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EMIBL Charter & 2017 Rules (Updated 4/3/17)

EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS INDEPENDENT BASEBALL LEAGUE

The Eastern Massachusetts Independent Baseball League (EMIBL) was established in 2012 to provide “Big Diamond” middle-school age players with a highly competitive baseball option during the spring season. It is intended to complement existing in-town leagues and provide a cost-effective alternative to other travel programs, while giving players the opportunity to both represent their town and push themselves to the next level of competition and skill.

LEAGUE STRUCTURE

• The Eastern Massachusetts Independent Baseball League (EMIBL) is a “Big Diamond” league consisting of towns in the greater Boston area forming teams of middle-school age students.

• The EMIBL is governed by a Board of Directors — consisting of a President, Vice President, Player Agent, Treasurer, and additional Board members as necessitated — who determine league policy through regular meetings and majority votes.

• Except where noted, the EMIBL follows MIAA rules and regulations.

• Towns seeking admission to the EMIBL must fill out and submit an application, and by doing so agree to follow all EMIBL rules and guidelines. A refundable $100 deposit is required with each application. Accepted towns are required pay an additional $400 prior to the start of the season to fulfill the $500 annual fee.

• As part of their application, towns must identify days per week that they are available for games to be played, including at least one weekend day (towns can identify specific times on weekends when they are available), and can also identify days per week requesting that no games be scheduled. Identifying these days before the schedule is made helps the EMIBL and in-town leagues avoid scheduling conflicts. The standard starting time is 5:45 p.m. for weeknight games and 3 p.m. for weekend games, but starting times can be adjusted as needed to accommodate the participating teams. Games can played under the lights.

• Every participating town must be represented at the annual EMIBL preseason meeting (2017 meeting: Sunday, March 12, 6 p.m. in Belmont), and may be requested to attend additional meetings during the year.

 

TENTATIVE 2017 EMIBL DATES

March 1, 2017 – All scheduling requests submitted

March 6, 2017 – Tentative schedule sent to coaches/town representatives

March 12, 2017 – Mandatory preseason meeting to finalize schedule/review rules

April 1, 2017 – Team Rosters Emailed to EMIBL Player Agent

April 6-9, 2017 – Opening Weekend

May 11, 2017 – Playoff Rosters Emailed to EMIBL Player Agent

May 12, 2017 – EMIBL All-Star Game

May 16, 2017 – End of Regular Season

May 17-18, 2017 – Open dates to allow for late make-up games

May 20-21, 2017 – EMIBL Playoffs (Belmont High School)

 

2017 TEAMS/DIVISIONS

“AMERICAN” DIVISION

Belmont

Brookline

Haverhill

North Reading

Wakefield

Waltham

Wilmington

Winchester

Woburn

“NATIONAL” DIVISION

Belmont

North Reading

Wakefield

Woburn

SCHEDULE

• The EMIBL playing season closely mirrors the Massachusetts high school season, running from early April until late May.

• For the nine-team “American Division,” there is a 14-game schedule. For the four-team “National Division,” there is a 10-game schedule. Teams have an equal number of home and away games.

• Each “American Division” team plays the other eight teams at least once, and plays six of those teams a second time. Each “National Division” team plays the other three teams three times, and plays one of those teams a fourth time.

• There is no inter-division play.

• Games have been scheduled for Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sunday afternoons.

• The regular season begins Thursday, April 6, and concludes Tuesday, May 16. 

• The EMIBL playoffs will be held Saturday, May 20, and Sunday, May 21, at Belmont High School (final format to be determined)

• The tentative EMIBL schedule will be sent to all head coaches/town representatives for review and any final requests. Once the final schedule is released, no changes can be made without approval of the EMIBL Board.

• Before re-scheduling any game, coaches must seek out every alternative, including change of venue and change of time, and having the away team serve as the “host” for the game if field availability or conditions force such a change.

• Postponed games are to be played within 14 days of the originally scheduled game. The EMIBL Board must be made aware of date/time/location of rescheduled games. A forfeit will be imposed to the team unable to make up an unplayed game.

• Teams failing to play at least 13 scheduled league games will be excluded from the playoffs (a waiver may be granted by the Board if weather or other outside factors force postponement of games in the final days of the season and those games are unable to be re-scheduled). Any team that forfeits or cancels two (2) or more games will be reviewed by the EMIBL Board and could be removed from the league. The EMIBL Board will evaluate these on a case-by-case basis.

• Home team coaches are responsible for securing fields and scheduling umpires (umpire fees are split between the two teams).

• Teams may schedule additional “non league” games, including games intended to achieve additional playing time for younger/lesser-used players. These games cannot replace regularly scheduled games and will not count in the EMIBL standings.

