UNIVERSAL RULES - RULES FOR ALL DIVISIONS

WHO QUALIFIES TO PLAY?

A team is considered in good standing with the GHVBL when they are current with league dues & register.

GHVBL ROSTERS

Rosters must be submitted prior to the season.  ROSTER LINK

We encourage expanded rosters to avoid any forfeit - 20 Player Limit.  We may allow exceptions or age appropriate “guest” players in order to avoid a forfeit. Rosters may be altered in the event of injury, contact league for roster alterations.

Teams accepted on basis of driving parity for each division. Coaches are encouraged to place teams in appropriate division based on results in prior seasons and updated team make-up.  Teams encouraged to stretch teams into the highest division possible. Maximum of 5 players on team playing on two age appropriate rosters -  PLAYERS  may not play for more than ONE TEAM in a DIVISION.

Coaching staffs may consist of a Head Coach, Assistant Coach, Scorekeeper, & One Bench Coach for a total of no more than 4 coaches. There should never be more than 4 coaches in the bench area.

SCHEDULES & GAMEPLAY

Approved Game Balls

Teams may use league issued Diamond DOL-A, DOL-LSA Cushioned Cork Baseballs - or other league cleared Cushioned Cork Baseballs.  Each Team shall provide at least 2 game balls for each game. Then alternate starting with visiting team. No rubber pill, solid cork, or cork & rubber core baseballs…

GHVBL BAT RULES
8U - 10U & Fall 11U(60) - (All 46' x 60' fields) - Wood or USABat (non-wood bats must have USABat stamp or label)
11U - 12U & Fall 13U(70) (All 50' x 70' fields) - Wood, USABat, or BBCOR  (non-wood bats must have USABat or BBCOR stamp or label)
13U - 14U (60' x 90' fields) - Wood, USABat, or BBCOR  (non-wood bats must have USABat or BBCOR stamp or label)
15U & Older (60' x 90' fields) - Wood or BBCOR  (non-wood bats must have BBCOR stamp or label)

Coaches Schedule at Team Convenience

Games are single or doubleheaders on any day of the week - coaches construct schedules at Spring/Summer/Fall scheduling meetings. Games are 6 innings (8U-12U) or 7 innings (13U+) - Doubleheaders are two 6 inning games (8U-12U) or two 7 inning games (13U+) - teams may play 9 inning games if cleared by league 48 hours prior to first pitch.  A full game (depending on age group) COUNTS AS ONE GAME only. 9 INNING GAMES NEVER COUNT AS TWO GAMES.  Teams MAY schedule as many games as they like – BUT FIRST 12 COMPLETED GAMES (SPRING & FALL) (FIRST 16 IN SUMMER) count in the Playoff Seeding Standings. Additional games do not earn seed points.

We DISCOURAGE playing games out of age division.  Please make every effort to play among your peer division foes. OK to play A vs. B... Elite vs. A, etc.

Regular Season Tiebreakers

2 team tiebreaker - 1st (Head to Head) 2nd (Runs Against Average for Season)

3 or more team tiebreaker - Runs Against Average for SEASON.

Must Field Minimum of 8 to Play

Teams are given a 15 minute grace period to field 8 players before resulting in a forfeit. In addition visiting teams shall receive at least 15 minutes of field time prior to the game, from first arrival. Inability to field at least 8 players for a game shall result in forfeit.  If a team plays with 8, the 9th batting position in the lineup is an automatic out each time that 9th position comes up in the batting order.

Time Limits ONLY in 8U & 9U

8U & 9U - No Inning Starts after 1:45 - make good judgement - tie game at 1:45 is ump discretion.  

10U and above - No time limit on games (unless home team has defined slot for game & both teams are communicated to before game)

Starting Line-up

Coach may BAT as many players as he/she wants (9 minimum). The only information needed regarding a "Starting Lineup" is the number of batters - TEAMS ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE LAST NAME & NUMBER OF EACH PLAYER TO OPPOSING TEAM FOR PLAYOFF ELIGIBILITY TRACKING. Defensive substitution is up to coach - open substitution - but players must stay in same position in batting lineup. We use the "Sports @ The Beach" rule of flexible substitution.

