Dover Sherborn Hopedale Ashland
Spring Baseball League
Statement of Philosophy
Rules and Regulations
In order to develop and maintain consistency in the operation of DSHA, a statement
of League Philosophy, Rules and Regulations has been put together based upon a
consensus of representatives from the participating towns.
(Total Participation Rule) The policy of the league is to permit and encourage any child
meeting the age requirements to participate in league play. DSHA is not an organization
of all-star teams. Every child who wishes and is able to commit to play for the season
will have a place on a team roster.
Each participating team must present to the league a completed team roster and
accurately input the roster onto the team's roster Web site. The DSHA Committee must
approve any roster addition or subtraction. All rosters are to be made of players who are
not on a high school affiliated team.
C. TEAM COMPOSITION
In order for a player to participate as a 13-year-old, he or she must not turn 14 before
May 1st. In order for a player to participate as a 14 year-old he or she must not turn 15
before May 1st. In order to participate as a 15 Year old he or she must not turn 16 before
May1st and can not be affiliated with a high school team. All players must be residents
of the participating team's town or be a student in that town’s school system as part of the
statewide school choice program.
D. PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
Any player not on an official roster held by the league, not on the Web Team Roster, not
of the correct age, or not a resident of the Team’s Town shall cause the offending team to
E. PITCHING LIMITATIONS
1) 7 innings in a week. Suspended and re-scheduled games must comply with innings
pitched and day's rest for that pitcher as well. All innings pitched count toward the
weekly total. An inning pitched is defined as one or more pitches thrown by a pitcher in
2) Sunday begins our week.
3) 3 innings plus one pitch in any other inning in the same game constitutes 4 innings
pitched. This mandates that said pitcher must have 2 consecutive days rest.
Example: If a pitcher pitches more than 3 innings on Monday, he cannot pitch again until
Thursday. That pitcher is then eligible for 7 innings minus the number of innings pitched
in Monday's game.
All protests must be submitted in writing to your town coordinator. The DSHA
committee will render the decision as soon as possible. Decisions by a majority of the
DSHA Committee shall be final. Protest governed by MLB Rule 4.19. Protests must be
declared at the time of the incident and the umpire must acknowledge “game under
protest” and sign the score books. Protests must then be reported, in writing, to your
town’s Babe Ruth coordinator no later than noon the following day.
G. CODE OF CONDUCT
The DSHA Committee shall preside over any and all matters regarding code of conduct
for directors, coaches, umpires and players. Any member, player, or umpire may appeal
to the DSHA Committee or bring a complaint to the DSHA Committee, but first must, in
writing, notify the league through the town coordinators.
All Members in DSHA Baseball shall accept the following code of conduct.
1.) It is the duty of all coaches to be in control of his players at all times.
2.) Coaches are expected to comply with the intent and spirit of the rules.
3.) Coaches should teach their players to respect the dignity of the game, officials,
opponents and the institutions they represent.
4.) Coaches will confine their discussions with game officials to the interpretation of the
rules and not challenge umpire judgment calls.
5.) Cursing, obscene language or gestures, malicious or personal remarks to or between
opponents, spectators, officials or coaches will not be tolerated.
6.) Directors, coaches, umpires and players shall refrain from any actions that might
arouse unsportsmanlike behavior between spectators or any of the aforementioned.
7) Umpires shall incorporate the DSHA Code of Conduct in their code of conduct.
8.) Improper use or deliberate damage to equipment or facilities by any member or
associate of this league will not be tolerated.
9.) Altercations, verbal and/or physical will not be tolerated, nor will any intentional
attempt to injure any player, official or participant in any league game or function.
10) Players, coaches and umpires shall not possess or be under the influence of alcohol or
illegal drugs during DSHA baseball games.
11) Penalties: Any player or coach who is ejected from a game will be reported to league
directors and will be suspended from participating in the next game their team plays.
Subsequent ejections and violations of the Code of Conduct will be reviewed by the town
DSHA coordinators and any penalties, up to and including ejection and suspension from
the DSHA league, will be determined by the town’s DSHA representatives.
H. GAME RULES
1) 12 run mercy rule is in effect. If after 5 innings (or 4 1/2 innings if the home team is
ahead) one team has scored 12 or more runs more than the other team, the game is over.
