Official Rules of NW Nations Baseball (1/1/2018)
Playing rules not specifically covered herein, shall be governed by The Official MLB Rules of Baseball. If any conflict in rules between these Official NW Nations Baseball Rules and The Official MLB Rules of Baseball these Official NW Nations Baseball Rules shall govern. In the event of any conflict in language between any printed version of these Official NW Nations Baseball Rules and the nwnationsbaseball.com online version, the online version shall govern.
NW Nations Registration and Player Eligibility
The primary goal of NW Nations Baseball is to organize and promote youth baseball at its best, to provide equal competition on an equal playing field.
Classes of Play: NW Nations Baseball offers the following classes of play, which reflects levels of skill, for tournament teams:
Premier: Superior level of select play.
Elite: Advanced level of select play.
Select: Entry level of select play.
*Note: Class play will not be in effect for all NW Nations tournaments. Events not utilizing class play are considered Open events, meaning teams of all skill levels are eligible to compete within the same division. Depending on the number of teams in a division, teams may be split into different levels for bracket play. NW Nations will classify and/or re-classify any team participating in NW Nations events during the current season.
Team Registration: A team is required to pay a yearly team registration fee in order to participate in NW Nations Baseball events. The yearly team registration is valid from the time of registration through the next November 1st.
Player Eligibility: A player is eligible to compete in NW Nations Baseball if the player is of the correct age or grade and the player’s full name is listed as it appears on his or her government-issued birth certificate on the NW Nations online roster.
Grade-Based Players: NW Nations has adopted an age-based system with grade exceptions. All grade-based players must have a copy of their current report card or official school ID with the current grade on it.
Illegal Players: A player that is found to be illegal due to an age or grade violation during or after a league or tournament game, shall result in the offending team losing the game(s), the team and player being ejected from the tournament, the team being placed last in the standings and forfeiting all awards, points and berths that would have been or have been awarded. The illegal player shall be removed from the offending team’s Official Online Roster and additional penalties may be applied to the illegal player and/or team manager/ coaches.
Birth Certificates: Team Managers should have photocopies of original birth certificates for each player participating in NW Nations Baseball tournaments in their possession. Upon protest, failure to have a photocopy of the original birth certificate immediately available upon demand shall result in the offending team losing the game(s), being ejected from the tournament, being placed last in the standings and forfeiting all awards, points and berths that would have been or have been awarded.
Who is eligible for each division?
8u Division: Players who turn 9 prior to May 1 of the current season are not eligible unless they are in the 2nd grade. Also, any player turning 10 prior to May 1 will not be eligible. Players who are 8u are eligible for this division regardless of their grade.
9u Division: Players who turn 10 prior to May 1 of the current season are not eligible unless they are in the 3rd grade. Also, any player turning 11 prior to May 1 will not be eligible. Players who are 9u are eligible for this division regardless of their grade
10u Division: Players who turn 11 prior to May 1 of the current season are not eligible unless they are in the 4th grade. Also, any player turning 12 prior to May 1 will not be eligible. Players who are 10u are eligible for this division regardless of their grade
11u Division: Players who turn 12 prior to May 1 of the current season are not eligible unless they are in the 5th grade. Also, any player turning 13 prior to May 1 will not be eligible. Players who are 11u are eligible for this division regardless of their grade
12u Division: Players who turn 13 prior to May 1 of the current season are not eligible unless they are in the 6th grade. Also, any player turning 14 prior to May 1 will not be eligible. Players who are 12u are eligible for this division regardless of their grade
13u Division: Players who turn 14 prior to May 1 of the current season are not eligible unless they are in the 7th grade. Also, any player turning 15 prior to May 1 will not be eligible. Players who are 13u are eligible for this division regardless of their grade.
14u Division: Players who turn 15 prior to May 1 of the current season are not eligible unless they are in the 8th grade. Also, any player turning 16 prior to May 1 will not be eligible. Players who are 14u eligible are eligible for this division regardless of grade.
15u Division: Players who turn 16 prior to May 1 of the current season are not eligible unless they are a freshman in High School. Also, any player turning 17 prior to May 1 will not be eligible.
16u Division: Players who turn 17 prior to May 1 of the current season are not eligible unless they are a sophomore in High School. Also, any player turning 18 prior to May 1 will not be eligible.
17u Division: Players who turn 18 prior to May 1 of the current season are not eligible unless they are a junior in High School. Also, any player turning 19 prior to May 1 will not be eligible.
18u Division: Players who turn 19 prior to May 1 of the current season are not eligible unless they are a senior in High School. Also, any player turning 20 prior to May 1 will not be eligible.
