League Rules

1.  Games are self umpired by the players in the game
We are playing a backyard game; it is not hard to work together to make the correct calls. Remember, this is first and foremost about fun and friendly competition. Be cool, be honest, don't be an ass. Keep in mind that if you are being an ass, cheating, or bitching, then your opponents will likely respond in kind. Likewise, if you are being honest, courteous, calm and collected, then your opponents are likely to repay the favor.
-  Initial calls are made on the field of play by players active in the game
-  If the call made on the field is disputed, then non-participant spectators with the best view can be asked to make the final call
-  Ties at a base are awarded to the defense

2.  For the 2021 season a team's full-time roster must include a minimum of 5 players
-  A maximum of 8 rostered players will be in place during the draft
-  The maximum limit will be removed after the draft is complete
-  Players may be added to or dropped from a roster during the season before the trade deadline
-  Any veteran players joining after the Draft will be placed on a team via the Waiver Wire
-  A player must play in at least 40% of regular season games (11 games) to be eligible for postseason play
-  A team must have at least 4 rostered players postseason eligible in order to be postseason eligible

2a.  Veterans
-  Any player who has at least 60 career PA from prior WSEM seasons
-  Veterans may only be signed to a team through the Draft or Waiver Wire

2b.  Rookies
-  Players that are new to WSEM or who do not have at least 60 career PA
-  Rookies are unrestricted agents
-  They are free to sign with any team, but may choose to enter the Draft or Waiver Wire

2c.  Game lineups may be comprised of 3-6 players.
-  Only 4 may play the field while on defense, but all 6 may bat
-  Substitutions into/out of the 6 man lineup may be made so long as they are announced to the other team first
-  If a team begins the game with 3 players and their fourth arrives mid-game, he may be submitted into the lineup if the opposing team allows
-  Less than 3 players or more than 6 in the lineup will be cause for forfeit
-  Forfeit games are recorded with a 5-0 score

2d.  Non-roster substitute players may only be fielded if less than 4 rostered players are available for the game.
-  This allows the team to field a full defensive complement with one replacement
-  A substitute player is eligible for one weekend of unrestricted action
-  To play again after one weekend as a substitute the player must be added to the full-time roster
-  A rookie may be added as unrestricted free agents or via the Waiver Wire
-  A veteran must be added via the Waiver Wire

3.  Equipment
Legal Balls:
-  Only baseball-size official Wiffleball brand balls will be used
-  New and game-used balls are allowed
-  If a ball is dented or has a crack larger than 1/4" (or through the seam) it must be discarded
-  No scuffing or carving of the ball is allowed
-  The league will supply the balls for use during all official WSEM games
-  Teams must bring their own balls for batting practice and warming up. Removing balls from a game in progress will not be permitted
-  All balls are subject to being checked for legality before or during a game

Legal Bats:
-  Easton ProStix, Louisville C271 "Griffey", and official yellow Wiffle bats
-  Yellow bats only may be used when facing a pitcher from the 45' mid-pitch mound
-  Black or yellow bats may be used when facing a pitcher from the 48' fast-pitch mound
-  Taping the handle of the bat is allowed
-  Tape can only be applied 12" up the handle
-  Painting of the barrel of all bats is allowed
-  No other modifications are permitted to an Easton ProStix or Louisville C271
-  Corking or weighting inside of official yellow Wiffle bats is allowed
-  However, nothing (besides paint) may be added to the exterior of the bat's barrel
-  All bats are subject to being checked for legality before or during a game
-  All bats at the field may be used by any player from either team

No metal cleats. Rubber or plastic cleats are allowed

4.  Field Layout and dimensions
-  Foul lines form a 90° angle
-  Pitchers mounds:
-  Mid-pitch mound is 45' from the strike zone
-  Fast-pitch mound is 48' from the strike zone
-  The infield area will be a 45’square
-  A fair play line will be drawn in front of home plate; the line will intersect each foul line at 15’ creating a dead ball zone in front of home plate.
-  If the ball stops on the line, it is fair
-  If the ball is touched by a defender in fair territory and knocked back across the line, it is fair
-  If the ball rolls back between the line and home without being touched, it is foul
-  A double play line will be drawn in front of second base; the lines will intersect each base line at 6’ creating a “double play triangle”
-  The strike zone is a rectangle 28" tall and 20" wide set 12" off the ground 3' behind the front of home plate
-  Home run fences may be set at any distance and made of any material, but must completely cover the outfield's fair territory

