2012 Softball Major League Rules
Revision: March 1, 2011
1. Both coaches must meet with the umpire prior to the start of the game to define and agree upon the following:
a. The “out of bounds” area to the left and right of the foul lines.
b. How liberal will the strike zone be.
c. General rules review.
2. Play must be suspended in the event of lightning.
3. It will be the umpire’s discretion to start an inning due to darkness.
4. The umpire has the sole responsibility of calling off a game because of darkness or rain after the game has started.
5. Coaches have the responsibility to control spectators and ensure player safety.
6. Coaches are responsible for clean-up of the playing field and dugout areas.
7. No bat swinging until at the plate, unless carefully supervised by a coach in a designated area.
8. Two (2) adult base coaches will be permitted.
9. Free substitutions are allowed throughout the game.
1. No watches, earrings, rings, pins or jewelry except to alert medical personnel.
2. No bat swinging until at the plate, unless carefully supervised by a coach in a designated area.
3. Helmets must be worn when on deck, at bat or on base. “No double deck.”
4. All players play a minimum of ½ the game. Coaches should make reasonable attempts to make substitutions in a manner that promotes this even in the event of shortened games.
Pitching – Fast Pitch
1. Remember that this is a recreation league with player at all different skill levels. A sixth grader with a windmill pitch will overpower and possibly scare and or hurt a fourth grader with much lower skills. It is important to use judgment and common sense in these type match-ups. Some players are here to improve their advanced skills while others just to have a good time. Please be sensitive in these match-ups so that a good time will be had by all. Repeated violations of this policy should be brought to the attention of the program commissioners for resolution.
2. The distance from home plate to the Pitcher’s rubber is 35 feet. This is measured from the front of the pitcher’s plate to the rear point of home plate.
3. Pitchers are permitted to pitch a maximum of three (3) innings per game in any order and the throwing of a single pitch constitutes an inning.
4. Umpires will call balls and strikes
5. The Pitch:
a. Prior to delivery, pitcher begins by placing pivot foot (same as throwing hand) on pitcher’s plate and non-pivot foot on or behind the plate. Both feet must be within the pitcher’s plate.
b. Pitcher then faces home plate with hands separated (ball in either hand). Hands are then brought together with a pause of a least one second.
c. Once hands are together, pitcher is allowed only one step toward home plate. A step backward (if both feet started on plate) is allowed only before hands come together.
d. The pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitching plate or may be pushed off and dragged away from the pitching plate prior to the front foot touching the ground as long as the pivot foot remains in contact with the ground prior to releasing the ball.
e. Wind-ups are allowed, but only one revolution for a windmill motion. The delivery must be an underhanded motion with the hand below the hip and the wrist not farther from the side of the body than the elbow.
6. No balks. No intentional walks.
7. If a pitcher hits a total of two (2) batters, she must be warned by the ump. Upon hitting a third batter she must be pulled by the coach regardless of the number of innings pitched.
8. Batters must make an attempt to get out of the way of an inside ball. Leaning into the pitch or failing to make an attempt to get out of the way will be called a ball.
9. Pitchers may deliver the ball if the batter is inside the batter’s box and time out has not been called.
10. A maximum of two (2) mound visits per inning per pitcher, and (3) visits per game, the 3rd visit in any inning and the 4th per game will require the pitcher’s removal.
1. Runner must remain on base until ball has crossed home plate.
2. Stealing is allowed only from second to third base with no penalty (runner cannot advance to home) if the catcher over throws third base.
3. Players may slide and are encouraged to do so on close plays.
4. A runner must make every attempt to avoid a collision with the fielder on a close play at any base. A runner who, in the opinion of the umpire, deliberately collides with a fielder, whether by sliding or not, will be called out by the umpire. .
5. A runner will be called out at any base for sliding other than feet first.
6. Batter is called out if third strike is dropped-runners may not advance.
7. A base runner hit by a batted ball while in the base paths is automatically out.
8. Coaches should be made aware of obstructions of runners in the field by fielders.
9. No infield fly rule.
1. Full roster batting order will be established before the game and players will adhere to the set batting order throughout the game. Late players will be added the end of the order and must be reported to the opposing team’s coach.
2. Four balls is a walk.
3. Bunting is allowed. Once a batter squares to bunt, she must either take the pitch or bunt, any attempt to swing away is an automatic out.
4. A bounced pitch is live; it can be hit and put into play. Likewise, if a bounce pitch hits a batter then it should be called a HBP and the batter awarded 1st base (unless batter made no attempt to get out of the way of the errant pitch).
5. Dropped 3rd strike will not be enforced.
Little League Major League Rules of Softball apply, unless a change has been made and mutually agreed upon by the coaches.
1. The Home Team supplies one new 11 inch yellow softball per game.
2. Field dimensions are 60 feet between bases and 35 feet from home plate to the pitcher’s mound.
3. There will be a 10 player maximum in the field. No more than 4 infielders counting the pitcher and catcher.
4. Games are six (6) innings.
5. The umpire has the sole responsibility of calling off a game because of darkness or rain after the game has started.
6. If game is called after less than 2 innings have been played, then the game is to be made up in its entirety. If two (2) complete innings or more have been completed (but less than a complete game), then the game is “suspended” with made-up game being resumed from the innings and score where left off.
7. Four (4) innings will constitute a complete game if the Visiting Team is ahead, and 3 ½ innings if the Home Team is ahead.
8. No limitations to the number of player substitutions made in the field.
9. No Infield Fly rule.
10. One base on an overthrow, that goes out of play, that is the base the runner was going to at the moment the ball went out of play and another base. Otherwise play ends when pitcher is on the rubber and in possession of the ball. The exception to this rule is when a runner is stealing third base, in which case they cannot advance to home on an overthrow.
11. If baserunner is half-way to next base when pitcher is on the rubber in possession of the ball and on the rubber, the baserunner may advance at own risk. For clarity, if baserunner chooses to retreat it is also at baserunner’s risk.
12. All teams will be limited to five (5) runs per inning. The play in which the 5th run is scored should be played out in its entirety, with additional runs scored counting. This is to not penalize a batter for hitting a 3 run triple (or grand slam) when 4 runs have already scored that inning. Unlimited runs will be permitted in the final inning.
13. Time limit for early game on Saturday is 2 hours to prevent backing up games. When approaching this limit, the current inning should be completed and the game considered complete. No inning may start after 2 hours. Time limits for playoffs and finals will be suspended provided there is enough daylight to finish.
14. A team can be awarded a “win” if it is ahead by 10 runs and 3-4 innings have been played and both teams agree. Both teams can then agree to play on with “win/loss” already awarded.
15. There will be no limit on the number of walks issued per inning. Walks will be permitted up until the five run rule is reached or three outs have been recorded.
16. No throwing bat. A player will be warned after throwing the bat the first time, A second violation will result in the player being prohibited from batting again in that game. The player may, however, continue to play the field.
17. Minimum number of players to start a game is 7. If a team is unable to field this many players, the game will be officially a forfeit. However an informal game may still be played, with players borrowed, etc. to make full teams. In addition, players may be borrowed from other teams to make up a full roster, provided those players are from a lower level league.
18. No people permitted directly behind backstop during play.