MEN’S SENIOR BASEBALL LEAGUE & MEN’S
ADULT BASEBALL LEAGUE
RULES AND REGULATIONS
REVISED January 1, 2019
This league was created to provide for men 18, 25,
35, 45 and 55 and over an alternative to softball and enable us to play the game
we all grew up playing. Adult attitudes must always prevail, no matter how
competitive any league is. The responsibility that this ethic sustains will
remain at the responsibility of the individual league President and his officers
and anyone who abuses the league’s code can be suspended or expelled from the
league. These rules were established to serve as guidelines for all local league
3. Alcoholic Beverages
5. Number of Players
6. Courtesy Runners
8. Age Requirement
9. Length of Games, Ties and Arbitrarily ‘Stopping Play’
10. Collisions, Decoys and Slide Rule
11. Intentional Walks and Hit Batsmen
12. Protests and Make Ups
13. Player and Team Participant Requirements
Rule 1 – Uniforms
There will be no requirement that all team members wear matching uniform tops
and hats at our four January – May tournaments (Holiday Classic, Desert Classic,
Kickoff Classic, Las Vegas Open). We would encourage teams to try and match
uniform tops as best as possible. For the World Series and Fall Classic, the
rule is mandatory for matching uniforms and hats! In addition, uniform
numbers are mandatory on the back of the uniform shirts and each player must
have a differentiating number. In the World Series and Fall Classic, a player
may be denied participation without a matching uniform or “select” number. All
Base Coaches must be in full uniform as well. In addition, rosters must be
exchanged before each game detailing each player’s name an uniform number, not
only for players attending that game, but the entire tournament approved
roster. If not presented, this is protestable and a forfeit can be given.
Rule 2 – Helmets
All batters and runners must wear a helmet with at least one earflap. The MSBL/MABL
strongly urges that all helmets are double ear flapped, but at a minimum, the
batter’s ear that faces the pitcher must be covered by an earflap.
Catchers, while playing defense, must wear a protective helmet.
All base coaches are also required to wear protective head gear while on the
field of play and be in full uniform.
There will be NO deviations/exemptions
from this rule.
Rule 3 – Alcoholic Beverages
No alcoholic beverages of any kind are permitted on the field or in the dugout
during any National Tournament game. Please keep the consumption of these types
of beverages limited to those areas away from the field or dugouts, and are also
excluded from parking lots! Any
participant who is found to be drinking during a game will be ejected and is
subject to expulsion from the tournament.
Alcohol is also not permitted in the parking lot of any fields used for our
Rule 4 – Equipment
All Divisions are Wood Bat Only. Composite and metal-wood bats are permissible
for Wood Bat only divisions. Upon protest, the penalty for using an illegal bat
will be an out for the violating player.
Rule 5 – Number of Players
Teams must have eight (8) players for an official game. The team may borrow one
player from the opposing team if the manager of this team consents. The team
with eight may also borrow a player from a team other than the one that they are
playing if, and only if, the opposing manager consents. Games will be forfeited
if a team can not field at least eight players within 15 minutes of the
scheduled start time, or officially adjusted starting time. If a team has nine
players only and therefore bats nine players only, the opposing team will have
the option of batting nine players as well.
Rule 6 – Courtesy Runners
Players that will need courtesy runners must have their manager notify the
opposing manager and home plate umpire at the home plate meeting. Otherwise,
the opposing manager has the right to refuse the courtesy runner. Each team
will be allowed a maximum of two players per game who can be classified as
needing a courtesy runner. Each time a designated player reaches base, he will
call time out and at that point will be replaced by the last batted out. If the
last batted out also is listed as needing a courtesy runner, the second to last
batted out will run. In the case that no outs have been recorded when the
designated player reaches base, the last batter in the lineup will act as the
last batted out.
In the event that a player becomes injured during a game, and the maximum number
of courtesy runners (2) have been designated, a pinch runner must be used and no
courtesy runner will be allowed.
