State of New Jersey
|2023 American Legion Baseball Rules and Regulations|
All Teams, Managers, Coaches, and Players participate in New Jersey American Legion Baseball at the invitation of the New Jersey American Legion Baseball Chairman. The invitation can be and will be withdrawn for conduct deemed to be unbecoming to the American Legion. Every team that shows being sponsored by an American Legion Post on their Form 1 (Roster) and their insurance policy must make sure they have the approval of that Post.
Teams are required to play in the League based on the location of their Base School. Exceptions to this may be approved by the State Baseball Chairman. Where two League Chairman have worked out an agreement, an exception may be granted. If an agreement cannot be reached between the 2 League Chairmen, the Department Baseball Chairman will make the decision. Other circumstances may allow exceptions. Example – A team has played for several years in a league and a new league is established. The Baseball Chairman in consultation with the involved League Chairmen, will approved the exception or revokes a previous allowed exception.
Each League Chairman/President is responsible for ensuring that every umpire has Official’s Insurance before being permitted to officiate a baseball game during the regular and post-season games. Under no circumstances is a person permitted to officiate a game unless he/she provides evidence of Official’s Insurance in good standing. NJSIAA and CBUAO Officials are acceptable. If not a certified member in good standing of either organization, an individual must provide a copy of the insurance card provided to the official when a policy is issued.
New Jersey American Legion Baseball will follow the Official Baseball Rules as authorized by the Commissioner of Major League Baseball and published each year by Triumph Books Official Rules Major League Baseball (312-939-3330). Modifications of these rules, as noted in Rule 1, generally pertain to matters of safety, equipment and insurance. They are made with the welfare of the players and coaches in mind. All Leagues are required to play according to The American Legion National Rules. Each League Baseball Chairman must submit their League Rules to the State Baseball Chairman by April 15th. All League Rules must be approved by the Department Baseball Committee.
RULE #1 - PLAYING REGULATIONS
(A) Baseballs - All Registered American Legion Teams in New Jersey will use the Diamond D1- AL Baseball
(B) Bat Rule – NJ American Legion Baseball will follow the National American Legion Baseball Bat Rule – Only Wood or BBCOR – refer to National Rule Book - RULE 1 (B.)
(C) Blood Rule – refer to National Rule Book – RULE 1 (D)
(D) Catchers Equipment - While warming up a pitcher, either in or out of the bullpen, a catcher must wear a mask. . Refer to National Rule Book – RULE 1 (E) for additional requirements
(E) Coaches – refer to National Rule Book – RULE 1 (F)
(1) A non-playing adult, 21 or over, must be in charge in the dugout and/or on the bench at all times. A coach must be uniformed in order to go onto the playing field. Only registered Coaches who have passed the background check and any required on-line training programs are allowed in the dugout.
(F). Designated Hitter (DH) Rule - A designated hitter may be used for the pitcher only. The DH will follow the Major League, American League Designated Hitter Rule as published by Triumph Books.
(G)First-Aid Kit - All teams must have a first aid kit with them in the dugout at all American Legion Baseball games.
(H) Helmets - In New Jersey, all batting helmets must have the NOCSAE seal of approval stamped on the helmet, and such seal must be visible on the outside of the helmet. Refer to National Rule Book – Rule 1 (M) for additional requirements.
(1) Coaches shall be mandated to wear a helmet when in the coaching box. . Coaches must remain in the coach's box until the ball is put into play. Coaches must have both feet inside the front of the coach's box. However if the coach wants to move away from the plate - out the back of the box, MLB will not mandate he remain in the box. If a coach is outside the box (closer to home plate) he will be warned once and on the 2nd infraction, will be ejected. If he is out of the back of the coach's box this is not considered an infraction.
(I) Lighting Safety – refer to National Rule Book – RULE 1 (O)
(J) Insurance – refer to National Rule Book – Rule 1 (N)
(1) The registration deadline to register and to purchase insurance is May 15th. Any teams that register after the May 15th National deadline will be assessed a $200 additional fee. The fee will be automatically assessed on May 15th by the on-line registration system. Any teams whose insurance is not paid by June 1st will be eliminated from state tournament play.
