CSA SPORTS LEAGUES

SOFTBALL GAME RULES

CO-ED LEAGUES & TOURNAMENTS
updated for the 2012 summer seasons*


CSA CO-ED SOFTBALL GAME RULES

OFFICIAL GAME:
Regular Season: A game is considered official once three innings have been satisfactorily completed. This means that three full innings have been played and the visitor is ahead, or 2 and 1/2 innings have been played and the home team is ahead.

A game is considered complete when six innings have been satisfactorily played. This means that six full innings have been played and the visitor is ahead, or 5 and 1/2 innings have been played and the home team is ahead. If a game is tied at the end of six innings AND in the opinion of the official it is permissible, a seventh inning may be played.

No inning may be started after 50 minutes have elapsed from the start of the game. The current inning will be completed and the game will end. If the home team is winning at the time and is at bat, the game will be stopped (all runs scored in that inning will be counted).

Playoffs: A game is considered official once five innings have been satisfactorily completed, unless one team has won the game based on the "Mercy" rules (see below). This means that five full innings have been played and the visitor is ahead, or 4 and 1/2 innings have been played and the home team is ahead.

If a game is halted because of weather, field problems, injury, etc. and less than three complete innings have been played, the game will be restarted from the beginning. If a game is halted after three complete innings, but less than the mandatory five, the game will be restarted at the beginning of the half inning in which it was stopped.

MERCY RULE: A game will be stopped because of the "Mercy" rule in the following instances:

The "Mercy" rules will be enforced. It is not the discretion of the teams to waive the rule.

SCORING: All leagues play under the same scoring rules. Teams can score a maximum of 10 runs per inning.

PITCHING: The legal pitch arc is 6' - 12'. Pitches that are too low or too high will be called "illegal pitch" by the umpire and are automatically balls. However, the pitch is live and can be put into play by the batter. If the batter swings, the "illegal" status NO LONGER applies. (If the batter swings and misses it is a strike.)

No quick pitching is allowed. The pitcher must allow the batter a chance to get set or reset. The umpire will stop play if a pitcher is not allowing the batter time to set and will issue a warning. Repeated warnings may result in ejection.
However, once a batter is set in the box, the pitcher may pitch.

ELIGIBLE PLAYERS: All players must be 19 years of age or older. Their are no roster restrictions and a team can have as many players as they wish. ALL players are required to sign a release of liability waiver before participating.

ROSTERS: Roster additions will be open during the regular season, but no players can be added prior to the playoffs.

TOTAL # OF BATTERS MAN/WOMAN RATIO
8* 5 MEN/3 WOMEN special line-up restriction
6 MEN/2 WOMEN
special line-up restriction (PLUS AUTOMATIC OUT)
9* 6 MEN/3 WOMEN special line-up restriction
7 MEN/2 WOMEN
special line-up restriction (PLUS AUTOMATIC OUT)
10* 6 MEN/4 WOMEN
7 MEN/3 WOMEN
special line-up restriction
11 7 MEN/4 WOMEN
12 8 MEN/4 WOMEN
13 8 MEN/5 WOMEN
14 9 MEN/5 WOMEN
15 10 MEN/5 WOMEN
16 10 MEN/6 WOMEN

Batting Line-up rules:
Four or more female batters:
Four female players must bat within the first ten. Within those ten batters, teams can bat in any order they want. All special walk rules remain in effect.

Three female batters:
A team playing with only three female players must bat according to the special line-up rules. The female batters must bat 2nd, 5th, and 8th in the line-up. See the special line-up restrictions.

Special Line-up restrictions

Line-up - 7male/3female Line-up - 6male/3female
1 - Male
2 - FEMALE
3 - Male
4 - Male
5 - FEMALE
6 - Male
7 - Male
8 - FEMALE
9 - Male
10 - Male
1 - Male
2 - FEMALE
3 - Male
4 - Male
5 - FEMALE
6 - Male
7 - Male
8 - FEMALE
9 - Male
 

Once a batter is in the batter's box, play is live and the pitcher can proceed. The batter must ask for time, and be granted it, by the umpire. The simple act of stepping out of the batter's box does not mean time is called.
A batter will be allowed to step out once during an at-bat, but repeated delays will not be allowed.

Fielding/Positioning rules:
Four or more female fielders:
A team that plays with four (4) or more women can play each fielder in any position without restrictions or conditions

Three female fielders:
A team playing with only three female players is permitted to field seven (7) men. However, of the three female players, they can not play the catcher position.