If the offensive team replaces the runner with the wrong courtesy runner (a
player that was not the last batted out) and the opposing team protests before
the next pitch, then the original runner must run and the right to use the
courtesy runner for this particular batter will be forfeited for the balance of
If the original runner inadvertently runs for himself and the opposing team
protests after the first pitch, the right to use the courtesy runner for this
particular batter will be forfeited for the balance of the game.
If the right to use a courtesy runner is forfeited by violating any of the three
rules above, the offending team will not have the right to use another courtesy
runner for an injured player.
(For example: A team designates 2 courtesy runners prior to the
game and in the 4th inning,
one of the designated runners inadvertently runs for himself. That player then
forfeits his right to a courtesy runner for the remainder of the game and the
team may only use the one other courtesy runner originally designated. Should a
player get injured after this, that player must be pinch run for.)
In the event of an A/B batting position batter needing a courtesy runner, the
other batting position would be the courtesy runner. (For example: If the
position B batter needs a courtesy runner, the A batter will be the courtesy
runner for B instead of the last batted out.)
All 55+/60+/65+/70+/73+ Divisions must the Shared Batting Position Rule only.
The manager uses two players to share one batting position in the offensive
lineup and during the game the manager decides who bats each time the batting
position comes up. This can be implemented at the start of a game or can be
added anytime during the game. He can then use the other player to run if he
chooses to do so. When a player is used as a base runner in the Shared
Position, he MUST bat the next time his position in the order comes to the
plate. After that point, either of the Shared Runners may bat in this
position. There is no limit to the number of shared line-up positions. Any
player sharing a batting position is locked in that position for the duration of
the game and cannot be used in any other batting order position. This rule
replaces both A/B and courtesy runners. If teams choose to use the A/B and
Courtesy Runner instead of the Shared Runner, they are entitled.
Rule 7 – Lineup
For the sake of fairness and accuracy, the entire team’s roster, including last
names and uniform numbers and not just the starting lineups, must be exchanged
by teams before the start of each game.
The Rules Committee suggests that teams come to the event with a complete
prepared roster form with all of the above stated information.
Each manager has the prerogative to bat as many players in his
initial lineup as long as there are at least ten (10) hitters. If the manager
wishes to add players to the bottom of the lineup (i.e. hitting positions 11,
12, 13, 14, etc.), he may do so at any time. Added players to the bottom of the
line-up may be added as individual hitters or as A/B. Any added player to the
bottom of the lineup or pinch hitter must notify the opposing team manager of
the batting order change. If no notification is made, and proper protest is
made, an automatic out will be assessed to that batter. If a player is pinch
hit for, he may not re-enter the game as a hitter, but may stay in the game
defensively. Batters may not be deleted or skipped over, regardless of their
batting position or when they were added to the game. If a team increases the
size of their lineup to 15 hitters, they must always have 15 hitters in their
lineup. If a team has more than 9 players and still only bats 9, they will be
assessed an out each time the 10thbatting
position is skipped. Batting only 9 players is NOT a protestable offense.
An exception exists to this aspect of the rule. If a player is forced to leave
a game due to injury or ejection, a reserve player, not previously entered into
the game as a hitter, must hit in the replaced batter’s place. If there are no
reserves who can replace the individual, the spot is skipped and all hitters
below that position move up. The first time this vacated spot comes up in the
batting order, an out will be assessed. After that one time, no out will be
recorded for skipping the spot vacated by the displaced player.
A team MAY declare at the time that lineups are exchanged prior to the start of
play that any batting order position will be occupied by two (2) players in each
such batting position. That is, 3A/3B, 10A/10B, etc. The first time that
position 3 gets an at bat, 3A would hit and the next time this slot hits, 3B
would be up. Then 3A hits the third time this spot in the order comes up, and
so on, alternating between these two players throughout the game. Once a team
declares the use of this A/B system, it must continue using it for the remainder
of the game. Hitters in the A/B position from the batting order may be pinch hit
for, just as any other player. An A/B position may be added to the bottom of
the lineup at any time during the game. Teams can not add a “B” batter to an
existing lineup spot once the game begins.
