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Rookie Division Rules

NLGSA PREAMBLE

ASA Rules:

All games will be played under ASA rules, in addition to the following league rules included in the rulebook; which take precedence over the ASA rules.

Annual Rule Revisions:

The rules committee shall meet once a year prior to the end of the year.  The committee shall consist of members of the general board.  The members will review the past year’s rules and make a list of the revisions if necessary to be presented to the Executive Board meeting in December.  The Executive Board will review and approve the rules for the upcoming season.  The Executive Vice President shall revise the rules and submit to the President for final approval and distribution.  The Secretary shall then generate and distribute copies to all coaches during equipment and final roster distribution at the end of March.

NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO MAKE CHANGES TO THE RULES AFTER FINAL REVISION APPROVAL OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD.

 

 

Weather - Games and Practice

The NLGSA recommends that no practice shall be held if the temperature is under 45 degrees. However, if the coach wants to try to have a practice then that is his/her decision. If there is a practice held no player is to be penalized in any manner if they elect not to attend! The reason we left the option to have a practice in the cold weather is because of the limited time we have to get our practice time in prior to the season starting. As for games the league will make a decision about the weather prior to the start of the games. 45 degrees is going to be the basis for this decision but isn't set in stone. As we all know there are days that 45 is pretty nice and then there are days it feels more like 25. Also, playing into the decision will be the time of day the game is scheduled to start. On Saturday Mornings the 1st game may be delayed up to 30 minute to allow the temperature to increase. Also, something to take note of...most metal bats are rated for 55 degrees and composite bats are 60 degrees so if you have an expensive bat you might not want to use it for the 1st few practice dates.

 

 

PHYSICAL FIELD LAYOUT AND RESPONSIBILITIES  

Home Team Responsibilities:

  • Lining the field, placing bases, and supplying the game ball:

Optimally, the lining and placement of bases are to be completed 20 minutes prior game time. 

  • Pitching distance - 35’
  • Pitcher’s mound – 16 ft. Diameter
  • Baseline - 55’
  • A 3’ chalk line shall be added from halfway to 1st base through the base. The runner shall stay within this area and out of the field of play.
  • Batter’s Box - 3’ by 7’ and 6” off plate

Rain Outs and Rescheduled Games:

  • The Home team manager is responsible for checking the field conditions prior to any game.  Both head coaches will decide if the field is playable in case of rain.  Once the game begins, the umpire will have the sole responsibility for deciding whether or not the game should continue. (In games without umpires, the coaches will make the decision.) If the game is rained out, it is the Home team manager’s responsibility to call the Head Umpire to give notice of no game and also contact Marty Kelly within two weeks to reschedule the game and coordinate with two weeks to reschedule the game and coordinate with the visiting manager on the date, time and location of makeup game.
  • All attempts will be made to avoid scheduling two games on the same day for either team.
  • If not contacted within two weeks, a new game will be automatically scheduled by Marty Kelly.
  • It is the responsibility of all managers to check the Master Schedule if they have a rescheduled game. A Master Game Schedule will be posted in the shadow box on the Walona Concession Building. It will be updated every Monday. Please refer to this schedule first.

All rescheduled games will be posted in Red on the Master Schedule in the shadow box on the Walona Concession Building.

 

EQUIPMENT AND PLAYERS

Eligibility – Girls in 4th & 5th grade

Uniforms:

  • NLGSA Uniform Shirts are to be worn by all players.
  • Pants are to be worn. NO SHORTS, NO EXCEPTIONS
  • All jewelry can be worn, however it is recommend that no loose fitting or hooped earrings be worn
  • Any Player who does not abide by the uniform rules will not be allowed to play the game.

Bats:

  • Bats must show the label "fastpitch softball" on the bat or be stamped ASA/NSA
  • Handles must be taped a minimum of 12" to a maximum of 18"
  • Bats must be absent of any physical damage such as dents and cracks   Bats must not be on the ASA banned bat list
  • If at any time a bat if found to be illegal by the umpire the only penalty is the bat must be removed from play. There is to be no penalty assessed to the play or the player.

Balls: 

  • 11” 

Batting Helmets:

  • All batters, on-deck batters, and base runners are required to wear protective batting helmets at all times. It is mandatory that all batting helmets to be equipped with a face mask. NO EXCEPTIONS ALLOWED.

Pitchers Equipment:

  • Any player occupying the pitchers position is required to wear a protective pitchers mask. One mask provided per team.

Catchers Equipment:

  • The catcher must wear a chest protector, catcher’s helmet, and shin guards.

