 – Scoring
9.01 – Managers should submit their lineup to the scorekeeper at least 5 minutes prior to the start of the game.
9.02 – A forfeit will be ruled as a 12-0 loss (equivalent to a mercy).
9.03 – Wins will be 2 points, Ties will be 1 point, and Losses are 0 points.
9.04 – Tie breakers are as follows: Points, Wins, Fewest Losses, Run Differential (RF-RA), Runs For, Head to Head, Coin Toss
9.05 – A complete game is the completion of 4 innings (3.5 with the home team ahead)
10.00 – Salary Cap
10.01 – The league will establish a salary cap trade deadline after which any team above the cap will have a penalty applied
10.02 – The league will establish a hard trade deadline after which no trades may be made and salary cap penalties will double
10.03 – Any team over the cap will receive a 1 run penalty per $100K (rounded up to the nearest 100K) over the cap for every game that they play whilst over the cap. This penalty will double after the date set in 10.02
10.04 – If a team is able to get under the cap prior to the start of the season but after the deadline set in 10.01, they will only receive the penalty in their first game. In other cases, the penalties stipulated in 10.02 will only apply for games where the team is over the cap.
10.05 – Teams may request non-binding mediation from the league to assist with any trades. This must be requested at least 1 week before the deadline set in 10.02.
10.06 – In cases where resolution cannot be reached, teams can enter into binding arbitration where the league will determine the most suitable trade. This must be requested at least 1 week before the deadline set in 10.02.
11.00 – Disabled List
11.01 – Each team will have the ability to use at maximum of one DL (Disabled List) spot. A player designated to the disable list will need to be unavailable for 4 calendar weeks at a minimum.
11.02 – A team with 9 (and only 9) available rostered players and a player on the disabled list may request either (a) a player from the reserve list to operate in a limited capacity (C, 1B, RF) and bats last. OR (b) a non fielding catcher from their opponent.
11.03 – In the case where less than 9 players are available – the provisions of 11.02 will be removed.
11.04 – A player on the disabled list is not eligible to play in the 4 calendar weeks after they have been placed on the disabled list, even if his injury has subsided.
11.05 – If a team drops below 9 rostered players available. The disabled list has no affect, no advantages, no benefits. They will be able to use the reserve list and be its provisions as any other team.
11.06 – A player can only be placed on the disabled list when a game is not being played.
12.00 – Playoff Rules
12.01 – All provisions under rule 3.05 will be removed. No reserve players will be allowed for playoff games.
12.02 – All provisions under 11.00 Disabled list are removed.
12.03 – Provisions under 4.01 Exception (b) – Temporary – will be removed. These players will need to utilize one of the courtesy runners defined in 4.01
12.04 – Addition to 4.01 Exception (a) – Permanent. The player designated to run must face towards the 3B dugout with a hand on the fence.
12.05 – Time limits in 1.07 will be removed. All games will play at least 7 innings and require a winner.
12.06 – Extra innings will be played as normal innings and will be unlimited from a mercy perspective
12.07 – HRs do not require any bases to be touched, nor any runners to advance. It will be scored as though all runners including the batter-runner have crossed. No appeals are permitted.
Rules in red are new for 2018.
Rules are subject to change without notice