Policies & Procedures


  1. All participants of ESCRA should have a Recreation Director present at designated Recreation Director meeting.  If the Director is unable to attend, a representative appointed by the director MUST attend in their place.

  2. ESCRA must have a signed Letter of Authority (see attached) from every organization’s Senior Pastor stating that the Recreation Director has the authority to enter teams and make decisions for the organization in regards to recreation. This letter must be signed annually.

  3. ESCRA is a recreation league and promotes learning and teamwork over winning. No try-out or competitive teams are allowed in ESCRA.

  4. No organization will be allowed to enter teams into ESCRA that has an outstanding balance from a previous season until balances are paid in full.

  5. Gym Use – Participating members of ESCRA should provide a minimum of one hour of gym/field time, in a facility approved by the board, for every two teams playing in any ESCRA league.   If your Church doesn’t have an appropriate facility, please contact ESCRA PRIOR to the Recreation Directors meeting for special consideration.

  6. All gym/field facilities must have a responsible supervisor on site during all ESCRA games.  ESCRA must be able to get in touch with that supervisor during games by phone.


ESCRA will hold mandatory coaches meetings prior to each season to offer a coach insight on rules explaining the league expectations. ESCRA will require a Recreation Directors Covenant signed by every participating church stating that each director has fully explained the rules and philosophy of play to their coaches.  ESCRA will also require a Coaches Covenant to be signed by each coach which will be kept on file with his/her Recreation Director.

AGE GROUP DIVISIONS – Playing age is determined by players age on June 1 of each new school year.

  1. For all sports, divisions will be determined by players age on June 1 of that school year.  They will be named as follows:  Under 5 and Under 6 ; 6 and 7 Year Olds, 8 and 9 Year Olds and 10 and 11 Year Olds.  12 and 13 Year Olds, 14 and 15 Year Olds and 16 and 17 Year Olds for Basketball.

  2. Birth dates and players age on June 1 must be included for each player on every roster.

  3. A player that has been held back twice in school must play up.

  4. Girls may play on a boys’ team but boys may not play on a girls’ team.


In special circumstances, an exemption may be granted for a player to play in a division for which he/she is too old.

  1. All exemptions must be submitted in writing at or by the coaches meeting to the Coordinator of the Rules and Rosters for approval. Churches will be notified concerning the status of the exemption.

  2. All exemptions that are approved can be revoked if it becomes evident that the exemption is not appropriate.


  1. A player can play on only one ESCRA team and cannot play in any school or other league/association within the same season.

  2. A team playing in the ESCRA league may not participate in an additional league during the ESCRA season.


  1. Each team must have complete rosters turned into the league prior to the first game.

  2. Revised rosters must be sent to the Rules and Rosters Coordinator prior to the fourth game of the season.

  3. For soccer, baseball and volleyball, Churches with two or more teams in the same grade/gender division should be balanced as evenly as possible with grade and ability to prevent one team from being intentionally stronger than the other.

  4. For basketball, Churches with two or more teams in the same grade/gender division should be divided at the Recreation Director’s discretion and rated on the “Team Ability Form” as accurately as possible. Teams may be moved into a new division after the Christmas break in order to balance the divisions.


For all sports, all jerseys must have the Church’s name on them. For basketball, jerseys should have legal basketball numbers on both front and back and must be legible. For basketball, the jersey numbers should not include 6, 7, 8 or 9. For soccer and baseball, numbers should be on the back of jersey. No jersey numbers are required for volleyball.


All games played within the ESCRA league will be played under the following rules, except for modifications as set out in ESCRA Rules of Play for each sport.

Baseball/Softball:Official Baseball Rules adopted by Professional
Baseball and Official Rules of the Amateur Softball

Basketball:National Federation of High School Rules

Soccer:National Federal High School Rules

Volleyball:National Federation of State High School Associations Rules


The league pays for a clock operator and scorekeeper. Scorekeepers should put team names in the book. Scorekeepers should also be sure that coaches list both first and last names of players in the score book.


ESCRA operates as a middleman. We don’t want to tell you how to run your program. We want to help YOU run YOUR program. If you have any problems,
please follow this path.

  1. Coaches should notify their recreation director or program coordinator.

  2. Recreation director should notify the President or a member on the ESCRA Board.

  3. The President will try to work the problem out with that Recreation Director.

  4. If needed, the ESCRA Board of Directors will discuss the issue and take whatever action is necessary.


Following a five (5) minute grace period, failure to have the minimum number of players at the game starting time will result in a forfeit. The referee will determine all forfeitures. However, we do encourage a scrimmage game with the winning team giving the forfeiting team enough players to have a scrimmage. All referees are to stay and officiate the scrimmage. Scrimmage should end 10 minutes before the start of the next game.


The official will gather both teams and coaches at mid-court or on the playing field for a pre-game prayer. The prayer may be led by coach, any player, the recreation director or the official.


  1. Each player present at the game and in uniform must play at least 50% of the game, unless he/she becomes sick, injured, fouls out, or is being disciplined.

  2. If a player arrives late to a game, he or she must play 50% of the time that they are present.

  3. The coach is responsible for reporting to the referee and scorekeeper any player who becomes sick or injured. The coach must make a good faith effort to keep up with his players’ playing time to ensure compliance with the rule.

