2016 Girls Major Softball Rules and Regulations for All Leagues

2016 Rules and Regulations Highlights

  • IMPORTANT: The following rules will govern play at ALL 6-8th grade softball parks for this league. We will not be playing “local rules”. Please make sure umpires from each park are up to speed on these rules. High school rules are in place.
  • Official games will begin on Tuesday, May 3rd and continue through late June/early July depending on playoffs.
    • Practices are at coaches’ discretion during week.
  • 10 teams (2 – Sheridan Park, 2 – Harrison Park, 2 – Hoyne, 2 – NWLL, 2 – Dvorak)
  • Players are 6th through 8th graders, and are eligible so long as they are 14 years old as of May 1st AND in 8th grade or younger (no high schoolers).
  • Rosters: By Saturday, 9am May 7th, final rosters (see attached) must be submitted to Rob Toenies at rtoenies@newark.com. He will then forward rosters to all teams. No player may be added to a roster after that date and no players may play for a team unless they are listed on a team’s final roster.
  • 9 defensive players, 3 outs, 5 run max/inning, unlimited runs-last inning, 6 inning game or 2 hrs.
  • Games played on Tuesday’s, Thursday’s and occasional Saturday’s:
    • Hoyne Park will start at 7:30pm – Tuesday and Thursday
    • Harrison Park will start at 11:30 – Saturday
    • Sheridan Park will start at 7:30pm – Tuesday and Thursday
    • Livingston Park will start at 5:45pm – Tuesday, Saturday – 2pm
    • Dvorak Park will start at 7:00pm – Tuesday and Thursday


 

Coach/Supervisor Contact Info

Dvorak Park

·  Norma Diaz – Coach/Key Contact

Ndiaz2123@yahoo.com

o  312-451-1626

·      Blake Fronczak

o   bcfronczak@cps.edu

 

Harrison Park

·  Sam Mora – Coach

o   sam.mora@att.net;

·  Albert Ramirez

o   a312ramirez@yahoo.com

 

Hoyne Park

·  Dan Gaichas – Key Contact

Dgaichas@kemper.com

o  773-851-2213

·  Fonz Medina

o  alphonsomedina@yahoo.com

 

NWLL

·  Charlie Gunn – Key Contact

chicagogunn@aim.com

o  312-927-8563

Sheridan Park

·  Rob Toenies – Coach/Key Contact

rtoenies@newark.com

o  773-516-3649

·  Chris Fletcher – Coach

o  fletchproperties@yahoo.com

o  312-404-5693

Set-Up

Players

  • Players are 6th through 8th graders, and are eligible so long as they are 14 years old as of May 1st AND in 8th grade or younger (no high schoolers).

The Field

  • The softball field consists of an infield diamond and an outfield territory that may or may not be enclosed by a fence. Four bases that mark the diamond are 60 feet apart. The distance of the outfield fence varies, but the recommended dimensions are 200 feet down the foul lines and 205 feet center field. The pitching distance is 40 feet for the Senior Division.

 

The Game

  • Teams shall be allowed a 15 minute forfeit time and shall be allowed to play with 8 players. An out shall be called each time around the order for the 9th batter. A team is allowed to play with 7 players minimum. In this case, an out shall be called each time around the order for both missing players. At the beginning of the game, the coach of the team with 7 players shall designate the 2 spots in the batting order where the 2 automatic outs will occur. This will be communicated to the umpire and the coach of the other team.
  • If a player arrives late to the game, player shall be allowed to enter the game provided that the players team has not completed one full round of the batting order. If the players team has completed one full round of the batting order, player shall not be allowed to enter the game.
  • A Senior Division game shall consist of six innings, and shall not exceed two hours from the actual start time.
  • The umpire shall have discretion to declare “last inning” at the top of an inning, thereby allowing for unlimited runs in said inning.
  • A tied game continues into “extra innings” until one side has scored more runs at the end of a completed inning, or if the home team scored more runs during their half of the inning before the third out.
  • Games are often called off due to poor weather conditions or darkness. If the game does not reach official status, it is resumed from the point of its interruption at a later scheduled date.
  • A game is official if four innings are completed or if the home team is winning after the top of the fourth.