In the case that a team bats a player not designated on the roster given to the
home plate umpire and the opposing team, that player, upon proper protest, will
be found illegal and declared out after one pitch is thrown. The opposing team
must protest this illegal player at the time of the offense. Penalties will not
be retroactive and teams may not protest the use of this illegal player once the
game is completed. If the team feels the player is not on the team’s tournament
roster, then the protest needs to be lodged.
In the case that a team has mistakenly put the wrong numbers for their players
on the lineup given to the home plate umpire and the opposing team, the team
will correct the error(s) with no penalty.
The penalty for a team having a player bat out of turn is an out, if protested
before the first pitch.
All players may be substituted for, at any time, except the pitcher. Defensive
players need not be in your batting order. In regards to substituting for the
pitcher, if he is removed from the mound, he may only re-enter as a pitcher once
in a game and must wait until the start of the next inning before he can resume
pitching regardless of whether he stays in the game (i.e. as the right
fielder). This can only be done once per game, irrespective of the number of
Rule 8 – Age Requirement
Needless to say, this is a critical issue surrounding the integrity of our
league and the individual team. A manager has the right to question the age of
opposing team members and we therefore require that all players/managers carry
some form of photo identification (government or state issued) that indicates
their date of birth. All participants should keep this identification with them
during all games and if a manager believes that a player is underage, he should
play the game under protest by notifying the home plate umpire and the opposing
team manager. This protest must then be filed in person at the National
Tournament Headquarters and the Rules Committee will hear the case promptly. If
it is found that a player or players should not be participating in the
tournament, then the offending team will forfeit that game on which the protest
was filed, and any other games the offending individual participated in.
Players must be 18 years of age by the first game of their respective divisions
to participate. There is no upward age limit for the MABL Division, therefore
anyone over the age of 18 can be a part of the MABL event. In order to
participate in the Father/Son division, sons must be at least 16 years of age.
The National Tournament Rules Committee will continue its position regarding the
ruling that all individuals that play in the 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+,
60+, 65+, 70+ and 73+ Divisions must turn 25, 30+, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65,
70 or 73 during the calendar year. Therefore, if a player turns 25, 30, 35, 40,
45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70 or 73 by December 31, 2018, he is eligible to participate
in his respective division without an age exemption.
The MSBL Tournament Staff reserves the right to grant an age exemption when
proper reasons allow. All age exemption requests MUST be
submitted IN WRITING to
the national office. The Tournament Staff will have copies of all accepted
waivers at the tournament and it is strongly suggested the team that requested
the exemption carry a copy of the approved exemption with them. (See exemption
information in prior file)
Rule 9 – Length of Games, Ties and
Arbitrarily “Stopping Play”
All National Tournament games, with the potential exception of
some playoff situations and/or weather related, are scheduled to be 9 innings in
length. However, due to the large load of games to be played and our schedule
constraints, no inning may start after 3:00 of the actual start time, not the
scheduled start time. (For January – May National tournaments, this may be
changed to 2:30 or 2:45.) The official start of the clock is with the first
pitch. Please keep in mind that all innings that
start before you reach the 3:00 point must be played to completion. There is no
reverting back to the last inning or starting a new inning if the score is tied
and you have played 3:02, etc. If, during the home team’s at bat, time expires
with the home team leading, the game will stop at the point the 3 hour time
limit has been reached. Once the 3rd out
is recorded in the bottom of an inning, the new inning immediately begins. For
example, if the third out is recorded in the bottom of the 8th inning
and 2 hours and 58 minutes have elapsed in the game clock, the 9thinning
immediately begins and may be started.
Teams cannot arbitrarily stop a game (quit) if the score is lopsided and the
team that is losing decides it does not want anymore runs scored against them.
