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Great American Pastime Baseball League
Offical Rules

2011 Spring Season

Please read these rules carefuly.  These rules exists to promote safety first, fair playing time and an entertaining and fun experience for all participants!

1.  All players MUST be at least 18 years of age.

1b. Father-Son Rule - Players may be 15-17 years of age AS LONG AS the player's paternal father, step-father or father-in-law plays on the same team.

2.  All pitchers MUST be at least 28 years of age

3.  All players will be in the batting lineup in every game.  A set continuous batting order will be used throughout the season.  The player on deck at the end of the last game will be the lead-off batter in the next game. 

3a.  Any players who do not show up for a game will simply be skipped - at no penalty to the team.

3b.  Any players who arrive late to the game will immediately take their at-bat in their normal spot - at no penalty to his team.

3c.  A player is declared out when he cannot bat due to a) leaving the game early but played the previous inning in the field, b) was injured during his previous inning (see Rule 15), or c) simply refuses to bat. 

3d.  The batting order may change for the first playoff game, but must remain continuous for the remainder of the playoffs, including the Championship game.

4.  All players MUST wear a batting helmet while batting, while on the bases and while in the batter's box.

5.  Catchers MUST wear a helmet and MUST wear a protective cup when catching. 

6.  If there are two outs and the offensive team's catcher is on base, the last player to make an out will be a pinch runner for the catcher.  No other player may have this privilege (not even the catcher).  This speeds up the offense/defense transition at the end of the half-inning and allows for more playing time. 

7.  No player may sit out from playing the field for more than one-consecutive inning.  For example, with 12 players on a team, all players must sit at least two innings, and three players must sit three innings, but none may sit two innings in a row.  Any player requesting to sit more than one consecutive inning may be allowed to do so.

8.  No more than 4 runs may be scored per half-inning for the first 4 innings. Unilimited runs are allowed thereafter.  An over-the-fence home-run counts all runs above 4 in these 'limited' innings.

9.  A pitcher may not pitch more than 4 innings.  Any appearance (even a single pitch, or a pick-off with NO pitch) counts as an inning. 

10.  If a pitcher hits two batters during a game, the umpire MAY elect to remove the pitcher from the game. If the umpire feels the two pitches that hit batters were unintentional, the umpire may allow the pitcher to continue pitching. However, the pitcher must be removed from the pitchers position immediately after hitting the third batter. When a pitcher is removed, he must leave the pitcher's position immediately, and may not pitch for the remainder of the game.  Obviously, this player may play any other position in the field.

11.  If a pitcher walks 4 batters in a single half-inning, the pitcher must be removed from the pitcher's position immediately for the remainder of the half-inning.  The pitcher may return to the pitcher's position so long as his return doesn't cause him to exceed the maximum innings limit (Rule 9).

12.  "MUST AVOID CONTACT RULE" - A fielder may not block any portion of a base/plate without the possession of the ball.  The umpire may call obstruction and award the offended runner the base or extra bases, depending on the play.  The runner should make all attempts to avoid contact with a fielder.  A runner will be declared out if he initiates contact with the catcher or any other fielder in an attempt to dislodge the ball.  If the actions of a runner or fielder is deemed unsportsmanlike or malicious by the umpire, the player will be immediately ejected from the game.  See Rule 23 on player suspensions.

13.  All fielders must be in possession of the ball when making a tag on a runner.  No fielder may fake a tag on an incomming runner.  Violation of this rule will result in all runners, including the batter-runner, being awarded an extra base.

14.  Only GAP Baseball players are allowed in the team dugout/bench.  No children, wives, 'batboys', dogs, friends, pet ferrets, etc.

15.  If an offensive player is injured during a play, or a batter cannot continue to run the bases, the last player to make an out may be his pinch runner.  A newly injured player may return to play, but must sit out the next defensive inning.  NOTE: Upon agreement at anytime by the Team Managers, this rule can be followed fully, partially or not at all. 

16.  During the regular season, if a team is short a player (or players) and the other team has extra players, the league encourages "sharing" players to play a full game.  However, a team may not increase their roster over 10 players to play a game (only one sub allowed).   Remember - the purpose of the GAP league is to have fun playing baseball (not to stack a team to increase chances of winning). 

17.  All "hidden ball tricks" are forbidden.

18.  A team may not steal a base with a 10+ run lead.  A base-runner may advance at their own risk on a pass ball or wild pitch.

19.  Hitter's league rules - If a pitcher hits a batter with a pitch, that batter has the choice of taking the base or counting the pitch as a ball.  If a baserunner stole a base during the play, and the batter wants to take the pitch as a ball, the baserunner must return to the previous base.

20.  Intentional walks are NOT permitted (catcher's must squat behind the plate when the pitch is thrown).

21.  All games are 2 hours and 45 minutes in length.  Teams will attempt to get as many innings and at-bats within this time frame.  The game MUST stop and players must leave the field, regardless of how many outs or which half of the inning it is, at exactly 2 hours and 45 minutes.  

22.  NO player may play without wearing an Official GAP Baseball Jersey and the Official GAP Baseball Cap.  NO EXECPTIONS.  (If you forgot your uniform, please go home and get it).

23.  Any player ejected from a regular season or playoff game, will be suspended for his team's next scheduled played game as well.  If a player is ejected a second time during the same season or the next season, the player will be suspended for a minimum of the remainder of the season and possibly for life, at the sole decision of the League Commissioner.

24.  Metal spikes may be worn for all games.  

25.  NO ALCOHOL - All county and city parks prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages on park property.  And since it's a privilege to be permitted to play at these parks, and due to a higher injury risk when playing while drinking, this league has a no tolerance policy for drinking alcohol on the field, in the dugout, in the stands or in the parking lot during games.  Any player found to be drinking during a game (on or off the field) will be removed from the park and will be suspended for the next scheduled game.  A second offense will result in an immediate indefinite suspension.

26.  The League Commissioner has the sole right NOT to allow a person to register or to participate in any GAP Baseball Season or event, for any or no reason.

27.  If not specifically stated above, all professional baseball rules will be followed. 

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