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League Rules

GENERAL RULES OHIO PROSPECTS LEAGUE 18U Thru 12U

1A)The Ohio Prospects League will have age groups from 12u to 18u and each age group will be split into a Major and Minor division.  The OPL Board will decide how many teams to accept into the Ohio Prospects League’s 12/13/14/15/16/18U Divisions.

1B) League Entrance: Teams must apply to enter the league to which a majority of Board Members must agree to accept the team into the league. All teams must reapply to enter the Ohio Prospects League for the following season. Team applications can be found on the League Forms Page located in the Main Menu on our website.

1C) The league will only post team tryout information on the OPL website for teams that have submitted a Team Application Form. League teams can not have tryouts until their league season is "Officially" over.

2)Playing in the Ohio Prospects League excludes all teams from playing in another league. However, teams are encouraged to participate in tournaments.

Exception: Teams in the 12U/13U/14U age division can play in other leagues.

3)Each team will design their own schedule. Ohio Prospects League games take priority over all Independent (non-league) games. The only exceptions to this rule are the prepaid out of town tournaments.

4)There are three mandatory coaches meetings (fall, winter and spring). Failure of attending will result in a $50 fine.

5)A point system will determine the league champion. A team will receive two points for a win, one point for a tie and no points for a loss. 

6)Forfeits will not be tolerated. Any team that forfeits 2 or more games will be dismissed from the Ohio Prospects League. If a game is forfeited, you must send another forfeit fee into the league or risk being removed from the league.

7a) Until the first pitch of the game, field maintenance determines whether the game will be cancelled. If there is no field maintenance, the home team will determine the playability of the field. The opposing coach, the league office, and the umpires must be notified on all cancellations. If there are any disputes, the Ohio Prospects League holds the option to determine the playability of the field and may rule a forfeit by the home team if the field is ruled playable.

7b)All Ohio Prospects League 12u-18u games will be played with a 12 run mercy rule after 4 innings and 10 run mercy rule after 5 innings.

7c) Any bill the league obtains for cleanup/damage of a field will be forwarded to the team at fault.  If the bill is not settled, that team will receive penalties that may result in removal from the league.

8a) For the 12/13/ 14U Division ONLY starting times for games in (April & May MUST start at 6:00 PM ONLY unless you are playing on a field with lights) for games scheduled from June thru July, ALL 12/13/14U Division games MUST start at 6:00 or 6:15 PM ONLY unless you are playing on a field that has lights. A doubleheader on a unlighted field must start by 3:30 PM.

For the 18/16/15U Division games they MUST start at 6:00 PM unless you are playing on a field that has lights A doubleheader on a unlighted field must start by 3:30 PM.

8b)  All Ohio Prospects League 14u to 18u games are played with a 2:45 minute time limit and 12u and 13u with a 2:30 min time limit.  No inning may start 2:45 min (2:30 min for 12u/13u) after the first pitch or if a game is called because of darkness/rain (whichever occurs sooner.)  A game may begin after the scheduled start time if both coaches agree. Once the game begins, then revert back to rule 8b.

8c) Any game called due to weather, darkness, or any other reason after 4 1/2 innings if home team is winning or if the game is tied, or 5 innings if the visitors are winning is over, with the team ahead winning the game. If the game is tied, each team will receive a tie in the standings.

-games that do not reach the 4 1/2 inning mark will start from the point at which the game was called at a later date. Exception--unless the team that is trailing wishes to count the game as completed.

9)If a game is halted in the middle of an inning after 5 innings of play, the game will revert back to the last whole inning played unless the home team has tied or taken the lead in the bottom half of the inning. If the home team has tied the score, the game ends in a tie. If the home team has taken the lead, the home team wins.

10a)If a tie occurs in the standings, head to head competition will be the only tie breaker.  Exception--for 12u, 13u and 14u here are the tiebreakers:  1) most wins head to head  2) average least runs allowed vs tied teams 3)  average least runs allowed for all league games  4) average run differential vs. tied teams  5) average run differential vs. all league teams  6) coin toss

10b)The Ohio Prospects League champion must play 80% if its league games, however the OPL board reserves the right to remove this rule in what is deemed to be a rainy season.

