RULES

The league will follow IHSA or MLB rules depending on the umpire crew, except for specific Fab 50 guidelines.

GAME GUIDELINES

1) All regular season games will be nine (9) innings or 2H-30 minutes. No inning will start at or after 2H/30 minutes. 

2) If a game is tied after a completed inning at 2H-20M or later,  the game will proceed immediately to the Fab 50 Shootout (one inning only). 

3) If the game is tied after the time deadline OR after one shootout inning, the game will be declared a tie.

4) There is NO slaughter rule. If a game is getting out of control, the team leading should consider changing pitchers and not stealing or advancing on passed balls or wild pitches.

5) THREE SCENARIOS FOR A SUSPENDED GAME: If a team ties the score, if a team takes the lead or if a team has the tying run at the plate in the final incomplete inning of game stopped by the designated time limit---the game will be resumed from the same point the next time the two teams meet on the schedule. If the two teams do not play again the regular season, the inning will be played to its completion if started prior to 2H-30M. If the resumed game ends in a tie, the two teams will play a one-inning shootout if started prior to 2H-30M.

6) Weather-stopped games that are not considered official (five innings, or three innings for a resumed game), may or may not be rescheduled in the future. Umpires are encouraged to check weather radar before ending the game as a rain out. Rained out or canceled games may or may not be rescheduled.

90-SECOND SPEEDUP RULE BETWEEN INNINGS

1) In order to maximize playing time, the home plate umpire will enforce a 90-second rule between the final out of the previous inning and the first pitch of the next inning. (This is a variation of an IHSA rule governing time between innings.)

2) If 90 seconds have elapsed and the defensive team is not ready, the umpire shall declare “Play” and begin calling balls at each 20-second interval.

3) If 90 seconds have elapsed and the hitter is not in the batter’s box, the umpire shall declare “Play” and begin calling strikes at each 20-second interval.

4) Pitchers will be allowed a maximum of five (5) warm-up pitches between innings, and eight (8) warm-up pitches for new pitchers. In the event of cold weather, the umpire will allow more time for pitchers to warm up.

5) The 20-second rule governing timely play by the pitcher and batter shall be enforced throughout the game. Batters are encouraged to keep at least one foot in the batters' box between pitches, with some obvious exceptions.

FORFEITS:

1) We are here to play baseball. A team must have a minimum of seven (7) players to avoid a forfeit. If a team has only seven (7) or eight (8) players, the game will start on time.

2) If a team has only seven (7) players, the other team will provide a substitute outfielder.

3) There is no penalty for a team batting seven (7) or eight (8) players in the lineup during the regular season, but in the playoffs the 9th place in the order will be recorded as an out.

BATTING LINEUP:

1) All players are required the bat in a continuous order. Shared lineups are NOT allowed.

2) Managers must exchange lineups prior to the start of the game with the jersey number of each player.

3) Once the lineups have been exchanged at home plate, a manager must add late arriving batters at the bottom of the lineup.

4) Any player who CANNOT bat must report directly to the opposing manager.              

5) If a player leaves a game prior to the conclusion due to injury or other reasons, the team will skip the batter’s place in the lineup WITHOUT penalty.

5A) If a hitter is injured during an at bat and cannot continue that at bat, that player is removed from the lineup and cannot return to the game. The next batter in the lineup steps into the box with the existing count.

6) When a player is ejected from a game in the regular season AND playoffs, his or her place in the lineup will be recorded as an out.

7) When a player in attendance does NOT want to bat but will play defensively, the team’s manager will inform the opposing manager prior to the start of the game.

8) Once the game has begun, if a player in the batting order CANNOT bat due to injury or does NOT want to bat, the team’s manager should inform the opposing manager as a courtesy.

9) Teams are forbidden from asking its players to not show up or be injured for any games.

COURTESY RUNNERS:

1) Each team may designate a maximum of three players in the lineup who will be permitted to use courtesy runners should they reach base safely. A courtesy runner shall be the last recorded out (with the exception of the three designated players who would require a courtesy runner should they reach base safely).

2) Courtesy runners are NOT allowed to steal, but may advance if the pitcher’s delivery to the catcher leaves the dirt area surrounding home plate, or if a direct play has been made on him/her.

3) If the courtesy runner steals a base or passes the halfway point between bases, that runner will be declared out automatically.

4) Courtesy runners are limited to a leadoff of 10-feet prior to the pitcher’s delivery to the plate. Once the pitcher releases the ball, the courtesy runner is allowed a secondary lead. Umpires will issue one warning per each courtesy runner per inning should a particular courtesy runner violate the 10-foot rule. After a warning, a courtesy runner will be declared out on the second violation of the inning. This will result in an immediate dead ball.

