Last Update: June 2020
The league is intended to be a fun league for everyone. These rules are to be used as a guideline unless safety is a concern, in which case the rules must be followed. The idea is to give the league structure and make it safe and fair for everyone to play. Discussions on whether rules are being followed is to be discussed between captains, who will then agree on how to proceed at that time so the game can continue.
The league as expanded to include 4 new teams and now has 20 teams participating.
The league will now be split into 4 divisions and what teams you will be playing against will be determined by what division you are in.
A Division - Teams will play 2/3 of their games against A Division, and the remaining games against the B Division.
B Division - Teams will play 1/3 of their games against A Division, B Division and C Division.
C Division - Teams will play 1/3 of their games against B Division, C Division and D Division.
D Division - Teams will play 2/3 of their games against D division, and the remaining games against the C Division.
Games will be 7 innings in length. The first 6 innings will have a 5 run limit in effect. There is no limit on the 7th inning and 3 outs are required by each team to end the inning. If the game is tied after 7 innings, and provided there is still time, an 8th inning should be played. The batter previous to the batter leading off the inning will be placed on second base at the start of the inning and then the inning proceeds normally with no run limit.
Prior to each game, a commitment line between third base and home plate will be drawn from the foul line to near the third base fence roughly 2/3 of the way to home plate. If a runner passes this line, they cannot return to third base and must continue home. Another line will be made that extends from the first base foul line to the third base fence. Once the runner touches or passes this line the runner will be assumed to have scored and can longer be considered out.
All players are now required to sign the team roster/wavier form in order to be allowed to play in the league.
While this is a fun league for everyone, players do assume some risk when stepping on the field. Players should be able to reasonably protect themselves from a ball hit towards them. It is the responsibility of the team captain to ensure that a player is not placed in a position where they would not be able to protect themselves from a ball batted towards them. Players are allowed to wear any equipment they wish that will protect them from injury. Metal cleats are the only item that is not allowed to be worn by a player. Plastic cleats are fine and are encouraged especially in the outfield.
Umpires are not provided for any league games. The batting team is expected to supply an umpire while their team is at bat. The umpire is expected to be familiar with softball rules and to be impartial. Team captains can discuss questionable calls but ultimately, the umpires call is final
The home team is responsible for putting down bases to be used for the game. While not required, a safety base at first can be used provided it can be securely fastened with 2 pegs.
A rubber strike mat is to be used in addition to the home plate. The mat will be 2 feet wide by 3 feet long (need to confirm dimensions) with the top of the mat placed covering the triangle at the back of the home plate. Teams are strongly encouraged to purchase a rubber strike mat (available at McTavish's Source for Sports for ~$40) so that all teams have the same mat.
The home team is expected to supply the mat to be used for the game.
Due to safety concerns, only flight restricted balls will be used in the league. Teams have agreed that Worth Hot Dot softballs (12") will be the preferred ball (available at McTavish's Source for Sports for $~75/dozen). The home team is expected to supply 1 new ball as well as 1 or 2 decent balls for every home game.
There is no requirement for a specific color of ball to be used, but most teams are moving to yellow balls to aid visibility of the ball.
Due to safety concerns, bats must be approved for play according Slow-Pitch National Bat Policy. Bats must have one of 2 stamps to be considered legal for play.
USSSA 1.20 BPF (Preferred)
ASA Certified 2004
Pitchers are expected to be able to throw strikes consistently. Pitchers are not expected to throw perfect pitchers all the time, but after several non-strike pitches (no matter how close to a strike they were), a strike must be thrown to keep the game moving. Pitchers who are unable to consistently throw strikes should be replaced with another pitcher. With pitchers standing so close to batters, team captains should not place anyone in the pitching position who cannot protect themselves from a batted ball at that position. There is substantially less time to react.
There is a 6 feet minimum arc the ball must reach on the way to the plate for it to be called a strike. Balls pitched less than 6 feet will be declared no pitch. A no pitch is considered a ball. A batter may swing, at their discretion, at any ball pitched.
There is a 12 feet maximum arc the ball must reach on the way to the plate for it to be called a strike. Balls pitched greater than 12 feet will be declared no pitch. A no pitch is considered a ball. A batter may swing, at their discretion, at any ball pitched.