If a team “quits” before the time limit or 9 innings, the final score will be
changed to reflect 10 additional runs times the # of unplayed innings. The game
must be played a minimum of 5 innings/2 hours for this rule to be in effect. In
addition, no team can arbitrarily forfeit a game because they will “benefit” by
not playing. Any team that purposefully forfeits a game will be ineligible for
Games can still end in a tie and standings are determined by points. For
example, your team will receive two points for every win you post, one point for
a tie and zero points for a loss. Obviously, the team with the most points will
win their respective division and advance to the playoffs.
Rule 10 – Collisions, Decoys and Slide Rule
The rules committee is concerned about possible unnecessary and violent
collisions that may occur with the catcher at home plate, and with infielders at
all bases. The intent of this rule is to encourage base runners and defensive
players to avoid such collisions whenever possible.
there is a collision between a runner and a fielder who clearly is in
possession of the ball, the umpire shall judge:
(1) Whether the collision by the runner was avoidable (could the runner have
reached the base without colliding) or unavoidable (the runner’s path to the
base was blocked) or
(2) Whether the runner actually was attempting to reach the base (plate) or
attempting to dislodge the ball from the fielder.
PENALTY—If the runner,
a) could have avoided the collision and reached the base, or b) attempted to
dislodge the ball, the runner shall be declared out even if the fielder loses
possession of the ball. The ball is dead and all other base runners shall return
to the last base touched at the time of the interference.
(3) If the fielder blocks the path of the base runner to the base (plate), the
runner may make contact or slide into, a fielder as long as the runner is making
a legitimate attempt to reach the base or plate.
(4) If the collision by the runner was flagrant, the runner shall be declared
out and also ejected from the contest. The ball shall be declared dead
- If the
defensive player blocks the base (plate) or base line clearly without
possession of the ball, obstruction shall be called. The runner is safe and an
immediate dead ball shall be called.
(1) If the base runner collides flagrantly, the runner shall be declared safe on
obstruction, but will be ejected from the contest. The ball is dead.
Any fielder may use a decoy only if it serves a strategic purpose. For example,
if a fielder, who sees a man attempting to steal second base during a hit and
run, looks upward into the sky and says that he’s got the pop-up when in fact
the ball has been hit on ground is a legal decoy as it may cause the runner to
retreat to first base and prevent him from advancing.
However, if a fielder fakes a tag, forcing a player to slide, when there is no
strategic purpose or apparent play, the runner will be ruled safe and all
runners will advance one base.
This is entirely an umpire judgment decision and not a rule that may be
Force Play Slide Rule
The intent of the force-play-slide rule is to ensure the safety of the defensive
player. This is a safety as well as an interference rule. Whether the defense
could have completed the double play has no bearing on the applicability of this
rule. This rule pertains to a force-play situation at any base, regardless of
the number of outs.
- On any
force play, the runner must slide on the ground and in a direct line between
the two bases.
runner need not slide directly into a base as long as the runner slides or runs
in a direction away from the fielder to avoid making contact or altering the
play of the fielder.
(1) “On the ground” means either a head-first slide or a slide with one leg and
buttock on the ground.
(2) “Directly into a base” means the runner’s entire body (feet, legs, trunk and
arms) must stay in a straight line between the bases.
(3) If a runner goes into a base standing up and does not make contact or alter
the play of the defensive player, interference shall not be called.
with a fielder is legal and interference shall not be called if the runner:
(1) Makes a legal slide directly to the base, or
(2) Is on the ground at the time of contact and the fielder moves directly down
the line between the two bases to attempt a play.
(3) Makes a legal slide and makes contact with a defensive player who is on or
over, but not beyond, the base.