Online Roster: All players participating in any event (tournament or league) must be on the participating team’s online roster at the time of the event. A player can only participate on one team per weekend. Players can be on multiple rosters but can only be on one qualified (frozen) roster per age division.
Frozen Rosters: All teams may make an unlimited number of roster changes through June 1st. After June 1st and through September 5th all team rosters are limited to three player additions. Teams that register after June 1st are limited to three player additions upon the completion of their first NW Nations game.
- Team managers can release any player from their qualified (frozen) team’s official online roster.
- NW Nations Baseball can approve or deny any roster move by a team on a qualified (frozen) roster.
- Once a player leaves a qualified (frozen) team, the player cannot return to that team during that season.
Ineligible Players: The team’s manager is responsible for the eligibility of the players on the team. Team managers that intentionally or unintentionally add ineligible players to a roster are subject to suspension as are the ineligible players.
Roster Protests: Teams accept the rosters of their opponents once the home team has made the first preparatory pitch. If there are no preparatory pitches, the rosters are accepted when the first batter steps in the batter’s box. The only protest that can be made on a roster after a game has begun, is that of a player that is not on the roster at all.
- The tournament director may protest the eligibility of a roster at any time before the event becomes finalized (the awarding of points).
- A State Director or a designee of the state office may protest the eligibility of a player or roster at any time including after the conclusion of the event.
Field Dimensions: Rubber to Plate/Base to Base Distance
- 9u, 10u Division:46'/65′ (Layouts at some fields, dictate that the bases are set at 60’)
- 11u, 12u Division: 50'/ 70′
- 13u Division: 54′/80′ or 60’6"/90′
- 14u and Above Divisions: 60’6″/90′
Tournament Check-in: All teams should check in 30 minutes prior to your first scheduled game at the tournament tent at the park you are playing at.
Scheduling: NW Nations makes every attempt to keep the tournament on schedule, on occasion due to circumstances this is not possible. Directors reserve the right to change any game time, playing field or dates or to make other changes necessary to conduct the tournament.
Game Time: Managers, please have your team ready to play immediately following the completion of the preceding game. For the benefit of all participants in our events it is our desire to keep all games going off on time even if that includes beginning your game prior to the scheduled game time start.
Starting a Game Early: When circumstances arise where we can start a game early throughout the day, teams must be prepared to start up to 30 minutes before their scheduled game time.
Determining Home and Visitor: A flip of a coin between the two teams determines the home team for each seeding game. In playoff rounds, the higher seed will be home team, excluding the championship game when a coin is flipped to determine the home team.
Dugouts: Are not assigned; first team to arrive has the choice.
Pregame Conference: The umpires will meet with both coaches on the field prior to each game. Each team should have a line-up card ready for the plate umpire and the other team at the pregame conference. The Manager/Head Coach should always come to the plate meeting prior to the start of the game. The coach that attends the plate meeting will be the only coach that communicates with the umpire throughout the game concerning rule interpretations and/or protests.
Scoring: The home team will keep official the score book with all changes going through home plate umpire. If the home team does not have a scorekeeper available, the visiting team will be the official score book.
Regulation Game Length: A regulation game consists of six innings for age divisions 12u and below and seven innings for age divisions 13u and over, unless the game is shortened due to time limit, mercy rule, field conditions or extended by extra innings due to tie.
Shortened Games: If a game is called due to rain, Weather, light failure or other acts of Nature and
cannot be resumed it is a regulation game if:
- For a six (6) inning game: If three (3) innings have been played or if the home team has scored more runs after two and one half (2 1/2) innings the game shall be declared a complete game.
- In bracket play if a game is tied after 4 or more innings, the score will revert back to the previous inning. If still tied, the game will be a suspended game.
- For a seven (7) inning game: If four (4) innings have been played or if the home team has scored more runs after three and one half (3 1/2) innings the game shall be declared a complete game.
- In bracket play if a game is tied after 5 or more innings, the score will revert back to the previous inning. If still tied, the game will be a suspended game.
All games that for any reason cannot be declared a regulation game shall be a suspended game. A suspended game when resumed, shall resume from the exact point of suspension.
Time Limits: Once the game time limit has been reached, the game ends immediately when a winner is determined. No new inning will begin after the completion of regulation time, except for gold division championship games and bracket games that are tied.
Innings that start within the time limit will be completed but will end immediately once a winner has been determined. Example: If the visiting team is batting and behind in the score and time expires the inning will continue. If the home team is batting and is ahead in the score and time expires the game will end immediately. If time has expired and the home team goes ahead in the score, the game will end immediately. Games will not continue for seeding purposes. The final score is the score when the game ends.
