Eligibility for RHWS, age limits & playoffs
Here are Roy Hobbs Baseball’s eligibility rules for the Roy Hobbs World Series
- Players are eligible to compete at the RHWS, provided they:
- Satisfy the age and professional player eligibility requirements explained below.
- Complete the registration process and execute a player “Registration Contract & Waiver” as required on-line or otherwise, certified by the team’s manager/coach, which affirms that both the player and the player’s manager/coach will be bound by the rules, regulations and governance of Roy Hobbs Baseball.
- Complete in-person check-in, including presentation of appropriate government-issued photo identification before participating in any games.
- Have his/her RHWS I.D. card received at check-in registration in his/her possession at all games. Players without their cards are ineligible to participate.
- Have not violated any RHWS rules or been engaged in unsportsmanlike or inappropriate behavior in a prior RHWS.
All managers must sign a statement provided by Roy Hobbs Baseball at team check-in, certifying that
- (i) they are not aware of any intentional, unintentional or inadvertent violations of the RHWS rules by any player on the team or themselves,
- (ii) they are not aware that there are any ineligible players on their roster, and
- (iii) they will abide by all eligibility rules, interpretations or disciplinary decisions rendered by Roy Hobbs Baseball during the RHWS. Managers are subject to the same penalties as ineligible or disqualified players.
All age minimums are determined on a calendar year basis; players must reach the division minimum by Dec. 31 of the same year. No underage players in any division unless so noted. (Roy Hobbs Baseball reserves the right to approve underage players under conditions of extreme exigency, and such decisions will be announced in managers’ meetings prior to start of play.)
- Veterans Division: Players must be 35. (Teams allowed 5 players, age 30; must be 30 before play starts; must be 35 within calendar year to pitch.)
- Masters Division: Players must be 45.
- Legends Division: Players must be 53.
- Classics Division: Players must be 60.
- Vintage Division: Players must be 65.
- Timeless Division: Players must be 70. (Teams allowed 1 player, age 69, no position restrictions.)
- Forever Young Division: Players must be 75. (Teams allowed 3 players, ages 74 including 1 as young as 73, but that player must be a catcher and may not play any other defensive position.) 1 74-year-old may pitch but must be declared before play starts.
- Family Affairs Division: Contact Roy Hobbs Baseball for Family Affairs playing guidelines.
- Women: Women are welcome in the men’s competition with age minimums of 30 in the Veterans, 40 in Masters, 45 in Legends, 50 in Classics, 55 in Vintage.
Underage player restrictions
All divisions: Underage players, where allowed, may not pitch under any circumstance, unless noted by division.
Every Player is required to produce an acceptable government-issued photo identification card (e.g., driver’s license), which includes his/her birth date upon check-in at the RHWS in order to be declared eligible.
Each player and his/her manager/coach are responsible for verifying and attesting to player age eligibility as set forth above. As a part of that process, each player must submit a Roy Hobbs’ “Registration Contract & Waiver” no later than check-in of the Roy Hobbs World Series. The contract & waiver must be signed by each player and their respective manager/coach, and requires, among other things, that each player and his manager disclose and attest to the player’s age eligibility.
Any age or identity challenges during games will be handled by a request for a player’s World Series ID card.
If a player does not have it in his possession, he cannot participate until he gets it. No ‘out’ penalty on his team; substitute may be inserted in lineup. If no substitute available, use one-time courtesy runner on bases if player on base or close-up lineup.
If player gets his card, he may be re-inserted into his position. If player does not return, Roy Hobbs Field Supervisor should be notified for verification.
If a manager desires to challenge the age or identity of any player in the RHWS, whether that manager’s team has played or will play against the team of the challenged player, the manager should contact the Roy Hobbs Baseball President or the RHWS Tournament Director (“Roy Hobbs Officials”) before 5 p.m. Eastern Time on the Thursday of the week in which the team is competing and state the basis for such challenge. Roy Hobbs officials will investigate at their discretion.
All Roy Hobbs events are by invitation only.
Invitations will not be withheld in any unreasonable fashion; however, here is a list of behavior Roy Hobbs is simply not going to reward with continued opportunities to participate in its events.
- Cheating, ever how it manifests itself, including but not limited to violating or refusing to follow RH Rules, Procedures and Behavior Guidelines, on the field or anywhere on the grounds of the complexes.
- Fighting – does this need to be mentioned? (Bench-clearing brawls terminate games.)
- Verbally abusing Roy Hobbs staff – Bullying our concierges, our concessions folk, our registration personnel. Don’t do it!
- Alcohol use in the complexes or parking lots. Going forward, that could result in automatic dismissal from any event.
- Refusing to attend or be represented at managers meetings when requested.
