Official 2013 Playing Rules & Game Regulations
Rule changes for 2013 are in red.
Rule #1 - General Conduct of Players, Managers, Coaches and Spectators
A. General: All persons who participate in WGS games are required to act responsibly and demonstrate good behavior. Players, managers, coaches and spectators shall display proper conduct and respect for officials at all times before, during and after games. Assigned umpires control the game. They have full, complete and plenary authority to enforce rules and may eject and/or bar from the playing area or otherwise impose applicable sanctions upon any and all persons who act inappropriately, become abusive, show flagrant disrespect or disobey the rules of the game and/or the policies of the organization.
B. Standards of Conduct: It is the expressed policy of WGS, Inc. that there is absolutely no place in this league for players, managers or coaches who either refuse or otherwise cannot conform to the principles of acceptable social conduct and good sportsmanship. Anyone using offensive language to another on or around the field or who otherwise engages in threats, violent or criminal behavior while in uniform shall be disciplined up to and including dismissal from the league and being barred from all future participation. Those who fail or refuse to extend minimal respect or courtesies to opposing team members or otherwise direct disparaging remarks to opponents at any time may be suspended and/or excluded from all post-season play and special events. This includes but is not limited to tournament and all-star games. All persons connected with this organization (including players) who may be viewed as representatives of WGS or any facet thereof, whether on the field or off, at any event or facility and regardless of whether it is league sponsored activity or not, are expected to comport themselves at all times in a mature, respectful and mannerly fashion with regard to the personal rights and properties of another. Any person who fails in this responsibility or otherwise inflicts damage, and/or brings disrepute upon WGS shall also be disciplined up to and including permanent disbarment from the league.
C. Managers and Coaches: The manager is in charge of his/her team. Managers and coaches are expected to set an example of good sportsmanship, responsibility and mutual respect to their team members and all others who participate in or officiate the game.
1. A manager may take appropriate disciplinary action against any team member, including benching them, when circumstances warrant it. (Missing games, practices, without excuse; gross insubordination, etc.), provided that the WGS board is advised of the benching and the reasons for doing so as much in advance of the action being taken as is possible. Benching any player for more than one game requires board approval prior to any action being taken.
2. Managers, coaches and players are not allowed to smoke or have alcoholic beverages present at any time during the game. Electronic communication devices may not be used (by any team member)in or around the playing area (including the dugout)during a game, unless an emergency arises. Cell phones or other similar devices are prohibited from the playing field. Any team member found to be using such items on the field of play shall be ejected immediately and without warning. 3. The home team manager or acting manager is responsible for setting out and measuring bases and base lines with the cooperation of the visiting team and umpires(s). (The home team is the team number listed second on the official schedule).
4. If a manager is to miss a scheduled game, he/she may appoint a coach or someone to act as a manager. If there is no one available, the manager should contact the league officers for assistance. A team may not take the field without at least an acting manager present. Only adults over the age of 18 years may coach a base. Team members or non-playing minors are prohibited from coaching on the field.
5. Scheduled games (including make-up games) may not be called off or otherwise rescheduled by any manager, even with the concurrence of the opposing team, unless the assigned field is unplayable. (See Rule 5(C)) Games that are called or cancelled due to rain or other cause by umpires or other league officials, will be made up on days and at times as the board may direct.
6. Only the manager or acting manager has the right to discuss the umpire's ruling. Judgment calls, as opposed to rulings or rule interpretations, may not be questioned or argued under any circumstances.
Rule #2 - Umpires
A. In any sanctioned competition, the assigned umpiring official has complete control and plenary authority over all aspects of the game within the rules as set or adopted by the league. He or she may direct managers, coaches, players and spectators and govern their conduct both before and during the game and may impose sanctions and penalties, including ejection from the game and/or restriction from the playing area as circumstances may reasonably dictate.
B. If two or more umpires are working in a game, the home plate umpire shall be designated as the umpire-in-chief. If a discrepancy in a rule interpretation arises for which agreement cannot be reached between the assigned officials, the umpire-in-chief's ruling shall prevail. Either may ask the other to make a call on any given play if their view was obstructed or they did not otherwise see the action for which a call needs to be made. However, no umpire has the authority to set aside or question the decision or judgment made by another within the limits of their respective duties and designated areas of jurisdiction on the field.
