(NAFA Operating Policies reviewed 10-20-2008)
The operating policies of NAFA are written guidelines that can be changed as needed by the Executive Director as needed for the protection of the organization. Most changes are initiated by members of the organization. Often times input is gathered prior to making changes but these are flexible operating policies that are only put into writing to help our members understand our policies and procedures. They are not part of the bylaws or playing rules which require a vote to change.
World Series and Masters Bids and Bidders
World Series are bid annually at the World Series 2 years in advance. The NAFA World Series is held in a different city each year and in 2009 it is held August 6-16, 2009 in Appleton(Fox Cities), Wisconsin. The Masters West World Series is held September 18-20, 2009 in Carson City, Nevada and the Masters East World Series is held September 11-13 in Rockford, Illinois. The AAA World Series will held in Middleton (near Madison), Wisconsin July 24-26. The Open will be held for one year only August 7-9 at Sunset Park in Kimberly, Wisconsin. Any city may submit the bid form and signed world series agreement by June 1st each year. The Executive Director may inspect your city at your cost. On or before July 10th each year the finalist bidders (usually 2-4) will be invited to the current year's World Series to make bid presentations to the NAFA World Series Selection Committee (usually the Executive Committee and selected State Directors) on the first Saturday of the World Series. This year we are accepting bids for the 2010 World Series August 5-15, 2010 and for the 2009 NAFA Masters East World Series. The 2009 NAFA Masters West World Series has been awarded to Carson City, Nevada for the 6th consecutive year. The bidders can have booths at the World Series and promote their City on the Thursday and Friday prior to making their bid presentations on Saturday. For a world series bid packet email us at Nafafastpitch@gmail.com and request a World Series Bid Packet by email. Our teams love to travel to new places that can put on a professional show and make them the center of attention. See our website at www.Nafafastpitch.com for Economic Impact Figures Annually gained by each city. The 2009 World Series has been awarded to Appleton, Wisconsin.
NAFA Offical Playing Rules
NAFA has developed our own rules over the years that improve the game dramatically. We have one rule that we rely on above all others and it is the NAFA Golden Rule: Games are won and lost between the white lines. Great Fastpitch teams don't rely on technical rule interpretations and rule or procedure manipulations to win. Great teams win with great athletes exhibiting fine sportsmanship. Always treat your opponents and the officials with the same mutual respect that we all desire. Play by the NAFA Golden Rule, and we will have a great organization and World Series.
If a rule is not covered in the NAFA World Series Tournament Rules Sheet(see page on website), then the default order is to have the Tournament Committee Rule on it in the most fair way intended and if that is not possible then we default to the Official NAFA Official Rulebook.
Our key rule improvements are:
1-We only play on fenced fastpitch fields at the World Series normally at 250 feet
2-We play with traditional style rules with no tie breaker and no time limit at the World Series
3-We use a specifically designed White(not green) Fastpitch ball(not slowpitch) hardness with slightly raised seems, trutech cover and red stitches so that no illegal balls can get thrown in accidentally or on purpose
4-We use a 7 run rule instead of an 8 run rule
5-There are no courtesy runners(except in masters play). There is no shorthanded rule (except the DB/DS application). Finish with what you started with or it is a forfeit.
6-We cutoff our official banned bat list one month prior to the World Series so that teams can buy equipment and use it at state and know that it will still be legal for the World Series
7-On Deck Circle: The on deck batter may use either on deck circle as long as he is behind the batter when using the opposite circle. This gives the batter the opportunity to not get hit in the face with a foul ball
8-We don't allow substitutes to re-enter only starters like the game was intended to be played- Only the starting players including the DB and DS (providing you stay at 10 players), may leave the game and re-enter one time. The original 9 batters must occupy the same batting position in the lineup. NOTE: Substitutes may not re-enter. SEE below how the DS can replace an injured player,
9-We feel we have the best DH/Flex/DP/Defo Rule in sports…read more below
NAFA DB (DESIGNATED BATTER) & DS (DEFENSIVE SPECIALIST) RULE
DB: A player may be listed as a Designated Batter. The DB may bat in any one of the nine spots in the lineup, but must be selected prior to the game and must be included in the lineup card presented to the umpire. If the DB or his substitute(s) enter the game on defense, the DB and DS positions are terminated for the remainder of the game.
DS: When a DB is used, a non-batting player (DS) must be listed in the 10th spot in the line up for defensive purposes only. The DS or his substitute(s) may enter the game on offense for any one of the nine players listed on the line-up card(this can be for an injured player), but that will terminate the DB and DS for the remainder of the game. The DS or his substitute(s) will then be locked into that spot in the batting lineup for the remainder of the game.
The DB and DS as starting players, have a reentry while in the ten player lineup. If the DB enters the game on defense it is not considered a substitution, however, if the DS enters the game on offense, the DS shall be considered a substitute and forfeit his ability to re-enter. Explanation: The DB is in one of the original nine batting positions, but the DS is not. Once a team has gone from the ten player lineup to nine, they may never go back to ten.