All teams must provide their own catcher. If they field less than the maximum 10 players, they can not have the other team provide a catcher or use a player that can not participate in live play.

Batting Rules:

WALK RULES

EXCEPTION 1: BATTING TEAM HAS LESS THAN FOUR (4) FEMALE PLAYERS
If a team plays with less than four (4) female batters, all special walk rules are no longer in effect. This rule takes priority over all other special walk rules.
EXCEPTION 2: DEFENSIVE TEAM HAS SEVEN (7) MALE FIELDERS
If a team plays with seven (7) male fielders, the following walk rules apply.

Any batter, MALE OR FEMALE, that is walked is automatically awarded second base. With two outs the next batter has the option to walk or bat.

EXCEPTION 3: BASES ALREADY LOADED
If a male batter is walked in front of a female batter and the bases are already loaded, the male batter is awarded FIRST BASE ONLY and the female batter must take their turn at-bat.
EXCEPTION 4: TWO OUTS
If a male batter is walked in front of a female batter with two outs, the female batter has the option of taking an automatic walk or batting. In either case, the male batter is automatically awarded second base.

HOME/AWAY: The home team is pre-determined by CSA and will be noted in a schedule distributed prior to the season.

SUBSTITUTION: Players are free to enter and re-enter the game without penalty. The following substitution rules apply:

Example: Jane starts the game for team X. She is batting first and plays catcher. Team X is the visiting team and after one full inning they make a substitution and remove Jane and place Sue in her spot. In the second inning, Sue bats in Jane's spot in the line-up.
In the above example, after Sue bats in the second inning, Jane can return to the game ONLY for Sue, batting in the first spot. Also, Jane must re-enter the game at the plate. Jane CAN NOT play the field until she has batted as a substitute for Sue.

LINE-UP: Teams can bat as many players as they want up to a total of 16 in the starting order. Line-ups must have a minimum of eight batters. Teams can field a maximum of 10 fielders. All other hitters in the line-up are Extra Hitters (EH).

Late line-up additions: Once a team goes through the line-up once, they can not add any Extra Hitters. Teams that start with less than 10 players can add those players to the bottom of the line-up when they arrive.
   
Example: If a team starts the game with nine (9) players, and their 10th
    player arrives after they have turned the line-up over, the 10th player
    may be added to the bottom of the line-up

    Example: If a team starts the game with 10 or more players, no players
    may be added to the line-up once the line-up has been turned over.

*COURTESY/SUBSTITUTE RUNNERS: At the sole discretion of the umpire(s), courtesy runners may be allowed for players that are injured during the game. Substitute runners will not be permitted for any other circumstances.*

OUTFIELD ARC: A line in the outfield will be denoted. When a female batter is up, all the outfielders are required to stay behind that line until contact is made by the batter.

SPECIAL SAFETY RULES

FIELDER INTERFERENCE - HOME PLATE: No fielder may be in the runners path without the ball. A special line will be marked on the third base line. Once a runner is past this line, the fielder can not be standing on home plate or in the runners direct running path unless they are already in possession of the ball. If the player covering home (catcher, pitcher, etc) is deemed to be "in the way" by the umpire, the runner is automatically safe, a dead ball is called, and if any collision occurs, the fielder is ejected.
If the fielder does have possession of the ball, the runner must make every effort to avoid a collision with that fielder. If, in the opinion of the umpire, the runner did not "give themselves up" and a collision occurs, the runner is ejected.
A fielder may enter the runners path in an attempt to catch a throw. A legitimate attempt to make a play will not be considered interference.

For all plays at home plate, any fielder (catcher, pitcher, etc) that is standing in fair territory is, by rule, not impeding the runners path. STANDING ON HOME PLATE WITHOUT THE BALL IS INTERFERENCE

 

Similar rules apply at first, second, and third base. Any player not attempting to make a play cannot stand on the base or directly in the runners path. If the fielder does so, and a collision ensues, that player is automatically ejected.

BAT POSSESSION: On all fields a line will be marked on the first base line that is ten paces from home plate. This is the "Bat Possession Line". If the batter still has the bat in their hands and they pass this line, they are automatically out. It will be the umpires discretion to either call a dead ball or allow the defense to take the result of the completed play

BASE COACHING: Teams are permitted to have ONE base coach at first and third base. The coaches are not allowed to physically assist the base-runner in ANY WAY. If the umpire decides that a team is abusing the base coach privilege, they can decide that the team can no longer have any base coaches during that game.
Some examples of "assisting the runner" is touching them during live play or blocking the running path so that they do not attempt to advance.
Also, if a base coach at either first or third base enters the playing field during live play (before the umpire calls time), the lead base-runner is automatically out and all the runners have to return to their bases
(regardless of whether or not the offending coach interfered with the play).

