|Over Thirty Baseball, Inc. (O.T.B., Inc.) was created to allow baseball players thirty years of age and over an opportunity to play the game they enjoyed playing as a youngster and for those who never had a chance to play the game. The skill level of our players varies from those who have played professionally to those who have never played organized baseball at any level. It is the longstanding tradition of OTB to accept players of all skill levels, work with and develop these players and to improve the ability and skill level of each individual player. This process creates a competitive league and championship-driven teams.|
Rule changes for the 2022 season are noted in the document below.
1 RULES1.1 Over Thirty Baseball, Inc. adopts, as its official baseball rules, the Official Major League Baseball Rules. Any exceptions to these rules are listed herein. Members failing to abide by these are subject to suspension, expulsion or game forfeits as decided by the Board of Directors.
1.2 A majority vote of the Board of Directors is needed to add, delete or amend league rules as the need arises. All players will be notified of the changes by their manager. A revised copy of the rules will be available to each league member, each year, at the time of registration.
1.3 Except for extenuating circumstances or special events including rainouts, OTB schedules all games on Sunday mornings exclusive of the following holidays: Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.
2 CONDUCT2.1 There will be no alcoholic beverages permitted before, during or after the game within the confines of the playing field. Also, smoking is prohibited within the playing area or within the vicinity of the playing area. The use of profanity is not allowed within the playing area or the vicinity of the playing area.
2.2 Unsportsmanlike conduct is strictly prohibited. The penalty for a player involved in an altercation deemed by the Board of Directors or designated committee to constitute unsportsmanlike conduct can be any of the following: warning, reprimand, suspension for one or more games, season expulsion or permanent expulsion. Each team is responsible for the conduct of its players and supporters. Should a player or team supporter act contrary to this rule, the responsible team is subject to forfeiture at the discretion of the umpire. Any and all rules regarding player conduct, including a prohibition against making false statements, are not only applicable to on-field activities, but are applicable to all OTB related activities including, but not limited to, OTB website use, OTB meetings, etc. In addition, conduct during OTB/NOTB games could result in suspension or expulsion in OTB/NOTB as determined by the Board of Directors.
2.3 Team Managers are responsible for ensuring that all of the players on their team are treated with fairness and respect. All players are to be given innings in the field pursuant to minimum inning rules and will be inserted into the batting order for each game that such player attends, as is required by league rules. Individual special requests made by any player to play certain positions and/or to be placed in a certain spot in a batting order may be made by a player. However, a team manager is under no obligation to grant any such individual a special request and the team manager is free to decide where each individual player shall bat and play in the field. All players and managers are expected to work together as a team toward improving both individual player skills and overall team performance.
Each individual player is responsible for his own prompt attendance at each game and regularly communicating with his team manager regarding his playing ability. Players are expected to follow the decisions of the team manager, especially in light of each team managers position in OTB, commitment to OTB and respect for the team manager position. Any individual players refusal to share in a "team first" concept shall not be tolerated. Such individual player actions shall be reported by the team manager to the Board and are subject to review by the Conduct Committee. Examples of an individuals refusal to adopt a "team first" approach shall include, but are not limited to, a refusal to follow a basic sign such as a bunt or sacrifice, a refusal to coach a base when not batting, a refusal to play a certain position when asked by the team manager, a refusal to assist in field cleanup either following a game or in the event of rain, and a general refusal to follow the general direction of the team manager.
If in its review, the Conduct Committee determines that such individual players refusal to follow the "team first" approach was not justified, then the Board shall take appropriate action with respect to that player. Such action may include written warning, suspension and/or expulsion from the league.
2.4 (A) Any player or manager ejected by the umpire from a game is automatically suspended for the next scheduled game actually played to completion, a completed game. A player receiving an ejection in a forfeited game is also subjected to the automatic one game suspension. In addition, a forfeited game may count as a game served for player suspensions subject to review if the suspended players team is not the cause of the forfeit.
2.4 (B) A suspended player must immediately leave the playing area and not be in view of any player, umpire, or spectator at the game. Suspended players may not attend any game even as a spectator until their suspension is completed. Any player who fails to leave the playing field as described above after an ejection by the umpire may result in a forfeiture of that game. If found responsible for such an act, the player(s) will be subject to no less than a one (1) game suspension in addition to the automatic suspension provided for in Rule 2.4 (A).
