2016-17 SPO Handbook
 

SPO Board of Directors

 

SPO History and Services

 

SPO Insurance Program

 

Athletic Claims and Procedures

 
 
 
 
 

Coed Playing Procedures

 

3-Pitch Playing Procedures

 
 
 

 

Tournament Operating Rules & Guidelines

Team Reclassification Policy 

 

 
 
 
 

 
Slo-Pitch is a variation of the game of softball. Softball was originally played as an indoor version of baseball. It has been played under many different names (kitten ball, mush ball, town ball, three pitch) and as many different sets of rules. Formalized rules were set up in 1923 and softball has become an international game played by men, women, boys and girls around the world. It is basically a stick and ball game played on a field with four bases in a square pattern called a diamond. Each team gets an equal number of chances (called an inning) to earn runs. Each team's inning continues until three players have been dismissed (called out). The winning team is the team that records the most runs. A run is earned by each runner that successfully advances in the proper progression around all four bases. Slo-pitch is intended as a game of hitting, base running, and fielding conducted in friendly, sportsmanlike competition.
 
The playing rules for all slo-pitch games in Ontario shall be the current edition of the Softball Canada Rules with the exceptions as designated (bolded) in these Procedures. The following Procedures do not constitute the Rules of the game, but simply list the special SPO rule differences, as well as some of the basic concepts of the game of slo-pitch. Any protests must refer to the official Softball Canada playing rules. (The masculine form of personal pronouns is used to assist readability. All masculine pronouns (except when referring to male categories) represents both males and females.) 
 

PLAYING PROCEDURES

 

Playing Field

Bases are 70 feet apart (all divisions).
Pitching distance is 50 - 60 feet.
Pitching Box is 2 feet wide by 10 feet long. Its front edge shall be in a line between home plate and second base and 50 feet from the back corner of home plate.
Batter’s box is 7 feet by 3 feet.
Double base shall be used at first base.
Coaches' Box is 15 feet by 5 feet and 12 feet back from the foul line.
Strike Mat / Home Plate:  A 2 feet by 3 feet mat.
All Masters / All Seniors / All Coed / All D & E: A safe line at home plate and a commitment line 21 feet from home plate shall be used.

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Equipment

Minimum uniform shall be identical shirts with identifiable ten (10) cm high numbers on the back.
Gloves may be worn by any player. Trappers may be worn by the catcher, pitcher and first baseman only.
Shoes may not have metal cleats.
Caps, if worn, must face forward.
Bats:  Must be approved by SPO. See SPO website for Approved Ball list.
Balls: Mens: Restricted flight 12”. See SPO website for Approved Ball list.
           Womens: Restricted flight 11”.  See SPO website for Approved Ball list.
           Optic yellow colour is recommended, but white is also acceptable.
Helmets: Approved helmets may be worn by any player. They must match in colour any caps worn. 
Approved equipment cannot be unnaturally altered or changed, for example icing, cooling, warming or heating of any equipment. Warming devices for bats are not approved.
A flare or cone grip now may be attached from the factory, or a commercially-produced flare or cone may be attached to the bat by the player, provided it is installed properly to the bat. The flare or cone must be permanently attached, or attached with safety tape. The bat must meet all requirements of Rule 3, Sec. 1 (Softball Canada) after installation to be considered legal. Any tape applied to the safety grip must be a continuous spiral.  An attachment may not extend beyond the end of the bat. The grip must demonstrate that the bat will not slip through the hand. Officials may deem unacceptable any grip and attachment they feel is unsafe.
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Team

The batting order shall consist of a minimum of 10 players. 

 

Extra Players

Teams may use unlimited "EXTRA PLAYERS(S)". The total number of regular players (10) and extra players may not exceed the number of players on the team's legal roster (maximum 20). If more than 10 players are on the batting order, any 10 may play defense.
a.    If a player is unable to continue in the game and no legal substitute is available when he is due up to bat, he is declared out and play continues with the next batter in the batting order. If, with 2 out, the batter before the missing player is walked (intentional or unintentional), the automatic out is waived and the next batter will bat. (This does not apply if the player is declared unable to continue just prior to the team's offensive half of the inning.)
b.    The manager of the player unable to bat is responsible for notifying the plate umpire of this situation. Failure to do this will result with the manager being ejected.
c.    A team must have a minimum of ten (10) players to start and to continue the game. If a team has less than ten (10) players the game is forfeited. A team may not add extra player(s) at a later time.
d.    Short Handed Rule (optional): Teams may start a game with a minimum of nine (9) players. However, an out shall be declared when the tenth position in the line-up is scheduled to bat. A tenth player may be added to the tenth position any time before the end of the game. Any team that starts a game with ten or more players may drop to the minimum of nine players to finish the game. All vacant spot(s) in the line-up will be declared an out every time that line-up position is due to bat.  
e.    A team may not add exra player(s) at a later time. Any player that leaves the game for any reason may not return to the game. If a player is ejected from the game for any reason leaving the team with  less than ten players, the ejected player's team must have a substitute available to replace the ejected player or that team will forfeit the game. Exception: A player, who has left the game under the blood rule, may return. 
  
