Policies and Guidelines
Player Eligibility – The league is open to all players who identify as female in grades 1-7 who live in Newton or attend a Newton Public School.
Roster Size – Roster sizes are determined by the number of players enrolled in each age group and the number of available volunteer coaches. Our goal is to place in Grade K/1: seven - nine players; Grade 2/3: nine - 11 players; Grade 4/5: nine - 11 players;and in Grade 6-8 10-12 players. Smaller teams allow for better practices and more playing time for each player. We can only meet this goal if we have enough volunteer head coaches and fields for each grade division.
Age Specific Roster Considerations:
Grade K/1 - All players meet once a week at the same location. Teams will be organized around elementary school (or school district) but actual numbrs will fluctuate based on sign-ups.
Grade 2/3 - Typically no more than three or four players from the same school will be placed on the same team. Relatively close geographic proximity is desired with a goal of reducing the travel time for practices.
Grade 4/5 - Typically no more than three players from the same school and grade will be placed on the same team. Relatively close geographic proximity is considered with a goal of reducing the travel time for practices.
Grade 6-8 - Typically no more than two or three players from the same school and grade will be placed on the same
team. Geographic proximity is no longer considered when making teams in this division, with the achievement of competitive balance being the sole objective.
Additional Roster Development Guidelines:
- Allocating coaches from a quantity per team and skill-set perspective AND matching players who have submitted mutual "pair-me-with" requests are discussed in greater detail below.
- Balancing teams for pitching (and catching) in Grade 4/5 and Grade 6-8.
- Considering competitive balance in Grade 4/5 and making it the primary goal in Grade 6-8.
- Lastly, doing our best to "balance" rosters by grade and school when possible. While never perfect, by and large teams are relatively balanced.
- Players who properly "pair-me-with" a player from a different grade and/or school will be together BUT it is unlikely that both players will be teammates with players from their grade/school.
- To be fair to all players we do not give any consideration to placing groups of players on the same team or with the same coach from one year to the next. Please do not expect a roster grouping from one season to be repeated the following season.
- We make every effort to not enable the "blocking" of three (or more) players on the same team via coach pair-ups or "pair-me-with" request chains, even for those with car pooling issues.
- Coaches who want to coach together need to have their daughters "pair-me-with" to ensure that will happen.
- Rosters are developed by the NGS President and the Rec League Director with the support of the Grade Commissioners.
- Once rosters are distributed to the coaches NO roster change requests will be considered, unless the league made a mistake (and the family insists upon the change being made).
NGS has adopted a “pair me with” rule. Each player is allowed to request one person (and only one) to be paired with on the same team. It may be a friend, sister, or car-pool buddy. To be fulfilled, both players must list each other on their application forms, and both forms must be received by March 1. If a player chooses to be paired with more than one player, NGS will only accept the first name on her list. This policy is also stated on the registration form. Sisters who are in the same grade division must select each other as their "pair-me-with" to ensure they are placed on the same team. NOTE: In Grade 5/7 should two exceptional players (typically pitchers) request each other as "pair-me-with" partners, the league may choose to disallow their request in order to achieve the best possible competitive balance.
Click FAQ's for more details.
Softball is a team sport and part of being a good team member is attendance. Therefore we expect players to attend at least 75% of their games and practices. If you are considering another spring activity that also requires your attendance on one of your game days, please be fair to yourself and others by selecting only one activity. Thank you for your cooperation.
Team coaches will be asked to provide the league with their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice for practice fields and days, AFTER meeting with their team and determining the “best” practice day(s) for the most players and coaches. All requests will be given equal consideration, with the exception that older grades will receive preference for the bigger fields.
Short-Handed Games – Teams should start games at their scheduled time (not delay or reschedule them) regardless of how many players are present. Some adults feel playing a game with fewer than nine players should be discouraged. We couldn't disagree more. Fewer players results in more at bats and more defensive “touches” per player. This can only help a player’s skill development and often translates as more fun. Rules for playing short-handed are discussed in the grade rules and are specific for each grade division.
Times - Weekday games are scheduled to begin at 5:45 p.m. For safety concerns, games must end at dusk, regardless of the score or inning. Sunday games start at 1:00 p.m. for Grade 2/3, 3:00 p.m. for Grade 4/5 and 5:00 p.m. for Grade 6-8.
Arrival Time - Players and coaches should arrive at least 20 minutes before each game for warm-ups and to ensure the game will start on time.
Late/Absence Communication: Parents must notify the head coach the evening before a game if their child is unable to attend or will be late. It takes a great deal of effort to make a “fair” line-up for a five-inning game and even more time to adjust it at the last minute due to a player unexpectedly not attending. It is acceptable for a coach to reduce the playing time for players who repeatedly offend this guideline.
Each player will receive a team uniform consisting of shirt, pants, socks. It is the player’s responsibility to provide a fielding glove and sneakers or rubber cleats. Players are expected to wear their complete uniform to all games.
Profile – NGS’s first preference is for local high school or mature middle school students to serve as our umpires. Many are members of their school softball teams, and many have previously played in NGS. When needed, NGS also uses professional umpires accredited by the Amateur Softball Association (A.S.A.).
Training – Non-professional umpires typically receive two hours of training before the season. Tolerance and understanding are expected and appreciated. Please notify the umpire coordinator or grade commissioner of any specific concerns.
Zero Tolerance Policy - Umpiring a softball game involves many judgment calls. Invariably this creates many opportunities to second-guess the decisions of an adolescent umpire with limited training. Openly verbalizing your opinions so that a coach, player, or umpire can hear is strictly forbidden in NGS. This applies to coaches, players, parents or anyone else attending a game. This will be enforced without exception. Representatives of NGS are authorized to ask anyone violating this policy to leave the game immediately and will report the incident to the President of NGS and the Rec League Director.
Coach Discussion – A coach may discuss a rule or application of a rule with the umpire only after the completion of the half-inning. This quiet and respectful discussion must take place in the presence of the opposing coach and is to be held behind home plate. The umpire’s decision is final. Concerns may be reported to the Umpire Coordinator, Susan Boyer, or Grade Commissioner after the game is completed.
For the safety and ease of mind for all our players, dogs are not allowed near the players’ bench. They must always be on a leash during a game or practice. Thank you for your cooperation.
Coach Evaluation Forms
At the end of the season, parents will be asked to fill out a confidential on-line coach evaluation. Its purpose is to provide NGS leadership the necessary input to provide coaches with constructive feedback and to ensure that the league is aware of any potential problems. The NGS leadership and Rec League Director keep coach evaluations strictly confidential.