Nisky Baseball League Handbook

Updated Saturday June 10, 2017 by John Hand.


This handbook is designed to be a guide for present and future members of the NISKAYUNA BASEBALL LTD LEAGUE (NBL).

The philosophy, objectives, procedural statements and other information contribute to the operation of the NBL.

No handbook could possibly provide and envision all the answers to all the league questions, but familiarity with this manual, along with good judgment should help in making good decisions for the league. 

All items in this handbook are subject to revision periodically.  Ideas for improvements are encouraged at any time to be expressed to the Board directly.  The various chapters in this manual deal with all facets of our league operation.  Any part of this manual should be considered the “rules” of the NBL program and should be adhered to accordingly.

The Board reserves the right to act within the framework of the bylaws to address situations that may arise to add, adjust, modify, change or overrule the handbook.


The major objective of the NBL program is to provide wholesome opportunities for the children of NBL to develop from their experiences, favorable habits and attitudes through the baseball programs.

The NBL Board of Directors and volunteers serve for two reasons:  first, to teach skills so that the children may improve themselves and derive more satisfaction and enjoyment of the game; second,  to teach and instill values – values that will enable them to improve as individuals, and values that they will carry with them throughout life.


All umpires will be instructed by the NBL Board to strictly adhere to the following rules and enforcement procedures:

  1. Anyone (coach, parent, player, spectator) observed using offensive or profane language will be immediately ejected from the game and asked to leave the complex immediately.  Any player observed “intentionally” throwing objects will be ejected from the game.
  2. The calling of balls, strikes and all other calls is judgmental.  Any attempt by the head coach or assistant coach to harass or coerce the umpire shall result in one warning.  If the harassment continues after warning, the head coach and/or assistant coach will be ejected from the game.
  3. Perceived violations of the rules of NBL should result in an immediate protest with the umpire.  The game should not be delayed by verbal protests by head coaches and/or assistant coaches.
  4. It is essential that every head coach/assistant coach of NBL encourage and promote the ideals of fair play and good sportsmanship to players and parents of this organization.
    1. Head coach of opposing teams shall maintain control of their respective field situations at all times.  Head coaches shall not allow parents, players or assistant coaches to disrupt play or intimidate any other individuals.   Umpires should, when such an incident arises, take steps to continue the game without further interruption.  Should the situation continue and when all reasonable methods of control have failed, he/she may call the game a forfeit.

b.   If any individual is ejected from the game, they must leave the premises immediately.

c.   Head coaches or umpires should, within 24 hours, notify the President of NBL of the circumstances surrounding the incident.  The game shall be considered no game for both teams until final disposition is made by the NBL Board.  The final disposition should be completed within 72 hours of the official notification.

 d. Any Board Officer who observes such an incident must do what he/she can to resolve 

     this problem firsthand.  A game may be stopped only when the umpire feels that the situation is beyond reason and that conditions are detrimental to the game and youth of

     this league. 

  1. If a head coach/assistant coach is ejected from a game, he/she must leave the complex immediately.   An ejection results in an immediate suspension for at least one additional game. Two ejections during the season will result in that head coach’s/assistant coach’s removal from the position.

6.         Team head coaches should handle all conversations or disputes on the playing field and be a reasonable distance from players and fans so they are unable to hear what is taking place.

II. Coaching – General Description


  1. Coaches Code of Ethics


  • I will place the emotional and physical well-being of my players ahead of my personal desire to win
  • I will treat each player as an individual, remembering the large range of emotional and physical development for the same age group.
  • I will do my best to provide a safe playing situation for my players.
  • I will promise to review and practice the basic first aid principles needed to treat injuries of my players.
  • I will do my best to organize practices that are fun and challenging for all players.
  • I will use coaching techniques appropriate for each of the skills that I teach.
  • I will lead by example in demonstrating fair play and sportsmanship to all my players.
  • I will be knowledgeable in the rules of the sport, and I will teach these rules to my players.
  • I will provide a sports environment for my team that is free of foul language, drugs, tobacco and alcohol, and I will refrain from their use at all youth sports events.
  • I will remember that I am a youth sports coach, and that the game is for children and not adults.