(K) On-Deck Equipment – refer to National Rule Book – RULE 1 (Q)
(L) Pitching Rule – refer to National Rule Book – Rule 1 (R)
(M) Tobacco & Drug Policy - The use of any form of tobacco (smoking, chewing, and snuff) or the possession of any tobacco like products such as bubblegum tins by a player, coach, manager or any official accompanying any American Legion Baseball Team while on the playing field, benches, in the bullpen or dugouts is prohibited. Any individual violating this rule will be ejected from the game and the playing area.
The use of any illegal performance enhancement drug or unprescribed steroid is strictly prohibited. Any individual player or coach violating this rule will be immediately terminated as an active participant and be permanently banned from any involvement whatsoever, relating to New Jersey American Legion Baseball. This is to be considered as a zero tolerance policy. There will be no exceptions
(N) 10 Run Rule – refer to National Rule Book – Rule 1 (U)
(O) Uniforms – refer to National Rule Book – Rule 1 (V)
(P) Young Drivers - Coaches will ensure that all Local, State, and Federal regulations are followed, including driving privileges, age restrictions, etc.
(Q) Reentry Rule – refer to National Rule Book – Rule 1 (S)
RULE #2 - PLAYER ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
(A) Player Age - Competition is open to players for 19 & Under, Senior Teams who were born on or after January 1, 2004. For 17 & Under, Junior Teams players are eligible to participate if they were born on or after January 1, 2006. Players must be age 13 by January 1, 2023.
(B) Player’s Domicile - March 31st is the date for establishing legal residence and attendance in school. Refer to National Rule Book for additional information – RULE 2 (B)
(C) Proof of Age – Refer to National Rule Book – RULE 2 (D)
(D) Disagreements - All requests for interpretation of rules because of disagreement, on player eligibility beyond the league chairman must be in writing and follow the organization structure. (Organizational Structure: After League Chairman to District Director and District Vice-Chairman, then to State Chairman). The Department Baseball Committee will honor no verbal requests.
RULE #3 - PLAYER RECRUITMENT
(A) Recruiting Plan B - New Jersey, in accordance with the National Rules, is currently playing under Plan "B". Refer to National Rule Book – RULE 4
(B) Option Rule – Refer to National Rule Book – RULE 4 (C)
(1) All Players attending a Non Public School or a school outside the school district where they reside, must sign a National Form #77. Coaches should keep copies of this form for themselves. The #77 Form will expire last day of the calendar year
(2) Any player who attends another public school other than where they live using a voucher, pays tuition or is allowed to attend because a parent works for the Board of Education has a choice to play based on their residency or based on the school they attend.
(C) Player Transfers – Refer to National Rule Book – RULE 4 (D)
(1) Any player not attending a base school must play for the team nearest their legal residence. The next closest base school is determined by using Google Maps to calculate the shortest driving distance.
(2) If the player is cut from that team's roster he must get a signed National Transfer Form #76 and try out for the next nearest team. If the player is cut from that next closest team, he must get a signed Transfer Form #76. A Transfer #76 Form is required from each team. The exception to this rule is private and parochial schools which must comply with National Rule 4.C. Coaches should keep copies of this form for themselves. – NOTE: College Players cannot be transferred
(3) Email agreements / sign offs from coaches may be attached to a 76 Form. The 76 Form with the player and parent’s signature on the 76 Form are required.
(4) The Transfer Form #76 will expire last day of the calendar year
(5) Should a Team not grant a release to a non-base school player who attended a tryout, the player’s name must appear on the team's National Form #1 and every opportunity must be given to insure that the player can actively participate with the team.
(6) If a Team wanted to recruit a player and the Player did not attend a tryout, a transfer is not automatically granted. Upon request by the League Chairman, the coach will need to document the player’s nonattendance and/or the player’s prior decision / communications that he is not playing. Any Player refusing to try out for or play for the closest team to his home address that is willing to roster him (this includes missing tryouts) is not entitled to an transfer
(7) Once a team’s roster has been electronically submitted, the coach cannot sign any additional 76 Transfers Forms
(8) Base School Players who are not rostered are not automatically transferred. For a team to select a player from another team’s “area” or base school, a Player Transfer Form #76 is required. If no transfer is granted, those players are ineligible to play
(9) Players who graduated from high school in the prior year are not eligible to be transferred.
(D) No coach, baseball chairman or member of a team’s baseball staff shall solicit or in any manner attempt to entice players from a team other than their own to play outside baseball games for a team other than the team a player is currently registered with. Permission may be granted by the League Chairman on a case-by-case basis. Violation of this rule shall be suspension and/or discipline as determined by the Department Baseball Committee.
(E) Any resident of New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware must play Legion Baseball for the state in which they reside unless both State Baseball Chairman grant permission.
(F) County Baseball Chairmen and League Presidents who directly supervise leagues may impose policies more restrictive than State Rules if in the best interest of their local program.
If a player is found to be ineligible, they shall be disqualified immediately. All games which the disqualified player participated in shall be forfeited.
All protests of player eligibility and team eligibility must be specific with proof in writing, within forty-eight (48) hours after the game. If a player is found ineligible, he shall be disqualified immediately. No protest may be made in any county beyond the last game played by his team. If the protest is upheld, all games in which the disqualified player participated shall be forfeited.
Eligibility protests of players involved in the state tournament must bear written proof of ineligibility and must be filed with the department baseball chairman at such tournament no later than 9 am local time on the first day of the tournament involved, except upon discovery of fraud. When fraud is discovered, the eligibility protest and a written description of the alleged fraud must be filed immediately and if fraud was committed, the player shall be ineligible, and the team manager shall be suspended until further notice.
All protests must be in writing whether it concerns a player eligibility, a game or other rule infractions, the form must be filed with the responsible District Baseball Chairman after the completion of the game in question WITHIN 24 HOURS. An email or text message is considered to be in writing. Complete information, including a report from Umpires, must accompany each protest, (Hearsay evidence will not be considered). No protest will be accepted which is based on an umpire’s judgment decision. The decision of the Department Baseball Committee will be final, the only recourse being that as prescribed hereafter as “National Baseball Appeals Board.”
NOTE: PROTEST FORM is at bottom of page - you may download a Word Version & Print or Copy/Paste&Print.
All protest arising in any regular scheduled games must be filed with the local or District Chairman WITHIN 24 HOURS. All protest arising in a District Tournament will be filed with the District Chairman. All protests arising in the Tournament will be filed with the District Chairman. All protest arising in the Department Final will be filed with the department Baseball Committee and will be ruled upon at that time. Protest fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00) in cash or certified check, made payable to Department Baseball Committee, must accompany each protest. If the protest is allowed, the fee will be returned to the protester. If the protest is not allowed this fee shall be deposited in the baseball fund at the level the protest was filed.
Protests of official baseball rules during actual game conditions must be before next legally pitched ball is thrown from the mound.
All protests must be filed under National Rule 7, “Department Jurisdiction” as follows:
It is the duty of the Department Baseball Chairman and his Committee to formulate such rules, regulations and boundaries not in conflict with National Rules, for all play within that Department (this to be done prior to the certification of the Department Championship team). The protection and stimulation of competition must be used in setting these regulations. Five (5) copies of the Department Rules must be filed with National Headquarters before April 14, 2023.
All questions, disputes, and protests within a Department, shall be decided by the Department Baseball Committee in charge who shall have the power to disqualify or suspend anyone violating Department or National Regulations.
Interpretation of National Rules will be made by the National Director. All requests must be in writing. Such request must come through the Department Baseball Chairman, and interpretation will be routed back through that official.
(A) All protests and interpretations of the Department and National rules shall be handled in this manner:
(1) Protests and interpretations must be submitted to the County Chairman for a decision
(2) County Chairman may request that the District Vice Chairman conduct a hearing and render a decision on any manner. An answer must be given within seventy-two (72) hours in writing. After following the organizational structure, an appeal of such a decision may be made to the Department Committee. . (Organizational Structure: After League Chairman to District Vice Chairman. After District Vice Chairman to State Chairman/Committee).
