I. Atmosphere and Environment
NWCBA strives to create a safe and positive environment, one that allows us to provide our ballplayers with a pure learning experience. We emphasize teamwork, unity, character building, and fundamental baseball. We respect and understand the value of competition, but winning, losing, standings and final scores will never be emphasized over learning, growing and having fun. It is our job as leaders of this great league to ensure that we are providing the proper atmosphere to accomplish these goals.
1. All coaches, players, parents and spectators are expected to exhibit the highest level of sportsmanship at all times. The Head Coach of each team will be held accountable for the behavior displayed by anyone in his or her camp. If any of the above crosses the line, it is expected that the Head Coach will take the necessary action to stop the behavior immediately and take steps moving forward to ensure that the behavior does not occur again.
2. All chatter from the stands and from the dugouts are to be directed towards each team's own players and not to anyone on the opposing team.
3. Poor sportsmanship could result in the offender being removed from the game and/or the field, and unruly behavior and language could even result in permanent suspension from participation in the league.
III. Uniforms and Safety
1. Batting helmets must be worn by all players while at bat, on the basepaths and while standing in the on-deck circle.
2. Rubber cleats only, no metal cleats.
3. All players must wear a hard, protective cup for their safety. No soft cups are permitted.
4. All players must wear their team hats and jerseys provided to them by the league. Pant, belt and sock color coordination shall be determined by the Head Coach of each team.
5. Any player warming up a pitcher at home plate, or anywhere else on the field, shall wear a mask, including a throat protector.
6. All players must slide ‘feet first’ on any play, at any base, involving potential contact by a base runner with a defensive player. Failure to slide in these situations constitutes a put out of the runner.
7. Catchers must wear full gear: mask, helmet, chest protector, shin guards, and cup.
IV. Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking and alcohol are prohibited during all events and on any premises associated with NWCBA.
V. Field Responsibilities
1. Each day the fields are prepared for scheduled practices/games that are listed first on the schedule. It is the responsibility of the coaches to adjust the bases and pitching mounds for the events to follow.
2. Please make sure all players do not soft toss or hit into any of the fencing in and around the fields. The batting cages are used for this purpose.
3. If you move an L-Screen to another field or cage, it is your responsibility to put it back to where you found it.
4. Pitchers may not warm up on the field mound prior to game time.
5. At the conclusion of every event, each team is responsible for cleanup of their dugout at all fields.
6. All teams are permitted on their scheduled fields ONLY. Fields that are empty have been prepared for upcoming games or practices. Please be respectful of the preparations involved to get those ready.
7. If you notice a conflict in the schedule, or are directly impacted with a double-booked event, please contact the Major League Commissioner immediately.
8. The home team shall occupy the first base dugout and the away team shall occupy the third base dugout.
VI. Ground Rules
1. A ball caught in the screen behind home plate is a dead ball and the runners are entitled to the base to which they were advancing. Any ball that goes through the fence in an area where the fence is in need of repair is a dead ball and the runners may advance one (1) base.
2. A batted ball that bounces over the outfield fence or lands in an outfield area declared ‘out of play’ is a ground rule double. All base runners may advance two (2) bases.
3. Any and all ‘out of play’ areas, including foul territory, shall be discussed and agreed upon by the Head Coaches and the home plate umpire prior to the game.
4. A game becomes official after four (4) innings have been completed, or after the top of the third (3rd) inning if the home team is ahead.
5. If there is a threat of inclement weather, the Head Coaches shall discuss with the umpires whether or not to begin the game. If no agreement can be reached please contact the Major League Commissioner for an official decision.
6. If a game is interrupted by rain, a fifteen (15) minute delay shall be allowed. Following the delay, the game may be resumed or terminated at the discretion of the umpires.
A. If the game is terminated in the middle of an inning and it has become an official game, the final score will be the score that was recorded at the end of the last completed inning of play.