2.4 (C) To lift a suspension, the ejected player/manager has the burden of providing information to show their ejection was not warranted. The B.O.D. or designated committee will review and resolve such claims within five (5) days. Claims for review must be submitted by the player to the league President within twenty-four (24) hours of ejection. A successful claim will not count as an official ejection.
Multiple ejections within any three (3) year period will result in additional suspended games as follows:
2.5 If an infielder decoys a tag, only the runner will be entitled to advance one (1) base. Any preceding runner(s) forced to advance by the award of one (1) base for the penalty of decoying shall advance to the next base without liability. If a fielder decoys a runner by faking a tag, the fielder decoying the tag will be automatically ejected from the game. For the purposes of this rule, "decoying a tag" shall mean and be deemed to have happened when a player on base slides unnecessarily due to a decoyed tag by a fielder who does not have the ball and/or, in the judgment of the umpire, gives the impression to the runner that the fielder is receiving a throw with the intent to make a tag on a runner.
a. For the purposes of this rule, an example of a defender "intentionally blocking" the base/plate shall include, but is not limited to, an instance where a catcher places his shin guard on the ground and in the base path towards home plate.
b. For the purposes of this rule, if a play is being made on the runner, the runner shall either slide directly into the base or in a path away from the fielder. The runner may also give themselves up by veering off the base path and away from the fielder.
1. Whether the collision by the runner was avoidable (could the runner have reached the base by sliding, veering or otherwise without colliding), or unavoidable (the runners path to the base was blocked) or:
2.8 If a pitcher hits three (3) batters in any one game, the pitcher must be removed AS PITCHER on the third hit batsman. Umpire has discretion to eject any pitcher, if in his judgment, pitcher intentionally throws at batter, not withstanding his discretion under Major League rules. If a pitcher is removed from a total of three (3) games due to the hit-batsman rule, either due to count or at umpire discretion, the pitcher will not be allowed to pitch for the remainder of the season, including playoffs.
2.9 The Hidden Ball Play can be executed only when the pitcher is completely off the pitching circle (i.e., both feet on the grass of the infield). For the purposes of this rule any violation of this rule shall result in a balk according to MLB rules.
2.10 Individuals not on the team roster present in the teams dugout must be at least 18 years of age until completion of the game.
3 ELIGIBILITY COMMITMENT
All applicants shall provide a complete and accurate draft application regarding their baseball history AND the full payment of the annual dues or a minimum of $100 and an approved payment plan prior to the draft. If full payment or the minimum with the approved payment plan is not received, the player will not be eligible for the annual draft. Such information shall include, but is not limited to, listing all levels of playing ability, all positions played, last time playing organized baseball, and any other information relevant to the evaluation of such draft applicant. All draft applications shall be reviewed during the season by the Board and/or such appropriate Committee. If the Board and/or such Committee determine that any drafted individual fails to properly complete his draft card, whether intentional, inadvertent, by mistake or otherwise, such individual shall be suspended for a minimum of one (1) game, regardless of the timing. If the season has ended, then such player suspension shall be carried over until the following season. In addition, the Board and/or Committee may award additional penalties against such player, including a suspension for additional games and/or expulsion from OTB, based on the severity of such misrepresentation and/or failure to supply accurate information.
3.3 Dates for submission of final rosters will be decided by the League President. There will be absolutely no changes permitted afterward, without the approval of the League President.
3.4 Any player may submit their name for consideration in the draft. A player may switch teams after completion of the draft with the approval of the board.
3.5 Teams must have nine (9) players to start an official game. To satisfy the 9 player rule all nine (9) players must be on the field or in the dugout and in uniform when the umpire puts the first ball in play. A team cannot complete a game with less than eight (8) players. Please refer to Major League rules for further clarification, including forfeiture of the game. See Rule 5 for definition of a completed game. A forfeit is not considered a completed game for either team involved.
