Softball rules 1996

Date: Wed, 11 May 94 03:26:46 -0400
From: Scott Berry
  1. The league is for FUN, all the following rules will be based on this rule.

  2. The batting team supplies an umpire for 1st and 3rd base. The first base umpire is responsible for first and home, the third base umpire is responsible for second and third. These are not absolute, if one umpire can see it better he/she should make the call. Team captains must make sure competent people are placed as umpires.

  3. Balls and strikes--

    MAJORS-- A batter gets a walk after 5 balls, the batter strikes out after 2 strikes.

    INTERMEDIATE-- A batter walks after 5 balls and the batter strikes out after 2 strikes.

    MINORS-- The batter may never walk, the batter strikes out after 3 strikes.

    Strikes for all leagues include swinging strikes, and called strikes. A called strike is one that lands on the league supplied mat behind the plate. If it hits any part of the mat it is a strike. The catcher will call "called" strikes loudly.

    A) The pitches maximum arc must be between 6 and 15 feet, anything higher or lower is a ball, and must be called in the air by either umpire. (the batter may still swing, it is just an automatic ball call)

    B) Pitching style-- In the minors the pitcher must release the ball with the palm up. (no spins). In the Majors and intermediate the ball may be released in any manner.

  4. OVERTHROWS-- This is the most misplayed and misunderstood rule. There is no one+one rule. The runner gets their last establshed base +2 bases. This is equivalent to the runner getting the base they last occupied plus two. The base occupied is judged from the time the fielder releases the ball.

    EXAMPLE 1-- bases empty, the batter hits a grounder to the pitcher who throws it over the first basemans head, out of play. the runner gets second base. (simple)

    EXAMPLE 2-- runner on second, a grounder to the pitcher, the man on second never leaves second, the pitcher throws it out of play. The batter gets second and the runner scores!! The runners last base was second, the runner gets second plus 2 (home). The fact the runner never left second is irrelevant.

    EXAMPLE 3-- A runner on 1st, (one out), the batter hits a fly to the outfield, the runner is almost to second (has not tagged up), the outfielder makes the catch and throws to first trying to get the DP and it goes out of play. The runner gets third base, even though the runner is going back to first his last established base was first, he gets first plus two = third.

  5. LEADING OFF BASE-- Of course there is no leading off a base, I want to make this rule as easy to play as possible, A runner must stay on their occupied base until the batter hits the ball or IT CROSSES THE PLATE. A runner is out ONLY if they leave before a player hits the ball or before it crosses the plate. For example, a player leaves as the batter is taking a swing, if the batter misses the ball and the runner takes of the runner is NOT out.

  6. INFIELD FLY RULE-- If there are less than 2 outs with bases loaded or runners on first and second and an infield fly is hit either of the umpires should call "infield fly, batter is out" the runners can then play at their own risk. The ball is still live, for example a runner can tag up or run without tagging if they dont think the ball will be caught.

    1. a) The bases should be 60 feet from base to base. The best way is to put home between the 45 yard line and the dashed line (by the out of bounds line. Then first base goes on the hash marks.
    2. b) The 50 yard line and the track are out of play, notice the 50 yard line is very close to the bases, this includes batted balls and overthrows.
    3. c) OBSTRUCTIONS-- There are many obstructions on the field, goal posts, mats, long jump pits,... I hope these will be removed soon, but for now EVERYTHING IS LIVE, except a ball the bounces on or lands on top of one of the mats, if this happens it is a ground rule double. (this only when it bounces on top of the mat, the sides are live). Also a ball that goes underneath the mats is a ground rule double. the goal post are live (like a speaker in a dome) a fly ball can be caught for an out off the goal posts. A thrown ball off the goal posts is also live.
    4. d) STANDS-- A batted ball in the stands is a homerun, a ball that bounces in the stands is a ground rule double. The grass hill in front of the stands is live. (it is like a wall in baseball), at the top of the grass hill is a little cement wall (8 inches high?) this is also in the field of play. A ball that rolls up the hill and hits the little wall is live. A ball that goes in the stands (over the little wall) and bounces back is a double. The steel railing at the front of the stands is part of the stands and is a ground rule double (or HR if in the air).
    5. e) TRACK-- If a fielder is interfered with on the track (by runners) then it is a ground rule double.
    (The captains need to meet before the game and make sure they are on the same wavelength, also there may be additional obstructions that appear occasionally)