B. If the game fails to become a regulation game, it must be replayed as a new game.
1. A player may be withheld from a game for discipline reasons if the League Commissioner is notified and supports the decision.
2. Parents must be notified in advance of the game about the imposed discipline.
3. The League Commissioner, with approval from the NWCBA President and the NWCBA Ethics Committee, may impose a suspension on any head coach, assistant coach, player or parent/fan for unsportsmanlike conduct or the failure to abide by the rules listed here-within.
A. The suspension for the first violation shall be two (2) games
B. For the second violation, the suspension shall be ten (10) games
C. For the third violation, the result shall be permanent expulsion from the league.
4. Additionally, any player or coach ejected from a game will be subject to the following penalties:
A. Coach – first offense will result in disqualification from that game and his/her team's next game; a second offense will result in disqualification for the remainder of the season.
B. Player – first offense will result in disqualification from that game and his/her team's next game; any subsequent offenses will result in disqualification from that game and his/her team's next three (3) games.
VIII. Scorebook Rules
1. The home team is responsible for keeping the official scorebook.
2. A continuous batting order will be used and all players attending a game must take their regular turn at bat during the game.
3. The batting order will remain fixed during the game with defensive fielding assignments having no effect on the batting order.
4. Late arrivals will enter the batting order at the bottom of the lineup card.
5. If a player leaves the game for reasons other than injury, the batting order does not change and an automatic out will be charged each time that player’s turn comes around.
6. Any player who bats out of turn is automatically out and all base runners must return to the bases they occupied before the offending batter came to the plate. The infraction is not official until:
A. The offending batter receives at least one pitch.
B. A defensive coach or player calls time out and officially appeals to an umpire that the player is batting out of turn.
IX. Lineup Construction
1. The defensive alignment shall include nine (9) players:
A. Six (6) infielders: pitcher, catcher, third base, shortstop, second base, first base)
B. Three (3) outfielders: left field, center field, right field)
2. All players must play a minimum of three (3) innings per game in the field defensively. Exceptions may occur as a result of rain/time-shortened games or for disciplinary reasons. A player may not occupy the same defensive position on the field for more than a cumulative total of four (4) innings.
3. Coaches shall exchange lineup cards prior to the start of every game. These lineup cards are to include positions to be played each inning by every player. Please include uniform numbers to allow opposing coaches to identify players.
4. Each pitcher must be designated and the number of innings pitched in the current week must be reported. The date of the last game must also be reported for the pitchers pitching in this game. The game is not official until the first pitch is thrown.
X. Official Game Rules
1. Except where explicitly modified by these rules, Major League Baseball Rules shall apply.
2. Bases are to be set sixty (60) feet apart.
3. A minimum of seven (7) players is required to play a game. If one team has less than seven (7) players, they must forfeit the game; or attempt a reschedule if their opposing team is willing, and fields are available. A grace period of fifteen (15) minutes after the scheduled start time of a game will be granted to allow for the required amount of players to arrive. After that time, the offending team will forfeit and officially lose the game by a score of 6-0.
4. The league will provide two (2) umpires for every scheduled game and for all rescheduled games due to inclement weather.
5. A game will consist of six (6) innings with a two (2) hour drop dead time limit. If the home team is ahead entering the bottom of the seventh inning, the game is complete. No inning may start after the one (1) hour and forty-five (45) minute mark, unless a delay is encountered due to weather. The official start time will be at the originally scheduled time or fifteen (15) minutes after the preceding game has ended.
6. Games postponed due to inclement weather before the completion of four (4) innings, or three and one half (3 ½) innings if the home team is ahead, will be rescheduled as a new game.
7. In the event of a tie, extra innings will be allowed as long as the aforementioned time limit has not been exceeded. Games officially declared a tie by the umpire will be replayed at the end of the season if, and only if, the outcome has a direct impact on the standings and seeding for tournament play. A tie game is replayed as a new game.
