North Shore Baseball League, Incorporated
Constitution, By-Laws and League Rules
Any Team with current membership and any future teams granted membership into the North Shore Baseball League attest to the following:
- Prior knowledge and training on all regulations, rules, and the code of conduct of this league
- The requirement of all teams to adhere to all regulations, rules, and the code of conduct 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 recreational organization. Due to the nature of the league, no team and/or participant should ever be so concerned with team success or individual accomplishment that they resort to any of the following:
- unfair tactics
- unsportsmanlike play
- abuse of opponents
- abuse of umpires
- abuse of fans
- or take actions that are deliberately designed to injure another person
Furthermore, 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 on the field and in the bench area, before, during, and after a game. Participants who lose self-control during a game should promptly be controlled by their teammates and coaches. Teams, players, and coaches should be an example of appropriate and positive conduct for their fans. When a team fails to exercise such responsibility; the Board of Directors will take necessary and appropriate disciplinary action.
Teaching or instructing any of the following actions or tactics will not be tolerated:
- Actions or tactics which mock the rules.
- Actions or tactics which inflict injury.
- Actions or tactics which deceive an opponent in violation of the league standards of fair play.
- Actions or tactics which denigrate (either through speech, gesture, or action) an official, opponent, or spectator..
Umpires for games are official representatives of the league who serve the interests of teams and participants. 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. Umpire decisions are to be considered final and definitive. Thus, these decisions are to be accepted as such by all participants. If an umpire makes what appears to be a judgment error, this is part of the reality of in-game competition. 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. Perceived judgement errors made by Umpires can be directly reported to the league’s Board and will be reviewed internally. Any decision/outcome will be promptly communicated to the involved parties. .
When communication with an umpire is required during a game, only the designated team spokesman (i.e. Coach or Captain) has the right to complete the interaction. All other participants are to stay clear of umpire-spokesperson conversations and concentrate on 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. Any participant who violates the standards of good sportsmanship, fair-play, league regulations, league rules, and/or the code of conduct can expect to be disciplined by their team and/or the league. The North Shore Baseball League is an organization founded on the age old brotherhood of America’s Pastime. All League activity should be conducted with this brotherhood and comradery in mind.
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 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. The organization will foster a brotherhood of baseball players and enthusiasts in a competitive, welcoming, and inclusive manner.
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, Essex County, 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, athletic, and social purposes and to do all things permitted by Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 180, as amended, and section 501(c)(7) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future code. No part of the net earnings of the corporation shall be distributed to or personally benefit 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 above. 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) (7) 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)(7) 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 organization(s) (determined by the aforementioned court) which are organized and operated exclusively for such purposes.
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 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 the League’s boundaries, number of teams, and individual franchises that comprise the league.
- To make and enforce rules, regulations governing dues, and special assessments.
- To approve and disapprove financial fund-raising activities including the solicitation 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 (or assistant to the commissioner), and treasurer. The Board of Directors has final authority over the administration, oversight, and execution of all league duties.
Additionally, the Board of Directors will support a derivative subcommittee which includes all members of the board and the manager of each team. Only the managers or proxy (in the absence of a team manager), shall be voting members of this subcommittee. In the event of a tie vote, the commissioner will be allowed to decide the issue by casting a single vote. The commissioner retains authority to elect Board of Directors’ members or any team managers to any additional subcommittee’s created for specific monitoring, oversight, or tasks determined necessary within the organization.
Article VI – Membership
Section A. All managers, coaches, and players whose names appear on the 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 1st of any given year. This new team must pay an entrance fee of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250.00) within thirty (30) days of the date of petition. The fee is non-refundable and will not be returned to any team that withdraws from the league.
Section C. For membership elections, a quorum of the Board of Directors’ Subcommittee must be present and a majority of ballots must be cast in opposition to the applicant’s membership to be sufficient to bar the applicant from election. Additionally, a quorum shall consist of a majority of the voting members of the Board of Directors of this organization at an official meeting to transact business. Any membership may be suspended or terminated for cause.
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 or five member Rules Committee appointed by the Commissioner and approved by the Board of Directors.
Section B. Regulation North Shore Baseball League games will consist of seven innings and will be played to conclusion, whenever possible, on the day of said game. Tie games will remain tied, daylight, weather, or curfew permitting. Extra Innings will be played for as long as daylight, weather, and/or curfew permits or until a victor is definitively determined, whichever comes first. The league standings will be points based, where two (2) points are earned for each win, and one (1) point is earned 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 league games. 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 and with the approval of the Board of Directors..
Section E. The home team manager shall decide on whether or not a game shall be called due to unsuitable weather conditions or unfit playing field conditions. The decision shall be made at the earliest possible time, within reason. The home team manager must notify the umpire-in-chief, the opposing manager, and the North Shore Baseball League, Inc. Board of Directors (or subcommittee determined by the Commissioner) at least one (1) hour before game time. Any postponed game must be rescheduled within seven days with the approval of the North Shore Baseball League, Inc. Board of Directors and the prior notification of the umpire-in-chief.
Article VIII – Protests
Section A. In order for a manager protest due to alleged misapplication of the rules to be valid, the following steps must be completed:
- The umpires must be notified immediately following the play under protest but prior to the next pitch or runner retired.
- The notice of the protest must be noted in each scorebook.
- Immediately following the game, the protesting manager must notify the North Shore Baseball League Inc. Commissioner that the game is under protest and an official written protest will be forthcoming and filed within twenty-four (24) hours of the incident.
Section B. Protests 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. Games shall be forfeited to the opposing team when a team is unable or refuses to put eight (8) 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 fine of one hundred dollars ($100.00) to the North Shore Baseball League before playing their next game. The point system applies to forfeited games with the opponent of the forfeiting team receiving two (2) points for the victory.
