League Rules/Policies (Ancaster Men's Slo-Pitch League (AMSPL))

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AMSPL In House Rules 2020 Season


Home Run Rule

A team is allowed 3 home runs during game play. After a team achieves their maximum home runs the teams will be allowed additional home runs with a constant “+3” format. (EXAMPLE…. if one team hits 3 homeruns it can hit its fourth after the opposing team hits 1 keeping the differential of 3 or less home runs between teams). All home runs hit after the team has reached their maximum will be considered a ground rule single.  In addition, all base runners will advance one base only (forced or not) if a subsequent home run is ruled as a ground rule single.

Retrieving a Home Run Ball

The home run hitting team MUST retrieve the home run/game ball as soon as possible. Should the responsible team fail to get their home run/game ball before the player who hit the home run enters the batter’s box for their next at bat, that batter will be automatically called out for failing to retrieve a home run/game ball. A substitute ball is not permitted to replace the game ball unless the home run/game ball was not able to be located with adequate effort.

The home run hitter can elect to run the bases or walk off at their discretion, they are not required to touch 1st base.

Intentional Walk Rule

A designated player (2 per team indicated prior to start of game) issued 4 straight balls to start an at bat will automatically be awarded second base. All base runners will advance to the next available base only of forced to do so by the walk rule. If a strike is thrown, then the walk rule does not apply. Any designated player being intentionally walked without seeing a pitch is awarded 2nd base. This applies in regular season and in all playoffs.

If team captains fail to identify their designated player to the umpire prior to the start of the game a player in the batter’s box who has not yet received a pitch will be eligible to be classified as a designated player. If that player has received a pitch that player will still be eligible to be classified as a designated player but will not take affect until that players next at bat.


ALL bats must have a USSSA thumb print stamp on it to be legal in AMSPL.


Batters will be allowed to add rubber tapper knobs to all legal bats used in AMSPL. All tapper knobs must be fitted properly and in good condition. Players are also allowed to use ink or paint as identifying markings on their bats. All markings must be placed on the end knob of the bat. Markings on the barrel or handle of the bat is not permitted.

Illegal Equipment

Players caught using bats not approved with the USSSA stamp will cause their team to forfeit the game in which the bat is used. For a first offence, player will be suspended for 5 games; second offence – 10 games; and a third offence will result in a lifetime suspension.

Metal cleats are prohibited.


AMSPL will use the Hot Dot optic ball.

Rain Out Policy

Due to the difficulties in notifying players of rain cancellations in advance of a game, decisions regarding cancellation are made by the team captains at the ballpark prior to or during the game unless the games have been previously cancelled by the AMSPL executive earlier in the day. Therefore, all players are expected to attend to the park and be ready to play for each scheduled game.

Where a game is cancelled, the league will attempt to re-schedule the games on an open diamond during the remainder of the season in the form of a double-header on a Sunday morning if equal scheduling allows.

Pitch Height Restrictions

AMSPL follows a 6′ to 12′ pitch arch height limit and must follow the guidelines noted in the official SPO HANDBOOK for a legal pitch.

Courtesy Runners

Each team can use a maximum of 7 courtesy runners during each game. A player may only be used as a courtesy runner to a maximum of 3 times per game.


All players showing up to the park in uniform MUST bat for their team. If a player cannot bat or play in the game, it must be declared at the start of the game. Afterwards that player may not be inserted into the team’s line-up at any time for the entire day of games played for their team. This applies to regular season and playoffs.

Sparing Rule

AMSPL uses a pool of players identified as spares. If a team must use a player from another team as a spare, each substitute player cannot be rated higher than the missing player(s). Intraleague player can only be used as a spare to bring a team to a maximum of 10 players. If you have 10 players (including spares from the league list) you are NOT permitted additional intraleague players.  Regular spares from the league list can be used up to a maximum of 13 provided no other intraleague player is being used.

Game Time Limits

An inning is not permitted to start beyond 1:45 from its SCHEDULED START TIME-regardless of actual starting time of the game. This policy applies to all games at all Diamonds 

Lightning Policy

All players must exit the playing area upon first occurrence of lightning. Play may resume 30 minutes after the last occurrence of lightning. Games cannot be extended beyond regular time limits noted above. If the game cannot be concluded under these parameters then regular rules apply regarding results. i.e. 5 innings complete (4.5 innings if home team is leading) -game is final. If less than 5 innings are played, then the game is re-scheduled and will be re-played in its entirety.

Commitment Line

A baserunner shall be called out if they do not continue towards the scoring line once they have contacted the ground on or beyond the commitment line. A baserunner may stop or retreat towards 3rd base only to avoid a collision or personal injury based on the umpire’s discretion.

Scoring Line

A line drawn in foul territory starting at the top left corner of the strike mat/home plate perpendicular to the 3rd base line. A baserunner attempting to reach home must do so by touching the ground in foul territory on or beyond the scoring line. Sliding into the scoring line is NOT permitted. Tagging of a baserunner in between the commitment line and scoring line is NOT permitted. The baserunner shall be called out if they touch the strike mat/home plate, whether or not a play is being made. A baserunner is not out if the strike mat/home plate is touched in an attempt to avoid a collision or personal injury at the umpire’s discretion.


All pitchers must wear a full-face safety mask or cage to protect themselves while pitching in a game. No pitcher shall be permitted to pitch unless they a wearing a safety mask or cage. Any mask or cage deemed unsuitable by the umpire must be removed from the game.

 Code of Conduct

The league expects all players to exhibit good sportmanship in all league-related activities

The league strictly prohibits fighting between league members, and violations will result in an immediate life-time ban from league play.