I have read an understand the NBL Coaches Code of Ethics, by accepting the position of Manager, I am bound to the rules and procedures expressed in the Coaches Code of Ethics


  1. Coaches Guidelines and Regulations
  1. Coaches Conduct: All head coaches must be Certified (except at the t-ball level) and conduct their program in a sportsman-like and educational manner as well as assure the safety of each player.
  2. Coaching Staff: It is recommended that each head coach select a staff of a maximum of three. The names need to be submitted to the player rep.  At the AAA and Majors level these assistants should be certified.
  3. Suspensions: The General Manager in conjunction with the Vice-President may suspend any manager, coach, or player for up to two (2) games for violation of baseball rules or unsportsmanlike conduct.  Further disciplinary action can be addressed by the full Board of Directors.
  4. Practice Schedule: Each head coach is expected to hold frequent practices throughout the year
  5. Team Parent: It is suggested that all head coaches select a team parent(s).  The team parent is an integral part of your team and the league as a whole.  Team Parents are expected to help organize concessions, field duties and other volunteer opportunities.

5.         Roster: Upon conclusion of the league draft, the head coach should secure an accurate roster from the Vice-President.  Once the okay is given by the Vice President the manager should reach out to the parents of the children on his/her roster within two or three days.  At this time, each parent should be encouraged to attend the first practice for a parent orientation. Parents should read Section IV B. (Parents Responsibilities - see below) at this time.

6.         Season Schedule: The season schedule will be provided by NBL to each head coach and to the scheduler of the umpires. Games will be played on specific dates with umpires scheduled in advance of game day.

7.       Rainouts/Rescheduling:  The decision to cancel our games due to inclement weather will be made no later than one hour before game time.  If the field is not playable as determined by the appropriate league commissioners, or league president (unless that officer is involved in the game), the game will be rescheduled based on the predetermined rainout schedule.  The league official must notify the Umpires that the game has been cancelled. The league will post the game cancellation at

8.         Dugout Behavior:  Head coaches/assistant coaches are responsible for their team’s dugout behavior.  Game excitement and cheering for their teammates is fine.  General rowdy behavior and/or yelling at other coaches, players or umpires is not permitted.

  • Only 4 adults are allowed in the dugout during a game – League officials, head coaches and assistant coaches.
  • All spectators must stay in the bleacher area. 
  • Only the on-deck batter is allowed in the on deck circle during play.
  • On-deck player must wear a helmet when in the deck area.
  • No chanting or purposeful noise when the pitcher begins his/her wind up
  • Food in the dugout is to be minimalized. 
  • All coaches are responsible for cleaning the dugout following the game. 

9.         Benching a Player:  Any coach, during the course of the game, can sit a player for the remainder of the game for disciplinary reasons. The manager shall notify the opposing manager and the umpire of the disciplinary action. Any further penalty will go to the Player Representative.  The player representative will involve the general manager and/or the Board of Directors at his discretion, depending on the circumstances.

▪  Immediately after the game, the coach must explain to the player and the players’ parent why the player was benched.

▪ Any coach who abuses this disciplinary authority is subject to an ethics committee review and possible disciplinary action which can include termination.

10.       Notification of Player Suspension:  If a player is reprimanded and/or if he/she does not play (the required innings in a game), or is under suspension for one or more games, the coach must notify the opposing team’s coach, the umpire and the scorekeeper immediately at the time of the action and the player rep after the game. 

11.       Penalties:

  • Pitching an ineligible pitcher:  Game is subject to forfeit and the head coach is subject to an ethics committee review and may be suspended for one game.

n       Failure to give a player the required playing time in a regulation game (six innings) will result in forfeiture of the game and the player will be required to play all innings in the next game. Coach is subject to an ethics committee review and possible one game suspension. Each player is expected to play half of any in-house game.

