Courtesy Rule?


GBMSL games are scheduled to start at 6:45 and 8:45 p.m. for regular season games. Sometimes in the event of makeup games other start times are established.

There is "NO" courtesy rule in GBMSL or in Softball Ontario that says the team that is short on players is allowed a waiting period so that they will have enough players to play a game. Umpires do "NOT" have the authority to mandate a courtesy rule that says a team has to wait for players to arrive. Any coach who tries to tell you that there is a courtesy rule is making it up and often trying to prevent a forfeit, GBMSL has never had such a rule (at least not in the last 10 years). Umpires should do their best to stay out of any of these conversations. If both coaches approach the umpire and inform the umpire that the game time has been changed then the umpire will respect that, but game time is still game time and the umpire will call play ball at that time.

Game time is game time- both teams knew that prior to the game and the league expectation is that the game get under way on time. Often a team player or even coach or parent has other obligations following the game, if their team is there on time and ready to play it is unfair that the opposing team try to convince them to wait on their late players.

It is the umpires responsibility to get the game going on time. If a team has 8 players they can invoke the 8 player rule if they have less then 8 it is to be declared a forfeit by the plate umpire.

As we head into the later part of the season it is even more important that games get going on time. Darkness is going to become an issue and we need as much playing time as possible without any delays, especially if you are playing on a diamond without lights!


Keith Chapman, President GBMSL