 

GAME

No new inning shall start one hour and fifty minutes after the commencement of the game. This rule applies to all divisions.  This rule shall be waived in cases of championship games and All-Star games.  Any continued game will carry over pitching rules (inning pitched, hit batter, etc.) and/or batting orders.  This should be verified by both coaches at the end of the suspended game.

  • A game will consist of 6 innings. If the game is tied at the end of the normal number of innings, additional full innings are to be played until the tie is broken.
  • 4 innings constitutes a regulation game and 3.5 innings if the home team has the lead.
  • Game rules apply to continued games, including pitching rules and batting order.
  • A minimum of 8 players is required for a team to start a game. Although, 10 players constitutes a full team and the maximum number playable at any one time. Vacancies do not count as an out. The positions include pitcher, catcher, 4 infield players and 4 outfield players.
  • Infield positions – Catcher, Pitcher, 1st base, 2nd base,  3rd base and Short Stop
  • Outfield positions – Right Field, Right Center, Left Center and Left Field

(Note there will no longer be a Short Center, all 4 outfielders must be in the grass)

  • Line-ups are to be exchanged a minimum of 15 minutes prior to the start of the game. The line-up should include player’s name and number.

Fielding:

  • All players are to field a minimum of 3 innings if play allows

Batting:

  • A continuous batting order including all team members must be employed.  Late players that arrive after the start of the game must be placed in the bottom of the batting order. Players will bat in the order designed in the line-up regardless of weather they are employed in the field.  

6 Run Limit:

  • There will be a maximum of 6 runs scored an inning.  This does not apply to the last inning either the 6th inning or whatever inning the umpire declares as the last inning.

Mercy Rule:

  • 15 runs after the 3rd inning
  • 12 runs after the 4th inning
  • 10 runs after the 5th inning

   

Strike Zone:

  • The strike zone for each batter is the area from the letters on their uniform to the knees, directly over home plate.

Proper Pitcher’s Starting Position:

  • Pitcher’s hands must be together prior to the start of the pitch.
  • Both feet are on the ground and in contact with the pitcher’s plate.
  • Pitcher’s first step must be toward home plate

Pitching:

  • A Pitcher shall appear in no more than 3 innings per game.
  • A pitcher may be removed from a game and re-enter as a pitcher at a point later in the game.
  • A substitute pitcher must pitch to a minimum of 1 batter, or until the side is retired.
  • A pitcher may take up to 5 warm up pitches between innings.  This applies to new pitchers entering a game as well.
  • One pitch constitutes one inning.
  • The pitcher cannot deliberately drop, roll, or bounce the ball while in the pitcher’s position.
  • The pitcher can only remove herself from the pitcher’s mound by stepping backward off the pitcher’s plate. If not, the pitch is called a ball.
  • The pitcher’s position must be maintained for 1 second, but no more than 20 seconds, before delivery.
  • If the pitcher hesitates after starting her motion, the pitch shall be called a ball. (Not a balk)

Hit By Pitch:

  • If a pitcher hits 2 batters in a single inning the pitcher must be relieved as a pitcher for at least the duration of that inning. The pitcher may return to pitch subsequent innings if they have not fulfilled the divisions pitching limit of 3 innings. If a pitcher hits 3 batters in a single game, the pitcher must be relieved as pitcher for the duration of the game.
  • If the ball hits the ground before it hits the batter, it still counts as a hit by pitch and the batter is awarded 1st base.  However, this does not count against the pitcher as a hit batter.

SAFETY RULES

  • Injury - In the event of an injury, the game may be stopped immediately by the umpire. The umpire will award bases and/or outs before the game resumes. Pinch runners for any hurt player must be the last out of the inning, if there are no outs in the inning it must be the last batter from the previous inning.
  • There will be no throwing of the bat permitted by anyone. If any player or coach throws a bat, the player will be called “out” for interference, or an out assessed against the team.  The coaches and umpire should warn both teams before the game starts about throwing the bat. This call is a judgment call, made        at the discretion of the umpire.
  • Interference is the act of an offensive player or team member that impedes or confuses a defensive player attempting to execute a play.
  • An “Obstruction” will be called in the following situation:
  • A fielder who is not fielding or not about to receive a thrown ball who impedes the progress of the base runner or batter who is legally running the bases.  It will result in the runner advancing one base.
  • If a charge against a defensive player is deemed deliberate by the umpire, the runner is out and may be removed from the game. All runners must avoid intentional or malicious contact at all times. If no play is being made the defensive player must give way to the incoming player to the base.
  • Remember, if the fielder is blocking the base when not involved in the fielding of the ball, she will be considered to be interfering with the runner, and the runner shall be allowed to avoid collision and still be considered safe.  Upon the umpire’s discretion, an additional base may be awarded.
  • The base path is an imaginary line 3 feet on either side of a direct line between the bases.  A runner is not out if she runs out of the base path to avoid a collision.
  • A base runner advancing towards first base must touch the orange part of the double base when running past the base in an attempt to beat the throw. If the base runner touches the white portion of the double base while attempting to beat the throw, she will be called “out”. Likewise, if the first baseman places her foot on the orange portion of the double base while attempting to make a play, the base runner will be called “safe” by the umpire. If the base runner is advancing beyond first base, she may use the white portion of the double base to “round the base”.

