1- PURPOSE OF THE SILVER LEAGUE
2- PERSONAL LIABILITY
3- DRESS CODE
4- SSUSA RULES
5- THE PLAYING FIELD
7- THE GAME
8- ROUND ROBIN PLAY
11- BASE RUNNING
12- APPEAL PLAYS
13- GENERAL RULES
14- REGULAR SEASON DIVISION CHAMPIONS
15- SEASON ENDING DIVISION PLAYOFFS
17- PITCHER'S SCREEN RULES
1. PURPOSE OF THE SILVER LEAGUE: The purpose of the Silver League is to give men 43 years of age and older the opportunity to compete in the great game of softball within the guidelines of fun, fitness and competitive sportsmanship.
2. PERSONAL LIABILITY:
The Silver League does not provide liability insurance. It is the responsibility of each player to purchase insurance to protect himself.
3 DRESS CODE:
A. Complete Silver League uniform for the current year must be worn for each game. The uniform will include:
1) Any approved Silver League hat.
2) Any current year assigned Silver League jersey. (Subs, non-playing managers, and coaches can wear any silver league team jersey.)
3) a. League approved solid light gray (matching the gray of the hats) shorts, or solid light gray softball/baseball pants. No shorts or pants with strips, designs, or patterns. No unhemmed cutoffs. Players cannot start a game with pants, shorts, or shirts with holes in them, unless they were “damaged” in the first game of a doubleheader.
b. Managers are responsible for their players following and complying with the Silver League Dress Code. If proper uniform is not worn, the player will be considered “out of uniform”. He will be deemed ineligible to play by the Umpire prior to the start of the game. The umpire will have final say pertaining to the uniform dress code. If eligibility is re-established, the player will be placed in the last spot in the batting order, or take a defensive position the following inning.
c. The only exception to the Dress Code will involve unsafe playing conditions such as glasses fogging, sun sensitivity, etc. Such rulings will be made by the umpire.
4) Shoes must be worn. Molded plastic and/or hard rubber cleats are acceptable. No metal spikes.
Exception: An injured player that is not playing may coach with just the approved team jersey and an approved league hat.
NOTE: Players must present a good appearance at all times. Any perceived intentional/persistent Dress Code violation should be referred to Division Representative and/or the Board for action.
4. SSUSA RULES:
Silver League rules will supersede SSUSA rules. If no Silver League rule covers a problem, or protest, you will refer to the current SSUSA Rule Book.
5. THE PLAYING FIELD
A. Commitment Line – A commitment line thirty (30) feet from the scoring line or scoring plate will be used. Once a runner’s foot touches the ground on, or past this line, the runner is committed to advancing to the scoring line, or scoring plate, and may no longer be tagged out.
EFFECT: Tag of the runner by a defensive player will not be allowed. The runner will be called safe. The runner will be called safe; the ball remains LIVE: and the runner is NOT required to cross the scoring line, or touch the scoring plate. NOTE: If a runner re-crosses the commitment line for any reason in an attempt to return to third base, he will be declared out, and the ball remains LIVE.
(2017-18 SSUSA Rules, 8.8)
B. All bases are 70 feet in distance in all divisions.
C. First Base/Double Bag – A double bag of equal size totaling (15”x30”) shall be used at first base. The double portion of the bag shall be orange in color and be in foul territory abutting the original. If there is a play on a batter/runner going to first base, the batter/runner must touch the orange portion of the double bag extending into foul territory. The batter/runner will be called out if he fails to do so,
Exception: If in the umpire’s judgement, the batter/runner is attempting to avoid a collision. This is not an appeal play.
D. Once the batter/runner reaches first base safely, the double base shall be treated as one base. The fielder and/or runner may use any portion. (See Rule 11.E. for more detail.)
A. Prior to the start of the game both managers and the umpire will discuss ground rules.
B. Each team is responsible for keeping its own score book, except in instances where scorekeepers are provided. Both scorekeepers must agree on the score at the end of every half inning in which the score changes.(Appropriate managers’ by Division rules will turn in the final scores.)
C. Managers will exchange line-ups with the opposing manager/scorekeeper 10 minutes prior to the scheduled starting time.
7. THE GAME
A. Length – All Blue, Gold and Silver Division games are scheduled for 7 innings, or 1 hour and 30 minutes in duration. At 70 minutes after the umpire starts the game, and the next inning is not the seventh inning, the umpire shall declare the next inning to be the last inning. Makeup games resulting in a double header may be shortened to 6 innings when BOTH managers agree, and confirm with the umpire prior to the start of the game.
