SHARON MEN'S SENIOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE BY-LAWS

 (Updated February 16, 2018)

ADVISORY COMMITTEE:

  • The Advisory Committee will be made up of all team managers or their representatives and prior to the start of the season will organize and run the league from a management point of view, including all financial decisions and scheduling issues.
  • A quorum of Advisory Committee members will annually review the league by-laws and structure and make changes as they see fit, to benefit the Sharon Men's Senior Softball League, as well as administer all league rules. A quorum is defined as one more than half of the Advisory Committee members. All changes must be approved prior to April 1 each year. Changes may be made during the season at special league meetings. Voting on rule changes or other matters will be voted on by the Advisory Committee. League officers do not vote, unless there is a tie, in which the League Commissioner's vote will be the deciding factor.
  • The Advisory Committee will annually elect league officers as follows: League Commissioner, Assistant Commissioner, Secretary, and Treasurer.

LEAGUE COMMISSIONER:

  • The League Commissioner (or Assistant Commissioner) will be responsible for scheduling league meetings, collection of team rosters, scheduling make-up and play-off games, and any other duties that may be required to run the league. Additionally, the League Commissioner (or in his absence the Assistant Commissioner) will rule on all difficulties involving team or game disputes and/or filed protests. After the start of the season, the League Commissioner will assume the sole responsibility to run the league with assistance from the league officers.

 PLAYING RULES:

All rules for play are in accordance with the official softball rules, as published by the American Softball Association, with the exception of any rules listed below, which take precedence:

  • There is free substitution of all players, except base runners.
  • Any player may leave the game at any time, for any reason, including injury. That player, or his manager, must notify the umpire. There will be no penalty as long as that team has at least nine (9) players. The player who has left may NOT return to the game at any time if he has missed his turn at bat. If at any point and for any reason during a game a team falls below nine (9) players, that team will forfeit the game.
  • Any player who removes himself from the game due to injury, and misses a turn at bat, may not return to the game, and the manager must notify the umpire. As there is a continuous batting order an out will not be charged.
  • Managers at the start of the game shall notify the opposing managers and the umpire(s) of the batters in need of courtesy runners. In no case shall the limit exceed three (3).  If another player is injured during a game and cannot run, and three are already designated, one of the original three must then run. The definition of a courtesy runner is that player who is the last batted out who is not on base. If there are no batted outs, the courtesy runner is the last batter in the lineup.
  • All players present at the start of the game and listed in the scorebook shall bat in rotation even if they do not play the field. Any player present at the start of the game and not listed as above cannot be added to the lineup later in the contest. Any player arriving after the first pitch shall be added to the end of the batting order.
  • The plate bib will be 28” long, 20” wide at the plate end, and 22” wide at the catcher end.
  • The league will use yellow balls for all games. It is the responsibility of each team to provide a new ball, which is supplied by the league, for each game during the regular season.
  • A foul after two strikes will be a strike out. There will be no second foul allowed.
  • The arc of pitches is required to be between a minimum of 6 feet and a maximum of 12 feet from the ground.
  • Uniforms are not required.
  • The league supplies bases.
  • Each team will play three games against each other team. Per the schedule created, one team will be home team for the first meeting and the second team will be home team for the second meeting. For the third meeting, the umpire will flip a coin or an alternative.
  • The League Regular Season Final Standings are based on record, with the tiebreaker being head to head games and then record against higher placed teams. If this fails to break the tie, the seedings will be decided by coin toss. The first tiebreaker for when more than two teams are tied will be combined record against the other teams. If it is determined that Team A wins that tiebreaker, and Team B and Team C have identical records against other teams, then it will go to head-to-head for Team B and Team C. If there is still a tie, the seedings will be decided by a coin toss.
  • Umpires must be paid promptly at the start of the game.  Failure to pay the umpire results in forfeiture.  The forfeiting team must pay both their umpire fee and the opposing team fee by their next scheduled game. The league will ensure the umpire is paid and the forfeiting team will pay the league.
  • All players must slide or avoid contact on plays where the fielder at the base has the ball or a play is imminent. It is the responsibility of the BASERUNNER to slide away from the fielder and TAKE-OUT slides are not allowed. If any illegal contact is made by the base runner, the base runner will be called out. In addition, if a baserunner is deemed by the umpire as causing illegal contact, the player will be ejected from the game and suspended for the next three (3) games, even if the next three games are playoffs and/or games the following season. If the baserunner is determined to have committed illegal contact a second time during the season, he will be suspended for the rest of the regular season and playoffs. The umpire will have the responsibility to determine if a player commits illegal contact.
  • All bats used in a game must be marked as approved by the League Commissioner. All bats will be single wall non-composite bats.
  • If an unapproved bat is used during a game:

o    The player using the bat will declared out and be ejected from the game and suspended for 5 additional games. If this is not the third out, the game reverts to the point previous to the infraction with any runners on base returning to the base they were on.  The game resumes from this point.

o    The manager of the offending team will be suspended for the following game.

o    The offending team will consider itself warned and any subsequent offense will result in forfeiture of the game.

o  A second offense by the same player will result in that player’s permanent suspension from the league.

o  It is the responsibility of the opposing manager to report the offense to the League Commissioner.

