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While a majority of the rules that follow directly come from the MSBL/MABL Rules and Regulations – January 2016, there are issues which are tournament-specific. With this thought in mind, the National Rules Committee has put together these rules, which will apply for this year’s tournaments. These rules, as they relate to the MSBL/MABL National Tournaments, are definitive and supersede any other sets of rules that the MSBL/MABL, or your local league, may have.
There will be no requirement that all
team members wear matching uniform tops and hats at our four January – May
tournaments (Holiday Classic, Desert Classic, Kickoff Classic, Las Vegas
Open). We would encourage teams to try
and match uniform tops as best as possible. For the World Series and Fall Classic, the rule is mandatory for
matching uniforms and hats! In
addition, uniform numbers are mandatory on the back of the uniform shirts and
each player must have a differentiating number. In the World Series and Fall Classic, a player may be denied
participation without a matching uniform or "select” number. All Base Coaches must be in full uniform as
All batters and runners must wear a
helmet with at least one earflap. The
MSBL/MABL strongly urges that all helmets are double ear flapped, but at a
minimum, the batter’s ear that faces the pitcher must be covered by an earflap.
Catchers, while playing defense, must
wear a protective helmet.
All base coaches are also required to
wear protective head gear while on the field of play and be in full uniform.
There will be NO deviations/exemptions from this
No alcoholic beverages of any kind are
permitted on the field during any National Tournament game. Please keep the consumption of these types of
beverages limited to those areas away from the field or dugouts, and are also
excluded from parking lots! Any
participant who is found to be drinking during a game will be ejected and is
subject to expulsion from the tournament.
is also not permitted in the parking lot of any fields used for our national
Divisions are Wood Bat Only. Composite and
metal-wood bats are permissible for Wood Bat only divisions. Upon protest, the penalty for using an
illegal bat will be an out for the violating player.
Teams must have eight (8) players for
an official game. The team may borrow
one player from the opposing team if the manager of this team consents. The team with eight may also borrow a player
from a team other than the one that they are playing if, and only if, the
opposing manager consents. Games will be
forfeited if a team can not field at least eight players within 15 minutes of
the scheduled start time, or officially adjusted starting time. If a team has nine players only and therefore
bats nine players only, the opposing team will have the option of batting nine
players as well.
that will need courtesy runners must have their manager notify the opposing
manager and home plate umpire at the home plate meeting. Otherwise, the opposing manager has the right
to refuse the courtesy runner. Each team
will be allowed a maximum of two players per game who can be classified as
needing a courtesy runner. Each time a
designated player reaches base, he will call time out and at that point will be
replaced by the last batted out. If the
last batted out also is listed as needing a courtesy runner, the second to last
batted out will run. In the case that no
outs have been recorded when the designated player reaches base, the last
batter in the lineup will act as the last batted out.
the event that a player becomes injured during a game, and the maximum number
of courtesy runners (2) have been designated, a pinch runner must be used and
no courtesy runner will be allowed.
the offensive team replaces the runner with the wrong courtesy runner (a player
that was not the last batted out) and the opposing team protests before the
next pitch, then the original runner must run and the right to use the courtesy
runner for this particular batter will be forfeited for the balance of the
the original runner inadvertently runs for himself and the opposing team
protests after the first pitch, the right to use the courtesy runner for this
particular batter will be forfeited for the balance of the game.
the right to use a courtesy runner is forfeited by violating any of the three
rules above, the offending team will not have the right to use another courtesy
runner for an injured player.
example: A team designates 2 courtesy runners prior to the game and in the 4thinning, one of the designated runners inadvertently runs for himself. That player then forfeits his right to a
courtesy runner for the remainder of the game and the team may only use the one
other courtesy runner originally designated. Should a player get injured after this, that player must be pinch run
the event of an A/B batting position batter needing a courtesy runner, the
other batting position would be the courtesy runner. (For example: If the position B batter needs a courtesy
runner, the A batter will be the courtesy runner for B instead of the last
55+/60+/65+/70+/73+ Divisions can must the Shared Batting Position Rule only. The manager uses two players to share one
batting position in the offensive lineup and during the game the manager
decides who bats each time the batting position comes up. This can be implemented at the start of a
game or can be added anytime during the game. He can then use the other player to run if he chooses to do so. There is no limit to the number of shared
line-up positions. Any player sharing a
batting position is locked in that position for the duration of the game and
cannot be used in any other batting order position. This rule replaces both A/B and courtesy
runners. If teams choose to use the A/B
and Courtesy Runner instead of the Shared Runner, they are entitled.
the sake of fairness and accuracy, the entire team’s roster, including last
names and numbers and not just the starting lineups, must be exchanged by teams
before the start of each game.
Rules Committee suggests that teams come to the event with a complete prepared
roster form with all of the above stated information.
Each manager has the prerogative to bat
as many players in his initial lineup as long as there are at least ten (10)
hitters. If the manager wishes to add
players to the bottom of the lineup (i.e. hitting positions 11, 12, 13, 14,
etc.), he may do so at any time. Added
players to the bottom of the line-up may be added as individual hitters or as
A/B. Any added player to the bottom of
the lineup or pinch hitter must notify the opposing team manager of the batting
order change. If no notification is
made, and proper protest is made, an automatic out will be assessed to that
batter. If a player is pinch hit for, he
may not re-enter the game as a hitter, but may stay in the game
defensively. Batters may not be deleted
or skipped over, regardless of their batting position or when they were added
to the game. If a team increases the
size of their lineup to 15 hitters, they must always have 15 hitters in their
lineup. If a team has more than 9
players and still only bats 9, they will be assessed an out each time the 10thbatting position is skipped. Batting
only 9 players is NOT a protestable offense.
An exception exists to this aspect of
the rule. If a player is forced to leave
a game due to injury or ejection, a reserve player, not previously entered into
the game as a hitter, must hit in the replaced batter’s place. If there are no reserves who can replace the
individual, the spot is skipped and all hitters below that position move up.
The first time this vacated spot comes up in the batting order, an out will be
assessed. After that one time, no out
will be recorded for skipping the spot vacated by the displaced player.
A team MAY declare at the time that
lineups are exchanged prior to the start of play that any batting order
position will be occupied by two (2) players in each such batting
position. That is, 3A/3B, 10A/10B, etc. The first time that position 3 gets an at
bat, 3A would hit and the next time this slot hits, 3B would be up. Then 3A hits the third time this spot in the
order comes up, and so on, alternating between these two players throughout the
game. Once a team declares the use of
this A/B system, it must continue using it for the remainder of the game.
Hitters in the A/B position from the batting order may be pinch hit for, just
as any other player. An A/B position may
be added to the bottom of the lineup at any time during the game. Teams can not add a "B” batter to an existing
lineup spot once the game begins.
the case that a team bats a player not designated on the roster given to the
home plate umpire and the opposing team, that player, upon proper protest, will
be found illegal and declared out after one pitch is thrown. The opposing team must protest this illegal
player at the time of the offense. Penalties will not be retroactive and teams may not protest the use of
this illegal player once the game is completed. If the team feels the player is not on the team’s tournament roster,
then the protest needs to be lodged.
the case that a team has mistakenly put the wrong numbers for their players on
the lineup given to the home plate umpire and the opposing team, the team will
correct the error(s) with no penalty.
penalty for a team having a player bat out of turn is an out, if protested
before the first pitch. All
55+/60+/65+/70+/73+ Divisions have the option of using the Shared Batting
All players may be substituted for, at
any time, except the pitcher. Defensive
players need not be in your batting order. In regards to substituting for the pitcher, if he is removed from the
mound, he may only re-enter as a pitcher once in a game and must wait until the
start of the next inning before he can resume pitching regardless of whether he
stays in the game (i.e. as the right fielder). This can only be done once per game, irrespective of the number of
Needless to say, this is a critical
issue surrounding the integrity of our league and the individual team. A manager has the right to question the age
of opposing team members and we therefore require that all players/managers
carry some form of photo identification (government or state issued) that
indicates their date of birth. All
participants should keep this identification with them during all games and if
a manager believes that a player is underage, he should play the game under
protest by notifying the home plate umpire and the opposing team manager. This protest must then be filed in person at
the National Tournament Headquarters and the Rules Committee will hear the case
promptly. If it is found that a player
or players should not be participating in the tournament, then the offending
team will forfeit that game on which the protest was filed, and any other games
the offending individual participated in.
must be 18 years of age by the first game of their respective divisions to
participate. There is no upward age
limit for the MABL Division, therefore anyone over the age of 18 can be a part
of the MABL event. In order to
participate in the Father/Son division, sons must be at least 16 years of age.
National Tournament Rules Committee will continue its position regarding the
ruling that all individuals that play in the 25+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+, 60+,
65+, 70+ and 73+ Divisions must turn 25, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 or 73
during the calendar year. Therefore, if
a player turns 25, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 or 73 by December 31, 2017,
he is eligible to participate in his respective division without an age
MSBL Tournament Staff reserves the right to grant an age exemption when proper
reasons allow. All age exemption
requests MUST be submitted IN WRITING to the national office. The Tournament Staff will have copies of all
accepted waivers at the tournament and it is strongly suggested the team that
requested the exemption carry a copy of the approved exemption with them. (See
exemption information in prior file).
National Tournament games, with the potential exception of some playoff
situations, are scheduled to be 9 innings in length. However, due to the large load of games to be
played and our schedule constraints, no inning may start after 3:00 of the
actual start time, not the scheduled start time. (For January – May National tournaments, this
may be changed to 2:30 or 2:45.) The
official start of the clock is with the first pitch. Please keep in mind that all inningsthat start before you reach the 3:00 point must be played to completion. There is no reverting back to the last inning
or starting a new inning if the score is tied and you have played 3:02,
etc. If, during the home team’s at bat,
time expires with the home team leading, the game will stop at the point the 3
hour time limit has been reached. Once
the 3rd out is recorded in the bottom of an inning, the new inning
immediately begins. For example, if the
third out is recorded in the bottom of the 8th inning and 2 hours
and 58 minutes have elapsed in the game clock, the 9th inning
immediately begins and may be started.
cannot arbitrarily stop a game (quit) if the score is lopsided and the team
that is losing decides it does not want anymore runs scored against them. If a team "quits” before the time limit or 9
innings, the final score will be changed to reflect 10 additional runs times
the # of unplayed innings. The game must
be played a minimum of 5 innings/2 hours for this rule to be in effect. In addition, no team can arbitrarily forfeit
a game because they will "benefit” by not playing. Any team that purposefully forfeits a game
will be ineligible for the playoffs.
can still end in a tie and standings are determined by points. For example, your team will receive two
points for every win you post, one point for a tie and zero points for a loss. Obviously, the team with the most points will
win their respective division and advance to the playoffs.
The rules committee is
concerned about possible unnecessary and violent collisions that may occur with
the catcher at home plate, and with infielders at all bases. The intent of this
rule is to encourage base runners and defensive players to avoid such
collisions whenever possible.
When there is a collision between a runner and a fielder who clearly is in
possession of the ball, the umpire shall judge:
Whether the collision by the runner was avoidable (could the runner have
reached the base without colliding) or unavoidable (the runner’s path to the
base was blocked) or
Whether the runner actually was attempting to reach the base (plate) or
attempting to dislodge the ball from the fielder.
the runner, a) could have avoided the collision and reached the base, or b)
attempted to dislodge the ball, the runner shall be declared out even if the
fielder loses possession of the ball. The ball is dead and all other base
runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the
(3) If the fielder blocks the path of the base runner to the
base (plate), the runner may make contact or slide into, a fielder as long as
the runner is making a legitimate attempt to reach the base or plate.
(4) If the collision by the runner was flagrant, the runner
shall be declared out and also ejected from the contest. The ball shall be
If the defensive player blocks the base (plate) or base line clearly without possession
of the ball, obstruction shall be called. The runner is safe and an immediate
dead ball shall be called.
(1) If the base runner collides flagrantly, the
runner shall be declared safe on the
but will be ejected from the contest. The ball is dead.
fielder may use a decoy only if it serves a strategic purpose. For example, if a fielder, who sees a man attempting
to steal second base during a hit and run, looks upward into the sky and says
that he’s got the pop-up when in fact the ball has been hit on ground is a
legal decoy as it may cause the runner to retreat to first base and prevent him
if a fielder fakes a tag, forcing a player to slide, when there is no strategic
purpose or apparent play, the runner will be ruled safe and all runners will
advance one base.
is entirely an umpire judgment decision and not a rule that may be protested.
Force Play Slide Rule
The intent of the
force-play-slide rule is to ensure the safety of the defensive player. 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.
On any force play, the runner must slide on the ground and in a direct line
between the two bases.
Exception—A runner need not slide
directly into a base as long as the runner slides or runs in a direction away
from the fielder to avoid making contact or altering the play of the fielder.
"On the ground” means either a head-first slide or a slide with one leg and
buttock on the ground.