5) If a pitcher or catcher makes a pick-off throw to any base occupied by a courtesy runner, the ball is live and ALL runners may advance at their own risk. Should an errant throw end up out of play, then IHSA dead ball rules apply for the appropriate base running award (i.e., one base if pitcher's pivot foot was on rubber, two bases if pitcher's foot was off rubber at time of throw). The courtesy runner cannot advance beyond normal exceptions unless played upon at the occupied base.

6) Managers MUST use pinch runners for CATCHERS with two outs. This includes the catcher of record OR the projected catcher. The pinch runner must be the last recorded out and IS ALLOWED TO STEAL---unless the catcher already has been designated for a courtesy runner.

7) A player injured during the game shall be allowed a courtesy runner.

8) When the managers exchange lineups prior to the game, please make sure you have designated the players who get a courtesy runner with an “R” next to his/her name. Teams are allowed a maximum of three (3) players who get courtesy runners, unless there is an injury during the game that requires another courtesy runner.

9) If a player designated to have a courtesy runner stays and runs for himself/herself, that runner CANNOT steal. That player can be removed for the courtesy runner at any time.

10) A player cannot remove the designated runner status during the game. He or she must take the courtesy runner each time he or she reaches base.

11) If a player injured during the game receives a courtesy runner, that player must have a courtesy runner in all subsequent at bats.

12) Pitchers do NOT automatically received courtesy runners as in other senior leagues. If your pitcher wants or needs a courtesy runner, he or she must be noted when the lineups are exchanged. If that pitcher continues in another position, he or she still must continue to get a courtesy runner after reaching base.

STEALING BASES:

1) A pitch that hits the backstop is a dead ball and does NOT need to be retrieved by the catcher (saving time due to distance from the plate to the backstop). If there is a runner on 3rd base, the runner must earn the run at home and the dead ball rule is not in effect.

2) Runners can advance only one base on a stolen base, passed ball, wild pitch or any combination.

3) On a pitch thrown to the backstop on ball four, the ball is dead and the batter gets first base only.

DEFENSIVE LINEUPS:

It is strongly suggested that all players must get at least two (2) innings in the field. This is NOT a requirement, but a recommendation.

HIT BATTERS:

Any pitcher who hits three (3) batters with pitches during a game must be removed from the pitching position (immediately upon hitting his third batter). He may continue to play offense and defense.

BALKS:

1) There will be NO warnings–a balk will be called a balk.

2) It is possible, with runners on first and third, for the pitcher to step toward third and not throw, merely to bluff the runner back to third; then seeing the runner on first start for second, turn and step toward and throw to first base. This is legal whether or not the pitcher is in contact with the rubber.

3) If a pitcher balks, the play is dead and all baserunners advance one base.

PITCHING LIMITS:

1) A player is allowed to pitch only five (5) innings or 15 outs in a game. If the pitcher wants to exceed the limit, he must request permission from the opposing manager.

2) A pitcher may re-enter as a pitcher only one time during the same game.

MALICIOUS CONTACT:

Illegal slides will result in the sliding player being called out and being subject to ejection. A legal slide is directly to the base (defined as player being within an arm’s length of the bag) on a straight line from the previous base. A slide may go past the base as long as it is not in the direction of (or makes contact with) the defensive player handling the baseball; any runner who deliberately slides into a defensive player away from a base is out and subject to both an interference call as possible ejection if contact deemed malicious.

Malicious contact is described as initiating contact with arms and/or elbows up or in front of the body, lowering a shoulder, use of forearm in the contact or an act in the judgment.

INTERFERENCE:

If a runner initiates a collision with a defensive player attempting to make a play, it is offensive interference and the runner is out. If the collision is ruled malicious or intentional, the runner is also subject to ejection. The ball is dead on offensive interference.

OBSTRUCTION:

1) A defensive player may not deny an offensive player any access to a base (or plate) without possession of the ball. Obstruction is the ruling: The runner is safe and a delayed dead ball shall be called to allow play to finish.

2) If, without being in possession of the ball, any fielder or pitcher obstructs the batter/runner's path to first base, the runner is allowed to veer off the base path to avoid a collision. The umpire is instructed to call obstruction, resulting in a delayed deal ball.

3) Fielders are advised NOT to block the base with their bodies, arms or legs. The runner must have a clear path to the base unless the ball is in the fielder’s glove.

4) While holding a runner on, the first baseman CANNOT block the base with his foot or by kneeling on the ground.

