Bench Restriction Rule
In 2016, Baseball Ontario introduced a new tool for umpires to assist with game management - the bench restriction. This rule allows an umpire to restrict a coach or manager to their bench for the remainder of the game when they commit minor violations.
This differs from an ejection in two distinct ways:
1. The coach or manager is allowed to remain in the game as an active participant to coach and encourage their players.
2. The coach or manager must immediately leave the playing field and go directly to the dugout or bench area when a bench restriction is enforced by the umpire. Any further argument from the coach or manager will result in immediate ejection.
Once a coach or manager has been given a bench restriction penalty, they may not enter the field of play for any reason except to attend to an injured player. Coaches who have been given a bench restriction may not argue, speak to or yell at an umpire from their restricted position. Once restricted to the bench, further violation by that coach or manager will result in immediate ejection.
Note: The umpire has sole discretion of whether a violation is a minor or major one. At any point, an umpire may skip any or all of these steps if they feel further penalty is necessary.
The use of the Bench Restriction Rule is not mandatory! Umpires should use solid game management skills when determining appropriate penalties for rule infractions.
FIRST MINOR VIOLATION
"THAT’S A WARNING!"
SECOND MINOR VIOLATION
THIRD MINOR VIOLATION