Special Rules and Regulations
Updated Friday March 23, 2018 by Vancouver Women's Fastpitch League.
VANCOUVER WOMEN’S FASTPITCH LEAGUE
SPECIAL RULES AND REGULATIONS 2018
The VWFL operates under Softball BC/ Softball Canada rules except for the following:
1. LEAGUE STRUCTURE
- The selection of a scheduling option (i.e., interlocking with league, inter-divisional, interlocking with other leagues, etc.) will be made by the team representatives at a team rep league meeting prior to the scheduling deadline.
- League Payments must be paid in full prior to, or the day of, the Monday before the start of league play. If a team has not paid by said date, the team will receive a $200 fine. Until the fine and fees are paid, the team(s) cannot play any games.
- A $100 team bond must be paid per team by way of post-dated cheque dated July 15th of the current year. The cheque will either be destroyed or cashed depending on each umpire default. (Umpire defaults consist of defaulted games where the league is charged for umpires even though no game was played. This occurs when not enough cancellation notice was given or a team defaulted at the field). In an instance where a default cheque is cashed, a new $100 bond cheque must be insured, by the team in question, within a week of the original default game.
- Each team shall be registered with Softball BC (or provide independent proof of insurance) and shall consist of a minimum of 11 players and a maximum of 21.
- All players must have proof of insurance and registered through the site.
- If a player signs a CASA in another district (outside of District 5 & 7), a copy must be submitted to VWFL by June 30th. Failure to do so will result in that player being deemed ineligible for the VWFL and all of the resulting sanctions associated with such actions will be exercised by the VWFL.
Note: CASA roster = minimum 11, maximum 17 players, masters 20, including pickups [3 max.] - See Softball BC Handbook.
- A substitution roster will be created for players who cannot commit to a team full time, or for players who do not have a team. These substitution players will be eligible for playoffs with any team as long as they have played the stated number of games (5) to make them eligible. These 5 games can be played with any team in the league and will be eligible for playoffs based on teams’ needs and at the Executive's approval.
- In order to request substitute players for playoffs, a team must have 9 or less eligible full-time players confirmed for the applicable game.
- The signing of the league’s official roster (coaches, managers, and players) is an agreement in writing of the individual to abide by the rules and regulations of the league as set out and ratified by the league.
- Failure to submit a league roster 2 weeks’ prior to the 1st game of playoffs will result in a two-point penalty and the forfeiture of any games played after the specified date.
- It is the option of each team for each game whether they play “bat 9 play 9” or play through the order. Each team’s decision is to be announced at the home plate pre-game conference. When a team choses to play through the order, a player would be stricken from the game if they are not at the park and ready to play by the time they come up in the order. Playoffs will be played bat 9 play 9 by all teams. Teams that choose to play through their order do not have any substitute players to use.
3. PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
- To be eligible to play in the VWFL, a player must be signed on a Softball BC/CASA (or independent proof of insurance) roster or provide independent proof of insurance. All players must be insured prior to the start of their first VWFL game.
- To play in the VWFL Playoffs, a player must have played at least 5 of the season’s scheduled games with the said team who’s roster they sign for playoffs or substitution roster in our league. However, they may sub for any VWFL team at any time during the regular season provided they adhere to general substitution rules (Section 2.1) (Rule tabled until we determine how many games there will be in a season.)
- Forfeited games will not be recognized as a game played (see also section 3.5).
- Tournament games will not be recognized as a scheduled game played.
- To determine a player’s eligibility, a coach of the opposing team may request identification of any player, together with the umpire’s initials. This may only be done at a break in play when approved by the umpire. Failure to abide by such request will result in forfeiture of that game
- Any player who has played in at a Senior A level or Senior A provincials can play in the VWFL but cannot pitch until one full season has elapsed.
- No player currently registered in another league that is playing at a Senior "A" level is eligible to play or sub in the VWFL regardless of position in any one season
- In the event of a game cancellation at the field, Teams must provide an umpire signed lineup sheet as proof of intent to play. This is only necessary if a team has a player that is getting their 5th game in to be eligible for playoffs.
- All teams will receive equal consideration regarding exceptions for team members returning from pregnancy or injury. With regards to injury, a doctor’s note may be required. Permission must be obtained from the executive prior to the playoffs.
- There is to be no alcohol consumed in Vancouver or North Vancouver Parks as per sections 40, 42 & 43 of the Liquor Control and Licensing Act. Alcohol may be consumed in the licensed and designated areas only, and not during the game under any circumstance. Anyone found in violation of this by-law is subject to the applicable fines and/or penalties.