5) When a runner is attempting to steal second or third, the defensive player CANNOT stand in the base path while waiting for the ball to arrive or trying to catch the ball. The defensive player must take a position in front of the bag to catch the ball and apply the tag.

6) In the umpire’s judgment, if a fielder who is NOT making a play feints or bluffs making a play in an attempt to deceive a base runner, the umpire may rule obstruction against the fielder.

BLOCKING THE PLATE & OBSTRUCTION:

1) Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher CANNOT block the pathway of the runner attempting to score.

2) Catchers CANNOT block home plate anticipating possession of the ball.

3) Catchers CANNOT straddle home plate, which is considered blocking the plate.

4) For a play at the plate, catchers are advised to move into fair territory in front of the plate.

5) If possible, the home plate umpire will also advise the catcher to “get off the plate.”

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT:

Defensive players are not allowed to fake a play in order to get a runner to slide or hesitate, and are not allowed to mislead an advancing runner by suggesting a batted ball was foul or time has been called. Umpires will warn or eject offending players.

FAB 50 SHOOTOUT:

1) Games where the score is tied after completion of nine (9) innings or at the end of the time limit, will be resolved by the Fab 50 Shootout Rules.

2) Teams will play one (1) inning, with the last batted out from the previous inning starting the new inning at second base.

3) Each hitter comes to the plate with a 2-2 count. If the pitch is a called strike or missed on the swing, the batter is out. If the pitch is fouled off, the count remains 2-2.

4) Each team gets 3 outs.                                                                                              

5) If the score remains tied after one shootout inning, the game will be considered a tie.

BAD BEHAVIOR:

Umpires are requested to eject players before, during or after games for any of the following behaviors:

1) Consumption of alcoholic beverages during a game.

2) Threats of physical intimidation of umpires, players or spectators, including any threatening physical contact (including spitting).

3) Verbal abuse of umpires, players or spectators, such as profanity, name-calling, belittlement or excessive harassment.

4) Excessive profanity, defined as profanity that, in the umpire’s judgment, is audible in the stands, dugouts and area surrounding the field of play, regardless of intent.

5) Throwing of equipment (bats, helmets, gloves, etc.).

6) Fighting.

7) Players who behave badly without ejection are subject to suspension by the league.

EJECTIONS:

1) Players ejected for the first time in a season will be suspended one (1) game.

2) Players ejected for a second time in a season will be suspended three (3) games.

3) Players ejected for a third time in a season will be suspended five (5) games.

SUBSTITUTE PLAYERS:

1) Substitute players are NOT allowed without approval of the league commissioner.

2) Teams that use a substitute player without approval will forfeit the game.

3) Substitute players are NOT allowed in the playoffs.

PROTESTS:

No protests are allowed the Fab 50 Baseball League. Please read and understand the rules.

BOX SCORES:

Each manager will enter the official box score after completion of a game, including individual strikeouts, individual and team errors. If a manager manipulates the box scores or fails to enter the box score prior to the start of next week's games, that team will forfeit a victory. If a team fails to enter the complete box score within the time limit three times during a season, that team will be ineligible for the playoffs.

PLAYOFF FORMAT & TIEBREAKERS:

1) All six (6) teams will make the playoffs (see homepage for more details).

2) In the event of a two-way tie, the tiebreaker will be head-to-head games.

3) In the event of a three-way tie, the tiebreaker will be fewest runs allowed if head-to-head games are not a clear determining factor.

PLAYOFF ELIGIBILITY:

Rostered players must appear in at least four (4) games (or 20-percent) to be eligible for the Fab 50 playoffs. Any player(s) added to a team’s roster after July 1, 2017, will be ineligible for the playoffs. Exceptions could be granted by the league commissioner based on the need for competitive balance.

PLAYOFF BATTING LINEUPS:

For the 2017 playoffs, shared lineups (A/B slots) are optional. All players in attendance must be in the batting order. In the spirit of our league, managers are encouraged to welcome all players to be available for the playoff games. It is against league rules to tell players to stay home.

PARKING:

Do NOT park on the small strip of pavement south of the Meyer Sports Complex. Your car will be towed!

ALCOHOL, TOBACCO & SMOKING:

Alcohol or tobacco products are NOT allowed ANYWHERE on the grounds at Trinity International University. There is also no smoking, including electronic cigarettes.

BATHROOM FACILITIES:

Please use the available porta-potties on school grounds down the right-field line. It is NOT acceptable to take a bathroom break behind the dugout or anywhere else on the field.

NO PETS:

No pets are allowed on the grounds at Trinity International University.

INSTANT REPLAY:

The league will NOT use instant replay for any regular season or playoff games.