Helena Girls Softball Association (HGSA)
Minor, Major & Senior Fastpitch Rules & Guidelines
Revised April 2012
HGSA recognizes all current ASA Junior Olympic rules with the following modifications for league play:
1. Divisions - HGSA Leagues are divided by grade currently enrolled rather than age:
Minor - 3rd & 4th graders
Senior - 7th, 8th & 9th graders
2. Official Game - Two complete innings shall constitute an official game if stopped due to weather.
3. Weather - No games will be played if the temperature drops below 40 degrees. The temperature shall be reviewed one hour prior and up to game time to determine if the game is called due to inclement weather. The Softball Hotline will be updated and coaches must notify the players.
4. Time Limits
- No new inning should be started after 1 hour 20 minutes of play - all games will end at 1 hour 30 minutes. If the inning is not completed when the time limit takes place, the official score will revert back to the previous complete inning. League games may end in a tie.
5. Numbers of Players – Teams are allowed to play with a minimum of eight players without a forfeit being declared. No ‘out’ is declared for the missing player when her turn at bat comes. Coaches may fill their team as follows:
Minor League – teams may use other registered league players as a substitute to fill a team up to nine players. The players must be Minor League players.
Major League – Teams may use other registered Major league players from any team, to fill a team up to nine players.
Senior League – Teams may use any other registered Senior League player from any team, or may use Major League players at coach, umpire and parent discretion to fill a team up to nine players.
6. Forfeit - The first game scheduled for the night will have a maximum 10-minute window before a forfeit will be declared if there are not enough players. The second game scheduled during the evening will not have a ten minute window, so if the team is short players at game time it will result in a forfeit. Game time for the second game is immediately following the end of the first scheduled game or original scheduled time, whichever is greater.
7. Batting Order - A team’s batting order will consist of all players present at the game. Players arriving late may be added at the bottom of the batting lineup. Players having to leave before the game is over for any reason are removed from the lineup without penalty.( No out taken )
8. Substitution - Free substitution will be allowed, meaning that any defensive player, including the pitcher, may be removed and returned to any defensive position later in the game.
9. Minimum Play
- All players must play an inning of defense before the third inning is completed. Coaches are encouraged to provide equal playing time for all players.
10. Stealing Home - Majors and Seniors will be allowed to steal home. Minors cannot steal home. Players are encouraged to slide at home when there is a play at the plate.
11. Crashing into a fielder with the ball. (Interference) - In an effort to prevent injury and protect the defensive player attempting to make a play on a funner, a runner must be called out when they remain on their feet and crash into any player who is holding the ball and waiting to apply a tag. To prevent the out furling, the runner may slide, jump over the defender holding the ball, go around the defender or return to the previous base touched. If the act is determined to be flagrant, the offender is ejected. A runner may slide into the fielder.
12. Drop Third Strike/Stealing -
Minors: Advancing to first on a dropped third strike is not permitted in Minor League play. Minor base runners are allowed to steal only one base at a time per pitch including an overthrow. Runners may advance in minors as far as they can on over throws of batted balls. The ball is live.
Major and Seniors can advance to first on a dropped third strike. Major and Senior base running will follow ASA rules with unlimited advancing on overthrows.
13. Eligibility to Run - Runners may leave the base when the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. Leaving early may result in the player being called out at the Umpire’s discretion.
14. Runs Allowed - There is no run limit for the Senior League. The Major League shall play with a seven run limit per inning, while the Minor League shall play with a four run limit per inning. In other words, any team may score no more than seven/four runs in any half inning regardless of the number of outs, or the number of runners on base. The half inning shall terminate upon the seventh/fourth crossing the plate. A game is over if either team leads by ten runs or more, after the fifth inning.
15. Cleats - Only rubber cleats are allowed.
16. Jewelry - No jewelry may be worn during a game, except medical alert bracelets and must be securely taped. A team will receive one warning and upon the next infraction of jewelry being worn will result in an out if the team is batting or runners advancing one base if the team is on the field.
17. Attire - Players must wear their shirts tucked into their pants. Hats & visors are optional during league games. Coaches should be advised that if worn by one player, they must be the same color and style in most tournament play. Plastic or metal items are not permitted as hair accessories.
18. Protective Gear/Equipment - The batter, the on-deck batter, players serving as base coaches, and all base runners must wear batting helmets with chinstraps and face guards, along with double earflaps. Catchers must wear an approved helmet, mask, shin guards, and chest protector. Any player warming up a pitcher, anywhere in the area of the field must wear a catcher’s mask. This is at practice or warm-up prior to a game. All equipment must be kept in or behind the dugout when not in use.
19. Minor League Development - HGSA’s goal is to develop both the pitchers and batters in the Minor league. If the pitcher throws four un-hittable balls to the batter and no strike has been recorded, the batter does not immediately have to ‘walk’. The offensive coach may come in and throw a maximum of three pitches to the batter. If the batter gets a hit, then the ball is live. If the ball is not hit or is not put into play in fair territory, then the batter will advance to first base as a walk. Exception: If the batter hits a pop fly into foul territory and it is caught in the air by the defensive player, the batter is out.
Teams will not be allowed to steal while the coach is pitching.
The pitcher will then return to pitch to the next batter. This rule only applies if it is obvious to the Umpire that the pitcher is new and trying to develop.
This rule is only in effect for the first 6 games of the season.
20. Please do not take infield before games on freshly prepared fields. Save them for the games. Warming up in the outfield and outside gates in helpful.