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Austin Metro Baseball League Rules

Revised September 30, 2016
1. ALCOHOL

No player or spectator may bring, possess or consume any alcoholic beverage or illegal drugs when or where an AMBL game or practice is being held. This includes the field, stands and parking lots adjacent to the fields. Player is responsible for compliance of the above for anyone accompanying or invited by him. Any player or manager who violates this rule shall be suspended from playing and/or participating automatically for the remainder of the season including play-offs. Alcohol and/or illegal drugs will not be tolerated.

2. TOBACCO

No smoking is permitted. This includes the field, stands and parking lots adjacent to the fields. Player is responsible for compliance of the above for anyone accompanying or invited by him. No chewing tobacco or snuff of any kind is permitted at any field.

3. WAIVER

No player, manager or person may participate in an AMBL game without having completed, signed, and turned in the MSBL waiver form, and AMBL Player Participation Contract. This includes, but is not limited to, players, managers, base coaches, bull pen catchers and any other person that could reasonably be construed as an active participant in an AMBL game, practice, scrimmage or workout. These forms must be on file with the League President and/or Treasurer. All local and national dues must be current on every player and/or manager. Any manager or acting manager who uses an ineligible player shall be subject to suspension for the rest of the season.

4. PRE-GAME CONFERENCE

There will be a short conference held at home plate between opposing managers and the umpires prior to the start of every game. Line-up cards, which will consist of at least the LAST names and player's numbers (if opposing manager requests the numbers) will be exchanged at this time. The umpires will sign the home team's scorebook.

5. HELMETS/SKULL CAPS

All batters and base runners are required to wear a protective helmet at all times, with at least one ear flap facing the pitcher when in batter's box. Double flaps are strongly encouraged, however, at all times. Catchers will wear skull caps while behind the plate during all games.  All base coaches are required to wear a protective helmet at all times and skull caps are an acceptable substitution.

6. BATS

Bats may be wood, wood composite or metalwood (wood barrel metal handle) . Bats may not exceed 36" in length and/or exceed 2 5/8" in diameter.  No exceptions. The penalty for use of illegal bats shall be immediate ejection of the offending player from the game and a one game suspension and an automatic out. If the ball is put in play, it is a 'dead ball' and all runners must return to their previous bases.

7. UNIFORMS

All teams must have full matching baseball uniforms consisting of caps, numbered baseball jerseys, baseball pants, belt, sanitary socks and/or stirrups. Teams having sponsorship will be allowed the sponsors name on their uniforms via patch or on the back. This shall include players, managers, base coaches, bullpen catchers, home plate conferencing members and anyone actively participating on the field of play.

8. COLLISIONS/FAKE TAGS

Base runners shall not collide with any defensive players. In the case of a base runner colliding with a fielder, the base runner will be called out and may, at the umpire's discretion, be ejected from the game. All base runners may either slide or give up their right to a base (avoid a collision by stopping or leaving a base path) and/or, if the defensive player (e.g. catcher) has possession of the ball, is in the act of receiving the ball, or is about to immediately receive the ball and will be able to make an apparent play on the base runner. Fake tags are not allowed.

9. PITCHERS

No player while pitching may wear white or gray sleeves, nor may a pitcher wear a batting glove or wristband while pitching. One intentional walk per game will be allowed. The four pitches must be thrown. If a pitcher hits 3 batters in any one game (including the playoffs), the pitcher must be removed on the third hit batsman and may not re-enter as a pitcher in that game. There is no limit as to how many innings a pitcher may pitch in a game or a week. Pitchers who have been removed may re-enter the game as a pitcher one time only but not until 3 consecutive outs have been made. Pitchers are allowed up to 5 warm-up pitches to start the game, in between innings and when replacing an uninjured pitcher. If a pitcher is removed due to injury, the replacement pitcher may receive up to 8 warm-up pitches.

10. COURTESY RUNNERS

Each team may have two designated players who may have courtesy runners. The courtesy runner will be the last batted out. Designated players must be noted on the line-up card before the game starts at the home plate conference. You may not save designated players or add them later in the game. If a designated player is removed from the game, becomes injured or is ejected from the game, that team loses that courtesy runner. You may run for the catcher only with 2 outs in any inning. Runner for the catcher is also the last batted out. If a designated player refuses the courtesy runner, the designated player loses the courtesy runner for the rest of the game. If an incorrect courtesy runner is used, opposing team has only one pitch to protest to the umpire and runner will be ruled out. If courtesy runner is protested, then the pitch will be ruled a dead ball. However, if the courtesy runner is ruled as the correct runner, then the pitch thrown will count as ruled.

11. PLAYERS

Players may play any and all defensive positions. Defensive substitutions do not affect the batting line-up. In the offensive line-up, if a player is pinch-hit or pinch-run for he may not return in the game offensively for any reason (including the event of another player's injury or ejection). If a player is removed from the offensive or defensive line-up due to injury, that player may not play either offense or defense for the rest of the game. Any player drafted or picked up as a free agent must play with that team for one season unless released by that manager. After a player has played with a team for one season, he then becomes an unrestricted free agent and may play for whatever team he wants to.


12. LINE-UPS

You must have at least 8 players to start the game. A team must bat a minimum of 10 players unless only 9 are present, and, if due to injury and/or ejection, a team has only 8 players in the batting line-up, then only the 9th spot will be an automatic out. If a team has 9 players and bats 9 players then the opposing team may bat 9 players also. If a team has a 10th player show up to the game then they must be inserted into the batting lineup or be ineligible to play in the game. If at any time a team has only 7 players the game becomes a forfeit. You can add to the bottom of the order at any time and the National A&B system is legal. If a player voluntarily or involuntarily (ejection) leaves the game, he must leave the facility, and if no pinch hitter is available, the team may compress their line-up without penalty.

13. RUN RULE

There will be a 10 run rule in effect after 5 innings. Team behind must have at least 5 full at bats. Run rule will be in effect in all playoff games also. If a game becomes lopsided or out of hand, a team behind may stop playing at any time if it chooses (mercy rule).

14. FORFEIT RULE

If a team forfeits due to absence, the score shall be 9-0. A team that forfeits after the game has begun the score shall also be 9-0 no matter what the score was at the time the game was stopped. If both teams forfeit, the score shall be 0-0 and no points given. Any team caught with an illegal player shall forfeit all games that the illegal player participated in (See Rule #3).  A team that forfeits 2 games will be ineligible for the playoffs. A team that forfeits 3 games will be ineligible to play any further.

15. LENGTH OF GAME

All games will be 9 innings or 2 hours and 30 minutes which ever comes first. Games may end in a tie. No new inning will start after the game has reached 2 hours and 30 minutes. In the event of rain, lightning, man-made happening, etc., games will be considered a complete game after 5 complete innings or 4 1/2 innings with the home team ahead. The losing team must have had at least 5 full at bats. If a game is stopped in the middle of an inning and cannot continue, then you revert back to the last completed inning. Games suspended after the start of the 3rd inning will continue at a later date right where it left off. Games suspended under 3 innings will be totally replayed. Any playoff game that is discontinued for any reason will be rescheduled and shall resume play in the same inning with the same game situation at the moment of discontinuation. All rules regarding substitutions apply as if it was the same game (e.g. players removed from the batting lineup may not be reinserted, ejected players are still ejected for this game and pitchers removed from pitching may not be allowed to re-enter as a pitcher until 3 consecutive outs have been made since removal.) All playoff games will be played in full, with no time limit.

16. TIE BREAKERS

Teams qualifying for the play-offs will be determined by the following tie breakers in this order:

      A. total points (3 points for a win and 1 point for a tie)
      B. games head to head
      C. total runs allowed in all head to head games
      D. total runs scored in all head to head games
      E. coin flip

17. CONDUCT

No physical or verbally abusive attack may be directed towards any player, manager, umpire, or spectator, before, during, or after a game. Absolutely no profanity is allowed. Players guilty of such conduct shall be immediately ejected from the game, suspended from further participation and shall remain suspended until their conduct is reviewed by the League President. Players guilty of such conduct shall be subject to suspension for the remainder of the season and play-offs. Any player ejected from a game by an umpire shall serve a minimum 1 game suspension for each team the player is on. If a player or manager is ejected from a second game in the same season, he is automatically suspended for the remainder of the season and may be subject to a lifetime suspension from the AMBL. If a player is suspended, he may only contact his manager or division president. If said player contacts any other board member or person, he shall automatically remain suspended for the remainder of the season. A board member, however, may contact the suspended player if information is needed.

18. TRASH REMOVAL

Dugouts and fields shall be cleaned of all trash and put into cans provided at the conclusion of every game. Refer to coaches sheets for further maintenance responsibilities.

19. PROTESTS

Umpires must be notified that the game is under protest at the time of the incident by the protesting manager. Protests must be submitted to League President within 24 hours of completion of game. Games may not be protested on judgment calls by umpires.

20. LEAGUE PRESIDENT

League President has final and only say in any rules disputes, clarifications, and/or protests.

21. HOME TEAMS

Home teams will occupy the 3rd base dugout at all fields during the regular and play-off seasons. Home team is also responsible for all field maintenance before and at the conclusion of every game including play-offs (see rule #18).

22. DIVISION RULES

Each division may have their own rules that may slightly differ from the league rules. Each division must submit their division rules to the League President prior to the start of each season for approval. Certain league rules (e.g. rule #1, etc.) will not be compromised, altered, or changed.

23. GAME SCORES

Winning team manager or representative will call, fax, email or submit the final score through the website within 24 hours of completion of game. Failure to do this will result in no points given. In the event of a tie, the HOME TEAM is responsible for reporting the score by the usual means.

24. BATTING CAGES

No metal spikes or metal cleats are allowed in any batting cage facility where AMBL plays. Violation of this rule will result in an immediate $100.00 fine and automatic 3 game suspension. You may, however, wear metal spikes or cleats in batting cage facilities that have grass or dirt surfaces.

25. MANAGER QUALIFICATIONS

In order to be a manager in the AMBL the person must be approved by the LEAGUE PRESIDENT and must have an active cell phone and e-mail account.

26. INJURY REPORTING

Managers must report within 48 hours of occurrence any injury of any AMBL member or active participant in any, scrimmage, practice, game etc., to the LEAGUE PRESIDENT. Players must file an insurance claim with the LEAGUE PRESIDENT within 20 days of occurrence. Failure to report an injury and/or filing an insurance claim within this time frame will result in disallowance of insurance claim.

27. FIELD RENTAL

No AMBL member shall rent (or otherwise procure) a field used by AMBL without the permission from the PRESIDENT of AMBL. Failure to do so may result in suspension from league.

28. EJECTION RULE

Any player ejected 2 times during the course of the season shall be subject to suspension from the league for the remainder of the season.

29. COMPETING LEAGUE RULE

No AMBL member shall play, participate and/or be involved in any way with any other men's adult baseball league at any time. The penalty for such violation is suspension from AMBL membership and forfeiture of all dues paid. This rule protects AMBL's fair way to do business, it's trade secrets and it's ability to compete with other men's adult baseball leagues.

30. BOARD MEMBER INDEPENDENCE RULE

No more than 2 AMBL Board Members shall play on the same AMBL team.

31. RULE HIERARCHY

Division rules shall not supersede any Austin Metro Baseball League  (AMBL) Rule or the AMBL League Presidentís  authority to administer the league.

32. PLAYOFF GAME CONTINUATION RULE

Any playoff game that is discontinued for any reason and it is determined by the League president to be necessary and can be scheduled, shall resume play in the same inning with the same game situation at the moment of discontinuation.  All rules regarding substitutions apply as if it was the same game (e.g.  players removed from the batting lineup may not be reinserted, ejected players are still ejected for this game and pitchers removed from pitching may not be allowed to throw in the same inning they were removed.)

33. PLAYER INDEBTEDNESS RULE

Any player owing money to any AMBL member  or past member, shall not be allowed to play in the AMBL if the League President is notified and believes there to be sufficient proof of indebtedness and the amount is material.

34. MONEY COLLECTION RULE

Any team owing league dues, fines or penalties, because of a returned check , shall have until the end of the second business day (5 P.M. local time)  starting the day after notification  and acknowledgement , to present to the League Treasurer a money order, cashiers check or other form of guaranteed payment written on a reputable 3rd party institution for the total amount of dues and all penalties and fines specified.  If payment has not been paid by the end of this 2 business day period then the team forfeits every scheduled game until payment is received and if no games have been played then they forfeit their next game.  All individuals that give or have given non-valid checks to the AMBL must make payment in the above mentioned guaranteed forms of payment and the Treasurer shall keep a list of these members.