5.  OUTS
A)  Strikeout
-  2 strikes against the batter
-  First pitch hits the strike zone with no swing by the batter
B)  Flyout: a flyball or line drive caught before it touches the ground
C)  Groundout: a fair ball fielded cleanly before touching the ground beyond the 45’ infield square or coming to a stop inside the infield square, then thrown to successfully hit the backstop or strike zone in the air
-  The fielder has two seconds and 2.5 steps to make the throw
-  The out applies to the lead forced runner
-  Unforced ghost runners hold if the out is made hitting the strike zone
-  The batter will be considered as part of the strike zone if standing in the way of the throw
-  Unforced runners advance one base if the out is made hitting the backstop

D)  Double Play (only with a runner on base in a force out position): a ground ball fielded cleanly before touching the ground beyond the 45’ infield square or coming to a stop inside the infield square, thrown to the Double Play Triangle, then thrown to successfully hit the backstop or strike zone in the air
-  The play in the Double Play Triangle records the out at first
-  A successful throw hitting the backstop records the out at second base. Unforced ghost runners advance one base
-  A successful throw hitting the strike zone records the out on the lead forced runner. Unforced ghost runners hold
-  The batter will be considered as part of the strike zone if standing in the way of the throw
-  A failed double play throw attempt results in the out at first base and all ghost runners advancing one base
-  The fielder receiving the throw in the Double Play Triangle has two seconds and 2.5 steps to release the throw
-  Fielder must have at least one foot inside of the Double Play Triangle when the ball is released
E)  In force out situations with two outs, a fair ball fielded before reaching the outfield may be thrown to another fielder in the Double Play Triangle to record the third out

6.  INFIELD FLY: In force out situations during a pop fly in the infield a member of the batting team may yell “infield fly” loud enough for the fielders to hear while the ball is in the air to prevent a double play attempt
A)  There must be a runner on 1st base and less than 2 outs to call “infield fly”
B)  Once “infield fly” is called by the batting team it cannot be rescinded
C)  If the ball lands in fair territory or is caught the result is an automatic out and all ghost runners remain at the same base
D)  If the ball lands in foul territory, it is a foul ball. The at-bat continues

7.  HITS
A)  Single:
-  A fair ball that touches the ground beyond the 45’ infield square
-  A fair ball that is bobbled to the ground on a play within the infield square
-  A fair ball that comes to a stop within the infield square before it is fielded
-  An unsuccessful throw to the backstop or strike zone
B)  Double:
-  A fair ball that bounces or rolls before hitting the outfield fence
-  Any obstructions in contact with the fence will be considered part of the fence
-  A double will also be awarded when a fielder contacts the fence while playing the ball, but does not record the out and the ball lands in the field of play
C)  Triple:
-  A fly ball or line drive that hits the fence in fair territory before touching the ground
D)  Home Run:
-  A fair ball that goes over the outfield fence in fair territory

8.  ADVANCING BASERUNNERS AND RUNS-BATTED IN
A)  Ghost runners advance one base:
-  An infield single where the ball stops before it is played by a fielder
-  A single that is misplayed by a fielder
-  Ball is touched by the fielder but bobbled to the ground
-  Ball makes contact with a fielder before touching the ground in the outfield
-  Ball is fielded cleanly, but the throw misses the strike zone and backstop
-  Unforced ghost runners on a successful out thrown to the backstop
B)  Ghost runners advance two bases:
-  A single where the ball contacts the ground beyond the infield square before it is touched by a fielder
C)  A double will score all ghost runners:
-  UNLESS with a runner starting from first base the ball is fielded off the fence, thrown within 2.5 steps, and the throw successfully hits the backstop or strike zone. A successful throw to the backstop or strike zone will hold a runner from first base at third base.
-  The throw from the outfield may bounce once before hitting the backstop or strike zone
-  The batter will be considered as part of the backstop or strike zone if standing in the way of the throw

