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Local League Rules


1) General


A. Each manager shall adhere to the KWFCBA list of Managers’ Rules and Responsibilities, Divisional Rules and Bylaw Local League Rules.               

B. After each game or practice, fields must be raked and repaired.

C. Batting practice and soft-toss against the fences are permitted only if plastic balls are used.

D. Each team is responsible for cleaning its dugout and spectator areas of all trash.

Penalty: Forfeiture of game and/or loss of practice time(s). Further infraction will be referred to Disciplinary Committee for suspension of manager and /or coaching staff.

E. Each manager is responsible for the actions of his players, coaches and fans.


F. Bats: Wooden, metal, graphite or ceramic bats manufactured for baseball play, which are round and not more than two and five eighths inches in diameter at the thickest part, not more than 42 inches in length, are acceptable. Bats manufactured specifically for use in tee-ball play, shall not be used when the ball is pitched by a player, coach or pitching machine. Coach pitch bats will only be used in coach pitch using a safety ball.


Colt-Palomino leagues Non-wood bats must have a 2 5/8 inch maximum barrel diameter and a minus  3 (-3) unit maximum differential which ensures a maximum exit speed of 97 miles per hour or less. In simpler terms, a 33 inch long bat cannot weigh less than 30 ounces = 33 inches “minus 3 (-3)” equals 30.


G. Ejections-


1.) Player/Coach/Manager: Any player, coach, or manager ejected from a game will leave immediately, failure to do so will result in forfeiture of game. An automatic one game suspension accompanies player/coach/manager ejection. The one game suspension is the next game to be played by their team. There is NO appeal of the mandatory one game suspension.


2.) Parent/Guardian: Any parent/guardian ejected from a game will leave immediately, failure to do so will result in forfeiture of game. The child/player of the ejected party is also ejected and will immediately leave the game. There is no additional game suspension of the child/player imposed.


H. Maximum Coaches Allowed: A maximum of three (3) adults total, four (4) in Pinto, Shetland and TBall, are allowed in the dugout during the game (1 manager and 2 coaches Pinto & Shetland Adult pitcher). No dugout moms, dads, batboys, batgirls or siblings in the dugout.


1) Managers and coaches may only leave the bench to (1a) talk to a pitcher and catcher during a timeout, (1b) be a base coach, or (1c) approach the umpire, rule book in hand, to discuss a rule interpretation.

2) Non-managers / coaches are specifically prohibited from warming up players on the field or in the bullpens.


I. Pitcher Warm-Up: Anyone who assumes a “catching position” to warm-up a pitcher in the bullpen areas, in the outfield, in common areas around fields, behind the plate in-between innings, in/on any KWFCBA field or facility must wear a catcher’s helmet / mask at all times. Because this applies to safety, expect strict enforcement. Umpire may suspend play when these safety requirements are not in place.


Furthermore; When a pitcher’s or catcher’s back is turned towards the playing field while warming up in a bullpen area, a “guard” wearing a glove and a batting helmet, must be positioned directly between the batter and the warm-up pitcher. Manager / coaches must ensure that the guard is alert during play.


J. Metal Cleats. Metal cleats are prohibited from League play and regular season tournaments, except in the Pony, Colt / Palomino Divisions. Tournament Team play is governed by PONY Baseball, INC. and USSSA rules and does allow metal cleats in tournament play.


K. Batting Helmets. Helmets are mandatory for each on-deck batter, batter, base runner, retired runner, player/minor in the coaches boxes, and bullpen spotter. When an umpire observes anyone who is required to wear a batting helmet deliberately remove his batting helmet while in live ball territory and the ball is alive, the umpire shall issue a warning to the coach of the involved team. A subsequent team violation by any player of the rule shall result in ejection. Batting helmets must be worn until reaching bench/dugout. If a runner who scores or who is put out deliberately removes his batting helmet, his coach shall receive a team warning and the offender on that team shall be ejected. Because this applies to safety, strict enforcement is expected. Coaches should advise their players that any player who walks out of the dugout or onto the field without a helmet on while the ball is alive has violated the rule. Players who intentionally, in the judgment of the umpire, throw bats or protective headgear, or discard protective headgear while batting or running the bases, shall be ejected from the game following completion of any play in progress at the time the violation occurs. Such action does not constitute an out and such players shall be replaced as batters or base runners if appropriate.