Base coaches may NOT have their mitt (glove) on or visible to the fielding team. If they want to bring the glove out with them, have the player leave the glove on the ground by the fence in front of the dugout.

RUNNER SAFETY ZONE (FIRST BASE): On all fields a line will be placed approximately four feet before first base. This is the RUNNER SAFETY LINE. Once the batter is past this line going towards first base, the fielder MAY NOT cross into foul territory to make a play. If the fielder crosses into foul territory, the base runner is automatically safe.
This is designed to protect the base-runner and the fielder.
Also note that the orange "safety" base is for the runner ONLY and is not for the fielders. A fielder making a play on the orange base will be considered to have crossed into foul territory.

If a fielder illegally crosses into foul territory and creates a collision with the runner, that fielder will be ejected from the game. No exceptions to this rule.

ON DECK BATTER:
Rule #1 - The next batter due up, "the on-deck batter", must be outside of the dugout and clear to the opposing team and the umpires. If after one pitch to the batter, the on-deck batter is not clear, all special "walk" rules are no longer in effect. This is the umpires discretion. If, in the opinion of the official, it is clear who the next batter is, but they are not on deck by the first pitch, they can keep the special rules in effect for one additional pitch.

The on-deck batter needs to be in the designated "on-deck zone" by their teams dugout.

The on-deck batter may not be one of the two designated base coaches.

If, in the opinion of the umpire, the next batter due up [on-deck batter] is not in the designated zone within a reasonable period of time, that batter will be called out when time is called to end the current at-bat.

If a team is required to take an AUTOMATIC OUT (ejected player, not enough girls, injury, etc.) they must leave the on-deck zone empty when the OUT is the next batter due up.

ON DECK VIOLATION: An area will be denoted by each dugout as the "on-deck zone". The next batter is required to remain in this area during live play. If the on-deck batter leaves the "on-deck zone" AND approaches the field of play before the umpire has called time-out, this is considered interference and that player is called out.

The on-deck batter is NOT allowed to assist runners at home plate or cross into the field of play to retrieve the bat.

DUGOUTS: Other than the batter and the players on base, the only players from the batting team that should be out of the dugout are the on-deck hitter and the base coaches.

GAME EQUIPMENT:
Balls - CSA will provide the game balls.
Gloves - Players are required to provide their own ball gloves. Every player in the field MUST have a ball glove. Bats - CSA will have game bats available, but it is suggested that teams provide their own.
    Click here for a list of bats that are not allowed in CSA game play. Banned Bats.
Sneakers/Cleats - Proper shoes are required for all players. Players are not required to wear cleats or spikes. Metal spikes are prohibited. Players may not play in sandals or open toed shoes.

RAIN-OUTS: CSA has three services to alert teams about rain cancellations. The first is the Rain-out Hotline. The second is the Weather Update page on the web-site. The third is the e-mail alert - CSA will e-mail team captains if games are cancelled before 4PM.

If games are rained out, CSA will attempt to reschedule all games. CSA may not be able to reschedule all games. If that occurs, appropriate adjustments will be made.

PROTESTS: Once a game is declared official, protests will only be accepted in extreme circumstances.

*CONFERENCE WITH OFFICIAL(S): Only the player designated as the captain by the team prior to the game is allowed to conference with the umpire(s) during the game.*

*FORFEITS: If a team is unable to field enough players by the scheduled game start time, then the game is considered a forfeit (see the minimum player rules)*

*PLAYOFFS: To be eligible for playoff and/or tournament play, a player must meet the minimum eligibility requirements. Players must have appeared in at least two (2) regular season games AND submitted a valid waiver form prior to competing.*

*RECURRING VIOLATIONS: Any player with multiple infractions in the same game is automatically ejected. A second "On Deck Violation", "Interference Call", "Bat Possession", etc. in the same game will result in an ejection.

OFFICIALS: CSA will provide at least one paid and certified umpire for every game. All officials must be certified by CSA prior to working games.

 

 

All rights reserved. No part of these rules may be reproduced or used in any way without express written consent of the owner.

Copyright 2014
Mr. Leland Dombrowsky & CSA Sports

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED