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) A player injured in game may be removed from the game, and will be skipped in the batting order without resulting in an out, with the exception of the injury occurring during the players AB.
(ii) Any player leaving the lineup for non in game 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 (non in game injury reasons) 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.
(vi) A player being removed from the game using the provisions of 1.08 (i) may not play in the next game on the same day. If, however, they use the provisions of 1.08 (ii), they are permitted to play in the next game on the same day.
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(a) – 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
3.03(b) – If a team become reserve eligible mid game (e.g. 11 FT players and one gets injured/leaves early), a reserve player may be added to the lineup. They will assume the last position in the batting lineup.
3.04 – Failure to field 7 players will result in a forfeit.
3.05(a) – In the case that a team has 10 or fewer players, it MUST call up at least 1 reserve player (subject to availability). In the event that the team requires more than two reserves, the team will play short handed, provided that it has the minimum number of players (7) to field a team.
3.05(b) – A team that uses ONE reserve in a given week MUST give the other reserve the first opportunity to play the next time the team needs a reserve.
3.06 – Reserves can play any position defensively, however, must bat at the bottom of the lineup.
3.07 – No full-time player will be benched for 3 innings or more for a reserve(s) during a game.

4.00 – Running

4.01 – Subject to 4.01(b), there is a limit of 4 courtesy runners per game. Any player can act as a courtesy runner for any other player.
4.01(a) – Each team may declare a designated player prior to the beginning of a game who may be replaced as a base runner by a courtesy runner an unlimited number times, provided that the player reaches at least first base. The courtesy runner MUST be the player that made last out. If no previous outs have been recorded in the inning it will be the player that made the last out in the prior inning, unless it is the first inning, in which case it will be the immediately prior player in the lineup that is not on base. A team that has declared a designated player does not have to use a courtesy runner each time the designated player reaches base.
4.01(b) – If the team elects to use the designated player in 4.01(a), it will have a limit of 3 courtesy runners per game.
4.01(c) – A designated player CANNOT be a courtesy runner for another player during that game.
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 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 – 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.
6.06 – Each team is given 3 at-bat protections per game. The team must declare a batter is protected before he steps into the batter’s box. If a protected batter walks on 3 straight balls with no strikes thrown or if he is intentionally walked, that player goes directly to second base and all runners on-base advance two bases, i.e. they do not need to be forced to advance. A team can use their 3 protected at-bats on any 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 – Reserve players are only eligible to participate in the playoffs if; a) The reserve brings the roster total to 9 players or less. b) Approval from Admin has been obtained.
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.

Rules in red are new or have been updated for 2024.

Rules are subject to change without notice