GIRL’S SOFTBALL RULES
1975 – 2015
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Mission Statement 4
Code of Ethics. 4
AHYAA OATH.. 4
1. Umpire Powers and Duties. 5
2. Field Conduct 5
2.1. Cautions 5
2.2. Disqualifications 6
2.3. Disqualification procedures 6
3. The Playing Field. 7
3.1. Boundaries 7
3.2. Ground rules 7
3.3. Games on Grass 7
3.4. Distances between bases & pitching mound 7
3.5. Home team info 7
3.6. Viewing Game Behind Screen 8
4. Equipment 8
4.1. Bat 8
4.2. Destroying Equipment 8
4.3. Footwear 8
4.4. Required Defensive Equipment 9
4.5. Jewelry and Piercings 9
4.6. Helmets 9
4.7. Ball Size 9
5. The Game. 9
5.1. Innings Played 9
5.2. Melas Time Limit 9
5.3. Time Limits at all other parks 10
5.4. Innings Played 10
5.5. Extra Innings 10
5.6. International Tie Breaker Rules 10
5.7. Innings required for a complete game 10
5.8. Darkness ending a game 11
5.9. Umpires calling a game after game has begun 11
5.10. Lightning Rules 11
5.11. Mercy Rules 11
5.12. Forfeit Scenarios 11
5.13. In the case of a game canceled prior to game time 12
5.14. Rescheduling Games 12
5.15. Game Change Requests 13
5.16. Maximum runs allowed per inning 13
5.17. Time between innings 13
6. Game Participation Requirements, Substitutes, and Borrowed Players. 13
6.1. Players needed to play a game 13
6.2. Players needed to play in field 13
6.3. Minimum play requirements 14
6.4. Free Substitution 14
6.5. Borrowed Players 14
6.6. Position play limits 14
6.7. Catcher courtesy runner 15
7. Batting. 15
7.1. Lineup exchange 15
7.2. Player arriving late 15
7.3. Bunting 15
7.4. Throwing a Bat 16
7.5. Foul Ball 16
7.6. Influencing an Umpire 16
7.7. Drop 3rd Strike 16
8. Baserunning. 16
8.1. Contact with Base 16
8.2. Baserunners Advancing 16
8.3. Baserunners Avoiding Contact 17
8.4. Fielder Interference 18
8.5. Stealing Restriction 18
9. Pitching. 18
9.1. Batter Strike Zone 18
9.2. Hit-by-Pitch Rule 18
9.3. Manager/Pitcher Conferences 18
9.4. Innings Pitched Restrictions 19
9.5. Quick Pitch 19
9.6. Juniors League Base-on-Balls Rule 19
9.7. Governing Rules 19
9.8. Pitching Rules 19
9.9. Feet in contact with mound 20
10. Fielding. 20
10.1. When play is considered stopped: 20
10.2. Infield Fly Rule, Pop-ups and Foul-tips 20
10.3. Overthrow rule 20
10.4. Throwing equipment 21
10.5. Carrying a ball out of play 21
10.6. Chalk Line 21
10.7. Fair Balls 21
10.8. Outfielders 22
11. Protest Procedure. 22
11.1. Protest Guidelines 22
11.2. Protesting a game 22
11.3. Procedure to call a game 22
A.H.Y.A.A. GIRL’S SOFTBALL IS COMMITTED TO:
PARTICIPATIVE, RECREATIONAL SOFTBALL.
WE WILL PROVIDE A FUN ENVIRONMENT WHERE:
NEW FRIENDSHIPS ARE FORMED,
POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT IS ENCOURAGED,
SKILLS ARE DEVELOPED.
Code of Ethics
Each person that participates in the Arlington Heights Youth Athletic Association Softball League must conduct themselves within a certain standard of conduct as outlined by the Arlington Heights Youth Athletic Association Softball League.
Therefore, it is justified to assume that all adults participating, including scorekeepers, umpires, fans, coaches, and managers, would set high standards of conduct for themselves.
Managers and coaches in particular, working almost daily with the players must have a moral obligation to be leaders in every respect.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE. Your attitude towards umpires, other managers and coaches and other teams are picked up by our youth as the golden rule of competition. It is also picked up by the parents and coaches of your team. Please set the right example.
