2020 SOUTH HILLS SENIOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE RULES
- Applicable Rules: ASA/USA softball rules apply for all situations not covered by these league rules.
- Profanity and Challenges to Umpires: Managers are responsible for players’ behavior on the field. Profanity is not permitted; players will be warned once and ejected if profanity continues. Only managers may protest an umpire’s call, and they are required to keep their remarks brief and civil. If any player other than the manager argues with the umpire, he will be warned once and then ejected if interference continues. Repeated violations will result in suspension from future games. The designated umpire for any game may not be recruited by either team as a substitute player for that game.
- Ban on Fighting: Fighting is prohibited and will result in suspension for the season, subject to a decision by the commissioner after consulting with managers and the umpire. The commissioner’s decision will be final. The commissioner must recuse himself if he was on one of the teams involved in the dispute. In such cases, the commissioner will appoint a committee of three managers to adjudicate.
- Substitute Runners: Before the start of each game, managers must inform the umpire of the names of each player requiring a substitute runner. Only players who believe running will aggravate an injury or otherwise endanger their health are eligible for substitute runners. Players may not be granted a substitute merely because they are slow. When a substitute runner is needed, the most recent eligible runner to have made an out will be selected. If the team has not yet had any outs, an eligible runner will be selected from the end of the batting order. If a substitute runner is on base when his turn comes up in the batting order, another substitute runner may be chosen following the rules above. If a batter who has requested a substitute runner gets a hit and runs to second or third base, that player is not eligible for a substitute runner for the remainder of the game, except in the case of an injury suffered during the remainder of the game.
- Substitute Players and Minimum Team Size for Playoffs: A manager may use a substitute player only if his team has fewer than 11 team members available. When substitutes are used, the total number of players may not exceed 11. To play an official game, a team must have at least 7 players from its regular team roster. If a team does not have at least 7 regular team members present, the game will be forfeited. No team may use more than 3 substitutes in any game. Substitutes may play at any position in the field and bat anywhere in the batting order. In determining whether substitutes are needed, managers may ask team members to confirm their availability to arrive on time and play. Any team member who does not confirm to the manager his firm intention to play by noon on the day of the game may be deemed ineligible to play for that day and replaced by a substitute, subject to the rules above. When teams have fewer than 11 players available to play, managers may bring in substitutes at any level (A, B or C) to replace missing players at those levels. (There is no requirement to bring in a C substitute before bringing in an A or a B.) Any substitute must have been drafted during or below the round of the player being replaced. (For example, a first-round A cannot replace a second-round A.) Violations of the substitute rules will result in forfeit of the game.
During playoffs, in the finals of the losers’ bracket and in the championship series, each team must have at least 13 players in the lineup. If any of those 13 players fails to show up, he must be included in the batting lineup as an automatic strikeout.
(6) Injury Situations: Any player who leaves the game because of an injury may return to the game if after a self-evaluation he considers himself eligible to play. Teams will not be penalized for the loss of a player during a game due to an injury.
(7). Holding the Base: Runners must keep at least one foot on the base until a ball is hit. If a runner pulls off any base before the ball is hit, he will be called out.
(8) Age of Eligibility: Players are eligible starting any time in the calendar year during which they will have their 55th birthdays.
(9) Trades: Trades of players are not allowed after completion of the annual draft meeting.
(10) Provision of Equipment: The designated home team uses the first base bench area and provides bases, one new ball and one backup ball.
(11) Length of Games: Games will be 9 innings, with extra innings in case of a tie. Double-header games will be 7 innings.
(12) Interrupted Games: A 9-inning game is considered completed after 5 innings (or 4-1/2 innings if the home team is leading) if the game is ended due to weather or darkness. Any games ended before that point will be rescheduled as new games. For 7-inning games, the game is considered complete after 4 innings, or 3 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead. Umpires may impose a 1-1 count on all batters in cases where impending darkness threatens to make a full game impossible.
(13) Number of Players: Teams may place a maximum of 11 players in the field. A team must have a minimum of 9 players to start a game. Any team with 8 players or fewer at game time will forfeit the game. A team with only 9 players present at the start of the game may ask the opposing team to provide a catcher. The opposing team is not required to supply a catcher.
(14) Batting Order and Late Arrivals: All players must be included in the batting order for the entire game unless injured during the game. Players arriving after the home team takes the field must be placed at the end of the batting lineup. If a player leaves a game for any reason other than an injury, that player will be an automatic out each time his turn to bat arrives during the rest of the game.
(15) Designated Hitters and Participation of All Players in Field: Each team is permitted 1 designated hitter if more than 11 roster players are present and the player chosen as DH is physically unable to play in the field because of an injury. All other players must play at least 4 innings in the field during a 9-inning game, or at least 3 innings in a 7-inning game.
(16) Pitching: A pitcher may opt to pitch from up to 6 feet behind the rubber. Pitches that rise more than 12 feet or that cross the plate at a height of less than 6 feet will be called as balls.
(17) Outfielder Placement: Outfielders must maintain a distance of at least 140 feet from home plate until the ball is hit.
(18) Eligible Bats: Players are permitted to use only bats that are pre-approved by the league’s bat monitors. All Miken bats produced before 2007 are prohibited, even if they have an ASA stamp. Bats listed on the ASA revoked list are not allowed. Bat monitors will put an SHSSL sticker on every bat approved by the league. Any bats without these stickers cannot be used in a game. If the SHSSL sticker is worn and the ID numbers are unreadable, the bat cannot be used until bat monitors affix a new sticker. Bats that are painted over, dented, cracked or have audible rattles are not permitted. Any player who has used an unapproved bat will be declared out and any runners on base will be returned to the bases they reached before the infraction. Any player caught using an illegal bat will be removed from the current game and suspended for the next scheduled game. He will be an automatic out in the lineup for the remainder of the game. Any player found to have used an illegal bat for a second time will be banned from the league for a year.
Any player found to have used a doctored bat will be suspended from the league for a minimum of 5 years. If the player does not surrender the bat in question to league officials for inspection he will be suspended for 10 years.
(19) When Hitters Can Be Thrown Out at First: A ball hit into the outfield without having been touched by an infielder gives the batter an automatic trip to first base. Any ball initially touched in the infield by an infielder and subsequently fielded by an infielder can be thrown to first for a put out even if the ball reaches the outfield. The rover is considered an infielder if he is positioned in the infield when the ball is hit. Outfielders may not throw out batters at first base if the ball reaches the outfield, even if the ball has been touched by an infielder.
(19) First-Base Rules: A fielder may not use the outside (orange) part of 1st base at any time to record an out. If the fielder touches the orange base while making the play, the batter-runner will be called safe. The batter-runner may use the inside (white) base only when the ball reaches the outfield and there is no play at first base. The batter-runner must touch the outside (orange) base when the ball is hit in the infield; in that circumstance, a batter-runner who touches the white base will be called out.
(20) Home Plate Rules: Runners must use the orange home plate to score. A runner who touches the white home plate will be called out. Catchers or any other fielders covering home must have a foot on the white home plate to make an out and must not block the runner’s path to the orange plate. Runners may not be tagged out after they cross the no-return line. After they have crossed the no-return line, runners can be put out only by a fielder holding the ball while putting a foot on the white home plate. Any attempt to tag out a runner who has passed the no-return line will result in the runner being declared safe at home.
(21) Advancing on Foul Balls: Runners cannot advance on a third-strike foul ball. Runners may advance at their own risk on a first- or second-strike foul ball out.
(23) Cancelation of Games: In case of bad weather, home-team managers or their designated alternates must visit the field to decide whether it is playable. No game should be canceled before 3 p.m. if there is any chance of playing. The visiting manager or acting manager, umpire coordinator and umpire must be notified no later than one hour before game time. Every effort should be made to play any game. No manager may cancel a game other than for rainouts or other circumstances approved in advance by the commissioner. If a game is called off by managers without a reason approved by the commissioner and then cannot be rescheduled before the playoffs, that game will count as a loss for both teams.
(24) Forfeit Rules: Scheduled games may not be canceled or rescheduled for any reason other than weather, unless the commissioner grants an exemption owing to other circumstances. If a team refuses to show up for a game or double header, the team will be assessed a forfeit or two forfeits for a double header. If there are two games scheduled and only one is played, through an agreement of the managers, both teams will receive a forfeit. Any team that asks a roster player not to show up for a game will forfeit that game
(25) Mercy Rule: A 9-inning game will be ended if there is a 15 (or more) run differential after the trailing team bats in the 7th or 8th inning. In either game of a double header, the game will be called if there is a 12-run differential after the trailing team bats in the 5th or 6th inning. Teams leading by large margins may not forfeit at-bats in later innings to expedite completion of the game.
(26) Sliding: Sliding is permitted only into second and third base. Any player sliding into first base or home plate will be called out
(27) Bodily Contact: Any bodily contact, including sliding or running into a player to break up a double play, if deemed by the umpire to be intentional interference with a fielder, will result in an out and immediate ejection of the offending player.
(28) Metal Spikes: Metal spikes are not permitted. A player wearing metal spikes will be ejected from the game.
(29) Application and Payments: All players must have turned in their application and money before they can be drafted. New player’s checks will not be cashed until they are drafted and will be returned to them if they fail to be picked during the draft. Any new players being added to a team before July 1st must pay the full league fee. After June 30th and before August 1st a new player added to the roster must pay one-half of the fee. After July 31st, a new player must pay $20 to play. Any player who plays in at least one game and quits will not receive any refund of fees paid. If an injury prevents a player from continuing to participate in the league, refunds will be considered depending on circumstances.
(30) Disputes: Disputes are to be referred to the commissioner for arbitration by the commissioner or by a committee appointed by the commissioner and managers.