Greater Cleveland Adult Baseball (GCAB) Rules   

The Greater Cleveland Adult Baseball (GCAB) was created by and for men age 38 and over. The rules given below are used as guidelines.  The League Officers reserve the right to suspend or expel any player, manager, or coach who fails to abide by these rules. By Laws have been established for the league and govern organizational rules.

Section 1: Uniforms & Equipment

1. All teams must wear full baseball uniforms, which must include a jersey (with an individual number for each player), pants, a hat, and socks or stirrups. No non-uniformed player may play without the consent of the opposing manager.

2. All batters and base runners must wear approved single or double earflap helmets. All catchers must wear a helmet under their mask, or a “hockey goalie” style mask. Masks must have extended throat protection, or an attached throat flap.

3. Only league approved baseballs are permitted for use in official regular season and playoff games. Each team must supply at least two new baseballs, with, a third ball on hand for use if necessary, for each game. If a manager doesn’t have new approved league balls or better quality, i.e. Rawlings RO, Wilson A1010, Diamond D-l Pro, etc., he will be charged a $5.00 per ball fee payable to the league, prior to their next scheduled game or they will forfeit that game and any future games until that fee is paid.

4. Only wood, or wood composite bats are permitted.

5. Baseball metal or any plastic or rubber spikes are permitted.

6. A pitcher may not wear white or gray sleeves extending below the sleeves of his jersey, batting gloves or wristbands on either hand or arm. Also, he may not wear any jewelry such as watches, bracelets, necklaces, or reflective sunglasses.

Section 2: Alcohol & Tobacco

7. There will be no smoking or drinking at any of the fields during the days of league play. This includes the field complex and parking lot. Violators are subject to immediate expulsion from the game by the umpires and faces suspension. If an incident causes the league to lose the field for the season or subsequent years, the team could face expulsion from the league and the loss of their forfeit deposit.

Section 3: Player Eligibility & Rosters

8. A roster consists of a minimum of 14 and a maximum of 20 players. Each manager must manage his roster through this web site. That roster must include the player's name, jersey number and age (as of December 31 of the current season).

Rosters for the season will lock at 11:59pm on the Friday prior to the start of the season (the evening before opening day). Failure to complete a roster will result in forfeit.

Roster changes between Opening Day and June 15th must be submitted to the league. Two (2) instances of roster changes (more than one player can be on one change) will be allowed at no cost.  Any additional changes beyond the first two will incur a $25 fee paid to the league.

After June 15th any player addition must be approved by the League Officers before he is eligible to play. New players must be added at least 72 hours prior to the next official game in order to be eligible to play in that game.

9. All players must be at least 38 years old by December 31st of the current season. 53 Division players must be 53 or older by December 31st of the current season. For the 2017 season, up to three players that are 52 are allowed on a team. Starting in 2018, no underage players allowed except for players on rosters at the end of the 2016 season, they are grandfathered in. Opposing managers have the right to demand proof of age and identity of any player.

Any team found with an underage player will be eliminated from the league.

10. A team must field at least eight players of their own for an official game. The ninth spot in the batting order is an automatic out, except when both teams have eight players. If a ninth player arrives after the start of the game, he may be added to the bottom of the lineup.

11. A team that forfeits two games in a season is subject to immediate expulsion from the league, with no money refunded to that team, pending a vote by the League Officers. There will be a $100.00 fine for each forfeited game. The fine must be paid to the League in full prior to the next scheduled game for reinstatement or that game and each subsequent game will be forfeited until the total fines are paid.
Any team that forfeits during the season loses all tie-breakers.

A team has one opportunity a season to request that a game be rescheduled if it is done 72 hours prior to the scheduled game. The opponent can choose to reschedule or accept a forfeit. If the opponent agrees to reschedule it is up to the two managers to agree on a date, time and field. This should be rescheduled within 72 hours and be coordinated with the GCAB secretary. If it is not rescheduled within 72 hours it becomes a forfeit (This does not mean that it has to be played within 72 hours but scheduled to be played at a set date, time and location).

Any game that is forfeited prior to game day that enables GCAB to cancel the umpires and avoid paying for the field will still count as a forfeit but will not require the payment of the $100 fine. Fine will be imposed if GCAB is not able to cancel the umpires and/or avoid paying for the field.

12. Once on a team roster, a player may not switch teams during the season without a written petition to and approval of the League Officers.

Player transfers: If a player moves to another team they must be in “good standing” with the league and be current with payments and return any uniform or equipment that was not purchased to their former team. This must also be handled by each manager respectfully and to avoid tampering.

13. No player shall be permitted to play any part of a playoff or league championship game unless he is on the official team roster approved by the League Officers, and has had a lineup card and scorebook appearance noted in at least six games. These appearances must exist on both team's lineup cards and scorebooks in order to be legitimate. When records of the game are inconsistent or inconclusive, the League Officers may use the record of the home team per rule #27.

Section 4: Special Playing Rules

14. The GCAB uses American League baseball rules as its standard, in addition to our special rules.

15. Game will start on time. This means that lineup cards are to be presented to the umpire prior to the start time so that the home team is taking the field at the scheduled time.  Teams have 1 1/2 minutes between innings. So players have to hustle off and on to the field. Failure to do so can result in the pitcher not being allowed warms up to a ball being called if there is a delay beyond 1 1/2 minutes.

There is NO GRACE PERIOD for teams waiting for players. All teams must have at least 8 players to start at the scheduled time or it will result in a forfeit.

Managers must submit a batting order and lineup card to the opposing manager at home plate before the start of every game. All players must be listed on the lineup card to be eligible to play in the game. Late arriving players may be added during the game (as long as they are on the original lineup card submitted prior to the start of the game) with an announcement to the home plate umpire and the opposing manager prior to the player’s appearance in the game. Each manager must keep copies of his and his opponent’s lineup card and score sheet of each game until 90 days after the league championship game, to substantiate any claims over player eligibility.

16. The starting batting order of each team may contain as many players as desired, with a minimum of nine, as long as at least nine players are present at game time. While in the batting order, a player’s position is fixed. Any player batting out of order is an automatic out.

17. If a player leaves a game because of injury or prior commitment, a reserve player not currently in the batting order, must bat in that player’s spot in the order. If no reserve player is available, as long as at least nine batters remain in the batting order, then that spot is skipped.

18. Defensively, free and unlimited substitutions are permitted at any time without reporting, except that a pitcher, once removed from that position, may not pitch again in that game, unless he has remained in the game defensively at another position. All changes involving a pitcher must be reported to the opposing manager and the home plate umpire.

19. Offensively, any player who has been removed from the lineup, either as a batter or a base runner, may re-enter his spot in the batting order without limitations. All offensive substitutions, whether for a batter or a base runner, must be reported to the opposing manager and the home plate umpire. More than two players may “share” the same spot in the batting order. If both players leave or become injured, and there are at least nine players remaining in the batting order, then that spot is skipped. If both players are ejected, that spot in the batting order becomes an automatic out. Game cannot end on an automatic out.

20. No designated runner other than a line share. If a player is injured and requires a runner, that player is out of the game. Runner can steal. Runner for catcher with two outs is live. There are no restrictions.

"Speed-Up Rule" with the "last batted out" runner for catcher after two outs was approved by 12 league members for 2012. It is up to each manager to ensure that the runner is ready to replace the catcher on the bases in a timely manner.

21. Base runners must avoid intentional collisions with fielders. An intentional collision will result in an automatic out and in the umpire’s judgment of flagrant deliberate contact, ejection of the base runner from the game.

Plays at Home Plate and the bases are now in line with all other leagues. It is NOT "slide or give up". A catcher or fielder cannot block the plate without the ball at any time or "obstruction' is called and the runner is safe. If a runner engages in "malicious contact" with a catcher, it results in an "interference" call and that runner is out, even if the ball is dislodged.

22. If a pitcher hits three batters in a game, he must be removed from that game as a pitcher.

23. All single games are nine innings. Doubleheaders games, when necessary, are 9 innings each unless both managers agree to 7 innings. Official games require completion of at least 5 innings (4 1/2 innings if the home team is winning). Umpires have the right to call games because of bad weather, dangerous field conditions, or darkness. In case of lightning, umpires must wait at least 30 minutes before calling the game.