 

GENERAL RULES

  • A Foul Tip - a batted ball that goes directly from the bat to the catcher’s glove, but not higher than the batter’s head.  This will be considered a strike.  If the foul ball goes higher than the batter’s head and is caught, the batter will be called out.
  • When the ball is overthrown (out of the field of play) the base runners will be awarded the base they were approaching at the release of the throw plus one more base.  The umpire must immediately declare “Dead Ball”.
  • Dead Ball - The ball is considered dead once a fielder has control of the ball and is within the pitching circle. In this situation, the base runners cannot advance. The umpire will call “dead ball”, play over, or time out on the field.
  • A run shall NOT be scored if the third out of the inning is a result of the batter being put out before legally touching 1st base or if the base runner is forced out.
  • If any coach touches a player while running the bases, the player is called “out”. (Congratulatory “High 5’s are permitted)
  • Timeouts:
  • Each manager will be allowed 2 timeouts/trips to the mound per inning to talk to his/her pitcher and/or team. The 3rd trip to the mound will constitute a pitching change.
  • Any player on the team may ask for timeout at any time and the umpire may grant a timeout if play has ended.
  • Leadoffs - allowed in Rookie Division once the ball leaves the pitchers hand.
  • Bunting - allowed in the Rookie Division
  • Balks - No Balks are allowed in any Division
  • Drop Third Strike – Not Applied in Rookie Division
  • Infield Fly Rule – Not Applied in Rookie Division

Stealing Bases:

  • Runners may not advance more than one base on a stealing attempt
  • The runner may not steal home
  • Runners may not advance on an overthrow from a stealing attempt or pickoff.
  • No runner may leave the base until the ball leaves the pitchers hand.
  • A runner cannot attempt to steal second base on a continuation of a walk.

Sliding:

  • All runners must avoid intentional or malicious contact at all times. If no play is being made the defensive player must give way to the incoming player to the base.

 

 

Readiness:

  • Each manager or coach is to instruct their catchers to be ready to take the field prior to the end of their turn at bat, if the catcher is not batting or preparing to bat. It is suggested that you pinch run for your catcher or new pitcher when there are 2 out in the inning in order to speed up the game. The pinch runner must be the last out of the inning.

Appeals:

  • A manager, coach or player may make an appeal.  Only then can an umpire make a decision. The appeal must be made before the next legal or illegal pitch, or before the defensive team leaves the field. (There is no formal procedure to go through, just ask the umpire and explain the appeal.)

 Game Forfeiture:

  • If a team does not wish to continue play, the game is to be forfeited against them by the umpire.
  • If any rules are willfully violated, the umpire may declare the game forfeited.
  • If a team is not ready to start within 15 minutes after the assigned starting time, they will forfeit the game.
  • If a spectator becomes verbally abusive, the umpire will request the appropriate coach to inform the abusive individual the game will possibly be forfeited if the abuse does not cease if the abuse continues, the umpire will declare game forfeited.

Ejections:    

Any and all ejections require the ejected individuals to leave the field area within 5 minutes of the ejection and remain no closer than the parking area.  Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the game.    

  • If a player, coach or spectator is ejected from the game, they must leave the field area with all family members.  (Except Manager)
  • If the manager is ejected, the manager must leave the field area.
  • The NLGSA Executive Board has the right to extend the ejection to the next game and beyond if they think the violation deems it necessary.

Travel Team Players:

  • No Travel Team players are allowed to participate in any Spring/Summer games.  Travel Team Players are allowed to play in Fall Ball and pitch in only one inning per game.

