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1) REGISTRATION & PREGAME
A. Each NVWWS team must check-in at the registration table upon arrival at the park entrance. Check the "Event Schedule" icon on event website for game times. After team Captain signs waiver, teams will pick up their registration packet in the locker room area (includes t-shirts, souvenir water bottles and other team items). All ages and gender welcome; sign up for league you feel most comfortable in (Majors, Masters, Minors, Kid's League, See 6A)
B. Attendance at Opening Ceremonies is mandatory
C. Teams are encouraged to wear their own personal uniforms.
D. 5 minute late grace period will be given to all teams - After 5 minutes, the team is awarded a 7-0 loss.
E. All teams will be awarded bonus Joe points for attending Captain's rules meeting. $1 dollar raised for The Joe Cassella Foundation = 1 “Joe Point". Top fundraising team will be recognized.
2) THE TEAM
A. NVWWS teams consist of 3 or 4 player teams; however, only 3 players can play the field at any time (1 Pitcher and 2 Fielders). 4th player is DH and will bat only.
NOTE: The DH can substitute in at any time during the game.
B. Team must announce to the Umpire at the start of the game whether they are batting 3 or 4 players. If the 4th player is late for some reason, you can add him to the order at any time. However, teams must have at least 3 players to start and play the duration of any game. The 3 or 4 players must be listed on official roster submitted by Team Captain.
C. Regular Season and Play-off home field advantage is determined in this order: 1) Matching Uniforms and hats. 2) If both teams have matching uniforms, team will throw 'rock, paper, scissors' to determine home team. 3) In Playoffs team with higher seed will be choose whether they want to be home or visitors.
3) THE GAME - General Rules
The distance from the pitcher's rubber on the mound to the strike board is 49 feet. The distance from the pitcher's rubber to the tip of home plate is 46 feet. The average distance from the home plate to the foul poles is about 75 feet; however, all NVWWS ballparks will vary in distance to home run fences. The strike board is 11" off the ground and measures 30" inches tall by 28" inches wide.
A. NVWWS time limitations allow 30 regulation minutes for each regular season divisional game.
B. Regular season and playoff games last 3 innings.
C. If a game is tied after 3 innings, there will be 1 extra inning. However, bases will automatically be loaded with ghost runners at the start of each extra inning until winner is decided.
D. If tied after regulation and through 1 extra inning (bases loaded with ghost runner rule applies), games will continue to HRD (See Rule 4F) to determine winner.
E. 2 outs per innings for each team.
F. Outs: 1) Strikeout. 2) Fly ball caught by opposing team in field of play or foul territory. 3) Any ground ball fielded 'cleanly' by a fielder BEFORE it stops rolling (Umpire discretion), AND BEFORE it rolls past single line designated with white paint/chalk (also, Umpire discretion) - and then with a continual motion is thrown to pitcher (e.g., fielder can not hold ball for extended period and can not take more steps than natural throwing motion - Umpire discretion). 4) Any ground ball fielded 'cleanly' by the pitcher (see rule 3.F5) BEFORE it stops rolling (Umpire discretion) AND BEFORE it rolls past single line designated with white paint/chalk (Umpire discretion). 5) A 'cleanly' fielded ball is defined as one that rolls into players hands and does not subsequently hit ground (therefore, bobbled balls in the air are allowed, but a grounded ball which touches a players hands and then hits ground is ruled a hit by error).
NOTE: A ball that is hit and rolls into fielder's hands, then proceeds to hit ground is ruled a dead ball and classified as a single by fielder error (this justifies why a bobbled ball in air is considered 'clean' as long as it doesn't hit the ground). A good way to remember is that if a ball hits the ground after player touches it, then it is ‘dirty’ and no longer ‘clean’!
G. Double-play: When ghost runner(s) on base is (are) in a 'force-out' situation (runner on first, runners on first & second, bases loaded), ball can be fielded 'cleanly' by fielder and subsequently thrown to pitcher for 1st out and then pitcher can turn and hit strike board for double-play (pitcher must have continual motion throw with no extended pause - Umpire discretion). If pitcher fields ball for 1st out he can immediately throw to hit strike board for double play no matter where he is standing after fielding ball for 1st out. Note: No double plays with fly outs.
H. The Pitch: 1) Two pitchers must be used in the duration of a three-inning game. If the game ends in a slaughter (see rule 7.B) before the third inning, one pitcher may be used for the duration of that game. 2) Any pitch that is lobbed in (over 10 feet tall) will be ruled illegal and will also be called a 'No-pitch'. 4) A men’s slow pitch or women’s fast pitch softball pitching motion is also ruled illegal 3) Pitch speed will not be monitored.