 STARTING OF AND DURATION OF GAME:

  • All games will be played in accordance with the written schedule. If a team cannot field a team (considered a minimum of 9 players) at the scheduled time, that team will forfeit that game. If both teams cannot field a team on the scheduled day they will both forfeit the game. No changes to the schedule will be made, with the exception of make-ups due to weather, after April 1 unless approved by the League Commissioner.
  • The League Commissioner or his designee will make a decision on all games cancelled due to weather no later than 5:00 PM for weeknights and 3:00 PM for Sundays. The League Commissioner or his designee will post the cancellation via e-mail and the league’s web site; however, the League Commissioner or his designee will not be responsible for contacting individual teams. It is the responsibility of the team manager to contact the League Commissioner or his designee to find out if the games are cancelled. 
  • All games will commence at the field and time listed on the league schedule approved at the beginning of the season. A 15-minute grace period is allowed before a forfeit will be declared.  (THIS IS ALLOWED FOR THE FIRST GAME OF THAT DAY ONLY).  If a minimum of nine (9) players are present from each team, the game will begin before the end of the grace period. In the event neither team is ready after the grace period, both teams will be given a forfeit loss. However, if one team still has less than nine (9) players present after the grace period has ended, and is expecting more to arrive, the game may start with that team at bat; becoming the visiting team regardless of the schedule. If a minimum of nine (9) players are still not present after the team bats once through their present lineup, or the top of the first inning has ended, or within ten (10) minutes of the first pitch, whichever is less, that team will forfeit.   
  • During the first game on any week night, no inning shall start after 8:25 PM or less than five (5) minutes before the scheduled start time of the second game. A standard game is scheduled to be seven (7) innings. If the first game is not completed within the time limit, the game is to be considered a complete game and the team with the lead will be the winner. If the game is tied, that will be the final result. The first game on Sunday is limited to I hour and 25 minutes after its scheduled start.
  • During the regular season, any game suspended with one team leading after 5 innings (or after 4 1/2 innings with the home team leading) will be recorded as an official complete game.
  • Any game suspended after five (5) completed innings with the score tied will be considered an official tie. If play continues after five (5) innings and is then suspended, the results are determined by the last completed full inning.
  • Wednesdays (or possibly Mondays), will be utilized as makeup days. As games are cancelled by the league, they will be made up on the next available Wednesday (or possibly Monday) starting the next week in the order in which they were cancelled. If a team is unable to make up the game on the date scheduled by the League Commissioner, that team will forfeit the game. If both teams are unable to make up the game both teams will forfeit the game.
  • Any game suspended for any reason before 4½ innings (5 innings if the home team is behind) shall be rescheduled and played as a new game.
  • If a game must be continued at a later date, it will pick up from where it left off and the line-up will remain the same. If a player in the original line-up is not at the continuation game, their spot will be skipped. Any new players who were not in the original line-up will be added to the bottom of the line-up, after the last batter.   
  • If a team is losing by 15 runs after 5 complete innings (or after 4 1/2 innings with the home team leading by a minimum of 15) of a standard 7-inning game, the umpire will terminate the game. This also applies to playoff games.
  • A protested game, which results in the protest being upheld, shall be played from the point of infraction in accordance with the official ASA rulebook.
  • There is a 10:30 PM curfew for all night games.

 FORFEITURE OF GAME:

  • If a team forfeits before 12:00 Noon on the day of a game, the other team does not have to show up and a representative from the forfeiting team must show up to pay the umpire the fee for both teams.
  • A team forfeiting three games in one season will be dropped from further league play and no portion of their league fee will be refunded. A team may appeal a suspension to the League Commissioner. The League Commissioner may also review and adjust the remaining league schedule as necessary if a team is officially suspended.

 PROTESTS:

  • The League Commissioner must be informed within 24 hours of any protest, whether by phone, fax, e-mail or posted letter. The League Commissioner will decide on all protests in a timely manner either by himself or in discussion with the League Officers.

 TEAM ROSTER:

  • All teams must file a roster and pay the league fee with the League Commissioner or Treasurer prior to start of the team's first scheduled game. Team rosters must include complete addresses for all players. Failure to file the roster or pay the league fee will result in forfeiture of every game until the roster is filed and the league fee is paid. Rosters are limited to twenty five (25) players.
  • Rosters including town of residence must be submitted to the League Commissioner and all managers prior to opening day. Teams without rosters or with rosters out of compliance with these by-laws will forfeit each game until the roster is in compliance.
  • Additional players may be added to a team roster until June 15th and new rosters must be submitted by June 15th. Rosters in effect after June 15th become the final rosters and are in effect for the playoffs. A player whose name appears on more than one roster will be considered eligible for the first team for which he or she plays. 
  • A player can switch teams within the first five (5) games of the season. If a player wants to switch, there will be a waiver process for teams to select that player based on the previous year's standings. If a team accepts a player via waivers, that team then moves to the bottom of the list in the event additional players seek to switch teams.

