WE PLAY BY THE BOOK

The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) book of guidelines, that is. Please refer to the Official Rules of Softball (Triumph Books, 1998) for answers to disputes during game play. 

RULE 1 – DEFINITIONS (Pages 3-16)

All rules in this section shall apply except:

Base on Balls

  • If a male batter walks on FOUR STRAIGHT BALLS and a female batter follows the male batter, the female batter has the choice to take a walk as well. Female batter must tell umpire that she chooses to take the walk before a pitch is thrown to her.

Strike Zone

  • When a batter assumes a natural batting stance adjacent to home plate, the strike zone is that space over and including any part of home plate between the batter’s back shoulder and front knee.

 

RULE 2 – THE PLAYING FIELD (Pages 17-23)

SECTION 3
Bases are to be situated 60 feet apart from each other at an angle of 45 degrees. The pitcher must pitch from 45 feet away from home plate, but may move closer (up to 40 feet) if having trouble reaching the plate. Cones will be situated 60 feet past 1st base and 3rd base to clearly indicate baselines, fair territory and to mark outfield positions. 

The home team is responsible for providing and setting up the following:

  • 1st Base, 2nd Base, 3rd Base
  • Home Plate
  • Pitcher’s Plate
  • Outfield Cones (Minimum of 2)
  • Game Ball(s)

Please confer with the opposing team’s captain if you have difficulty bringing any of the above. Failure to provide the above items may result in a forfeit if the opposing team enforces this rule.

 

RULE 3 – EQUIPMENT (Pages 24-34)

SECTION 3 – The Official Softball

  • Must be a 16” Clincher or approved ASA ball.
  • A new ball should be used for each game.
  • At the captains’ discretion, a “broken in” ball may be substituted.
  • Balls may be replaced during the course of the game for any reason as long as both captains are in agreement.

SECTION 4 – Gloves

  • May be utilized by female players only.
  • Male players are not allowed to wear any type of “gloved” material on their hands while playing defense. This includes batters gloves.

SECTION 6 – Uniform

  • Teams are not required to wear uniforms but it is recommended.
  • If your team does not have uniforms, please make sure they wear similar colors.

 

RULE 4 – PLAYERS AND SUBSTITUTES (Pages 35-45)

SECTION 1 – Players

  • Both captains must exchange lineups as indicated in the official rules before the start of the game.
  • A team shall consist of 10 players, at least four female and no more than six male with no restrictions on defensive field positions.

SECTION 1(D) - Short-Handed Rule

  • A team with 8 or fewer players must forfeit the game.
  • A team may play with 9 players under the following conditions:
  • 3 female, 6 male configuration may be adopted with the following penalties. Offensively, an automatic out is charged for the fourth female batting position. Defensively, a male must play the catcher position.
  • Team with 9 players, and 4 are female, may be adopted without penalty.
  • Under no conditions may a team play with fewer than 3 females.

SECTION 3 – Extra Players

  • If a team wants to bat extra players over the standard 10, they may do so as long as an extra female batter is inserted for every extra male batter. There is no limit on the number of extra batters as long as all rules are followed. All other rules in this section apply.

SECTION 6 – Substitutes

  • Substitutes may be used within gender with notification to the opposing captain.
  • If a team starts a game under the short-handed rule, they may substitute appropriate gender players to get within the 10-player guideline at the beginning of the next inning.
  • A substituted player may not re-enter a game unless there is an injury or illness.

 

RULE 5 – THE GAME (Pages 46-52)

SECTION 3 – Regulation Game
The game consists of 7 completed innings. All other rules in this section shall apply except:

  • If a game is halted due to rain or darkness and 4 or more innings have been completed, the score reverts back to the last completed inning to determine outcome.
  • A game not considered regulation shall be replayed in its entirety at a later date scheduled bythe league.
  • A regulation tie game subject to rule 5.3.C above shall be replayed in its entirety at a later date scheduled by the league.
  • A tie game shall be replayed in its entirety.

SECTION 4 – Forfeited Games
A team will forfeit a game based on any of the following:

  • Failure to field at least 3 females at any point during a game.
  • Failure to field a minimum of 9 players at any point during a game.
  • Failure to have team ready to start by 6:25pm or 7:15pm (Tuesday Waveland Divisions), 6:45pm or 8:00pm (Thursday Division), during the regular season.
  • Failure of home team to provide bases for game if visiting team also doesn’t have bases.
  • A forfeit is recorded as a loss for the offending team. The non-offending team will get credit for a win and 10 runs scored. The offending team will get credit for a loss and 10 runs allowed.
  • If both teams forfeit, then both teams shall receive a loss and 10 runs allowed.
  • A team that is guilty of 2 forfeits within a season may be expelled from the league at the Board of Directors discretion.

SECTION 6 – Game Winner
All rules in this section shall apply except:

  • The score of a forfeited game shall be ten to zero. 

SECTION 7 – Conferences

  • Each team is allowed 2 conferences per game.

SECTION 8 – Home Run Rule

  • There are no limits on the amount of home runs a team may hit.

SECTION 9 – Run Ahead Rule

  • There is no “mercy” rule but a losing team may, at its discretion, stop play at any time after the end of the fourth inning if they are trailing by more than 20 runs without forfeit penalty.
  • All 6:15pm Waveland Ave games are subject to an automatic “mercy” rule if a team is trailing by more than 20 runs after 7:10pm, and after dark for 7:15pm games. Final score will be recorded at that point.

SECTION 10 – Time Limit Rule

  • All games should be concluded within 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  • Games may be continued until darkness.

