Majors Rules (Softball)
All games will be played according to American Softball Association (ASA) Softball Rules except for free substitution, the batting of all players in order, all players will bat, and any of the below rules that conflict with ASA rules.
1. Before the Game:
- Teams should be ready to play 15 minutes ahead of their scheduled start time.
- Coaches and umpires should review out of bounds areas prior to the start of the game
- Teams shall exchange batting orders prior to the start of the game. Any player that shall depart prior to the completion of the game should be identified at this time, if known
- The league owning the field preps and lines the field. If two teams from the same league are playing, the home team preps and lines the field before the game (generally only required for first game of the day at a field) and rakes/removes trash after game
- Each team provides one game ball to the umpire prior to the start of the game
2. Game Duration:
- No game will go beyond 6 innings, regardless of the time left.
- No new inning shall start after 1 hour and 45 minutes; drop dead at time is 1 hour and 50 minutes from the beginning of the game.
- If an inning is not completed (for any reason), the score of a called game shall be the score at the end of the last complete inning, unless the home team is at bat and winning or has tied the score. In this case, the score shall be that of the incomplete inning.
- Coaches are expected to keep the game moving quickly. To minimize down time between innings, catchers should put on their equipment before the last out is recorded. Coaches are encouraged to pull their catcher from a base when there are two outs so she can put on her equipment. The most recent player to make an out will be the substitute runner. If more than three (3) minutes passes waiting for a catcher to dress after the last out of the previous at bat, the umpire may direct the inning to start with a coach catching. If there is a runner on base with a coach still catching, the runner automatically is awarded a base for the first pitch of each new batter (i.e., it is assumed the player catcher could not have prevented a steal).
- The umpire (or coaches in the case of no umpire) should call the game if:
- the playing field conditions are too wet or slippery;
- it is too dark; or
- lightning is visible or thunder is heard
- A game is official if ending after two complete innings (or 1½ if the home team is ahead).
- A game may be temporarily delayed if it is raining or if lightning is seen. In the case of lightning, players are to immediately go to cars or shelter with a roof. No game can restart until 30 minutes after lightning is last seen. If a game is delayed, the scheduled end time will be extended by the amount of the delay.
- Teams must have seven (7) players to begin a game.
- There will be a maximum fifteen (15) minute waiting period to allow a team to reach the 7-player minimum. Waiting time will not be added to the end of the game.
- If a coach believes he/she will not have enough players to reach the 7-player minimum, he/she should contact the opposing coach at least two days prior to the game.
- There shall be unlimited defensive substitutions.
- Each player shall play defense for at least two of the first four innings for which she is available to play. This rule is to ensure adequate playing time for each player in the event that the game is shortened for some reason. Coaches shall monitor their own team’s compliance with this rule.
- Each player shall play defense a minimum of three innings in a seven-inning game, and a minimum of one out of every two innings thereafter.
- Each player must play a minimum of one inning in the infield, but coaches are strongly encouraged to give girls more than one inning in the infield during a game. Coaches shall monitor their own team’s compliance with this rule.
- Each team shall present a batting order to the opposing team at or before the coaches’ conference at the beginning of the game.
- Each player will bat in order, whether she plays defense or not in that inning.
- Courtesy runners may be substituted for pitches or catchers when there are two outs in an inning. The courtesy runner shall be the player who made the second out in the inning, regardless of whether the player that made the out was a batter or a runner.
- In the event a player is injured and is removed from the game, and if that player is due to bat in the following half-inning and remains injured, her place may be skipped in the batting order with no out recorded. The opposing coach shall be notified if a player is removed from the game due to injury. In the event that player cannot return to the game due to injury, her name will be removed from the batting order and no out shall be recorded at her place in the batting order. If the player removed from the game is subsequently able to play, she is reinserted into the same batting order slot that she was removed from.
- If a player is late to the game she will be placed at the bottom of the batting order.
- If a player leaves the game prior to completion her name will be removed from the batting order and no out shall be recorded. Opposing coaches must be notified when a player leaves the game.
4. Run Limit:
- Maximum four (4) runs per inning per team for the 1st four innings; for the 5th and later innings runs are capped at eight (8) runs per team.
- A pitcher may pitch no more than four innings in any game; limited to two of the first four innings
- Delivery of a single pitch shall be considered in inning
- Pitchers may pitch no more than four warm up pitches prior to an inning
- Pitchers entering the game get a maximum of six (6) warm up pitches
- Pitchers removed from the game during an inning cannot return to pitch in that inning, but can return to pitch in subsequent innings
- Face guards are required for all pitchers
- The pitching plate shall be 40′ from the back tip of home plate
- Bunting is allowed. Some reminders:
- Any missed attempt to bunt is a strike.
- Batter is out on all failed (to include foul balls) bunt attempts when she has 2 strikes.
- Batter’s Interference: The batter must get out of the way if there is a defensive play at the plate. If the batter does not and in the umpire’s judgment the batter had interfered with the defensive team’s attempt to put out a runner, the batter is out and all runners must return to the base they occupied at the time of the pitch. This rule does not apply when a batter interferes with the catcher’s throw to the pitcher. In this situation, the ball is dead and no runner may advance.
- The first thrown bat by either team will result in a warning to both teams; the second thrown bat by any player will result in the player being called out.
- Unlimited stealing is permitted
- Base runners cannot leave the base until the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand
- Runners can take extra bases on overthrown balls
- On a walk, the batter-runner can continue past first base in accordance with ASA rules
8. Home Team:
- The home team is defined as the team that is designated in the schedule as the home team for the game. It may or may not be the team that has the field permit. The home team shall be responsible for keeping the official score.
9. Game Balls:
- Game balls shall be regulation ASA-approved 12″ balls with a COR of .47 and compression of 375 lbs.
- Yellow balls with red laces are preferred, however balls may be white or yellow, and lace color may be red or white
- The dropped third strike shall apply
- The infield fly rule shall apply
- Games tied at the end of seven innings shall continue subject to the time limits in Section 2
These rules are intended for regular season interleague play. Leagues may play by a different set of rules when playing within their own league. If a post-season interleague tournament is played, there may be adjustments to these rules, notably regarding time-limits, completing an inning, and how to resolve ties after regulation play.
As of: August 17, 2017 agreed by all leagues.