10-Pitching: We absolutely have the BEST pitching rule in Fastpitch which takes away 95% of the illegal pitches called in other organizations.
The pitcher must start with one foot on the pitching plate. The pitcher may lift his foot above the pitching plate as long as he sets it back down on the plate prior to leaping. Leaping is legal as long as the pitcher does not replant and push off again from the back foot. A Crow hop is a step in front of the plate and is illegal whether the pitching has a traditional style or leaping style. PENALTY: Delayed dead ball, ball on the batter, no advancement of runner unless forced by a walk on the batter. The offense gets the choice of the result of the play or the illegal pitch penalty.
11-Ejections and Behavior: We don't put up with bad behavior at NAFA especially during the end of tense games, that's why we don't have the problems some other people do at their events…
Profanity of any kind will not be tolerated. The umpire has the choice to warn, or eject a player or team for profanity. If you are ejected for unsportsmanlike behavior prior to the 6th inning you are only ejected for the remainder of that game. If you are ejected in the 6th inning or later, you are ejected for the next game as well as the remainder of that game you got ejected in.
12-Lineup Cards, Balls, Coin Tossed, Dugouts: Lineup cards are in the Coaches Packets. Balls, additional lineup cards and the double coin toss for home and visitor will be controlled by the NAFA Rep at the Bracket Board, 30 minutes prior to the start of each round of games at the Bracket Board. The team at the top of the bracket will take the 3rd base dugout unless a team is staying for back to back games.
13-Uniforms and Equipment: The Official bat list is included and is listed on the website. All players must be in like uniforms with a number on the jersey. Each player must wear a hat. The catcher must wear a protective helmet mask and throat protector. Batters and base runners must wear a helmet (preferable NOCSAE approved) with double ear flaps. Canadian rules allow single flaps. If worn must be protecting the ear facing the pitcher.
The tournament committee reserves the right to change any aspect of this event that they see fit including field assignments, game times, playing rules, behavioral expectations, limiting players to non-pitching roles and disqualifying players from pitching or playing if in their sole judgment it is determined to be beneficial to the event. Team medical and liability insurance is the responsibility of each individual team and player and spectator in the event. Each player and coach waives their right to sue any NAFA official and City officials and agrees to hold harmless both NAFA and the Cities that we play at. Each player, by taking the field, and each spectator by entering the park, understands and agrees that the game of Fastpitch Softball is a dangerous athletic activity and that it can cause serious injury and even death in rare occasions to participants and spectators.
Playing Rules Changes Take 60% of the Vote
Our rules are better because they are made by people who actually still play the game. The Executive Committee, Umpire Committee, and State Directors make up our playing rules committee annually. The hardest thing to do in NAFA is to change a rule that has been perceived as a good rule for a long time because it takes 60% of the voters to agree with the change not just a whimsical 51%.
NAFA Geographical Lines
NAFA is divided into 5 U.S. Regions and 3 Canadian Regions.
Membership in NAFA
NAFA allows any qualified person and/or team to apply for membership in NAFA with an appropriate roster and by paying the established fees annually. There are four types of membership in NAFA…
1) Team Membership, Any amateur team which competes and plays fastpitch, is eligible for team membership by paying the annual team registration fee as set by your NAFA State Director and by submitting a properly executed roster/waiver form. Teams may only register in the State or Province where more than 50% of there players live or work. This membership entitles the team to compete in NAFA events.
2) Umpire Membership, Any person who has Fastpitch umpiring experience at a competitive level or who has played men's Fastpitch may apply fur umpire membership. Fill out the Umpire Questionaire form on the website and email it to Carley Parish, NAFA Umpire Committee Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org
The umpire must pay the National Umpire Registration fee $35 annually. This entitles umpires the right to be considered to umpire in NAFA mens Fastpitch games.
3) Associate Membership. New rules to be released at the National Meeting.
4) Life Membership. New rules to be released at the National Meeting.
NAFA is for amateur Fastpitch players and teams to compete fairly under an adopted set of playing rules and guidelines. Teams must pay their team annual registration fee and submit their roster prior to playing. The Roster size for any team is 18 players. I coaches are to be included then make them part of the 18. Teams winning travel money in an expense check made out to their sponsor is legal.
We are an amateur sport (at least at the AA and below level). An amateur Fastpitch player is one who competes for the physical and mental pleasure as well as the social benefits derived from our fine sport. An amateur player does NOT receive compensation above and beyond being reimbursed for travel, lodging, meals or any other normal expense that all sponsors pay for. An amateur player can receive product as awards and a very small amount of money and maintain their amateur status. Teams may accept team travel money awards for winning events to use to travel to other events. Individuals should not expect or be paid large amounts of money to play our sport. We are aware that in the Open Divisions of play that some players are on personal service contracts to perform work as independent contractors for their sponsor's corporation. Those contracts are well defined by attorneys and have proven legal. Our advice to you as a player is to never take money so that it never becomes an issue. A player is eligible to play for any one team provided that team is registered with NAFA and the player has signed the NAFA Roster/Waiver. All players must be over the age of 16 to play in NAFA and must have a parent waiver signed if under 18 years of age. A player who is legally signed on a NAFA roster and plays with that team regularly and at state may also play on a higher class team as a pickup player as long as the Vice President or Executive Director has been notified and pre-approved the pickup player.
Acts of Disbarment
Include: any physical attack on an player, umpire, Nafa director or fan or by knowingly competing with a player or players that are ineligible or suspended, or any NAFA official that refuses to forward funds collected from the teams, or competing under an assumed name, or a team not paying a fee owed or writing a bad check, or failing to show up after entering an event, or giving false information to harm the association, or disbarment by another sanctioning body of softball, or by a Director taking items that don't belong to them or knowingly taking a sum of money large enough as to make you a professional in this sport.
How do I register my team with NAFA?
See our website for the State Director in your State under the NAFA Leadership button on our website at www.Nafafastpitch.com Contact your state director and it is simple to fill out the roster and forward it with your $35 NAFA Team Regitration fee to your State Director.
How does my team qualify for the World Series or Masters World Series?
In most states and provinces all you have to do is play in one NAFA event during the Year unless you play in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, Minnesota or California which have local qualifying rules. It can be a league or a tournament. It is easy to make any league or tournament a NAFA sanctioned event…see below….In addition, in places where there are no NAFA events within your reach, the President of NAFA may authorize your team a direct berth to the NAFA World Series. All you have to do is tell us your situation and request it. The Masters World Series is an event you do not have to qualify for as all teams are invited. The easiest way to get your event requirement if your league won't sanction the event is to sanction your league yourself…see how below…
How do I sanction a tournament or league with NAFA?
It is easy. The event can be NAFA only sanctioned or it can be dual sanctioned with ASA or ISC or Softball Canada or another affiliation. The Tournament and League Sanction Fee is only $25. Forward the Official NAFA Tournament or League Sanction Form from the website with the team list, managers email, phone and mailing address and the teams classes to the national office at Nafafastpitch@gmail.com or mail to NAFA, PO Box 566, Dayton, Or. 97114. Our goal is to get everyone playing in NAFA events. We want all our events to be first class, fun and fair for everyone. While we don't require use of the NAFA 3GG Bracket at tournaments, many people are choosing to use them and we provide the brackets for free to you just email us at Nafafastpitch@gmail.com Your NAFA State Director will assist you in any way possible including distributing info about your NAFA event. All events must be ran in the best interest of softball and refunds are solely up to the tournament directors. We recommend that NAFA World Series Qualifiers except last chance qualifiers be held prior to July 24th so that teams have the whole month to make travel arrangements after qualifying.
Roster requirements for the World Series
Teams should fill out their NAFA roster at their earliest possible convenience and forward it to their State Director and also email it to the national office if participating in the World Series. The roster must be signed by all players and the roster must be signed prior to playing in a NAFA event. Each player must be able to provide a valid drivers license, photo ID, or another form of ID to prove player identity if requested to by a NAFA Director.
The official roster should be turned into your State Director by July 15th each year or prior to your first NAFA event of the year. Email it to the NAFA National Office at Nafafastpitch@gmail.com
3 Legal, Pre-Approved pickup players are allowed per each team attending the World Series. All Pitchers must be pre-approved before arrival. Pickup players must be noted with an asteric and what team they came from and the teams class to make sure you picked the player up from the same class team or lower. You are NOT allowed pickup players from teams with higher classes than your team unless specifically pre-approved by the Executive Director. As a guideline pickup players should come from your state or province or a touching state or province whenever possible. To have someone not from a touching state or province you must first be approved. The Executive Director may allow this under the right circumstances. No open pitchers on a AA-Major team. If a team is playing in multiple classes in the world series i.e. a AA team is also playing in the AA-Major division they may use two AA-Major pitchers and two AA-Major position players but all must be pre-approved.
Team and Pitcher Classification
The NAFA State Director classifies each team in each state,
"A"-(middle to lower ASA C),
"A-Major"-(Good ASA C and weak B teams),
"AA"-(Middle to Good ASA B teams, middle ISC2 and Canadian Lower Intermediate teams),
"AA-Major"-(Better ASA B teams, ASA A teams, ISC2 Teams teams without open pitchers)
"Open"-(Any team using a pitcher from the Open Pitchers List or any team classified as Open by NAFA.)
Please see classification rules on the website under "Classification." We also have a National Pitchers List and Team list to help people know where they fit it classification wise. We have an International Classification Committee to resolve appeals and issues when the State Director isn't sure or the team disagrees with the State Director.
NAFA reserves the right to reclassify any team at any time of the season and we reserve the right to restrict pitchers to non pitching positions once they get to the world Series if they are clearly playing out of class. Sandbagging is very much discouraged and we will take any step necessary to correct the situation at any time and even during the World Series.