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Rules

Softball
Rules of the Game

ELIGIBILITY

  • All players must check-in with the umpire and be on a valid roster before they are allowed to play.
  • A player may only play for ONE team.
  • Teams may add players to their roster up until the last game of round robin play.
    • However, that player must not have played for another team during the same season.
  • Players may not “jump” leagues or teams. Failure to observe this rule will result in a forfeit.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS

  • A field of play will consist of nine defensive fielders and one offensive pitcher.
  • Each team has the option to play with a 10th
    • This player will act as a rover and can play as a fourth outfielder. 
  • A team may start and continue to play with seven players.
    • Less than seven players, and a forfeit will be assessed.
    • If seven players are present at the scheduled game time, play will start
      • No waiting for more players.
    • Teams, at a minimum, have to bat the number of people that they have playing in the field.
      • There is no maximum to the number of players a team can have in their batting order.
      • All players listed in the batting order must at least play one inning in the field.
    • No pinch running is allowed. If a player bats, they must proceed to run the bases. 

CO-ED RULES

  • Teams must have at least TWO members of any under-represented gender on the field at all times.
    • Should a team opt to have a 10th fielder, they must have at least THREE members of any under-represented gender(s) on the field.
  • The batting team will provide their own pitcher each inning.
    • The batting team pitcher must remain on the field until the play is considered dead.
  • Each batter is allowed only 3 pitches.
    • No walks will be permitted.
    • A foul ball on the third pitch counts as an out.

TIME REGULATIONS

  • Each game will last: 1) one hour, 2) seven innings, 3) 10 run-rule after five innings, or 4) 15 run-rule after three innings.
  • No inning will be started after 55 minutes of play.
  • There are no extra innings during season play, games may end in a tie.
    • During the tournament play, extra innings will be granted until a winner is determined. 
  • Games will be considered official after 4 full innings of play.
    • In the case a game is called due to inclement weather, and 4 innings have been played, the final score will be recorded as what it was in the last full inning of play.

FORFEITS

  • A forfeit will be assessed when a team fails to be present with the required number of players at 10 minutes past scheduled game time.
  • Forfeits are “one and done” meaning, once a forfeit occurs your team will be removed from the season and/or tournament.

INCLEMENT WEATHER

  • In the case of inclement weather, the decision to cancel games will be made by the Assistant Director of Recreation at 3:30 p.m. that day.
  • Every effort will be made to reschedule any cancellations due to weather restrictions.
  • In the case of inclement weather during gameplay, we will observe the Athletics Department lightening policy.
    • Cancellation due to rain, in the absence of lightning, will be at the Assistant Director of Recreations digression.

FUNDAMENTAL RULES

  • The home team will be determined at the beginning of the game by a bat toss.
  • The ball must be pitched underhand and must arch at least six feet but no more than 12 feet in height from the ground.
    • This must happen or a “no pitch” will be called. Co-ed - a “no pitch” WILL count as 1 of the 3 pitches.
  • Bunting is not allowed.
    • Bunting is defined as any attempt by the batter to avoid swinging the bat all the way through.
  • Each team must provide a catcher.
    • The catcher MAY NOT block the plate.
  • The runner may only advance one extra base on an overthrow.
    • If the runner is already making an attempt at advancement at the time of the overthrow, they will get that base plus one.
    • This rule is in effect if a non-participant interferes with the play. 
  • The runner may not leave the base until the batter has made contact with the ball.
    • Therefore, no leading off or stealing a base is allowed.
  • Teams must establish a batting order prior to the game and follow the order throughout.
    • A player not in the original batting order may sub in (and take someone else's spot in the line up).
    • Batting out of order will result in an OUT.
  • Foul balls will be called along each baseline at the umpire's discretion.
  • NO METAL CLEATS OR SPIKES ARE ALLOWED.
  • On a close play, the runner must slide.
    • A close play is when the ball is directly on its way to the plate in question.
  • Infield fly rule is in effect. 
    • The infield fly rule is a rule that treats certain fly balls as though caught before the ball is caught and even if the infielder fails to catch it or drops it on purpose.
    • An Infield Fly is a fair fly ball (not a line drive) that, in the judgment of the umpire, can be caught by an infielder, pitcher, or catcher with ordinary effort and when there are runners on first and second or first, second, and third and less than two outs.
    • The umpire's declaration of an infield fly means that the batter is out (and all force plays are removed) regardless of whether the ball is caught.
  • Before the mercy rule comes into effect, there is a 10 run limit per team per inning. 
  • On Tutt Science, a homerun is constituted as a fly ball (not a line drive or ground ball) that fully clears the path surrounding the outfield.
    • As soon as the ball hits a surface beyond the path, the play is dead and a homerun is awarded.
    • A ball can be caught beyond the path as long as it has not hit any surface prior.
  • A ground rule double can be called be the defending team if the ball clears the path, but is not a homerun.
    • To utilize the ground rule double rule, the defender must put both hands in the air as soon as the ball completely clears the path. 
  • The play is considered dead, and no runners may advance once the ball is given to the pitcher.
    • The batting team's pitcher must not interfere with the fielding team's attempt to end the play. 

ROSTER CHANGES

  • Roster changes are permitted throughout the regular season, however, any names added to your roster may not be listed on another roster. Your roster will be considered “frozen” as soon as the post-season tournament starts.