 PLAYER ELIGIBILITY:

  • Each team is allowed two (2) 28 or 29 year old players on their roster. A player may be on the final roster at age 27 in anticipation of turning 28 during the season; eligible to play only as of their 28th birthday. The players do not have to be Sharon residents or a graduate of Sharon High School, but can be part of a team’s permitted out-of-towners not already grandfathered into the league.
  • All players must be either: a) current residents or employees of the Town of Sharon, b) “resident exempt” players, or c) approved out-of-town players to be eligible to play.
  • Any player that starts playing in the league as a Sharon resident and then moves from Sharon is still considered a resident player provided they remain on a roster each year. Sharon High School alumni qualify as Sharon residents regardless of current address.
  • Any player on a roster as of the 2007 season and not a current Sharon resident is considered a “resident exempt” player and is eligible to play.  Once a player is exempted from the Sharon residency requirement they must remain on a team roster each year to continue to be eligible to play in subsequent years.
  • Each team may have five (5) out-of-town players as part of their 25-player roster. Out-of-town players are not eligible to become “resident exempt” players.
  • It is the team’s responsibility to ensure that each of its players is eligible. Any protested game in which an ineligible player is used shall result in a loss for all games in which that player played. It is the responsibility of the Advisory Committee to rule on the eligibility of any players not covered by the above rules or any requested exceptions to the above rules.
  • A player must play five (5) games during the season to be eligible for the playoffs.

 

PLAYOFFS:

  • The playoff seeding format will be as follows, based on an eight-team league (home team advantage to the team listed first):

1st Place v 8th Place

2nd Place v 7th Place

3rd Place v 6th Place

4th place v 5th Place

  • Teams will be reseeded after each round with the highest remaining seed playing the lowest remaining seed in both a champions bracket and a "B Division" bracket for those losing during round 1. All series will continue with losers eliminated during round 2 until a Champion and B Division winner are crowned.
  • All playoff series will be a best of five series.
  • If a team(s) drops out during the season, leaving an odd number of teams, each team will move up in the standings accordingly and the season's first place team will get a bye.
  • If a playoff game is stopped for any reason before five innings is complete (or 4 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead), the game will be started over from the beginning. If a game is stopped for any reason after five complete innings, the game must be resumed from the exact point where it left off.  All teams must keep accurate records. If only one team has a record, it will be used.

 CONDUCT OF TEAM PERSONNEL:

  • On any disputed play, only the manager and umpire(s) may partake in the discussion. Any other player(s) involving themselves in the discussion may be ejected from the game.
  • The umpire has complete authority at the game and will be the sole judge of unsportsmanlike conduct.
  • Threatening and/or abusive language directed at an umpire or another player will not be tolerated and will result in ejection from the game. Continued threatening and/or abusive language can result in a three (3) game suspension at the discretion of the umpire.
  • Any player ejected from a game must leave the playing area as defined by the umpire.
  • Any player or manager ejected from a game will not be eligible to play in their next active game. Forfeits and rainouts are not considered active games. Teams must report any ejected player to the League Commissioner before the next game. If a team fails to report an ejected player before the next game, or an ejected player plays in the next game, then that player's team will forfeit that game.
  • In the event that the game in which a player was ejected is later postponed and must be re-played, the player must also sit out the replayed game.
  • A player ejected a second time cannot participate in the next three (3) games.
  • A player ejected for a third time will be suspended for the remainder of the season, including playoffs.  Reinstatement can only occur by a vote of the team managers the following year.
  • Any player or manager involved in an altercation and found at fault will be ejected from the game as well as the following game. The umpire will submit a written report to the League Commissioner. All incidents will be reviewed following a hearing to be held prior to the involved person’s next game to determine if any further punishment is warranted. Invitees to this meeting will be the umpire of the game in question, the umpire-in-chief, the League Commissioner (or his designee), and the managers of the teams involved.
  • Any player or manager involved in a physical altercation and found at fault during a playoff game will be suspended from the game and all subsequent playoff games.
  • There is to be no consumption of alcoholic beverages at the field or immediate area.
  • Teams are required to keep the playing area and dugouts clean.

 

FIELD MAINTENANCE:

  • The first two teams to play on each field each day will be required to provide at least two players for field maintenance to ensure the field is safe to play. Teams not adhering to this rule shall be reviewed by the Advisory Committee for proper action.


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