Substitutions: Any player in the batting order may be replaced during any stoppage of play with a legal rostered player not already in the batting order. Each starting player may re-enter the game once in the same position in the batting order.  Substitutes must be listed on the lineup card. 

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Blood Rule

Any participant (player, coach or umpire) who is bleeding or has blood on his uniform may not participate until the bleeding is controlled and his soiled uniform changed. The replacement uniform need not conform to the official team uniform. If the cleanup and/or uniform change can be accomplished quickly, play would be suspended until the participant is ready to play. If this cannot be done quickly, the player is removed from the game and replaced by a Replacement Player (may not be a player listed in the batting order) who may act for the removed player for the remainder of the inning in progress and the following complete inning. When the player has had the bleeding controlled and the soiled uniform replaced, he must resume his place in the game. Should he not be able to return to the game within the time described, an official substitution must be made. The use of a Replacement Player is not counted as an official substitution, meaning, the player may leave the game again and be re-entered (if a starting player) and also the player that was used as the replacement for him is still a legal substitute and may be used later in the game. If a player is removed due to blood and the team does not have a legal substitute/replacement available when needed, his place in the batting order is simply missed and there is no penalty.  

 

Courtesy Runner

a.    A team may use a maximum of three (3) courtesy runners per game.
       Exceptions: 35+ & 40+ (4);  50+ & 55+ (7 - same runner may not run twice); 60+, 65+ & 70+ (Unlimited).
b.    The courtesy runner must be on the official roster and listed on the official line-up.
c.    The courtesy runner must be announced to the home plate umpire before he takes his place on the base.
d.    If the courtesy runner is due up to bat, the team may:
i)     use another courtesy runner and have the original courtesy runner come to bat; OR
ii)    use a substitute or utilize the re-entry rule (if applicable) to go up to bat leaving the original courtesy runner on base; OR
(iii)  if i) or ii) is not implemented, the batter is ruled out but remains on base as the courtesy runner and the next batter in the lineup comes to bat.
 

Starting The Game

A coin toss, with the winner determining which team will bat second. 
 

Duration

A game consists of seven innings. The game ends if the team batting second has scored more runs in six innings or before the third out in the last half of the seventh inning than the other team has scored in seven innings. A tied game will continue with extra innings until one side has scored more runs at the end of a completed inning, or until the team batting second scores more in their half inning before their third out. A game stopped by the umpire will be considered complete if five innings (four and one half innings if the second batting team is leading) have been completed. 
 

Mercy Rule

A team shall be declared winner if they are12 or more runs ahead of the opposition after five or six innings if the visiting team or after four and one half, five and one half or six and one half innings if the home team. A team may voluntarily withdraw from the game if they are losing by 15 or more runs any time after 3 innings (2½ innings if home team).
NOTE: All E divisions & Seniors 50+, 55+, 60+, 65+ & 70+:  A maximum of 5 runs per inning may be scored. (Exception: 7th inning and in the event of a tie after the 7th inning, any subsequent inning). If, with runners on base, a player hits an over the fence home run which scores more than the allowable 5 runs per inning, the home run will count towards the team's Home Run total.  A team 17 or more runs ahead after 3½ (if the home team) or 4 innings (if the visiting team) shall be declared winner.

 

Forfeits

A game shall be declared a forfeit if a team fails to field the required number of players prior to or during the game, refuses to continue the game after a suspension of play, intentionally tries to delay or hasten the game, or intentionally violates a rule of the game after being warned by the umpire. A forfeit shall be declared if a player, ejected from the game by an umpire, does not leave the park when directed to do so. When a player is ejected and must leave the ball park, that player must move far enough away so that they may not be seen or heard by the participants of the game and may not participate with the game in any manner. 
 

Profanity

Any team member openly using profanity during a game shall be ejected from further participation in that game.
 

