JMS Playing Rules

Where not mentioned specifically, JMS League games will be governed by the rules of NSA Canada (NSA).

1.00 – Playing Procedures

1.01 – Dimensions of the diamond will be as governed by the NSA. 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 – League activities shall halt for salaat (prayer) time, as designated on the weekly schedule.
1.07 – In the case of 1.06, all league activities shall resume once salaat time has concluded. Any activity on the infield and outfield is strictly prohibited, and may result in possible suspensions.
1.08 – Rules below govern players leaving a lineup
(i) An injured player may be removed from the game, and will be skipped in the batting order without resulting in an out.
(ii) Any player leaving the lineup for non injury reasons will be declared out only in their next AB. They will simply be skipped thereafter. If a player leaves in the middle of an AB they will be declared out in that AB and their next time up at bat.
(iii) If a team roster falls below 7 active players due to 1.08 (i) or (ii) the team will forfeit the game at that point. The game will not continue. See 9.02 (No fines shall apply)
(iv) If a player is found to have faked an injury to benefit from the provisions of 1.08 (i) they will be suspended for a minimum of 3 games, subject to review by the JMS Admin.
(v) Any player using any of the provisions in 1.08 (i) or (ii) may not return to play in the same game.
1.09 – A time limit of 60 minutes will be imposed, no new inning may begin after 60 minutes has elapsed.
1.10 – 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).
1.11 – Bases will be 65′ apart.
1.12 – All at bats will start with a 1 ball, 1 strike count

2.00 – Equipment

2.01 – JMS League only allows the use of Softball Bats that have either (or both) of the two stamps on it below. Any bats that do not have these stamps will be deemed illegal and cannot be used for league play.

2.02 – JMS League HIGHLY recommends protective equipment for softball. This includes, but is not limited to, batting helmets, facemasks, shin guards, chest protectors. (please note: that the use of any form of protective equipment is at the individual participants discretion unless the league/tournament the participant chose to play in has made certain protective equipment mandatory within their guidelines and or rules) NOTE: Any player that teases or taunts another player for using ANY form of protective equipment shall be immediately ejected from the game with no warning.
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. Exceptions can be made for players that have medical reasons, but are done so at the discretion of the JMS League Admin.
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 <10 players, they may request up to 2 players from the wait list. The roster may not exceed 10 players. In the event that the team requires more than two reserves, the team will play short handed.
3.06 – Wait list players will be restricted to playing RF, 1B, or C and must bat at the bottom of the lineup.

4.00 – Running

4.01 – There is a limit of 4 courtesy runners per game. Any player can act as a courtesy runner for any other player.
4.01 Exception (a) 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. This is a permanent exemption. 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. The last out of the previous inning will run from a position parallel to home plate, that runner can only run once the ball is hit. If there is no last out, the team may designate a runner of their choosing.
4.01 Exception (b) – Henceforth known as the Ali Zia rule. If a doctor’s note is provided to the league to confirm the player’s inability to run – they will be given provisions similar to 4.01 Exception (a). The only difference is that this type of exception will reduce the team’s courtesy runners by 1, and will allow for this runner to be replaced as an additional courtesy runner should they reach base safely. Players being granted this exception have no option to run for themselves.
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. Sliding at home plate will result in an automatic out.
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. However, an “anticipation step” is allowed by runners on base after the ball has reached the plate or has been offered at. Any player deemed to have left early by the umpires shall be declared out.

5.00 – Batting

5.01 – A foul ball on second strike will be deemed an out
5.02 – Bunting is illegal. Any player ruled to have bunted be it fair or foul shall be declared out.
5.03 – 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.

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 10 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 – 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.

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 1.09.
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 – Playoff Rules

10.01 – Wait list players are not eligible to participate in the playoffs.
10.02 – Any uniform violation will result in an out in the next AB. Uniform violations include lack of appropriate league provided jersey or wearing a non-JMS provided hat (any year). If there are multiple uniform violations, then multiple ABs, equalling the number of violations, will be ruled as outs for that batter. Traded players will be granted a uniform exemption and will not be required to wear the JMS League provided jersey, the hat must still be the JMS provided hat.
10.03 – Games will be extended to 70 minutes no new inning and must have a winner. Ties must be played until there is a winner. Extra innings will be played as regular innings.

11.00 – COVID-19 Rules

11.01 – JMS will provide gaitor style masks that are recommended for use throughout play and whenever players are within the facility
11.02 – There is to be no form of gathering for huddles within a team or any other physical celebration contact with your team or the opposing team following the game
11.03 – No personal ball bags, or equipment allowed in the players bench area. Once you arrive at the game and your dugout side is determined, pick a spot along the fence or out of the play line, etc. and then put your personal equipment in this area. Please make sure all your teammates respect the rules of social distancing when picking their own areas to store equipment
11.04 – Each team will be provided with a game ball, they are to keep that game ball for their team and bring it on to the field when they are on defence.
11.05 – JMS encourages all players and spectators to maintain social distancing where possible
11.06 – Any player that fails to submit their waiver the day before the scheduled games will not be permitted to play. Should that player participate – the team will receive a forfeit and be subject to both rule 9.02 for score, and rule 8.01 for fines.

Rules in red are new or have been updated for 2021.

Rules are subject to change without notice