C. All on the field practice shall cease and all players must be in their respective dugouts no later than 5 minutes before game time. Both managers shall then meet with the umpire(s) to discuss the ground rules and to present to the umpire-in-chief the official starting line-ups. Rules covered with each manager should include, but need not be limited to, designation of boundary and out-of-play areas, as well as explanation of the strike zone, dead ball and overthrow situations. No starting lineup change will be allowed once the lineups are exchanged. Managers are encouraged to ask questions at this time about any rule or policy which they do not fully understand, as well as familiarize themselves with the style and preferences of any particular umpire. (Please note also Rule #16)
Rule #3 - Uniforms
A. The required playing uniform for all sanctioned games consists of a current sponsor shirt corresponding to the appropriate team and year, displaying the WGS, Inc. logo on the front and player number on the back, worn with softball style, baseball or sweat pants which reach at least to mid-calf. Players may NOT wear uniform shirts from a previous year or with a sponsor name different from that worn by the rest of the team. Team socks, caps and/or visors may also be worn. Shorts of any length are NOT permissible unless the player is also wearing sliding shorts underneath. If shorts are worn, the sliding shorts underneath MUST reach mid-thigh. For example, abbreviated biker or biker type shorts without clearly visible sliding pants extending to mid-thigh will not be permitted. No player will be allowed to enter or continue ANY game, including playoff or all star games unless she is wearing the required uniform with the league logo, number and name of the sponsor being visible, nor shall a player be allowed to enter or continue any game without having requisite sliding shorts (where applicable). Exception. In cold or inclement weather, players may wear sweatshirts or jackets over their team shirts. However, such outer garments may not be of similar color to the opposing teams' uniform so as to cause possible confusion during active play (in the judgment of the umpire). Note, the sliding shorts requirement does not apply to the Junior Division or players subbing therefrom. Neither players nor coaches shall be allowed to cut, deface, or otherwise alter or amend uniform shirts with additional writing, printing, logos, designs or graphics of any kind. In other words, uniform shirts may not be changed in any way from their original purchased condition. Shirts may be rolled, tucked or tied at the sleeves, neck or waist as long as the integrity of the shirt itself is not compromised. Violators of any part of this rule shall be barred from the game in which the infraction is discovered and shall not be allowed to participate again until they have paid for the purchase of a new shirt. Note: wearing the manager's or any other shirt shall not act to obviate the enforcement of this penalty for the first game it is imposed. Thereafter (assuming payment has been made for a replacement), the player may wear an appropriate substitute shirt until a new one is procured.
B. Shoes with rubber cleats should worn if at all possible and are recommended for league play. Gym shoes or shoes with rubber soles are permissible, but are not recommended. Shoes with metal cleats are prohibited and will cause immediate ejection of the player, if found.
Rule #4 - Equipment
A. Bats: WGS does not supply bats for players' use. Players are required to purchase and use their own bats or otherwise use one from a team mate. All bats used by players must be of metal, ceramic or composite materials. Bats must either be marked "Official Softball" or have an ASA certification clearly visible. Baseball or Little League bats or those that do not have either of the indicated identifiers are illegal and may not be used in games. Using an illegal bat will subject the offender to being called out on any appeal.
1. All bats used in league play must have a safety grip of cork, tape, rubber or composition material covering the bat handle.
B. Balls: Only official 12" softballs may be used and are provided by the league. Softballs shall be ASA certified.
C. Gloves: Players must supply their own fielders' gloves.
D. Catcher's Mask: A catcher's mask and protective helmet unit will be supplied by the League to each team and are to be worn by the player assigned to the position of catcher on each team at all appropriate times when she is on the field and in position behind home plate. Refusal to wear a mask by any player so designated shall be grounds for her being barred from play. (Catcher's helmets and/or hard hats are not required in the Major Division but masks are mandatory).
E. Helmets: Protective helmets shall be worn at all times by players while batting or otherwise running the bases during games and practices. While WGS will have a limited number of helmets available for use, players are otherwise required to purchase, use and maintain their own as part of their playing equipment. Any batter or base runner who, in the opinion of the umpire, deliberately removes her helmet or obviously and purposefully causes it to fall off during active play shall be given a warning. A second offense shall subject that player to being called out. A third offense shall subject that player to being ejected from the game.
Rule #5 - The Diamond and Playing Field
A. Games may be played on any available softball field. Standard fields with a back-stop, non-grass infield and without a raised pitcher's mound should be used. Games are never to be played on an open grass field in lieu of an available diamond. Base lines shall be sixty feet for Junior, Minor and Major divisions. The distance from the pitcher's mound to home plate shall be 35 feet for Junior, 42 feet for the Minor Division and 46 feet for the Major Division teams. A batter's box need not be drawn or measured out, but batters must stay within the general boundaries of the batting area when making contact with the ball or risk being called out by the umpire. (e.g. Stepping on or completely in front of the plate when making contact with the ball).B. At the beginning of the game, the umpire-in-chief shall designate the fair and foul areas, coach's area, the out of play areas and the approximate area of the batter's box.1). If a batter’s box is used by an umpire (not mandatory), it shall be drawn to the dimension of 8 feet by4 feet on each side of home, extending equally from the mid point of the plate. Baseline coaches shall observe and remain within an area extending no more than 15 feet down the baseline from the far point of the base. Violation of this part, which is in the discretion of the umpire only, shall subject the runner nearest to the violator to being called out.