9.  TAGGING UP: While the ball is in the air any player from the batting team may yell “TAG” loud enough for the fielders to hear
A)  If the ball is caught, runners from all bases tag up
B)  The catch-to-throw must be a continuous transition involving no more than 2.5 steps
-  If the catch is bobbled, the 2.5 step count starts at initial touch of the ball
-  If the ball is not caught, then standard hitting rules apply
C)  A successful throw hitting the backstop results in all runners holding
-  The ball may bounce once before hitting the backstop
D)  A successful throw hitting the strike zone results in the lead runner being out, and all other runners holding
-  The ball may bounce once before hitting the strike zone
E)  An errant throw that misses the backstop results in all ghost runners advancing one base

10.  Steals:
-  Teams have 2 steal attempts per game
-  While the pitcher is in their wind-up, any member of the offense may yell "STEAL" loud enough for the fielders to hear
-  The pitcher must throw the ball home; they may not step off the mound
-  If the ball misses the zone, the runner is SAFE and advances one base
-  If the ball hits the zone, the runner is OUT
-  If the batter fouls off the pitch, an attempt will not be counted as used; the runner will return to the base
-  If the batter puts the ball in play, it is live and the attempt will be counted as used
-  Only one runner with an open base in front of them may attempt to steal at a time
-  No stealing of home
-  Steals may only be attempted by runners on first or second base

11.  Rules by Position
A)  For the pitcher:
-  A pitcher will choose a mound distance and rules before entering the game
-  48' mound — fast-pitch
-  No speed limit
-  Batters may use black or yellow bats
-  45' mound — mid-pitch
-  60 mph speed limit
-  Batters may only use yellow bats
-  2 warnings will be issued for exceeding speed limit
-  Pitches resulting in a warning will be called balls
-  Third pitch over the speed limit will result in the pitcher moving back to the 48' mound for the remainder of game; black bats will then be allowed
-  A pitcher cannot switch mounds during the game
-  No balking to trick the batter or throw off their timing
-  One foot must be touching or behind the mound at middle of the pitchers circle
-  No scuffing, carving, or weighting of the ball will be permitted
-  Only one ball may be in hand while pitching
-  After a pitcher is taken off the mound they may not return as a pitcher for the rest of the game in progress
-  Rotation Rule:
-  If a pitcher throws 3+ innings, they may not pitch in the following game
-  If a pitcher throws 8+ innings, they may not pitch in the following 2 games
-  The pitchers' mound is 48' from the strike zone
-  The strike zone is 28" tall by 20" wide, and set 10" off the ground
-  The count is 5 balls for a walk, 2 strikes for an out
-  No base will be awarded for hitting a batter with a pitch, whether in the head or otherwise
-  Intentional walks may be issued verbally without pitching to the batter
-  First Pitch Strike Out Rule:
-  If the batter does not swing and the first pitch of an at-bat hits the board, the batter is OUT

B)  For the batter:
-  There are 2 strikes for an out, and 5 balls for a walk
-  No base will be awarded for being hit by a pitch
-  Bunting is not allowed; swing away!
-  If the batter does not swing, and the ball hits anywhere on the strike zone, it is a strike
-  First Pitch Strike Out Rule
-  If the batter does not swing and the first pitch of an at-bat hits the board, the batter is OUT
-  If the batter has 1 strike and tips the ball into the board, they are OUT
-  One-handed swings are not allowed, and will be ruled as a strike
-  Both of the batter's feet must remain on the mat during the swing
-  Crowding the plate is not allowed; the batter must give the pitcher the inside corner
-  Blocking the plate or stepping into pitches will result in a called strike
-  Intentional walks may be issued verbally without pitching to the batter
-  The batter will be considered as part of the strike zone if standing in the way of the throw

C)  For the fielders:
-  No gloves of any kind will be allowed to be worn on the field
-  Use of a hat or other article of clothing to catch the ball is NOT permitted
-  Fielders must line up in fair territory when the ball is pitched, but can position themselves anywhere on the field
-  The only balls that will be ruled "out of play" and uncatchable are fly balls beyond the home-run fence, fair or foul
-  Position players may freely sub in and out of the field