A team member, who is dressed in uniform or in the team area, is also bound by this rule. An umpire may give immediate ejection, game forfeiture and game suspension for breaking this rule.
- Teams are responsible for their own spectators. (i.e., family, friends, pets, etc.). In the event that a belligerent spectator may appear to be with a team but in fact is not, teams are to make it known to the umpire immediately that the spectator is not one of their own.
- There will be no smoking in Vancouver and North Vancouver Parks. An umpire may give immediate ejection, game forfeiture and game suspension for breaking this rule. If found to be in violation of this by-law, the following actions may be taken according to the 2010 City of Vancouver Parks and Recreation Bylaw to Regulate Smoking in Parks: Every person who commits an offence against this Bylaw is punishable on conviction by a fine of not less than $250.00 and not more than $2,000.00 for each offence, except that a person who commits an offence under section 3.2(a), 3.2(b) or 3.2(c) of this Bylaw is liable to a fine of no less than $500.00 for each offence.
- The VWFL has a zero tolerance policy of abuse of any kind toward umpires, players, or coaches and violators will be subject to ejection or sanctions.
- Numbered uniforms must be of common colour regardless of the style of clothing. Provincial Tournaments require numbers to be at least six (6) inches in height.
- Medical bracelets and wedding bands are the only jewelry allowed. It doesn’t have to be taped down but is recommended that you do if at all possible. All other jewelry must be removed or taped over.
- Metal cleats allowed
- A Dudley WTND 12 FP 47 core with raised seams optic yellow ball is to be used for all league games as per official Softball BC ball. The home team is responsible for supplying one new ball and at least one good back up ball. If there are no Dudley balls available, we will use the ProStock ProNine 12” cor 47 with raised seams.
- All bats used during league play must be ASA approved.
7. FIELD PREPARATION & GAME TIME
- The home team is responsible for lining, dragging, set up, and take down of the field. For dimensions refer to the rulebook, as per Softball BC guidebook. Failure to prepare the field will result in a $25 fine to the home team if infraction is reported a minimum of three times by opposing teams. Report all incidences to the Rules & Protest Committee as soon as possible. Each incident will be documented and action will be taken as necessary.
- The field must be lined and ready for play 20 minutes prior to start of game. If the field is not ready, infields will be allowed at umpire’s discretion.
- Connaught games start times are 6:45 pm. Double-headers will start at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm; single games will start at 6:45 pm until June 15th. After June 15th, single games will start at 7:00pm. All league games will have 1.5-hour time limit except semi-final and finals. No new inning to start after 1.5 hours. League games start by the umpire’s determination of time. The game can be delayed for 15 minutes only if a team has only seven (7) players after which time, game will be forfeited by team not fielding required minimum of eight (8) players (and still remain at 1.5 hours of played time).
- If both teams fail to have the minimum of eight (8) players, the game is forfeited by both teams and the official score is 0-0.
- In the instance of fielding eight (8) players, the ninth position in the batting order is blank and causes an automatic out when that position is the “at bat” player. If a 9th player’s name is on the game score sheet at the start of the game, she can be played any time after the start of the game.
- If the number of fielded players drops below eight (8) any time during the game that team forfeits the game.
- If a team starts with nine (9) players and drops to eight (8) at any point in the game, the game will be allowed continue.
- A team may pick up a maximum of three (3) players from other available VWFL teams, the VWFL sub roster, or an eligible player outside the VWFL as defined by the current rules if the team has less than nine (9) players prior to game start. If a team has 9 players ready and dressed to play, they may NOT pick up players.
- A work party for field maintenance will be held prior to the start of the season. Each team is required to supply volunteers for home diamonds.
- Each team is allowed three (3) courtesy runners per game. The courtesy runner must be the last available player. These three (3) courtesy runner’s do not include the additional courtesy runner for the catcher when there are two (2) out.
- Your team’s official batting order – starting line up card/sheet, must have all players listed by first and last names, jersey numbers and the position. Substitutions and coaches should be listed at the bottom of line up card. The top WHITE copy is for the Umpire. No additions allowed without opposing team’s consent.
- Games at Connaught Park will have flags in the outfield. They are there to direct people and dog owners away from our games. Any fly ball caught between the flags is fair ground.