3.6 As authorized by the Board of Directors, any player missing two (2) consecutive games without prior notification is subject to expulsion for the remainder of the season. Any player missing four (4) games, with or without prior notification, is subject to expulsion for the remainder of the season. Furthermore, the player involved is not entitled to any refund. If such an expelled player decides to return to the league the following year, he shall not be treated as a returning player. His application will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
3.7 In order for a player to qualify and participate in his teams playoffs, a player must be on the teams official roster no later than July 15th. In addition, a player must play in at least six (6) regular season games actually played and completed regardless of reason for absence including any suspensions said player may be required to serve. Rained out games will be reduced from the players mandatory total. Players failing to meet the requirements due to extenuating circumstances may make a written request for reconsideration to the Board of Directors. Extenuating circumstances will not include, but are not limited to vacations, work commitments, and injury. For purposes of this rule, a forfeiture shall not count as a game actually played and completed for a player on the team which caused the forfeit.3.8 The manager of a team that forfeits a game in the playoffs may be subject to suspension for the next playoff game. If the forfeited playoff game is the last game of that teams season, the suspension will carry over to the following season. Any violation will be reviewed by the Conduct Committee. A suspension as it pertains to this rule will not count towards a managers conduct history and shall be considered as administrative. Additionally, the team forfeiting will incur a penalty of 45 points (double the points for a round-robin playoff win). This penalty will be automatically passed to the Draft Committee as a recommendation. 3.9 Any player aged 70 or older may be designated as a 16th rostered player. This must be requested by the team and approved by the player. To be eligible the player must have played a minimum of 5 years in OTB. These requests will require approval by the Draft Committee.
4 PLAYING TIME, POSITIONS, AVAILABILITY4.1 A pitcher may pitch no more than a total of eighteen (18) innings in three (3) consecutive games. Innings pitched is defined as complete innings pitched within a completed game. Consequently a pitcher, for example, may have pitched 8-2/3 innings and has 9-1/3 innings available to pitch within the three (3) consecutive games. Innings of availability will begin anew with the start of the playoff season. Violation of this rule in any game will result in an automatic forfeiture of said game. There is no minimum number of batters that a pitcher must face. Pitchers removed from the mound may not return to pitch for the remainder of the game. If a game is forfeited, all statistics will remain. Pitched innings will count towards a pitchers tally. The only personal statistic a player will not be credited with will be a win, loss, or save. For the purposes of this rule, the team not causing the forfeit will have this game count as an official game for pitching innings.
If it is determined that any individual has pitched more than the maximum eighteen (18) innings in any consecutive three (3) game span, then such matter shall be brought to the attention of the Board for review and possible action, in the discretion of the Board. Such action may include written warning, forfeiture of game(s) won in which such a violation of the rule is deemed to have occurred, and/or suspension. A formal protest is not required in order to enforce the provisions of this rule.
4.2 Pitchers may not wear apparel which can be deemed as a distraction during the game (i.e. wrist bands, bright pitching sleeve, shining objects).
4.3 Each manager will bat all players present at the start of the game. The manager will add players who arrive late to the bottom of the lineup as soon as they are ready to play.
4.4 Batters cannot be deleted or skipped over unless physically unable to swing, regardless of their batting position or when they were added during the game. If a player is forced to leave the game for any reason, that spot is skipped, and all batters moved up accordingly with no penalty to the affected team. If a player misses his turn at bat for whatever reason but wishes to continue batting, an out will be charged at the time of the missed turn at bat.
Any player that is injured during a game, or attempts to play a defensive position at any time prior to the start of a game and up through the game but cannot continue to play a defensive position due to injury shall be permitted to continue to play on offense, if able, and may continue to hit, run the bases and do all other things related to the offensive side of baseball.
4.5 All players able to play must play at least four (4) completed innings on the field. Any player not present at the start of the game will have those innings missed deducted from the four (4) inning minimum. A completed inning is defined as the player being on the field for three (3) defensive outs. Therefore, a player must be on the field for a minimum of twelve (12) defensive outs per game, unless the player arrived late or leaves early, and any defensive outs made in his absence shall be deducted from the minimum. Exempted from this rule, at the players request, are players who are 70 years old or greater.
If it is determined that any individual has failed to play at least four (4) defensive innings in any game, as is defined by league rules, then such matter shall be brought to the attention of the Board for review and possible action, in the discretion of the Board. Such action may include written warning, forfeiture of game(s) won in which such a violation of the rule is deemed to have occurred and/or suspension. A formal protest is not required in order to enforce the provisions of this rule.