- Unauthorized use of Roy Hobbs Trademarks
- Multiple ejections from games
- Continually arguing judgment calls – it’s not going to change the call – and failure to let it go, if you get our drift. Want to discuss a baseball rule, fine, but judgment calls belong to game officials, regardless if you don’t agree with their judgment.
- Understanding, appreciating and rewarding RH staff, a.k.a., tipping when requested at the Sunshine Classic and in the locker rooms.
- Finally, items 1 & 2 carry potential banishment sanctions for teams and/or players (and potentially spectators). Roy Hobbs officials will be the final judge with regard to all of the above. Roy Hobbs officials may interpret these rules in their sole discretion, consistent with the best interests of the Roy Hobbs and its events and take actions they deem appropriate to maintain the integrity of the rules and the fairness of its events. See Disqualification section below.
“Ex-professional players” eligible to play in the RHWS are defined as players who, in the discretion of the Roy Hobbs Officials, have been paid to play in organized baseball leagues (other than incidental travel-related expenses) regardless of amount, frequency, country, the level or status of team or league, and have been out of paid baseball continuously since January 1 of the calendar year in which the player desires to participate in the RHWS. For example, a player retired from paid-to-play baseball in the spring of 2022, would not be eligible for RHWS until 2023.
To pitch, “ex-professional players” must be out of paid-to-play baseball for a minimum of 5 years (60 months).
“Ex-professional players” must be prepared to provide proof of their release date upon request, and failure to do so may result in the player being declared ineligible.
- RHWS team roster may not be more than 25 percent “ex-professional players,” and is limited to 3 “ex-professional players” who have been out of pay-to-play baseball less than 5 continuous years as of the date the RHWS begins.
- Active or former professional coaches/managers are eligible to participate as players, coaches or managers, so long as they meet these “ex-professional player” eligibility requirements.
RHWS team fees cover 20 players, managers and coaches. The roster may be expanded to a maximum of 25 eligible players, but additional players after 20 result in the additional charges set forth in the RHWS fee schedule. Batboys, scorekeepers or other non-uniformed personnel are not eligible for individual awards in the championship round (teams wishing to include any such personnel may opt to purchase any of the individual awards). Any roster changes after team check-in at Fort Myers must be reviewed and approved by the Roy Hobbs President or his appointed representative.
Players may not play on more than one team within any age division. Players may participate in multiple age divisions within the same week, i.e., Classics & Timeless or Vintage & Forever Young. However, Roy Hobbs makes no guarantees as to avoiding schedule conflicts between such teams.
Players rostered on multiple teams must declare at check-in which is their primary team once playoffs begin, in case of game conflicts. Players may change that decision as late as Wednesday, but must do so in writing, including the signatures of both managers, to the Tournament Director.
Note: Some umpires also play; however, they are not allowed to play the same week that they umpire without specific approval from Roy Hobbs, but that is only possible if two age divisions are playing at the same time whereby the individual can play in one age group and potentially umpire in the second group.
Regardless of roster size, teams in all divisions are limited to 6 players who are not from that team’s principle drawing area, i.e., the team’s league, city, county or metropolitan area. A “metropolitan area” is the geographic area, which may contain multiple cities and counties, from which players who play in the same amateur senior baseball league are generally drawn. Metropolitan areas are subject to approval by Roy Hobbs Officials.
Teams are required to submit a Geographic Waiver form, identifying the team’s principle drawing area and listing all players from outside that area, prior to the RHWS. Roy Hobbs Officials must approve these players and may, in their discretion, approve additional players who are not from the team’s principle drawing area.
A Geographic Waiver form is required, in the discretion of Roy Hobbs Officials, for (i) players who have been approved to play on the team in prior RHWS, or (ii) players placed on a roster by or with the approval of Roy Hobbs Baseball.
To compete in the RHWS playoffs …
All players must check-in with Tournament officials prior to the start of their team’s last pool game (Tuesday noon in the case of AAAA teams). No players may check in after 10 a.m. on Wednesday.
Position players must participate (hit and play defense) in at least 1 of his team’s pool games (first 4 games in AAAA).
Non-AAAA Teams: If a position player arrives later than the team’s fourth RHWS game, that player must play all of game 5 offensively and defensively. If a non-playoff game 5 is NOT played for any reason, the player must play all of the first playoff game offensively and defensively in order to participate in any further RHWS playoff games.
AAAA Teams: Players must arrive and play in GAME 4, and teams are limited to 2 such players for the playoffs.
Non-AAAA Teams: To be eligible to pitch (as a starter or in a save situation), a player must appear as a pitcher and throw at least 2 full innings within the first 5 RHWS games (2 full innings is defined as 6 outs, or at least 10 complete hitters). If a pitcher arrives later than team’s 4th RHWS pool game and game 5 is NOT played for any reason, the player, in order to be eligible to compete in additional playoff games as a pitcher, must start and pitch the first 5 complete innings (15 outs or at least 25 complete hitters) of that first RHWS playoff game, regardless of the number of runs given up.
