North Shore Baseball League, Incorporated

Constitution, By-Laws and League Rules

A team admitted to membership in the North Shore Baseball League agrees to know and adhere to all regulations, rules and conduct code of this league.  Membership is retained only by consistent adherence to these standards, and conduct at all times by the highest standards of sportsmanship and fair play.

    While games involve teams and participants in competitive action, the league is an amateur recreation organization.  By this nature the league teams and participants are never to be so concerned with team success or individual accomplishment that they resort to unfair tactics; unsportsmanlike play; abuse of opponents, umpires or fans; or take actions that are deliberately designed to injure another person.  It is expected that coaches will never instruct a player to violate a rule nor condone a violation if one occurs.

Teams are expected to be the first to act to control their members. A participant who loses self-control during a game should promptly be controlled by his teammates. It is expected that teams will be the first to act to control their team members both on the field and in the bench area before, during and after a game and set a positive example in conduct for their fans. When a team fails to exercise such responsibility, the league will have no recourse but to take appropriate disciplinary action.

Teaching or instructing any act or tactic that seeks to mock the rules, inflict injury, deceive an opponent in violation of the league standards of fair play, or denigrate an official, opponent, or spectator in speech, gesture or action will not be tolerated.

Umpires for games are official representatives of the league who serve the interests of teams and participants. Without umpires, no games could be played; Umpire decisions are not to be disputed and they are not to be personally insulted or impugned. When umpires make a decision or judgment in a game, they are doing the duty they have been assigned. These decisions by umpires are to be considered final and definitive and be accepted as such by all participants. If an umpire makes what appears to be a judgment error, this is part of reality of game competition. Official’s decisions in any game at any level can be disputed and no team will agree with all judgments made by umpires.

However, a game in any sport is a study in physical errors and mental mistakes of players and coaches. An old athletic adage is that one team does not win a game, its opponent losses it. Teams face the challenge of achieving a level of excellence so they make neither physical errors nor mental mistakes. If this is accomplished, a questionable decision by an official will not affect the game result. Failing to reach such excellence, a team that loses a game should first reflect on its own errors and mistakes and how these caused the loss. This self-criticism is an adult act; and the league is for adult participants. If an error appears to have been made by an umpire in application or interpretation of a rule, the league has procedures that can rectify such situations.

When communication with an umpire is required during a game, only the designated team spokesman has the right. All other persons are to stay clear of umpire-spokesperson conversation and concentrate on playing the game.

Finally, all participants are to remember the leagues games are recreational contests played between two rivals who should be friends before and after such contests. A participant who violates the standards of good sportsmanship, fair-play, of the regulations, rules, or conduct code can expect to be disciplined by their team and/or the league.

Article I – Name

Section A. The name of this voluntary, non-profit organization shall be “North Shore Baseball League, Incorporated”.

Article II – Objective

Section A. The purpose of this organization shall be to provide an administrative framework to ensure the proper management of a competitive baseball program. In conjunction with such purpose, the North Shore Baseball League, Inc. shall seek to promote, develop, supervise, and voluntarily assist in all lawful ways the interests of amateur baseball and the players who will participate in the North Shore Baseball League, Inc., or other leagues hereafter organized.


Article III – Site of Principal Operation

Section A. The principal operation of the North Shore Baseball League, Inc. shall be in and about the city of Peabody, county of Essex, and within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Article IV – Statement of Purpose and Provisions for Dissolution

Section A. The corporation is organized and shall be operated exclusively for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes and to do all things permitted by Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 180, as amended, and section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future code. No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributed to its members, directors, officers, or other private persons, except that the corporation shall be authorized to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Article II hereof. The corporation shall not, nor shall anyone on its behalf, engage in carrying on propaganda or otherwise influence legislation, or participate or intervene in, (including and publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the corporation shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by a corporation exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future tax code, or (b) by a corporation, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c) (2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.

Section B. In the event of dissolution of the corporation, all of its assets, not needed for the payment of its debts and expenses, shall be distributed for one or more exempt purposes within the meaning of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or to a state or local government for a public purpose in such proportions as the board of directors in its discretion shall determine. Any such assets not disposed of shall be disposed of by the Essex County Court of Common Pleas exclusively for such purposes or to such an organization or organizations, as said court shall determine which are organized and operated exclusively for such purpose.


