League/division Rules

general rules - Spring 2024

Rules in this section are binding to all teams, in all divisions of the entire league.

The baseball and softball divisions of the Hawthorne Baseball Softball Association shall consist of the following divisions:

Baseball Divisions Softball Divisions
Senior (5th and 6th grades) Senior (6th, 7th and 8th grades)
Junior (3rd and 4th grades) Junior (3rd, 4th and 5th grades)
Pee Wee (1st and 2nd grades) Pee Wee (1st and 2nd grades)

All divisions will vote as members of the overall league on matters judged by the majority of the league officers to be in general nature.  Each division may vote separately on their respective playing rules, ground rules or other matters pertaining only to their respective divisions with approval of the executive board.

If any division wishes to adopt a rule or an activity (ex. Number of games scheduled, fund raisers, etc) this rule or activity must be approved by the Executive Board before its adoption.

Managers and coaches can be voted on to the Executive Board of the Hawthorne Baseball Softball Association.  A league vote for all Executive positions occurs once per year.

Players must reside in Hawthorne, New Jersey.

Players will only be allowed to register after game play has begun at the discretion of the Executive Board.  Players approved for late registration will be added to team rosters based upon current rostered numbers or the draft order.

Personal injury insurance shall be furnished by the league covering players, coaches and board members, for both the practice and playing season, including playoffs.

No smoking or use of any tobacco products is permitted near the field of play, in or around the dugout area or any practice areas.

No profanity allowed.

Any person who has been reported to be in violation of any rules of the Parent or Coaches Code of Conduct will be required to meet with the Executive Board.  The Executive Board will determine responsibility and provide in writing any determined sanctions.    Sanctions may range from suspension for a single game to expulsion from the league, depending on the severity of the violation.  In any case involving a conflict of interest, the Executive Board member shall have no decision in the determination of responsibility; all decisions will be made by the remaining members of the Executive Board.

Any manager, coach, umpire or spectator found responsible by the Executive Board of physically assaulting any other person during an HBSA event shall be expelled from the league.

Team Management and Rosters

Team rosters shall be limited to the players (as set forth in other sections of the rules) and the following personnel: One Manager (18 years old minimum) and Five Coaches (15 years old minimum).  No other non-players (score keepers, trainers, etc.) will be allowed on the roster.  Only persons listed on the official team roster will be permitted in the dugout/on the field during game play.

Names of all managers and coaches must be submitted in writing and approved by the Executive Board.   All managers and coaches are required to submit a Volunteer Coach Application, Rutgers’ Coaches Certification, Concussion Certificate and are subject to a background check as required by the Hawthorne Board of Recreation.

Managers can only manage one (1) team in the entire league.  This includes all divisions and inter-division rosters.

When possible, once a player is drafted to a team roster, the player will remain with that team for their duration in the associated division.  If it is determined that a re-draft is needed for a division, the division trustee will work with division managers to complete a draft that distributes player talent as equally as possible.

Draft rules will be determined annually for each division by the Executive Board and the League Trustee.  Draft rules will be determined by overall registrations received for each division.  Draft procedures will be implemented in an effort to distribute player talent as equally as possible amongst all teams within each division.

General Rules of Play

Six innings shall constitute a full game. However, in the case of a tie score, one (1) extra inning shall be allowed.  All games, regardless of the situation, must stop 15 minutes before the next game scheduled on that field.

League standings will be based on the following:

  1. 2 points are awarded for a Win
  2. 1 point is awarded for a Tie
  3. 0 points are awarded for a Loss

In the event a game is called because of time limit or weather but has progressed far enough to be considered an official game, the score reverts back to the end of the last full inning.  Points are awarded based on the above point system.  A game that has not progressed far enough to be an official game, will be replayed from the beginning.

At the end of the regular playing season, the team with the most points, in their respective divisions will be the first seed for playoffs.  Playoff seeding will be determined by points at the end of the regular playing season.  In the event of a tie in the point standings, the following tie-breaker rues will apply, in the order listed:

  1. The team with the most wins is the higher seed
  2. The team that won the most games in head-to-head competition is the higher seed
  3. The team with the most runs scored during the regular playing season is the higher seed
  4. The team with the least runs scored against during the regular playing season is the higher seed

Failure to comply with the decision reached by the Board will result in a forfeiture of the game.  If both teams fail to comply with the decision reached by the Board, it will result in both teams being charged with a loss for the scheduled game.  After a game starts, the decision to call a game shall be made by an Executive Board member.

In a situation where play is suspended due to unsuitable weather or field conditions, the Board will wait 30 minutes before calling the game.  Play is not permitted if lightning is observed or if thunder is heard.  Once lightning has been recognized or thunder heard, by an official, a coach, the host site management personnel, or by a lightning detection system, the game must be suspended immediately with all players, coaches, spectators, and officials must evacuate to available safe structures or shelters.

Once lightning/thunder has been recognized, it is mandatory to wait at least 30 minutes after the last flash of lightning is witnessed or thunder is heard.  Any subsequent lightning or thunder after the beginning of the 30-minute count must reset the clock and another count must begin.  If the lightning detection system gives an “all clear signal” prior to the end of the 30-minute suspension time, the contest shall not be resumed until the 30-minute suspension time limit has elapsed.

All coaches, players and umpires are expected to remain at the field until a game is officially called by an Executive Board member.  Play may be suspended for longer than 30 minutes as long as there is a reasonable chance to resume play.  In the case where an Executive Board members is not available, determination will be made by the Head of Umpires.

Any team forfeiting a game at any time during the season will be charged with a loss. The opposing team will be awarded a win and receive the 2 points towards their team standings.

Managers cannot refuse or request any umpire unless the umpire has a member of his or her immediate family participating in the game.

The Executive Board will determine the first date of practice and game play.  All practices and games will be scheduled by the Executive Board.  Requests for additional practice time can be submitted via email to hbsanj@gmail.com and will be approved based on field availability.

Protests shall be considered only when based on the violation or interpretation of a playing rule, use of an ineligible pitcher or the use of an ineligible player. No protest shall be considered on a decision involving an umpire’s judgment.

Equipment which does not meet league and or division specifications must be removed from the game.

All players must be fully uniformed to the standards established by their respective divisions.

All jewelry must be removed including cloth jewelry.  This applies to all divisions.  Only medical bracelets are allowed and must be taped so they are visible.

Managers/coaches must exchange lineups prior to the start of the game.  Lineups cards are to include the name and number for all players.  If a player arrives after the start of the game, they can only be entered at the bottom of the lineup.  If any players leave throughout the game, all remaining players are to be moved up one spot, lineups cannot be adjusted after the start of the game due to a player leaving early.  There will be no penalty when a player needs to leave the game early.

Game Scheduling

Games must be played, as scheduled, weather permitting, otherwise the game shall be considered a forfeit.  In the event of bad weather or field conditions the league president shall determine if games will be played.  In the event that the President is not available, one of the other Executive Board members will make the determination in the following order: Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer or any League Trustee.

The season must be complete, including all playoff games prior to the last day of school and/or middle school graduation, whichever comes first.

Rescheduled games will be rescheduled by the Board.  HBSA is currently using TeamSnap for scheduling and communication.  Failure to play a make-up game on the date scheduled shall result in a forfeit.

Game time is limited to 2 hours and no new inning can begin after 1 hour and 45 minutes.   Weeknight games are scheduled to start at 5:30pm or 8:00pm. Weekend games can be scheduled to start at 10:00am, 12:30pm, 3:00pm or 5:30pm.

If a game is called because of time element, the score will revert to last complete inning.  Four (4) innings completed or three and one-half (3 ½) innings, if the home team is leading, is an official game.

No regularly scheduled games shall be played on Sunday.  Make up games may be played on Sunday if both teams agree.

Games called for rain, darkness or time limit must have four (4) completed or three and one-half (3 ½) completed innings if the home team is leading to be considered an official game.  All postponed games that are not complete games will be rescheduled and replayed in the order of occurrence; schedule permitted.

Any postponed games occurring within the last two weeks of the regular season schedule will be rescheduled in the order of their importance to league standings.

The league will attempt to schedule all games around school functions when possible.

Playoff Scheduling

Playoff games will be scheduled for both the Junior and Senior Baseball and Softball divisions.  All playoff games must be played to completion, when possible.  If a game is called before it is an official game, it will be played over from the beginning.  If a game is called after it is a complete game, it will be picked up from the point at which it was called and played to its conclusion.  If a game ends in a tie, extra innings are permitted to continue until a winner is determined or the game reaches 10:00pm.  If the game is still tied at 10:00pm, the game will be resumed (potentially the following day) until a winner is determined.

Pre-Game Practice

Teams will have about 30 minutes of pre-game warm up before the start of a game when possible.  For games starting at 5:30pm, both the home and visiting teams can begin pre-game warm up at 5:00pm.  For games starting at 8:00pm, both the home and visiting teams can begin pre-game warm up’s at 7:30pm.  In the event that there is a previous game scheduled on the field, warm-ups can begin once the previous team has vacated the field area.

Both teams are expected to share the field for pre-game warm up.  The team using the 1st base dugout warms up on the right field side of the field and the team using the 3rd base dugout warms up on the left field side of the field.

Field Preparations

The manager or coach of the home team shall be responsible for turning out the lights and clearing the field after night games.

It shall be the visiting team’s responsibility to put out the bases before the game and the home team’s responsibility to store them away after the game.

In the event field preparation is required before the game can begin, both teams shall take whatever steps necessary to make the field playable.

Copy of hbsa_web-logo

Field Location:

Wagaraw Ball Fields

296 Wagaraw Rd.

Hawthorne, NJ 07506