(No penalty for failure to enter all subs.)
2) Playing rules as specified in the official baseball rule book will govern the conduct of
all games, except as noted herein, and will be used to settle all disputes and protests.
3) A Player in the starting line-up who has been removed for a substitute may re-enter the
game once, in any position in the batting order, except E.H., provided the starter’s
a) Completed one time at bat and
b) Played defensively for a minimum of six (6) consecutive outs.
4) Only the starting pitcher may return to the mound one time after being replaced,
provided that the pitcher was not removed by rule (second trip to mound) and was never
removed from the lineup. (Relief pitchers cannot relieve twice in one game.)
5) This league allows for the use of an extra hitter (E.H.). He may be used anywhere in
the batting order and stays in that spot, for the entire game. The E.H. is optional and may
not be substituted for during the course of the game (except for injury).
The E.H. must be used as a player on the field for a minimum of two innings to allow for
on-field playing time (except as pitcher). This is not a substitution but merely a way for
the E.H. to get some on-field play. Also, the batting order must remain the same.
Alternating innings and field positions are allowed. An E.H. can not be either a starting
or a relief pitcher at any point in the game. A player who pitched in the game can not be
substituted into the E.H. position in the line up.
6) A player can be the Extra Hitter (EH) in a maximum of three games during the regular
7) A pitcher must be removed from the mound upon the coach's second trip to the mound
in the same inning to the same pitcher. Remember, a trip to the mound may be called any
time a coach directs a conversation to the pitcher regardless if he walks out onto the
playing field or not.
8) Balks will be called, but only after a pitcher has received two warnings by the umpire.
The umpire and coach will explain to the pitcher what is wrong with the pitcher's
delivery. The two balk warnings are per pitcher, not per game.
9) A team must field nine players in order to start a game. Any less than nine will
constitute a forfeit. A grace period of 15 minutes is allowed in the event a team is short
the required number of players at game time. If, after the 15 minute grace period, a team
cannot field 9 players, the game shall be declared a forfeit. In no case shall a team play
with 8 or less players or shall a team wait for specific players, if they have 9 or more
present at the official start time.
*Note: After first notifying your DSHA town representative of the temporary need for
supplementing a team's roster, a town can avoid a forfeit for lack of players by the
methods outlined below. When a DSHA team lacks sufficient (9) players, the team may
use players from the Town's Youth League, i.e., players younger than 13 years of age
(“call ups”), to bring the total available players to 10 for the start of the game. If regular
roster players subsequently arrive after the start of the game, the call ups may still play
for the remainder of the game. Failure to notify the town DSHA representative in
advance and/or failure to inform the opposing coach of the use of supplemental players
will result in forfeit. Call ups are prohibited from pitching at any time of the game.
10) If a player is ejected during the course of a game, and the offending team has no
substitutes, the game will be declared a forfeit. In the case of an injury, the opposing
coach will pick a player from the bench. If there are no available players, the E.H. may
be used. If there are only 8 players, the teams may finish the game, but this may only be
allowed in the case of an injury. If this occurs, the injured player's spot in the batting
order then becomes an out when that team is at bat.
11) All DSHA games are 7 (seven) inning games. No full inning will begin after
8:00pm, determined by the umpire's watch and, at that time, will be considered a
complete game if the minimum number of innings have been played (see next
paragraph). The only exception is for games played under the lights. A game can
extend beyond 7 innings in the case of a tie provided that it isn't after 8:00pm or
that it's too dark. If a game ends in a tie, it will remain a tie.
The decision to conclude any game due to darkness and, or weather related factors,
remains solely with the umpire. Four innings (or 3 1/2 innings if the home team is
ahead), is considered a complete game. Games concluded before 4 innings are
completed must be rescheduled at a later date and start from the beginning.
Any innings pitched during a game that is NOT considered a complete game STILL
COUNT towards the pitchers inning count and all rest rules still apply.
12) Metal spikes are not allowed in the DSHA.
13) The intent of this league is to prevent unnecessary injury. An attempt must be made
to avoid hard contact at all bases and home plate. Slide or avoid contact. Hurdling a
defensive player is prohibited.