Jewellery

(Youth Only) A batter or runner is ruled out immediately if discovered wearing exposed jewellery. Any advance by other runners as a result of this player batting the ball is nullified. If, after making a play, a defensive player is discovered wearing exposed jewellery, the manager of the offensive team may take the result of the play or have the play nullified, and have the batter return to bat with the same count as before the infraction and all runners must return to their previous base. In all cases, the player must remove the jewellery. 
 
NOTE:  Facial jewellery may not be covered with tape.
 
NOTE:  It is strongly recommended that no jewellery of any type be worn in any SPO play.  If worn, each player is solely responsible for any injury/damage that may be caused by this jewellery. The umpire may have any player remove any jewellery or equipment that he deems dangerous.
 

Scoring

A run is scored when a player safely touches, in order first base, second base, third base and home plate. A runner may not score ahead of a preceding runner who has not been retired. A run may not score if the last out of an inning is a force out or a preceding runner declared out. The score of a forfeited game shall be 7-0 in favour of the team not at fault.
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Home Run Rule

A limit of over the fence home runs will be used in all divisions. A batter hitting a ball over the fence in a game in excess of the limit shall be ruled out. Any ball touched by a defensive player which then goes over the fence in fair territory shall be a four base award and not considered a home run. If a player hits an over the fence home run but then misses a base and/or does not score it will count towards the team home run total. If a batter is ruled out because of the excessive home run rule, the ball is dead, no runs may score and all runners must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.
 
Mens: A – 7; B – 5; C – 3; D – 2; E – 1.
Womens: A – 7; B – 5; C – 3; D – 2; E – 1.
Mens Masters 35+, 40+, 45+: Competitive – 5; Intermediate – 3; Recreatinal – 1.
Mens Seniors 50+, 55+, 60+, 65+, 70+: 3.
Womens Masters and Seniors: 2.
 
Walk Off Home Run: On any fair-batted ball hit over the fence (touched or untouched) for a home run, the batter and all runners are credited with a score. The batter and any runners do not run the bases but go directly to their team area. 
 

Pitching

Before each pitch, the pitcher must stand with one foot (pivot) within the pitcher's box, facing the batter with the ball held in one hand. This position must be maintained for 1 - 5 seconds.
The delivery starts when the pitcher makes any motion of his windup after the required pause. A step may be taken in any direction simultaneous with the release of the pitch provided the pivot foot remains in contact with the box until the pitch is released.
The pitch shall be delivered with an underhand motion and at a moderate speed. Any type of windup is legal provided the ball is pitched immediately after the pitching motion, there is no stoppage or reversal of motion, there is not more than one revolution in a "windmill" pitch, and the windup does not continue after the delivery of the ball. Any infraction of these rules shall constitute an illegal pitch. No pitch is declared if the pitcher pitches:
•    during a dead ball;
•    before the batter and/or umpire are ready;
•    when a runner is out for leaving a base too soon.
 
The ball is dead after a strike or ball is called. (Runners may not advance.)

 

Batting 

Players must bat in the order listed on the batting order. If a player's turn at bat has not ended when his team's half-inning ends, he is the first to bat in the next half-inning. The batter must take his position within the batter's box within 10 seconds. Substitutes must bat in the position in the batting order of the person they replace. A strike is a legally pitched ball that makes contact with the mat, any pitched ball swung at and missed by the batter, or a batted ball that is ruled foul. A ball is a legally pitched ball that lands outside the strike mat and not swung at by the batter or an illegally pitched ball that the batter does not swing at. All batters in Mens A, B and C, Womens A and B/C, Mens Masters 35+, 40+ and 50+ (Competitive and Intermediate), Mens Masters 55+ and Coed A and B shall start with a 1-1 (1 ball and 1 strike) count.
A batted ball may be classified as one of the following:
•    fly ball - a batted ball that has not yet touched the ground or any object other than a fielder;
•    line drive - a fly ball that is batted sharply and directly into the playing field;
•    bunt - a tapped ball not swung at but met with the bat;
•    chopped ball - a batted ball intentionally directed downward so that the ball bounces high into the air;
•    ground ball - a batted ball that touches the ground, an umpire (in fair territory), or a runner (after a fielder has had a chance to make a play on it);
•    infield fly - a fair fly ball that can be caught by an infielder with a normal effort.
Batted balls are ruled fair (batter and runners may advance) or foul (a strike) by the umpire.
An illegally batted ball occurs when the batter steps on the mat or has his foot on the ground completely in front or behind the mat when the bat contacts the ball.
A batter shall be ejected from the game if he is discovered to be using an altered bat or a non-approved bat after entering the batter's box. The ejected player is suspended for the remainder of the tournament with a review by the Disciplinary Committee. A second offence will result in a minimum of one year suspension.
NOTE: An altered bat is one that has had its physical structure changed, including, but not limited to:
1.   the bat has had the surface of the barrel or the taper changed in any way such as by sandpapering or applying a solvent to the surface such as fingernail polish remover or by any other means;
2.   the bat has had the plug or the knob removed/replaced or changed in any way;
3.   the bat has had anything removed or added or inserted to the inside or outside of the bat other than tape at the handle or knob;
4.   the bat has been repainted.
 