 

Scores

  • Games scores must be reported to Rob Toenies by email within 48 hours of completion
  • Scores and standings will be posted on the NWLL website.


Teams

Defense

  • Each Team consists of nine players on the field when playing defense.
  • The defense positions are as follows: pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, left fielder, right fielder, center fielder.
  • Pitchers and catchers must stand in their prescribed positions.
  • Other players cover specific territories in the field, but may adjust their positioning depending on the batter or game situation but must remain in fair territory.
  • The ball is dead once the pitcher has possession of the ball in the pitching circle.

Offense

  • A continuous batting order shall be in effect. Players may be added to the line-up so long as all batters on the line-up have not yet batted. All players on the order must bat or take an out (unless injured during the game and removed from the line-up).
  • Lead-offs are not allowed, and the runner is out if she does so after one warning for the team.
  • Players bat in the order listed on the Batting Line-up card; if players bat out of order, traditional rules apply.
    • Example: The batter has a 1-1 count and the defensive coach realizes the batting team is batting out of order. He goes to the ump and the batting team agrees they have batted out of order. What happens? Is the batter out? Answer: The batter is not out! The correct batter can assume the count and continue. If the defensive coach had waited for the batter to complete her at-bat and then raised the issue before the next pitch, the batter (who should have batted) would have been called out and everything the batter (who was incorrectly up) did would have been nullified. This is what’s known as the defensive option. If you are the offensive team and you realize you are batting out of order, call time out and then get the correct batter in there. If you are the defensive team, wait before exercising your option. So if the 6th batter should have been up, but the 7th batter mistakenly batted and hit a single, and the defensive coach appeals before the first pitch to the next batter, then an out would be called on the 6th batter and the 7th batter would come to bat.
  • If a player has not completed a turn at bat when her team’s half of the inning at bat had ended, she becomes the first batter of the next inning at bat.


 

  • Late Season 2014 Batting Order Clarifications:
    • We play a continuous batting order in this league.  Players can be subbed in and out of various defensive positions, but the continuous order stands.  Players may be added to the line-up so long as all batters on the line-up have not yet batted. Once through the batting order once, that order is locked in.  All players on the order must then either bat or take an out (unless injured during the game and removed from the line-up).
    • CLARIFICATION: We do not play the typical high school softball rules where a team starts 9 in a batting order, has 12 players at the game, and substitutes players into the 9 person batting order while also taking a defensive position.

 

  • Players may attempt to steal when the ball crosses the plate with the EXCEPTION that the runner may not steal home on a wild pitch or an overthrow from the catcher back to the pitcher. Another exception would be in the event a runner is on third and a runner is on first, and that runner on first tries to steal second, the catcher can throw down to second without fear of the runner on third trying to steal home. Our goal is to develop catchers. Aside from those cases, runners may advance home on a play or overthrow to any base. In such overthrows the ball is live.
  • Late Season 2014 Clarification on Stealing home:
    • Overall, there is no stealing of home.  Here are some situational clarifications…
      • Player on first and third. Player on first attempts to steal second, runner on third CANNOT go home.
      • Player on second…attempts to steal third. Catcher over throws third base…runner CANNOT go home.
      • Player on third…dropped third strike. Cather throws to first base…runner on third CAN go home. This is not stealing…the ball has been put in play, so the catcher must decide about holding the runner on third or trying to throw the batter out at first.
      • Bases full and two outs. Dropped third strike…player on third CAN go home. Batter is out if throw beats batter to first OR if a player possessing ball steps on home before runner on third touches the plate.
      • Tina’s additional question: Runner on first steals second, and there’s an overthrow to second. Runner makes it to third and then home on a series of overthrows. Does she go back to third?
        • Answer: If the fielders are making the throw to third, the runner CAN advance home.
          • Reasoning: the inability to advance on a fielder’s overthrow was enforced when they were much younger. That was to teach them how to make that throw without being penalized. The fielders should be able to make a strong throw at this age. Now the only player we are protecting or encouraging to make a throw is the catcher.
        • The runner may also advance to next base when the batter is awarded a base and preceding bases are occupied, when a fielder obstructs a runner, when a fielder illegally stops a ball, and when the ball is overthrown into foul territory and ruled out of play.
        • Players are NOT required to slide only when there is a play at the base to avoid collision. Runners must avoid collision and shall be called out if a collision occurs.
        • Dropped third strike shall apply. Batter shall be called out if 1st base is occupied, runner at 1st advances at her own risk. The ball must be caught on a fly. A bounced ball caught by the catcher is still a dropped third strike.
        • The ball remains live after ball 4.