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 umpires terminate 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:
- The visiting team scores one or more runs to tie the score in the uncompleted inning, and the home team does not a complete half-inning with opportunity to score
- The visiting team scores one or more runs to take the lead in the uncompleted inning, and the home team does not have a complete half-inning opportunity to tie the score or take the lead.
Article XI – Conduct
Section A. Striking or making contact with an umpire shall result in immediate suspension until an investigation is conducted by the rules committee and commissioner. 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 players’ area.
Section B. All ejections will be handled on a case-by-case basis by the Board of Directors and commissioner. 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 (during the same season) will, at a minimum, be suspended for two games. Any manager, coach, or player who is ejected from a game a third time (during the same season) will, at a minimum, be suspended for the remainder of the season. Any player ejected will forfeit their appearance towards playoff eligibility for that game.
If desired, an appeal can and must be made within 24 hours of the violation and the situation will be resolved within 72 hours by the rules committee. The rules committee will evaluate the situation and decide if a suspension is warranted. If the rules committee recommends a suspension the commissioner will need to 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.
NSBL League Rules
- Rosters and Player Eligibility
Section A. The player rosters shall consist of no more than thirty (30) 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 listed as active on the team roster in .400hitter prior to the start of the game AND 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. Position players must appear in ten (10) team games in order to be eligible for the playoffs. Pitchers 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. Player names must 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, service to the league, and extenuating circumstances. 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. All playoff fields, times, cancellations, and scheduling of games will be monitored by the Board of Directors. The Commissioner retains the right to intercede in any scheduling which appears to have been implemented for an undue advantage. The Commissioner and Board of Directors may decide to change the number 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. All scheduling will be monitored by the Board of Directors in order to ensure no team receives an undue advantage through scheduling. The Commissioner retains the right to intercede in any scheduling which appears to have been implemented for an undue advantage.
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. All scheduling will be monitored by the Board of Directors in order to ensure no team receives an undue advantage through scheduling. The Commissioner retains the right to intercede in any scheduling which appears to have been implemented for an undue advantage.
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. All scheduling will be monitored by the Board of Directors in order to ensure no team receives an undue advantage through scheduling. The Commissioner retains the right to intercede in any scheduling which appears to have been implemented for an undue advantage.
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:
- The total number of wins
- Records between the tied opponents
- The number of runs scored against each other
- The total runs scored for the season
- Then a coin flip
- If there are more than two teams tied after the previous 4 steps, the last playoff spot shall be decided by a single game played on the day following the last regular season game.
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 achieved. Games which remain tied at the end of seven innings shall continue until a winner is decided. Suspended playoff games 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 and the final approval by the Commissioner.
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.
III. Late Arrival
Section A. 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. 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 lineup. 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 the 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. Pitchers 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 as a pitcher. Pitchers can be removed from the mound and immediately placed into the field in compliance with Official Baseball Rule ###.
Section F. All other starting players may be withdrawn and re-entered immediately. Substitutes withdrawn from the game can never re-enter the game. Substitutes may replace a substitute and the starting player may still re-enter for the second substitute in their original spot in the lineup.
- i.e., starting player Jones is replaced by substitute Smith: substitute Smith is replaced by substitute Clark. Starter Jones is still eligible to re-enter and replace Clark.
Section G. Re-entry is allowed for starting players who have only been removed from the game once. Starting players withdrawn from the game more than once cannot re-enter 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. The league maintains a ten (10) run mercy rule in effect in both regular and post season games. Games will be terminated and become a regulation game if one team is ahead by ten (10) or more runs after the losing team has batted at least five (5) times.
- Wooden Bats
Section A. Only wooden bats shall be used in both regular and post season games within the North Shore Baseball League.
- Playing with Eight (8) Players
Section A. If a team is unable to put nine (9) players in the field, the game may be played with eight (8) players. If a team is unable or refuses to put eight (8) players in the field to start a game, that team will forfeit the game pursuant to Article IX. If a team is playing with eight (8) players, an out will be recorded each time the ninth slot in the batting order is reached.
- Adopted May 1981
- Jonathan Blodgett, Commissioner
- James E. Smerczynski, Vice-Commissioner
- David Rodgers, Treasurer
- Revised 2 May 1991
- James E. Smerczynski, Commissioner
- Jonathan Blodgett, Vice – Commissioner
- David Rodgers, Treasurer
- Gary White, Secretary
- Revised 10 June 1996
- Alfred Donovan, Commissioner
- James E. Smerczynski, Vice-Commissioner
- Todd Cotton, Treasurer
- Revised 1 January 2005
- Joseph Caponigro, Commissioner
- James E. Smerczynski, Vice-Commissioner
- Stephen Eddy, Recording Secretary
- John DiGennaro, Corresponding Secretary
- Todd Cotton, Treasurer
- Revised 2014
- Mike Parker, Commissioner
- Steve Gridley, Vice-Commissioner
- Chris Carrol, Recording Secretary
- Steve Considine, Treasurer
- Revised 3 April 2019
- Matthew Sullivan, Commissioner
- Ryan Healy, Vice-Commissioner
- Joseph N. Dardeno Assistant to the Commissioner
- Matt Mello, Recording Secretary
- Mike McLaughlin, Treasurer
- Revised 5 January 2022
- Ryan Healey, Commissioner
- Matt Mello, Vice-Commissioner
- Joseph N. Dardeno, Assistant to the Commissioner
- Nick Talamelli, Recording Secretary
- Mike McLaughlin, Treasurer
- Matthew Sullivan, Special Advisor to the Board