Offensive Lineup

Team may bat 9 players, the entire roster or in-between. Once the number of batters is determined, it must remain for the entire game. However, there is no automatic outs unless an ejected player's turn comes up and there are no subs available (or if a team only has 8 players - 9th slot is automatic out each time around).  Those are the only scenarios that will result in an automatic out. Once a substitution bats or runs for a player, the sub and the original starter are locked into that batting position. Either one may bat or run in that position ONLY and are interchangeable for the game - no limit on re-entry. Simply said, two players may “share” in one batting position/baserunning position in a game. If a player is removed due to injury and skipped in the lineup (there is no penalty or automatic out, but that player MAY NOT RETURN TO THE GAME)

Defensive Lineup

Any player on the roster may play in any defensive position at any time, regardless of being in the batting order.

Example - A team may have 18 players: Bat 9 of them and play the other 9 in the field. No one player in a game can assume more than one offensive position.

8U - 12U EXTRA INNING RULES

All games resulting in tie after 6 innings shall play the 7th "straight up", then go to the “California Rule” (Last Batted out goes to second base & inning starts with ZERO OUTS) in inning 8 & 9.  Game is TIE after 9 innings (8U - 12U) Regulation games called due to darkness or weather related MAY end in a tie. PLAYOFF EXCEPTION - Game continues until decision.

13U and above EXTRA INNING RULES

All games resulting in tie after 7 innings shall play the 8th "straight up", then go to the “California Rule” (Last Batted out goes to second base & inning starts with ZERO OUTS) in inning 9 & 10.  Game is TIE after 10 innings (13U & UP) Regulation games called due to darkness or weather related MAY end in a tie. PLAYOFF EXCEPTION - Game continues until decision.

MERCY RULES

8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U - A team trailing the leading team by 10 Runs after 4 FULL innings, (3 ½ with the home team ahead) shall concede defeat immediately.  After 4th Inning - 10 runs after FULL inning - i.e. home team gets last licks.

13U and above - A team trailing the leading team by 10 Runs after 5 FULL innings (4 ½ with the home team ahead) shall concede defeat immediately.  After 5th Inning - 10 runs after FULL inning - i.e. home team gets last licks.

Courtesy Runners

“Courtesy Runners” are permitted at ANYTIME - for Catcher and/or Pitcher OR INCOMING Catcher and/or Pitcher (not required). Courtesy Runner must be last batted out.

Dropped Third Strike

Dropped third strike is live ball with no runner on first base or with two outs (11U and above).  Not applicable in 8U, 9U, 10U. The batter may then attempt to reach first base and must be tagged or thrown out. With two outs and the bases loaded, the catcher who fails to catch the third strike may, upon picking up the ball, step on home plate for a force-out or make a throw to any other fielder. If at the time of the strike three pitch, first base is occupied with fewer than two outs, the batter is automatically out and cannot become a runner.

COACH TRIPS TO MOUND

8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U - Coach may make two trips per inning.  At any time of the game a pitcher receiving their 3rd visit must result in the pitcher's removal.

13U and above - HS Federation Rules - Coaches receive 3 free pitcher conferences for the game - removing a pitcher DOES NOT COUNT AS A PITCHER CONFERENCE.  In an extra inning game, each team shall be permitted one charged conference each inning while on defense without penalty. The number of charged conferences permitted is not cumulative. A request for time for this purpose shall be made by a coach, player, substitute or an attendant. Time granted for an obviously injured player shall not constitute a charged conference. Prior to accumulating three charged conferences in seven innings or less, a conference is not charged if the pitcher is removed as pitcher.

BALKS & THIRD/FIRST MOVE

Illegal pitch, balk, etc. Regular Season 8U-13U – one warning per pitcher unless coaches agree to no warnings in pregame conference. 14U and older no warnings.  No warnings in Play-offs. Fake to third – throw to first pickoff is allowed.

INFIELD FLY RULE

No infield fly rule in 8U only.  Infield fly rule in effect in all divisions 9U and above.  

UMPIRE FEES

  • 8U & 9U  - Teams Split Cost of 1 Umpire @ $60 - 6 inning games

  • 10U - Teams Split Cost of 1 Umpire @ $65 - 6 inning games

  • 11U & 12U - Teams Split Cost of 2 Umpires for each game @ $65 per umpire/game - 6 inning games - Each team pays one ump.