2). If a batter's box is not used, the officiating home plate umpire nevertheless has the authority to call a batter out if, in his or her judgment, the batter has clearly and demonstrably stepped outside the appropriate batting area during her swing and while making contact with the ball.
C. Unless a game has been cancelled by league officials, the determination whether a field is usable (playable) for any scheduled game shall be by agreement of both team managers until such time as the umpire arrives. At that point, if no agreement has been reached, all authority to determine whether a game may be played on a given field rests with that umpire or other authorized league personnel. Managers may NEVER make a unilateral decision to cancel any game.
D. First and third base coaching areas are to be designated and base coaches are to remain in the set area during play.
E. Whips Field (Gladstone Park) Ground Rules: For all games played at Whips Field, the following rules shall apply uniformly to balls hit into the outfield: Any batted ball that clears the outfield fence on a fly shall be a home run; Any batted ball that hits the top of the fence and bounces over and beyond the fence shall be a home run; Any batted ball that either is first touched by a fielder or strikes the ground and then bounces over the fence shall be a ground rule double. Any batted ball that remains inside the fence and in fair territory shall be live and playable until declared dead by the officiating umpire.
Rule #6 - Teams, Players and Substitutes
A. Number of Players: A team consists of 10 or more players. The field positions shall consist of a pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, left fielder, center fielder, right fielder and short center fielder.B. A team must start a game if 8 eligible players are present. (As a courtesy to a team with less than 8 players, a 15-minute waiting period may be allowed in the discretion of the umpire after the scheduled starting time if late arrivals are expected). Additional players who may arrive while the game is in progress and before the start of the 3rd inning, may enter at the start of the next inning and shall be at the bottom of the order, provided they have been listed on the lineup sheet at the time it was handed in to the umpire. Players arriving after the start of the 3rd inning may not participate in the game. Expected late arrivals who are placed at the bottom of the order and who do not show up by their turn at bat shall be ignored and will not incur an out regardless of the number of players.C. Free Substitution: When more than 10 players are present, members of a team may be freely substituted (rotated in) for one another, at the manager's discretion, at the beginning of any half inning. However, regardless of the number of times players may be rotated, each person must play a field position for a minimum of 3 innings per game (except in the case of invocation of the slaughter rule, called game, etc., or for disciplinary reasons).D. Injuries: Any player who is removed from the game due to an injury may re-enter the game provided she has sat out a minimum of one inning. If the removal of the injured player results in less than 10 players in the batting order, then the removed player shall register as an out at her normal time at bat. The same penalty applies if a team member must leave the game for any reason and this results in less than 10 players in the active game lineup.
E. Called Substitutes: In the event a manager is unable to have 10 players present for scheduled games, he/she may request (at least 1 day prior to that game and ONLY from the board member in charge of substitutes) additional players to reach that number. TEAMS MAY NOT REQUEST A SUBSTITUTE FOR A MISSING PLAYER IF THEY STILL HAVE 10 ELIGIBLE PLAYERS. (For Minor Division teams, substitutes will be drawn from the Junior Division. For Major Division teams, replacements will be drawn from players on Minor Division teams. Junior Division teams will draw from softball school). With reference to the Major and Minor Divisions, this same process will apply to subs needed during end of season tournament play. As a matter of practice, all managers should make reasonable attempts to confirm receipt of their request for a substitute with the appropriate coordinator if they have not had personal contact with him/her. The names of the players for whom substitutes are being requested should be specified in order to better coordinate replacements and also to identify the players who are now eligible for that particular game. (See following paragraph).1. A called substitute shall take the place of a regular player who is missing from or unable to play the game and shall hold a fielding position, in addition to being in the batting order, for the duration of that game. Once a called substitute is secured by the league at the request of a team manager, the right to play the game belongs to the substitute alone. The regular team member for whom the substitute was obtained shall not be allowed to participate in that game, either in a batting or fielding position, regardless of whether she later becomes available to play.2. Team managers may obtain as many substitutes for a game as is necessary to reach a minimum of 10 players. (For example: if a 12-player team will be missing 5 players for a particular game, the manager may request 3 substitutes to field a team of 10 players). However, managers are not permitted to request specific named players as substitutes and UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES MAY A MANAGER OR COACH SELECT OR OBTAIN THEIR OWN SUBSTITUTES OUTSIDE THE REQUIREMENTS OF THIS RULE. Violation of ANY PART of this Rule (#6E) will subject the offending team to a forfeit.3. Junior Division players will only be sent to the Minors if they are deemed minimally qualified for play at that level by WGS, Inc. officials. The same holds for softball school players sent to Juniors.4. Obtaining substitutes for teams that are missing players is a vital and necessary part of League operations. Being asked to go up a division level and substitute is both an honor and a privilege. Therefore, players who refuse to participate when asked because