    1. a) If a batted ball hits a runner who is in fair territory the runner is out.
    2. b) The fielder gets the right of way to field a batted ball. If a runner interferes with a fielder trying to field a BATTED ball the runner is out.
    3. c) THE FIELDER MUST GIVE THE RUNNER A PATH TO THE BASE, THERE IS NO BLOCKING ANY BASE !!!! A lot of players, especially beginners stand on a base waiting for a ball that is no where around, this should not be done!! Please tell your fielder not to stand on a base unless there is going to be a play there. YOU CAN NOT FAKE A PLAY AT A BASE. If the other team does this they should be warned, a second "FAKE" should be reported to me. I will take appropriate action.
    4. d) Double plays-- The fielder may not "take out" the second baseman (or shortstop), any attempt to do so and the runner and the other runner are out! (I should also be told of teams or players that are intentionally trying to "take out" players.) There has to be a little leeway because of the turf players may not want to slide, coincidental contact can not be avoided, but intentional contact is dangerous and illegal (in our league).
    5. e) There is no rule about sliding. You can slide but you do not have to. (I warn you that sliding on a dry day may be VERY painful!)

  9. SUBSTITUTIONS-- Every league has free substitutions in the field (unlimited), every player must remain in the same spot in the batting order, and an unlimited number of players can bat. You can also have two people share the same spot in the order, though only 1 of these players may bat each time through. EXAMPLE-- two players can trade of batting in the 10th spot. (Of course you can bat 11 players). You must have at least 7 players to play a game (otherwise a forfeit). If you have 7 or 8 players the other team MUST supply a catcher (though this catcher can not make any plays, basically a retriever). If the team only has 9, they must supply their own catcher).

  10. No bunting, the player must take a full swing, a player attempting to bunt who hits the ball is out.

  11. GAME TIMES-- GAMES MUST START ON TIME. You should have your team there 15 minutes early. Don't start taking batting practice at 5:25. The game should start no later than 5:30. No inning may start past 6:50. If the early game runs past 7:05 the game is over right then, the 7 o'clock teams should enforce these time restrictions. There is no way the first game should take more than an hour and a half, extra innings can be played provided you have the time. Teams that continually take too long will be harassed by me. The pitcher gets 4 warm up pitches between innings, you get at most 1 throw each for infielders, and this is probably too much.

  12. RAIN (OH-NO)-- You should have your teams at the games even if it is raining, or is suppose to rain (within reason) , games will probably still be played. There are not many rain dates, if you dont get the game in you may not get to play that game. A light rain is no big deal, of course at any sign of lightning you should quit immediately. If you do not get a game in because of rain send me mail and I will try to get it rescheduled.

  13. TEN-RUN RULE-- If a team is leading by ten or more runs after 5 innings (4.5 if home team) then the game is over.

  14. MINORS RUN CAP-- In the minors league a team can only score a maximum of 6 runs in an inning. (exception: A team may score as many as possible in the 7th or designated last inning.)

  15. A game is complete if 4 innings or more are played. If you do not finish because of slow play, that is tough, you lose your game. If you do not finish because of rain we will try to reschedule a complete game.

  16. All teams MUST keep a scorecard of their own batters. It only has to keep track of batting order, who made outs and who scored runs, this will avoid conflicts about # of outs and the score. Teams should check the score with the other team every 1/2 inning.


  18. A pop up to the catcher must go over the batters head to be an out, otherwise it is a strike.

  19. ABSOLUTELY NO CHEWING TOBACCO ON THE TURF, the athletic dept. gets pissed about this.