AAAA Teams: Pitchers must be playoff qualified from the first 4 games of pool play; exceptions only as the result of unforeseen circumstances or acts of nature AND at the discretion of Roy Hobbs Baseball.
Multiple division playoff eligibility
Crossover Playoff Eligibility: In scheduling where multiple divisions are competing during the same week of the RHWS, the following will govern playoff eligibility for players competing in multiple age divisions:
- A player rostered on teams in more than one division during the same week of play must participate (hit and play defense) in at least 1 of the first 4 RHWS games on each of his teams to be eligible for those respective teams in the playoffs. (Example: A player primarily playing for a team in Legends must participate in at least one Classics game to be eligible for the playoffs for his Classics team.)
- Such a player (i.e. a player who has met the participation requirement) is eligible to pitch in the playoffs for his team in any division if he has appeared as a pitcher and thrown at least 2 full innings (6 outs or 15 complete hitters) within the first 4 RHWS games for any combination of his teams. (Examples: A pitcher who throws 2 innings in Legends is eligible to pitch in the playoffs for his Vintage team as well as for his Legends team. A pitcher who throws 1 inning in Legends and 1 inning in Vintage is also eligible to pitch in the playoffs for both teams.)
- Managers have the right – and the obligation – to know which players are on multiple rosters and which team said players consider to be their #1 priority in case of playoff conflicts. Managers have the right to request commitments, but may not demand commitments.
- Players are required to state their priority upon check-in, and it will be so noted in the Check-In book, which will be the ultimate arbiter in case of disputes. Players should review their status with managers on Sunday and may change their designation no later than Monday, but must do so in person with tournament officials, and the date of the switch will be initialed and noted in the book.
- Bottom line: It’s an honor system and a two-way street for players, managers and teams alike.
- If a player leaves the World Series for any reason and skips any games or part of a game, the player must surrender his player ID card to RHWS officials before departure and check in with RHWS officials before participating in any RHWS games upon his return (his RHWS ID card will be re-issued upon his return).
- Should such a player not return until after pool play is completed, he will be required to return and compete in his division’s first-round playoff game and to have met playoff eligibility conditions prior to his departure. Additionally, to be eligible to continue to pitch, said returning player must pitch at least 5 complete innings (15 outs or at least 25 complete hitters) in his team’s first game upon his return.
- No player may leave the World Series and return to compete after the playoffs have begun.
Disqualification, Penalties, Discretion of Roy Hobbs Officials
Player & Manager Agreement
By signing the “Registration Contract & Waiver”, (including the formal Check-In contract & waiver) both the player and that player’s manager/coach agree to abide by Roy Hobbs rules and determinations reached by Roy Hobbs Officials or, where applicable, the Roy Hobbs Advisory Board described below.
An “ineligible player” is a player who is in violation of these Roy Hobbs Baseball eligibility rules, regardless of whether the player or manager/coach violated the rules knowingly or otherwise.
If a player is determined by Roy Hobbs Baseball to be an ineligible player, has violated any RHWS rules, or has engaged in unsportsmanlike or inappropriate behavior, the player may be disqualified for all or some of the RHWS, at the sole discretion of Roy Hobbs Officials. The player will be subject to as much as a 5-year suspension from Roy Hobbs-sanctioned events. Roy Hobbs Officials may determine, in their sole discretion, that ineligible and disqualified players forfeit all rights to fees paid, awards or any benefits from participation.
If it is determined that a team has played a game or games using an ineligible or disqualified player, or otherwise violated RHWS rules, Roy Hobbs Officials may, upon review of the facts, take any action deemed appropriate in their sole discretion, including (i) declaring the team with the ineligible player to have forfeited all games in which an ineligible player participated, (ii) disqualifying the team from the RHWS, (iii) requiring some or all of a portion of a game to be replayed and/or (iv) declaring the team to have forfeited any fees paid, victories, awards or benefits from participation.
Rule Interpretations & Appeals to Roy Hobbs
Roy Hobbs Officials may interpret these rules in their sole discretion consistent with the best interests of the RHWS and take actions they deem appropriate to maintain the integrity of the rules and the fairness of the RHWS.
Any determination or interpretation of these rules by Roy Hobbs Officials may be appealed only to the Roy Hobbs Advisory Board convened at the event, the members of which will be determined prior to the beginning of the play for each Division.
A player and/or manager/coach who has been declared ineligible, disqualified and/or suspended, remains so, pending any hearing and until reinstatement by the Advisory Board. Decisions of the Advisory Board are final and may not be appealed to any other person, court or tribunal.
RHBB Note: These Eligibility guidelines are effective July 2022, and supersede any previous version.