(B) No manager, coach, player, player’s agent, player’s parent, or legal representative shall be permitted to bypass the County Chairman, the District Vice Chairman, or Department Chairman and appeal directly to National Headquarters on the matter of protest or interpretation of rules. All appeals must proceed up the organization structure of the State Baseball Committee District Vice Chairman to State Chairman / Committee). Violation of this rule shall result in sanctions, including but not limited to suspension of the violator and/or violators, for the remainder of the season and playoffs.
(C) Any New Jersey Baseball committee member who is listed on the roster of an American Legion baseball team is ineligible to take part in adjudicating any protest that is brought before the New Jersey Baseball Committee. This is to prevent any perception of a potential conflict of interest.
(D) The New Jersey American Legion Baseball Vice Chairman will hear and adjudicate any protest to come before the committee; the baseball chairman will act as a tie breaker in the case of a stalemate.
(1) The required process for a protest above the League Chairman is to document the issue and submit it to the District Vice Chairman. They will review, consult with appropriate State Committee members, the State Rules Interrupter and render a decision.
RULE #5 - TEAM AND PLAYER CERTIFICATION
(A) Background Check for Coaches - It is required that all teams do background checks on their Coaches. Coaches are also required to take and pass any on-line course required. Teams submitting their application for participating in New Jersey American Legion Baseball will not be approved by the State Baseball Chairman unless the individual who initiated the application has passed his background check and taken any required on-line course. Upon doing “Final Submit”, Teams and Team Rosters will not be approved by the State Baseball Chairman unless the manager and all coaches have passed their background check and taken any required on-line course. This is enforced by the computer systems logic and cannot be waivered
(B) National Registration Deadline – All Teams should have completed (and submitted) their team and player registration information on the National American Legion Baseball Web Site prior to the Department Closing Date – The Closing Date for New Jersey is June 25th.
(C) All teams shall only use the approved roster form, no other roster form will be accepted and no team may submit their roster and obtain approval after 11:59 PM on June 25. Leagues are encouraged to include this within their league rules and insure compliance. Failure to submit and obtain approval of a team’s roster on-line prior to the Department Closing date will result in that team being “Officially Un-Register” for the season and therefore not eligible for participation in the State Tournament.
(D) National Form #2 - It shall be mandatory that all players competing in American Legion Baseball in New Jersey will have their parents or legal guardian(s) sign the National A.L. Player Agreement Form #2
(E) New Team forming and entering County League - Each League Chairman has the authority to make judgments that are in the best interest of American Legion Baseball and the quality of play within its league. This includes not allowing entry of a new team or a change of drawing schools if in his opinion, it will damage an existing team or teams, or lower the level of play within the league. The League Chairman should discuss the situation with the District Vice Chairman, the State Committee and his County Commander prior to making such a judgment and ruling. Refer to National Rule Book – RULE 4.1 for additional information.
(1) Any team or County Baseball Chairman having a particular problem regarding player's eligibility, territorial boundary lines, or other problems not covered by either the National or State Rules, is required to communicate with their respective District Coordinators and District Vice Chairman prior to May 15th. The District Vice Chairman will consult with the State Chairman as required.
(F) Base School Changes - Requests for Base School changes need to be submitted to the State Baseball Chairman by April 1st. The League Chairman, the District Vice Chairman and the State Baseball Chairman must approve requests for Base School changes. Requests for Base School changes must go to the League Chairman and the District Vice Chairman prior to being sent to the State Baseball Chairman. Unless unusual circumstances occur, teams must maintain their base school for a minimum of 3 years. Changing a base school and not following the above process will result in the team being declared ineligible for the State Tournament.
(G) There should be only one team from a base school. Exceptions to this rule require a waiver from the Department Baseball Committee.
(H) Enrollment Totals - In New Jersey the official school enrollment figures shall be those published by the N.J.S.I.A.A. for the current year.
(I) If a team from a league that no longer exist request entry into another league, they must abide by all the rules of that league and must request entry no later than end of February. Leagues may waiver that deadline if they have not finalized their league schedule.
(J) Registration Fee – All Senior Teams and Junior Teams American Legion Baseball in New Jersey will remit to their respective County Baseball Chairman a $100 fee. This fee will be paid to the State Baseball Committee and will be used to cover expenses associated with the State Tournament, Scholarships and other expenses. If there is no State Junior Tournament, Junior Teams will only pay a $5 Fee. Payment must be paid by June 15 and mail to the following address:
The American Legion Department of New Jersey
171 Jersey Street
Building 5, 2nd Floor
Trenton, New Jersey 08611
(1) Check should be made payable to: American Legion Dept. of New Jersey. In the memo area on the check write: “Baseball” and Age Division (Senior’s or Junior’s)
RULE #6 – SPONSORSHIP
(A) In New Jersey the following methods of sponsorship are permissible:
(1) Post entirely sponsoring a team or teams.
(2) A Post and an outside individual or concern co-sponsoring a team or teams.
(3) An individual or an outside concern sponsoring a team or teams.
NOTE: In all the above, all the rules as set forth by The American Legion will be strictly adhered to.
(B) All Teams are strongly encouraged to insure that their Sponsor is incorporated.
RULE #7 – TOURNAMENT.
(A) District Tournament – Any protests regarding a player’s eligibility must be submitted by 9:00 AM the day the District Tournament starts.
(B) The teams participating in the District Tournament must be communicated by each League Chairman to Department Chairman no later than the date and time requested by the Department Chairman. The teams participating in the State Tournament must be represented in the Pre-Tournament Meeting.
(1) The dates of the Junior Tournaments and the Junior Pre-Tournament meeting will be announced by the State Chairman.
(2) The dates of any planned Junior Regional Tournament will be announced by the State Chairman
(C) Senior, District Tournaments will start on Friday, July 14th and planned to finish no later than Sunday, July 16th. If weather causes a delay, the District Tournaments will be finished no later than Wednesday, July19th. If necessary because of weather and delays, determination of who advances to the State Finals will be decided on criteria agreed to prior to the start of the tournament.
(D) The State Finals will start on Friday, July 21st and will be completed on Wednesday, July 26th. Thursday, July 27th is a Rain Date if weather conditions require
(E) District Coordinators, District Vice Chairmen, with the Department Chairman, shall be the Field Selection Committee and must approve fields for the Districts and State Finals.
(F) If a State Official or Representative is assigned by the Department Baseball Chairman to a tournament site and he is affiliated with a team that qualified for the State Tournament as a Manager or Coach, his team will play at the location he is assigned.
(G) All necessary expenses of the competing teams shall be borne by the posts sponsoring teams.
(H) Each League shall be entitled to a minimum of one representative in the Department Tournament. The Department Baseball Committee shall determine the number of teams from each league participating in State District Tournaments by June 15.
(I) Tournament Directors shall decide whether a game will be cancelled or postponed for any reason. Their decision shall be final. After a game has started, umpires must confer with the Directors before a game can be called for any reason.
(J) In New Jersey a team must participate in a league of four (4) teams or more and compete in a minimum of twelve (12) games against any Registered New Jersey American Legion Team to be eligible for Department Tournament play.
(K) Any player, or person accompanying a team participating in a State Tournament that is ejected from the game or dugout by an umpire, must leave the park where tournament games are being played and shall be suspended for the next scheduled game. Tournament director may apply longer penalties at his discretion. Failure to comply by the individual may result in forfeiture of game. Any coach or manager ejected from a State Tournament game shall be suspended 1 game or longer at the discretion of the Tournament Site Director. The Tournament Site Director, in consultation with the Baseball Chairman, may modify the suspension.
(L) Any team that forfeits a game in the Department Tournament may be subject to a 1-year suspension upon review by the Department Baseball Committee.
(M) Number of required Player - Refer to National Rules – RULE 9 (K).
(N) In the event of delays due to bad weather, the State Baseball Chairman has the ability to:
(1) Go to single elimination
(2) Use criteria communicated at the Pre-Tournament meeting.
