Click to download a copy of the GCMFL League Rules (2017)
Rules of Play (as of April, 2017)
Any person looking to join league in the Greater Ottawa / Gatineau area.
- Rules (general)
The league will be operated in accordance with rules of play adopted by the Softball Canada with the exception of:
- Miscellaneous rules (ie. uniforms etc); and
- Local rules (as outlined in section 4-9).
- Regular umpires will be employed by the league and will enforce all rules in accordance with sections 2 and 4.
- The umpire-in-chief will schedule umpires in accordance with the league schedule.
- No game is to be played unless a plate umpire, scheduled by the umpire-in-chief, is in attendance.
- Scheduled umpires will be at the diamond at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start times and will make all efforts to start games on time. Captains are expected to cooperate fully in this regard.
- Local Rules
- All efforts should be made to commence games at the time indicated on the league schedule. If one or both teams do not have seven players present, the starting time will be extended by up to 15 minutes. In the event of rain or other inclement weather, players should report to the designated diamond at the appropriate time unless advised otherwise by their team captain.
- No new inning will commence after 1 hour and 45 minutes from the starting time of game. A game is considered complete following the expiration of the appropriate time limit when the inning being played is finished (top only if home team is ahead).
- CASA rules will be applied with regard to determining whether or not a game is complete in the event that a game is called by an umpire because of weather, darkness etc.
- To be eligible to be captain of a league team, a player must be eligible to be protected by that team. Exceptions to this rule under extraordinary circumstances require executive approval.
- Teams will be restricted (unless executive approval) to twelve registered players, one of which will be the captain. All changes to team rosters following the completion of the draft/ trade period (until end of draft) are subject to the approval of the league executive.
- Team captains may protect up to four players (in addition to themselves) from the previous year’s team.
- All players have the option of not being protected and/or drafted by the team that they played for in the previous year.
- The process governing pitcher/team match-ups will be determined on a year-to-year basis.
- During the draft, each team will pick from a list of available (ie. unprotected and new) players.Order of selection will be based on final standings from the previous year (with the team finishing with the fewest points selecting first and so on). This order will remain the same throughout the draft (non-snake draft). Each team will make their selection in subsequent rounds in the predetermined order with the following exception:
– If a pre-draft free pick was used, by a team. This would be considered their 2nd round pick and can only be used on NEW players (cannot have been drafted to or played on a team in the GCMFL the year prior).
At draft time, unprotected players or new players will be added to draft list for team captains.
In the event that more than the required number of players register, players will be assigned to a team or added to spares list.
Players are to wear their team jersey for all league games. Or at minimum a shirt of same colour.
Players must wear hat properly on their head, peak facing the front not the side or backwards.
No player will be permitted to play in shorts. Shorts are considered to be any trousers which do not extend below the player’s knee. Short pants (just below the knee) are only permitted if the player is wearing long socks or other clothing such that there is no exposed skin on their legs.
Players who miss two consecutive games without advising their team captain may be replaced by a player on the spares list (if applicable).
The HOME team in the final game on any evening is responsible for gathering up the equipment and ensuring it is securely stored in the provided lockers at the diamond. The HOME team in the late game is also responsible for ensuring that diamond lights are shut off.
During the playoffs, the team with the better regular season record will be deemed the HOME team for games one and three.
Any pitcher deemed to possess skills that are markedly superior to league standards may be deemed ineligible (to pitch) at the discretion of the league executive.
Metal spikes may be worn by players.
No player may be forced to sit out two or more consecutive innings.
Each team must field a minimum of 6 of their roster players for each league game.
- Spares may be used during regular season but the total number of spares is limited to three.
- Tournament Spares: Any tournament roster additions must be put to a captains vote to be held prior to the start of the tournament. Executive committee must be made aware of any roster requests at least 48 hours prior to the start of the tournament. Players cannot be added after the tournament has begun under any circumstances (captains must consider this prior to the start of tournament before submitting final rosters).
- Playoff spares: Spares are permitted so long as both captains agree on the spare to be used. All efforts must be made to replace your missing player(s) with player(s) of similar caliber. In the event that captains cannot agree on which spares to use, a list will be provided to the executive committee to vote on to determine which players should be permitted to play. The end goal is to ensure that playoff games are played and do not result in forfeits.
- A team may add 1 spare, even if their team has 9 regular roster players, bringing total roster to 10 before the commencement of a game. This allows a team to still field 9 players in case of injury or if a regular roster player can not commit to entire game.
- Spares may be drawn from the spares list /league rosters or outside player (See 5 R & S for fee and waivers)
- Spares (other than a pitcher or catcher) must play left field, right field, third base, or first base. All spares must bat at the bottom of the order.
- Pitching spares are permitted if the team’s starting pitcher is not present. Any starting or back up pitcher may be used as a pitching spare by teams.
- Catching spares are permitted if the team’s designated catcher is not present.
- If a team has 6 of its own players but does not have its designated starting pitcher and/or catcher present at the start of the game, they may use a pitching and/or catching spare plus fielding spares, but the total number of spares is limited to three.
- Teams using unregistered players as spares will need to advise the executive by email, complete the spares waiver form and pay the $10 fee. If waiver form and fee is not received, the team will forfeit any games in which such players have participated.
- Teams using unregistered players for mid-season tournament will need to advise executive by email, complete the spares waiver form and provide $25 fee. If waiver form and fee is not received, the team will forfeit any games in which such players have participated.
- Helmets are mandatory for all batters, base runners, and on deck players.
- Bat Rule – Umpires will enforce bat rule, a sticker (if applicable) will be applied to bat, and that bat will be deemed legal for the entirety of that season.
- A player who enters the batter’s box with an illegal bat will automatically be ejected from game, without warning.