4.6 A player who needs a courtesy runner, due to injury factors only, must have his manager notify the opposing manager before game time. If not so notified, the opposing manager may deny the request during the game. Each team will be allowed the maximum of two (2) courtesy runners at the start of each game. A courtesy runner shall run for that player throughout that game. The player to make the last batted out must be the courtesy pinch runner unless it is the first inning of a game and no player has made an out. In this case, the last batter in the order shall be the courtesy runner. In the event a player becomes injured during a game, a manager may add to the number of courtesy runners for each injured player up to a maximum of two (2) additional courtesy runners. (As an additional option to this rule, pitchers and catchers, if the last batted out, may be skipped as courtesy runners with the previous batted out running.) For the application of this rule, a batted out shall be defined as a batter declared out as a direct result of their own at-bat.
Any player who is in need of a courtesy runner and declares such prior to the start of the game shall not be permitted to run the bases at all during the course of the game. An in-game runner does not have to run for that player throughout that game. This does not preclude a courtesy runner from attempting to steal bases.
In the instance of a significant injury occurring and a team has exhausted their two in-game runner allowance, an exception shall be made. A significant injury is when a player is hurt and it is clear and discernable they need assistance, whether it be from teammates to get him off the field or medical assistance. A courtesy runner shall be allowed to take their place and the injured player must be removed from the game. The last batted out will be the courtesy runner. The player replaced by the courtesy runner may not re-enter the game without exception.
4.7 Pitchers and catchers shall be allowed a pinch runner when there are two (2) outs in an inning. The runner has to be substituted before the next batter comes up to bat. The pinch runner shall be the player who made the last batted out.
4.8 A player may initiate a request to his manager to only hit and not play the field. The manager may name him as a designated hitter (DH). Such player must be designated prior to the game. There may only be one DH per game and he MAY NOT enter the game to play the field once designated. All other players are subject to rule 4.5 who are playing in that game. Notwithstanding the requirements of this rule, if any player is injured during a game and has to leave that game, resulting in a shortage of remaining players for that team, then the player designated as the DH may enter the game for defensive purposes. For the purposes of this rule, a "shortage of remaining players" shall mean fewer than eight (8) players eligible to play, not counting the player designated as the DH.
4.9 In the case of increased chance of injury, a player may initiate a request to his manager to only play the field and not hit. The manager may name him as a designated fielder. Such player must be designated prior to the game. There may only be one designated fielder per game and he MAY NOT enter the game to hit or run once designated. Said player needs to satisfy the four (4) defensive innings rule. That player would not have to have a DH hit in his place in the lineup. In other words, a team can have a designated fielder and not use a designated hitter.
5 COMPLETED GAMES / PROTESTS5.1 All games are nine (9) innings, unless Rain Delay (Rule 5.7) has been invoked, then MLB standards for complete games apply. It is at the umpires discretion to call the game in the event of darkness or inclement weather. A game called due to darkness is complete upon playing seven (7) innings and a game called due to inclement weather is complete upon playing five (5) innings. The previous sentence shall not apply to playoff games. All players are expected to be at their respective games at least thirty (30) minutes before the start. Teams are allowed to take batting practice prior to the start of the game but all batting practice shall end no later than 7:30 am. Teams are expected to cooperate with each other in sharing the field for batting practice.
The home team will take the field twenty five (25) minutes before the start of the game for ten (10) minutes of practice. The visiting team will take the field fifteen (15) minutes before the start of the game for ten (10) minutes of practice, with the ground rules taking place five (5) minutes before the start of the game. If a team cannot field a 9-player roster by fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled start time, the game will be forfeited. If both teams are required to forfeit because a 9-player roster is not reached by fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled start time, both teams are awarded a forfeit loss.
5.2 A game will be considered final and completed when the home team has a fifteen (15) run lead after 4-1/2 innings and two (2) completed hours of play. A game will be considered final and completed when the visiting team has a fifteen (15) run lead after five (5) full innings and two (2) completed hours of play. If the two (2) hour time limit has not been reached, the home team must have its last chance at bat in any inning after the 5th and after the two (2) hour time limit.
5.2.1 During playoff rounds, a game will be considered final and completed when the home team has a fifteen (15) run lead after 6-1/2 innings and two (2) completed hours of play. A game will be considered final and completed when the visiting team has a fifteen (15) run lead after seven (7) full innings and two (2) completed hours of play.
