OBA Rule Updates, News (Western Ontario Baseball Association)

News Article
News Article Image
Mar 21, 2016 | Annette Hoggarth | 7356 views
OBA Rule Updates
Please take note to the following rule updates.  Hard copies of the Baseball Ontario rule book will be distributed to local teams at the WOBA league scheduling meeting April 25th.

Please note that:

In P2.5(k) in the printed version of the Constitution is incorrect.  The online version of P2.5(k) is correct.

In addition, the list of 2016 Approved Baseballs has also been updated from the print version.

The Baseball Ontario Umpires Committee has developed 2 documents for information purposes on the 2016 Rep Division Rule Changes:

2016 Rep Division Rule Changes

Progressive Discipline (Bench Restriction) Rule 

Baseball Ontario Rep Council has determined that the new "slide" rule has been adopted for the 2016 playing season. This is explained in the 2016 Rep Division Rule Changes document above. 

Updated Metal Bat Rule:

2017 the allowed aluminum bat size will be 2-5/8”  This is to standardize to Baseball Canada and US divisions.  The current 2-3/4” is a small percentage of the bat sale market.  Aluminum bats are used for series Peewee and below.  Permitted metal bats at Peewee are to conform to a length to weight difference of -10 (referred to as drop ten) or less.  However, wood bats may be also be used for peewee play.

Select (SOBA) teams participating at OBA rep tournaments in 2017 will have to conform.

WOBA has adopted the same bat policy for league play effective 2017.

A reminder that for Minor Bantam and above, only wood bats, bamboo bats and wood composite bats will be allowed. Wood composite bats include wood bats with fibreglass sheathing and wood barrelled bats with composite handles. Wood composite bats do not include any bat that has any metallic component. 

Updated Jewelry Rule:

There is no visible jewelry allowed for players. Penalty: The team will be given one warning and instructed to remove all jewelry. Any further violation of this rule by any member of that team will result in the ejection of the offending player AND the Manager/Head Coach. For the purposes of this rule, Phiten necklaces or similar necklaces, Livestrong and other rubber bracelets, friendship bracelets, etc. are not considered jewelry.

Medic Alert identification and sunglasses are not considered jewelry.

Pitchers will be allowed to wear Medic-Alert bracelets on the wrist of their pitching arm if such bracelets are locked or cannot be transferred to their non-pitching wrist.

For complete uniform & equipment guidelines please refer to OBA rule book P2.5

Update New Electronic Device Rule:

Players, coaches and managers who use electronic devices on the field will be ordered by the umpire to remove them from the field immediately. Failure to do so will result in ejection. Umpires who use electronic devices on the field during the game are subject to suspension and potential loss of accreditation. Fitbits, FuelBands, and other fitness trackers are considered electronic devices for the purposes of this rule, and are not permitted except where required for medical reasons (i.e.: heart rate monitor prescribed by a physician). Exception: Dedicated watches, stopwatches and electronic pitch counters/indicators are permitted.

Update Comparison of Rules:
1)     There are differences between the OBA rep rules and Select playing rules. 
The Baseball Ontario Umpires Committee has developed a chart to illustrate the differences between Select and Rep rules: 

         Select & Rep Rules Comparison Tool

2)     There is a rule difference (when comparing MLB and OBA) particularly at the plate.  OBA rules allow a catcher with a ball to block the base path of a runner attempting to score.  The runner would have to make the decision to go around or give up.

Final Note:
Please remember that as per P1.12 of the Baseball Ontario Constitution and By-Laws, individuals and teams are not permitted to play with or against any non-recognized program during the Baseball Ontario playing season (April 15 through to the end of Labour Day weekend).