- 9u, 10u Divisions: 1 hour & 45 minutes (6 Innings)
- 11u, 12u Divisions: 1 hour & 45 minutes (6 Innings)
- 13u Division: 2 hours (7 Innings)
- 14u Division: 2 hours (7 Innings)
- 16u Division: 2 hours (7 Innings)
Gold Championship Games: No time limit. Run rules are still in effect.
All Other Championship Games: Time limits remain in effect.
Time clocks: NW Nations tournaments will utilize time clocks on all games which have time-limits. The time clock will be kept in plain view and started at the conclusion of the pre-game plate meeting.
- The umpire shall not stop the clock unless there is a serious injury or a weather delay that stops the game.
- The umpires on the field will determine a serious injury and the decision to stop the clock is of umpire judgment.
- All games stopped by an umpire for weather or other reasons before the game is declared official shall be a suspended game.
- An inning is deemed to begin at the moment the third out is made in the previous inning.
- If you believe the clock was started earlier by an umpire, please alert tournament staff immediately and do not allow the game to start! We will correct the umpire and get it right.
- If the time clock becomes non-functional during the game, the umpire will keep time.
Intentional Delays: Intentionally delaying a game to achieve a victory through the time limit is considered unsportsmanlike conduct and will not be tolerated at a NW Nations Baseball Tournament. The umpires and/or tournament officials at the game reserve the right to eject a coach or player for intentionally delaying a game and possibly declare a forfeit to that team.
Regulation Game/ Determining a Winner: The score of a regulation game is the total number of runs scored by each team at the moment the game ends. The end of a game can be determined by the completion of innings or the expiration of game time.
- The game ends when the visiting team completes its half of the last inning if the home team is ahead.
- The game ends when the last inning is completed, if the visiting team is ahead.
- If the home team scores the winning run in its half of the last inning (or its half of an extra inning after a tie), the game ends immediately when the winning run is scored.
EXCEPTION: If the last batter in a game hits a home run out of the playing field, the batter-runner and all runners on base are permitted to score, in accordance with the base-running rules, and the game ends when the batter-runner touches home plate.
Mercy rules for all six-inning and seven-inning games:
An imposed Mercy (run) Rule shall be used to complete a regulation game when one team’s margin of lead is greater than or equal to the listed run differential in the corresponding listed start inning.
In enforcing this rule, the home team shall not bat if they are winning and the mercy requirement is met prior to the start of the bottom half of the listed inning. Similarly, if the home team is batting and meets the mercy requirement in the bottom half of a listed inning the home team shall cease batting and the game shall end.
- 15 runs after three innings, or two-and-one-half innings (if the home team is ahead).
- 10 runs after four innings, or three-and–one-half innings (if the home team is ahead).
- 8 runs after five innings, or four-and-one-half innings (if the home team is ahead).
Tie Game Procedures
- When regulation time has expired, and the game score is tied, the current inning will be completed but no new inning will begin and the game will end as a tie-game.
- When regulation time has not expired, and the game score is tied an extra inning or innings will be played. No new inning will begin after the regulation time has expired. In the event of extra innings, the NW Nations tie-breaker shall be put into effect.
- If the game is tied after regulation time or regulation innings has expired, the NW Nations Tie-Breaker shall be put into effect. The game shall be played until a winner is determined.
NW Nations Tie-Breaker Rule: The last player to have an official at bat in the previous inning begins at second base to start the new inning with no outs, balls or strikes. Once an inning begins, it will be completed. However, if the home team is ahead and batting when time expires, the game is over and the inning is not completed.
The following rules determine bracket seeding: Once a tie is broken with three or more teams, teams advance to the next tie breaker rule until the tie is broken.
1. Win-Loss Record
2. Head to Head 1
3. Fewest Runs Allowed
4. Highest Total Run Differential 2
5. NW Nations Baseball Points
6. Coin Flip
1 Head to head is considered only when two teams are tied. For three or more teams, head to head is skipped in favor of the next tie breakers, in order as above until the tie is broken.
2 The maximum run differential per game is +8 or –8. Total run differential is the sum of each game’s differential.
Forfeits: Will be scored as a 8-0 score. Intentional forfeits are grounds for removal from the tournament and possible suspension from future events.
Protests: Umpires shall work to settle all situations on the field. To protest a game, the head coach must notify the home plate umpire. Once the protest has been made the umpire will summon the tournament director to the field and the protest will be ruled on immediately by the tournament director.
- Do not continue the game under any circumstances. Once the next pitch is thrown, both teams have lost the right to protest and the game continues.
- If a call to be protested is the last recorded out of a game or on a game ending play, the protest MUST be filed prior to the Umpires and the protesting team leaving the field of play. No protest shall be allowed following the game.