- Masks, throat protectors, and helmets must be worn by all catchers.
- The double base at 1st is mandatory, with the white portion being placed in fair territory and the orange portion being placed in foul territory.A batted ball hitting the white portion of the base is declared fair. A batted ball hitting only the orange portion of the base is declared foul.When proceeding from home to first base (ball is in fair territory, play at first base), the batter must use the orange portion of the bag.
When proceeding from home to first base (ball is in fair territory, with no play at first base), the batter may use any portion of the bag.
When proceeding from home to first base (ball is in foul territory due to dropped 3rd strike, play at first base), the batter must use the portion of the bag the first baseman is not using. Re: if 1st baseman is using orange part of bag, then runner must use white and vice versa.
- If, in the opinion of the umpire, a player deliberately damages equipment in any manner, the player is to be immediately ejected from the game and the executive made aware for further action.
- The Game
- In the event that one or both teams are unable to field a complete team during regular season or tournament games, spares may be used within the limitations outlined in Section 4(L). A game should commence on time or as soon as both teams have a minimum of 6 roster players. Games may not be delayed longer than 15 minutes.
- A complete Game
- 5 innings (4.5 for home team if winning) constitutes a complete game.
For playoff and regular season games that are ended due to inclement weather or other event out of leagues control (ie: loss of lights) prior to game (see B(i)) being completed the game will be replayed from 1st inning at later date.
For regular season, if a game is terminated due to rain or other event (i.e. loss of lights) after the completion of 5th inning (see B (i)), the result of the last completed inning will stand.
For the playoffs, games must be played to the full 7 innings (unless Mercy rule comes into effect). If a game is terminated due to rain or other event (i.e, loss of lights) after 5th inning and prior to full 7 innings, the game will re-start from point of suspension at a later date.
- The following will result in a forfeited game being assessed against a team:
- not having at least 6 regular players within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time
- refusing to begin play or resume play (within two minutes) after being instructed by the umpire to do so
- wilfully violating the rules of the game following a warning by the umpire
- employing tactics to delay the game
- Whose player(s) fail to obey an order of ejection within one minute.
- The score of all forfeited games will be recorded as 7-0.
- Unlimited substitution is permitted while on defense
- All roster players (including spares) will be in batting lineup. Spares MUST be at bottom of order.
- Pinch runners (courtesy runner) are permitted as long as the captain of player requiring courtesy runner declares prior to game (to umpires and opposing captain) that they will be taking a pinch runner. Player that is being run for may NOT advance past first base on a ball hit in fair territory, unless they hit a homerun (out of field of play). If runner who has requested a pinch runner advances past first and interferes in play in any way they will be OUT.
Pinch runners (injury) are permitted.
The player who made the last official out preceding the player requesting the runner will pinch run. This player is allowed to steal or advance on pass balls.
Two-Out catcher Rule is mandatory. The player who made the last official out preceding the catcher will pinch run.
Two-out catcher rule will be extended to the pitcher as well for 2017 season. Pitcher has option whether they want to run, or begin warming up for the next inning with 2 outs.
- Regular season games can end in a tie, with one point in the standings awarded to each team.
- In the case of a tie following seven innings, or the expiration of the time limit, of a tournament final or a playoff game, each subsequent inning will begin with a runner at second base. The player making the last out of the previous inning will be positioned at second base and the regularly scheduled batter will be at the plate. A pinch runner may be used at second base only if that player has used a pinch runner previously in the game.
- When after 5 complete innings, or subsequent complete innings, a team is ahead by 10 or more runs, the mercy rule shall take effect.
- All pitchers will be judged on the legality of their pitching techniques at the discretion of the league and what the league asks umpires to rule on.
- Pitcher must keep front foot in contact with rubber, they cannot step off front or side of mound.
- A player who registers as a pitcher and decides before the draft that he doesn’t want to pitch has the option of being protected by their last team or being placed in the draft. In either instance, he is not eligible to pitch at all in the upcoming season. Following this period, he may pitch in a back-up role only unless re-registering as a pitcher.
- A starting pitcher who decides during the course of the season that he no longer wishes to pitch has the option of remaining with his team or being placed on the spares list. He will not be eligible to pitch for the balance of that season and the following season.
- No player entering the league as a new player is eligible to pitch unless he has indicated on his registration form that he is a potential pitcher.
- A designated starting pitcher should normally remain in the game as a pitcher through 4 complete innings. Backup pitchers are limited to pitching a total of nine outs if the designated starting pitcher is present. There is no such restriction during the tournament or if the designated starting pitcher is not in the game.
Tie Breakers in the Final Standings
Ties in the final standings will be broken according to the following criteria:
- most wins
- head-to-head record
- run differential in head-to-head games
- coin toss
Suspensions / Ejections
- Following the ejection of any player, reports on the incident will be submitted within 48 hours to the executive by the umpire and both team captains involved. The player ejected has the right to submit a statement if he wishes.
- Any suspension for objectionable conduct will be reviewed for possible further action by the executive.
- Players ejected from a game for wilfully damaging equipment are subject to an automatic one game suspension. Re-instatement will occur only after restitution for the cost of damaged equipment has been received by the league.
- Players ejected from a game for a deliberate attempt to injure will be (subject to appeal) suspended for the balance of the season. If the incident takes place in the last third of the season, the suspension will cover at least half of the following season.
- If a suspended player disrupts game proceedings, a one minute warning to leave the ball diamond will be issued. If the player ignores the warning, his team will forfeit the game.
- If team starts game with 9 players and one player gets ejected, game will not be forfeited. Team will continue with 8 players. If a second player from same team is ejected then game will be forfeited and opposing team will win by default (7-0 score)