PLAYER ELIGIBILITY

• Only rostered players may play for a team and players may only be rostered on one team. The use of a non-rostered player will result in a forfeit of every game in which the player appeared and possible additional discipline by the EMIBL.

• A team may have a maximum of 18 players on its roster.

• All rostered players must meet the following requirements:

1) Be residents of the town for which they play.

2) Be enrolled in the 7th or 8th grades. Players may attend private, parochial, or out-of-town schools or be home-schooled, as long as they reside in the town.

It is highly encouraged that all players also register to play for their in-town program and/or local school baseball team. Individual towns may place additional guidelines on eligibility.

• Final rosters must be submitted to the EMIBL Player Agent prior to the start of the season (for 2017, these rosters must be submitted by April 1) and include each player’s full name, date of birth, home address, uniform number, and phone number. Coaches must be prepared to provide the following documentation: a copy of each player’s birth certificate, proof of residency, and proof of school attended. Any additions to a team roster after the start of the regular season must be submitted to the EMIBL Player Agent for approval with supporting documentation. No players may be added to a roster after April 30.

• Only rostered players who meet the minimum-game requirement may compete in the playoffs. A player must appear in a minimum of 50 percent of a team's EMIBL regular-season games in order to be eligible for the playoffs. This calculation is limited to games when a player has no conflicts (e.g. school games or injury).

WAIVERS

Other than where noted below, Little League (Junior Division) rules apply.

Game Length: Games are seven (7) innings long. A game becomes official game after four (4) innings are completed (3 ½ innings if home team is winning). A maximum of two extra innings may be played in any regular-season game. Please see extra inning rules bellows.

Mercy Rule: The mercy rule is in effect if a team leads by 15 runs after four (4) innings or 10 runs after five (5) innings. The home team always receives its last at-bat if needed.

Extra Innings: If a game is tied after seven (7) innings have been completed, the “tie-breaker” will go into effect. Each team puts the batter who made last out in the previous inning on second base and plays out a full inning. If an inning is completed using this format and there is still no winner, each team puts runners on second and third base (those who made the last two outs in the previous inning) and the inning will be played out. In the regular season, a game may only have two extra innings until a tie is declared; in the playoffs, this format continues until a winner is determined.

Pitching: Pitchers are limited to seven (7) innings per game and nine (9) innings per week – the week starts Sunday and ends on Saturday. Pitchers are required to have three (3) days rest if three (3) or more innings are pitched in a game – regardless of when the pitching week ends. One pitch thrown counts as an inning pitched for purposes of this rule. Pitcher innings will reset between the end of the regular season and the playoffs.

Line-ups/Batting Order: A team must start a game with nine (9) players, but can finish with eight (8) players. The batting order must consist of at least nine (9) players. Teams have the option of using as many “extra hitters” as they want. However, the number of hitters in the batting order cannot be changed once a game starts. Players not in the starting batting order can be entered into any spot in the order at any time. If a player re-enters the batting order after having been replaced, he must re-enter in the same spot from which he was pulled. During the playoffs, if a player is injured while using a continuous batting order and that player’s spot in the batting order comes up, an out is recorded and then the team continues with the batting order. (This rule does not apply during the regular season.)

Substitution/Re-entry: There are no restrictions on defensive substitutions. Players do not need to be in the batting order to be eligible to play defensively.

Courtesy Runners: There are no courtesy runners. Pinch runners can be used if not in the active batting lineup. If a pinch runner is used, they are then subject to the re-entry rule for the batting order.

Minimum Playing Time: There is no minimum playing time requirement.

Intentional Walks: Pitches must be thrown for an intentional walk.

Balks: There is one warning per pitcher during regular-season games. No warnings in playoff games.

UMPIRES

The home team is responsible for scheduling umpires (the “host” team in instances when a game is being played at the away team’s home field). The fee for two (2) umpires contracted is $65 per umpire per game. The fee for one (1) umpire contracted is $90 per game. Fees for rainouts after the umpires have arrived at the field is 50% of the regular contracted fee. Teams split the cost of umpires and umpires should be paid prior to a game’s commencement. It is strongly recommended that teams use two (2) patched umpires per league game.

REPORTING SCORES

Scores are expected to be reported to the league web administrator by the winning team on the same day the game is completed. Scores should include any special circumstances (shortened game, extra innings, forfeit). Since runs allowed is a tiebreaker, coaches will need to submit defensive innings played by each team (include 1/3’s of an inning if appropriate). All pitchers and their innings pitched – one pitch thrown equals an inning pitched – should be included with scores. Teams are responsible for keeping accurate game records – i.e., batting order, scores, individual game roster, etc.

STANDINGS

Only designated EMIBL games count toward league standings. EMIBL standings are calculated by winning percentage (one point for a win and half-point for a tie, divided by number of games played).

Two-team ties in the standings are broken by: 1) Head-to-head results; 2) Runs against (per inning) in head-to-head games; 3) Overall runs against (per inning); 4) Coin flip.

Three-or-more-team ties in the standings are broken by: 1) Average runs against (per inning) in head-to-head games among the tied teams; 2) Overall runs against (per inning); 3) Coin flip. Teams remaining tied will then break their tie based on these tie-breaker rules, starting from the first tie-breaker.

POSTPONEMENTS/CANCELATIONS/FORFEITS

• Prior to a game’s commencement, the home team manager will determine if a game needs to be delayed or postponed due to weather or field conditions. As a courtesy, visiting teams are asked to be given two-hour advance notice of any postponements or delays.

• Any game that has completed one full inning that then needs to be suspended (prior to becoming official) for weather, field conditions, or other extenuating circumstances will be picked up at the point at which it stopped. Any game that has failed to complete one full inning will be replayed from the start and pitching records from that game will not count.

• If a team forfeits or cancels a game and there is an umpire fee due, the forfeiting team will be required to pay the entire fee for the game. If a team cancels or forfeits a league game, the opposing team receives a 7-0 win.

PLAYOFFS

• Teams must qualify for the playoffs. The final qualification criteria, format, and planned playoff schedule will be announced by May 1.

• Playoff rosters must be submitted to the Player Agent one week prior to the start of playoffs and include only players who are eligible for playoffs, based on minimum playing requirements (please note that if you have a regular-season roster of 18, not all players may be eligible for playoffs)

• Playoff games must go seven innings (mercy rule applies) and be played until there is a winner. The higher-seeded team is the home team, regardless of the site.

• Pitchers may pitch a total of seven (7) innings in the playoffs.• Teams must be available to play multiple games in a single day if necessary.

• Playoffs will be played under tournament rules, which will be presented ahead of the EMIBL playoffs.

• The Director of Operations may change or condense the playoff schedule/format based on conditions.

 

ALL-STAR GAME

Details surrounding selection process for the all-star game will be released by the EMIBL during the season. (The 2017 All-Star Game will be a wood bat game and is scheduled for Friday, May 12, at Woburn’s Ferullo Field, starting at 7 p.m.)

ADDITIONAL RULES

Game Balls: Teams must use EMIBL-approved Diamond game balls that can be purchased through the league by contacting Marco Vittozzi (mdvittozzi@fedex.com). Each team must provide four (4) balls for each game.

Cleats: Metal or plastic cleats are permissible.

Bat Rules/Restrictions: All players are required to use BBCOR -3 bats or Wood bats that conform to MIAA Handbook requirements and by reference to safety specifications adopted by the National Federation of State High School Associations NFHS Rules 1-3-2 through 1-3-5 (Link to the rule will be provided). If a player is discovered using an illegal bat during an at-bat, the bat is removed from play. If the infraction is discovered at the conclusion of the at-bat, AND before the first pitch is thrown to the next player, the defense may take the penalty of the batter being called out (and the returning all runners to their original bases prior to start of the at bat,) or the result of the play. A second at-bat attempt with an illegal bat will result in an ejection.

Appeals: Any and all appeals will be resolved by the EMIBL Board with any teams involved in the appeal abstaining. All rulings will be considered final.

CODE OF CONDUCT

The goal of the Eastern Mass Independent Baseball League (EMIBL) is to provide a fun, safe, positive, and supportive atmosphere for the players, staff and spectators of its sanctioned athletic events. The EMIBL has taken a proactive, no tolerance stance towards any unsportsmanlike act or other conduct considered detrimental to EMIBL, its players, coaches, officials or other third parties. Any violence, foul or abusive language or any other inappropriate behavior (as deemed so by EMIBL) by any participant, coach, spectator or official may be grounds for disqualification from future participation in league events or other remedial action. In the event the League is notified of a violation of the above Code of Conduct, an investigation will take place by the Board or its designee. Depending on the nature, circumstances or frequency of a violation, corrective action may be taken. For example, individuals may receive a warning (verbal or written) or the violation could result in a suspension up to and including, indefinite expulsion, expulsion for the remainder of the season, or expulsion for a series of games or game. The nature and extent of any corrective action is at the discretion of the Board. Any aggrieved party who has received such corrective action, may petition, in writing to the Board, for an appeal within three days of the suspension. A hearing with the Board (or designated subcommittee) will be scheduled as soon as practicable and a decision will be made by the Board within one week of the written appeal request or as soon as the Board is reasonably able to do so.

Play hard, play safe and have fun!

Eastern Massachusetts Independent Baseball League Board of Directors