B. All Red and White Division games are scheduled for 7 innings, or 1 hour and 15 minutes duration. At 60 minutes after the umpire starts the game, and the next inning is not the seventh inning, the umpire shall declare the next inning to be the last inning.
C. Completed Games – A completed game is 7 innings, 6.5 innings if the home team is ahead. A game called by the umpire due to time, darkness or bad weather, will be a complete game if 5 innings (4.5 innings if the home team is ahead) have been played.
D. Suspended Games – A game stopped because of bad weather or darkness with the score tied at the last complete inning, will be a Suspended Game. If the game is suspended after 5 innings and the score is tied after the last complete inning, the game will be completed from the point of suspension .If a game is suspended prior to being a complete game it will be picked up at the point of suspension. If a game is suspended after the completion of 7 innings and the score is tied, the tie breaker procedure will be used when the game is resumed.
(If lighting is seen by anyone at any of the SL games being played at that time, there will be a minimum of 20 minutes delay on all fields. Any additional lighting sighted will start another minimum 20 minutes delay.)
E. Five Run Rule – When a team scores 5 runs in its half inning, their turn at bat is ended. This Five Run Rule does not apply to the 7th inning or beyond, or to a last inning imposed by a time limit.
1) All Divisions will play under 5 home run then out rule. It is not necessary to advance to the next base, or touch first base on home runs.
2) The team that hits a home run must retrieve the ball if it can be retrieved.
3) All home runs, hit over the fence, will count towards the team’s total of five per game.
G. Tie Breaker – At the conclusion of the seventh inning or last inning, if the game is tied, the managers and the umpire will meet at home plate and review the Tie Breaker Procedure. Each team will start their half inning by placing a designated runner on second base. ANY player participating in the game may be the designated runner. This player may not be used as a courtesy runner for the duration of that inning. This player may be the designated runner only once in any extra inning game. This procedure will continue each extra inning.
H. FLIPPING - If the visitors are ahead by ten or more runs going into the last inning, the teams shall switch home and visitor status for the last inning.
I. MERCY RULE - If a team is ahead by 15 or more runs at any time after five innings have been completed, or four and one half with home team ahead, the game shall be declared a complete game.
J. League Ball – All Divisions will be assigned game balls by the Silver League Board.
K. INTENTIONAL WALKS - Each manager will select TWO players that CANNOT be intentionally walked in innings 1-5. The umpire is to be notified prior to the start of the game which players are designated. They CAN walk if they have had at least ONE strike pitched to them. That means if the count is 3-0 and a strike is pitched and they don't hit it, they can be walked on the following pitch. If they are walked without getting a strike, they get second base on the walk, forcing any runners ahead of them to the next base. If the runner is not forced, he does not move. After inning 5, those two players are treated as any other batter.
8. Round Robin Play
A. If Round Robin scheduling is used in a Division, the team with the better won-loss record shall have the choice of home or visitor in the Round Robin game.
B. Double header divisions will alternate home and visitor on doubleheaders during Round Robin play with the team having the better won-loss record having the choice of home or visitor.
A. Number of Players – Red and White teams must have 8 Players available to start. Gold, Blue and Silver teams must have 9 players available to start. If a team has less than minimum players to start on time, a grace period of 10 minutes for a late start time will be permitted. If a team is using the grace period to acquire their minimum number of players, that time is considered part of the game time. If a team has the minimum number of players to start, the opposing team may provide a catcher. (See Rule E., 8.)
B. If an injury, sickness or any other reason except for being ejected from the game causes a team to fall to the minimum number of defensive players (8 – Red, White, 9 – Gold, Blue, and Silver) – during the game- the opposing team will provide a catcher.
C. Red, White and Silver Divisions- Maximum of 10 players in Red and White may play defense. Maximum of 11 players in Silver may play defense.
The Red and White division Managers are to call the PM Sub Coordinator, 24 hours prior for a 10th player, if the manager sees he will be short.
The Silver division Managers are to call the PM Sub Coordinator, 24 hours prior for an 11h player if the manager sees he will be short.
D. Gold, Blue and Divisions- Maximum of 11 Players may play defense.
Managers are to call the AM Sub Coordinator, by 6:00 PM the day prior to the Blue or Gold game for an 11th player, if the manager sees he will be short.
E. Substitute Players – Maximum of two temporary subs per team for any regular season game.
1. All substitutes must be age eligible to play in the division they’re substituting in and must be in a Silver League uniform.