5.3 After three (3) hours and thirty (30) minutes from the start of a game, the teams may not begin a new inning. The game will be ruled final and completed at this point. Ties are considered as a final and completed game during the regular season. During the playoffs, games will be played until there is a winner. During playoff games, unless rule 5.2.1 is triggered, all games will continue until the home team is leading after 8-1/2 innings have been played or the visiting team is leading after nine (9) innings have been played. If the game is tied after nine (9) completed innings of play, all playoff games will continue until there is a winner in extra innings.
5.4 Rainouts can be played to completion only if the schedule includes makeup dates or if approved by the Board of Directors.
5.5 All protests should be lodged verbally with the League President within twenty four (24) hours. All protests should be submitted in writing to the League President within seventy two (72) hours. All protests shall be decided by the Over Thirty Baseball, Inc. Board of Directors consisting of the League Officers, Directors, and team managers. Any board member whose team is involved with a protest will have no vote in the decision. In case of a deadlock, the Presidents vote will be the deciding vote. The B.O.D. will modify this process for specific games during the season as the need arises.
5.6 The definition of a completed game is described in Rule 5. A forfeited game is not a completed game for either team involved.
5.7 In the event that either current field or forecasted weather status make the conditions for playing uncertain, the league will institute a Rain Delay. The league will be notified no later than 6:45 AM. Once invoked, game start times would be shifted to 9:45 AM. During the intervening time, both teams would be responsible to attempt to render the fields playable by both OTB and umpire standards. If by 8:15 AM all parties agree that fields are unplayable, the game shall be rained out. Both teams and the umpire crew should work together to determine field safety and playability. Once the ground rules have been reviewed, the responsibility rests solely with the umpires.
6 EQUIPMENT / UNIFORM6.1 All teams must have full baseball uniforms.
6.1.1 No player without a uniform will be allowed to play without the opposing managers consent. A full uniform is defined as hat, pants, shirt and socks. Also no alterations to the uniform without board approval.
6.2 All batters and runners must have helmets; there is no exception to this rule. Dual or single-flap helmets are mandatory when batting and helmets are required for the bases. Catchers are also required to wear a helmet beneath their mask. Players warming up a pitcher must wear a mask. At all times, throat guards must be worn with masks.
6.3 Only league-approved baseballs will be permitted for league play. Each team must bring three (3) baseballs to each game.
6.4 Effective with the beginning of the 2017 season (overriding the rule created in 2005), all non-wood bats used during play must meet Batted Ball Coefficient of Restitution (BBCOR) standard. All non-wood bats must be labeled with BBCOR certification, BESR labeled bats are considered illegal. Any batter using an illegal bat will be ejected from the game. Any board-approved change in structure or differential will be made with the contingency that its implementation will be one (1) year from the date of the board-approved change.
Effective beginning in the 2010 season, OTB will play no more than 3 games of the regular season with baseball bats made of wood or wood-based composite material. The Scheduling Committee will designate the games to be played as "wood bat" games. All games to be played with such bats shall be played prior to the July 4th break. No "wood bat" games shall be played after the July 4th designated date. This rule applies to makeup games due to rainouts or other factors.
6.5 All baseball cleats are permitted in league games.
7.1 Teams must report results of games and statistics within seventy two (72) hours of the completion of the game.
7.2 The home team of the All-Star game shall alternate between the American League and the National League each year.
7.3 The home team for the Championship Game will be the team with the better regular season record.
Revision history: Final Revision December 13, 2021
Revised December 14, 2020
Revised December 16, 2019
Revised December 10, 2018
Revised December 11, 2017
Revised December 12, 2016
Revised December 18, 2015
Revised December 15, 2014
Revised December 16, 2013
Revised December 17, 2012
Revised December 12, 2011
Revised December 13, 2010
Revised December 17, 2009
Revised December 8, 2008
Revised December 10, 2007
Revised December 7, 2006
Revised December 1, 2005
Revised December 2, 2004
Revised December 4, 2003
Revised December 5, 2002
Revised December 6, 2001
Reviewed with no changes January 25, 2001
Revised January 13, 2000
Revised January 25, 1999
Revised January 15, 1998
Revised February 20, 1997
Reviewed with no changes January 25, 1996
Revised January 16, 1995