I. Strikes: 1) Pitched ball that hits the strike board. 2) Batter swings and misses. 3) Foul ball. 4) When batter has 2 strikes in the count and hits a foul ball, 1 'Courtesy Foul' is awarded - any foul ball after Courtesy Foul has expired is ruled an out. 5) Any pitched ball that hits the top, side or bottom edges of the board is considered a strike. 6) At Umpire's discretion, any batter caught leaning into the zone to intentionally cause ball to hit batter and disrupt flight of pitched ball to the strike board will be first warned and be ruled a "no pitch" by the Umpire. The pitch will be ruled a strike if this occurs again by the same batter any time during the remainder of game. Note: A Courtesy Foul is defined as ball hit off bat into foul territory when count is full. 7) With 2 Strikes if the ball is tipped and hits the board it is a strikeout.
J. Foul balls: 1) Ball hit outside of fair territory marked with white chalk foul lines. 2) Any ball hit forward but not past 'foul arch' marked with white lines in front of batters box (any ball hit off a batters body into fair territory - other expired is ruled an out. 5) Any pitched ball that hits the top, side or bottom edges of the board is considered a strike. 6) At Umpire's discretion, any batter caught leaning into the zone to intentionally cause ball to hit batter and disrupt flight of pitched ball to the strike board will be first warned and be ruled a "no pitch" by the Umpire. The pitch will be ruled a strike if this occurs again by the same batter any time during the remainder of game. Note: A Courtesy Foul is defined as ball hit off bat into foul territory when count is full. 7) With 2 Strikes if the ball is tipped and hits the board it is a strikeout.
K. Balls/Walk: 1) Pitched ball that does not hit the strike board and batter does not swing is ruled a ball. 2) 4 pitched balls that do not hit the strike board are ruled a Walk. 3) Batter keeps his 'At Bat' when Walk is awarded and ghost runner goes to first; Batter is awarded 0-0 count. 4) Any pitched ball that hits strike board erases all previously pitched balls (e.g., 2-0 count, pitcher throws strike, count now 0-1). To walk someone the pitcher must throw 4 straight balls.
L. Substitutions. 1) Fielders and DH can be substituted any time during the course of the game. 2) Pitchers can be substituted any time during the game but if a pitcher is "pulled from the mound", then he cannot go back to the mound during the game (with the exception of Home Run Derby - see Rule 4F).
M. Player Injury/Player Exit. 1) If a player from a 4 person team suffers an injury (Umpire discretion - see Rule M.2 below) during course of game, batting order automatically goes to 3 (no new players from the "stands" can be added during the tourney and no automatic out if player injury). 2) Teams with 3 players where player is injured can play remainder of current game with 2 players. If third player cannot play next game, then a new player must be added from the "stands" (see Rule M.4 below) to bat/field only for remainder of tourney or team must forfeit (team can not continue to play in tourney with only 2 players). However, this new player cannot pitch (this situation is very rare but the rule is in effect to deter teams from adding "ringer pitchers" late in the tourney). 3) A player from the "stands" is defined as someone who is/was not on another team in the tourney and would like to play ball.
N. Base runners: No base running. All runners are 'ghost runners' and situation will be announced by Umpire before each 'At Bat'. The only time a player can run bases is when a home run is hit (touching all bags is optional for hitter).
O. Single: 1) Ground ball that comes to a complete stop (past the foul ball arch) before fielded by a player. 2) Fly ball not caught by a pitcher or fielder -- NOTE: Fly ball is defined as one that is hit in the air above 6 feet and comes down into field of play (Umpire discretion). 3) An error by the pitcher or fielder in the field of play is constituted as a single by error. 4) Any ball hit on the ground past 'single line' designated on field with white chalk/paint before being touched by fielder.
NOTE: The distance from home plate to the single line is approx. 50 ft. 5) Fielders must play ball that rolls past single line in order to stop hard grounder from reaching fence for double. 6) Ball must clear ENTIRE white line to be ruled a single (Umpire discretion).
P. Double: Hard ground ball, which rolls to the home run fence without touching a fielder or pitcher. Note: A hard hit ball the rolls past single line fair down left or right field line, then continues to roll into foul territory past foul post without touching fence is still ruled a single, not a double (ball must hit comes down into field of play (Umpire discretion). 3) An error by the pitcher on their team. Visiting team batter goes first and gets 3 "cuts" to hit as many or fielder in the field of play is constituted as a single by error. 4) Any ball hit on the ground past 'single line' designated on field with white chalk/paint before being touched by fielder. Note: The distance from home plate to the single line is approx. 50 ft. 5) Fielders must play ball that rolls past single line in order to stop hard grounder from reaching fence for double. 6) Ball must clear ENTIRE white line to be ruled a single (Umpire discretion).
Q. Triple: Any fly ball that reaches home run fence 'on the fly'!
R. Home Run: 1) Fly ball that goes over fence (Batters name will be credited to the "Babe Ruth Dinger Diary Tally Board” – Team Captains must keep track of home runs hit on Official Scorecard). 2) Fly ball that hits foul pole above fence. 3) For safety reasons, fielders cannot hurdle over, run or crash through fence to catch well-hit home run (Leaning on fence is permitted, but fielder must remain in the field of play while trying to 'rob' a home run - Umpire discretion).
S. Advancing ghost runners: Every ghost runner is automatically advanced as many bases as the hitter behind him earns (e.g., if a ghost runner is on first and the batter hits a double -- ghost runner advances to third and new batter/ghost runner goes to second) NOTE: Walks DO NOT always advance ghost runner on base - ONLY when ghost runner 'forced' to next base (e.g., ghost runner on 1st, ghost runners on 1st and 2nd, bases loaded).
T. NO bunting is allowed.
U. Batter can use one hand to hold and swing the ball if desired.
V. NVWWS will be played RAIN or SHINE!
W. Each team is required to throw at least 2 different pitchers 1 complete inning. Pitchers are allowed to pitch then rotate positions then go back to pitch.
4) HOME RUN DERBY (HRD)
Top home run hitters of the regular season will compete in a home run derby to be held at the championship field.
If a game is tied after 4 innings of play then the game will go to a home run derby.
A. Each hitter elects 1 pitcher from his/her own team to throw “meatballs” to him/her.
B. Each hitter has 3 outs or “cuts”. NOTE: Batter can take as many “meatballs” as needed to find their "sweet spot".
C. Derby home run is awarded if the ball clears the fence in fair territory. F. An out or “cut” is awarded if: 1. Batter swings and misses 2. Batter swings and hits a foul ball 3. Batter hits ball into fair play but does not hit a home run.
D. Team with most home runs after complete round wins. If winner is not determined after 1st round, then new batter for each team - and same 3 cuts apply for 2nd round until winner is determined. New batter every round - and if no winner determined after all have been up to bat, order starts over again with 1st batter from 1st round.
5) THE WIFFLE® BALL AND BAT (and other equipment)
A. Regulation NVWWS bats will be provided (However, you are welcome to bring your own plastic bats of any shape or size pending Umpire/Commissioner approval prior to start of game BUT other team can use these bats too and tape on bat only be on handle).
B. NVWWS balls are regulation Wiffle® Ball trademark ball.
C. Mitts are not permitted (batting gloves optional).
D. Cleats are useful when playing the field; however, please note that NVWWS fields are artificial grass. NO metal spikes allowed.
6) DIVISION AND CHAMPIONSHIP BRACKET PLAY
A. There are 4 leagues (12 team max per league):
1. Kid's League (all rising 7th graders and younger)
2. Minor League (strictly for fun – non-competitive rec. league). Those who play in the minors are not eligible to win the Bedell-Cassella Cup. There will be a separate playoff for the minors.
3. Major League (all those “in it to win it” and not “over the hill”)
4. Masters League (all “over the hill” competitive players on each team MUST be 35 years old or greater on the day of the event)
B. Each league will have 3 divisions consisting of 4 teams each. Each team will play all other teams in same division (round-robin play, 3 games per team).
C. One team from each division will advance to the Championship bracket. The team with the most wins in its division will advance. For ties, see "Tie Breakers".
D. Wildcards - one team from each league will advance to the Championship bracket as a "wild card". The team with the most wins in the league, excluding the three division winners will advance. For ties, see "Tie Breakers".
E. Tie Breakers: 1. If two or more teams have the same number of wins/losses, the team with the lowest "Runs Allowed" will advance. 2. In case of a tie with runs allowed, the team with most home runs will advance. 3. In case of a tie in home runs, the winner will be determined by rock-paper-scissors.
H. NVWWS Championship Game: Game played at Bedell-Cassella Park and will go 1 extra inning if tied, then Home Run Derby.
7) SLAUGHTER RULE
A. There is a 10 run limit per inning.
B. During regular season, home team is allowed their 2nd inning 'at bats' even if a head by 10 runs after top of inning. No matter what the score, all teams must play 2 complete innings.
A. Profanity or excessive arguing with (or harassing) the Umpire will not be tolerated and means for immediate ejection. (Subsequently, if the team is left with less than 3 players, the team must forfeit the remainder of games).
B. All other situations not addressed here will be dealt with on a 'case by case' basis by the NVWWS Commissioners and Umpire staff during the course of play.
C. Remember, have fun as this is for a great cause. Let’s set an example for the kids at the event and keep in mind that it’s a Wiffle® Ball game!
21st Annual Northern Virginia Wiffle® Ball World Series
Download the 2016 NVWWS Rules!
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