I trust in God
I love my Country
And I respect it’s Laws
I will play fair
And strive to win
But win or lose, I will always do my best!
1. Umpire Powers and Duties
- The umpires are the representatives of the league or organization by which they have been assigned to a particular game, and as such are authorized and required to enforce each section rule.
- They have the power to order a player, coach, captain, or manager to do or omit to do any act which in their judgment is necessary to give force and effect to one or all of these rules and to inflict penalties as herein prescribed.
- The plate umpire shall have the authority to make decisions on any situation not specifically covered in the rules.
- When an injury occurs, the umpire must halt play immediately.
2. Field Conduct
- Good conduct applies to all Managers, Coaches, Bench Personnel, and all spectators.
- We ask that all parents, adults and young adults at all games and practices remember to follow good judgment at all times around the children.
- The purpose of our field conduct rule is to promote conduct that fulfills our commitment to our mission statement.
- Please abide by this and be responsible for your actions in a positive fashion at all times.
- During the game any discussions with the umpire shall be with one and only one participant from each team.
- ANY MANAGER, COACH, AND OTHER BENCH PERSONNEL SHALL NOT:
- Use profanity.
- Make remarks which reflect upon opposing, players, coaches, spectators, or the umpire.
- Intentionally disregard any of the rules of the game.
- Object excessively, persistently or abusively by word or actions to any decision given by an umpire.
- Demonstrate conduct unbecoming of responsible adults and the AHYAA organization.
- Use Tobacco at any A.H.Y.A.A. game or practice.
Managers, coaches, players, other bench personnel and spectators shall be cautioned when exhibiting any of the inappropriate field conduct. A caution is a warning that the inappropriate conduct shall cease immediately and play shall continue.
Procedure for cautions:
- The umpire shall stop play.
- A caution shall be given to the manager, coach, player, other bench personnel or spectators committing the violation.
- The umpire shall notify the team manager a caution is being issued and any repeat of any violation by any manager, coach, player, other bench personnel and spectators shall result in immediate disqualification of said person.
- The manager shall be instructed to inform coaches, players, other bench personnel and spectators that a caution has been issued. The umpire shall allow no more than two (2) minutes for both managers to do so.
- The umpire shall inform the manager, both scorekeepers, and other umpires of the caution before restarting play.
- THE SCOREKEEPER SHALL NOTE THE CAUTION ON THEIR OFFICIAL GAME REPORT.
Managers, coaches, players, other bench personnel and spectators shall be disqualified for:
- Exhibiting violent conduct or committing serious foul play in blatant and intentional disregard of the rules of the game including excessive objections to an umpire’s decision.
- Using foul or abusive language.
- Any subsequent act of misconduct after having been cautioned.
2.3. Disqualification procedures
- The umpire shall stop play.
- A disqualification shall be given to the manager, coach, player, other bench personnel, or spectators committing the violation.
- The umpire shall notify the team manager and coaches a disqualification is being issued.
- The manager and/or coaches shall be instructed to inform players, other bench personnel or spectators that a disqualification has been issued. The manager and/or coaches shall instruct the disqualified person to leave the vicinity of the playing area immediately and is prohibited from any further contact, direct or indirect, with the team during the remainder of the game. Failure to comply shall result in forfeiture of the game. The umpire shall allow two (2) minutes for the team manager and/or coaches to do so.
- The umpire shall inform the other manager, both scorekeepers, and other umpire of the disqualification before resuming play or of the forfeiture as appropriate. The SCOREKEEPER shall note the disqualification on the official game report.
- When a disqualification takes place, the umpire must notify the umpire coordinator, chief umpire, and Director of Softball.
- All personnel disqualified from the game must appear at the next regular A.H.Y.A.A. Softball Rules Committee Meeting (Softball Commissioner & Softball League Representatives) or a special meeting can be called to address the situation. If the disqualification is not deemed major, a warning will be issued. If it is deemed major, banishment for the remainder of the season may occur.
- Multiple occurrences may result in removal from the league that season and/or beyond as determined by the board.
3. The Playing Field
- The playing field is normally described as the area bounded by straight lines extended from the backstop.
- This affects rulings on overthrown balls, and “legal” catches of fly balls.
3.2. Ground rules
- Ground or special rules establishing the limits of the playing field should be agreed upon by opposing teams whenever backstops, fences, stands, vehicles, spectators, or other obstructions are within the prescribed area. Umpire shall have the final decision after discussion with managers prior to start of game.
3.3. Games on Grass
- Games can be played on a grass field set up by the managers and umpires if both managers agree. (If at all possible, every effort should be made to play on the regular field if some raking, etc., would make it playable.)
3.4. Distances between bases & pitching mound
- The official diamond shall have 60 foot baselines (50’ in CPS). The distance from the home plate point to the center of second base is 84 ft 10-1/4 in. The pitching distances are as follows:
CPS 25 feet
JUNIORS 32 feet
MAJORS 35 feet
VARSITY 40 feet
3.5. Home team info
-shall take the field first in any given inning (top half of inning).
-shall occupy the third base side of the field.
-provides the game ball
-is responsible for field set-up (bases, striping, raking)
-is the official scorer with the official scorebook
3.6. Viewing Game Behind Screen
- No manager, coach, player, scorekeeper, or spectator is permitted to view the game from behind the backstop (i.e. directly behind home plate.) except Melas Park.
- Limits for spectators and coaches shall start from the fence opening for each team. Batters are allowed to warm-up in a safe area behind the backstop.
- Umpires parents may stand or sit behind the backstop.
- The bat must be marked “Official Softball” by the manufacturer for Majors and Varsity.
- CPS and Juniors do not require the bat be marked as “Official Softball” .
- Umpires will check all bats prior to start of games and only those which they deem as legal shall be used in the game.
- Illegal bat usage will deem the batter out and manager will be reported to the league.
4.2. Destroying Equipment
- Any willful destruction of league equipment will result in the responsible person being charged at retail price for the damaged equipment.
- This includes league provided bats, helmets, masks, catchers gear, and/or other equipment.
- Please treat the equipment like it was your own.
- A shoe shall be considered official if it is made with either canvas or leather uppers or similar materials.
- The soles may be either smooth or with soft or hard rubber cleats.
- Metal spikes are illegal.
- Plastic cleats are legal.
4.4. Required Defensive Equipment
- Helmet, mask, throat guards, chest protectors, and shin guards must be worn by catchers in all leagues (in CPS shin guards are not required).
- All infielders (Pitcher, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS) must wear protective facemasks with NOCSAE certification.
4.5. Jewelry and Piercings
- For safety and the prevention of injury, casts, jewelry, such as wrist watches, bracelets, any earrings, and neck chains, or any other items deemed as dangerous by the plate umpire must not be worn during the game.
- The managers should instruct all of their players not to wear any of the above to games so the umpires’ job will be made easier.
- “Posts” and facial piercings are prohibited at all levels.
- Helmets with facemasks and chin straps must be worn by all batters and runners while on the playing field and on-deck circle.
4.7. Ball Size
- Coach Pitch Softball (CPS) will use a 10” safety ball.
- Girls Junior League will use an 11” softball.
- Girls Major and Varsity Leagues will use a 12” softball.
5. The Game
5.1. Innings Played
- A regulation game shall consist of seven (7) innings in Majors and Varsity, (6) innings in Juniors, and will be timed in CPS.
5.2. Melas Time Limit
- At Melas Park, no new inning can start after 1 hour and 30 minutes after game start time and the game ends automatically (drop dead ending) at 1 hour 50 minutes from the game start time if there is a game to be played after.
- Please shake hands with the other team and vacate dugouts so next teams can enter the dugout.
- Teams of next game shall not enter the dugout until all equipment is removed from the dugouts by the previous games teams.
- Next game players may do warm-up throws on the field time permitting.
- Next game is to start within 5 minutes after managers/umpire meeting has concluded.
- Batting practice shall be held in the deepest part of the outfield directed away from any on-going games or outside of the fenced area.
- At no time shall batting practice be held at home plate or on the synthetic turf.
5.3. Time Limits at all other parks
- No new inning may start after 2 hours from game start time in Varsity.
- No new inning may start after 1 hour 45 minutes in Juniors and Majors.
- No new inning may start after 1 hour 15 minutes in CPS.
5.4. Innings Played
- A full seven (7) innings (6 innings in Juniors) shall not be played if the home team is leading after the top half of the last inning is completed.
5.5. Extra Innings
- A game that is tied at the end of seven (7) innings (6 innings in Juniors) shall be continued by playing one additional inning until one side has scored more runs than the other at the end of a complete inning, or until the home team has scored more runs in their half of the inning before the third out is made. All games can end in a tie if both managers agree to end the game after regulation. International tie-breaker rules apply at all levels in extra innings.
5.6. International Tie Breaker Rules
- Games continuing into extra innings when tied after regulation will use the International Tie Breaker rule.
- The player that made the last out in the previous inning will be placed on second base and the batting order will continue as normal from the previous inning.
- Each batter will begin with a one ball and one strike count (1-1). The rest of the inning continues as normal (3 outs to change sides, etc).
- If time permits and there are no games after the extra inning game, the managers can agree to one additional inning in the event of a tie after the first extra inning.
5.7. Innings required for a complete game
- A game is considered regulation after 5 complete innings (4 in juniors) if the visiting team is winning or after 4-1/2 complete innings (3-1/2 in Juniors) if the home team is winning.
- All games stopped after these points will revert back to the last completed inning and the team with more runs will be declared the winning team.
- For regular season games, if the specified amount of complete innings in each league is not met, the game will resume at the spot it was called by the umpire. Players that are missing for the makeup will not be considered an out in the batting order. Players not at the original game that attend the make-up will be placed at the bottom of the batting order and all innings played rules still carry over from the original game.
- A regular season game having met the complete inning criteria can end in a tie if the game is called due to darkness or weather.
5.8. Darkness ending a game
- Once a game has started, it is the umpires’ responsibility to call a game at any time because of darkness, rain, fire, panic or any other cause that puts the players or patrons in peril.
5.9. Umpires calling a game after game has begun
- If a game is called because of weather, the umpire should wait a reasonable amount of time before calling the game.
5.10. Lightning Rules
- NO TEAMS SHALL PLAY OR PRACTICE IF LIGHTNING IS SEEN OR THUNDER IS HEARD.
- TEAMS MUST WAIT AT LEAST 20 MINUTES TO START AFTER LIGHTNING BEING SEEN OR THUNDER BEING HEARD AT A GAME OR PRACTICE.
5.11. Mercy Rules
- Mercy rules will be in effect and a winner will be declared if any of the following scenarios are met:
- in Majors or Varsity, a team is ahead by
- 15 or more runs after the completion of the 5th inning
- 8 or more runs after the completion of the 6th inning
- in Juniors, a team is ahead by
- 10 or more runs after the completion of the 4th inning
- 6 or more runs after the completion of the 5th inning
- If the home team is the leading or meets these run totals in any of these cases, the bottom half of the specified inning will not be played and the game is over.
5.12. Forfeit Scenarios
A forfeited game shall be declared by the umpire in favor of the team not at fault in the following cases:
- If a team fails to appear on the field, or being on the field refuses to begin a game for which it is scheduled or assigned at the time scheduled or within a time set for forfeiture by the organization in which the team is playing (fifteen (15) minutes after starting time.)
- If after the game has begun, one side refuses to continue to play, unless the game has been suspended or terminated by the umpire.
- If after play has been suspended by the umpire, one side fails to resume playing within two (2) minutes after the umpire has called “Play Ball”.
- If a team employs tactics designed to delay or hasten the game.
- If after a warning by the umpire, any one of the rules of the game is willfully violated.
- If the order for removal of a player from the game by the umpire or for any cause, there are less than seven (7) players Junior, Majors and Varsity. CPS can play with 5 players
- The umpire will forfeit the game if attacked verbally or physically by any team member of spectator.
5.13. In the case of a game canceled prior to game time
- If the weather is bad and the game can’t be played it is the responsibility of the home team manager to notify the other manager, the umpire, and the umpire coordinator / assignment chairman, not the umpire rescheduler.
- If he or she fails to do this and the other team shows up with their manager and the umpire is there and the field is playable, a win by forfeit shall be awarded to the team present.
- Every effort must be made to play the game (either on grass or an alternate field).
- If the two managers cannot agree as to whether or not conditions are playable, the umpire shall make the decision to play or cancel.
- No game is to be called off more than four (4) hours before the scheduled starting time.
- Once the game is started, only the umpire can cancel or suspend the game.
5.14. Rescheduling Games
- When a game is to be rescheduled, the home team manager after consulting with the visiting team manager will contact the league representative who will assign a reschedule date and a field.
- We ask that the managers have two agreed to dates/times to make up the game when they contact the league rep to reschedule.
5.15. Game Change Requests
- All games changes must be approved by your league representative.
5.16. Maximum runs allowed per inning
- An inning will end when three (3) outs occur or after seven (7) runs (5 in Juniors) are scored.
- Play stops on the 7th run (5th in Juniors).
- Run limits apply in all innings, even the last inning.
- There is never an inning where unlimited runs are allowed.
5.17. Time between innings
- There will be a two (2) minute time limit between the third out and the first pitch of the next inning for all leagues.
- Violations of this rule will be reported to the appropriate league representative for action.
- Managers should prepare a line-up prior to the game to help the team know what position they are at the next inning.
6. Game Participation Requirements, Substitutes, and Borrowed Players
6.1. Players needed to play a game
- A team must have the required number of players to start and play the game.
- The minimum player requirement for Juniors, Majors and Varsity is six (6) players.
- The minimum player requirement for CPS is five (5) players.
- No unregistered participants are allowed and use of one shall be deemed a forfeit.
6.2. Players needed to play in field
- Junior, Major and Varsity League field a maximum of nine (9) defensive players.
- CPS fields a maximum of ten (10) defensive players.
- The 10th CPS player is a short-center fielder positioned behind 2nd base.
- The 10th player is NOT allowed to play inside the base paths nor as a 4th outfielder.
- CPS is allowed to borrow players from the opposing team if needed.
6.3. Minimum play requirements
- All girls, in all leagues, must play four (4) innings in the field per game, except when a girl is late for a game.
- In Varsity, no player will exceed playing one inning more than a teammate(s) who played the least number of innings.
- This rule does not apply if the game is canceled before four (4) innings are played.
- A manager may keep a girl out of a game for disciplinary purposes but must notify the opposing manager prior to the start of the game.
- The game will be forfeited in the event any of these rules are violated. (See Rule 7, Sec. 4, for rules on pitchers.)
- Scorekeepers to keep record and home team scorekeeper is book of record.
6.4. Free Substitution
- There is free substitution in all leagues.
- A player cannot exchange positions with another player within an inning unless there is an injury or pitching change.
6.5. Borrowed Players
- A borrowed player is a player that meets each leagues qualification.
- Junior teams can borrow other 3rd graders or 2nd graders from CPS.
- Major teams can borrow 3rd or 4th graders from Junior teams.
- Varsity teams may borrow 5th or 6th graders from Major teams.
- A team cannot borrow the same player more than three (3) times in a season.
- A borrowed player cannot pitch.
- A team may borrow when their roster falls below ten (10) and may go back to, but not over eleven (11) players.
- All borrowed players must play at least FOUR innings or the game will be forfeited.
- A borrowed player cannot play more innings than any regular players.
- All borrowed players must be put at the bottom of the batting order.
- All regular players must bat before a borrowed player except when a regular player comes late.
- All regular players must play in the infield before borrowed players.
6.6. Position play limits
- CPS & Juniors: (2) innings maximum
- Majors: (3) innings maximum
- Varsity: (3) innings maximum for the outfield only
- In all leagues, the outfield positions are considered one aggregate (1) position
- 1 inning in RF and 1 inning in LF equates to 2 OF innings.
- In CPS, short-center is considered an infield position.
- Lineups shall be provided to the opposing manager at the start of each game showing this rule is being followed.
- Infractions will be reported to the league rep by the opposing team manager via email copying the other manager.
- No player shall be out more than one inning at a time or three (3) total innings in any game.
6.7. Catcher courtesy runner
- A “courtesy runner” for the next half inning’s catcher is required. The last batted out will be used. This applies even with less than two outs.
7.1. Lineup exchange
- The batting order in all leagues will be continuous, which means all players bat according to the batting order submitted to the other teams scorekeeper at the start of each game.
- All players must bat before the line-up starts over.
- All borrowed players must bat at the bottom of the batting order after regular team players bat.
7.2. Player arriving late
- A player coming late, anytime during the game, must be put at the bottom of the batting order.
- This player is excluded as a regular player if you have borrowed players.
- She does not have to play FOUR innings and must bat after any borrowed players.
- She may play less than a borrowed player. Late is defined as after the first pitch.
- Bunting is not allowed in Junior Leagues. EFFECT: Batter is out, ball is dead and any runners must return to the base they occupied at the time of the bunt. Major and Varsity Leagues will allow bunting. Slap hitting is allowed in all leagues.
7.4. Throwing a Bat
- Batters throwing a bat the first time in a game will be issued a warning. If the same batter throws a bat again in the game, the batter will be called out.
7.5. Foul Ball
- An uncaught foul ball that is hit after two (2) strikes in NOT an out.
7.6. Influencing an Umpire
- Manager and coaches are required to refrain from verbally stating their opinion on whether a pitched ball was a ball or a strike, prior to the umpire’s call of the pitch. This includes any comments about the pitcher or about the pitch (“great pitch”, “looks good”, etc).
- Similar restraint should also be made regarding out/safe calls on the bases. The intent of this rule is to allow for the umpire’s independent assessment of a call. Umpires have the authority to remove offenders of this rule from the playing field.
- This is considered influencing/steering the umpire and is forbidden.
7.7. Drop 3rd Strike
- Drop 3rd strike rule will not apply in any League.
8.1. Contact with Base
- In all leagues runners must have at least one foot in contact with the base they occupy until the pitched ball reaches the front of home plate.
- If a runner leaves earlier than this, the umpire will first warn the manager and if a second infraction occurs by the same team, play is stopped and the runner is out.
- Leadoffs are not permitted in all leagues.
8.2. Baserunners Advancing
- A baserunner may NOT advance from 1st to 2nd base after a pitched ball (in other words, they cannot steal 2nd base).
- A baserunner may advance from 2nd to 3rd base after a pitched ball (in other words, they can steal 3rd base).
- Overthrows by the catcher on an attempted steal will NOT result in advancement of the baserunner beyond the base they were advancing to.
- Overthrows by the catcher beyond the pitcher are NOT considered a live ball in Juniors and baserunners cannot advance.
- Under no circumstances will a baserunner be allowed to advance to home plate unless the batter puts a pitched ball into play.
- After a ball is hit into fair territory by the batter and a defensive players throw to the 1st baseman goes past the 1st baseman and into foul territory, the ball is dead and play shall stop with no advancement.
- After a ball is hit and the ball is not in the possession of a fielder outside of the basepaths, it is still in play and the ball is live. Play shall stop once a fielder has the ball in their possession inside the basepaths.
- <This is also addressed in overthrow section>
- runners may steal 2nd and 3rd base each time they become a baserunner.
- Overthrows by the catcher on an attempted steal will NOT result in advancement of the baserunner beyond the base they were advancing to.
- Overthrows by the catcher beyond the pitcher are considered a live ball in Majors and baserunners can advance one base at their own risk excluding home plate.
- Under no circumstances will a base runner be allowed to advance to home plate unless the batter puts a pitched ball into play or the runner is forced home via a walk or hit by pitch.
- there is unlimited stealing and base advancement on all overthrows until the umpire calls time to stop play.
8.3. Baserunners Avoiding Contact
- When a defensive player has the ball or is making a play on the runner and the runner remains on her feet and crashes (this does not include minor incidental contact) into the defensive players, the runner is to be called out.
- EFFECT: the runner is out, the ball is dead, and all other runners must return to the last touched base prior to the collision. If the act is determined to be flagrant, the offender may be ejected if the umpire so chooses.
- NOTE: This is not a SLIDE rule though we encourage all players to slide when plays are close. The intent of this rule is to AVOID injuries.
8.4. Fielder Interference
- If a fielder is not involved in making a putout impedes a base runner’s path to the next base, the runner is automatically safe at the next base (ie. it is the fielder’s obligation to get out of the runner’s immediate path).
- This rule applies whether the interference was intentional or not.
8.5. Stealing Restriction
- There will be no stealing allowed by any team that is leading by eleven (11) or more runs in an innings (8 in Juniors).
- Once the lead has dropped to ten (10) runs or less, stealing will be allowed. (6 in juniors).
9.1. Batter Strike Zone
- The strike zone is from the batter’s highest shoulder to the knee, and over home plate.
- A pitched ball dropping before or on home plate is to be called a ball.
- We encourage all coaches to teach the players to swing to put the ball into play unless the ball is clearly out of the strike zone.
9.2. Hit-by-Pitch Rule
- In Juniors, Majors and Varsity, a batter hit by a pitch is awarded 1st base even if the ball strikes the ground first. Play is stopped immediately upon a HBP and the batter is awarded 1B.
- Please note, the batter needs to make an effort to avoid the pitch and the umpires should warn any teams not doing so.
- In all leagues, if a pitcher hits two (2) batters in an inning, she must be removed from the pitching position for the remainder of that inning.
- If a pitcher hits three (3) batters during the course of the game, she must be removed from the pitching position for the remainder of the game.
9.3. Manager/Pitcher Conferences
- There shall be only one charged conference between the manager or other team representative from the dugout with each pitcher during an inning.
- The second charged conference shall result in the removal of the pitcher from the pitching position for the remainder of the inning.
9.4. Innings Pitched Restrictions
- There is NO restriction on the number of times a pitcher can be withdrawn and re-enter the game except it cannot be done in the same inning.
- Innings pitched limits:
- Major and Varsity Leagues: three (3) innings per game
- Juniors League: two (2) innings per game
- Innings pitched need NOT be consecutive.
- One pitch in an inning counts as an inning pitched by that player.
- Extra inning games DO NOT extend these inning limits.
9.5. Quick Pitch
- The pitcher will not deliver a “quick pitch”.
- The pitcher will wait until the batter is in the batter’s box with both feet, is facing the pitcher, and ready to hit.
9.6. Juniors League Base-on-Balls Rule
- In the Junior League, any batter reaching 4 balls during an at-bat will have a coach from the batting team pitch up to three (3) additional balls to that batter.
- The batter gets the three (3) pitches from the coach regardless of the number of strikes or balls thrown.
- If the batter fails to put any of the coach’s pitches into play, they are called out.
- If the batter hits the third pitch foul or hits a foul tip, the batter will get fourth pitch. This can be repeated on the fourth pitch only.
- No more than four pitches are allowed.
- Coaches that pitch are encouraged to throw strikes to promote putting the ball into play.
- Coaches are to start no more than one foot in front of the rubber.
- The pitcher must play defense behind the coach on the coaches glove side.
9.7. Governing Rules
- A.H.Y.A.A. encourages all players and coaches to teach, learn, and use official NSA fast pitch pitching rules.
- However, to simplify our rules and to avoid on field conflicts between coaches/coaches and umpires, the following rules will apply to the pitcher set-up and delivery to the plate.
9.8. Pitching Rules
- The pitcher shall take a position with both feet in contact with the pitching plate.
- No foot can move out of contact and behind the rubber during the pitching motion.
- Both feet must be within or partially within the 24” length of the pitching plate.
9.9. Feet in contact with mound
- The pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitching rubber or remain in contact with the ground after release from the rubber, until the non pivot foot (front foot) touches the ground or when the pitch is released to the batter.
- Any questions regarding pitching rules that are not covered above or in the Rulebook, should be addressed to your league representative not with the umpire during or just prior to the game.
10.1. When play is considered stopped:
· The ball remains live until the umpire calls “Time”.
· In Juniors, time will be called when the ball is in the possession of any fielder inside the base paths.
· In Majors, time will be called when the ball is in the possession of the pitcher inside the base paths.
· In Varsity, time will be called when the ball is in the possession of the pitcher within a ten (10) foot proximity of the pitching rubber.
· Runners that have crossed the halfway point between two (2) bases will be awarded the next base when time is called and no play is made on a runner.
· Runners that have not reached the halfway point will be returned to the previous base by the umpire.
· Umpires discretion applies and all judgments are final.
10.2. Infield Fly Rule, Pop-ups and Foul-tips
- Infield fly rule will NOT be used in any leagues.
- Foul pop-up to catcher: Any batted ball which goes higher than the batter’s head, if legally caught, the batter is out.
- Foul Tip: A batted ball which goes directly from the bat, not higher than the batter’s head, to the catcher’s hands and is legally caught by the catcher is a strike and the ball is dead. However, if this occurs after the batter has two strikes, it is strike three and the batter is OUT.
10.3. Overthrow rule
- When ball is determined to go out of play, a runner is awarded extra bases according to the following guidelines:
- Time is called by the umpire immediately and the ball is dead.
- When such an errant throw is the first play by an infielder, the umpire, in awarding such bases, shall be governed by position of the runners at the time that ball was pitched.
- In all other cases, the umpire shall be governed by the positions of the runners at the time the wild throw was made.
- In Juniors, an infield ground ball overthrown at 1B results in no award of extra bases.
- In CPS, no overthrows result in extra bases being awarded.
- When a throw is made by an outfielder, or is the result of any succeeding play or attempted play, the two base award shall be governed by the position of each runner, and the last base she touched at the time the final throw was made,
- When a fielder loses possession of the ball, such as on an attempted tag, and the ball then goes out of play, enters a dead ball area or becomes blocked, all runners are awarded one base from the last base touched at the time the ball entered the dead ball area or became blocked.
- Runners intentionally knocking a ball out of a fielders hand or glove with their open hands are to be called out.
- When a fair ball bounds or rolls over, under or through a fence, or other obstruction marking the boundaries of the playing field, the ball is dead and all the base runners are awarded two bases from the time of the pitch.
10.4. Throwing equipment
- Any equipment thrown at a ball, such as a hat or glove, and hits a batted ball, will be ruled a ground rule triple. If the equipment doesn’t hit the ball, the play goes on as normal.
10.5. Carrying a ball out of play
- In Junior, Major, Varsity Leagues when a caught foul fly is unintentionally carried out of play, runners will not be entitled to advance and the ball is dead.
10.6. Chalk Line
- The chalk foul line is fair territory. If any part of the ball is touching the foul line, it is a fair ball.
10.7. Fair Balls
- If a fly ball is hit beyond 1st or 3rd base and lands on the chalk line, it is a fair ball.
- Three (3) outfielders must begin at the start of any pitch on the outfield grass, even at Melas Park.
11. Protest Procedure
11.1. Protest Guidelines
- A protest cannot be filed if it is based solely on an umpire judgment.
- Protesting a game is a last resort and is applicable only to a stated rule.
11.2. Protesting a game
- A protest will be considered if:
- Misinterpretation of a playing rule.
- Failure of an umpire to apply the correct rule to a given situation.
- Failure to impose the correct penalty for a given violation.
11.3. Procedure to call a game
- Call time BEFORE the next pitch.
- Calmly discuss it with umpire (really discuss it and try to resolve with ump and managers.)
- If no agreement comes about, the protesting manager informs the umpire and the opposing manager of the protest.
- Umpire shall sign both scorebooks and tell scorekeeper to mark that point. (Noting outs, runners on base, count on batter, and score of game).
- This protest must be filed in writing within 24 hours to the Director of Softball.
- Protest shall contain:
- Date, time, and place of game.
- Names of umpire and scorekeeper.
- Rule being protested.
- The decision and conditions surrounding the making of it.
- All essential facts involved in the matter protested.
- Decision resulting from protest:
- Protest invalid and the game score stands as played.
- Protest is allowed for misinterpretation of a playing rule – the game is replayed from the point at which the incorrect decision was made with the decision corrected.
- When a protest is allowed for ineligibility, the game shall be forfeited to the offended team.