Midlothian Girls Softball Association Playing Rules Updated 7/2019
The league affiliation USA rulebook, with the following additions and exceptions, governs play on Midlothian Girls Softball Association’s fields, and Intercity field locations.
3.1 Catchers are required to wear full catchers’ helmet, complete with a facemask and throat protector, chest protector, and leg guards (6U and 8U only-soccer style shin guards are allowed) at all times including practices.
3.2 All batters and runners must wear approved protective helmets both during games and at Practices, with facemasks.
3.2.1 Defensive Facemasks are REQUIRED for all Infield players (Pitcher, 1st base, 2nd base, shortstop and 3rd base), in 10U, 12U and 15U age divisions, during ALL games AND practices. Players without a facemask will only be allowed to occupy outfield positions.
3.3 All team members must be in team uniform. “Uniform” is defined as like jerseys with differing numbers. The only exception is for players that have been picked up to complete the roster. In that case the players must wear the jersey that they wear for their normal team unless the team that picks them up has extra jerseys for them to wear. In the event of duplicate numbers when a pick up player is added, pick up player will be #0 or #1 for lineup purposes only.
3.4 Plastic visors are not allowed.
3.5 All bats must meet league affiliation standards and must be marked “Official Softball”. Wooden bats are not permitted in any division.
3.5.1 All helmets must comply with USA standards, (must have cage)
3.6 Pitching Distance and Ball Size
3.6.1 6U Division – 30 feet with a 10 inch “Softie” ball
3.6.2 8U Division – 35 feet with an 11 inch “Softie” ball
3.7 Base Distance and Restrictions
3.7.1 6U Division- 50 feet, tight bases (runners are not allowed to leave their base until the ball is hit). Runners must return to the last legally attained base before time was called.
3.7.2 8U Division- 55 feet bases, Runners may not steal bases or lead off.
3.7.36U and 8U are not allowed bunting.
3.7.4 6U and 8U In Field Fly rule is not in effect
3.7.5 6U, 8U Division – Dropped third strike rules do not apply, nor look back rule.
3.7.6 6U and 8U Division: Two coaches in the outfield and MUST BE BEHIND THE FURTHEST OUTFIELDER.
3.8. 6U and 8U: A maximum of 4 runs per inning
3.9. Thrown bat will require a warning for each player and on the second offense in a game the player may be called out. A deliberately thrown bat or other equipment can mean ejection of a player.
3.10. Home plate umpire will be the official timekeeper, and scorekeeper. See rule 3.17
3.11. 6U and 8U: Game time will be forfeit time, or 5 minutes after previous game ends, if it runs into overtime.
3.12. Rainouts or rescheduled games that are scheduled with more than one week’s notice will be treated as a regular season game.
3.13. Rainout will be determined/declared when the Field Director determines it is unsafe to continue/start the game. In the absence of the Field Director, any board member can call a game.
3.14. The home team will be the team listed 2nd on the schedule, (Visitor @ Home Team). The home team will occupy the third base dugout.
3.15. Rescheduled games can only occur due to rainouts or school conflicts with a minimum of 72 hours’ notice given or other reasons deemed appropriate by the Division Commissioner and approved by the Executive board.
3.16. A complete game, during REGULAR season, will consist of:
3.16.2a 6U: Game time is 45 minutes, finish the inning. The game can end in a tie.
3.16.2b 8U: Game time is 55 minutes, finish the inning. The game can end in a tie.
3.16.3 In the event of rain, a complete game will consist of 45 minutes elapsed playing or three complete innings. Final score of rain shortened games will revert back to the last complete inning. 3.16.4 Once an inning is started, it will be completed unless it is rain shortened. An inning begins when the final out of the preceding inning is made.
3.17 The official score keeper, (Homeplate umpire), shall be the person responsible for keeping proper records of games on an official score sheet. The official score keeper is responsible for turning in the score to the concession stand after the end of the game. The home team is responsible for keeping the official scorebook. Visiting team is responsible for running the scoreboard, when available. In case of discrepancy, the umpires score will take precedent.
3.18 Players who do not attend 2 consecutive practices and do not have a reason acceptable to the Head Coach, may be prohibited from playing the next game at the coach’s option.
3.19 Protest shall only be considered when based on a violation or interpretation of playing rules of an ineligible player. No protests of an umpire’s judgment call will be allowed. A head coach must inform the plate umpire of his/her intentions to protest when the infraction occurs. The official score book must be signed by the protesting manager as a protest and the home plate umpire immediately after the game. A written report stating reasons and citing rules must be filed with the league president of commissioner within 24 hours of the game. A $25 cash deposit must be included with the protest report. If the protest is upheld, the money will be refunded. If not, the money will be deposited into the league’s bank account. All decisions will be final.
3.20 At the plate umpire’s option, any dispute of game rules may be brought immediately to the attention of any board member present before the next pitch is thrown. If this does not occur, the umpire’s decision will stand. If the coach is not happy with the director’s decision, refer to standing rule
3.21 If the coach decides to protest the call, the board of directors will hear the appeal. The board member who made the original decision cannot vote at the hearing, but can present his/her case. The coach filing the protest must be present. If the coach does not show, the protest will be lost and MGSA will keep the $25.
3.22 If a game is forfeited for any reason, teams scheduled to play are permitted the use of the fields for up to 20 minutes before the scheduled start of the next game.
3.23 Each team will be responsible for cleaning up their dugout after each game. Failure to meet this requirement will result in loss of practice time and/or subject to a $30 clean up fee.
3.24 Free substitution is permitted in all divisions.
3.25 Each girl must play a minimum of one defensive inning.
3.26 BATTING ROSTER
3.26.1 The batting roster for each team shall be submitted to the official scorekeeper at the umpire meeting prior to game time. Every player present will be included in the lineup, NO DP/flex players allowed. No penalty to the team will be enforced if a player shows up after the lineup has batted through.
3.26.2 All team members present shall be listed in their proper batting order.
3.26.3 If a player arrives after the start of the game, she may be added to the bottom of the batting roster. The coach must notify the plate umpire and home team score keeper upon players arrival.
3.27 BLOOD RULE
3.27.1 A player, coach or umpire who is bleeding or who has blood on their uniform shall be prohibited from participating further in the game until appropriate treatment can be administered. If medical care of treatment is administered in a reasonable length of time, the individual will not have to leave the game. The length of time that is reasonable is left to the umpire’s judgment. Uniform rule violations will not be enforced if a uniform change is required. The umpire shall:
3.27.2 Stop the game and allow treatment if the injured player would affect the continuation of the game.
3.27.3 Immediately call a coach, trainer, or other authorized person to the injured player.
3.28 PLAYERS NEEDED TO START A GAME
3.28.1 6U divisions-a team with 6 players available at game time can play with no charged outs. A team with five players available at game time can play with the 6th batting position as an out. A team forfeits if at game time there are not at least 5 players available to play.
3.28.2 All other divisions- a team with 6 players available at game time can play with no charged outs. Any team with fewer than 6 players available to play at game time will forfeit that contest.
3.28.2A If more than half of your team plays in a select league you must play up one age division from where you would normally play. EX. If your team would normally play 10U you would now be enrolled in the 12U division because of the playing status of the players on your team.
3.28.3 A team may use up to 2 MGSA enrolled players on one game basis if their usage would prevent forfeit due to the lack of players (6+2) or an out in the 9th batting position could be avoided (7+2), provided that the following conditions are met:
188.8.131.52 The player(s) must be enrolled in the same or one lower division within the MGSA
program and playing classification (e.g. recreational teams cannot draw from a competitive team roster)
3.28.4 The player must bat last in the order
3.28.5 Permission must be obtained from the parents or guardians and given to the player(s) and coach.
3.28.6 They must play an outfield position only.
3.28.7 Once a player is picked up, she must complete the game.
3.28.8 If a player leaves the game due to becoming sick or injured, she cannot re-enter the game if she misses her turn to bat. No out shall be declared for each turn at bat.
3.29 Any unsportsmanlike conduct in regular season or post season tournament play, by the players, parents or coaches will come to the attention of the executive board. The board can apply any disciplinary action it deems appropriate, including suspension for the rest of the season. If any player, parent, or coach is ejected, they will be suspended for a minimum 1 additional contest. Additional action may be determined by the executive board. Plate umpire must report ejection to board member on duty immediately following the game.
3.30 Any problems with umpires should be reported to the Division Commissioner or any
Board Member in writing, giving the umpire’s name and circumstances. If in the simple opinion of the board, the umpire is unfit to be used in our games, the President will notify the Head Umpire in charge of scheduling umpires.
3.31 There will be a Board Member present at the fields every day/night that games are scheduled. The Field Director will make the schedule.
3.32 When a fair batted ball strikes any overhead power lines above home plate or in the outfield, the ball shall be played as a live ground ball with all runners entitled to advance with liability to be put out.
3.33 SPECIAL PLAYING RULES
3.33.1 6U and 8U Divisions-since these age divisions are not classified by USA, the following playing rules apply in conjunction with the above rules.
3.33.2 The pitching will be performed by an adult or anyone else who has completed a league approved background check. This person is referred to as the Designated Pitcher.
184.108.40.206 6U- The designated pitcher for the batting team will throw 3 pitches to the batter. If the ball is not put into play after the 3rd pitch, then the batter is allowed 2 hits from the tee. If the ball is not put into play off of the tee after the second attempt, the batter is then called out. If the batter fouls off the second attempt off of the tee then the at bat continues until the batter either swings and misses or puts the ball in play.
220.127.116.11 8U-The designated pitcher will throw five pitches. If the batter swings and fouls the fifth pitch then the at bat will continue. If the batter swings and misses at three of the pitches they will be called out. (EX. If the batter swings and misses at the first three pitches they will be called out)
3.33.3 In 6U and 8U only: Play entire roster on defense. A maximum of six team members will be allowed infield. All remaining players will position themselves in the outfield. All outfielders must start outside of the infield, in the grass, not on the dirt. All infielders, except for the pitcher and catcher, must be within 10 feet of their designated base or position.
3.33.4 Players are not allowed to roll the ball intentionally. Players will be given one warning and on the next infraction, will be removed. When this happens, the batter will be called safe at first base.
3.33.5 The defensive pitcher must be 3 feet to the right or left of the pitching rubber when the designated pitcher is pitching.
3.34 DESIGNATED PITCHER
3.34.1 Must leave the playing field immediately if the ball is batted into fair territory. This exit should be made in a manner that will not affect the runners or defensive players.
3.34.2 Any batted ball that hits the designated pitcher is considered a dead ball and no pitch.
3.34.3 Unintentional interference by the designated pitcher will be ruled a dead ball and no pitch. The umpire will give a warning and on the next infraction, the designated pitcher can be replaced at the umpire’s judgement.
3.34.4 If the designated pitcher interferes intentionally based on the umpire’s judgment, the batter will be called out and all runners must return to their prior base. The designated pitcher will then be replaced.
3.34.5 The designated pitcher must not assist any players, during a live ball, until he/she has left the playing field.
3.34.6 Two coaches are allowed in the outfield when his/her team is on defense for the purpose of instruction only. The coach must stay behind the furthest outfielder.
3.34.7 Infield fly and dropped third strike rules are not valid.
3.34.8 All play is stopped when a defensive player has the ball while inside the pitching circle. All runners must return to the base last touched regardless of where they may be when play has stopped.
3.34.9 If a girl is injured during play, all play is stopped and no additional advancement of runners can be made.
3.34.10 8U: On an overthrow into FOUL territory from an infielder, the runners may advance at own risk to the next base only (NO MULTIPLE OVERTHROWS). If the overthrow occurs in fair territory the play will continue, with the runners advancing at their own risk until the defensive team has control of the ball inside the circle or the umpire has called time.
3.34.11 6U: On an overthrow to any base the runners may advance at their own risk to the next base only (NO MULTIPLE OVERTHROWS).
General - All Divisions- Regular Season Play
1. City Schedulers will be responsible for calling the opposing teams’ City Scheduler for cancellation of scheduled games. Cancellation notification must be at least one day prior to the scheduled game.
2. Official scorecards will be kept by the Homeplate umpire. No person from a coach, or players immediate family may officiate their game. Home team is responsible for keeping the official scorebook. Visiting team is responsible for running the scoreboard, when available.
3. All games can end in a tie (NO TIE BREAKERS). Regular season only.
4. In case of rain, or any other event causing a game to be shortened, games will be considered official after 45 minutes or 3 full innings. Make-up games will resume from where play was interrupted. No penalties will be issued if players are unavailable for make- up game.
5. Four (4) runs per team per half inning.
6. The entire roster shall bat and no player can sit two consecutive innings.
7. Free defensive substitution shall be allowed.
8. Playing field dimensions:
• 10U – pitching distance 35 ft., base paths 60 ft.
• 12U – pitching distance 40 ft., base paths 60 ft.
• 14U, 16U & 18U – pitching distance 43 ft., base paths 60 ft.
9. Regulation game times (the umpire is official time keeper):
• All other divisions – 1 hour 10 minutes
10. Innings will be completed unless a team is behind by more than 4 runs.
11. In case of rain, each manager/coach should call the rainout number of the city they are scheduled to play. If the weather is questionable, go to the field and the umpire’s decision will govern whether or not the game is played. All rain out games will be scheduled as soon as possible.
12. All games may be called after three (3) innings if one team has a twelve (12) run lead, or after four (4) innings with a ten (10) run lead, or five (5) innings with an eight (8) run lead.
13. In case of an injury during the game, the umpire shall IMMEDIATELY call for a “Dead Ball” and make any base awards after treating the injured player(s).
14. Any player-pitcher that hits three batters may be removed from the pitcher position (based on the plate umpire’s judgment) and not allowed to return as pitcher during the remainder of the game.
15. All batting helmets worn in the 10U and up divisions must have a permanently mounted (with screws) face mask.
16. Defensive facemasks are required for all infield players during games AND practices. Players without a defensive facemask will only be allowed to occupy outfield positions.
1. All batting rosters should be submitted at game time and all team members present shall be listed in their proper batting order.
2. If a player arrives after the start of the game, she may be added to the end of the batting roster (as long as the first batter has not batted twice).
3. If, in the opinion of the umpire, a girl is unable to play due to illness or injury, she may be removed from the official roster with no automatic out being taken when her turn at bat arrives (unless the team has less than the minimum number of players).
The minimum number of batting positions will be six (6). If a team has six (6) players, the seventh, eighth and ninth batting position will not be outs.
4. In case of a shortage of players, a team is allowed to pick-up two (2) players from the same, or lower, division (must be within the same city). Pick-up players must be played in the outfield. Once a pickup player begins the game, they must stay on the lineup for the complete game. A player cannot be picked-up if their team is playing at the same time.
5. No player shall remain on the bench for two consecutive innings during a game. The first occurrence will be a warning to the manager/coach and the second will result in the ejection of the manager/coach.
1. No metal cleats may be worn by any player, coach or umpire.
2. Players may not wear jewelry during games. If a player is asked by an umpire to remove her jewelry and she refuses, she will be ejected from the game.
3. Any player participating as catcher in games and practices must wear full catcher’s equipment: mask, helmet, throat protector, and chest protector and shin guards. Soccer shin guards are allowed in the 6U and 8U divisions only.
4. Any player warming a pitcher up must wear a catcher’s mask with a throat protector.
5. USA approved head gear must be worn while each player is on deck, batting and running the bases in all the games and must remain on while the ball is live and can be removed once she is in the dugout. The first occurrence will result in a warning and the second will result in an out for her team.
6. Harassment of umpires by ANYONE will not be tolerated. It will be cause for IMMEDIATE ejection.
7. While chanting is encouraged, no chant shall be directed at the opposing team or directly at any of its players.
8. Artificial noise makers/music will not be allowed once the pitcher is on the rubber. Music cannot be of obscene nature.
1. 10U Division (Please note that 10U playing rules are the same as 12U playing rules per official USA regulation with the exception of those listed below)
• No harassing the opposing pitcher. Coach must consult the umpire about harassment.
• All Stealing is permitted. (Dropped ball third strike is in effect. Runner may steal home) No stealing will occur after the coach enters the game to pitch.
• Bunting is permitted. No bunting will be allowed after the coach enters the game to pitch.
• In order to promote a more exciting game, after ball four is called, the offensive coach will enter the game, assume the current strike count, and deliver up to three (3) pitches to the batter. The batter may take the first two pitches but must swing on the third pitch. After the third pitch the batter will be called “OUT” (unless the third pitch is hit into foul territory. If the third pitch is a foul, the batter will continue her at-bat until the ball is hit into play or she strikes out). If the batter has a strike count, the following examples will apply:
• One Strike: The batter may receive up to three pitches but must assume a one strike count, i.e., after swinging at two pitches; she will be called “OUT” (unless the third strike is hit into foul territory. If the third strike is a foul, she will continue to bat until the ball is hit into play or she strikes out).
• Two Strikes: The batter may receive up to three pitches but must assume a two-strike count, i.e., after swinging at one pitch, she will be called “OUT” (unless the third strike is hit into foul territory. If the third strike is a foul, she will continue to bat until the ball is hit into play or she strikes out).
After the batter hits the ball, the coach must leave the field “IMMEDIATELY”. Any ball that “Unintentionally” hits the coach-pitcher will be re-played. However, if the coach pitcher “Intentionally” interferes (umpire judgment) the batter will be called “OUT” and all runners must return the base they held prior to the pitch. If the designated pitcher intentionally interferes, he/she will be replaced. The coach acting as pitcher must not assist any of his players, during a live ball, until she/he has left the playing field. Each team will be allowed one warning. The penalty for any additional occurrences will be an “OUT” being called on the batter and all runners having to return to their prior base.
POST SEASON RULES
1. No game shall end in a tie.
2. During the Spring season, tournament brackets will be formed based on each team’s regular season record.
3. During the Fall season, tournament brackets will be a “blind draw”, not determined by the team’s regular season record.
4. In the event of rain, a complete game shall consist of 45 minutes or 3 completed innings. If neither of those have been completed, make up of the game will resume where play was ended. Teams will not be penalized for a player that is unavailable for the make-up, but was in the line up of the original game.
5. Extra innings will be played in Progressive ITB format. Format will be followed during all additional rounds of ITB. This applies to ALL age groups.
First Round- Last batted out will occupy 2nd base, the batter that was next in the line up will bat with a 3-2 count and 2 outs.
Second Round- Last batted out will occupy 2nd base, the batter before last batted out will occupy 3rd base, the next batter in the lineup will bat with a 3-2 count and 2 outs.
Third Round- Last batted out will occupy 2nd base, the player before her in the line up will occupy 1st base, while the player after her will occupy 3rd base. The next batter in the lineup will bat with a 3-2 count and 2 outs.