(4) When the base runner slides beyond the base, but does not (a) make contact
with, or (b) alter the play of the defensive player, interference shall not be
by a runner are illegal and interference shall be called if:
(1) The runner slides or runs out of the base line in the direction of the
(2) The runner uses a rolling, cross-body or pop-up slide and either makes
contact with or alters the play of a fielder;
(3) The runner’s raised leg makes contact higher than the fielder’s knee when in
a standing position;
(4) The runner goes beyond the base and either makes contact with or alters the
play of the fielder;
(a) Beyond the base” means any part of the offensive player’s body makes contact
with or alters the play of the fielder beyond the base.
(5) The runner slashes or kicks the fielder with either leg;
(6) The runner illegally slides toward or contacts the fielder even if the
fielder makes no attempt to throw to complete a play.
With less than two outs, the batter-runner, as well as the interfering runner,
shall be declared out and no other runner(s) shall advance.
(2) With two outs, the interfering runner shall be declared out and no other
runner(s) shall advance.
(3) If the runner’s slide or collision is flagrant, the runner shall be ejected
from the contest.
(4) If the bases are loaded with no outs, a double-play attempt is made, and
interference is called, all other runners must return to their original bases.
Rule 11 – Intentional Walks and Hit Batsmen
Each team is allowed to intentionally walk an opposing team player once in a
game. Therefore, the total number of intentional walks each team is allowed
each game is one. The team in the field will notify the home plate umpire of
the intended intentional walk and the batter will automatically be awarded first
base. No pitches are thrown.
If a pitcher hits four (4) batters in one game, the pitcher must be removed.
Rule 12 – Protests and Makeups
All protests must be lodged with the Tournament Director within a reasonable
time frame after the completion of the game in question. All protests will be
decided by the Rules Committee.
Protests regarding a player’s eligibility must be made before the game or as
soon as the player in question enters the game, offensively or defensively or
directly right after the game.
In the event of a rained out game or games, every effort will be made to make up
the contest(s), but this is not guaranteed.
Rule 13 – Player and Team Participation
Determination of eligibility to participate in the MSBL/MABL National
Tournaments will be based solely on the decision of the National Tournaments
To be eligible to play in the playoffs and championship game, a player must have
had at least one plate appearance in 2 round robin games or have pitched 3 outs
in each of 2 round robin games or a combination of the two (ie: Pitch 3 outs in
one game and 1 plate appearance in another) within the preliminary round robin.
This must be documented in your scorebook and the scorebook of your opponent or
the player(s) would be deemed ineligible.
General Participation Requirements
In order for a player to participate in the 2019 National Tournaments, he must
be a member of a team from that MSBL/MABL league’s regular season roster that
was submitted to MSBL/MABL National. Further, he must have fulfilled all
financial responsibilities to the local MSBL/MABL league, as well as MSBL/MABL
National, or be an approved pool player.
National Tournament Committee retains its right to issue exemptions where the
best interests of the tournament and organization are served.
In regard to players wanting to switch teams once they are at a National
Tournament, no player may play for any team in the World Series or Fall Classic
other than the team that he has been registered as a member of on the rosters
that are submitted to MSBL/MABL National. If a player attempts to switch teams
once a National Tournament begins, the player will be removed from the
tournament and the team who utilized this switching team member will be forced
to forfeit all wins that they have accumulated in the tournament, even those
acquired before the player in question joined them. Furthermore, no player can
play on two different teams within the same week of play (i.e. playing in the
35+ Central division and the 35+ Cactus division in the same week of tournament
play) unless permission is granted.
Very select exceptions will be made for
25+/30+/35+/40+/45+/50+/55+/60+/65+/70+/73+ week only with those players paying
two full fees.
In order to encourage the widest possible participation in National Tournaments,
players who wish to enter National Tournaments and who are members of a local
league not entered in the tournament may become “free agents” and join and/or be
assigned to a team from another league entering the tournament. This program is
not intended to encourage the assembly of “national all-star teams”, but it’s
primary purpose is to foster participation for all leagues and their members.
