Rainout Number

Bellingham Rainout Number 360-778-7055

NWBL Rules and Regulations - updated May 2018

The NWBL’s goal: enjoy competing, play and behave with class, show respect for the game – teammates, umpires, opponents, and spectators

See specific changes for 2018 Season | See PDF Version of this document

  • General Information
    • Governance - General Managers (GMs) hire the Co-Commissioners; together they form the Leadership Group
      • ​​Jon Dillon and Ian Linterman to continue as Co-Commissioners for the 2018 Season
      • League name changed to Northwest Washington Baseball League (NWBL)
      • Each team must have a GM or representative attend all scheduled NWBL meetings so that input from every team is considered; additional $100 league fee will be added to a team that misses two meetings in a row; Co-Commissioners will break tie votes if necessary
    • Player / Roster - player eligibility for regular season games requires each player to have a signed insurance waiver and photo ID on file with the Co-Commissioners along with contact information (cell phone and/or email address) prior to playing in any NWBL game
      • Each GM is required to send his season opening roster with full names and uniform numbers to the Co-Commissioners prior to opening day
      • Players must be at least 18 years old to be on a roster
      • Age for "Over / Under" related rules reduced from 28 to 26 starting in the 2018 season - age determination for "Over / Under" rules based on a player's exact DOB and not his birth year
      • Each GM will receive copies of other team's rosters so that game related reporting can be done accurately
      • New player inquiries from the NWBL website now sent directly to the Co-Commissioners, then forwarded to GMs for consideration - this change is a first step towards a more equitable distribution of potential new players based on team standings
      • Player eligibility for Post Season Tournament (PST) games requires 20 plate appearances or 20 IP; beyond that, any hardship cases must be reviewed by the Leadership Group
    • Team Updates 2018
      • Mudcats disband
      • Mariners change team name to Rumble Ponies
      • Whitecaps join the NWBL as the 7th team - Andrew Krzysiek to serve as the Whitecaps GM 
    • Umpire Updates 2018
      • Marty Rasmussen has taken on the role of Lead Umpire after Tim Osborn resigned from the position prior to 2018 season
      • There will be 1 umpire for approximately 25% of the games and 2 umpires for approximately 75% of the games - first 18 games will have 1 umpire and the remaining games, including PST, will have 2 umpires
         
  • Fees
    • League fees are $3500 per team - starting in the 2018 season
    • Every team must pay earnest money of $1000 by April 1st; each GM is urged to collect at least a downpayment from each player before the season begins; the Leadership Group’s goal is to keep per player expenses (beyond team gear and uniform costs) under $250
    • The balance of all team fees are due by June 1st, or earlier, or following games will be forfeited until payment has been completed
       
  • Scheduling Information
    • Opening Day(s) during week of May 16th
    • Mid-season break June 30th - July 9th
    • 70 mid-week days for games
    • Last day of regular season - August 23rd
    • PST August 27th – September 14th
       
  • Fields Available
    • Sherman Anderson
    • Joe Martin
    • Bellingham High School - no alcohol or tobacco at any high school fields
    • Nooksack Valley High School - no alcohol or tobacco at any high school fields
       
  • Game Related Information
    • League Games - with 7 teams in the league, regular season will include 20 games for each team; in the first 18 games, teams will play each other 3 times; for the final 2 league games, teams will play each other based on the standings from previous year; the Colt 45s, for example, who finished first in the 2017 regular season, will play the 2nd and 3rd place teams from the 2017 regular season one more time
    • Pre-game items
      • Pick-up players (e.g. players not currently on your roster)
        • Can only pitch 3 innings
        • No pick-up pitchers are allowed the last 5 games of the regular season
      • Ground rules for most ballparks will be on the website; umpires and GMs should clarify ground rules prior to a game’s start at home plate
        • HR at Sherman Anderson field must completely clear netting in LF
      • Before the game, each team may designate players to have courtesy runners; each team must inform the other team and the umpire which players will have courtesy runners, and identify them in their scorebook and on their lineup card
        • Courtesy runners may advance on wild pitches, passed balls, on balls put into play, with 2 outs and a full count, and when the pitcher elects to throw from the “wind up” 
        • Courtesy runners (except for “catcher courtesy”) may not steal
      • Each team has the option of using a courtesy runner for the catcher when there are 2 outs; this means that if the catcher for the next inning is on a base with 2 outs, he may be substituted from the bases with the last batted out so that he can expedite putting on the catcher’s gear for warm ups after the 3rd out
        • The catcher courtesy runner is permitted to steal
        • No other position player may have a designated runner with 2 outs; however, injuries occur, so there will be instances where a runner is required; abuse of this rule needs to be reported to the Co-Commissioners
      • Lineup cards required for all games – GMs are required to fill out lineup cards with the following: 1) first or last name of player 2) field position 3) jersey number 4) designate a “U” for "unders" in the lineup and 5) designate a "R" for a player who requires a runner; lineup cards will be presented to the other team before the game starts as an expected courtesy
      • Each team's scorebook will contain: the current schedule, rosters, and regulations
      • Regardless of the length of a game, an “under” may only pitch 9 outs
      • Age for "Over / Under" related rules reduced from 28 to 26 starting in the 2018 season
        • Age determination for "Over / Under" rules based on a player's exact DOB and not his birth year
        • The “under 26” rule means that only 4 players who are under 26 years old may be in the field or in the batting order at one time; if a team had 5 “unders” show up for a game, it coud have 2 of the 5 alternate in one spot in the batting order
      • New baseballs for 8th and 9th innings on fields without lights - each team will receive four boxes of baseballs; this equates to baseballs for 24 games
      • Each team will provide 2 (or more, if necessary) league-approved baseballs per game
      • The designated home team will occupy the 3B dugout
    • During game items
      • Late arriving players may only bat at the bottom of the batting order if the team is batting all (not just 9) players; also such a player is not an “out”
      • 4 Run inning rule - for any inning but the declared last inning by the umpire, there is a maximum of 4 runs scoring, except when:
        • After the 4th run, play continues until either a) the runner(s) "give up" and stop trying to advance or b) the defensive team throws the ball to the catcher - before a runner passes third base - who forces out advancing runner(s) by touching home plate
      • A head or foot first slide or no slide at all at home plate is acceptable, but an intentional collision at home plate means an ejection; this step is left up to the umpire’s discretion with each GMs input weighed; catcher obstruction, if it occurs, must be called
      • GMs must make every effort to be the point of contact and team spokesperson for any and all in game issues arising between their players and umpires
      • All bats used in NWBL games must have a length-to-weight ratio not greater than minus three (-3); (-5) bats are acceptable for players 45 years and older
      • The limit on HBP is 3 in one game; if that number is reached, the pitcher must be replaced unless the “hit” team is indifferent
      • The offensive team may use a courtesy base runner (the player who made the last out) if: a) use of courtesy runner designated prior to start of game; b) courtesy runner is for a catcher after two outs; or c) an in game injury forces need for a courtesy runner
      • Although there is unlimited free substitution on defense except for the maximum of 4 “unders” at one time, a player may only bat in one spot in the batting order (even if he re-enters) or it is illegal substitution and he’s out; 2 players could alternate in one spot
    • Post-game items
      • The winning team is responsible for reporting the final score to the Co-Commissioners within 24 hours; if the winning team can’t do this, the losing team should submit the report
      • Each team is responsible for submitting the stat line (R-H-E) for their team to the Co-Commissioners within 24 hours; a brief game summary is optional but encouraged as well
    • Game times/lengths
      • Monday - Friday evening games begin at 6:00 pm and/or 6:30 pm if played at Sherman Anderson; Saturday game times will be determined around scheduling opportunities
      • Games that are tied at time limit or after 9 innings:
        • Regular Season Games - if there is a tie at the time limit, a 2B-R (then 3B-R the next inning), player who made the last out the previous inning, is added until one team wins; any game suspended after 5 innings because of darkness or bad weather will be picked up prior to the next meeting of those two teams; new batter orders and pitchers may be used if a suspended game is resumed later
        • Post Season Games - PST games will only implement the 2B-R rule if the game is still tied after 11 innings; the 12th inning will start with a runner on 2nd and follow the regular season format until game completed
      • The length of all games prior to the last one of a tripleheader or quadheader is a 2 ½ hr. limit unless there is a tie to be broken
      • The umpire declares when the last unlimited scoring inning begins
         
  • Playoffs / Post Season Tournament
    • Playoffs start week of 8/27/17
    • With 7 teams, only the #1 seed will have a bye into the second round; the tournament schedule will be based on a double-elimination format for 8 teams (i.e., all game for the #8 seed will be removed from the playoff bracket)
    • 2 umpires during the playoffs
    • Playoff Seeding Rules - the following rules will be followed in order as needed to determine PST seeding
      1. Overall winning percentage
      2. Head-to-head record between tied teams
      3. Best record for 2nd half of the season
      4. Best record last 11 games, 12 games, etc
      5. Run differential
      6. Runs scored per game
      7. Runs allowed per game
      8. Coin toss
    • Playoff seeding for the 2018 season - the team from the winner’s bracket will hold home field advantage for the finals (Home, Away, Home); the winner of the loser’s bracket will be the away team for games 1 and 3
    • Player eligibility for Post Season Tournament (PST) games requires 20 plate appearances or 20 IP; beyond that, any hardship cases must be reviewed by the Leadership Group
       
  • Forfeits
    • If unable to field a team on the day of the game, it is an automatic forfeit
    • If a team notifies the Co-Commissioners and the other team before the day of game:
      • Both teams come up with 2 dates that work for both and submit them to the Co-Commissioners
      • If the Co-Commissioners cannot get a field for either of those dates - field and date choice is made by the Co-Commissioners based on availability
      • If either of the teams cannot field a team on the new date - it results in a forfeit by the team that originally could not field a team
    • If a team forfeits a game during the regular season that loss will factor into tie breaker considerations in the final regular season standings
    • Forfeits count for 1 loss and NOT 1.5 as in previous years
       
  • Protests, Discipline and Ejections

    • Protests 
      • A team may challenge the interpretation, application or violation of a NWBL rule by the opposing team, but may not protest a judgment call or rule interpretation of the umpire
      • The protest must be made at the time of the suspected rule violation (or at the end of the game should the violation occur on the last out or at bat) and the opposing team and umpire must be notified at that time that the game is being played under protest 
      • No protests may be made once the game is complete 
      • A notation of the protest and circumstances shall be made in both team's scorebook
      • The team lodging the protest must send an email to the Co-Commisioners, with a copy to the opposing team’s GM, within 24 hours of the game or the protest is waived
      • Protests will be reviewed by the Co-Commissioners - NOTE: if the Co-Commissioners are involved in the protest, a GM(s) from an impartial team(s) will be selected to assist with the review process
      • Once the make-up of Co-Commissioners and/or selected GM(s) is determined, both teams will be notified and will have 24 hours to submit information for consideration
      • Should the Co-Commissioners and/or selected GM(s) uphold the protest, penalties will include forfeiture of the game by the opposing team
         
    • Discipline and Ejections 
      • Ejections are to be reported by the affected player’s GM to the Co-Commissioners within 24 hours or prior to the team’s next game, whichever comes first
      • Co-Commissioners must report the results of all disciplinary actions (penalties leveled, appeals heard, and reasoning behind such decisions) within 48 hours following the disciplinary action
    • Ordinary Ejections 
      • An ejection is considered "ordinary" if specified on the umpire’s report of the ejection or at the discretion of the Co-Commissioners
      • Minimum Penalties for Ordinary Ejections 
        • 1st ejection will result in a 1 game suspension
        • 2nd ejection will result in a 3 game suspension
        • 3rd ejection will result in a 5 game suspension
    • Non-Ordinary Ejections 
      • Ejections not deemed "ordinary" per the umpire’s report of the incident, or at the discretion of the Co-Commissioners, shall result in a suspension greater than the minimum penalty required for an "Ordinary" ejection
      • Extraordinary Verbal Assault and/or Excessive Abuse may occur when a player engages in a verbal discussion with an umpire, player, field personnel or fan, or engages in excessive abuse of equipment, property, the dugout or the premises in general
      • The Co-Commissioners have the discretion to determine the appropriate penalty and should penalize the player in accordance with their actions
      • Minimum Penalties for Non-Ordinary Ejections
        • 1st offense will result in a 5 game suspension
        • 2nd offense will result in a suspension for the remainder of the season
        • Fighting or attempting to incite a brawl, leaving the bench or position during any type of altercation, or physical and/or verbal intimidation - whether directed at an umpire, players, field personnel, fans, or any other person in the vicinity - shall subject a player to suspension, and/or possible banishment from the NWBL on the first offense
    • The Appeals Process 
      • For any penalty, the ejected or penalized player has a maximum of 48 hours to notify the Co-Commissioners of their intent to appeal any disciplinary action
      • Once an appeal has been made, the player may continue to play until such time as his or her appeal is decided on
      • All appeals will be reviewed by the Co-Commissioners
      • Once the appeal is filed by the appealing player, the Co-Commissioners will request information from the appealing player, the respective GMs of the teams involved, and will review the umpire's report
      • When collected, the Co-Commissioners will provide this information to the penalized player, who will provide their response and any substantiating reports from supporting witnesses within 48 hours of receipt of the information
      • The Co-Commissioners will render a decision as soon as practical following receipt of the response from the appealing player
      • Unless it is found by the Co-Commissioners that the umpire is obviously biased, great weight will be given to the umpire’s version of the incident
      • In considering a player’s appeal of the facts of the incident and/or the assessed penalties, the Co-Commissioners may consider the player’s past history in the NWBL
         
    • Serving Suspensions  
      • A suspension is to be applied to the next available game(s) for which that player’s team is scheduled
      • This may include carry-over into the playoffs and/or the following season
      • While serving suspensions, a suspended player may not attend their team's games, sit on the bench or be present at the field where their team is playing
         
  • Special Notes
    • Statistics
      • A spreadsheet template will be provided to each team and stats should be reported at 5-game intervals
      • If each team provides stats in a timely manner, website will be updated to share league-wide statistics on a regular basis
      • It is recommended that each GM designate a stat person for their team

(5/21/18)