As a general rule, if a player has time to attempt to bowl over a fielder with the intent to
dislodge the ball, he has the time to slide and/or avoid contact. The umpire's decision
will be based on the closeness of the play and the runner's ability to avoid any such
contact. If this should occur in the course of a game, the offending player will be
automatically called “out” regardless of the outcome of the play. At this time, the head
umpire will warn the player. Upon the second offense by that player, the player shall be
ejected from the game. The umpire's judgment is final. An ejection from the game for
such actions will be subject to the same penalties as any other violation of the Code of
Conduct rules, see Section G.
14) Saturday is "make-up day" and all cancelled games will be made up on the next
available Saturday or within seven days.
15) Courtesy Runner. A team has the option of using a courtesy runner for the catcher
when there are two outs in an inning. The use of a courtesy runner allows the catcher to
get his equipment on and speed up the game. The courtesy runner must be the player who
made the last out in the previous inning.
I. GENERAL RULES
1) Home teams are responsible for balls. This league requires that all teams use
"Diamond DBR" or an equivalent ball. Home teams shall also keep the playing fields in
a safe, playable condition.
2) Prior to each game, managers will exchange lineups, pitching information, eligibility
and ground rules.
3) Roster integrity is the responsibility of the coaches and the town representatives and it
should be noted that any attempt to misrepresent will be dealt with by the DSHA
4) Players must be on the roster and have played in at least 75% of the games to be
eligible for post-season play. Post-season play waiver request of the 75% rule will
only be accepted for injured players. Players shall also be in full uniform for all
“Call ups” during the playoffs can only be used to substitute for an injured player
AND when the team would then have less than 10 players for the start of the game.
Call ups can not be used to augment a roster due to eligibility requirements noted
above. Otherwise, call ups are not permitted in playoffs. All other rules regarding
call ups still apply.
5) All players, including the EH must play in the field for at least two innings and must
bat at least once during regulation play.
Note: If a player is benched for disciplinary reasons or an injury, the opposing
coach must be notified before the game begins and that player's name must be listed on
the lineup card as not playing.
6) Each manager must keep a scorebook up to date and be available to the DSHA
Committee any time upon request.
7) Regarding aluminum bats, the League requires the following:
* 13-year-olds - metal bats with no more than a five-unit differential between
length and weight. For example, a 32 inch bat must weigh at least 27 oz.
* 14-15 year olds - follows the MIAA Rule for High School Baseball (BESR).
Currently, metal bats with no more than a three-unit differential between length to weight
and BESR Certification. For example, a 32 inch bat must weigh at least 29 oz. with
Note: Both Divisions may use wood bats.
J. MAJOR LEAGUE RULE BOOK
On the web – A Copy of the Official Baseball Rules from Major League Baseball.
1) All rules will be provided prior to the playoffs.
2) The playoff for our league will consist of two series—a single-elimination and a 2 out
of 3 championship series.
Regular season records will determine the Single-Elimination Series seeding as
A) 2 points for a win; 1 point for a tie
B) Head-to-Head record
C) Fewest runs allowed
D) One game play-off.
3) The top 8 teams make the playoffs.
4) Both teams split the cost of the umpires in the playoffs
5) Both teams supply baseballs for the playoffs.
6) The higher seeded team is Home. In best 2 out of 3 finals, the higher seeded team
would be Home, Away, then Home if necessary.
It is a requirement that two (2) certified umpires be scheduled to officiate games. This is
the responsibility of the home team. The game can be played with only one (1) certified
umpire should the second not be in attendance. If there is no certified umpire within
fifteen minutes after the game is scheduled to start, the home team will forfeit the game.
Note: Any team that forfeits a game without 24 hour notice of cancellation will be
required to pay the umpire's fees for that game.
A rating system will be used throughout the season to ascertain the quality of each
umpire. Complaints and/or comments about an umpire should be sent to the Town
Coordinator. Should an umpire continuously under perform, the DSHA Committee is
empowered to ban said umpire from officiating in this League. All umpires must dress in
conformance with the dress code established by the umpire-in-chief. It is the
responsibility of each town to give all umpires it hires a copy of this document.
M. League Executive Committee
The DSHA Committee will monitor adherence to league rules, regulations and
philosophy. This committee will handle all complaints and should be advised of all
violations of league philosophy, rules and regulations.