SECTION 11 – Playoff Rosters

  • All teams must submit a playoff roster (maximum of 20 players) two weeks before the start of the playoff tournament. Once you declare which team you are playing for in playoffs, no switching will be permitted.
  • Failure to submit a playoff roster will result in ineligibility for the playoffs. Teams scheduled to play ineligible team will receive a bye.
  • Non-compliance with submitted playoff roster will result in an immediate forfeit to either the current or next scheduled game, depending on the circumstance.

 

RULE 6 – PITCHING REGULATIONS – 16-INCH SLOW PITCH (Pages 69-73)

SECTION 3 – Legal Delivery
All rules in this section shall apply except:

  • The pitch shall be released at a moderate speed. A good rule of thumb would be to allow from 1.5– 2.0 seconds from pitching mound to home plate.
  • The ball must be delivered with a perceptible arc and reach a height of at least 6 feet from the ground, while not exceeding a maximum height of 12 feet from the ground. The ball should land within 16 inches behind home plate.
  • Fake throws are not allowed, as there is no stealing allowed.

 

RULE 7 – BATTING (Pages 74-81)

SECTION 2 – Batting Order
All rules in this section shall apply except:

  • Teams may not bat 3 or more males in a row.

SECTION 4 – A Strike Is Called By The Umpire
All rules in this section shall apply except:

  • A ball that hits the plate is a legal pitch and shall be ruled a strike.
  • For each foul tip. The ball is dead and the batter is out if it’s the third strike. Baserunners will be able to tag-up on foul balls caught on the 3rd strike. The batter is still out. Once a fielder catches a 3rd strike foul, runners may advance on their own risk. Runners who leave their base early can still be appealed. If a 3rd strike foul is not caught, the ball will immediately be called dead, the batter is out, and baserunners may not advance from their base.

SECTION 5 – A Ball Is Called By the Umpire
All rules in this section shall apply except:

  • A legally pitched ball that touches home plate will be called a strike.

 

RULE 8 – BATTER-RUNNER AND RUNNER (Pages 82-104)

SECTION 2 – Batter-Runner Is Out
All rules in this section shall apply except:

  • Excess home run rule does not apply.
  • If a spectator reaches into the field of play and interferes with a fielder or runner in any way, a dead ball is declared and play commences at the point before said interference.

SECTION 4 – Runners Are Entitled to Advance with Liability to Be Put Out
All rules in this section shall apply except:

  • Stealing is not permitted.

SECTION 5 – A Runner Forfeits His Exemption from Liability to Be Put Out
All rules in this section shall apply except:

  • Leading is not permitted.

SECTION 6 – Runners Are Entitled To Advance without Liability to Be Put Out
All rules in this section shall apply except:

  • If a spectator reaches into the field of play and interferes with a fielder or runner in any way, a dead ball is declared and play commences at the point before said interference.

SECTION 7 – A Runner Must return To His Base
All rules in this section shall apply except:

  • Leading is not permitted.

 

RULE 9 – PROTESTS (Pages 105-107)

All rules in this section shall apply and all games played regardless of circumstances are considered final.

  • Any conflicts or disagreements should be brought to the attention of the Board of Directors for review.

 

RULE 10 – UMPIRES (Pages 108-116)

  • Any team who argues or is abusive with an umpire may forfeit their membership and be removed from the league at the discretion of the Board of Directors.
  • There will be no remuneration for remaining games not played in this circumstance.
  • Team captains are expected to make this clear to all players and each team is required to abide by this rule.

 

RULE 11 – SCORING (Pages 117-123)

  • Both teams are to report final scores to the league by reporting scores on league website (www.cacsl.org) the following day after the contest.

 

POINTS OF EMPHASIS (Pages 125-165)

  • 8. CHECK SWING / BUNT STRIKE – Keep in mind that bunting/chopping is not permitted.
  • 12. CRASHING INTO A FIELDER WITH THE BALL (INTERFERENCE)
  • 22. INTENTIONALLY DROPPED BALL
  • 25. INTERFERENCE
  • 28. OBSTRUCTION – Keep in mind that infielder blocking of bases is not permitted.
  • 30. OVERTHROWS – Keep in mind that an overthrow backed up by an outfielder is still in play.

 

ADDITIONAL POINTS OF EMPHASIS

OUTFIELD POSITIONING

  • The right fielder and left fielder must play even with or behind the cones located 75 feet behind 1st and 3rd base respectively until the batter (male or female) makes contact with the ball. The center fielder must maintain a similar position along the same path as the other two outfielders. The short center fielder or 10th defensive position is not restricted to this rule and may play anywhere within the space between the first set of cones and the nearest base.

INFIELD POSITIONING

  • The 1st baseman, 2nd baseman, shortstop and 3rd baseman must play 3 feet behind the base path until the batter (male or female) makes contact with the ball.

RUNNER RESPONSIBILITY

  • Must avoid contact with fielder making a play on ball and must slide or otherwise dodge a fielder trying to make a play on said runner.

INFIELDER RESPONSIBILITY

  • Must avoid contact with runner if not involved with the play and must not block a base or impede a runner in any way from reaching their intended destination.

WAVELAND AVE

  • Due to time constraints, all Waveland Ave games that begin after 6:45pm will be played with a 1&1 count.
  • No new inning can begin after 7:45pm.
  • No new inning can begin after dark, with the umpire having the final decision.

 

2015 ADDENDUM

  • All plays at home will be force outs. Before the game, the umpire will draw a line along the 3rd base line halfway between 3rd base and home. This will be referred to as the commitment line.
  • On plays where base runners are coming home, once they cross the commitment line, they must continue towards home plate. They may not turn to go back to third.
  • The catcher must have possession of the ball with his or her foot touching home plate before the runner crosses home for an out to be called. Tagging the runner is no longer necessary. The exception would be should be while the ball is still in play, another infielder comes in to take the play at home instead of the catcher. If that should happen, the runner must be tagged out, and the runner also would have the option of going back to third base even if they cross the commitment line.