  4. Failure to play all players the designated playing time will result in notification of the respective church representative and the following penalties: 1st violation of the 50% rule results in that team’s forfeiture of the game. The 2nd violation of the 50% play rule results in disciplinary action for coaches and/or expulsion from the league.


The league will not reschedule games but if a team must cancel a game, coaches should contact his/her Recreation Director and the Cancellation
Coordinator at 336-RAIN or 336-7246. The Cancellation Coordinator will then notify the coach of the other team, the place where the game was scheduled and the Referee Coordinator.

If a team has to cancel a game but would like to play it at another time, the coach should contact the coach of the other team and find a mutual time and day they can play. One of the coaches should then contact his/her Recreation Director to see if the church field or gym is available. If a game is cancelled and rescheduled, the teams that are re-scheduling the game will be responsible for securing and paying officials.


If a game is not played because of inclement weather, coaches of the two teams playing each other should contact each other and find a mutual time and place they would like to play. One of the coaches will then call his/her Recreation Director to see if their field is available for play. Once the field is booked for that game, the Recreation Director should contact the Referee Coordinator to schedule officials for the game.

336-RAIN or 336-7246

Recreation Directors should call with your field conditions before 7:30 a.m. for Saturday games and before 2:30 p.m. for evening games. Field playing conditions will then be recorded on the rainout line after 8:00 a.m. for day games and after 3:00 p.m. for evening games. Coaches and Recreation Directors can check field playability shortly after that time.


Players, coaches and spectators should display good sportsmanship that honors themselves, their Church and Jesus Christ. Instruction and cheering should be encouraging and positive. The league will not tolerate foul language, unsportsmanlike behavior or yelling at the referees by coaches, players or spectators. The league will also not tolerate yelling at the opposing team or opposing players. No coach, player or spectator should confront a referee after a game. No exceptions.


Coaches are in a leadership position and are expected to display good sportsmanship at all times. The coach will be responsible for all behavior issues related to players and fans. Coaches are responsible for seeing that his/her bench area is cleaned after each game.

If a coach is ejected from a game, he/she must leave the Church premises. The penalties for a coach who refuses to leave the premises may result in forfeiture of the game, suspension of the coach for a game, suspension of a coach for the season or suspension of the team.


The official and the Recreation Director are empowered to require spectators to leave the gym or playing field if they believe it is warranted. If a team’s spectators are displaying inappropriate or unsportsmanlike behavior, the official will warn the team’s coach on the first offense.

For basketball, if inappropriate behavior continues, the referee will give a direct technical foul to the coach. The opposing team will receive three free throws and possession. Also, if the spectator can be pointed out by the referee or Recreation Director, the spectator will be asked to leave. If the spectator does not leave, the spectator’s team will forfeit the game.


The league may suspend players, coaches, spectators or teams from the league for foul language or unsportsmanlike or inappropriate behavior. Suspensions or ejections from the league will be decided on a case by case basis by ESCRA.

Coach Suspensions:
If a coach is suspended by the league:

  1. The Recreation Director of that Church will be notified.

  2. The facility where his/her team will be playing the following week will be notified.

  3. The penalty for a coach who either coaches during his suspension or knowingly plays a player who is on suspension from the league will be
    determined by the Board.

Player Suspensions:
If a player is suspended from the league:

  1. The Recreation Director of that Church will be notified.

  2. The coach of the player will be notified.

  3. The parents may be notified.

  4. The facility where that team is playing the following week will be notified.

  5. The penalty for a player who plays during his/her suspension may result in the player being suspended for the rest of the season. The penalty for a coach playing a player that has been suspended by the league may result in suspension of the coach.


ESCRA holds clinics for officials prior to each season. All interested individuals must be at least 16 years old to be a referee.

Referees will enforce the rules of the game with instruction, fun, fairness and safety in mind. If a referee does not show up, please call the Officials Coordinator.

Let’s encourage our officials! For some, it is their first time to officiate or the first time to have a job. However, if you experience an official who is not knowledgeable of the game, has a bad attitude, is late for the game or does not show up, coaches should report the game and referee to his/her Recreation Director. The Recreation Director will then contact the Officials Coordinators. No coach or fan should confront an official after a game. No exceptions.

For all sports, ESCRA assigns and pays officials for all games.
For all games, (2) officials will be assigned to manage the game and administer the rules. Exception: Soccer - U5, U6, U8 - (1) official.


The officials will fill out a referee/umpire card with the teams that played the score of the game and a signature from the Recreation Director at the site.

The official will then turn in his/her referee/umpire card to the Coordinator of Officials every two weeks. The Coordinator of Officials will then send a list of officials with games officiated to league treasurer every other Tuesday. The league treasurer will cut checks and checks will be ready to be picked up from Officials Coordinator’s Church that Wednesday afternoon or they will be mailed out that afternoon.


If a game is canceled and an official is notified 24 hours prior to the game, the league will not pay the official for that game.

If an official shows up for his/her game and was not notified that it was canceled, the official will be paid for that game.

If a game is a forfeit but there are enough players between both teams to have a scrimmage, the official will call the game and will be paid.

If the game is a forfeit, there are enough players to have a scrimmage and the official chooses not to officiate the game, he/she will not be paid for the game.

©2019 ESCRA Sports