Other examples of an altered bat would be changing or replacing manufacturers' markings or replacing the handle of the metal bat with a wooden handle.
Cracked, worn, or damaged bats are not altered bats, but will be removed from play. Such cracked, worn, or damaged bats will not result in a player suspension unless the player returned the offending bat into play after it has been removed.
 

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Running

The batter may proceed around the bases:
•    when he hits a fair ball;
•    after four balls or an intentional walk;
•    after interference by the catcher.
 
When the batter runs to first, he may overrun first base and safely return to the base provided he does not try to advance to second base. In Seniors 60+ and older, the runner may overrun all bases.
On the batter's first attempt at first base on and play is made a first, he must use the orange portion of the Double Base. Once the batter has safely reached first base, he must now use the white portion. The defensive player always uses the white portion.
A runner may run the bases:
•    when a fair ball is caught;
•    when a caught fly ball is first touched;
•    when the ball is overthrown and remains in play.
A runner is advanced:
•    when a fair batted ball goes out of play (2 bases awarded from the time of the pitch);
•    when a thrown (2 bases) or batted ball (3 bases) is contacted by a thrown glove (awarded from from the time of the pitch);
•    if forced when the batter is awarded a base on balls;
•    when a live ball is carried or dropped out of play (1 base awarded from the time the ball became dead);
•    when the ball is overthrown and goes out of play (two bases awarded from the time of the throw);
•    when a defensive player obstructs the runner as he progresses around the base path; The umpire will award the placement he felt the runner would have made has there been no obstruction.
All awarded bases are from the last base legally touched and must be touched in the proper order. 
 
A runner must return to the base:
•    when the pitcher is ready to pitch. (If he is not in contact with the base, he is declared out for a leadoff);
•    when a foul ball is hit;
•    when the batter or another runner interferes with the defensive team (unless forced by the batter being awarded first base);
•    when the ball is batted illegally;
•    when a fly ball is caught. He may advance when the ball is first touched by a fielder;
•    during a live ball, a runner may return to touch a base unless he has left the field of play or a succeeding runner has scored. He must proceed in reverse order touching all intervening bases;
•    during a dead ball, a runner may return to touch a base.
 

Dismissals

A batter is out. The ball is dead and no runners may advance if:
•    he has three strikes;
•    he illegally bats the ball;
•    he bunts or chops downward on a pitch;
•    a fielder deliberately drops a fly ball with at least a runner on first base and less than two out;
•    he enters the batter's box with an illegal or altered bat;
•    the batter before reaching first base, retreats towards home plate to avoid a tag;
•    the batter hits an over the fence homerun in excess of the team limit;
•    the batter is discovered to be wearing exposed jewellery (Youth only). 
 
A batter is out. The ball is alive and runners may advance if:
•    his fly ball (fair or foul) is legally caught;
•    on a fair ball not caught on the fly, the ball is held by a fielder while touching first base before the batter touches first base;
•    he hits an infield fly with less than two out and runners on first and second or first, second and third.
 
A runner is out, and the ball is dead if:
•    on a pitched ball, he leaves the base before the ball has reached the plate, hits the ground or is swung at by the batter;
•    he fails to return to his base following a halt in play;
•    while off the base, he is hit by a fair batted ball before it has passed an infielder and no other fielder is in a position to make a play;
•    he deliberately runs into a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to tag him;
•    he interferes with an attempt to field a ball or with a thrown ball;
•    the runner is discovered to be wearing exposed jewellery (Youth only).
 
A runner is out, and the ball is alive if:
•    he runs more than 1 metre outside the established basepath to avoid a tag;
•    on a force out, the fielder, while holding the ball, touches the base before the runner;
•    while off his base, he is touched with the ball held by a fielder;
•    he overtakes a preceding runner;
•    a coach physically assists him.
 