they do not wish to play for a particular team shall have their names removed from the eligibility list and will not be called for the remainder of the season.F. The WGS Board, through the designated member in charge, will make all reasonable attempts to secure the necessary number of substitutes for any game, and to match the quality of the players as closely as circumstances will allow. However, if any request for substitutes is not made within the time prescribed by Rule #6(E), the consequence of any failure to obtain the requisite number of substitutes shall fall on the team requiring them. That includes having to play with less than a full team or otherwise forfeiting the game if less than 8 players are present. If a request for additional players IS made within the requisite time period and a sufficient number cannot be obtained in order to reach a full team (10), the game may be canceled without fault and replayed under the provisions of Rule #7(A)(1).G. Substitutes may not be requested and the league is under no duty to secure substitutes within one hour of game time.H. All players, managers, coaches and team equipment shall remain inside the dugout or designated bench area during their team's turn at bat unless they are "on deck" and taking practice swings in an isolated area away from others. All persons who are not part of the team MUST stay out of the dugout and away from the player bench area during games. At Whips field, other than two "on-deck" batters, players, managers, and coaches shall not be allowed in the enclosed area behind the backstop. At its discretion, WGS may allow up to three persons to sit at the scorer's table in order to operate the scoreboard. Those persons must remain seated during play and comport themselves accordingly so they do not become a distraction to either the home plate umpire, the batter or the pitcher or they will be removed.
Rule #7 - The Game
A. All games must be played as scheduled unless weather or field conditions prohibit the playing of the game, or otherwise as the WGS Board may declare. All games shall start at the time designated on the schedule unless delayed under the provisions of Rule #6(B). Every reasonable attempt will be made to avoid conflicts due to school activities, graduations, etc., of which the league is made aware prior to the start of the season. Therefore, games will NOT be rescheduled for unanticipated events, activities or circumstances that may only affect selected teams or players.1. Rained out and called games shall be made up as the Board directs. For the purpose of this rule, make up games will be played on the Sunday afternoon immediately following the rainout unless special circumstances apply. Games not made up prior to the start of the championship tournament shall be declared a forfeit against both teams. Make-up games, once scheduled and confirmed, may not be changed except by authorization of the head umpire. Failure to play a confirmed make-up game shall be registered as a forfeit.2. Pre-game practices: Both competing teams shall be allowed an equal amount of time for pre-game practice on the field of their assigned game location. (Note: this does not affect practice anywhere away from the field). The home team shall be given the right of first usage regardless of which team arrives first or who may occupy the field at the time the home team is ready to begin its practice. Once that practice has begun, the home team shall cede the field to the visitors upon the expiration of one-half of the time remaining between the start and 5 minutes before game time. Example: The game is scheduled to start at 6:30. Team A, which is the visitors, arrives at 5:15. Team B, the home team, shows up at 5:40 and is ready to start its warm up at 5:45. Team A may use the field from the time it arrives until 5:45 whereupon it must yield to the home team. Since the home team's practice started at 5:45, that leaves 40 minutes (i.e. the starting time of practice to 5 minutes before the game). Cutting that time in half, the home team must then give over the field to the visitors after 20 minutes, or 6:05, so that the visitors can use it until 6:25.
B. Regulation Game: A regulation game shall consist of 7 innings unless the home team is ahead at the end of 6 1/2 innings. (Exception - See Rules 7(E) and (F) below).
C. Home Team: The home team, or the team last to bat, shall be team listed second on the schedule and will use the third base side dugout.
D. Tie Games: A game tied at the end of 7 innings shall continue until one team has scored more runs than the other at the end of a complete inning. Any extra-inning game that is called because of rain or darkness or any other reason, before an inning can be ended with one team ahead, shall be considered suspended. On the day selected by WGS policy for make up games or as they may be otherwise directed, the affected teams must resume play at the point of interruption using the same players (if at all possible) who were active at the time the game was called (if at all possible). The game shall then continue until one team is in the lead at the end of a complete inning.
E. Called Games: The umpire-in-chief of any game is empowered to call a game at any time because of darkness, rain or other conditions, including a wet playing field, which places spectators or players in peril. A game called by the umpire due to any such cause at any time after the end of 5 innings (4 1/2 innings if the home team is winning), but before reaching regulation length, shall be deemed a completed and official game, unless the score is tied. Any such tied game shall resume at the point of suspension. A game called prior to reaching 5 innings in length, shall be replayed in its entirety.
1. Lightning Rule: Due to problems incurred and inconsistent operation over the years, the Westchester Park District has discontinued its lightning detection system from use in the parks and it will no longer afford any warnings of impending lightning conditions. Therefore, all WGS personnel should use their best judgment in any possible storm conditions and should err on the side of safety in the event of potentially dangerous conditions by suspension or cancellation of any game.