L. UNIFORMS. All players must wear the same, complete, league-provided uniform throughout the game. Players may choose, but may not be required, additionally to wear belts, and undershirts. A uniform shall not have any dangerous or reflective buttons or ornaments. If the pitcher's undershirt sleeves are exposed, they shall not be white or gray. Pants shall be solid white with no pin stripes or team logos. Coaches may not require additional decorative items such as belts, stars, embroidery, emblems and patches unless prior approval is received from the Board. Optional player identification shall be either first or last names only.


M. Alcohol / Tobacco Products: The consumption of alcoholic beverages is NOT allowed on property maintained by the Association (or elsewhere) during games or practices. No tobacco products whatsoever are allowed at the KWFCBA Complex within 25 feet outside any portion of any on property maintained by the Association (or elsewhere) during games or practices. We have had many complaints about managers and coaches chewing tobacco in the dugouts. If we catch you chewing tobacco you will be removed as a manager or coach.


N. General Field Duties: Dugout and bleacher areas shall be kept free of litter and trash. Managers and coaches will ensure player/parent accountability. After each game or practice, the teams will pick up trash in the dugout and bleachers as well as rake the fields. Repeated offenders will be subject to disciplinary action, which action may include forfeiture of games. Further infraction will be referred to Disciplinary Committee for suspension of manager and /or coaching staff. DEFINITION: To constitute an offense under this Section, two (2) members of the Board, must agree that non-compliance has occurred. Managers/coaches should ensure that dugout and bleacher areas are not in violation prior to commencing play. After a game or practice has commenced, the manager/coach assumes full responsibility for compliance with this Section at that point.


O. Prohibited Items: NO GLASS CONTAINERS are allowed in the KWFCBA facilities.


P. Field Batting Practice: Hitting into any of the permanently installed fencing with something other than a "whiffle type" plastic ball is PROHIBITED. Batting practice, which uses the fence as an immediate backstop in lieu of a catcher, is prohibited. Batting practice may be taken using the fence as a backstop at home plate. Penalties for non-compliance with this Section are as follows:


FIRST OFFENSE - Written letter of warning from the Board of Directors.  

    SECOND OFFENSE - Suspension of Manager/coach for two (2) games.      

    THIRD OFFENSE - The team parents will be held monetarily responsible for the damages.


Q. Game Results: Game results must be recorded on the Umpires Game Recap Card as well as turned into each league coordinator(s). Upon completion of the game, both wining and losing managers should verify with the Umpires game card to insure they have properly filled out the game results including the score and innings pitched (if applicable). Failure to comply with this may result in pitching or game score errors. If pitching rules are violated due to the improper recording of innings or non recording and it is determined that the pitcher is an ineligible player, then PONY Rule 18 –Penalties will cover this infraction with further possible action when reviewed by the league Disciplinary Committee and Board of Directors. The manager could be suspended for one game, automatic without appeal for pitching violations.


R. – Penalty For Rules Violation: Violation of any of the above Rules shall subject the offender to disciplinary action by the Board of Directors in accordance with KWFCBA Bylaws.


The league has adopted certain rules, which govern conduct of all coaches, players, substitutes, attendants or other bench personnel while on the field, on the bench or in the dugout area.


A. Warnings. The first instance of any of the following actions will result in a warning by the umpire to the coach of the team involved. A repeat offense by any player on that team shall result in that player being ejected.


1.) Carelessly throw a bat.

2.) Wear jewelry (players participating in the game).

3.) Hit infield or outfield practice after the game has started;

4.) Hitting soft toss with baseballs, softballs or tennis balls against any of the fences. Whiffle balls may be used.

5.) Use and/or view television monitoring or replay equipment for coaching purposes during the game;


B. Ejections. The first instance of any of the following actions will result in the immediate ejection by the umpire of the offending player or coach. Failure to comply will result in the game being forfeited.

            1.) Deliberately throw a bat, helmet, etc.;

            2.) Maliciously run into a fielder. Runner is called out, ball is dead, runners return to last base touched at time of infraction.

            3.) Call "Time" or use any command or commit any act for the purpose of distracting or trying to cause the opposing pitcher to balk;

            4.) Fake a tag without the ball, obstruction is called.


