What’s new to the Northwoods League in 2023 regarding pace of play?  NWL is adding clock guidelines based off college rules, which are different from the set of rules used by Minor League and Major League Baseball.  Umpires and the clock operators are provided detailed guidelines for clock management, but below is an overview of what fans can expect to see.

:20 Action Clock

  • Clock starts when umpire signals “play” except during an at-bat when the ball remains alive, clock will start when pitcher receives the ball and is on the mound
  • With runners on base, defensive team allowed one reset per at bat (pitcher fakes a throw to base or steps off the mound)
  • No defensive reset with bases empty unless umpire grants time
  • Batter requesting “time” for other than legitimate reason will be charged an offensive conference (teams allowed 3 per game)

:30 Mound Visit Clock

  • If no pitching change, coach must leave the mound before or when the timer expires.

Other Timing Considerations

  • 2:30 pitching change clock
  • 2:15 between-innings clock (if pitching change to start inning, pitcher will be allowed 8 warm-up pitches)

Violations on the defensive team will result in a ball being added to the count. Violations on the offensive team will result in a strike being added to the count.

In an effort to most liken the Northwoods League to the entry levels of Professional Baseball the League has implemented the following pitching guidelines:

A pitcher:

  • Cannot begin a new inning after throwing 100 pitches or more.
  • Cannot face a new batter after throwing 110 pitches or more. In the event a starting pitcher has not allowed a hit, he will not be allowed to begin a new inning after throwing 120 pitches or more.

Following an appearance in which a pitcher throws:

  • 100 or more pitches, he must have five full days of rest prior to his next appearance in a game.
  • Between 85-99 pitches, he must have four full days of rest prior to making an appearance in a game.
  • 50 pitches or more he must have two full days of rest prior to making an appearance in a game as a pitcher.

If a pitcher throws 35 or more pitches in one inning, he will not be allowed to return for the next inning or the remainder of the game.

A pitcher cannot make appearances in more than two consecutive days. The official scorer will have final say with regard to pitch counts.

A game in which a team(s) is in violation of the Pitching Guidelines shall result in the win from that game being removed and replaced with a loss for the offending team(s). The non-offending team will have their loss taken away but they will not be given a win.

All statistics from the game will remain with the exception of the WON/LOSS record.

Related Information:

Northwoods League Team Pitching Statistics

For all regular season games but not including playoff games, all extra innings, which are defined as beginning in the 10th inning and each subsequent inning of the game thereafter, will begin with a runner on second base. The runner at second base will be the player in the batting order position previous to the leadoff batter of the inning (or a substitute for that player). By way of example, if the number five hitter in the batting order is due to lead off the 10th inning, the number four player in the batting order (or a pinch-runner for such player) shall begin the inning on second base. Any runner or batter removed from the game for a substitute shall be ineligible to return to the game, as is the case in all circumstances under the Official Playing Rules.

For purposes of calculating earned runs, the runner who begins an inning on second base pursuant to this rule shall be deemed to be a runner who has reached second base because of a fielding error, but no error shall be charged to the opposing team or to any player.  The loss in such extra-inning games still counts against the pitcher.

Playoff Dates

Sunday, August 11, 2024 – Thursday, August 15, 2024 (if a weather or travel day is needed, the playoffs may be extended to Friday, August 16).


First and second half sub-divisional winners will be eligible for the playoffs. In the event the second half sub-divisional winner also won the first half, the team in the sub-division with the highest overall winning percentage will also make the playoffs.

  1. The two playoff eligible Teams in each sub-division will compete in a best of three Sub-Divisional Series. The Team with the best overall winning percentage will have home field advantage. The Sub-Divisional Series shall be a 1-2 format (with home field advantage hosting Game 2 and Game 3). If both of the best of three Sub-Divisional Series ends in two consecutive days, the resulting Divisional Championship Game will be played the following day.
  2. The two Sub-Divisional Series winners will play a one-game Divisional Championship Game. Home field advantage for the Divisional Championship Game will go to the Team with the best overall record.
  3. The two Divisional Game winners will play a one-game League Championship. Home field advantage for the League Championship Game will go to the Team with the best overall record.
  4. In the event a “travel day” is needed to accommodate play between the Divisional and League Championship Game, the President, in his or her sole discretion, may add in a travel day before the League Championship Game.

Section 5.  A tie breaker will be used when teams have an identical winning percentage for a half season or a full season in determining home field advantage or sub-divisional champion for that respective half season.  The tie breaker is as follows for determining a sub-divisional half season champion, sub-divisional home field advantage, or divisional home field advantage:

  1. Overall head to head winning percentage
  2. For sub-divisional standings and series: Winning percentage vs. the next highest placed team in sub-division, using overall record, and so on throughout sub-division. If a Team has not played against the highest placed Team in the sub-division or any subsequent Team, then the Team’s record versus the next highest placed Team will be used.
  3. For Divisional Championship Game: Winning percentage vs. teams in the other sub-division. And, if still tied; The team whose opponents in the other sub-division had the highest overall, combined winning percentage.
  4. Coin flip