F. Forfeited Games: A forfeited game shall be declared by an umpire in favor of the team not at fault in the following cases:
1. If a team fails to appear on the field with at least 8 players or fails to begin the game within 15 minutes of the official starting time;
2. If a team fails to continue play once the game has begun or if a team fails to resume play after it has been stopped by an umpire;
3. If a team deliberately delays the game;
4. If an order of removal of a player, manager, coach or offending spectator by the umpire is not obeyed within one minute;
5. If a team manager, coach, player or spectator is abusive to an umpire and fails or refuses to stop inappropriate conduct after being warned;
6. If a team fails to play any rescheduled game within the time period set.
G. Tie Breaker: At the end of the regular season schedule, if two or more teams within the same division level (e.g. Majors, Minors) have an identical overall won/loss record, their respective finishing and seeded positions for any tournament play shall be determined by the following in the order listed: a) Best head to head record: b) Best intra-divisional record; c) Best inter-divisional record, i.e. American/National (if any); d) Lowest total of runs scored against the team. If a tie still exists after considering each measurement, the positions shall be decided by coin flip or otherwise by lottery if more than two teams are affected.
Rule #8 - Pitching
(Note: 5th graders are not allowed to pitch in the Minor Division)
A. Pitching must be underhand only and the ball must be delivered to the batter at a slow speed.
B. The pitch must have an arc, which at a minimum is 6 feet from the ground at its highest point. There is no upper limit to the height of the arc. (Rule does not apply to Juniors)
C. Pitching Position: The pitcher starts the pitch with both feet on the pitching mound and shoulders square with first and third base. The ball must be presented to the batter for at least one second prior to the beginning of any pitching motion. The pitcher must start her delivery within 10 seconds after presentation.
D. Delivery: The pitcher may only take one step forward toward the batter while simultaneously delivering the ball to the batter in a forward motion. No feints, hesitations, side-arm throws or lateral steps are allowed. The back foot of the pitcher must maintain contact with the pitching rubber until the ball is released. The ball may be released with the palm up, down or to the side, regardless of whether it causes a spin or curve to the pitch. Once a pitcher begins her delivery motion, any halt or hesitation in that motion is illegal unless time has been called (by the umpire). Upon such infraction, the umpire shall immediately call an "illegal pitch" and a "ball" shall automatically be registered in the count.
E. Warm-Up: A pitcher shall be allowed a maximum of one minute or four pitches between innings, whichever comes first, for the purpose of warm-ups.
F. Pitcher Substitute: A pitcher may be removed and return as a pitcher provided she has not been taken from the game but has just assumed another playing position or is taking a turn on the bench. The new pitcher must face at least one batter who must complete her turn at bat. However, a pitcher who is removed from the mound a second time may not thereafter return as a pitcher during the remainder of that game. Using players as pitchers who do not normally pitch in order to deliberately effect a walk on a batter (See Rule #9D) shall result in immediate ejection of that team's coach and/or manager. This is a judgment call by the umpire and is NOT subject to appeal.
Rule #9 - Batting
A. Batting Order: Once the players' names are listed on the lineup score sheet and submitted to the opposing manager and umpire-in-chief, each batter bats according to the order in which her name appears in the lineup. The batter whose name follows that of the last player to bat in the preceding inning shall be the first batter the next inning.
1. All players on the team, including all substitutes, regardless of whether they are currently playing a field position, shall bat in regular order during the entire game.
B. Batting Out of Order: An appeal to the umpire for a batting out of order infraction will have the following results, depending on the timeliness of the appeal:
1. Batting error discovered while incorrect batter is at bat - the correct batter takes her place and assumes all counts (The offensive manager is entitled to make this call);
2. Batting error is discovered after the incorrect batter has completed her turn but before there has been a pitch to another batter - the player who should have batted is out. The action of the incorrect batter is nullified, any runs scored are canceled and any base runners returned to the bases they occupied when the incorrect batter was up. However, ANY outs made, either by the incorrect batter or other runners on base at the time of the infraction, shall stand. The next batter shall be the player who follows the batter who was called out for not batting.
3. Batting error discovered after first pitch to next batter - all plays that occurred during incorrect batter's turn are deemed legal and the person at bat becomes the correct batter.
C. Strike Zone and Strikes: The strike zone is that area over home plate that is below the batter's shoulders and above the knees, through which a pitched ball must travel. A strike is determined by the zone through which the ball travels, NOT where it lands. For this reason, a line or lines designating a "strike zone" should NOT be drawn in the batting area limiting a strike to where the ball drops. A pitched ball making contact with ANY part of home plate (including the black beveled rim) BEFORE it makes contact with the ground shall not be called a strike.