2. Division Representative and Sub Coordinator will have a complete roster of all teams.
3. Temporary subs will only be assigned by the appropriate Sub Coordinator.
4. To request a sub, a team must be one under the allotted playing number of fielders for that division. That means that a team that is allowed 11 fielders must be down to 10 players before getting a sub.
5. The appropriate Sub Coordinator will have the requesting team give him the names of the players that will be missing the game.
6. The Sub Coordinator will try to let both managers know prior to the start of the game of the subs that will be allowed for that particular game, along with the name(s) of player(s) missing. If any illegal sub enters the game, it will go as a forfeit. The assigned sub is only for that game.
7. If a sub has been assigned and one of the players that was supposed to miss the game shows up, the sub will play the entire game. The player who was not to be there will only play a maximum of three innings. However, this player will continue to bat the entire game. The regular player may bat anywhere in the lineup.
8. If a manager fails to notify the Sub Coordinator prior to the game (or a player(s) doesn’t show), no player will be assigned. Only subs assigned by the Sub Coordinator may be used. If a team has the minimum number of players they can get a defensive catcher from the opposing team. If the short team’s manager chooses to do this, the spot in the batting order after the last actual batter will be an automatic out. Managers will have the option of playing short-handed on defense, or having the automatic out in their batting order. If an additional player shows up for the short-handed team after the game has begun, they will be placed in the last place in the order. The automatic out will no longer exist.
9. All subs (not permanent) must bat last in the batting order.
10. NO subs - other than permanent ones assigned prior – will be allowed in any playoff or championship games
11. Permanent sub: If a player is injured and can’t play the rest of the season, he must notify his Manager in writing as soon as possible. After receiving the request, the Manager will have two weeks to forward a request to the Sub Coordinator and Division Representative, for a Permanent Sub for the team. The Sub Coordinator and the Division Rep. will TRY to assign an appropriate player of equal talent, or position, to that team. This player will come from the established league substitution list, or late registration list, and the original player will be removed from the roster, thus becoming ineligible to play the rest of the season without Board action. The permanent sub becomes a regular member of that team’s roster. Permanent subs must be requested prior to the League championship game or the league tournament. A team may request a permanent sub when the team’s active players drops to the following numbers: Red -10, White -10, Silver - 11, Gold - 11, Blue - 11.
EFFECT: Failure to meet the requirements of the rule will mean the team will play shorthanded the rest of the season, and in any division playoffs
12. If any division has an odd number of teams, that division can use players from the “bye” team’s roster for subs, if approved by the Division Rep.
F. Defensive Players – Free substitution is permitted. Defensive players may leave the game and return later at the same or different positions. Team managers are responsible for each team member playing at least three full defensive innings per seven inning game. Failure by managers to comply with the 3 out of 7 defensive innings rule may result in a protest, or action by the Board of Directors up to, and including the game being forfeited.
G. Injured Player – A player injured during the course of the game and unable to continue to play will NOT be declared out when it is his turn to bat. The other players shall move up a line in the batting order. That player can NOT return to that game, but can play the 2nd game of a double header. A player who declares himself unable to play at the beginning of the game is ineligible to enter the game after it started. Any player unable to play defense shall not bat.
A. All team members reporting healthy enough to play the game will be in the batting rotation. Any player not able to start a game, for health reasons, will not be allowed to participate in that game in any way, other than coaching.
B. Players arriving after the game has started shall be added after the last batter in the original starting batting order.
C. An intentional walk is done verbally with the umpire.
D. Bunting is prohibited.
E. A batter will be called out on the first foul ball after two strikes.
F. Balls and strikes are judgment calls and as such cannot be appealed.
G. Any UN-hit, legal pitch hitting home plate, or the mat, will be called a strike.
H. A strike zone mat (21” W x 34” D x ½” thick) shall be used.
I. Bats imprinted with “BPF 1.21” may be used.
J. Titanium alloy and Miken Ultra I bats have been ruled to be illegal. Bats imprinted with “Exceeds BPF 1.21” are not legal.
K. Wooden bats marked “Official Softball” and meet the 2.25” ring test shall be considered a legal bat.
L. Any player ejected for using an illegal bat will be suspended for that game and one more.
M. Bat warmers are allowed, but must be kept on the outside of the field fence, or in the dugout.
N. In all divisions batters coming to the plate will start with a 0 and 0 count, with NO foul to waste.
O. Batters must be prepared to bat within ten (10) seconds after the umpire says “play ball” or “batter up”. If, in the umpire’s judgement, there in an unnecessary delay by the batting team, a strike(s) can be called on the batter
(Players from the team batting team must be in the dugout, or outside the fence area, unless they are coaching a base, “on deck”, or serving as a “backup” catcher.)
