California KickoffTournament Rules
Click here for a PDF version of the NABA National Tournament Rules
1. Start Times: Game start times will be approximately 8:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted on your schedules. Should a team fail to arrive or have a full team ready to play (8 or more under the 8-man start and finish rule) by the scheduled start time, a maximum 1-hour grace period will be allowed and the exact amount of time given that team will be deducted from the original starting time so that the game will be shortened by that amount of time. (Example: if the game starts 15 minutes late due to one team's being late, no full inning will start after 2 hours and 45 minutes after play has begun.) Assuming the game starts within the 1-hour grace period, the late team will forfeit one run for every 15 minutes to the other team and the game will start at 1-0, beginning with the first minute. In other words, if the start time is 8:30, the score is 1-0 at 8:31; 2-0 at 8:46; 3-0 at 9:01; 4-0 at 9:16 and a forfeit at 9:31. (However, the actual forfeit score "in the scorebook" for tiebreaker purposes will be 9-0.) This rule will not apply if the late team is coming off a back-to-back game, and games that start late due to the previous game's running over (and not due to a team's lateness) will not be shortened. (E.g. if both teams arrive to a scheduled 3:30 p.m. game on time and have to wait until another game finishes and do not start until 4:00 p.m., that game will be allowed the full time under the 3 hour Time Limit rule, provided there is adequate light.) START TIMES WILL BE ENFORCED. 2. Time Limit: 3-hour time limits for all pool play games. No new inning may start after the 3-hour mark. If two teams are tied after 9 innings and have not played 3 hours, they may continue to play up to 3 hours, however no new inning may start after the 3-hour mark. All games tied at the end of the 3-hour mark will remain a tied game. There is a 3 ½ hour time limit for playoff games. No time limits for Championship games with the exception of the 50, 55 and 60 and over championship games, which will be a 3 ½ hour time limit for championship games. 3. Games Called Due to Darkness: With exception of Playoff games, any game that has gone at least (5) complete innings before being called because of darkness (on an unlighted field) will be deemed a "complete game" or "regulation game" for "pool play purposes" in accordance with the 2014 Official Baseball Rule (4.10(c)(1)). The NABA will do its best to see to it that travel times between games are minimized so that games can begin on time and games scheduled at 3:30 p.m. on fields without lights can begin on time and "be completed with 9 innings of play". If a game during pool play has past (5) complete innings and the game is called due to darkness by an umpire before the bottom of the inning is complete, then the score of the game will revert back to the previous inning and the game will be ruled complete. For Playoff games only, at the discretion of the umpires and the tournament director, games to be "called due to darkness" will either be moved to an available field with lights the same evening (after checking in with the Tournament Directors' office) or continued until the next day at another field (to be determined by the Tournament Director) so that these games can go a full 3 hours or 9 innings of play; provided, however, the "continuation of the game" is in accordance with the 2014 Official Baseball Rule (4.12(d)). 4. Games Called Due to Rain: With exception of Playoff games and Championship games, any game that has gone at least (5) complete innings before being called because of rain, will be deemed a "complete game" or "regulation game" for "pool play purposes" in accordance with the 2014 Official Baseball Rule (4.10(c)(1)). NABA will do its best to ensure that all pool play games are given every consideration to complete as many innings as possible (to be determined by the tournament director) in case of rain. If a game during pool play has past (5) complete innings and the game is called due to rain by an umpire before the bottom of the inning is compete, then the score of the game will revert back to the previous inning and the game will be ruled complete. For playoff or championship games only, at the discretion of the umpires and the tournament director, games will be "suspended due to rain" and will be continued at the point where the game was suspended on an available field that is playable the same day or evening, or continued the next day at the same field or another field (as determined by the tournament director) so that these games can go a full 3 hours or 9 innings of play. 5. Mercy Rule: There is a 10-run mercy rule after 7 innings, and a 15-run mercy rule after 5 innings in effect for all pool play and playoff games. The mercy rule will not apply to Championship games. 