"Directly into a base” means the runner’s entire body (feet, legs, trunk and
arms) must stay in a straight line between the bases.
(3) If a runner goes into a base standing up and
does not make contact or alter the play of the defensive player, interference
shall not be called.
Contact with a fielder is legal and interference shall not be called if the runner:
Makes a legal slide directly to the base, or
Is on the ground at the time of contact and the fielder moves directly down the
line between the two bases to attempt a play.
Makes a legal slide and makes contact with a defensive player who is on or
over, but not beyond, the base.
(4) When the base runner slides beyond the base,
but does not (a) make contact with, or (b) alter the play of the defensive
player, interference shall not be called.
Actions by a runner are illegal and interference shall be called if:
The runner slides or runs out of the base line in the direction of the fielder;
The runner uses a rolling, cross-body or pop-up slide and either makes contact
with or alters the play of a fielder;
The runner’s raised leg makes contact higher than the fielder’s knee when in a
The runner goes beyond the base and either makes contact with or alters the
play of the fielder;
(a) Beyond the base” means any part of the
offensive player’s body makes contact with or alters the play of the fielder
beyond the base.
The runner slashes or kicks the fielder with either leg;
The runner illegally slides toward or contacts the fielder even if the fielder
makes no attempt to throw to complete a play.
(1) With less than two outs, the batter-runner, as
well as the interfering runner, shall be declared out and no other runner(s)
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
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
Each team is allowed to intentionally
walk an opposing team player once in a game. Therefore, the total number of intentional walks each team is allowed
each game is one. All four pitches must
If a team attempts an intentional walk
twice in a game, the home plate umpire must stop play and have the catcher
resume his defensive position behind the plate. A balk will be called and any runners on base will advance one base.
If a pitcher hits four (4) batters in
one game, the pitcher must be removed.
All protests must be lodged with the
Tournament Director within a reasonable time frame after the completion of the
game in question. All protests will be
decided by the Rules Committee.
Protests regarding a player’s
eligibility must be made before the game or as soon as the player in question
enters the game, offensively or defensively or directly right after the game.
In the event of a rained out game or
games, every effort will be made to make up the contest(s), but this is not
Determination of eligibility to
participate in the MSBL/MABL National Tournaments will be based solely on the
decision of the National Tournaments Rules Committee.
To be eligible to play
in the playoffs and championship game, a player must have had at least one
plate appearance in 2 round robin games or have pitched 3 outs in each of 2
round robin games or a combination of the two (ie: Pitch 3 outs in one game and
1 plate appearance in another) within the preliminary round robin. This must be documented in your scorebook and
the scorebook of your opponent or the player(s) would be deemed ineligible.
order for a player to participate in the 2017 National Tournaments, he must be
a member of a team from that MSBL/MABL league’s regular season roster that was
submitted to MSBL/MABL National. Further, he must have fulfilled all financial responsibilities to the
local MSBL/MABL league, as well as MSBL/MABL National, or be an approved pool
National Tournament Committee retains its right to issue exemptions where the
best interests of the tournament and organization are served.
regard to players wanting to switch teams once they are at a National
Tournament, no player may play for any team in the World Series or Fall Classic
other than the team that he has been registered as a member of on the rosters
that are submitted to MSBL/MABL National. If a player attempts to switch teams once a National Tournament begins,
the player will be removed from the tournament and the team who utilized this
switching team member will be forced to forfeit all wins that they have
accumulated in the tournament, even those acquired before the player in
question joined them. Furthermore, no
player can play on two different teams within the same week of play (i.e.
playing in the 35+ Federal division and the 35+ Central division in the same
week of tournament play) unless permission is granted.
select exceptions will be made for 25+/35+/40+/45+/50+/55+/60+/65+/70+/73+ week
only with those players paying two full fees.
order to encourage the widest possible participation in National Tournaments,
players who wish to enter National Tournaments and who are members of a local
league not entered in the tournament may become "free agents” and join and/or
be assigned to a team from another league entering the tournament. This program is not intended to encourage the
assembly of "national all-star teams”, but it’s primary purpose is to foster
participation for all leagues and their members.
local league team manager and president grants the player permission to do so,
player in question has previously played in another league the prior year and
wishes to play for that same team again (this is a one-time movement).
player is prohibited from representing his own league because of rules covering
ex-professionals, or not meeting the general participation requirements;
player wishes to join a team entering a different age bracket or division (for
example, the player wishes to play in the Central Division and the league that
he belongs to is entering the American Division. In this case, said player is declared a free
agent and can contact any team desired.
groups of players from two leagues getting together because of lack of players
within their own leagues to form a team. This type of team will be allowed to enter any division they desire.
will be a deadline for a league to protect their players from participating
outside of their league. If a particular player is not formally invited
to join a team from the league where he plays by a given date, then he should
be free to enter the players pool and be picked up by any team any where.
The date used will be 90 days prior to the tournament
All of these exceptions must be approved by the
National Tournament Rules Committee and/or the President of the National
Professional Ballplayers Requirements
Ex-Professional Ballplayers Requirements
A player must
be out of professional baseball (A, AA, AAA, or Major League) for three
complete seasons before becoming eligible to participate in MSBL/MABL National
Tournaments. Therefore, for the 2017
World Series and Fall Classic, any player who received compensation AND
participated with a professional baseball team (A, AA, AAA or Major League)
during 2015 or more recently is ineligible unless given special permission to
participate by the National Tournament Rules Committee.
A player who
played in a Rookie League, Independent League or who was invited to a Major
League Spring Training and then released without playing for a minor league
affiliate will not be held to the requirements listed above, except for Central
Division and Cactus Division. See specific
Ex-Pro rules by Division
For all Central Divisions - If a player has played pro ball (with the exception of Major Leagues)
and has been out of pro ball for 20 years, this player is eligible to play in
the Central Division. Ex-Pros are limited to 2 per team with no
restrictions to position or limitation to round robin, playoff or Championship
appearance.. In reference to
players who played Rookie or Independent League baseball only, these players
are ineligible unless they are out 10 years for Central. No allowed Independent/Rookie League players
would be eligible to pitch, even if they did not pitch in their pro careers
except for the 45+/50+/55+/60+/65+ Central Divisions.
For all Cactus Divisions - For Cactus Division, Ex-Pro (AAA, AA, A) players are not allowed no
matter the length of time out unless out of Pro Ball 30 years and played no
higher than A ball. In reference
to players who played Rookie or Independent League baseball only, these players
are ineligible unless they are out 15 years for Cactus.
No allowed Independent/Rookie League players
would be eligible to pitch, even if they did not pitch in their pro careers,
except for Divisions 45+ and higher.
? A Level – Any
Player who appeared on a AAA or Major League Roster
? B Level – Any Player who
appeared on a A or AA Roster
Allowances of Ex-Pros
No limit on number of Ex-Pros, as long as
out 3 years
Two A Level & Two B Level Ex-Pros, as
long as out 3 years
2 B Level
Ex-Pros as long as out 3 years
The fact that a player has played professional baseball at any level
for any length of time must be disclosed on the roster submitted to MSBL
tournament organizers. Failure to
disclose a player’s ex-professional status may result in disqualification of
the player and forfeiture of any games in which the player participated.
these division, for MABL, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+ and 60+, 65+, where
equality is the key word, there are several specific requirements which apply
to the Central and Cactus Divisions only. They are as follows:
least 14 uniformed players must have at least one plate appearance during the
game. (only applies in scheduled 9 inning games)
B. Only in the case of the 14thbatter will a plate appearance satisfy the required 14 rule. So long as the 14th batter is
announced (steps into the batter’s box), and the 3rd out occurs
before he completes his at bat then that will satisfy the 14 batters rule. There will be NO other exceptions to this
rule of batting 14 players is in effect regardless if It is a completed 9
inning game or shortened by time!
a team has 15 or more uniformed players, they may elect to bat 14 players only
(at least one plate appearance for 14 players).
a team has 13 or fewer uniformed players, the opposing team will have the
option to bat the same number of uniformed players despite the number of
uniformed players they have.
Team A has 13 uniformed players and Team B has 21 uniformed players. Team A must get all 13 players at least one
plate appearance. Team B has the option
of only getting 13 players one plate appearance as well, despite the fact they
would normally have to get 14 players one plate appearance.
the event that the game ends with unbatted players, the violating team, under
proper protest, will forfeit any win garnered.
rule of batting 14 players is in effect regardless if it is a completed 9
inning game or shortened by time.
H. The 14 man batting rule
is suspended for all playoff and Championship Games.
most teams have the ability to determine which division they will play in, that
decision is not their own if the MSBL/MABL National Tournament Rules Committee
feels, in their final judgment, that the division a team has chosen conflicts
with their past records and talent level in their chosen division.