COACHING RULES

  • No player shall sit 2 consecutive innings
  • No player should sit out for the second time until all girls have sat out once.
  • When player(s) are to be called up from a lower Division to fill in for a shortage of player(s) on a higher level team, the manager of the team short player(s) will contact the manager of the team whose player(s) he/she wishes to call up, if time permits, to make sure that it does not conflict with the lower level team’s schedule. If the player(s) is deemed to be available, then the upper level manager is free to contact the player(s).
  • When player(s) are called up and a full team of 10 players for the upper level team does show up at the game, the lower level player(s) shall play a minimum of 2 innings, but no more than 3 innings. No lower level player(s) may play a defensive position more than a roster player.
  • The substitute will be allowed to maintain a position in the batting order.
  • The called up player cannot start over a roster player.
  • The called up player cannot be a pitcher in the game.
  • Runs scored at the end of each half inning, the umpire will verify with both teams.
  • There will be only one person in each coach’s box at a time.  If there is more than one person in the coach’s box, the lead runner will be called “out”.
  • Each coach will have a complete list of umpire’s telephone numbers in case of an umpire doesn’t show up. Every reasonable attempt should be made to get a league umpire before resorting to the use of parents to umpire a game.
  • When your team’s division game play starts, our allotted practice field time is over.  If you would like to schedule additional practice field time, please contact Marty Kelly (815-258-7916) no earlier than the Wednesday the week before you want to practice.  Rain-outs and make-up games will take precedence.
  • Each coach will be given a list of all coaches’ names and phone numbers, along with the names and phone numbers of the umpires.
  • Keys to the equipment box and bag of equipment MUST be turned in at the end of the last game.  When you turn in your equipment, you will be given your trophies.

 

ALL-STAR TEAM SELECTION

  • Rookie, Junior & Senior Division All-Stars
  • Rules regarding the selection of the All-Star teams will be based on the number of teams in each division.  All-Stars are to be voted on by the girls no later than June 20th.  These rules will be passed out to the coaches by the players’ rep upon completion each year.

 

END OF THE SEASON TOURNAMENT

  • All Rookie, Junior & Senior teams will participate.  Seeding will be determined by final records. Tournament brackets will be handed out one 1 week prior to the start of the tournament, or when that division’s season ends, whichever comes later.

 

PROTOCAL FOR COACH’S EVALUATION WHEN PROBLEM IS CITED

  • Coaches try to resolve the problems amongst themselves.
  • Coach will contact the Vice-President of the corresponding Division with a description of the problem.
  • Division VP will contact and poll everyone he can on both sides of the issue. (Coaches, parents, umps, players etc…)
  • Division VP will assess the problem, keeping in mind the objectives of NLGSA as stated in the Constitution.
  • When an opinion is formulated by the Division VP, the VP will contact the coach and address the situation logically and try to reach a satisfactory decision where all persons involved are satisfied.
  • The coach has the right to appeal the Division VP’s decision to the Executive Board, at the next regular meeting.
  • If the problem persists, the Division VP will contact the Executive Board, citing the problems that have occurred in an unbiased manner.
  • The Executive Board will decide at that point, if the situation is severe enough, to call a special meeting to help assess the problem and/or the decision, and what the next steps will be. All managers, coaches, players, spectators, and umpires are subject to immediate probation or suspension if found in violation of the following rules:

 

GENERAL PARK AND FACILITY RULES

  • All managers, coaches, players, spectators, and umpires are subject to immediate probation or suspension if found in violation of the following rules.

The following are STRICTLY PROHIBITED:

  • NO Possession and/or use of Illegal Drugs or Alcohol.
  • NO Possession and/or use of Firearms or other weapons.
  • NO Fighting or any other acts of physical violence.
  • NO Smoking or other use of tobacco products.
  • No outbursts of profanity directed toward any other manager, coach, player, spectator, or umpire.

THESE RULES ARE STRICTLY ENFORCED AND ARE POSTED.

 

PROTESTS

  • Only Rules Interpretations can be protested, not umpire judgment calls.
  • Details of the circumstances of the protest will be noted in both the scorebooks at the time of the protest, noting the number of outs, runners on base, etc.
  • The attending umpire(s) will be notified at the time of the protest.
  • The NLGSA Executive Board and the Division VP’s will be notified in writing by the protesting coach or assistant coach within 3 days of the protest.
  • The Rules Committee, the Head Umpire, the attending umpire(s) and the Division VP will attend the protest hearing.  The Division VP will investigate the protest prior to the hearing.
  • Following the protest hearing, the Executive Board will return a judgment within 2 weeks.
  • A protest fee of $50.00 will accompany the written protest.  This fee will be returned to the protesting coach if the protest is judged in his/her favor.