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

PrintLeague Rules/Policies

Home Run Rule

  • Teams can hit up to 3 home runs during a game.
  • Once a team hits 3 home runs, they can only hit more if the opposing team has hit at least one. The difference in home runs between teams should always be 3 or less.
  • Any home runs hit after the maximum limit will be counted as a ground rule single, advancing all base runners by one base.

Retrieving a Home Run Ball

  • The team that hits a home run must retrieve the ball as soon as possible.
  • If the ball is not retrieved before the home run hitter’s next at-bat, the batter will be automatically out.
  • A substitute ball can only replace the game ball if the home run ball cannot be found despite adequate effort.
  • The home run hitter can choose to run the bases or not, and is not required to touch 1st base.

Intentional Walk Rule

  • Each team can designate 2 players before the game starts who, if issued 4 straight balls at the start of an at-bat, will automatically be awarded second base.
  • All base runners will only advance if forced to do so by the walk rule.
  • If a strike is thrown, the walk rule does not apply.
  • Any designated player who is intentionally walked without seeing a pitch is awarded 2nd base. This rule applies in both the regular season and playoffs.


  • All bats must have a USSSA thumbprint stamp to be legal in AMSPL.
  • Batters can add rubber tapper knobs to all legal bats used in AMSPL, which must be fitted properly and in good condition.
  • Players can use ink or paint as identifying markings on their bats, but these markings must be placed on the end knob of the bat. Markings on the barrel or handle of the bat are not allowed.

Illegal Equipment

  • Players caught using bats without the USSSA stamp will be issued a warning at minimum, with additional action possible based on history.
  • For a first offence, the player will receive a warning. Penalties may increase based on player history.
  • A second offence will result in a 1-game suspension, a third offence will result in a 5-game suspension, a fourth offence will be a 1 year (365 day) suspension.
  • Metal cleats are not allowed.
  • Trappers may be used by pitchers, catchers, and 1st base players only. Trappers may not be used in any other position.


  • AMSPL will use the Hot Dot optic ball.

Rain Out Policy

  • Decisions regarding game cancellations due to rain are made by the captains, executive, and umpires at the ballpark prior to or during the game, unless the games have been previously cancelled by the AMSPL executive earlier in the day.
  • All players are expected to attend the park and be ready to play for each scheduled game.
  • If a game is cancelled, the league will not reschedule the game as there are limitations to the diamond availability

Pitch Height Restrictions

  • AMSPL follows a 6’ to 12’ pitch arch height limit and must adhere to the guidelines noted in the official SPO Handbook for a legal pitch.

Courtesy Runners

  • Each team is allowed to use up to 7 courtesy runners in each game.
  • A player can serve as a courtesy runner a maximum of 3 times per game.


  • Players in uniform are not obligated to bat for their team if they are merely spectators.
  • If a player is unable to bat or participate in the game, it must be announced at the beginning of the game. Once declared, that player cannot be added to the team’s line-up for the remainder of that game. This rule applies to both regular season and playoff games.
  • Any player included in the batting order must play at least 2 defensive innings during the game.

Sparing Rule

  • AMSPL maintains a pool of players designated as spares.
  • If a team needs to use a player from another team as a spare, the substitute player’s rating cannot exceed that of the absent player(s).
  • NEW - An intraleague player can only be used as a spare to bring a team up to 11 players. If a team already has 11 players (including spares from the league list), no additional intraleague players are allowed.
  • Regular spares from the league list can be used up to a maximum of 13, provided no other intraleague player is being used.
  • NEW - Teams may spare above the limit of 11 but must be approved by the executive and communicated to the opposition prior to the start of the game. 
  • NEW - Any player being used as a spare over 11 and brought in for pitching purposes must pitch a minimum of 3 innings unless an injury limits their ability.

Game Time Limits

  • No inning can start more than 105 minutes after its scheduled start time, regardless of the actual start time of the game. This rule applies to all games at all Diamonds.

Lightning Policy

  • All players must leave the playing area at the first sign of lightning.
  • Play can resume 20 minutes after the last lightning occurrence.
  • Games cannot be extended beyond the regular time limits. If a game cannot be completed within these limits, then standard rules apply for determining results. For example, if 5 innings are complete (or 4.5 if the home team is leading), the game is final. If less than 5 innings are played, the game is cancelled and we it will attempted to be rescheduled and replayed in full.

Commitment Line

  • A baserunner is out if they do not continue towards the scoring line after crossing the commitment line. A baserunner can stop or retreat towards 3rd base only to avoid a collision or injury, at the umpire’s discretion.

Scoring Line

  • A line is drawn in foul territory from the top left corner of the strike mat/home plate, perpendicular to the 3rd base line. A baserunner must touch the ground in foul territory on or beyond the scoring line to score. Sliding into the scoring line is not allowed. Tagging a baserunner between the commitment line and scoring line is not allowed. A baserunner is out if they touch the strike mat/home plate, unless they are trying to avoid a collision or injury, at the umpire’s discretion.


  • All pitchers are required to wear a full-face safety mask or cage for protection while pitching.
  • Pitchers are not allowed to pitch without 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 demonstrate good sportsmanship in all league-related activities.
  • The league strictly forbids fighting among league members. Violations may result in an immediate lifetime ban from league play.

AMSPL-Final-By-Laws-on-Incorporation (Click Link)