A runner is not out if:
•    he is touched by a fielder who does not have or does not maintain control of the ball;
•    he runs outside the baseline to avoid interfering with a fielder fielding a ball;
•    he is unintentionally hit by a batted ball while on a base;
•    he is unintentionally hit by a batted ball while off a base, if no fielder has a chance to field the ball.
 
Note: A batter or runner is not out if the fielder making a play on him uses an illegal or (Youth only) is discovered to be wearing exposed jewellery. 
 

Explanations 

Basepath - An imaginary line from the runner to the base to which he is advancing.
Catch - A catch is not completed until the fielder securely holds the ball in his hand or his glove (which is properly worn on his hand) long enough to prove he has control of the ball and any release of the ball is voluntary or intentional. If the ball has hit anything other than the fielder or another fielder, it cannot be a caught fly ball.
Commitment Line - A line in foul territory drawn 21 feet from the back of home plate and perpendicular to the third base line. When a runner crosses this line by touching the ground beyond the line but does not reach home plate, he shall be called out when the ball is legally held by a defensive player in contact with home plate. Runners, who have not crossed the line or who cross the line but must tag up on a caught fly ball, may return to third base.
 
Fair Ball - A batted ball that is touched while on or above fair ground, stops on fair territory within the infield, contacts a base, bounces over first or third base, or first lands on fair ground beyond the infield.
 
Foul Ball - A batted ball that is not fair.
 
Inbounds - The ball or a player is in bounds until they touch the ground or an object that is outside the designated playing area.
 
Interference - An offensive team player may not do anything to confuse, distract or hinder a fielder making a play.
 
Obstruction - A defensive player may not hinder or restrict a runner from progressing from base to base unless fielding a batted ball, holding the ball, or about to catch the ball.
 
Safe Line - A line drawn in foul territory starting at the top left-hand corner of home plate perpendicular to the third base line. A runner attempting to reach home must do so by touching the ground in foul territory on or beyond the SAFE line. Sliding into home plate is not allowed. The runner is out if he touches home plate whether or not a play is being made. A runner is not out if the plate is touched in an attempt to avoid a collision.

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COED PLAYING PROCEDURES 

 
The following are additional regulations to the general rules designated for Coed play.
 

Playing Field

A defensive line consisting of an arc of 175 feet from home plate shall be used. No outfielder (minimum of four) is allowed in front of this line until the ball is hit. If this is violated, the offense has the option of taking the result of the play or an award of one base to the batter and all runners.
 
No outfielder may make a force out at first base.
 
A safe line at home plate and commitment line 21 feet from home plate shall be used.
 
Bases are 70 feet apart.
 

Ball

All divisions: Restricted flight 12 inch. See SPO website for Approved Ball.
 
Optic yellow colour is recommended but white is also acceptable.
Batting Order
The batting order consists of a minimum of 10 players (minimum 4 females). Any 10 (maximum 6 males and a minimum of 4 females) may play defense. The batting order must alternate sexes with the exception that no more than 2 males may ever bat back to back.
Extra Players: Additional players, up to the number of players on the team’s legal roster (maximum 20), may be used. They must be added in pairs, one male and one female. (Teams must be 6/4, 7/5, 8/6, etc.)  If more than 10 players are on the batting order, any 10 (minimum 4 females) may play defense.
If a player is unable to continue the game and no legal substitute is available when he/she is due up to bat, the batter is declared out. Play continues with the next player in the batting order coming to bat. If, with 2 out, the batter before the missing player is walked (intentional or unintentional), the automatic out is waived and the next batter will bat. (This does not apply if the player is declared unable to continue just prior to the team's offensive half of the inning).
 
A team may not add extra player(s) at a later time. Any player that leaves the game for any reason may not return to the game. If any player leaves the game for any reason, leaving the team with less than ten players, the team must have a substitute available to replace the absent player or that team will forfeit the game.
 

 

Substitution

Substitutes must be listed on the lineup card. A male may substitute for a male and a female may substitute for a female or male.
 

Walks

When a male batter receives ANY walk, he is awarded second base and the female batter must take her turn at bat.

 

Courtesy Runners

It must be male for male or female for male or female.

 

Home Run Rule

A home run limit will be used in all Coed divisions.
 
Coed A – 5; Coed B - 5; Coed C – 3; Coed D – 2; Coed E – 1.
 