While the 6 feet rule is strictly enforced, the 12 feet should not be as strictly enforced in the interest in keeping the game moving. If a pitcher is getting into the 15-18 foot range, then the maximum should definitely be enforced in order to keep the game fair.
The pitcher must pitch from within the pitching circle around the appropriate mound. If the circle is not present, or is placed around the incorrect mound, the pitcher must stand within 6 feet of the center of the mound.
Teams are allowed to make fielding substitutions at their will, between innings or during innings if needed. There is no limit to the number of times a fielder can be switched between fielding and on the bench. Teams are allowed to field up to 10 players at a time as long as certain criteria are met.
Teams must have at least 3 girls on the field in order to field 10 players. There is no restriction on where the girls can play.
Teams can only field 9 players if there are only 2 girls available to play the field. The position that is lost must be the rover.
8 players is the minimum number of players a team must have to not forfeit the game, provided there are at least 2 girls present. At this point the opposing team will supply a catcher for the team with only 8 players. The catcher should make a reasonable effort to make a play on any ball to help the fielding team out.
Teams are not allowed to play more than 4 outfielders (3 if there is no rover) and 4 infielders (not counting the pitcher and catcher). The rover and all outfielders must stand in the grass before every play begins. Infielders can stand on the grass provided it is for safety reasons and not to put more fielders in the outfield.
Only infielders will be allowed to throw to first base with the intention of making an out.
For safety reasons, the catcher is to stand a reasonable distance behind home plate so that they have time to react if a ball is foul tipped (batted backwards). When making a play at home plate, because of the commitment line, catches are highly encouraged to stand on home plate/strike mat to catch the ball. If a ball is caught before the runner crosses the home plate line, the runner will be called out. The catcher can standing on the plate and/or strike mat to record an out.
Teams are required to bat all players who are playing in the game.
The batting order must be ordered such that at no time there are 3 guys batting in a row. The exception to this rule is at the bottom of the lineup. When wrapping from the bottom to the top of the batting order, 3 guys can bat in a row.
Home runs are no longer only doubles and the batter, and any base runners, will score as expected.
Teams will only be allowed to hit 3 more home runs than the opposing team (+3 rule). If a team hits a home run that would cause them to have 4 home runs more than the opposing team, the batter will immediately be declared out and runners cannot advance. Females are exempt from this rule and their home runs do not count towards the +3 rule.
For ground rule doubles, the batter will proceed to second base. If there was a runner on first, they will proceed to third base. Any other runners score as normal. If a ball does bounce over the fence, goes under, or goes between the opening in some fields, the outfielder should immediately signal that it is only a ground rule double.
If a batter has 2 strikes on them, and then hits a foul ball over one of the foul fences, the batter will be declared out. The batter is not declared out if the ball goes foul but remains in the field.
The batter will be called out if they contact a ball and the catcher is able to catch it before it hits the ground. There is no longer a minimum height the ball must travel on foul tipped balls.
A strike will be called if the batter swings and misses, or if the ball contacts the home plate or strike mat.
Walks will now be included in the league. A batter must take 6 balls (total, not consecutive) in order for a walk to be declared. If a batter is walked they shall take first base and any base runners will advance only if they are required to (ie. A walk occurs with runners on first and third, the runner on first will advance to second but the runner on third will not advance to home). If a walk occurs and the next batter is a female, the female has the option to walk as well or bat as they normally would.
An Infield fly (A fly ball where an infielder has a reasonable chance to make the catch, with runners on first and second, or first second and third with less than 2 out) will be shouted by the umpire. At this time the batter will be out and runners do not have to advance. They can advance at their own risk.
Courtesy runners can be used for injured players and must be declared to the fielding team. A courtesy runner must be the same sex as the batter and be immediately above the batter in the batting order (unless they are on a base, in which case the next available player will be used).
Sliding is permitted in the league, but is strongly discouraged. Players are only to slide to avoid a collision. If the intent was to break up a play, or significant contact was made to disrupt a play, the runner will be called out.
Runners are highly encouraged not to touch home plate. For a runner to score they only have to cross the first base foul line that is extended to the fence. A runner who touches home plate will not be called out, unless they make contact with the catcher and interferes with a play being made.
If a runner running to first base see that the first basemen is incorrectly covering first base and a collision is likely, they have the option to run past first without touching first base. The umpire should use their judgement and make the call based on whether they felt the runner would have been safe has they touched the base.
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