A player must be out of professional baseball (A, AA, AAA, or Major League) for
three complete seasons before becoming eligible to participate in MSBL/MABL
National Tournaments. Therefore, for the 2019 World Series and Fall Classic,
any player who received compensation AND participated with a professional
baseball team (A, AA, AAA or Major League) during 2017 or more recently is
ineligible unless given special permission to participate by the National
Tournament Rules Committee.
A player who played in a Rookie League, Independent League or who was invited to
a Major League Spring Training and then released without playing for a minor
league affiliate will not be held to the requirements listed above, except for
Central Division and Cactus Division. See specific Ex-Pro rules by Division
For all Central Divisions – If a
player has played pro ball (with the exception of Major Leagues) and has been
out of pro ball for 20 years, this player is eligible to play in the Central Division.
Ex-Pros are limited to 2 per team with no restrictions to position or limitation
to round robin, playoff or Championship appearance.. In
reference to players who played Rookie or Independent League baseball only,
these players are ineligible unless they are out 10 years for Central. No
allowed Independent/Rookie League players would be eligible to pitch, even if
they did not pitch in their pro careers except for the 45+/50+/55+/60+/65+
For all Cactus Divisions – For Cactus Division,
Ex-Pro (AAA, AA, A) players are not allowed no matter the length of time out
unless out of Pro Ball 30 years and played no higher than A ball. In
reference to players who played Rookie or Independent League baseball only,
these players are ineligible unless they are out 15
years for Cactus.
Independent/Rookie League players would be eligible to pitch, even if they did
not pitch in their pro careers, except for Divisions 45+ and higher.
� A Level – Any Player who appeared on a AAA or Major League Roster
� B Level – Any Player who appeared on a A or AA Roster
No limit on number of Ex-Pros, as long as out 3 years
Two A Level & Two B Level Ex-Pros, as long as out 3 years
2 B Level Ex-Pros as long as out 3 years
The fact that a player has played professional baseball at any level for any
length of time must be disclosed on the roster submitted to MSBL tournament
organizers. Failure to disclose a player’s ex-professional status may result in
disqualification of the player and forfeiture of any games in which the player
Central & Cactus Division Requirements
In these divisions, for MABL, 25+, 30+, 35+, 40+, 45+, 50+, 55+ and 60+, 65+,
where equality is the key word, there are several specific requirements which
apply to the Central and Cactus Divisions only. They are as follows:
At least 14 uniformed players must have at least one plate appearance during
the game. (only applies in scheduled 9 inning games).
- Only in the case of the 14th batter
will a plate appearance satisfy the required 14 rule. So long as the 14th batter
is announced (steps into the batter’s box), and the 3rd out
occurs before he completes his at bat then that will satisfy the 14 batters
rule. There will be NO other exceptions to this rule.
- The rule of batting 14 players is in
effect regardless if It is a completed 9 inning game or shortened by time!
- If a team has 15 or more uniformed
players, they may elect to bat 14 players only (at least one plate appearance
for 14 players).
- If a team has 13 or fewer uniformed
players, the opposing team will have the option to bat the same number of
uniformed players despite the number of uniformed players they have.
- Example: Team A has 13 uniformed players
and Team B has 21 uniformed players. Team A must get all 13 players at least
one plate appearance. Team B has the option of only getting 13 players one
plate appearance as well, despite the fact they would normally have to get
14 players one plate appearance.
- In the event that the game ends with
unbatted players, the violating team, under proper protest, will forfeit any
- The rule of batting 14 players is in
effect regardless if it is a completed 9 inning game or shortened by time.
14 man batting rule is suspended for all playoff and Championship Games.
Division Selection – Deciding Where to Play
While most teams have the ability to determine which division they will play in,
that decision is not their own if the MSBL/MABL National Tournament Rules
Committee feels, in their final judgment, that the division a team has chosen
conflicts with their past records and talent level in their chosen division.
In the event of any
confusion, conflict or disagreement of any of the rules and regulations included
herein, the decision of the National Tournament Rules Committee is final and