  • 13U, 14U, 15U, 16U - Teams Split Cost of 2 Umpires for each game @ $75 per umpire/game - 7 inning games - Each team pays one ump.

  • VARSITY - Teams Split Cost of 2 Umpires for each game @ $80 per umpire/game - 7 inning games - Each team pays one ump.

  • COLLEGE - Teams Split Cost of 2 Umpires for each game @ $85 per umpire/game - 7 inning games - Each team pays one ump.

  • 9 Inning Games - Teams Split Cost of 2 Umpires for each game @ $110 per umpire/game - Each team pays one ump.

  • FYI - One Umpire Working a 50/70 or 60/90 game receives 1 and 1/2 Game Pay

  • Games postponed last minute (after umpires are en route) are entitled to 1/2 Game Pay (Travel Fee)

SAFETY RULES

Warm up Batter - ONLY permitted with enclosed fencing (8U - 12U) - Open air on-deck batters allowed on 60/90 fields. Please use sound judgement in all cases.  

Warm up Pitcher - coaches allowed to warm up pitchers without mask, players MUST have approved facemask to warm up pitchers.

FOOTWEAR - all games on 46/60 & 50/70 fields must wear molded, plastic cleats.  All games on 60/90 fields may wear metal spikes.  Please note and communicate if a team must wear turf shoes for games on artificial surfaces.  Please over-communicate in these situations.

PITCHING RULES - GHVBL has adopted the Pitch Smart Compliance Program.  Please adhere to the very specific documented pitching limits here.  This is a ENFORCED RULE. Pitch limits and "Daily Max" are HARD STOPS - meaning there is no exception for the pitcher to finish the batter.  Teams should communicate between innings - to properly document pitch counts. In areas of disagreement - HOME TEAM owns OFFICIAL PITCH COUNT.  Pitch Smart is a safety rule, so ALL PITCHING, regardless of league is relevant.  Meaning a pitcher's daily limit would include pitching in a local rec game, in addition to the GHVBL game the same day.

ADDITIONAL PITCHING RULES - On 46/60 fields & games, a pitcher once removed MAY NOT RETURN TO THE MOUND in the same game.  While this practice is not encouraged, in 50/70 & 60/90 games, this is allowed as long as the player is under their daily limit.  Also not encouraged, but a pitcher may pitch in multiple games in a day as long as they are under their daily pitch limit.

Slap Bunt/Slashing

NOT ALLOWED in 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U - Successfully batting a ball, after, in the umpire’s judgment, attempting to feint a bunt, shall be treated as an illegally batted ball. Runners return to their bases. (5.09(d)) The batter is out. (6.06(a))

Slap Bunt/Slash is allowed on 60/90 fields ONLY.  13U & Up only.

GHVBL IS A SLIDE OR AVOID CONTACT LEAGUE

Forceful, purposeful collisions are grounds for immediate ejection.  There is no rule forcing you to slide.

CATCHER’S MASK, HELMET, AND THROAT PROTECTOR (ALL DIVISIONS)

An extended “dangling” throat protector is considered a required part of the catcher’s mask. Hockey-style catcher’s masks with built-in extended throat protection are approved and do not require an extended “dangling” throat protector. The catchers mask shall not have a chrome or mirror-like surface.    The catcher’s helmet and mask combination shall meet the NOCSAE standard which includes having full ear protection with dual ear flaps. The skull cap and mask combination does not meet the NOCSAE standard nor does it provide full ear protection with dual ear flaps and is not permitted in GHVBL.

DOUBLE BAG @ FIRST

Games may be played with or without the double bag at first. If a field has a double base, all infield outs runner must touch the orange (outside) base and the first baseman must be in contact with the white part of the base when a play is being made. If there is a base hit the runner can touch either base.

BLOCKING BASES OR PLATE

Obstruction shall be called if a runner does not have access to the bag/plate. The runner could/will be awarded 1 base. A defensive player cannot block a base without the ball.

Catching/Pitching Restrictions

No restrictions on pitchers going to catch or catchers going to pitch, but please use sound, logical, judgement for the safety of players arms.