8. A team’s at bat will end after three (3) defensive outs or five (5) offensive runs scored, whichever occurs first. If a game is tied at the completion of six (6) innings, there is no limit on the number of runs scored during any and all extra innings and a team's turn at bat ends only when the defense has recorded three (3) outs.
9. A game may be considered complete once each team has had a minimum of four (4) turns at bat if one team is ahead by 10 or more runs. If the home team is ahead by 10 or more runs, the game may be considered complete after the visiting team’s fourth at bat. Termination is solely at the option of the trailing team's Head Coach.
10. Each team is to provide at least one new game ball and one good used game ball to the umpire prior to the start of every game.
11. No defensive player may be positioned on a baseline or stand in the path of a baserunner.
12. All baserunners must attempt to avoid a collision with defensive players. If a defensive player is standing in the baseline, the offensive player must go around. Baserunners that collide with a defensive player while the defensive player is attempting to make a play will be called out. The umpire may eject any defensive player for standing in the basepaths without the ball.
13. The batter may advance to first base on a dropped third strike if either the base is unoccupied at the time of the pitch w/ less than two outs, or when there are two outs, regardless of runners on base.
14. Any batter who throws the bat will result in both teams being warned by the umpire. All subsequent infractions will result in the batter being called out. In this instance, no baserunners are allowed to advance.
15. Each team should have a base coach at first and at third base. The coaches shall not physically touch the base runners (push or direct to the next base) while the ball is in play. Base coaches are not to allow runners to advance after play is complete.
16. All catchers must wear a helmet, mask w/ throat guard, chest protector, and shin guards while playing defense behind the plate. A catcher may remove his/her helmet/mask to field a pitch that has been taken by the batter or to field a batted ball.
17. All players may exit and re-enter the game as many times as needed throughout the entirety of the game at the Head Coach’s discretion to all positions except Pitcher.
18. A coach may make one trip to the mound per inning per pitcher. On the second trip to the mound in the same inning for the same pitcher, the pitcher must be removed from the game as a pitcher. At that point he/she becomes a non-pitching player and may occupy any other defensive position on the field. When a coach goes to the mound, all players must remain at their positions unless summoned to the mound by the coach. Only the players summoned may come to the mound.
19. The batter is not out on a foul tip unless the catcher catches the foul tip for a third strike.
20. In order to be valid, any protest must be announced to the umpire and opposing coach immediately at the time of the dispute. Written notice and detailed explanation of the protest must be turned in to the League Commissioner within 24 hours. No protest shall ever be permitted on judgment calls by the umpire.
21. If the catcher or pitcher of record (the player who was at the position during the last pitch thrown by his/her team while on defense) is on base with two (2) outs, the last player to have been put out may be substituted as a courtesy runner. This is not mandatory. If pinch-run for, that player must catch or pitch, as applicable, in the subsequent defensive half-inning.
22. The infield fly rule will be enforced at this level.
XI. Pitching Rules
1. No pitcher may pitch more than six (6) innings per week. The week begins at 12:00 am on Monday and ends at 11:59pm on Sunday.
2. No pitcher may pitch more than three (3) innings per game.
3. If a player pitches three (3) innings in a game, that player may not pitch again for 40 hours (calculated from the time of the pitcher’s first pitch of that game), even if the next day begins a new week.
4. One (1) pitch thrown in an inning counts as one (1) inning pitched.
5. A pitcher may not re-enter the same game at the pitcher position.
6. No intentional walks.
7. No pitcher may throw any type of pitch other than a Fastball or Change Up.
8. Balks will be enforced. Every pitcher will be issued a warning for their first infraction during a game, and every subsequent balk from that point on will be enforced.
9. The pitcher’s mound will be placed forty-six (46) feet from home plate.
10. Any game in which an ineligible pitcher is used, throwing at least one pitch, the game shall be declared a forfeit. The opposing coach must appeal to the umpire during the game or to the League Commissioner within 48 hours of the conclusion of the game.