(O) At District Tournaments and at the State Finals, the umpires will inspect all bats and helmets before the 1st game. If an umpire deems a bat or helmet unsafe, it will be held by the Tournament Director and returned to the team after they are eliminated from the tournament or the tournament is completed. The umpire will also inspect any weighted bats. ANY homemade weighted bat will not be allowed and will be held by the Tournament Director and will be returned to the team after they are eliminated from the tournament or the tournament is completed.
(P) In State Tournament games, where a game has not been played to completion in accordance with professional Baseball Rules, and where a game is called by the Umpire-in-Chief because of darkness or rain, the game shall be suspended with the remainder of the game played from where it was called to its conclusion. Where a game has been suspended for either darkness or rain, game must be completed, but the next regularly scheduled game may be played first. This decision rests with the Tournament Officials.
(Q) All Teams who participate in the State Tournament, both Districts and Finals, will carry with them at all State Tournament games: a Team Roster, all Form #2’s, the original birth certificates (or Drivers Licenses or Passports), all required #76 Forms and all required #77 Forms.
GENERAL ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES
(A) State Meetings will be open to all State Baseball Officials, Senior and Junior League Officials, and invited Guests.
(B) County Baseball Chairmen and League Presidents who directly supervise leagues do not have to be affiliated with any team as long as they understand and can interpret the rules of national and New Jersey American League Baseball.
(C) Only Legion members may have check writing or financial authority.
(D) In the event of a tie, the State Baseball Chairman will cast the deciding vote.
GENERAL FINANCIAL POLICIES
(A) The State Baseball Chairman or Authorized State Baseball Committee Official will approve all purchases.
(B) All requests for reimbursements and payments will be in writing and the bill, invoice or receipt will be provided with the written request.
(C) The State Committee will pay an Expense Allowance to each organization that hosts a District Tournament pending the submission of a finance report for their tournament and expense receipts. The amount will be determined each year by the State Baseball Chairman
(D) The NJ American Legion Baseball Committee will pay umpire fees for State Finals.
(E) The Senior State Champions will be given an expense allowance of $500.
(F) The NJ American Legion Headquarters in Trenton must approve any State Baseball Official traveling to Indianapolis for the convention. These individuals will be reimbursed for their airline ticket or car mileage and paid a per diem amount for daily expenses. The Per Diem amount will be determined by the Department Headquarters in Trenton.
(G) Financial and Cash controls will be implemented at the Districts and State Finals.
(H) The Tournament Committee will provide the Finance Committee an estimate of the revenues and expenses.
(I) All individuals or organizations must submit detailed expense reports, with appropriate receipts, for any and all amounts $600 and greater (IRS regulations).
No county shall impose individual rules for any new team entered into their program, nor shall any new team be subject to any undue financial burden that is not imposed on the rest of the league.
In New Jersey a person must be a member of The American Legion to direct, administer, guide or enforce discipline or otherwise be the sole Director of a County American Legion Baseball League. The baseball program is a part of The American Legion and therefore must be under the direct supervision of a person or persons who are members of the parent organization, The American Legion.
(A) The Department will present awards to the State Championship Team and the State Runner Up Team.
(B) Scholarships - $ 4,000 David C. Goodwin Memorial Award
$ 4,000 Ernest Zardetto Memorial Award
DEPARTMENT OF NEW JERSEY BASEBALL PROTEST FORM
All protest arising in any regular scheduled games must be filed with the local or District Chairman WITHIN 24 HOURS. all protest arising in a District Tournament will be filed with the District Chairman. All protests arising in the Tournament will be filed with the District Chairman. All protest arising in the Department Final will be filed with the Department Baseball Committee and will be ruled upon at that time. Protest fee of one hundred dollars ($100.00) in cash or certified check, made payable to Department Baseball Committee, must accompany each protest. If the protest is allowed, the fee will be returned to the protester. If the protest is not allowed this fee shall be deposited in the baseball fund at the district level the protest was filed.
Manager Phone #:
Rule Under Protest:
Rule Number ( ), Section Number ( ) ( )
Describe below the circumstances surrounding the incident under protest: