THE LEAGUE FOR FASTPITCH SOFTBALL'S RULES
Sec 1 – CLASSIFICATION & ELIGIBILITY
A. Every player who has not reached her 19th birthday as of January 1, of the current year is eligible to play the season.
B. Player must be on roster by week 3 to be eligible. No new player will be allowed on a team afterwards, unless severe circumstances presents itself (i.e. A number of players injured and/or leave, putting a team below 12 players). Under such circumstances, it will be presented and determined by the League Committee.
C. Each player must present photo ID with age verification to be eligible. That player is then placed on the team roster electronically on the League’s Website. A player is ineligible until this is done.
Sec 2 – INELIGIBLE PLAYERS
A. No manager shall use a player who is over age or otherwise ineligible. It is the manager’s responsibility to know the correct age of their players and ensure all documents and league procedures are followed. If a team is found to be using a player that is ineligible, the team will forfeit all games previously played by that player and the player(s) will face expulsion from the league and the manager could be suspended from the league.
Sec 3 – PROOF OF BIRTH/AGE
A. A copy of each player’s photo ID with age must be submitted to the league. Accepted ID’s include State ID’s, clear School ID’s, and Passports. In the case of a young player who has not entered HS yet, then that player must submit a copy of their Birth Certificate, along with a headshot photo. Each player must also submit a completed League form.
Sec 4 – ROSTERS
A. Each team must carry a minimum of 15 players on its roster. A team may carry as many as 18 players on their roster. All players must be eligible, which is the responsibility of the manager for each team.
Sec 5 – ROSTER MOVEMENT
A. Teams may make up to 5 roster changes once the season begins in terms of adding/dropping players. Changes are requested via email to the League with all appropriate information and documentation. A player is not officially on the roster till posted on the team’s roster on the League’s website. All team rosters are frozen at the end of week 3.
Sec 6 – CHANGING TEAMS
A. No player is allowed to play on two or more teams within the same season. Additionally, no player will be allowed to change teams within the same season.
Sec 1 – MAKING SCHEDULE
A. Prior to the season, all managers or coaches representing the team must be present for the League Schedule Meeting
(Approximately a month prior to when the season starts). During the League Schedule Meeting, teams will determine game days, times, and fields.
B. The League will determine weekly opponents prior to the League Schedule Meeting and present it to the teams during the meeting. A week will be Monday – Sunday as determined by the League. There will be a 9-week schedule and then playoffs. The desire is to play the season in 8 weeks however. The ninth week would be used to makeup games if necessary. If there is no need, playoffs will begin after the 8th week.
C. After teams have agreed on game days, times, and fields, all managers must email the League their team’s schedule within a week so that schedules can be checked/confirmed and then posted on the League’s website. Once posted on the website, that will serve as the official League Game schedule.
Sec 2 – POSTPONEMENT
A. In the event that a game(s) must be postponed due to weather conditions or any other foreseen reason, the affected managers must communicate and come up with a make-up day, time, and field for the postponed game(s). Conference games must be made up prior to playing non-conference games, immediately on the next open week or prior to. Effected Non-conference games must then be scheduled to be made up.
B. Efforts to make up games must be done via email or text, with the League CC’d/attached in the event that there is a conflict and a forfeit must be determined.
Sec 1 – LEAGUE FEE
A. The League team fee will be $125, which will cover Championship Trophies and medals, as well as umpires for the championship game. An additional $100 forfeit fee will be collected with the expectation that the $100 will be returned if the team never forfeits.
Sec 2 – UMPIRE FEE
A. Umpire fees (1 umpire) are split between the two teams playing the game. $30 per game from each team.
B. In the case of a game day forfeit where umpire is present and team that is earning the forfeit win is present, team manager for the forfeited team must pay the umpire fee for that forfeited game in its entirety prior to playing another League game.
SEC 1 – CONFERENCES/STANDINGS
A. If there are less teams than 10 teams, then teams will play every other team twice. For example 8 teams will play a 14 game schedule. In the event that there are 10 or more teams, teams will be broken into 2 conferences that will be picked randomly, where a team will be in a conference. The expectation is that there will be 5 teams within each conference. Teams will play every team within the conference twice and play each team in the other conference once. For example, 10 teams will play a 13 game schedule.
B. Conference standings will be determined by conference wins/losses. That will be the first determining factor for playoffs (how teams do within conference). Whatever is the Equal amount of games played by each team outside the conference, then those results will be added to team records and determine final record and seeding.
1. Every team should play at least 8 games (games within conference)
2. There should be 5 games played outside the conference by each team.
3. In the case where only one team played all games (13) and all other teams played less (12: 8 conference and 4 outside conference). Then the record for 12 games by all teams will determine the final record/standings/playoffs.
4. Team affected, that played all their required games and thus is affected by other teams not completing their schedules, will have each affected lost removed that match the same number of games.
i. Team A played 13 games. Has record of 8-5. Obtained 2 losses outside the conference. But all other teams within conference did not complete all 13. Instead the most every team finished was 11. The conference is
now determined by an 11 game schedule. Team A can remove 2 losses obtained from the outside division
so that they are not negatively affected. They now have a 8-3 record.
C. If a team drops from the league then their games will be removed from the schedule as if they were never scheduled. Previous records from games played against the dropped team will be removed as well.
D. In a forfeit, the team showing up with enough players to play the scheduled game is credited with a win (7-0).
E. The team with the most wins at the end of the regular season is highest seed for the playoffs, next highest is the second seed, continuing until the last playoff seed is determined. In the event of a tiebreaker (same amount of wins), between two or more teams, then team with the most conference wins will be used as a tiebreaker. If there is still a tie, the team with the greatest run differential advantage against the other opposing tiebreaker team(s) determines the higher seed. In the event two teams are tied with run differential, we will then go to most runs scored between the two teams.
SEC 2 – PLAYOFFS
A. In the event there are 8 teams, the top 4 teams will make the playoffs. Seed 1 will play Seed 4, and Seed 2 will play Seed 3 in the semifinals. Winner of each game plays for the championship. Otherwise if there are 10 teams, the 3 teams with most wins within each conference will advance to the playoffs. Seeds 1 in each conference will get a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Seeds 2 will play seeds 3 in the first round. The winners of both games will then play the 1st seed of their perspective conference to determine conference winners. Conference winners will play a one game Championship.
B. Playoffs – Player Eligibility
1. Players must play in 50% of their team’s games in order to be eligible to play in the League playoffs. If a player is injured during the course of the season and doesn’t meet the requirements for the playoffs, then the League Committee will determine her eligibility.
2. Should an ineligible player play in the playoffs, that team will forfeit their spot in the playoff games. Their opponent will immediately move to the next round. (Exception: Championship game – the opponent will be named Champion).
GAME DAY SET-UP
SEC 1 – PREPARING FOR GAME
A. The home team hosting the game on their field must obtain umpires. While it is the responsibility of the home team to get the umpires, teams may work together to get one.
B. It is the responsibility of the home team to properly set up the field, bringing the bases and setting them up in the proper distance at least 30 minutes prior to game time.
C. Both teams are responsible for providing at least 2 game balls each.
SEC 2 – FIELDS
A. All games are to be played on the field designated on the schedule.
B. Pitching distance and base distances are determined by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA). The pitching distance is 43 feet. Base distance is 60 feet.
C. Metal cleats are not allowed in the league. Player must be removed from the game if they are caught wearing metal cleats on the field and can only return after non-metal cleats are worn. A second infraction results in ejection.
SEC 3 – EQUPIMENT
A. All teams are responsible for providing their own equipment for league play that is in good and safe condition.
a. Maximum length 34" and maximum diameter 2 1/4″.
2. FIRST AID KIT:
a. Each team must have a complete first aid kit, including ice packs, during all of their scheduled League games.
b. All teams should have a manager or coach that is AED/CPR certified. Home teams should have AED at the field.
a. Helmets must be worn at all times by base runners, batters, on-deck batters and catchers. All batters must wear the helmet with a facemask/guard.
b. Batting Helmets are required to have NOCSAE approved facemasks/guards.
a. Each team must provide 2 new ASA approved softballs for each game (yellow with red stitching).
SEC 4 – POOR WEATHER CONDITIONS
A. All teams are expected to report to the field as scheduled, unless otherwise instructed by the League and/or home team Manager. The umpires will officially postpone or impose a delay based on the field conditions, when applicable.
B. Home team managers must communicate with the League before cancelling or postponing a game due to weather. Together a decision will be determined on game play.
C. Should a game get cancelled or postponed due to weather while game is in progress, the game will be picked up exactly where it left off, if scheduling permits. If game is not continued and at least 3 innings have been played already, then the score from the last completed inning is what will be counted in the league.
D. Once lightning is visible, it is mandatory that all players exit the field for 20 minutes. Any subsequent lightning after the beginning of the 20-minute count should reset the clock and another count should begin.
SEC 5 – TEAM ARRIVALS AND STARTING TIMES
A. Teams are expected to arrive no later than 30 minutes prior to their scheduled start time.
B. A team’s failure to have at least 8 players in full uniform on the field or in the batters box 20 minutes after the scheduled start time of a game will result in a forfeit. In the event of only 8 players, then the last spot in batting order will be an automatic out.
C. Before each game, both teams must submit a lineup card to the umpire and to the other team. Names and numbers must be present on lineup cards. Lineup cards must be legible.
D. In the case of a doubleheader, the second game will be forfeited 40 minutes after the scheduled start time of the first game.
E. Start time of a scheduled game is the time indicated by the league on the schedule, unless otherwise instructed by the umpire. In addition, the game clock begins at the scheduled start time indicated by the umpire.
PLAYING THE GAME
SEC 1 – UMPIRES
A. Umpires that are obtained by teams should be certified. Only one umpire is required for each game however it is up to the teams together if they would like to obtain two umpires. For the Championship game, two umpires will be obtained by the league.
SEC 2 – UNIFORMS
A. All teams must be in complete matching uniforms (matching jersey, pants/shorts and socks) by the third week of the season.
B. If a player is not properly attired, the player is not allowed to play. It is under the discretion of the opposing team to allow a player not dressed properly to play to avoid a forfeit but it is not required.
SEC 3 – LATE ARRIVALS
A. A player arriving late, after the first pitch has been thrown, cannot play the first two innings of a game. A player arriving after the second inning is complete, is not eligible to play in that game.
SEC 4 – NON-ROSTER PLAYERS
A. Non-Roster players are not allowed in the dugout or on the field of play. Dugouts are reserved for players and coaches.
SEC 5 – GAME LENGTH
A. Games are seven innings.
B. No new inning may start after 1 hour and 45 minutes have elapse from the start of the game. Games have a 2-hour drop time limit. If a game is stopped while in the middle of an inning due to time, then the game result will be the score for the last completed inning. It is the manager’s responsibility to know the time and maintain time management. Managers should synchronize time with the umpires.
C. If a game is tied after seven innings, a total of one or more innings may be played within the time limitations. If the game remains tied, it shall be recorded as such.
D. All playoff games are played with a time limit. If after 7 innings and time limit has passed but the game is tied, the international tiebreaker will come into play (last batted out starts at second base) for the next extra inning.
E. All championship games are played with no time limit. In the event that a game is tied after 7 innings and an extra inning has been played and then for the next extra inning, the international tiebreaker will come into play until a winner of the game happens.
F. In an effort to improve the flow of the game, the league will commit to the HS Federation rule of between inning policy:
I. ONE minute or a maximum of FIVE pitches.
G. In the event of an early mercy, coaches can agree to start the second game of a double header 30 minutes after the last out. Both coaches MUST agree.
SEC 6 – MERCY RULE
A. The mercy rule follows the 12, 10, 8 rule:
1. Any team, ahead by 12 or more runs after 3 innings have been played, shall be declared the winner of that game (2.5, if the home team is ahead).
2. Any team, ahead by 10 or more runs after 4 innings have been played, shall be declared the winner of that game (3.5, if the home team is ahead).
3. Any team, ahead by 8 or more runs after 5 innings have been played, shall be declared the winner of that game (4.5, if the home team is ahead).
SEC 7 – LINEUP/BATTING ORDER
A. A max of 10 players may be in the lineup and may bat. This includes the Extra Hitter.
B. In the use of a Flex/DP, the DP player must be at the bottom of the lineup card but the Flex will hit for that player.
SEC 8 – EXTRA HITTER
A. Teams have the option of using an Extra Hitter. Only one Extra Hitter is allowed. The Extra Hitter can’t play the field.
1. No Designated Hitter allowed in the league.
B. Teams are allowed to use the flex rule, but not required.
SEC 9 – DP/FLEX
A. The DP/Flex rule is allowed but not required under the current ASA rules.
1. DP – Defensive player that only plays the field
2. Flex – Bats for the DP and doesn’t play the field
3. Each is a position and may be substituted for
SEC 10 – COURTESY RUNNER
A. A courtesy runner may be used in the following situations:
a. Catchers only. There is NO courtesy runner for the Pitcher.
i. Optional with one out and mandatory with two outs.
ii. The runner must be someone NOT in the current lineup. The same courtesy runner must be used, unless that player has entered the game, at that point a different bench player who has not played will become the courtesy runner. If all players’ present, are in the lineup, or have played already, then player that made the last out prior to the catcher reaching base may be used as the courtesy runner.
SEC 11 – STEALING BASES
A. Players are allowed to steal bases after the pitcher releases the ball.
SEC 12 – RE-ENTRY
A. Re-entry under the current ASA rules is permitted.
SEC 13 – HIT BY PITCH
A. Each pitcher is allowed to hit no more than 3 batters in one inning before having to be removed from the mound. The pitcher may return to the mound the following inning or any inning after. A pitcher can’t hit more than 4 batters per game. If this happens, then the pitcher must be removed from the mound for the entirety of the game.
SEC 14 – PITICHING LIMITATIONS
A. No limitation on the number of pitches a pitcher pitches.
B. The “Start back” rule is in effect. The pitcher may start with just the lead foot touching the rubber, while the stride foot may start off the rubber behind it but must be within the 24 inches of the rubber. This is the pitcher’s choice, as a pitch may choose to start with both feet on the rubber, as has been in he past.
C. The “Step back” rule is also in effect and allowed, however, it cannot be used in conjunction with the “Start Back”. A Pitcher may use either/or.
D. Pitchers must settle in with ball in glove (Getting signal stance) for at least 2 seconds prior to releasing and pitching.
SEC 15 – PROTECTIVE GEAR
A. Any player warming up the pitcher must wear a protective mask.
B. Players coaching on the lines must wear a helmet for protection.
C. Any player warming up the pitcher on the sidelines or in an outdoor bullpen must wear a protective mask and there must be a player with a glove protecting the pitcher and catcher.
D. 1 st baseman, 3 rd baseman, and the pitcher must wear either a faceguard or mouth piece.
SEC 16 – SLIDE RULE
A. There is a mandatory slide rule in the League. Therefore, base runners may not run over fielders, they must slide properly or give themselves up. The call will be at the umpires discretion.
B. Players must slide feet first into a base. All head first slides will result in an automatic out. NO exceptions. Players are allowed to dive back into a base.
SEC 17 – SCOREKEEPING
A. Each team is required to have a scorebook and keep score at all games.
B. Winning teams must provide the score and a picture of the book after every game.
SEC 18 – JEWLERY
A. No jewelry except for medical identification may be worn during the game.
SEC 1 – PRE GAME
A. Meet with the Umpires for the Pre-Game Conference at least 5 minutes before the scheduled game.
B. Lineup card should be ready at least 5 minutes before the scheduled game.
C. Defensive Team takes the field 2 minutes prior to the scheduled game time.
D. First batter near the batter’s box 1 minute before the scheduled game time.
SEC 2 – POST GAME
A. After the game, each manager must sign the other team’s lineup card and submit a picture of it to the League. (This will help assure which players are eligible for playoffs later).
B. Winning manager submits score and copy of book to the League.
C. Managers ensure that dugouts are how they found them or better. Trash from players, coaches, and managers should be collected and thrown in the garbage.
RESTRICTIONS & SAFETY
SEC 1 – PROTESTS
A. Any MANAGER wishing to file a protest must do so by emailing the League Committee within 24 hours of the game being protested. A protest fee of $50 must also be made prior to the League Committee coming to a decision. If the protest is ruled in favor, then and only then the protest fee will be returned. The League Committee will try to make a timely decision within the next 48 hours. Once a decision is rendered by the League Committee, all decisions are final.
B. A team cannot protest judgment calls (i.e. balls and strikes, safe or out), they may ONLY protest a rule interpretation. All protest must be addressed on the field to the umpire at the time of an infraction. The consequence for an infraction on the field can result in the following:
a. Player called out.
b. Player ejected from the game.
c. Combination of the above, player called out and ejected from the game
d. Only eligibility can be protested after the game is complete.
C. In addition, all managers must follow the following protocol in order to have their voice heard during any objections that happens on the field:
a. Call timeout.
b. Approach the umpire who made the call on the field in a professional manner and honor the game.
c. Present your case to the umpire who made the call on the field, with supporting evidence.
d. The umpire(s) will make a decision on the play based on the information presented.
SEC 2 – GAME/PLAYER CONFLICT
A. In the event that there is a conflict of any sort, whether it be questioning a player eligibility or any other concern, where a resolution needed, or there are questions, please reach out to the League via email. The League Committee will handle each situation on a case-by-case basis. All decisions by the League Committee are final and should be respected.
SEC 3 – EJECTIONS OR SUSPENSIONS
A. If a player, coach or manager is ejected from a game, he or she will go through a review and investigation of the situation. Unless considered unjust by the League Committee, it should be assumed that the person ejected will be suspended for their next scheduled game.
B. If a player, coach or manager is ejected twice during their season, then he or she will be suspended for the remainder of the season.
C. Suspended or ejected coaches or managers can’t be within the immediate vicinity of the field. A suspended or ejected player follows the same rule, unless too young and is the responsibility of the coach. In that case, the player must be away from the dugout and stands but may stay behind the outfield fence.
SEC 4 – PARENTS & SPECTATORS EXPECTATIONS
A. Parents and Spectators are not allowed in the team dugout or on the field of play. Parents and Spectators must maintain a respectable distance from the playing field and dugout.
B. Working together, it is expected that both Managers and Umpires maintain a safe environment and help with ensuring parents and spectators are respectful of all involved in the game. It is the umpire’s discretion to determine the safety of the game and call it if it is determined that the conditions are not safe.
SEC 5 – REJECTION OF MANAGERS AND COACHES
A. The League reserves the right to reject any managers, coaches or other persons that do not meet the League criteria and standards.
RESPECTING THE RULES
SEC 1 – PLAYING RULES
A. The League will follow ASA rules, unless otherwise stated in the League rules. All managers are responsible for knowing and following the rules. Managers should ensure coaches and players know the rules.
B. It is recommended that teams have a copy of the latest ASA rules, as well as the League rules on hand for every game.
C. Home teams must have League rules on hand for umpires in the event that there is a dispute concerning a rule that affects a game.
SEC 2 – AGREEMENT TO THE RULES
A. Any and all players, managers, coaches, league officials must agree to abide by the rules of the League.