11) Team rosters will have a maximum of 20 players and a minimum of 14 players in the 18U division and a maximum of 20 players and a minimum of 13 players in the 16U thru 14U divisions and a maximum of 20 players and a minimum of 11 players in the 13U and a max of 20 and minimum of 11 in the 12U divisions. Failure to meet the minimum amount of players before your first game will result in a $50.00 fine plus a n additional $110.00 forfeit fee due the league. The official Ohio Prospects League roster for each team is listed on the website. A player must sign an OPL contract and be added to the roster before he is allowed to play an Ohio Prospects League game. The age cut off date is May 1st for all age divisions.

11A) If a team will have 9 or less players for a game, they are permitted to bring up players from a lower age division to give them 10 active players for that game. 

11B) Players from a lower age level in the OPL may be brought up to a higher level once, then brought back down one time.  That player can no longer be brought up.

Any player called up must be reported to the league offices (name and uniform number) and to the opposing team or that player(s) is ineligible.

11C) A maximum of four players per team may be rostered on a team outside of the Ohio Prospects League.

12) Each parent or 18 yr old player must fill out a player contract electronically.   Player contracts go into effect when fully completed, signed and received by a league official in the proper amount of time.

--  It is expected that each 18U thru 13U team has at least 8 players send in a player contract by December 31st.  Failure to do so may subject your team to be removed from the Ohio Prospects League.

-- It is expected that each 12U thru 9U team has at least 7 players send in an Ohio Prospects League 12-11-10-9U Player Information Form by December 31st. Failure to do so may subject your team to be removed from the Ohio Prospects League.

--Player contracts must be done electronically through the OPL website.  If a player contract is not submitted to the league before that player participates in an Ohio Prospects League game, it will result in a forfeit.

12b) Once a parent or 18 yr old player signs an Ohio Prospects League contract for a team for a given season, he is committed to that team for that season. Players can be released by the head coach of that team by submitting by email to the Ohio Prospects League offices. If a player is released, he may be picked up by another team in the Ohio Prospects League until June 30th. After June 30th, no player released from league teams can be picked up by another team in the Ohio Prospects League.

13) Each team must carry with them birth certificates and a current picture of each player along with insurance papers. Only official OPL contracts will be honored by the league.

14)The last day to add a player to a league roster is June 30th of any given season except for injury. After June 30th, If a player incurs a season ending injury, that team can pick up a player to replace the injured player. However, the league must receive a doctor's note with the doctor's name and business phone number. Any player picked up after June 30th is ineligible for the NABF Tournament. After June 30th, no player released from league teams can be picked up by another team in our league.

15) A team/organization that picks up a player(s) for a tournament may not roster that player in the following season. This only applies until the last day of the season. Exception—sanctioned league tournaments such as NABF, and PONY.

16)A complete schedule, with Ohio Prospects League games highlighted is due at the spring meeting. Failure to turn in a schedule will result in a $10 fine per day. A complete schedule with all league games highlighted must be turned in. Unscheduled league games will result in forfeit(s). That schedule is official. You cannot postpone or cancel a game unless both teams agree (except for weather conditions) or a forfeit will be granted.  If there is no forfeit taken...

16b)  A forfeit will be granted if a game is cancelled for non-weather reasons, and the team that was cancelled cannot schedule a make up game within 72 hours of cancellation.  The game does not have to be played in 72 hours, only added to the schedule.  Both teams must be open on the reschedule date and a field must also be scheduled.

16c) If a game is cancelled for non-weather reasons in the last week of the season, it is an automatic forfeit.  This includes cancelling because of tournaments, etc.

17)No league games will be scheduled by phone!!! All games will be scheduled at the Winter coaches meeting. If two opponents schedule more than the required number of league games against each other, the earliest time(s) and date the teams play will count as the league game.

18)All umpire fees will be divided evenly among participating teams. Each team must supply two new Ohio Prospects League baseballs.

--The team that books and/or rents the field is the home team (including doubleheaders.) Any fee for a playing facility will be paid by the team renting that facility for the game. The home team is responsible for scheduling umpires and communicating any rainout/cancellation to umpires and visiting team.

19a)Each team must purchase their own insurance. Insurance companies are listed on the Ohio Prospects League website. The Ohio Prospects League must be named as additional insured. A copy of this must be turned into the league at the spring meeting date.

19b) Each team must complete the Concussion Compliance Form that states each team is in compliance with the Ohio Return to Play Law regarding concussions.

20)All home games--league or non-league, must be scheduled through an Ohio Prospects League approved umpire association. Teams must notify the league officials at the spring meeting which umpire association is being used. A list of approved umpires is listed on the website. The Ohio Prospects League only allows high school certified umpires.  It is each team’s responsibility to send in your home schedule to the approved umpire association that has been reported to the league.

21)Umpire fees are to be paid before the first pitch of a game. Umpire associations that are not contacted about cancellations and schedule changes will be owed the forfeit fee by the home team. If a game is cancelled at the field by the home team before the first pitch and umpires are present, they will be owed $12 apiece from the home team. If a game fails to complete three innings of play, each umpire will receive $30. It is mandatory that two umpires are scheduled for each game. If only one umpire is present, teams may begin play. If only one umpire completes the full game, he will receive $80. ($40 per team.)

21A) Umpire fees/forfeit fees are as follows: 18/16u umpire fees $60, forfeit fees $120; 15u/14u umpire fees $55, forfeit fees $110; 13u/12u umpire fees $45, forfeit fees $90.

22) The umpire is the league official for each game. There will be no protests of OHSAA rules. All disagreements will be finalized on the field- with the final decision being made by the field umpires for that given game. Any league rule protests need to be communicated to the umpire at the point of infraction, then filed with the league. Exception—for roster protests only, a team has 24 hours from the completion of the game to file a protest for violation of the roster rule.

23 )OHSAA High School Baseball rules will be followed including NFHS - NOCSAE approved equipment. In addition, teams may use an additional hitter and a designated hitter. The additional hitter is treated as position in the lineup.  Teams may start games with 8 players;  players arriving late may be added as the 9th, 10th, etc. batter in the lineup.

--Roster batting is not allowed for 13u-18u.  At 12u, teams may roster bat.  If a player comes out of the game, a substitute must go into that spot in the batting order or it will be an automatic out. 

24) All tobacco products are banned from the field of play. Possession of tobacco will result in ejection from the game.

25) The Ohio Prospects League will follow the OHSAA Pitching Guidelines for Ohio Prospects League games with amendments on enforcement:

Pitchers shall adhere to the following pitch/rest limitations:

  • Pitch Limit: 125 pitches in a day
  • Days Rest: 0 Days Rest 1-30 pitches
  • 1 Day of Rest 13-50 pitches
  • 2 Days of Rest  51-75 pitches  
  • 3 Days of Rest 76+ pitches  

--A pitcher may finish the current batter if the daily pitch limit is reached during that at bat.

--A pitcher is allowed to pitch in the second game of a doubleheader as long as daily max is not reached.

--All pitches thrown in a suspended game shall count toward the daily pitch limit and the total number of pitches thrown.

--Each team must keep a record of all pitches thrown by each of their players in each game and make this available to the league upon request.

--An opponent must file a protest to the umpire in regards to the pitching rules at the point of infraction.  Any player pitching after the limit is reached or during a period in which rest is required is considered to be pitching as an ineligible player. (Penalty:  Forfeit)

26) OPL teams will have the opportunities to participate in the NABF and PONY tournaments.  All teams from 9u to 14u will be registered USSSA.  Teams from 15u to 18u have the opportunity to register USSSA through the OPL.

27) Playing in the COLT/PONY/PALOMINO or NABF Regional Tournament also commits your team to play in the COLT/PONY or NABF National Tournament if your team qualifies. Forfeiting games in the PONY/COLT/PALOMINO or NABF will result in a suspension and possible fine from the PONY or NABF League offices. Any team that advances in the NABF and/or COLT/PONY/PALOMINO Tournaments may receive a travel allowance as determined by the Ohio Prospects League board.

28)The winning team of a league contest will report the score. You may text, or email the score to ohioprospectsleague@gmail.com League standings will be kept by the league director receiving scores on a daily basis. Failure to send in a score that evening or if a late game the next morning by 10 AM will result in a $10 fine. Check the league website for standings and schedules. www.ohioprospectsleague.org

29)Teams should email the league with any tournament championships and any top four finishes. They will be posted on the league website.

30)Equipment: Teams are required to purchase 3 dozen OPL league baseballs that will be used as game balls in Ohio Prospects League Contests. All equipment (including bats, helmets, and catcher’s equipment) must be high school (NOCSAE) > National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment certified.  

30A)OPL AGE DIVISION DIFFERENCES:

--BASEBALLS:  14u-18u uses Diamond D1-NFHS.  12u-13u uses USSSA Rawlings Baseballs.

--BATS:  15u-18u uses BBCOR -3 Bat.  14u American uses BBCOR -3.  14u National may use -5 bat.  13u uses bpf 1.15 max barrel of 2 5/8.  12u uses bpf 1.15 max barrel of 2 ¾

--FIELD:  14u- 18u uses regulation high school 60’ 90’.  13u uses 54’80’ field.  12u uses 50’70’ field. --SPIKES:  Metal Spikes are not allowed for the 12u division

--ROSTER BAT:  Only 12u may roster bat.  All other age groups may bat an additional hitter (max of 10 in lineup)

31) All personnel on field or in dugout must wear a team uniformed shirt. Failure to do so will result in ejection from the field of play. The coaches must wear a uniformed shirt or jacket and pants or shorts that are team colors. It is recommended that coaches shirts and jackets have a readable uniform number. If a coach is ejected that does not have a uniform number that is readable by the umpire, the head coach of that team in addition to the coach that was ejected will be suspended for one game. Each team is allowed one scorekeeper in that dugout that need not have a numbered jersey.

31A) Players on league rosters can not have the same jersey numbers, players on league rosters on our website must show a jersey number to play in league games, the league prohibits teams from sharing jersey numbers for their league roster. If a league game is played in violation of this rule, a penalty will be enforced by the league.

31B) Coaches and Players are permitted to have the same jersey numbers on a league roster on our website.

32) Any player initiating a fight shall receive a three game suspension. Any team personnel, including coaches, who leave their positions and participate in a fight shall be ejected and suspended for the team’s next three league games. A second offense will result in suspension for the season. Exceptions to rule: if a player involved in a fight while remaining at their position on the field is judged to be acting in self-defense. If a player or coach leaves their position and makes contact with their own players/teammates in an attempt to prevent a fight.

33) Any conduct detrimental to the league will subject your team or individual participants (players/coaches) of the team to probation, suspension or possible dismissal from the league.

33A) Failure to adhere to any rule will result in forfeit, team/individual  probation and/or possible dismissal from the league--a penalty determined by the league.

34) The league fees for the 2018 season are the following:                

For the 13u-18u divisions-$295 league fee (Non Refundable)  

For the 9u-12u divisions--$195 league fee (Non Refundable)
-$120 forfeit fee* 16u/18u age Division                                             

-$110 forfeit fee* for 14u/15u age division                                         

-$90.00 forfeit fee* 12U13U age Division

 

***Top league team in each age division will receive free entry into the Ohio Prospects League next year.  Division winners will receive team trophy.  For 9u-14u the top two teams will play a championship game at Victory Park. Each team will get a team trophy and the players from the winning team will get an individual medal.

35) The league fee, forfeit fee and baseball money is due at the October coaches meeting.

--Any fees including league fees, tournament fees, forfeit fees or baseball money must be paid when due. Late fees of $25 per month will be assessed at the end of the month and will accumulate at the end of every subsequent month for any unpaid fees.

*Forfeit fees are refundable to non-returning teams the following September. Teams must notify the Ohio Prospects League by September 30th that they are not returning to claim forfeit fees.