- Only a rule interpretation can be protested, not a judgment call. A $100 fee is required to protest a call and it will be refunded if the protest is upheld. If it is not, the protest fee is forfeited. Tournament officials shall rule on all protests and their decisions shall be final.
When a pitcher takes his or her position at the beginning of each inning, or when he or she relieves another pitcher, he or she is permitted warm-up pitches, not to exceed eight preparatory pitches to the catcher or coach.
Mound Visits: Pitching mound visits are limited to two coaches visits per inning. The second coaches visit to the same pitcher in the same inning causes the pitcher’s automatic removal from the pitching position (not the game).
In 14u division and below, a pitcher removed from the pitching position (starting pitcher or subsequent relief pitcher) cannot return to the pitching position during the same game but can re-enter to any other position.
- The defensive team may correct this rules infraction at any time by substituting a legal pitcher without penalty.
- If an illegal pitcher is permitted to pitch, any pitch or play that results is legal. The rule violation should be caught by the Umpire or the offensive team and immediately corrected.
- If the violating pitcher has legal outs remaining, the violation is deemed an improper substitution and is corrected without penalty.
- If the violating pitcher has no legal outs remaining, it’s deemed a pitching limitations violation.
Pitching Limitations: Pitching limits are based upon recorded outs while the pitcher is on the mound.
In all age groups that are scheduled for six innings, (12u and below):
A pitcher cannot pitch more than 18 outs in any given day or more than 27 outs in three consecutive days, regardless of game guarantee.
In all age groups that are scheduled for seven innings (13u and above):
A pitcher cannot pitch more than 21 outs in any given day or more than 30 outs in three consecutive days, regardless of game guarantee.
- Any pitcher in 14u or younger divisions that has pitched three days in a row must rest the 4th day regardless of outs recorded.
- In the case of a double or triple play, there is no penalty for exceeding outs recorded at the time of the play.
- Any outs recorded during a game once it is ruled a forfeit count toward the pitcher’s recorded outs.
In all High School age groups (15u and above): No pitching limitations.
Pitching Log: Managers will receive a pitching log at check-in. This log must be updated and available to the opposing team prior to each game at the home plate meeting. Teams should monitor the opponent's pitching and report any violations. The tournament director can inspect the pitching log at any time.
Pitching Limit Violations: A violation of the pitching limitation is determined when the pitcher has delivered a pitch to the next batter after reaching the pitching limit.
The penalty for pitching rule violations at NW Nations tournaments will be:
- Immediate ejection of the head coach for the remainder of the game and suspension of the next game.
- Pitcher removed from the pitching position for the remainder of the game,
- The game is no longer declared a forfeit.
Illegal Pitcher Protest: An illegal pitcher can be protested anytime during the game. Once the game has ended the game will be considered official and a protest for pitching violation shall not be allowed.
Balks: NW Nations Baseball uses OBR (MLB) rules for balks. The balk can be a live ball (depending on the situation). The intent is not to penalize the offense.
- Balks are enforced in 11u and above age divisions without warning.
- In age divisions 10u and below, there will be one balk warning given to each pitcher, subsequent violations will be enforced.
- The penalty for a balk is one base advancement for each runner and the ball is dead, unless the pitcher throws the ball. If the pitcher does throw the ball, the play is live, and the balk is ignored if all players advance at least one base.
Third to First Move is not allowed. A pitcher is to step directly toward a base before throwing to that base and is required to throw (except to second base) because he steps. It is a balk if, with runners on first and third, the pitcher steps toward third and does not throw, merely to bluff the runner back to third; then seeing the runner on first start for second, turn and step toward and throw to first base. It is legal for a pitcher to feint a throw to second base.
Batting Options: Teams can bat a nine-player lineup, a 10-player lineup using an extra hitter (EH), or roster bat all present uniformed players. There is no designated hitter allowed in 14u division and below.
The lineup must be declared before the start of the game and used the entire game. If a team uses a lineup that contains 10 players, the player in the EH position, while not actually playing a defensive position, is treated as such for substitution purposes.
Non-Roster Batting: Any team that is not roster batting should declare all eligible substitutes by noting them as such on the official lineup that is exchanged with the opposing team and/or home plate umpire at the beginning of the game. Players not listed as eligible substitutes but appear legally on the online roster will be considered legal substitutes.
For teams that are not roster batting, (Using substitutions) starting players can withdraw and re-enter once (including designated hitters, for age divisions that allow them), provided that the players re-enter in their original position in the batting line-up.
Non-starters are not allowed to re-enter. When a starter re-enters, the player in the starter’s
batting position in the batting order must be removed from the game and is ineligible for the
remainder of the game.
If batting nine, or ten with an EH, players arriving after the game has started are considered legal substitutes.