6. Protests: All protests must be filed at the field with the plate umpire at the time in the game the manager believes an umpire's decision is in violation of these rules. We will follow the rules exactly in accordance with the 2014 Official Baseball Rules (4.19) from the National Baseball Congress. By filing a protest, the manager agrees per this rule to submit a $100 cash, non-refundable fee (refundable only if you prevail) to the umpire at the field. If a protest is made, the game will stop and the protesting manager must give $100 and a cell phone to the homeplate umpire. The homeplate umpire will call the NABA Tournament Office and informs the head umpire assigner he has an official protest. He will then give the phone to the manager to explain his protest. Once the manager has explained the protest he will give the phone back to the homplate umpire. After consulting with the tournament rules committee, the umpire coordinator and tournament director; will make a decision regarding the protest. There will be no time added to the clock during a protest. The clock will remain running to keep the tournament on schedule. If the protest is upheld, the umpire will give the money back to the manager; and if the protest is denied, the umpire keeps the money. Remember, an umpire's "judgment" call cannot be protested, only rules interpretations. PLEASE NOTE: Only the tournament director has the authority, if needed, to stop the clock or to add time remaining to the game. 7. Eligibility Protest: All protests with regard to age/identity or ex-pro/college rule must be protested on the field to the umpire and opposing team manager with the number of the specific player in question. Eligibility protests must occur before the game begins if an opposing team knows of an infraction. For a protest to happen during the game, the manager of the team protesting must protest the game prior to the end of the 4th inning in order for the protest to be valid. By filing a protest, the manager agrees per this rule to submit a $100 cash, non-refundable fee (refundable only if you prevail) to the umpire at the field. If a protest is made the game will stop and the protesting manager must give the umpire $100, a cell phone, and the specific player in question with regard to eligibility. The umpire will ask the opposing manager to provide that specific player's proof of age and identity with a valid picture ID and tournament ID card. Any player unable to produce a valid picture ID and tournament ID card will be ineligible to continue or play in the game. If a player's identity or age makes him ineligible to play, the umpire will not allow the player to continue in the game. The homeplate umpire will then call the NABA Tournament Office and inform the head umpire of the protest. After consulting with the tournament rules committee, the umpire coordinator and tournament director; will make a decision regarding the protest. The NABA rules committee will then determine if the game has been tainted and if a protest/consequence should stand in the game and/or tournament for the violating team. A protest of the age/identity or ex-pro/college rule by a team after the 4th inning has been completed will not merit protest consideration. There will be no time added to the clock during a protest. The clock will remain running to keep the tournament on schedule. If the protest is upheld, the umpire will give the money back to the manager; and if the protest is denied, the umpire keeps the money. PLEASE NOTE: Only the tournament director has the authority, if needed, to stop the clock or to add time remaining to the game. 8. Reporting Scores: Both teams must report all scores within 1 hour of completion of the game to the tournament scoreline. It is the team manager's responsibility to verify their team's score with the official tournament headquarters records. No discrepancies will be altered after seeding for playoffs. 9. Tiebreakers: See the official NABA Tournament tiebreaker rules attached. 10. Additional Rules: If a team registered for the tournament decides not to come, and does not communicate with tournament officials until after the schedule has been completed, the following rule will apply: The schedule will be played as written and each team scheduled to play the said team which did not show up for the tournament will receive a forfeit win of 9-0. No pro-rated refund of a team fee will be given as a result of a forfeit win. If a team decide to stop playing a championship game and leave for any reason the following rule will apply: The championship game will be called a forfeit loss for the team who decides to leave or stop playing the game, and the championship will go to the remaining team. No warming up in the infield or around the dugouts. Use ONLY the outfield area to warm-up. Do not warm-up in front of the dugouts. No SOFT-TOSS or hitting baseballs into the fences. No alcohol on the baseball fields or in the dugouts at all. No smoking on the baseball fields or dugouts at all. No tobacco on the baseball fields or dugouts at all. Use only the restrooms provided. If you are caught not using the restrooms, both the player and the team will forfeit their game and be ejected from the facility and will not be allowed to play at that facility the rest of the tournament. NABA uses a mix-n-match uniform rule in all tournaments for combination teams. You can not use the same uniform number with the same type of uniform. All other rules of baseball (set forth in the 2013 Official Baseball Rules published by the National Baseball Congress), amended by the rules set forth in the NABA Manager's Rulebook and Guidelines, except as amended above, apply. 11. Bat Requirements: Aluminum and graphite bats must not have a bare handle. Bats that have a -.03 differential in weight vs. length or less are currently eligible. Unauthorized use of an illegal bat will result in the bat being removed from the game. 12. Bat Divisions: In the wood bat divisions NATURAL WOOD BATS, COMPOSITE WOOD BATS AND METAL/WOOD BATS are permitted for use during play. 13. Eight Player Start Rule: Teams may START AND COMPLETE any game with only 8 players and do so without penalty of a forfeit. The team with 8 players must record an out in the ninth spot (it must be the ninth spot only) in the order throughout the game, unless the missing player arrives. When a game is started with eight players on one team, that team must accept an out for the 9th position in the batting order for the first time that position comes up and each time thereafter until the 9th player arrives. The out MUST be recorded in the NINTH spot in the order every time it occurs, regardless of where the missing player would normally bat. When the ninth player arrives he may be added into the line-up only in the ninth batting position. He may also take his position when he arrives but must wait until the current batter has completed his at bat. IF NINE PLAYERS ARE AVAILABLE THE TEAM MUST START WITH ALL NINE PLAYERS AND ARE NOT PERMITTED TO "HOLD ONE BACK." ONCE THE 9TH PLAYER ARRIVES, ANY ACTION RESULTING IN A PLAYER EJECTION WITH EXCEPTION TO THE INJURY RULE, WOULD REDUCE THE NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE PLAYERS TO PLAY UNDER THE EIGHT PLAYER START RULE AGAIN. FOR FURTHER DETAILS SEE THE "OFFENSIVE LINEUP RULE", AND THE “INJURY SUBSITUTION RULE.” 14. Offensive Lineup: A team may elect, for the entire game, to bat ANY NUMBER OF PLAYERS, however, it must finish the game with a minimum number of 8 players in the order. If any players are ejected during the game for his actions an out shall be recorded in that spot in the order unless an eligible substitute is available from the bench. A team must immediately (upon request from the opposing manager or home plate umpire) from the time of ejection or departure of a player from the line-up to indicate which other eligible player is the substitute for the removed player. For additional information refer to the "Injury Substitution Rule." 15. Batting order and offensive starter re-entry rule: A starter in the batting order may be removed and a substitute may bat in that player's place at any point during a game. The starter may return to bat again, but only in the original spot in the batting order, and only after the replacement has had at least one plate appearance. The substitute may not bat again once removed from the batting order. 16. Courtesy Runner: Two players per team per game may have another player run for them in the event they reach base. Those that require the courtesy runners are called non-runners ("NR"). The courtesy runner will always be the last recorded out. It is not mandatory to use this rule as the manager has the option depending upon the situation. But if a change is made, it must be at the furthest base the player reaches safely on that play. If the non-runner advances to any base beyond that reached before the next pitch a courtesy runner may not be used. The courtesy runner must enter the game before the next pitch, or the use of the courtesy runner is forfeited on that play. Failure to promptly send the courtesy runner to the field may result in a "delay of game" call, resulting in the original runner being called out. The two players who will not run must be designated as such before the game begins on the lineup card with the "NR" symbol next to their name. This rule applies only to the player(s) and not the position in the batting order. If a listed available substitute is a "Non-runner", they must be so designated on the lineup card. If the non-runner is the first player up in the first inning of a game, the courtesy runner will be the last player in the batting order. There is no speed-up rule allowing runners for the pitcher or catcher. Any improper use of a courtesy runner including the use of the improper or wrong replacement shall result in the non-runner being scored as an out.Exception: 25+ Leagues may designate 3 non-runners in the lineup.Exception: 35+, 45+, 50+, 55+, and 60+ Leagues may designate 4 non-runners, in the lineup. 17. Defensive lineup: All teams have the option to substitute freely on the field in any defensive position except for the pitcher. A pitcher may leave the mound for another position on the field or on the bench but may return only once to their position as pitcher. Violating this pitcher's rule does not constitute a forfeit, although the pitcher must leave the mound immediately. Free substitution on the Field does not affect the batting order. Defensive positions need not be listed on the line-up card except for the pitcher. 18. Injury Substitution Rule: If a team is unable to continue to bat the original number of hitters that began the game due to the injury of a player, then in order to prevent a forfeit or to take an out in that players batting order, a previously used player not currently in the batting order may take the injured player's place in the order. This switch in the hitting order is contrary to the aforementioned Re-entry Rule and may only be used for an injury, where continuing to play, per the umpires' sole discretion and judgment, would further affect the injury. This is not an ejection and hence rules governing ejection do not apply. If a team has no eligible substitutes or previously used players on the bench, they may shrink their lineup down and take an out in the injured players spot in the batting order. A team may continue the game down to the 8 man start rule (i.e., an out shall be recorded in the injured player's spot in the order). Once a player is removed under this Injury Substitution rule, they may not re-enter the game under any circumstances, even if they appear to have "recovered." 19. Roster Size: NABA’s maximum roster size is limited to 30 players. Exception to this rule must be made in writing to the President of NABA and will be presented to the tournament rules committee for consideration and approval. 20. No Collision/Slide rule: The NABA has a No Collision/Slide Rule defined as follows: The intent of this rule is to ensure the safety of the defensive player. This is a safety as well as an interference rule. Whether the defense could have completed the double play has no bearing on the applicability of this rule. A. The runner must slide on the ground and in a direct line between the two bases. i. EXCEPTION – A runner need not slide directly into a base as long as the runner slides or runs in a direction away from the fielder to avoid making deliberate contact or altering the play of the fielder.ii. "On the ground" means either a head-first slide or a slide with one leg and buttock on the ground.iii. "Directly into a base" means the runner's entire body (feet, legs, trunk and arms) must stay in a straight line between the bases.iv. Example 1 – If a runner goes into a base standing up and does not make contact or alter the play of the defensive player, interference shall not be called. B. Contact with a fielder is legal and interference shall not be called if the runner: i. Makes a legal slide directly to the base, orii. Is on the ground at the time of contact and the fielder moves directly down the line between the two bases to attempt a play.iii. Makes a legal slide and makes contact with a defensive player who is on or over, but not beyond, the base.iv. Example 2 – When the base runner slides beyond the base, but does not (1) make contact with, or (2) alter the play of the defensive player, interference shall not be called. C. Actions by a runner are illegal and interference shall be called if: i. The runner slides or runs out of the base line in the direction of the fielder;ii. The runner uses a rolling, cross-body or pop-up slide and either makes contact with or alters the play of a fielder;iii. The runner's raised leg makes contact higher than the fielder's knee when in a standing position;iv. The runner goes beyond the base and either makes contact with or alters the play of the fielder ("Beyond the base" means any part of the offensive player's body makes contact with or alters the play of the fielder beyond the base.)v. The runner slashes or kicks the fielder with either leg;vi. The runner illegally slides toward or contacts the fielder even if the fielder makes no attempt to throw to complete a play. PENALTY for 1-6:1. With less than two outs, the batter-runner, as well as the interfering runner, shall be declared out and no other runner(s) shall advance.2. With two outs, the interfering runner shall be declared out and no other runner(s) shall advance.3. If the runner's slide or collision is flagrant, the runner may be ejected from the contest based on the umpire's judgment. Note: The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted unsportsmanlike action by the runner for the purpose of crashing into the fielder, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpire's judgment play.It is the judgment of the umpire whether a collision/slide intentionally violates this rule. This includes using elbows or lowering a shoulder in an attempt to cause a fielder to drop a held ball. The umpires may, at any time, eject any player who makes contact with another player with the intent to cause injury. A player may not block the base path or a base without possession of the ball. For example, a catcher may not block the plate without the ball. The right of way belongs to the runner. Most catchers should know to offer the runner part of the plate to make him slide inside or out. The NABA reserves the right to refuse any player or team permission to participate in a tournament. The NABA reserves the right to add, delete, merge or create divisions or divisional formats based on the number of teams entered at any time before the tournament, and will give every effort to give teams advance notice, however NABA may not be able to do so. If a team planned to enter a deleted division, that team may play in another division or receive a refund minus your deposit, or transfer the balance to another NABA National or World Championship Tournament, provided it is at least 5 days prior to check-in. The NABA also reserves the right to make changes to the rules or make changes in prizes and/or giveaways (but with a substitute of equal or greater value), which would then be effective upon notice to the teams participating in the tournament. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE NUMBER OF GUARANTEED POOL GAMES WILL BE THREE (3) FOR ALL THE DIVISIONS (AS PUBLISHED ON PROMOTIONAL FLYERS) AND THERE WILL BE ONE OR TWO ROUNDS OF PLAYOFFS, FOLLOWED BY CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES, FOR EACH SEPARATE DIVISION UNLESS ALTERED BY EVENTS OR HAPPENSTANCE BEYOND THE CONTROL OF THE NABA, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, INCLEMENT WEATHER, WAR, RIOTS, CIVIL DISORDER, FIELDS BEING OUT OF ORDER, OR ACTS OF GOD.