24. If there is a ten run margin at the end of seven innings (five innings for a seven inning game) and at least 2 hours have been played, the game is over. A team may concede at any time. No inning may start after three hours from the starting time for a nine inning game or two hours and fifteen minutes for scheduled seven inning game unless there is a two run or less spread, in which case the game continues until the run spread is greater than two runs at the completion of an inning. The strike zone is the same from start to finish regardless of the score.

25. It is the responsibility of the home team to score the game, if necessary, with the help of the visiting team, a spectator, or other source.

No children or non-players are allowed in the dugout during the game.

26. A protest of player ineligibility or umpire’s incorrect interpretation of standard baseball rules or these rules, must be announced to the opposing manager, the scorer, and the home plate umpire prior to the next pitch, in writing and postmarked within 48 hours of the completion of the game. The protest must include a $25.00 check made payable to the league. A decision will be made by the League Officers and returned within one week of receipt. If the protest is upheld, the $25.00 check will be refunded to the protesting manager.

27. Ejection: Any ejection will carry a 2-game suspension (game of suspension plus following game).

An extra suspended game will be added for over-the-top behavior directed towards officials or the throwing of equipment following ejection. Any player ejected three times in one season is suspended for the rest of that season and all of the following season.

  • a) Field conduct: Ejected players are required to gather their belongings and vacate the dugout within a reasonable amount of time. Players may stay on the field site, but may have no further contact whatsoever with umpires and game participants. Further contact by the ejected player will make that player subject to additional sanctions, including, but not limited to, removal from the field site.
  • b) Appeals: All suspensions may be appealed in writing to the Governing Board. Verbal appeals must be presented within 24 hours of the ejection; written appeals must be in the league office within 48 hours. Appeal forms are on the website. (If a player is ejected in the first game of a double-header, player or manager may contact a member of the Governing Board by phone to appeal suspension and be eligible to play second game. Make sure umpire is available to get approval from Board member.)
  • c) Carry over: Sanctions will carry over from season to season.

28. Rained out games will be made up as weather, time, and field availability permits. Managers shall make every reasonable effort to reschedule and play rainouts or postponements.

Suspended games – All games stopped after two or more full innings will be picked up from that point when the game is replayed. Less than two complete innings completed when a stoppage of play occurs will result in the game being started from the beginning.

Section 5: Standings, Playoffs, & Championship

29. The league requires reporting of scores each week to the Webmaster scores@clevelandhardball.org  by Monday of each week so that weekly standings can be updated. Both the winning and losing managers should report the score of their game. Managers must report any game postponements or suspensions to the League.

30. Final team standings are determined by won-loss percentage, and in case of a tie, head-to-head game results, followed by head-to-head game run differential, the least runs allowed* totaled over the entire season, and finally runs allowed* in games won. Reminder - a team that forfeits during the season loses all tie-breakers.

* In computing runs allowed - in games where managers agree to play 7 innings instead of 9, runs allowed get pro-rated to a 9 inning game. This pro-rate does not apply to games shortened by weather or run rule.

31. All teams will make the playoffs. For the purpose of the playoffs, the post season will divide the league into two divisions (Seed Even and Seed Odd)

32. Once the playoff seeding is set (based on final records and standings) they will be followed through to conclusion. There will be no reseeding after each round. The higher seeded team is the home team. The winners will meet in the Championship game. The higher of the two seeds will be the home team.

33. During the playoffs, games will be played through completion unless run rule comes into play. Weather will not terminate a game. It will be suspended and completed prior to the beginning of the next round. As during the regular season, if two complete innings have been played, a suspended game will be picked up from where it was stopped. If less than two complete innings are played, the game will be started over.

Time limit is in effect for all playoff games until the semi-final and Championship rounds where there is no time limit.

Section 6: Rain-out Procedure

34. In the event of a rain-out, the following procedure MUST be completed, in order:

  1. Call the Head of Umpiring, Chuck Hawsman (cell phone 216-337-1048).
  2. Call the manager of the opposing team.
  3. Login to this web site and enter an alert message. This notifies players of the rain-out via a text message. It also posts the alert message on the home page of the web site for players that are not subscribed to the alert system.

Last Revision 10/2/2017 (Section 24)