Roster Batting: If a team chooses to roster bat, then all players other than the nine defensive position players are extra hitters and can move freely in defensive positions, except the pitching position.
If a team is batting all present, uniformed players, with no eligible substitutes listed on the lineup card, and the number of players is nine or 10, that team is roster batting for the purposes of defensive substitutions and courtesy runners, unless the coach has specifically declared otherwise at the pregame plate conference.
If additional players arrive after the game has started, those players are placed at the end of the batting order. If the coach declares at the pregame plate conference that he is not roster batting, the late players are listed on the lineup as eligible substitutes.
Starting with less than nine players:
- Teams can start a game with eight players provided they take an out for the ninth player.
- Teams must have a minimum of eight players to start a game.
- Teams having eight players to start a game are automatically the visiting team.
- If the lineup drops below eight players, the game is declared a suspended game and is not rescheduled. The suspended game is then ruled a forfeit by the tournament or league director.
Player Arriving Late: If a team’s ninth player will be arriving late to the game, the manager of that team must make an announcement at the plate conference before the game begins and advise both the plate umpire and the opposing team that he or she has a player that will be arriving late. When the player arrives, the player is announced to both the plate umpire and the opposing team and is placed in the ninth position in the batting order. The game resumes as if he or she was there at the start of the game. Until the player arrives, an out is recorded in the ninth position.
Player Leaves Game:
- If a player is removed from the game for illness or injury there will be no out recorded for his spot in the batting order, the player's place in the lineup will simply be skipped.
- If a team drops below nine eligible players due to an ejection or any reason other than illness or injury and leaves the game, an automatic out is declared in the batting order position of the player that left the game unless there is an eligible substitute.
- If a team drops below eight players for any reason, the game is ruled a forfeit by the tournament or league director and is not rescheduled.
If a player is ejected from a game for malicious contact or any other unsportsmanlike act, the following penalties will apply:
- If roster batting, the ejected player’s position in the lineup shall be declared an out
- If batting 9 or 10 with EH, the ejected player may be replaced by an eligible substitute. If there are no eligible substitutes available, the position in the order shall be declared out.
- A player that has left the game for any reason by missing an at bat cannot return to the game, with the following exception: Any player, coach, or umpire who is visibly bleeding must leave the field of play to stop the bleeding. When the bleeding has stopped, and the injury is bandaged (if necessary), the player may return. No penalty applies to any missed at bats.
Sliding: If a tag play is imminent, the runner should slide or seek to avoid contact.
- Jumping over a player is not considered avoiding contact.
- Runners are never required to slide, however, if they choose to slide then the slide must be legal.
- A player can legally slide either feet first or head first.
- If a player chooses feet first, then at least one leg and buttock shall stay in contact with the ground.
- A slide is illegal if the runner uses a rolling, cross-body or pop-up slide, into the fielder, or if the runner’s raised leg is higher than the fielder’s knee (while he is in a standing position).
Base runner on Third Base Safety Rule: If the runner from third base is running toward home plate attempting to steal or is participating in a squeeze play, the following apply:
The batter has two options: Take the pitch or attempt to bunt the pitch.
PENALTY – Failure to do so will result in all of the following:
- The batter is called out.
- All runners return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.
NOTE: With the bases loaded, three balls and two strikes on the batter, coaches please exercise caution and not have you have your runner sprinting towards home plate. This is not considered a steal play or squeeze play if the batter swings the bat. The penalty will not be enforced in this circumstance.
Speed Up and Safety Rules
Courtesy Runners for Pitchers and Catchers: Courtesy Runners for the pitcher and catcher of record is highly recommended but is not mandatory. Subs will be used first as courtesy runners.
In the event a team doesn’t have a sub then the batter who recorded the last out must be used as a courtesy runner. If a player is removed from the lineup he can be used as a courtesy runner. A player may be used as a courtesy runner only one time per inning. Courtesy Runners for an incoming pitcher and catcher is not permitted.
- A defensive team may intentional walk a batter by requesting the umpire to award the batter 1st base.
- Teams must hustle on and off the field between each inning.
- Coach and team conferences are limited to 30 sec. between innings.
- Pitchers get 8 warm up pitches between innings or 1 minute whichever comes first.
- No infield warm up between games in tournament play.
- The team at bat shall supply a runner to retrieve any and all foul balls; they shall immediately return them to the home plate umpire.
- While on offense, only the batter and the on-deck batter shall be outside of the dugout fence.
- A bat boy/girl may leave the dugout to retrieve a bat after all playing action is completed provided, they have a double flap helmet on while on the field.
- All bat boys/girls must have a helmet with two ear flaps when not in the dugout.
- While on defense, there shall be no equipment outside the dugout; this includes the on-deck circle.
- Catchers are required to wear helmets that protect both ears and the back of the head. Either throat protector or mask protecting the throat must be worn. Skullcaps are not permitted. Catchers are also required to wear a protective cup.
- When thunder is heard, or a cloud-to-ground lightning bolt is seen, the leading edge of the thunderstorm is close enough to strike your location with lightning. Play will be suspended for 30 minutes and all players and coaches must take shelter immediately.
- Once play has been suspended, wait at least 30 minutes after the last thunder is heard or flash of lightning is witnessed prior to resuming play.
- Any subsequent thunder or lightning after the beginning of the 30-minute count will reset the clock and another 30-minute count should begin.
Bats and Equipment
NW Nations Tournament Baseball is not currently planning to make any changes to our bat standards. Nations Baseball, like most travel baseball associations around the United States, feels that the current BPF 1.15 standard is a near perfect competitive balance for defense and offense. Baseball played under this standard is among the safest of amateur sports and in our view a reduced performance bat standard will hurt overall participation in the game.
Regarding the new USA Baseball Bat Standard: Player safety is not a reason that the new USA Bat Standard was developed according to the USA Baseball website. Bats with the new USA Baseball stamp will be allowed for Nations play for teams that choose to use them.
Bats must be made of an approved material, and they must be smooth and round. Wood bats are permitted in all age divisions.
9u-13u Age Divisions: No bat size restrictions. All Bats must be certified by the manufacturer to meet a Bat Performance Factor of 1.15 or less and must bear the BPF 1.15 stamp or new USA Bat stamp. All (-3) bats must be BBCOR approved and bear the BBCOR stamp.
14u Division: Only (-3) and (-5) bats are allowed. All (-5) bats must bear the BPF 1.15 stamp or new USA Bat stamp. All (-3) bats must be BBCOR approved and bear the BBCOR stamp.
High School Divisions: High school divisions (15u-18u) bats must conform to the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) bat standards. Including a length to weight ratio no greater than negative three (-3) ounces. These bats must be permanently stamped with the BBCOR.50 Certified Mark or made of wood.
A batter is deemed to have used or attempted to use an illegal bat if the player brings such a bat into the batter’s box.
- Penalty – the bat will be removed from the playing field by the umpire and the manager of the team will be warned against further use.
- If the illegal bat is discovered after the end of the play, and the play results in the batter/runner safely reaching first base, the batter/runner will be declared out and all runners must return to the last base legally occupied prior to the play. No run may score on this play. Any out that results on the play will stand.
- On a second offense, the above penalties will apply and the manager of the offending team will be removed from the field and will be prohibited from managing for the remainder of the game.
- Additional penalties, including forfeit, ejections and suspensions could occur.
Uniforms and Equipment
Uniforms: Players must be uniformed with proper baseball attire. It is recommended that the numbers are at least 4” in height on all jerseys. Only the director can make rulings on uniform legality. No one can protest uniforms.
Batting Helmets: All offensive players participating in NW Nations Baseball event must wear a double ear flapped helmet while on the playing field. This includes bat boys and bat girls while performing their duties. Youth coaches under 18 years of age must adhere to this standard.
Catcher Protective Gear: The catcher must wear a head protector, body protector, protective cup, shin guards, and a mask with a throat protector. The throat protector, which is part of or attached to the mask, must adequately protect him. The helmet must have full ear protection. The head, face, dual ear flaps, and throat protector can be one piece. Skullcaps are not permitted.
Cleats: Age divisions 12u and below cannot wear metal cleats. Age divisions 13u and above can wear metal cleats if allowed by the field.
If the umpire observes any violation of these rules, he or she directs the violation to be corrected.
9u Division Modified Rules
The purpose of the modified stealing rules is to:
- Help the young pitcher gain confidence in attempting to learn how to hold runners on base.
- Help the catcher gain confidence in being able to throw the runner out.
- Help the base runner learn how to lead-off.
- Keeps the game from becoming a track meet while teaching young players the basics of stealing and pitching.
9u Division Modified Stealing Rules
- There is a 10-ft chalk mark placed off first, second and third base.
- The runner can take a lead, but cannot cross the 10 foot mark until the ball crosses the plate.
- The runner is allowed to steal when the ball crosses the plate.
- If the pitcher attempts a pick-off, the runner can advance to the next base on the play.
If the runner gets a running start in an attempt to steal before the ball crosses the plate or crosses the 10-ft. mark prior to the ball crossing the plate, the following shall apply:
- If the runner advances safely, the Umpire shall call “Time” and the runner shall return to the base last legally occupied at the time of the pitch.
- If the runner is called out, the call shall stand and the runner is declared out.