12.  League games are 6 innings
-  Beginning in 2015 there is a 65 minute time limit on regular season WSEM league games
-  No new inning may begin after the 65th minute
-  When an inning ends after the 65th minute, the current score will decide the winner
-  If a game is tied at the completion of an inning after 65 minutes, the result is a tie
-  Mercy Rules:
-  10 runs after the 3rd, 4th, or 5th inning
-  15 runs after the 2nd inning
-  Tournament games may play with more or less innings, and different time limits

13.  Standings
-  Teams are ranked from top to bottom by win percentage
-  Tie-breakers after win percentage:
1)   Head-to-head regular season record
2)   Run differential
3)   Losses in extra innings

14.  Postseason
-  The 2021 Postseason is a return to The Ladder format
-  Game 1 (12 PM): 5-seed vs 6-seed
-  Game 2 (1:15 PM): 4-seed vs Winner of Game 1
-  Game 3 (2:30 PM): 3-seed vs Winner of Game 2
-  Game 4 (3:45 PM): 2-seed vs Winner of Game 3
-  The winner of Game 4 adcances to play the 1-seed in the best-of-three Championship Series

15.  A team must play 16 games to be eligible for the postseason. Occasionally forfeits are unavoidable, thus, forfeiture of up to two series is acceptable. Any more than that shows a lack of commitment to the league and your fellow players, therefore, you will lose your right to represent the league in the race for the championship.

16.  Trades
-  All trades must be approved by the league front office
-  Trades must include at least a player-for-player swap
-  Non-monetary incentives may be included in addition to players in a deal
-  The number of players involved per side does not have to be equal
-  i.e. 2-for-1 trades and three-way trades are allowed
-  When traded, games played toward playoff eligibility travel with the player to their new team
-  The 2020 trade deadline is 7/15/2020. No trades may be made after this date or during postseason play

17.  Free Agency
-  Only rookie players are available on the open market as unrestricted free agents
-  All veteran players will be signed to a team in one of the following ways:
-  Being drafted by a team
-  Being signed via the waiver wire
-  If a veteran player clears waivers, only then will they become eligible as a free agent.

18.  The Draft
-  Team rosters for the 2018 season will be filled out by selections made in a snake draft
-  Draft order reverses each round
-  I.E. The team with the last pick in a round will have the first pick in the nextround; the team with the first pick in a round will have the last pick in the next round; etc.
-  Teams must draft at least the number of players needed to reach the minimum requirement of 5 players
-  A team may pass on their picks once they have five players on their roster
-  Teams may not draft another player once their roster is maxed out at 8 players
-  Draft picks may be traded for players, and players may be traded for future draft picks
-  All trades must be approved by the front office.

19.  Waiver Wire
-  All new veteran player signings after the Auction Draft or during the season will be handled by the waiver wire
-  Rookie players may also opt for the waiver wire if not being signed by a specific team
-  The waiver wire process:
-  The team currently in last place in the standings will be offered the first chance to sign a player
-  Teams have the option to sign the player or pass
-  If they pass, the option is presented to the next team ahead in the standings. This will proceed from last place to first
-  When a team signs a player on waivers they will move to the back of the line for the upcoming waiver wires, regardless of their place in the standings
-  A team cannot carry more than 8 players on their roster
-  If a team with 8 on their roster wants to sign a new player through waivers, then a member of their roster must be dropped
-  A dropped player will then be put on waivers

20.  Code of Conduct
-  Deliberate actions by players that delay gameplay or damage field equipment (strike zone, wiffleballs, fences, etc) will be subject to possible punishment - such as ejection, temporary suspension, or permanent ban - as determined by the commissioner
-  When at the fields or engaging in WSEM-related online posts you are a representative of the league. Actions that are disrespectful to the surrounding community or detrimental to the image of the league (I.E. using excessive profanity or slurs in front of children, fighting, leaving behind your trash, or endangering the safety of others) will be subject to punishment - such as ejection, temporary suspension, or permanent ban - as determined by the commissioner

21.  NWLA Tournament Eligibility
- To be eligible for the WSEM Dads roster a player must have played in at least 40% of the regular season games
- For the 2021 season this number is 12 games