P. Blue Division only
1) If a batted fair ball that reaches, and touches, the grass in the outfield (in any way), the batter-runner is entitled to first base without liability to be put out. If the batter-runner advances beyond first base, the exemption is canceled and is he liable to be put out. All other runners are liable to be put out during the play. If infield fly rule is called the batter is out even if the ball lands on the grass.
2) There will be an arc line 170 feet from home plate in fair territory in the outfield. No outfielders may start, or move, in front of this line until the batter hits the ball. Any outfielder on the grass must be behind the arc. If an outfielder does move in front of the arc to illegally field a batted ball there will be a delayed dead ball after the play has ended by the umpire.
Effect: a) Batter will be awarded 1st base; runners on base will advance one base. No putouts made during the play will stand.
b) If the batter and/or runners advance more than one base during the play, the batting team’s manager will have the option of accepting the play as it finished.
EXCEPTION: ONE of the five infielders is allowed anywhere on the grass between the cut of the grass and the arc. That one infielder is not considered to be an outfielder when so positioned.
3) Six infielders on the dirt is NOT allowed.
11. Base Running
A. A courtesy runner may be used after a batter has safely reached, or is awarded, first base – at the request of the batter turned runner, not the manager. The batter is allowed to remain in the game. The batter/runners, who wants a courtesy runner must advise the umpire, after being awarded first base, or after reaching a base. This must be done prior to the first legal pitch to the next batter. If not done then, a courtesy runner cannot be used until that next batter has completed his at bat.
B. Teams in the Red, White, Silver, and Gold Divisions will be allowed three (3) courtesy runners per offensive team per inning. Blue Division teams will be allowed four (4) courtesy runners per inning. An individual may only be a courtesy runner once each inning.
Exception: If a team, in an “open inning”, bats through its entire order the three (3) courtesy runners can be reapplied.
Example: The 5th batter in the order leads off the “open inning”, and comes up again in the same inning. Then the “three courtesy runners per inning” starts over for that inning. This is true for any “last” or extra innings.
C. In the event the courtesy runner on base is scheduled to bat, an automatic out will be declared. The runner is out at the base he reached and he may take his turn at bat, unless it creates the third out.
D. A courtesy runner may not be replaced with another courtesy runner except for an injury causing the permanent removal of the original courtesy from the game.
E. Any runner must hold his base, or his “safety option” (explained in “Exception” below) until the batter makes contact with the ball. Runners should not be called out if a batter swings and misses. Runners should return promptly to their base when required.
Exception: There is an optional safety rule that can be used by runners on first or third base. They do not have to be on the base. They can go as far into foul territory as they want as long as they are even with their base and at a right angle to the foul line. BUT they can NOT advance to second base or home plate without first retouching their base.
(Runners need to remember to “retouch” when a line drive or fly ball are involved. They can be “doubled up” prior to “retouch”)
F. A runner must make every effort to avoid colliding with opposing players while running the bases. If, in the umpire’s judgement, a runner misses a base to avoid a collision with a defensive player, the runner will not be called out. (See SSUSA Rule 8.6 and 8.7(4)
EFFECT: If any of the above procedures are violated and the runner is considered illegal, he will be called out.
G. A batter, after hitting a fair ball, cannot carry his bat any farther than half way up the first base line. For safety reason, if a batter - turned runner, does carry his bat past half way point, he will be called out.
12. APPEAL PLAYS
All appeal plays are governed by the playing rules and as such must be made before the next pitch or before all the fielders, including the pitcher, have crossed the foul line.
13. GENERAL RULES
A. Protests – A protest must be based on a misrepresentation or misapplication of the rules and not on the umpire’s judgment. It must be announced to the umpire prior to the next legal pitch. Only the manager and player involved can discuss the questionable play; others will be considered as misconduct. Any protest will be settled with the umpire during the game before play is resumed. If the protest cannot be settled at the game, a written protest must be submitted in writing to the Division Rep, or to the Board of Directors within 24 hours. A $20.00 protest fee should accompany the protest letter. The Silver League Vice President shall establish a protest committee upon receipt of a written protest and accompanying fee. If the protest committee rules against the protest, the money will be placed in the Silver League treasury. If the protest is upheld the $20.00 shall be returned. The protest committee will respond back, with a ruling, to those involved within 7 days of being notified by the Vice President.
If a protest is upheld, the game will be played from the point of the protest.