- If the ball is hit, the defensive team shall have the option of choosing the result of the play or a no pitch.
- Runners shall not advance from third (3rd) base to home unless the runner is batted home or forced by a base on balls, hit batsman, or award from the Umpire.
- Runners shall not advance from third (3rd) base to home on passed balls, wild pitches or dropped / missed third (3rd) strikes by the catcher.
- In age divisions 10u and below, there will be one balk warning given to each pitcher, subsequent violations will be enforced.
High School Division Rules
In high school divisions 15u-18u, all players participating in NW Nations Baseball events are required to be able to produce photocopies of their government-issued birth certificate, other government-issued identification showing birth date, or a photocopy of current report card upon request.
Bats: High school divisions (15u-18u) bats must conform to the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) bat standards. Including a length to weight ratio no greater than negative three (-3) ounces. These bats must be permanently stamped with the BBCOR.50 Certified Mark or made of wood.
Approved Line-ups: Teams may bat a nine (9) player line-up, or a nine (9) player line-up with a Designated Hitter
(DH), or a ten (10) player line-up with an Extra Hitter (EH), or a continuous line-up of all present, eligible, uniformed players. Such line-up must be declared before the start of the game and used the entire game. (Note: The DH can be used for any position player.)
Designated Hitter: In high school divisions (15u-18u), if the Extra Hitter (EH) is not be utilized, then the Designated Hitter (DH) may be utilized in accordance with the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) rules.
Designated Hitter Rules: The designated hitter rules below apply to High School divisions 15u and older. There is no designated hitter allowed in ages 14u and below.
A Designated Hitter may be (not mandatory) selected for the starting player and all subsequent substitutes for the player in the game.
A Designated Hitter for said player shall be selected prior to the start of the game, and his name shall be included on the line-up.
Failure to declare a Designated Hitter prior to the game precludes the use of a DH in the game. If a pinch hitter or pinch runner for the Designated Hitter is used, that player becomes the new DH. The player who was the Designated Hitter may re-enter pursuant to NW Nations rules.
- A starting defensive player cannot be listed as the designated hitter in the starting lineup.
The role of the designated hitter is terminated for the remainder of the game when either of the following occurs:
- The defensive player or any previous defensive player for whom the designated hitter subsequently bats, pinch-hits or pinch-runs for the designated hitter.
- The designated hitter or any previous designated hitter assumes a defensive
Pitching Limitations: In all High School age groups (15u and above): No pitching limitations.
Sportsmanship, Suspension and Dismissal
NW Nations is committed to fostering a family-friendly, healthy atmosphere for kids to compete in. Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated. Players, managers, coaches or other team members shall not make disparaging or insulting remarks to, or about any opposing players, officials or spectators; or commit other acts that could be considered unsportsmanlike conduct.
All conversations with an umpire should be conducted after a time-out has been called and be handled in a calm and professional manner. Verbal abuse of an umpire will not be tolerated and will result in ejection from the game.
Unsportsmanlike Conduct Penalties
- The umpire may warn the offender.
- The umpire may restrict a player, coach or manager to the bench/dugout for the remainder of the game. Any coach restricted to the bench shall be ejected for further misconduct. A coach may leave the bench/dugout only to attend to a player who becomes ill or injured.
- The umpire may eject a player, coach, manager or fan from the game.
- Failure to comply with a restriction or ejection shall result in the game being forfeited.
- Any player, manager, coach or parent ejected from the game or after a game is concluded may carry an additional suspension at the discretion of the tournament director and/or umpire in chief.
- Ejected players, managers, coaches or fans shall leave the vicinity of the playing area immediately and are prohibited from further contact, direct or indirect, with the team during the remainder of the game.
- Managers are responsible for the conduct of the team’s players and fans are subject to ejection if players or fans are out of control.
- The tournament director has the authority to remove anyone from the event at any time for unsportsmanlike conduct.
- Any player, coach, manager, sponsor or spectator whose conduct is unbecoming or abusive shall at a minimum be reprimanded with a warning. If warranted, the offending party shall be ejected from the game at the discretion of the Umpires and / or the Tournament Director.
Guidelines for Suspension and Dismissal
- Any member of NW Nations Baseball behaving in an unsportsmanlike manner can be subject to dismissal or suspension.
- Any verbal or physical attack on any NW Nations Baseball participant or member during a NW Nations Baseball event or following a NW Nations Baseball event can result in suspension or dismissal.
- Any player of NW Nations Baseball receiving compensation for playing in any NW Nations Baseball event is subject to suspension or dismissal.
- Any player competing under an assumed name or illegal birth certificate or ID card could result in suspension or permanent dismissal. This rule also applies to coaches and managers who have previous knowledge of such infraction.