Article V – Powers

Section A. The North Shore Baseball League, Inc. shall have the following Powers in addition to those powers expressly or implicitly conferred on it by law: To make and enforce any rules and regulations necessary to govern itself consistent with and not contrary to the Official Baseball Rules, including the designated hitter option, except in such cases where these rules are superseded by the by-laws of the North Shore Baseball League, Inc., to approve or disapprove of the League boundaries, the number of teams, and the individual franchises that comprise the league; to make and enforce rules and regulations governing dues, and special assessments; to approve and disapprove of financial fund-raisers or the soliciting of contributions.

Section B. The business of the league shall be conducted by a board of directors consisting of a commissioner, vice-commissioner, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, treasurer, and the manager of each team. Only the managers or team representative, in the absence of a manager, shall be voting members of this organization. In the event of a tie vote, the commissioner will be allowed to decide the issue by casting a single vote.


Article VI – Membership

Section A. All managers, coaches, and players whose names appear on official league rosters are members of the North Shore Baseball League, Inc.

Section B. Any member of the board of directors may propose a person or team franchise for membership into the North Shore Baseball League, Inc. Alternatively, a new team franchise may initiate membership by petitioning the board of directors prior to February 1 of any given year and along with payment of an entrance fee of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) within thirty (30) days of the petitioning date. The fee is non-refundable and will not be returned to any team that withdraws from the league.

Section C. For election to membership, a quorum must be present and a majority of ballots cast in opposition to the applicant will be sufficient to consider the same as not acceptable. A quorum shall consist of a majority of the voting members of the board of directors of this organization at a properly called meeting, in order to transact business. For cause, any membership may be suspended or terminated.


Article VII – Operating Rules

Section A. The North Shore Baseball League, Inc. shall operate under the Official Baseball Rules, including the designated hitter option, except in such cases or instances where these rules are superseded by the by-laws stated herein. Any and all league rule disputes, infractions, or game protests shall be resolved by a three member Rules Committee appointed by the Commissioner and approved by the Board.

Section B. A regulation North Shore Baseball League game will consist of seven innings and will be played to conclusion, whenever possible, on the day of said game. A tie game will remain a tie game daylight, weather, or curfew permitting. The league standings will be determined by points based on two (2) points for each win, and one (1) point for each tie.

Section C. All regular season and playoff game umpires shall be assigned by the umpire-in-chief. Only umpires approved by the North Shore Baseball League, Inc., board of directors who belong to a recognized umpires association shall be allowed to officiate. The home team shall pay the umpires prior to the start of each game.

Section D. In the event that neither umpire fails to appear, the game shall be rescheduled at a later date acceptable to both managers, with the approval of the board of directors, only if the outcome of the game will have a bearing on any team’s entry into the playoffs.

Section E. The home team manager shall decide on whether or not a game shall be called due to unsuitable weather conditions, or unfit conditions of the playing field. The decision shall be made at the earliest possible time. The home team manager must notify the umpire-in-chief, the opposing manager, and the North Shore Baseball League, Incorporated, board of directors one (1) hour before game time. Any postponed game shall be rescheduled within seven days with the approval of the North Shore Baseball League, Inc., board of directors and notification of the umpire-in-chief.


Article VIII – Protests

Section A. Whenever a manager protests a game because of alleged misapplication of the rules the protest will not be recognized unless the umpires are notified at the time the play under protest occurs and before the next pitch is made or a runner retired. Notice of the protest must be noted in each scorebook.

Section B. A protest must be filed in writing with the North Shore Baseball League commissioner within twenty-four (24) hours after completion of the game. The protest will be resolved by a three member rules committee appointed by the Commissioner. This decision shall be final with no further appeal.


Article IX – – Forfeits

Section A. A game shall be forfeited to the opposing team when a team is unable or refuses to put nine players in the field. There is a thirty (30) minute grace period from the starting time to when a forfeit will be imposed. It is not within the jurisdiction of the umpires to interfere with this process. The team responsible for the delay will be responsible for paying the game costs if the game is replayed.

Section B. All scheduled games must be played. A team that forfeits a game will be responsible for reimbursing the umpires and must pay a fifty dollar ($50.00) fine to the North Shore Baseball League before playing their next game. The point system applies to forfeited games.


Article X – Called Games

Section A. There will be no suspended games during the regular season. The old version of rule (4.11d) will be in effect wherein a called game ends at the moment the umpire terminates play. EXCEPTION: If the game is called during an uncompleted inning, the game ends at the end of the last previous inning in each of the following situations: (1) The visiting team scores one or more runs to tie the score in the uncompleted inning, and the home team does not score; (2) The visiting team scores one or more runs to take the lead in the uncompleted inning, and the home team not tie the score or take the lead.


Article XI – Conduct

Section A. Striking an umpire shall result in immediate suspension until an investigation is conducted by the rules committee and commisioner. Only the manager, coach, or team captain shall come out onto the field to pursue a decision or rule interpretation. Only players, scorekeepers, managers, and batboys shall be allowed on the team bench. The drinking of alcoholic beverages is strictly forbidden on the field, within the bench area, or within the player’s area.

Section B. Any player ejected from a game will, at a minimum, be on probation for the rest of the season.  Any manager, coach, or player who is ejected from a game a second time will, at a minimum, be suspended for two games.  Any manager, coach, or player who is ejected from a game a third time will, at a minimum, be suspended for the remainder of the season. If desired, an appeal must be made within 24 hours of the violation and the situation will be resolved within 72 hours. The rules committee will evaluate the situation and decide if a suspension is warranted. If the rules committee recommends a suspension the commissioner will affirm the penalty otherwise the ejection will be nullified.

Section C. Any manager, coach, or player who is ejected from a game for a flagrant display of conduct, or whose behavior results in continual instances of misconduct may be expelled or suspended for cause. Any league member who deliberately portrays the North Shore Baseball League, Inc., in a detrimental manner may be expelled for such behavior. Expulsion shall be implemented on a seventy-five percent (75%) vote of the board of directors.


Rosters and Player Eligibility

Section A. The player rosters shall consist of no more than twenty-eight (28) names. Final rosters must be submitted to the league commissioner in writing no later than June 15th. The players listed on these rosters are eligible for regular season play. Any player who appears in a game, whether before or after rosters are due, MUST be on the final rosters turned into the league. Any game in which an ineligible player participates shall be forfeited.  Any subsequent changes shall be made only with the explicit approval of the board of directors.

Section B. The roster format includes: team name, players name, position, college and any professional affiliation.

Section C. A player listed on a team roster who has appeared in one (1) game cannot play for any other team in the league unless he is released by his current manager and this action is approved by the board of directors. Each violation of this rule shall result in a forfeited game.

Section D. A player must appear in ten (10) team games in order to be eligible for the playoffs. A pitcher must pitch in four (4) of a team’s games and pitch a minimum of 10 innings in order to be eligible for the playoffs. A player’s name has to appear in the opposing team’s scorebook to prove participation in any given game. Qualifying as a position player or a pitcher allows that player to participate in the game in any fashion i.e. a pitcher may play the field and a position player may pitch.  Exceptions will be considered only on appeal to the board of directors. Approval of a waiver requires a majority vote of the board of directors.  This rule may be appealed based on longevity in the league. Any game in which this rule is violated shall be forfeited.


Post Season Playoffs

Section A. The initial round of the playoffs will involve the first eight (8) teams in the league standings based on total points when there are eleven or more teams in the NSBL. Six (6) teams will qualify with a nine or ten team league and (4) four teams will qualify when there are less than nine teams. The highest point total in the final league standings shall determine the home field advantage in the first game of each round. The home field will alternate for subsequent games.  The Commissioner and Board of Directors may decide to change the amount of teams to qualify for the playoffs when there are less than ten (10) teams in the league, based on the best interest of the league.

Section B. First round.  With eight (8) playoff teams the first round shall be a best of three (3) game series. The first place team shall play the eighth place team. The second place team shall play the seventh place team. The third team shall play the sixth place team. The fourth place team shall play the fifth place team. With six (6) playoff teams the first and second seed will receive byes in the first round.  The third seed will play the six seed and the four seed will play the five seed in a three (3) game series. 