3-PITCH RULES

The game of 3-pitch used the regular slo-pitch rules with the following additional regulations:
  • The batting order consists of a minimum of 10 players (Coed: Minimum 4 females). Any 10 (Coed: Maximum 6 males and minimum of 4 females) may play defense. Coed: Batting order must alternate sexes with the exception that no more than 2 males may ever bat back to back.
  • The offensice team supplies the pitcher who must pitch from between 40 feet and 50 feet in line with second base. The pitcher may be any legal rostered player.
  • Each batter is allowed a maximum of three (3) pitches to hit a fair ball.
  • If a batted ball contacts the pitcher, the ball is dead, the batter is out, and the runners return to last base legally possessed at the time of the pitch.
  • Runners must maintain contact with the base until the ball is hit.
  • The pitcher may not touch the ball while the defense is making a play.  Balls from the outfield must go to an infielder who will return it to the pitcher when play has ceased.  If the pitcher interferes with a play by the defensive team, the ball is dead and the runner nearest home plate is out.
  • Home Run Rule:  No out of the park home runs are allowed.
  • Coed :  A defensive line consisting of an arc 175 feet from home plate shall be used. No outfielder (minimum of 4) is allowed in front of this line until the ball is hit. If this is violated, the offense has the option of taking the result of the play or an award of one base to the batter and all runners.
  • No outfielder may make a force out at first base.

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TOURNAMENT OPERATING RULES & GUIDELINES

 

1. FITNESS OF GROUNDS

 
In tournament play, the Tournament Director, with the advice of the Umpire-in-Chief, makes the decision as to the fitness of the ground to commence play. After a game has been started, the Plate Umpire shall be sole judge as to the fitness of the grounds, or the intensity of the weather or other factors governing in the game as to whether or not the game shall continue.

2. PENALTIES AND SUSPENSIONS

 
(a)         Player or Team Member
 
A player and/or team member (Coach or Manager) may be suspended for the following acts:
 
(i)     Falsification of Records;
 
(ii)    Attempted Fraud
a)    applying to a tournament or in a tournament sanctioned by SPO in a division lower than the team’s classification;
b)    applying to a tournament and not showing up without paying the entry fee;
c)    a player who plays on a team contrary to By-Law 19.6;
 
(iii)    Verbal Abuse to tournament administrative personnel, officials or host;
 
(iv)    Physical Abuse to tournament administrative personnel, officials or host;
(v)     Unsportsmanlike Conduct to tournament administrative personnel, officials or host (including, but not limited to infractions of the SPO Code of Conduct);
(vi)    Any conduct considered by SPO to be detrimental to the sport of slo-pitch softball;
(vii)   Any misuse to diamonds or surrounding facilities or property.
 
(b)        Team*
 
The Tournament Committee may disqualify any team, without compensation, (and put in last place for that division) from a tournament for:
 
(i)    Using an illegal player, cheating, attempting fraud, NSF cheques or any other flagrant act(s) that make a mockery of the game and/or the tournament;
(ii)    Abuse (verbal or otherwise) to Umpires, Directors, organizers or Executive Members of the tournament, the organizing committee, SPO personnel or a tournament sponsor(s);
(iii)   Using players who have not resided in Ontario prior to May 1st of the playing year involved in a sanctioned event;
(iv)   Any team knowingly applying for a division lower than their classification;
(v)    Any team, after competing in a tournament, fails to field a team for a subsequent game.
*SPO will review all team suspensions at the tournament level and further action according to Section 2(a) may be applied.
 
(c)        Umpires - For conduct deemed detrimental to slo-pitch. Penalty: Softball Ontario registration card will be revoked.
 
(d)        Tournament Directors - For conduct deemed detrimental to slo-pitch. Penalty: Permission to conduct SPO sanctioned tournaments and/or events will be revoked.
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3. PLAYER ELIGIBILITY

 
(a)        A team roster shall not exceed 20 eligible players.
(b)        Players are eligible to compete in SPO sanctioned tournaments as per guidelines below:
 
(i)    Players are eligible to compete in mixed program, Masters program and single sex program (one category per sanctioned event) with the following restrictions:
 
1)    A player in one division can play only in that division and one division lower. This includes both single sex and Coed divisions.
2)    Masters 35+ and 40+ Competitive teams may have a maximum of 8 Mens A & B players and a maximum of 4 Mens A players on their roster.
 
3)    Masters 35+ Intermediate and Masters 40+ Intermediate teams may have a maximum of 2 A & B players and a maximum of 1 A player on their roster.
 
4)    Masters 35+ Recreational and Masters 40+ Recreational teams will not be allowed any A, B or C players.
 
5)    Womens Masters teams may have a maximum of 2 A or B players on their roster.
 
6)    Player ranking will be determined by their highest level played in the current or preceding year. If the player did not play in the program in the preceding year they will retain the ranking of their last recorded highest level anywhere played in the past five years.
 
(ii)    Master program players must adhere to SPO age requirements.
(iii)    A player may not participate on both a Mens team and a Masters Competitive team at the Eliminations.
(iv)    Players may be requested to provide proof of identity. Sufficient proof of identity is considered to be two (2) pieces of identification (one of which must have a photograph attached, both bearing the player’s signature for comparison purposes. These two pieces of identification should be recent, with the player’s current name as used on the team roster. NOTE: I.D.'S MAY BE CHECKED AT ANY TIME, WITHOUT PROTEST, BY THE TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE. If no I.D. is produced, the player is considered illegal and the team is subject to immediate dismissal from the tournament without compensation. The team will also be ranked last in the tournament standings, and all awards and travel expenses will be confiscated.
(v)    Age Requirements - Men & Women
 
1)    Minimum age of a MASTERS 35+ will be 35 years old. Players who reach 35 during the calendar year would be eligible to play.
2)    Minimum age of a MASTERS 40+ will be 40 years old. Players who reach 40 during the calendar year would be eligible to play.
 
3)    Minimum age of a MASTERS 50+ will be 50 years old. Players who reach 50 during the calendar year would be eligible to play.
4)    Minimum age of a MASTERS 60+ will be 60 years old. Players who reach 60 during the calendar year would be eligible to play.
 
5)    Minimum age of a MASTERS 65+ will be 65 years old. Players who reach 65 during the calendar year would be eligible to play.
6)   Minimum age of a MASTERS COED (30-35) will be 30 years old for females and 35 years old for males. Players who reach 30 (female) and 35 (male) during the calendar year would be eligible to play.
7)   Minimum age of a MASTERS COED (35-40) will be 35 years old for females and 40 years old for males. Players who reach 35 (female) and 40 (male) during the calendar year would be eligible to play.
 
(vi)    To compete on an adult team, a player between the ages of 16 - 19 must have a letter of permission signed by their parent or legal guardian.
 

4. PROTESTS

 
(a)        PROTESTS BASED ON MISINTERPRETATION OR MISAPPLICATION OF A TOURNAMENT PLAYING RULE
The following procedure is mandatory for the protest to be accepted for consideration by the Tournament Committee. A protested game can result when there is a difference of opinion, on the field, between the protesting team and an umpire regarding the application or interpretation of either Official Printed Playing Rules, or Specially Adopted Ground Rules or Specially Adopted Tournament Rules.
 
(i)      Any rule protest must be made before the next legal pitch, intentional walk, illegal pitcher action or before all fielders have left fair territory.
 
(ii)     The protesting team must advise the plate umpire that the game is under protest and the plate umpire shall advise the opposing team.
 
(iii)    The umpire will advise the Tournament Protest Committee who will proceed to the field.
 
(iv)    Upon arrival, the protesting team will supply the committee with the protest fee of $150.00 (cash or certified cheque). Failure to do this will nullify the protest and the game shall continue immediately.
 
(v)      The protesting team will state the exact rule and decision that they are protesting and will supply any further details that the Committee requests.
 
(vi)     The Committee will determine their ruling on the protest and state this to the Plate Umpire who will convey this to both coaches after the Committee has left the playing field.
 
(vii)    The decision of the Committee is final. If the protest is upheld, play shall resume from the point of the protest with the decision corrected. If the protest is denied, the game is continued with the protested decision standing.
 
(viii)    If the protest is upheld, the fee will be returned after the game.
 
In regular league play, the league executive may wish to allow written protests to the league after the completion of the game. In such cases, they should use the Softball Canada Rule 11 Section 4-7 as their guidelines.
 
b)         PROTESTS BASED ON PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
 
The following procedure is mandatory for the protest to be accepted for consideration by the Tournament Committee.
 
(i)      A formal protest must contain specific information as outlined in the Softball Canada Official Rule 11 Section 6 PLUS official game-ending time (signed by umpire).
 
(ii)     The protesting team must notify the plate umpire of their desire to protest any time prior to the umpires leaving the playing field who shall immediately notify the tournament committee. The game shall not be suspended in order to settle the protest.
 
(iii)     A formal written protest may be lodged with the Protest Committee (at Tournament Headquarters) any time during the game but no later than immediately following the game, ALONG WITH PROTEST FEE (CASH, MONEY ORDER OR CERTIFIED CHEQUE) in the amount of $150.00.
 