8. EXTRA INNINGS, INCOMPLETE GAMES AND MERCY RULE
- A game that is tied at the end of 7 innings shall be continued by playing additional innings (following international rules, maximum of 3 innings).
- Should the game remain tied after 10 complete innings, it shall be recorded as a tie and the teams will split the game points.
- When the game cannot be completed due to weather, field conditions, or darkness, the game will be rescheduled unless 5 innings or time has been completed. Games will not be suspended. The team ahead by 7 runs after 5 complete innings is declared the winner, or if a team is ahead by 15 runs after three complete innings the game may be declared over by the Mercy Rule.
- A complete game is either a minimum of 5 innings, time, or a mercy.
9. SCORE KEEPING
- First and last names of the player must be written on the score sheet AND lineup card in case of discrepancy.
- Score report, number of game officials, and field conditions are to be phoned or emailed in to the Vice President in charge of scoring and to the Umpire Liaison within 24 hours by both teams.
- If a game was not played or completed, both teams are responsible for notifying the Umpire Liaison within 24 hours of the original scheduled date. Teams will not be reimbursed for rain outs called during play that do not get rescheduled.
10. GAME CANCELLATIONS
- Rainouts/Unsafe Field Conditions:
- If a game is to be cancelled; the Umpire Liaison must be notified by 3:30 pm on the day of play.
- The home team is responsible for determining cancellations. The late game of a doubleheader cannot be cancelled due to poor weather conditions until 5:30.
- If umpires are not notified of a cancellation, the home team will be charged the umpire fees. To reschedule a game, contact the Umpire Liaison. The Umpire Liaison chooses the date.
- If the Umpire Liaison has rescheduled a game for any reason, and both teams are not able to field the required number of players, both teams will take a loss.
- If your team is not able to field a team, 24 hour notice must be given to the umpire liaison or your team will be responsible for the umpire fees.
- The forfeiting team forfeits their portion of the umpire’s refund. The forfeited upon team shall receive their portion of the umpire fees at the upcoming season’s AGM. The forfeiting team is responsible for both umpires fees which will be taken out of their bond cheque.
- Reminder to always check your League’s web site (www.vwfl.ca) for any updates or changes in the schedules, due to rain outs, umpire-called games, for the new rescheduled date, plus any related info for the league and/or team fundraiser information.
- Any violation of the Rules and Regulations/Constitution of the VWFL as well those covered by the Softball BC Handbook and the Softball Canada Rule Book can be protested by following the procedure in the Softball BC Handbook.
- The notification of intent to protest a game must be made immediately before the next pitch.
- The manager or acting manager of the protesting team shall immediately notify the Plate Umpire that the game is being continued under protest. The Plate Umpire shall in turn notify the opposing manager and official scorekeeper.
- All interested parties shall take notice of the conditions surrounding the making of the decision that will aid in the correct determination of the issue.
- In league play, the league executive has the power to handle all protests; Exec members from the teams involved with the protest shall recuse themselves.
- If not resolved at the plate, a written appeal to the VWFL Exec must be filed within 48 hours after the scheduled time of the contest and shall contain the following information:
- The date, time and place of the game.
- The names of the umpires and scorers.
- The rule and section of the Official Rules or local rules under which the protest is made.
- The decision and conditions surrounding the making of the decision.
- All essential facts involved in the matter protested.
- The decision made on a protested game must result in one of the following:
- The protest is found invalid and the game score stands as played.
- When a protest is allowed for misrepresentation for a playing rule, the game is replayed from the point at which the incorrect decision was made with the decision corrected.
- When a protest for ineligibility is allowed, the game shall be forfeited to the opposing team.
12. END OF REGULAR SEASON/ PLAYOFF STANDINGS
- When total points won are identical, playoff positions will be determined in the following manner:
- Win/loss record between teams tied.
- Runs for and against in the games played between the teams tied.
- Home games for semi-finals playoffs will be awarded to the higher-ranking team, with remaining games alternating.
- A coin toss will determine home team for Game 1. Game 2 will alternate. A coin toss will determine home team for the final game.
- Tournament format will be determined at the playoff meeting.
- For any gross misconduct or violation of Rules and Regulations, penalties may be levied at the discretion of the Rules and Protest Committee.
14. LEAGUE POLICY
- If a team asks an umpire for something the League does not allow, the other team should remind them of league policy. If the umpire allows something contravening League policy, then the League’s Protest rule should be invoked (refer to VWFL Special Operating Rules & Regulations, Rule 11, Protests) if required.