C. Umpire Discretion. The umpire has the discretion to determine if the first instance of any of the following offenses is judged to be of a minor nature. In such instances the umpire may warn the offender and then eject him if he repeats the offense. If coaches violate this rule the umpire may (1) restrict the offender to the bench/dugout for the remainder of the game or (2) eject the offender. Any coach restricted to the bench/dugout will be ejected for further misconduct. A coach may leave the bench/dugout, under any event, to attend to a player who becomes injured or ill.


            1.) Use a word or act to incite or try to incite spectators to demonstrations, or use profanity toward or remarks which reflect upon coaches, opposing

            players, umpires or spectators.               

            2.) Enter the area behind the catcher while the opposing pitcher and catcher are in their positions.

            3.) Use amplifiers or bullhorns on the bench or on the field during the course of the gam

4.) Be outside the vicinity of the designated dugout (bench) or bullpen area if not a batter, runner, on-deck batter, in the coach's box or one of nine (9) players on defense.                           

            5.) Verbalize in any way with the opposing team for the purpose of intimidation.       

            6.) Exhibit behavior that is not in accordance with good sportsmanship and the spirit of fair play.  

            7.) Charge an umpire.  

D. Slides: A legal slide may be either foot first or head first. If a runner slides feet first, at least one (1) leg and buttock shall be on the ground. If a runner slides he must slide within reach of the base with either a hand or a foot.


A slide is illegal if:

1.) The runner uses a rolling, cross-body or pop-up slide into the fielder;

2) The runner's raised leg is higher than the fielder's knee when he is in a standing position;

3.) The runner goes beyond the base and makes contact with or alters the play of the fielder;

4.) The runner slashes or kicks the fielder with either leg; or

5.) The runner tries to injure the fielder.


A player who makes an illegal slide judged to be of a minor nature should be warned by the umpire. If the offense is flagrant, or repeated after a warning to that team, the umpire shall eject the player.  If there is an illegal slide, minor or major, dead ball is called, runners return to the last base touched at the time of the infraction. KWFCBA does NOT have a “must slide” rule.


E. Bunts: No fake or swinging bunts are allowed. If a player “shows” bunt, they are committed to attempt to bunt or take the pitch. If a batter swings after “showing” bunt, the batter is called out and no runners shall advance. Slashing (fake bunting and then a full swing) is only allowed in Colt-Palomino divisions.  PENALTY:  Batter is automatically out.


 2) Duration of Games


A. PINTO League shall be five (5) innings and shall not exceed seven (7) innings.  MUSTANG League games shall be six (6) innings and shall not exceed nine (9) innings. BRONCO, PONY, COLT and PALOMINO League games shall be seven (7) innings in duration. When a game is tied at the end of regulation length, it shall go into extra innings until a decision is reached or the game is called by the umpire. 


B.  Other than innings played a game will be considered complete once the time limit has expired.  PINTO will be 1 hour and 30 minutes, MUSTANG will be 1 hour and 40 minutes, BRONCO will be 1 hour and 45 minutes, PONY will be 1 hour and 50 minutes and Colt/Palomino will be 2 hours.  If Home team is in the field as time expires then 3 outs must be completed and if necessary home team will receive final at bat.


C.  If a game is called for any reason, it shall be a complete game if five innings (four in SHETLAND, PINTO,

or MUSTANG) have been completed, or if the home team has scored more runs in four (three in SHETLAND,

PINTO and MUSTANG) innings or four (three in SHETLAND, PINTO and MUSTANG) and a fraction innings, than the visiting team has scored in five (four in SHETLAND, PINTO and MUSTANG) completed innings.


D.  If a game is called for any reason (example weather, lights, external cause) before it is a complete game, as described in Sections A, B and C, or when the score is tied, it shall be considered a suspended game and shall be resumed from the point of curtailment at the time scheduled by league officials.


E. If a game is called for any reason in an uncompleted inning, after having reached complete-game length as described in Section A, B and C and the visiting team ties the score or takes the lead in the uncompleted inning, and the home team does not tie the score or retake the lead in its portion of the uncompleted inning, the game shall be considered a suspended game and shall be continued from the point of curtailment at the time scheduled by league officials.


F. Run Rule (Mercy Rule): An imposed Mercy (Run) Rule shall be used to complete a regulation game when one team’s margin of lead is greater than or equal to the following run differential. If a team is leading an opponent by at least 15 runs after three, 10 runs after four, or 8 runs after 5 five or more complete innings have been played the game shall be terminated and the team in the lead shall be declared the winner.