(iv)     Supporting documentation shall be provided, along with the formal written protest and protest fee, which shall include FULL (First and Last) NAME of player(s) whose eligibility is in question PLUS documented proof of the player(s) participation in the game under protest. DOCUMENTED PROOF MAY CONSIST OF LINE-UP CARD SUBMITTED BY TEAM FOR WHICH THAT PLAYER PLAYED, OR COPY OF OFFICIAL SCORESHEET, WHICH SHOWS FULL NAME OF PLAYER(S) INVOLVED, THAT PLAYERS ACTION IN THE GAME AND THE UMPIRE'S SIGNATURE ON THE DOCUMENT REFLECTING CONFIRMATION OF THAT PLAYER(S)' PARTICIPATION IN THE GAME.
 
(v)      The Protest Committee will meet immediately to decide the protest. Games involving the teams will not begin until a ruling has been made.
 
(vi)     If a team's ineligible player is discovered and verified during the game, the offending team forfeits the game immediately and is eliminated, without compensation, from further play in the tournament.
 
(vii)    If a team's ineligible player is verified after the completion of the protested game and before further games are played, the team deemed to have the illegal player(s) will be eliminated from further play, without compensation, and the non-offending team will be awarded the win by forfeit.
 
(viii)   When a player is deemed to be ineligible, it is at that point in the tournament at which the decision of ineligibility is made. All previous game results will stand.
 
(ix)     If the eligibility question cannot be resolved before the next games are begun or until after the tournament is completed, and it is subsequently found that the involved player(s) is ineligible, the team deemed to be at fault shall be placed last in tournament standings and standings shall be adjusted accordingly. All awards and travel expenses shall be held in trust until a final decision is made. If awards and travel expense has been given to the team with an ineligible player(s) it must be returned to the tournament committee with two (2) weeks or further suspensions of up to 3 years may be implemented.
 
NOTE: IN ALL CASES WHERE A PROTEST IS FOUND VALID AND IS UPHELD, PROTEST FEE SHALL BE REFUNDED (AND SIGNED FOR) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE AFTER THE DECISION IS RENDERED. TEAMS ENTITLED TO REFUND OF PROTEST FEE SHALL CONTACT TOURNAMENT PROTEST COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN TO RECEIVE REFUND. 
 

 5. ROUND ROBIN FORMAT

 
In tournament play where initial games or the entire Tournament, uses a round robin format with advancement or placing based on the plus-minus run factor, the following procedures shall be used to decide final standings:
 
(a)    Win /Loss/Tie Record - Total Points (Win-2, Tie-1, Lose-0) Exception: Provincials, Eliminations & special Series events a winner must be determined in each game. No tie games are allowed.
(b)    If teams are tied in the standings, their placement shall be determined using the SLO-PITCH ONTARIO TIE BREAKING FORMULA.
 
NOTE: In determining run differential a limit of seven (7) PLUS or MINUS per game is allowed. Tied games will stand. The team batting second, if leading, does not bat in the bottom of the 7th inning.
 

6. SUSPENDED GAME

 
A suspended game can result in tournament play, if the umpire stops play for any reason such as power failure of the lights, protested game in accordance with these rules, any act of God, etc that precludes immediate continuance of the game to the normal conclusion of the full seven innings or required.
 
(a)    In all elimination and provincial championship tournament play, the game must be completed.
 
(b)    When a suspended game is resumed, it must be started at the point of interruption with the identical situations (as per the official scorebook) as when the game was suspended.
 
(c)    If the game cannot be resumed at the field within two (2) hours of stopping time, regular complete games will apply. Five innings (4½ if home team leading) will constitute a complete game.
 

7. UNIFORMS

 
While participating in tournaments:
 
(a)   Players should be uniformly dressed and individual numbers should identify each participant.
 
(b)   Managers and coaches should be uniformly dressed to conform to team uniform with the adopted full uniform or a cap and jacket which includes the team's emblem and colours which can readily identify them as a member of the team.
 

8. TEAM RATINGS

 
The only common ground by which team ratings can be established are by effective use of the general fundamentals of the game. Some team fundamentals may be: utilizing the various cut-off procedures, base running skills, hitting behind runners, and utilizing proper game situations as they occur. A team rating is based on the ten (10) best players (five best male and five best females on a coed team) on a team's legal roster. Fairness to all teams must be considered when evaluating a team’s division of play.   

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E & O. E. 

Updated May, 2016

 

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