Section C. Semi-finals.  The winners, or bye recipients, of the first round shall play a best of five (5) game series with the highest remaining seed playing the lowest remaining seed. Again the highest seed shall determine the home field advantage for the round.  The home field will alternate for subsequent games.  With four (4) playoff teams the first seed will play the fourth seed and the second seed will play the third in a five (5) game series.

Section D. Finals.  The winners of the semi-final round shall play a best of seven (7) game series for the league championship. Again the highest seed in the final league standings shall determine the home field advantage in the round. The home field will alternate for subsequent games.

Section E. Tie-breakers.  In the event that any of the top seven (7) teams are tied in total points, the pairings and home field advantage shall be decided by: (1) The total number of wins, (2) Records between the tied opponents, (3) The number of runs scored against each other, (4) The total runs scored for the season, (5) A Coin flip. A tie for the last playoff spot shall be decided by a single game played on the day following the last regular season game, or games if more than two teams are involved.

Section F. Once a playoff game has commenced, it shall be completed. All playoff games shall be at least seven innings in duration, unless the mercy rule is reached. A game tied at the end of seven innings shall continue until a winner is decided. A suspended playoff game shall be resumed from the exact point of suspension, on the very next game day. The suspended game may be resumed at another approved site by the mutual consent of the managers involved.

Section G. The home team shall supply the baseballs and pay the umpires for each playoff game with the exception of the final game of each round. In the final game, the umpire’s fees and the supply of baseballs shall be shared by the two teams.


Late Arrival and Re-Entry

Late Arrival.

A late arriving player may be inserted into the game at any point before the end of the first inning.  He will be considered a starter as far as any rule, including re-entry, goes.  The player who is replaced will be available as if he never played in the game. The late arriving player MUST take the spot in the batting order of the player he is replacing.  He may assume any defensive position, except pitcher. EXCEPTIONS: If the starting player is in the middle of an at bat or had a plate appearance, the late arriving player may only enter as a regular substitute for that player and no longer qualifies under the above rule.  The late arriving player is not eligible to pitch in the first inning.  After the first inning, regular pitching substitution rules apply.


Section A. Any of the starting players including the designated hitter may withdraw and re-enter once, provided such player occupies the same batting position whenever he is in the line-up. A substitute who is withdrawn may not re-enter. The starting pitcher is governed by the provisions of Official Baseball Rule 3.05.

Section B. If a player re-enters illegally as a pitcher, fielder, or runner, there is no penalty except that he must be removed from the game immediately when discovered. If he re-enters illegally as a batter, such illegal re-entry is penalized according to Official Baseball Rule 6.07, Batting Out Of Order.

Section C. The re-entry rule applies to both regular season and playoffs.

Section D. Each of the starting players may be withdrawn from the game and re-entered once. When re-entered the player must occupy the same batting position as he occupied when starting the game, i.e., a starting player and his substitute cannot be in the game at the same time.

Section E. A pitcher withdrawn from the game may re-enter immediately if withdrawn while a batter or base runner, if he was one of the nine starting players. If withdrawn while he is on the mound pitching, his substitute must fulfill Official Baseball Rule 3.05 (b) before he is permitted to re-enter the game.

Section F. All other starting players may be withdrawn and re-entered immediately. A substitute withdrawn from the game can never re-enter the game. A substitute may replace a substitute and the starting player may still re-enter for the substitute, i.e., starting player Jones is replaced by substitute Smith: substitute Smith is replaced by substitute Clark. Starter Jones is eligible to replace Clark.

Section G. A starting player withdrawn from the game more than once cannot re-enter. Withdrawal and re-entry takes place only when a player has been removed from the game.

Section H. If the pitcher is removed from the game because of a coaching decision or the second trip in the same inning, he may re-enter the game in any position with the exception of pitcher, if he was one of the starting players.


Mercy Rule

Section A. A ten (10) run mercy rule shall be in effect in both regular and post season games. A game will be terminated and become a regulation game if one team is ahead by 10 or more runs after the losing team has batted at least five (5) times.


Wooden Bats

Section A. Wooden bats shall be used in both regular and post season games.




  • Revised 2014
  • Mike Parker, Commissioner
  • Steve Gridley, Vice-Commissioner
  • Chris Carrol, Recording Secretary
  • Steve Considine, Treasurer