12.       Scorebooks: Official scorebooks can be kept in pencil.  Upon completion of a game, the scorebook will be verified with the opposing head coach noting any discrepancy from either party.  Scorebooks will be available for examination upon any request from any NBL head coach within that age division, the Player Representative of that age division, or the NBL Board.

  • Scorebooks are available by request from the Players Representatives.
  • The home team will be responsible for keeping the official league scorebook.
  • A record of innings pitched by each pitcher and player participation verification must be logged in the official scorebook and reported to the Player Representative. 

13.       Protective Gear:  All catchers must wear a protective cup while playing or practicing regardless of level.  Head coaches must stress this to players. It is also wise to encourage all players to wear such protective devices.

14.       Coach Listing on Rosters: A head coach can officially be listed on only one team roster per division.

  • A head coach may be an assistant coach in another division and must file by the draft.
  • Each team can officially have only one head coach and two (2) assistant coaches listed on their team roster. 
  • All coaches must be registered with the league secretary, before opening day.
  • Head coaches may be required to have completed background checks.
  • All Head Coaches (excluding T-ball) are required to complete the Babe Ruth Coaches Certification.

15.       Meeting Requirements: Every head coach is required to attend a preseason coaches meeting. Some levels may also require coaches to attend Coaches Clinics provided by NBL at the request of the NBL Board of Directors

  1. Equipment: 
  2. Secure equipment and uniforms from the equipment manager at a scheduled day and time to be determined by the equipment manager. 

     ▪    If player provides own equipment, they must have approval to use in

            practice and games.

      ▪  At the end of each season, all equipment must be checked back in. Your  commissioner will contact you regarding equipment return and procedures. 

  • Head coaches are responsible for all items to be returned to the NBL league.  If a head coach fails to return their equipment in a timely manner, they may not be considered for a coaching position the following year and will be responsible for the cost of replacement


  1. No Smoking or Drinking of Alcohol – Smoking and tobacco products are prohibited in all Niskayuna Town Parks.  Possession of alcohol or illegal drugs on NBL premises, school property or fields reserved by NBL is prohibited.  Individuals under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the premises, school property or fields reserved by NBL will be asked to leave.  If a person refuses to leave, then the police will be called.



 III. Coaching  - Game-Day Duties


All Teams are expected to strictly follow the posted procedures.



  1.     Home Team Responsibilities: 
  • The home team will prepare (rake and line) the playing field prior to each game.  Both teams are responsible for drying and raking the field if necessary.
  • The home team will occupy the first base dugout area.
  • The home team (Majors & AAA) should provide for scoreboard operation, as applicable. Scoreboard operators and announcer, if provided must be 16 years of age or older.  A maximum of 2 operators/announcers younger than 18 will be allowed and must commit for the entire game).
  • Snack bar responsibilities are defined for each level and must fulfilled prior to the start of the game.  The game will not begin until this obligation is filled.  A game can also be stopped midway if a team is not fulfilling its concession stand obligation.


2.         Visiting Team Responsibilities

  • The visiting team will clean their dugout and help rake infield dirt and repair pitcher's mound after the game
  • Empty and reline the trash cans adjacent to the field as necessary.


3.         Warm Up Time Before Games: 

  • The visiting team shall have the field for 15 minutes beginning 30 minutes prior to the games scheduled start time.  There will be no batting practice on fields during this warm up time.
  • The home team will have the field for the 15 minutes prior to the games scheduled start time.
  • The reverse is true for use of the batting cages:  The visiting team will have the batting cage for the 15 minutes prior to the game, the home team will have the batting cages for  the15 minutes beginning 30 minutes prior to the games start time.  Batting cage time used prior to the times designated must allow for alternating batters.
  • Do not approach the benches until the team from any previous game has removed all of their players and equipment.


4.         Concessions Responsibilities


  • For all fields except Majors, the team contact person (team parent or head coach) of the home team is responsible for insuring parents are available for concession stand coverage.
  • For Majors both home and away team are responsible for insuring parents are available for concession stand coverage.
  •  If a parent does not show up, the team contact person must notify the head coach and  find a replacement immediately.  If no other parent or young adult (18 years or older) is available, then the duty falls to the head coach, or the team will forfeit the game.
  • The home team must take charge of the opening and closing of the snack bar. 
  • The snack bar closes when the last game on the complex has been completed.



5.         Challenging the Umpire:

Only the head coach may leave the coaches box or dugout to question or speak with an umpire on a ruling.  The head coach shall not allow any assistant coaches, players, or parents to question or harass an umpire.  The head coach may never leave the dugout or coach’s box to talk to an umpire without first receiving the umpire’s permission


6.         Sportsmanship/Handshaking:  Immediately upon conclusion of the game, the head coaches must   

            line their team up for the traditional shaking of hands.


7.         Post Game Talks:  Post game talks should be limited to 1 or 2 Minutes if another game is   

            immediately following.  If a head coach desires a longer amount of time, he/she should remove their   

            team and equipment from the dugout and gather the team away from the dugout area.



IV.  Player and Parent Conduct


  1. Player Responsibilities



   Head coaches/assistant coaches must stress the following rules concerning their players:



  1. Participation: All players who are registered for NBL are encouraged to participate fully in the NBL program.  The absence from practice, games or league functions will impact a player’s eligibility for game play, post season play and/or tournament teams.


  1. Uniforms: All players must be in complete uniform, including shirts tucked in, and wear all mandatory equipment.  Umpires will enforce this rule.  Any player not in compliance will be ineligible to play.


  • Uniform AlterationThere will be no altering of the team uniforms.  The coach will be responsible for the cost of replacement.  Players wearing altered uniforms will be asked to change into regulation dress or not play in the game.


  1. Player Conduct: Players shall not be allowed to throw bats, helmets, or in any way act in an unsportsmanlike manner. Fighting, use of profanity, or a flagrant act of throwing or breaking equipment is subject to immediate ejection from the game and possible further disciplinary action. Lesser infractions, such as unintentionally throwing the bat while swinging, will be subject to a warning for the first infraction, followed by ejection for repeated infractions.


  1. Player Discipline: Any disciplinary action taken by a manager with regard to player conduct or attendance must go through the player representative.


  1. Player In-game Discipline: The manager may bench any player displaying unsportsmanlike conduct. If the player has not played the required innings (See rule II.B.9 above).


  1. Vandalism: Any player caught destroying league property will be subject to immediate dismissal from the league, pending approval by the Board of Directors. The parents of such players shall be responsible to make restitution to the league if necessary.



            If a player is ejected from a game for verbal abuse of an umpire, they will receive a one (1) game suspension to be served during the team’s next game in that league.  A second ejection of the same player will result in a suspension for the team’s next two (2) games in that league  A third ejection of the same player will result in suspension of that player in that league for the remainder of the season which will include all playoff games.  Any deliberate physical contact or threats towards an umpire will be handled through the District Commissioner.







  1. Parent Responsibilities



As a parent of a child playing Niskayuna Baseball, I will do my best to adhere to the following:


  • I will provide positive support, care and encouragement for my child participating in youth sports by following this Parents’ Code of Ethics.


  • I will encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all players, coaches and officials at every game, practice or other youth sports event.


  • I will place the emotional and physical well-being of my child ahead of my personal desire to win.


  • I will support the coaches and officials working with my child, in order to encourage a positive and enjoyable experience for all.


  • I will demand a sports environment for my child that is free of foul language, drugs, tobacco and alcohol, and I will refrain from their use at all youth sports events.


  • I will do my very best to make youth sports fun for my child.


  • I will instruct my child to treat other players, coaches, fans and officials with respect.


  • I will remember that the game is for children and not adults.


  • I promise to help my child enjoy the youth sports experience by doing whatever I can, such as being a respectable fan, assisting with coaching or providing transportation.


  • I will cheer in a POSITIVE manner.