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PACIFIC COAST BASEBALL LEAGUE

League Rulebook Table of Contents

League Objective..........................................................pg3
Uniforms, Helmets, Baseballs & Bats..........................pg3 Equipment..................................................................pg3
Game Time & Length, Run Rule and Rain-Outs.........pg4
Players and Line-up Cards..........................................pg4
Courtesy Runner Rule.................................................pg5
Pitchers........................................................................pg5
Collision and Decoy Rules...........................................pg6
Adding / Dropping / Transferring Players.....................pg7
Umpires........................................................................pg7
Filing a Protest.............................................................pg7
Forfeits and Bonds.......................................................pg7
Code of Conduct...........................................................pg8
Field Maintenance Responsibilities.............................pg8
All Star Games..............................................................pg9
Playoff and Championship Games..............................pg9
Basic Field Rules.........................................................pg10


 


Official Pacific Coast Baseball Rules

 

League Objective

The Pacific Coast Baseball League (PCBL) was founded in 1992 to provide an opportunity to men age 18 and older to continue playing the game we all played since we were very young.

We must always remember and fully accept that in every baseball game there is a winning team and a losing team, and we must respond appropriately. We must respect the game and in that interest, we must control our actions and control our players’ actions on and off the field. Good sportsmanship and proper conduct must always prevail in the PCBL environment, no matter how competitive a game may become. Every coach and every player has the responsibility to keep the game safe, competitive and enjoyable for all its participants. Let’s also ensure that our brand of baseball is enjoyable for our friends and family who come out to our games.

 Carefully review these league rules and make certain that your players become acquainted with them as well. Improper behavior on the part of any participant can adversely affect the future participation of your entire team.

The Official PCBL Rules Supplement

PCBL games are played by the Official Baseball Rules (OBR) that govern all of professional baseball. The following PCBL rules supplement covers specific modifications and additions to the OBR.

1. Uniforms

A. A professional appearance is mandatory for all participants of PCBL.

B. All teams are required to wear full baseball uniforms (baseball caps, numbered jerseys, baseball pants, baseball socks and/or stirrups and baseball cleats). Each player’s uniform jersey and cap must match those of his teammates.

C. All teams should have their uniforms by the first game of the season.

D. All teams must have their uniforms by the fourth game of the season. Any player wearing a uniform jersey and/or cap that does not match those of his teammates will not be allowed to participate without the opposing manager’s consent.

E. If a player wearing a non-uniform jersey and/or cap is required to be in the lineup for his team to avoid a forfeit, the violation will be reported by the umpires and a $25 fine will be paid from his team’s forfeit bond.

2. Equipment

A. Each team is required to provide three new baseballs to the plate umpire before the start of their game. League-approved baseball: Diamond D1

B. Every batter and base runner must wear an industry-standard protective helmet with protective single-ear or double-ear flaps at all times. Umpires are required to remove any cracked, broken or otherwise defective helmets.

C. All catchers are required to wear an industry-standard protective helmet with their facemask.

NOTE: OBR requires that all base coaches wear an industry-standard protective helmet, but ear protection is not required.

D. All PCBL games are played with a wood bat. Use of an unaltered industry-standard wood composite bat is allowed.

E. Use of a corked or otherwise altered wood bat is not allowed.

PENALTY: Any player caught using a corked bat will be ejected from the game.

 

3. Game Regulations

A. All league games are nine innings or three hours in length. Any inning that starts before the three-hour time limit elapses must be completed. If less than nine innings have been completed before three hours have elapsed, a new inning may begin. No new inning will start after three hours have elapsed.

B. In the event of a tie game after nine innings of play, extra innings will be played until a winner has been decided or the three-hour time limit has elapsed. If the game is still tied after the three-hour limit has been reached, the game ends in a tie.

C. An official game may be played with one team having only eight available players. A team fielding only eight players may borrow a ninth defensive player from the opposing team, with the opposing manager’s consent. The borrowed player may switch with another teammate at any time.

D. If a team does not have the required number of eight players to start a game at the scheduled game time, a 15-minute grace period will be granted by the umpires. If, after the initial grace period has elapsed, a team is still unable to field eight players, the opposing manager has the option of accepting a forfeit win, or waiving the requirement and granting one additional 15-minute grace period.

Note: Grace period time will count as time played, respective to the three-hour time limit. If, at the end of two 15-minute grace periods, a team is still unable to field a team of a minimum of eight eligible players, the game will be declared a forfeit.

E. If, after the grace period has been granted and an eighth eligible player arrives at the field in time, the game is then played as a normal game, except that the team batting only eight players will receive an automatic out every time the ninth position in the batting order is reached. This requirement is no longer in effect once a ninth eligible player joins the lineup.

F. If a team that is borrowing a ninth defensive player has a ninth eligible player arrive after the start of the game, the borrowed player must rejoin his own team.

G. Mercy Rule: If a team is ahead by 12 runs and the team that is behind completes its turn at bat in the sixth inning, the game may be declared a regulation win with the consent of the manager of the team that is in the lead. It is the sole right of the winning team to continue playing or invoke the Mercy Rule. The rule can be implemented at any time following the sixth inning, as long as the team that is behind has completed its at bat in the inning in progress, and remains behind by 12 runs or more.

H. A game shortened by rain or other inclement weather conditions will be ruled a regulation game if the team that is behind completes its turn at bat in the fifth inning. The official final score will be the score after the last complete inning played.

Note: The league will attempt to reschedule any game that is rained out or canceled due to weather-related or similar complications. The rescheduling of canceled games is not guaranteed.

 Note: Any game that is suspended due to rain, and does not meet the requirement to be considered a regulation game, requires that the umpires refund half of their game fees to each team.

4. Lineup Regulations

A. Lineup cards must be submitted to the plate umpire and exchanged with the opposing managers before the start of each game. Lineup cards must list all starters and any reserves expected to play in that game.

B. If a player that is on a team’s official roster is late in arriving to the game site and is not listed on the lineup card, that player may be added to the lineup card and will be permitted to play in that game.

C. A manager may decide to bat as many available players as he desires, but must bat a minimum of nine. If a manager lists more than nine batters on his lineup, all listed batters must remain in the batting order for the entire game.

D. A manager may add eligible batters to the bottom of the lineup at any time. Once a manager adds a batter to his lineup, that player must remain in the batting order for the remainder of the game.

E. Each team has a batting lineup and a defensive lineup that are independent of each other. Players that are not listed in the batting order may play any defensive position at any time.

F. Defensive substitutions do not affect the batting order. Players listed in the batting order are not required to play a defensive position at any time.

G. Defensive players may be substituted freely at any position, except pitcher.

H. In the event of a player ejection, a reserve player, who has not batted in the game, may be substituted for the ejected player. If no eligible reserve is available, the team will be assessed an out each time the ejected player’s spot comes up.

I. In the event of a player injury, a reserve player that has not batted in the game, may be substituted for the injured player. If no eligible reserve is available, the injured player’s spot in the batting order is skipped, with no penalty.

Example: A team batting all nine of its available players, has its No. 8 batter disabled due to injury or illness. That team now has its No. 9 batter bat in the No. 8 position in the order, and the batting order now consists of eight batters, with no out recorded when the No. 9 spot is due up.

5. Player Regulations

A. A team is permitted to have a maximum number of two batters that require a courtesy runner. A batter that requires a courtesy runner must be declared a non-runner on the lineup card that is presented to the umpire in chief before the game. Each non-runner shall be designated on the lineup card with a “NR” next to his name.

B. If the lineup card is not appropriately marked, the opposing manager may deny any courtesy runner request once the game has started.

 C. An eligible courtesy runner must be either the player responsible for the last recorded out or a player not in the current batting lineup. If the player that made the last recorded out is also a designated non-runner, courtesy runner duties will go to the player that recorded the preceding out.

Note: A player that recorded the last out in an inning or a player not in the current batting order could possibly run the bases for more than one non-runner in the same inning.

Note: If a batter is obviously injured during the game and is unable to safely run the bases, a third non-runner can be designated by the umpire in chief. This does not require the consent of the opposing manager.

6. Pitcher Regulations

 A. If a pitcher is credited with four hit batsmen in a game, he must be removed from the game as pitcher. He is no longer eligible to pitch, but may play any other position.

B. If a pitcher is removed, he may play any other defensive position, but is not required to play a position.

C. Only the starting pitcher may re-enter the game as the pitcher.

Note: The starting pitcher may re-enter as pitcher only once and may not re-enter at pitcher in the same inning in which he was removed.

D. A pitcher may not wear a batting glove or wristbands or other similarly distracting tape or other materials on his throwing arm or his non-throwing arm.

E. If a pitcher is wearing a uniform undershirt, it must have sleeves that are the same length, and must match his team’s uniform undershirt color.

Note: A pitcher may not wear sleeves that are white or gray.

F. If a pitcher wears a therapeutic arm sleeve, he must wear it under his uniform undershirt.  It must be black, navy or a similarly dark, non-distracting color, and he must wear another sleeve on his non-pitching arm.  The sleeve cannot be emblazoned with any white marks, and it cannot have any fraying.  If a sleeve is deemed distracting by the umpire in chief, it must be removed.

Note: The umpire in chief may grant permission to a pitcher that wishes to wear a non-distracting therapeutic elbow brace.

7. Safety Regulations

A. In the interest of safety, MBL and PCBL employ the Force Play Slide Rule, a version of which will now be included in the OBR. The emphasis of this rule: it is a no-collision rule.

B. Runners must slide directly into the base they are heading for.  If their slide takes them into a fielder (even if they are within an arms' length of the base), they will be called out and interference may be called.

C. If a runner, in the judgment of the umpire, intentionally collides with a fielder in an attempt to dislodge the ball from the fielder’s grasp, the umpire will call time, the ball will be declared dead, the runner will be called out automatically and ejected from the game.  Interference may also be called.

Note: This is not a “must-slide rule,” but a rule designed to stop a player from intentionally lowering his shoulder or raising his forearms and colliding with a fielder in an attempt to disrupt a play. If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner who fails to slide makes slight or incidental contact with a fielder, he may decide to let the play stand.

D. Infielders are not allowed to fake a catch or a tag in an attempt to make a runner slide unnecessarily.

Penalty: If a fake catch or tag is detected, all runners shall be awarded one base beyond the base they reached once all play is stopped. The player in violation of this rule is issued an official warning.

Penalty: If the same infielder is in violation of this rule twice in the same game, the previously warned fielder will be ejected from the game.

8. Player Eligibility Requirements and Roster Regulations

A. All players must be 18 years of age or older. Each team’s manager is responsible for verifying the age-related eligibility of his players.  16 year old players may be deemed eligible with a parent release form, and must be cleared with the league prior to participating in any game.

B. Each player must be prepared and able to show proof of identity at each game, if requested by the opposing manager or the umpire in chief. If the player in question is unable to provide proof of identity, they shall be declared ineligible and removed from the game. Such a player remains ineligible to play in that day’s game until he can provide proof of identity.

C. Prior to the start of all playoff and championship games, approved photo identification must be produced by all players to officially validate team playoff rosters. Any player that is unable to provide accepted proof of identity is ineligible to play in that game until he can provide sufficient proof.

Acceptable proof of identity documents:

  • Driver’s license or state-issued photo ID

  • U.S. Passport

  • Military ID card

  • Permanent Resident Alien card (must say “permanent”)

D. In order for a player to be eligible to participate in his team’s league playoff and championship games, he must have participated in at least seven of his team’s regular-season games for Spring, and 4 of his team's regular-season games for Fall.

E. A player may be added to a team’s roster at any time.  There is no roster deadline.

F. Dropping a player: If a player is dropped by his team, he is released and is eligible to play for the team of his choice for the remainder of the season.  However, his playoff eligibility is only based on games played for his CURRENT team, not for all games played over the season.  For instance, if a player plays 9 games for team A, then is dropped and joins team B and plays 5 games, that player is NOT eligible for playoffs on team B.

G. Disbanding a team: In the event a team disbands, all players are considered free agents and will be permitted to play for any team they desire.  Their eligibility will be based on the combined games played for BOTH the disbanded team and the new team they join.

H. Transferring a player: A player may not be transferred from one team to another without the consent of both teams’ managers and the permission of the league.

I. A player may be transferred or traded only with their consent.

J. Players remain the property of their initial team in future seasons and may not play for another team unless released, traded or the team disbands. If a player is invited back by his initial team and he chooses not to play for this team, he must sit out one complete summer season before he will be eligible to play for another team.

K. In the event a player wishes to leave his existing team and form a new team, he may do so, but no players can be taken from existing teams without the consent of each team’s current manager.

L. If a league member owes another league member funds for uniform costs or any fees as a result of league or tournament participation in any MSBL/MABL or its affiliates’ organizations or events, that member is not allowed to participate in any league activities, including scheduled games, All-Star events or tournaments until he has paid the money owed. For this to apply, the league commissioner must be notified in writing of the outstanding debt.

9. Umpires

A. Umpire Fees are $90 per team per game.

B. If only one umpire is available for a game the fee is $60 per team.

C. Should an umpire arrive late or after the start of a game $5 will be deducted for each full inning missed.

D. If umpires fail to show up for a game or if only one umpire is available, both teams may vote on using substitute umpire(s). Substitute umpire(s) are not eligible to participate in that game.

E. Verbal or physical abuse of umpires is not permitted and will not be tolerated.

F. Umpire evaluation forms will be used to help rate all umpires. These forms must be sent in regularly, allowing us to evaluate all umpires’ performances. The umpire selection process for All-Star games or playoff and championship games will be based in part on these evaluation forms.

10. Filing a Protest

A. The correct procedure for filing a protest:

1) Notify the Plate Umpire at the time of the disputed ruling and before further play that you are playing the game under protest.

2) Notify the league by telephone that you intend to file a protest of your game. The protest will not be discussed nor will a final ruling be made over the phone.

3) Submit protest form along with a $25 protest bond within 48 hours of the end of the protested game. Protest bond will be refunded if the protest is upheld.

4) The League Rules Committee will conduct a hearing on the matter and then inform you of its decision.

11. Forfeits and Bonds

A. A Forfeit Bond of $200 must be filed with Pacific Coast Baseball before the first game of the season.

B. The purpose of the Forfeit Bond:

1) In the event of a forfeit, a bond is used to pay the umpire fees for both teams, as well as cover field expenses.

2) The bond covers any fines imposed by the League Disciplinary Committee.

C. Repayment of a used forfeit bond must be received by 6:00 PM on the Thursday prior to the next scheduled game. If payment is not received, an 
additional forfeit will be imposed and a possible suspension of the team involved will be reviewed by the League Disciplinary Committee.


D. Two forfeits by any team could result in immediate banishment from the league with no money refunded to the forfeiting team.

E. The forfeit bond may be refunded after the conclusion of the season upon request in writing by team manager.

F. The forfeit bond remains valid into the following summer season. If a team does not return the following summer season the forfeit bond becomes invalid and is no longer kept on file.

12. Code of Conduct

A. The Code of Conduct applies to all players, coaches, managers, non-uniformed personnel, umpires and spectators. The Code of Conduct applies to players as individuals or as a team, and the penalties can be applied to individuals or to an entire team. This code becomes effective as soon as the participants arrive at the facility and remains in effect until they leave the facility.

B. All disciplinary action and reviews will be handled by the League Disciplinary Committee.

C. Any player ejected from a game will serve a minimum two-game suspension, effective starting with his team’s very next scheduled game.  If the ejected player shows up to the teams' next game and serves his suspension in person without incident (showing his ID to the umpire in chief before the game), the suspension will be reduced to one game. 

D. An appeal may be submitted to have the league review an ejection and resultant suspension, with the possibility of the suspension being reduced if the infraction is deemed to be minor.

E. Any player or manager guilty of physical contact with an umpire will receive a minimum three-game suspension, a possible full-season suspension or banishment from the league for life.

F. Any player or manager that refuses to abide by an umpire’s order shall be immediately suspended from the league and subject to probation while his misconduct is reviewed.

G. Any player or manager guilty of a physical attack upon any player, manager, official or spectator before, during or after a game shall be immediately suspended from the league, will receive a minimum three-game suspension, a possible full-season suspension or banishment from the league for life.

H. Any player guilty of consuming alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs on or near the baseball facility will receive a minimum three-game suspension, a possible full-season suspension or banishment from the league for life. This includes both players and spectators, in the dugouts, bleachers and parking lot.  If an umpire cannot determine which players are involved, the entire team may receive punishment.

I. Smoking is not permitted at any of the facilities where we play. This includes the playing field, around the dugouts and the spectator area. Players found in violation shall be immediately ejected from the game and suspended a minimum of three games.

J. Field Neglect (when school authorities complain): $25 minimum fine per offense. Damage to school equipment (dugouts, fences, trashcans, rakes, equipment, etc.): $25 fine plus replacement cost of damaged equipment.

K. Any fine that is imposed must be paid by 6:00pm on Thursday before the violating team’s next scheduled game. If an imposed fine is not paid, the manager or involved player is 
immediately suspended and ineligible to play in his team’s next scheduled game.  Further punishment may be imposed by the League Disciplinary Committee.

13. Field Responsibilities

A. These basic rules apply to all fields! See “Field Directions” for the specifics of each field.


B. Both participating teams will be responsible for taking care of the field after every game. Teams playing the morning games are not excused from cleaning up their dugouts for the afternoon games.

C. Each team will clean out its dugout and put all trash and other debris in trash cans. Trash includes sunflower seeds, gum wrappers, drink
bottles and even chewing tobacco that has been chewed and spit out on the ground.

D. The field, dugouts and spectator area will be inspected by our field maintenance crews. Any teams that are reported to have neglected to clean up after a game will be fined a minimum of $25.


E. Batting drills like soft toss against fences or backstops is not permitted at any field.

F. Cutting locks, removing gates or climbing fences to gain access to playing fields is not allowed under any circumstances.

Reminder: Smoking is not permitted on the playing field or in the dugouts or the spectator areas.

Reminder: Any player or manager found causing damage to field or school property will be fined, suspended or banned from the league, and will be held financially responsible for the repairs to any damaged property.

We need use of these fields to play our games! Without these fields there is no league! Be responsible!

NOTE: If you show up to a field and find it in bad shape (trash, locks cut, etc), immediately take a picture and notify the league.  We don't want to take the blame for someone else trashing a field.

14. All-Star Games

A. Each division of the league will have its own separate All-Star game in late June.

B. Managers and players are chosen for the game based on the division standings two weeks before the game.

C. The standings of each division will be separated by odd and even numbers. The odd and even numbered teams will then play each other in the All-Star Game.

D. Managers of the first and second place teams will be the All- Star managers in their respective divisions.

E. All managers and players will wear their regular-season uniforms during the game.

F. The number of players representing each team in the division will be decided by the team standings. Teams higher up in the standings may be awarded more player berths than teams farther down in the standings.

G. Equipment for the All-Star Game is to be provided by the first and second place team’s managers.

H. Umpires’ fees and baseballs for the games will be provided by the league.

15. Playoffs and Championship

A. Each division of the league will have its own post-season playoff and championship game.

B. In order for a player to be eligible and participate in league playoffs and championship games, they must have participated in a minimum number of his team’s regular season games. For the summer season the required number of games played is seven league games. For the fall leagues, the required number is four league games.

C. Player attendance and participation must be documented online in each team’s game statistics.  A player must pitch to one batter or have one plate appearance in a game to receive credit for playing.

D. Teams must post and maintain timely and accurate online statistics to be eligible to participate in playoff games.

E. If a team is found to have posted fraudulent online statistics, they will be declared ineligible to participate in any playoffs and may face further discipline.

F. All post-season games will be nine innings with no time limit whenever possible.

G. The Mercy Rule (12-run lead after six innings) remains in effect for all postseason games.


Reminder: Photo ID will be required from all players to validate team rosters before the start of all playoff and championship games. Any player that is unable to provide proof of identity is ineligible to play in the game until he can provide suitable proof.

Reminder: The umpires’ fees and cost of baseballs are paid by the teams for all playoff games leading up to the championship game.

H. Championship game umpires’ fees and baseballs will be provided by the league.

16. Key Rules to Follow at All Fields

  1. All warm-up activity should be done on the outfield grass.

  2. Do not play catch or do pre-game stretching in front of the dugouts.

  3. Do not hit soft toss against any fence surrounding the field.

  4. Do not throw batting practice in front of the pitching mound.

  5. If a field is wet, stay off the field and do not haul dirt on or off the field to try to make it playable. Do not make a muddy field worse with footprints or heavy raking.

  6. Clean up trash in dugouts and spectator area after every game.

  7. If you notice anything in need of repair, take a picture, notify the umpires immediately and inform the league office.

We are privileged to have such great facilities at which to play our games. We must follow these simple rules in order to continue to enjoy the same privileges in the coming years.
We need everyone to do his part to keep the fields in great shape!

 

Thank You,

Pacific Coast Baseball League

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