B. Misconduct – Misconduct is any act by a manager, coach, or player that brings discredit to the league.
1) The penalty for misconduct is ejection of the player(s) from the game, and the forfeit of his/their right to play in his team’s next game.
2) An ejected manager, coach, or player must leave the playing area.
3) All ejected players names must be provided to the Division Representative, immediately. He will then notify the opposing manager of the next scheduled game. Failure to not play in the next scheduled game will result in forfeiting of that game.
C. Gross Misconduct – Gross misconduct is pushing, shoving, striking, fighting, dangerous or violent play, or any other act by a manager, coach, or player involving an opponent, spectator, or umpire.
1) The penalty for gross misconduct is ejection from the game and suspension for a minimum of four games. The ejected player or players must leave the playing area.
2) The Silver League Board will have the discretion to impose an appropriate action and/or suspension based on the severity of the incident.
3) Players that are to serve a suspension will not serve that suspension until they are in “good standing” in the Silver League.
NOTE: The umpire’s judgement determines if misconduct, or gross misconduct has taken place. The umpires have the authority to forfeit a game, if, in their judgment, the offense warrants that action.
D. “Misconduct” not covered by the rules above can be handled under the Silver League By-Laws if brought to the Board’s attention.
E. Situations – If a player experiences a situation that he believes would inhibit his participation in the Silver League, he may ask that the situation be reviewed by the Grievance Committee (Appointed by the Vice President). This application and reason must be in writing.
F. Only managers and roster individuals are permitted in the dugouts.
14. REGULAR SEASON DIVISION CHAMPIONS
Division champions will be determined by a playoff between the winners of each half. If the same team is the winner of each half, they will be declared the division champion. The winner of the half is the team with the best win/loss record. If two or more teams are tied with identical records, the tie breaker will be as follows:
A. Head-to-head competition.
B. Run differential head-to-head.
C. Run differential overall.
Home team determination in playoff game will be by coin flip. League Championship games will have no time limit.
15. SEASON ENDING DIVISION PLAYOFFS
A. The Division Regular Season Champion will be omitted from the post season tournament, if a division has two (2) champions for the season.
B. If there is a division championship game, the loser of that game will be the number one seed for the post season tournament. All other teams will be seeded by using their overall regular season records. If two teams have identical records the tie breaker will be as shown in 14. A-B-C.
C. If there is no division championship game, all teams will be seeded by using their overall regular season records. If two teams have identical records the tie breaker will be used.
D. The higher seeded team will have their choice of home or visitors.
E. Regular season time limits will apply to all tournament games except for the championship game.
16. PITCHING and NET/SCREENS
A. All divisions will use a pitching net/screen.
B. Pitcher’s Delivery
1. The pitcher must throw from behind the screen, and deliver an underhand pitch OVER the screen while having at least one foot in CONTACT with the pitching rubber. Pitches not meeting the above standards will be called “illegal” by the umpire.
2. The pitcher must come to a full and complete stop with the ball in front of his body. He is required to deliver a pitch within ten (10) seconds after the batter is set in the batter box. If in the umpire’s judgement, the pitcher takes excessive time, a “ball” can be called for the batter.
3. Pitchers MUST REMAIN COMPLETELY BEHIND THE SCREEN UNTIL THE BALL IS HIT.
4. Repeated pitching infractions - but not limited to 1, 2, and 3, above – in the judgement of the umpire - may result in a warning to the pitcher. Repeated violations of any one rule, or combination of rules, can result in a second warning being issued.
EFFECT: After the second warning, the pitcher will be removed from the pitcher’s position for the rest of THAT game, but can remain in the game.
5. The catcher must remain within the lines of the catcher’s box until the pitched ball is batted, touches the ground or home plate/mat, or reaches the catchers box.
C. POSTION OF SCREEN
The screen must be fifteen feet (15’) directly in front of the pitching rubber. The screen cannot be moved from that position at any time during the game. If struck or knocked out of position it must be moved back to the proper position before the start of the next play. For definition “the Screen” includes the frame, stand, netting and any attachments.
D. BATTING RULES
1) A batted ball that strikes/hits any portion of the screen will be called a foul ball. This includes balls that hit the ground before hitting the screen.
2) A batted ball that strikes/hits any portion of the screen, if touched by a defensive player first is in play.
E. DEFENSIVE PLAYER’S THROWS
1) If a defensive player throws a ball that becomes entangled or lodged in any part of the screen, the umpire will call “time”. Runner(s) on base at the time of the throw will be awarded two bases (same as any “out of play” – over a fence, in the dugout, etc. – situation).
2) Any thrown ball deflecting OFF the screen will be in play.