D. INTENTIONAL WALKS ARE NOT PERMITTED: If, in the umpire's opinion, a pitcher is trying to deliberately walk a batter, the manager will be warned. On a second offense, the pitcher will be removed and not permitted to return to the pitching position for the duration of the game. However, that player will remain in the batting order and shall be allowed to bat in her normal turn. Any manager found to have instructed a pitcher to deliberately walk a batter in contravention to this rule, shall be subject to expulsion from the league.
E. Bunting, Chop Hits or Half Swings are not allowed: If the batter, in the opinion of the umpire, deliberately attempts to bunt or chop the ball, the umpire shall declare the batter out. (A chopped ball is one at which the batter strikes downward without a full swing of the bat). Likewise, if the batter deliberately fails to take a full swing in order to affect the travel of the ball, she shall be declared out. (note emphasis)
F. Throwing the Bat: In the discretion of the home plate umpire, any batter who releases the bat following a swing at a pitched ball in such a manner or with such force as to endanger any other player, official or person on or off the playing field shall be given a warning (communicated to the manager). A second such offense committed by the same batter in any one game shall result in that player being declared out. A third such offense by the same player in a single game shall result in that player being ejected from the game.
G. Infield Fly Rule: The rule applies only when an infield fly is hit at a time when there are runners on first and second base or bases are loaded and there are less than two outs]. An "infield fly" is a pop-up or fly ball in fair territory that in the opinion of the umpire can be easily and with minimal effort (i.e. movement) caught by an infielder, even if on the edges of the outfield extending into the grass. When the rule applies and such infield fly is hit, the umpire should immediately and loudly indicate enforcement of the rule by raising one arm and declaring an "infield fly". Upon such call, the batter is automatically out regardless of whether the ball is caught or not. Runners may advance at their own risk subject to tagging up if the ball is caught on a fly. NOTE: Upon calling an "infield fly" any force play other than one for failing to tag up on a caught ball is removed (because the batter is out) and any put out of an advancing runner must be by tag.
H. Defensive Positioning:
1. During any turn at bat, it shall be deemed an illegal defense for a player on the field to position herself closer to the batter than the pitcher. Such moves are expressly prohibited for safety reasons. In any such event, the umpire shall immediately stop play and direct the offending player to move back. The manager and/or coach shall be warned and any repeated offense shall subject the manager/coach to removal from the game. (Example: The third base player is directed by her coach to move down the base line in order to position herself within 30 feet of the batter. The umpire shall call time and direct the player to reposition herself no closer than 42 feet (Minors) which is the distance from the plate to the pitching rubber).
2. Any fielder may be positioned anywhere (except as in H1, above) for defensive purposes. However, no two or more players on the field may be switched with each other during any half inning in an attempt to gain a strategic advantage against a hitter, except in the case of a pitching change. On any attempt to effect such a switch, the game shall be stopped and the umpire shall order the players to reassume the playing positions they were in at the start of the half inning.
I. One and One Count:
When circumstances may require it, the league reserves the right to elect that any particular game or games observe a one & one count rule. That is, all batters shall begin their turn at bat with one strike and one ball being counted against them. Use of the one & one count rule may also be employed in any game situations where the umpire determines that the game will benefit by it. (The purpose of this option is to speed up the game where available time may be limited or weather conditions are threatening, not for the convenience of officials).
J. Definition of a Fair Ball:
A fair ball is a legally batted ball that:
1. Settles or is touched on or over fair territory between home and first base or between home and third base;
2. Bounds over or past first or third base, which are in fair territory, regardless of where the ball hits after going over the base;
3. While on or over fair territory, touches the person or clothing of a player or umpire;
4. Touches first, second or third base;
5. First falls or is touched on or over fair territory beyond first, second or third base;
6. While over fair territory, passes out of the playing field beyond the outfield fence;
7. Hits the foul pole (if any);
A batted ball shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole (if any) and not as to whether the fielder is on or in fair or foul territory at the time the ball is first touched. It does not matter whether the ball first touches fair or foul territory as long as it does not touch anything foreign to the natural ground in foul territory and complies with all other aspects of a fair ball.
Rule #10 - Base Running
A. Base Runners Must Touch Bases In Legal Order: - first, second, third and home plate to score a run.
B. Two Base Runners May Not Occupy The Same Base: - the runner who first legally occupied the base is entitled to it and the other base runner must return to her own base with the liability of being put out.
C. Appeal Plays: Appeals may be made by the defensive team in any of the following circumstances, provided they are made prior to the next pitch being thrown:
1. Batting out of order (Manager or coach)
2. Failure to touch any base (Any player)
3. Use of an Illegal Bat (Manager or coach)
D. Sliding: There is no requirement that any player slide into a base, although it is highly recommended that players be taught to do so if a play on that base is being made. However, the failure to slide or sidestep in such a manner that results in contact between a runner and a fielder and loss of control of the ball, or otherwise subjects the fielder to possible injury (with or without loss of the ball) will cause the player to be called out. This depends upon whether, in the umpire's judgment, the failure to slide or sidestep endangered the opposing fielder or otherwise disrupted the play being made due to collision. (NOTE: the intent of the rule is to prevent collisions and possible injury between opposing players. It will only apply when the fielder is in clear possession of the ball and positioned between the runner and her intended base).
E. Free Advance By Runners: (Overthrow Rule)
1. Any overthrow that goes out of bounds (i.e. anywhere outside of the designated playing field) immediately becomes a dead ball. Runners (including the batter after a hit ball) shall be awarded two bases measured from the last base touched at the point of the overthrow (which is at the release of the ball by the fielder, NOT when it goes out of bounds). If the overthrow occurs prior to the batter reaching first base, that player shall be advanced to second base only. (Example: an infielder attempts to field a batted ball and then proceeds to throw wildly and the ball goes past the first base player, out of bounds. In almost all but the most extreme situations, a batter/runner should be awarded second base and NOT third on this type of overthrow. Similarly, a runner on first base in this same example would be awarded third base, NOT home. Only if the batter was clearly past first base at the time the ball was released by the fielder would the batter get third base. This is a very rare occurrence).
2. Any overthrow which follows an attempted put-out of a base runner after a caught fly ball, shall advance all runners two bases measured by the last base touched at the point of the overthrow. (Example: a caught line drive catches a base runner between first and second base. On a put-out attempt at first base resulting in an overthrow, that runner would be awarded third base - but she has to re-establish first base before she is allowed to advance).
3. If any ball, having once been touched by a fielder on the field of play, goes out of bounds for reasons other than an overthrow, the ball is dead and all runners shall be awarded one base measured from the last base touched at the point the ball goes out of play.
F. A Base Runner May Not Lead Off: A base runner may legally leave a base only when the ball crosses the plate on a pitch or has otherwise been hit by the batter. If the base runner, in the umpire's judgment, leaves too soon, the runner shall be called out and the ball becomes dead immediately. (Example: with runners on any base, a player leaves before the ball reaches the plate - the umpire calls immediate dead ball and the runner who left the base too soon is out. Any offensive action on that pitch is canceled. There is NO warning on this call).
G. With the exception of a third strike foul, base runners can advance on any fair or foul fly ball caught either in the infield or outfield, provided they tag up. However, if the batter hits a foul fly ball on the third strike, the batter is out, the ball is dead and no runners may advance. (A "tag up" is when the runner waits until the fielder makes contact with a fly ball, touches the base she was on, and then advances as many bases as she can without being put out).
H. Base Runners Cannot Steal: There is no stealing of bases in slow pitch softball. Once the play is called dead, regardless of the location of the ball, the runners must hold their base.
I. Interference/Obstruction: Base runners always have the right of way on the base paths unless a defensive player is attempting to field a batted ball. If a runner is materially impeded by a defensive player (including a fielder standing on a base) who is NOT fielding a batted ball, obstruction shall be called at the completion of play (a delayed dead ball) and the runner who is impeded shall be awarded the base she is going to regardless of having been put out or not. If a runner interferes with a defensive player attempting to field a batted ball or otherwise makes contact with the ball before it passes any infielder other than the pitcher *, the runner shall be declared out immediately, the ball is dead and all runners return to the bases they previously occupied. (NOTE: a batter on an interference call is awarded first base unless she is the one committing the offense. Interference is more than "intimidation" and running in front of the fielder but it does not require contact with the ball to be called). (*If the ball has passed an infielder at the time contact with the ball occurs, but another player would still have had a clear play on the ball, interference still applies).
J. Courtesy Runners In situations where a base runner, after having safely reached a base, cannot proceed due to an injury or other physical problem that requires her immediate removal from active play, a manager may request a substitute base runner for the injured player. The substitute runner shall be the last person to have made an out, unless she is due up to bat next, in which case the person selected shall be the next to last person to have made an out. NOTE: Courtesy runners are not a right and are to be utilized to protect the safety and well being of players who may aggravate an injury if required to remain on the base and continue running. It is for this reason that having managers repeatedly request a courtesy runner for a player who is allowed to bat regardless of the claimed injury and then removing her after she successfully reaches first base is strongly disfavored by this organization. It is therefore highly recommended that opposing managers not give their consent for a courtesy runner when this rule is obviously being abused in such a manner.
Rule #11 - Dead Ball
A. The ball is dead and cannot be put in play when the following occurs:
1. A pitched ball strikes a batter;
2. A foul ball is NOT caught;
3. A batted ball strikes a runner while she is not on base. (NOTE: the batter in this situation shall be awarded first base unless she is the one struck by the ball while not within the batter's box);
4. An overthrown ball goes out of bounds;
5. If a ball is batted foul on a third strike;
6. If a batter steps out of the batter's box immediately before the pitch is thrown;
7. If interference is called on an offensive player;
8. If an umpire calls a base runner out for leaving a base prior to a pitch reaching home plate;
9. A pitched ball strikes the ground before being hit by the batter.
B. The ball is otherwise dead when it is securely held by a fielder, all play has been halted and the (lead) runner(s) stopped, regardless of where the ball may be on the (in)field. It is the responsibility of the umpire to clearly call "dead ball" or "time out" or some similar signal, to indicate completion of play. SIMPLY THROWING THE BALL TO THE PITCHER IS NOT SUFFICIENT TO STOP THE PLAY IF THE RUNNERS ARE OTHERWISE ADVANCING. While the ball is on the field and in bounds, managers and players should always assume the ball is in play unless a "dead ball" or "time out" has been called.
1. Once a play is stopped and the ball considered dead, play may NOT resume until the umpire is in position and indicates to the pitcher that she may deliver the ball. Any ball pitched when the umpire is not ready for it shall be a nullity and all offensive play resulting from the pitch canceled.
Rule #12 - Protests
There is no general provision for protests and applications for appeal of any game shall be limited to the following: If a discrepancy or question over a ruling by an umpire arises during a game, the manager shall call time out and settle it with that umpire and opposing manager immediately. In a situation where the misinterpretation of, or failure to follow a playing rule (not a judgment call and not a policy regulation) by the umpire directly and indisputably affects the outcome of the game and is not corrected by following the process above, an appeal for the replay of the game from the point of the infraction can be made. In such instance, any appeal must be made in writing to the Board within 24 hours following conclusion of the disputed game and must contain an explicit statement of facts describing the incident, which is agreed to by both managers. The appeal must also contain a statement that the grievance was timely brought to the attention of the umpire by showing him/her the rule as written and that he or she nonetheless failed to take corrective action. The Board, upon receipt of the appeal, will investigate the facts and by majority vote determine whether to grant or deny the appeal taken. Appeals that do not follow these procedures as directed will not be considered. There shall be no protests for incidents or calls made during tournament play.
Rule #13 - Time-outs
Teams shall be limited to no more than three charged time outs per game. A charged time out shall occur in any instance where the coach or manager asks to halt or delay the continuation of play in order to confer with a player or players or otherwise delays the continuation of play to direct placement of players on the field. A time-out must be requested of and granted by the umpire by the manager or coach only. No time-out will be allowed while a play is occurring. In all other instances, umpires, in their discretion, may call a time-out whenever circumstances may call for it. Exception: Base runners may request a time-out after safely reaching a base (assuming the ball is dead) in order to stand up after a slide or otherwise to adjust clothing or equipment.
Rule #14 - Official Softball Rules To Apply
Official slow-pitch softball rules as published by the Amateur Softball Association of America shall govern all plays and situations that are neither inconsistent with nor otherwise covered by the rules of Westchester Girls' Softball, Inc. End of season championship tournaments, with limited exceptions, (unlimited arc, free substitution, uniforms, etc.) shall be played in all divisions under standard applicable ASA rules. Home team position for all games and all rounds except the championship game(s) are to be determined by the best overall season record between the competing teams. For the championship game(s), home team shall be the team in the winning bracket. Exception: If the team in the winning bracket loses its first game, home team position for the second and deciding game shall be decided by a coin flip. NOTE: In the event two teams have identical season records, the tie-breaker rule (#7G) shall be used to determine home team position.
Rule #15 - Slaughter Rule
In both regular season and tournament play, the game shall be declared over if, at the end of 5 complete innings (4 ½ if the home team is ahead) a team trails by 10 runs or more. This rule shall not apply to any all star game or special event.
1. Mercy clause: In the event any team is losing by what appears to be an insurmountable number of runs (more than 15) prior to any application of the slaughter rule, the affected team manager may elect to terminate the game at any point. Ending the game under this rule may be accomplished by simply advising the opposing team manager and the officiating umpire that the losing team does not wish to continue.
Rule #16 - Declaration of Purpose
It is the declared intent of the governing board of Westchester Girls' Softball, Inc., that the above stated rules have been promulgated for the safe, competitive and orderly play of its participants. It is expected that these rules shall be followed by all, and no person, whether manager, coach or player has the right to willfully violate, disobey or otherwise disregard the spirit of the rules as they have been set forth. Moreover, all persons volunteering as umpires for this league are expected to and shall enforce the rules AS WRITTEN or as they may be reasonably interpreted. No umpire is authorized to apply rules not herein provided for and may not otherwise ignore, alter or substitute rules and/or standards of play of their own.
In all instances, the best interests of the players and their continued enjoyment of spirited but friendly competition in summer softball shall be the guiding principle of this organization.
||Westchester Girls' Softball, Inc.