G. Ties, after time has expired, will stand.


H. On weeknights where two (2) games are scheduled to take place on the same field, time will be limited to twenty (20) minutes for the last inning to be completed after official time has expired.  Once twenty (20) minutes has been reach the game will be suspended and played out on a later date per rule 2D


I. On weeknights where two (2) games are scheduled to take place on the same field, the second game cannot go past the following times:


            1) Mustang - 10:15 PM

            2) Bronco - 10:20 PM

            3) Pony - 10:30 PM

            4) Colt/Palomino - 10:40 PM

3) Player Participation


A. An official game is not to be started or completed with fewer than 8 players per team. In the event that there are fewer than 9 players participating, an automatic out will be recorded when the missing player’s turn at bat occurs. (Except in Colt/Palomino (All seasons) and Pony (FALL ONLY) with player sharing). An automatic out shall not be recorded in Colt / Palomino (or Pony Fall Only), where games may be played with fewer than 8 players and the Managers are encouraged to share players equitably when necessary.  See H.


B. All players on the roster and who are present will be listed in the lineup and will bat in turn through the lineup. Players who arrive after the game has started will be added to the end of the batting lineup. A player who leaves early will be removed from the batting lineup with no penalty unless there are only 8 remaining players, in which case an automatic out shall be recorded when that player’s scheduled at bat occurs.


C.  Catchers are required to wear proper protective equipment including a mask with a hanging throat guard, chest protector, shin guards, catchers’ mitt (optional in Pinto), protective cup and protective headgear which gives protection to the

top of the head when catching behind the plate. Anyone (player or adult) serving as a catcher to warm up a pitcher shall wear a mask, whether the pitcher is warming up from the mound, in the bullpen or elsewhere.


D. Except in cases of injury, all players must play at least every other, complete, defensive inning. This does not apply to a pitcher who is removed in an inning after having sat out the prior inning. Violation of this rule will result in an automatic forfeit. No players shall sit out two (2) consecutive complete innings in a row, no player shall sit more than 2 innings per game.


E. Any player present but unable to play due to injury will be noted as injured any may not play that game. 


F. ALL players must stay in their dugout the entire game. Only exceptions are for restroom break, injury, and ejection. NO trips to see parents in bleachers or warm up outside of the playing field, except a late arrival may warm up off field with ONE player as not to interfere with play.


G. A player who becomes injured or ill during a game and either misses his turn at bat or cannot play in the field either of the next two defensive innings is considered out of the game and may not return to the lineup. The Manager shall inform the home plate umpire, official scorer and the opposing Manager of the player’s removal from the lineup prior to the player missing two consecutive defensive innings or the game shall be forfeited.


H.  If a Manager wants to discipline a player by not allowing him to play in a game, approval must be given in advance by the League Coordinator(s), in consultation with the Player Agent if possible. A Manager may, however, in the absence of and without the prior approval of the Coordinator, take appropriate disciplinary action, including benching a player, in the event a player, during or immediately before the game, violates the League’s bylaws or rules regarding on- the-field conduct. Such discipline shall be reported immediately to the official Scorer, umpire, and opposing Manager. Such violation and disciplinary action shall be communicated as soon as possible to the League Coordinator(s) and Player Agent. Any abuse of the exception found to have been motivated (in whole or in part) by a desire to obtain an advantage is unsportsmanlike and will subject the Manager and team to penalty (including forfeiture) and disciplinary action (which may include suspension or removal).

I. Colt/Palomino (and Fall Pony) will have the following exceptions to section A and B


1. An official game may be started or completed with fewer than 9 players per team. In the event that there are fewer than 9 players participating, an automatic out will not be recorded when the missing player’s turn at bat occurs. Managers are encouraged to share players equitably when necessary.

2. In the event a team is unable to field 9 players, then managers will be encouraged to share players equitably.


3. All players on the roster and who are present will be listed in the lineup and will bat in turn through the lineup. Players who arrive after the game has started will be added to the end of the batting lineup. A player who leaves early will be removed from the batting lineup with no penalty.


4) Pitching Limitations


A. MUSTANG pitchers shall not pitch in more than three innings per game and no more than three innings per calendar day.  BRONCO, PONY, COLT and PALOMINO age pitchers shall not pitch in more than four innings per game and no more than four innings on the same calendar day


B. When pitching in more than one game on the same calendar day, pitchers may pitch a combination of innings in those games provided they do not exceed the above maximum number of innings in a game or calendar day


C. MUSTANG pitchers shall be allowed to pitch in no more than eight innings and BRONCO, PONY, COLT and PALOMINO age pitchers shall be allowed to pitch in no more than 10 innings in any one calendar week. A calendar week is from  12:01 a.m. Monday to 12 midnight the following Sunday.


D. Pitchers shall have at least 40 hours rest after pitching on the same calendar day in the following:

            1. MUSTANG: Three innings.

2. BRONCO, PONY, COLT and PALOMINO: Four or more innings.


E. “New Math” allows for a pitcher to pitch on a Thursday evening and still be eligible to pitch on Saturdays games.


F. As soon as a pitcher delivers one pitch to a batter the pitcher shall be considered as having pitched in one inning.


G. A pitcher is charged with the number of innings pitched in the specific calendar day and week in which they are pitched, regardless of whether they are local league games, the playoff of postponed games or suspended games, tie games or exhibition games.


H. Any pitcher withdrawn from the mound and/or lineup, or a pitcher who is withdrawn from the mound and stays in the game at another position, shall not be permitted to pitch again in the same game.


I.   If a relief pitcher comes in ‘‘cold’’ the umpire shall allow the pitcher to warm up properly with at least ten warm-up pitches.


J.   Pitchers in violation of any of the pitching rules shall be considered ineligible players.


K.  The pitcher named in the batting order turned in prior to the start of the game, shall pitch to the first batter or any substitute batter until such batter is put out or reaches first base, unless the pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the judgment of the umpire-in-chief, incapacitates him from pitching.


5) Game Rules


A.  The home team shall occupy the third base dugout and shall be responsible for preparing the field for play. Fields being used for practices shall be vacated no later than 1 hour before any scheduled game. Infields may not be used for batting practice after one hour before the scheduled starting time. Field preparation should be completed thirty minutes before the scheduled starting time. The visitor team is responsible for raking the field at the completion of the game and ensuring all equipment is returned to the shed.


B. The home team takes infield practice for 10 minutes beginning 30 minutes before the scheduled starting time of the game; the visitor team shall then have 10 minutes of infield practice. After the Managers and umpires have completed their pre-game discussion, the home team shall take the field and be prepared to begin the game at the scheduled starting time.


C. All reasonable efforts shall be made to start games at the scheduled starting time, including taking shortened infield practice, if necessary.


D. Every effort shall be made to keep games moving to ensure the maximum number of innings is played. Attempts to delay or slow the game found to have been motivated by a desire to take advantage of the expiration of time limits are unsportsmanlike and will subject the Manager and /or team to penalty by the umpires and/or

disciplinary action. The official time shall be stopped at or during the last 5 minutes of the game whenever the umpire grants a time out called by a Manager, Coach, or player.


E. Teams should "hustle" on and off the field. No more than three players may "huddle" on the field at once.


F. Only one offensive time-out is allowed per inning.


G. Pitchers have a maximum of two minutes starting when 3rd out of previous inning or 8 pitches to warm up between innings.


H. Courtesy runners should be used for catchers with two outs (the catcher will be defined as the catcher for the next or upcoming inning instead of the catcher of record or the catcher of the last inning). The player who made the last out must be used. If a courtesy runner is          used for the catcher of the upcoming inning then the catcher must catch the entire inning unless injured and removed from the game.


I. The catcher for the next inning should have shin guards on unless he is on deck with no outs or with one out and nobody on base.


J. The home team shall provide the official score book and scorer and the visiting team will provide scoreboard worker. Lineups must be submitted and exchanged with the opposing team 10 minutes before scheduled game time, but lineups may be changed until the first pitch is thrown. The lineup must include last names, jersey numbers and identify the starting pitcher (see section 4, rule K for rules regarding starting pitcher).


K. The umpires will provide a game/pitching recap card and secure both home and visitor manager’s signatures. These cards shall be relied upon in the event of a question as to pitching eligibility, game score, and umpire’s payment.


L.  In all Divisions, stealing home base during an attempt or offer at a pitched ball (unless bunting) shall not be allowed.  PENALTY:  The batter is called out and ejected and the third base coach is ejected.


M.  Slashing (fake bunting and then a full swing) is only allowed in Colt-Palomino divisions.  PENALTY:  Batter is automatically out.

N.  In Pinto, the catcher’s position shall not be considered an infield position.  Every Player MUST play the infield position during the game and it Must be n the Mandatory Matrix supplied to the opponent before each game.  PENALTY:  Forfeit of game.


O.  KWFCBA mercy rules are followed for all run rules.  If a team is mathematically eliminated, the game will be considered over.  Exception:  Mustang DII will have a 5 run per inning limit with the 6th inning being an 7 run limit.  Shetland will have a 6 run limit per inning with the final inning being a 10 run limit.

6) Standings


A. League standings shall be maintained by the Coordinator and shall be posted at periodic intervals. Standings shall be determined on the bases of winning percentage. Winning percentage shall be calculated by dividing the number of wins by the number of games played, with a tie counting as half a win.


B. If, at the end of the season, two or more first place teams have the same winning percentage, they shall be declared co-champions.


C.  Fall will have no standings however the tournament will count for placements.  Seeding is determined prior to team selection before the draft.


7) Tournament Rules


A. For tournament seeding purposes, ties in winning percentage shall be broken first by head-to-head record, then by coin flip.


B. All championship games including the "if necessary" game will be played to full duration of innings which will be the following:


1. MUSTANG will be six innings unless run rule is outlined in 2F is met.

2. BRONCO, PONY, COLT and PALOMINO will be seven innings unless run rule outlined in 2F is met.


C. No ties are allowed in tournament play.  All games must have a winner.  If duration of a game is met with innings then extra innings must be played until there is a winner.


D. Tournament pitching rules will be as follows:

1) All pitching shall follow the rules set forth earlier in section 4.

2) No exceptions shall be made unless express consent by the board of directors is given.


8) Other Rules


Weather Related Game Stoppage / Game Rescheduling


Weather is the ONLY reason a game should be stopped (except for equipment malfunction ex. lights) and approved school activities are the ONLY reason a game might be rescheduled. (Note: Birthday parties, other sporting events, team’s best 3 players are gone, illness, coach is out of town, and a host of others ARE NOT reasons why a game will be rescheduled.)


A. Weather: As the weather does not always cooperate making this goal not always obtainable, teams are expected to arrive by posted game time or risk forfeiture. Games should be stopped immediately if thunder is heard or if lightening can be seen from the playing field. It is the League’s intention that rainout information be communicated by each Age Group Coordinator to the Managers. If severe weather is imminent the team managers and umpires if applicable must confer and make a determination if the game needs to be stooped. The league will then decide based upon relevant facts of the game and impact on the season if the game will be rescheduled.


1) Games Stopped Due to Weather - Mangers should notify their Age Group Coordinator immediately if there is a game stoppage due to weather. The Age Group Coordinator, after consultation with the appropriate Age Group Vice President, will determine if and when the game conclusion will be held.

2. Make-up Games - Make-up games will be rescheduled for the earliest reasonable date that the season schedule permits. The date will be determined by the Age Group Coordinator after consultation with the appropriate Age Group Vice President. Friday evenings and/or Sunday afternoons may be used for rescheduling games.


B. Official School Event: The official school year calendar as published by Humble ISD will be incorporated by the League when (if possible) season schedules are prepared. For any school activity to qualify that is not listed on the calendar, it must:

(1) be an academic-related activity (i.e., a grade is involved) and/or

(2) prevent the team from fielding the minimum eight (8) players.


C. Obtaining Approval For School Activities Not Listed on Calendar: Team managers must submit a written request to the Age Group Coordinator at least seven (7) days prior to the event for consideration. The Age Group Coordinator, after consultation with the appropriate Age Group Vice President and/or the Executive Committee, will make the final determination. SEE B 2 for clarification!


D. All other rules will be as specified in the current “MLB Official Baseball Rules”, as modified by the current PONY Baseball Rules and Regulations for the appropriate age Division.


E. All baseball activities, rules and regulations provided for hereinabove are subject to the Kingwood/Forest Cove Baseball Association Bylaws, particularly the Local League Rules of Article XVIII.