TEAM & PLAYER POST-SEASON ELIGIBILITY

TEAMS must play 6 games (Spring/Fall) or 8 games (Summer) in order to be eligible for playoffs.  NO EXCEPTIONS. All eligible teams are entered into playoff tournament.

PLAYERS (Specific Team Members) must play in at least 4 games (Spring/Fall) and 6 games (Summer) (FOR THE TEAM THEY ARE PLAYING WITH IN THE PLAYOFFS) to be eligible for participation in Post-Season Play.  Only exceptions made in situation of injury - contact league email for league exception consideration.  AGAIN - Must play 4 games in Spring/Fall & 6 games in Summer!

Playoffs (Single Elimination)

All teams make the playoffs – Higher Seed has option of hitting first or second.  Higher seed may host for first two rounds of playoffs. Seeding will be based on a weighted point system for regular season games.  High seed always has choice of batting first or second - up to and including the championship games.

SPORTSMANSHIP RULES

This is a gentlemen’s league. Sportsmanship is the spirit of the league and the RULE.

Teams Share Baseballs - Each team provides two (2) NEW league authorized baseballs at umpire meeting pre-game.  After the first 4 baseballs, teams alternate providing baseballs (Starting with AWAY TEAM)

Heckling of Pitchers IS NOT PERMITTED - Teams may cheer on their own team, but there should be NO OUTBURSTS WHEN PITCHER IS IN WINDUP - NO EXCEPTIONS.

Any conduct deemed detrimental to the game by the game umpire shall result in a game ejection or forfeiture.

If anyone associated with a team (coach, player, parent) is ejected from a game, that person will have an automatic one (1) game suspension, for the following game, the first time. In the event the following game is not played due to inclement weather or schedule conflicts, the suspension applies to the next game played; The second time that same person is ejected, the GVHBL Director will review the matter for further disciplinary action. Game umpires will notify the league email of the suspended player's name and game conduct for proper documentation & communication purposes.

SUSPENDING, POSTPONING  & RESCHEDULING GAMES

Games are considered official after 4 innings – (3 ½ if home team is ahead in 8U, 9U, 10U, 11U, 12U) - after 5 full (4 ½ if home team is ahead in 13U and older) - games suspended in PLAYOFFS ONLY due to darkness or weather before game is official.

GHVBL THUNDER & LIGHTNING POLICY

Thunder and lightning necessitates that games be suspended. The occurrence of thunder and/or lightning is not subject to interpretation or discussion ‐ thunder is thunder, lightning is lightning. With any weather in the forecast, please set up a plan for shelter prior to the start of a game.  When thunder is heard and/or when lightning is seen, the following procedures should be adhered to:

Suspend play and direct participants to go to shelter, a building normally occupied by the public or if a building is unavailable, participants should go inside a vehicle with a solid metal top (e.g. bus, van, car). Do not permit people to stand under or near a tree; and have all stay away from poles, antennas, towers and underground watering systems. After thunder and/or lightning have left the area, wait 30 minutes after the last boom is heard or strike is seen before resuming game.

GAME CANCELLATIONS & PENALTIES (non-weather related)

When a game must be cancelled, you must inform the league to give our umpire assignor Tom Kienzle enough time to redeploy the umpire crew.  Please inform the league email (theghvbl@gmail.com) and Tom (task3389@verizon.net) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. If the cancellation occurs within 24 hours of game time - your team is subject to forfeit & must pay the umpire crew if we can not reassign for the game (or games if a doubleheader).  Remember, we have great umpires that depend on our league for their income. It is not fair to leave them hanging.

FORECAST FOR RAIN – HOME TEAM MAKES THE CALL

Most importantly - please contact opposing coaches and call umpires DIRECTLY. Secondly, copy league director - theghvbl@gmail.com and umpire director – task3389@verizon.net – Please make a call at least two hours before game time – if game is called after the umpire travels to the game – they are entitled one-half game fee or depending on age group.

In the case of rainout – please contact opposing coach to make-up game asap – and please inform league director, umpire director, and both teams must agree on time/place – please contact the league to assist if you have difficulty.

PROTEST POLICY

The protesting manager must notify the home plate umpire of a protest before the next pitch is thrown. The umpire must note the point of protest in the scorebook of the protesting manager and then notify the league & umpire coordinator after the game.