- Submitting an insufficient check to an event director or league official can result in suspension or dismissal of the team if payment cannot be settled within a reasonable time frame.
- Any suspended member of NW Nations Baseball is not allowed to participate in any NW Nations Baseball event until such suspension is lifted. This rule applies to players, umpires, coaches, and directors.
- All records of suspension must be submitted to all parties involved including NW Nations Baseball in a timely manner.
- All suspended or dismissed parties have the right to present evidence and information on the reported infraction on their behalf within seven days of notification of the suspension or dismissal. This evidence must be reviewed within thirty days by NW Nations Baseball.
Tobacco and Tobacco Related Products: The use of ANY tobacco product shall be prohibited by all participants (including but not limited to players, manager, coaches) within the confines of the playing field and dugouts. Local facilities may have stricter policies prohibiting tobacco from facility and parking areas. These policies, if any, shall be recognized and enforced during NW Nations events.
Safety and Disclaimers
Enter at your own risk. Beware of inherent risks at ball parks. Outdoor/Indoor facilities such as baseball, softball, soccer fields, and basketball courts by their design and use have inherent hazards such as, but not limited to:
- Uneven and variable walking surfaces, seating, and standing areas and bleachers that vary by design, construction, and condition.
- Risks of injury from colliding with other persons, slipping, or falling on walking surfaces, bleachers, and stairways, and tripping over unknown objects which other persons may have left or discarded on the premises.
- Risk of injury from wayward flying objects that may be thrown or struck such as balls, bats, gloves, and other items that may not be reasonably foreseeable.
- Players, coaches, team personnel, and spectators may damage the premises or create hazards at any time without the knowledge of NW Nations.
This list of risks is not and cannot be all inclusive. There may be other risks that can injure you.
Players, coaches, team personnel, and spectators should always pay attention to the action at hand and be alert for objects headed their way and should listen to public announcements regarding safety during the event.
Players, coaches, team personnel, and spectators are responsible for their own safety while on these premises. If you do not wish to assume the risk of harm while attending a sporting event conducted by NW Nations then do not enter the facility.
NW Nations and the owners of the facilities won't be responsible if a player, coach, team personnel, or spectator is injured at a sporting event at the facility.
NW Nations does not organize teams.
NW Nations provides rules for play and a tournament structure for teams that register to participate in NW Nations events that are overseen by NW Nations Directors. We encourage parents (and guardians) who determine the team for a youth team participant, the adult team participants (such as team coaches or team sponsors) of a team, the community organizations who are involved in the organization, creation or management of such teams to thoroughly investigate and screen the background and character of the individuals who coach, manage, volunteer or otherwise come into contact with such teams and their minor participants and to vigilantly supervise any and all activities of any youth team with which they are associated.
Background checks are available, among other places, on-line for a small fee and NW Nations encourages those actually responsible for team activities and the parents (guardians) of youth athletic team members to utilize such tools to limit the exposure of youth athletes to those who might pose a danger.
Because NW Nations is not an organizer, manager or creator of teams, it does not in any way take responsibility for the organization, creation, management or any other activity of the teams (customers) that register to play in NW Nations tournaments, except to provide the opportunity to play NW Nations events under NW Nations rules and overseen by a NW Nations director. Teams that participate in NW Nations events are customers of NW Nations and no more.
When a team chooses to participate in a NW Nations activity, the team, its players, coaches, volunteers, organizers, and its parents and fans must abide by rules found in the NW Nations Rule book posted on our web site.
Since NW Nations has nothing to do with the practice sessions of a team, choosing of team coaches, the picking of which team to play for, the activities with respect to any other body, or any other activities of a team (but simply provides registered participation in NW Nations directed activities). NW Nations takes no responsibility for any such other non-NW Nations event activities of any team.
While NW Nations is not responsible for checking the background of each of its customers (including the coaches of the baseball teams that participate in NW Nations events), those convicted or charged with a violent felony or a sex offense with a minor are automatically suspended from all NW Nations activities (until found innocent or the charges are dropped).
Thus, if you are aware of someone who has been charged with or convicted of a violent felony or a sex crime with a minor and that someone may be in any way involved in a NW Nations activity, you should immediately inform the NW Nations Director and upon being provided with proof of such charges or conviction, that individual will be automatically suspended from all NW Nations activities.
For example, if you do a background check on a coach before joining a team and find evidence that he has been charged with having sex with a minor, you should report this to your NW Nations Director, or NW Nations Sports Office, even though you have decided to play for another team.
If you are aware of any one who has committed a violent felony or has had sex with a minor that has not been charged, you are obligated to report those crimes to the proper authorities and you should do so immediately.