Scoring

  • A maximum of five runs is permitted within each inning per team; excluding the last inning, in which the runs are unlimited.
  • The slaughter rule shall be in effect if the home team is winning by a 12 run margin after 3 1/2 innings (top of the 4th). The rule is applied when the visiting team is ahead by 12 runs at the close of the 4th inning.

Outs

  • A batter is out if she throws the bat. Each team gets 1 warning, and the umpire will judge as to what constitutes a thrown bat.
  • A runner is out if she intentional removes her helmet before she crosses home plate. The umpire shall determine whether the removal was accidental or intended. No warnings shall be issued.

 

  • A batter is out if:
    • a ball is legally caught on the fly;
    • the ball is popped up to the infield with less than two outs and there are runners on first and second, or first, second, and third base (infield fly rule);
    • the preceding runner interferes with an attempt to field the ball.
    • there are three strikes against the batter when fewer than two teammates are out and the first base is occupied, and the third strike is caught by the catcher;
    • the batter misses the third strike and is hit by the ball;
    • the batter bunts the third strike into foul territory.
  • A runner is out when she:
    • is forced out;
    • tagged out;
    • when having left a base before a fly ball is caught, the runner fails to return to that base before it or the runner is tagged by the fielder with the ball;
    • running more than three feet from a direct line between the bases to avoid being tagged out (running out of the baseline);
    • overtaking a preceding runner; deliberately interfering with an attempt to field the ball or with thrown ball;
    • being hit by a fair ball before the ball has touched or passed a fielder.

Strike Zone

  • The strike zone is the area over any part of home plate, which is between the batter’s armpits and the top of the knees when the batter assumes a natural batting stance. The umpire shall determine the batter’s strike zone if they’re employing an unusual batting stance.
  • A strike is called when the ball enters the strike zone and the batter does not swing, or if the batter swings and misses.
  • A ball is a ball pitched outside of the strike zone and not swung at by the batter.
  • With less than two strikes, a batted ball landing in foul territory is also strike.
  • With two strikes, a foul ball does not result in strike three (an out) unless it is a foul bunt or is a foul tip, which is caught by the catcher.
  • A foul tip is a batted ball that goes sharply and directly from the bat to the catcher’s mitt and is legally caught by the catcher. It is a strike and the ball remains live. The batter is only out if there are two strikes.

Pitching

  • Each pitcher may pitch for a total of three innings. One pitch constitutes an inning. Each pitcher may be removed one time. Upon the second removal, she may not return to pitch.
  • The pitcher must stand with both feet touching the pitching rubber.
  • She must face the batter with her shoulders aligned with first and third base, holding the ball in front of her body.
  • The delivery starts when one hand is taken off the ball.
  • High school rules allow the pitcher to step backwards
  • The pivot foot may remain in contact with or may push off and drag away from the pitching rubber prior to the front foot touching the ground, as a long as the pivot foot remains in contact with the ground and with-in the two-foot width of the pitching rubber.
  • The ball must be delivered underhand, and the hand must be below the hip, with the wrist no farther from the body than the elbow.
  • The release of the ball and the follow-through of the hand and wrist must be in forward direction, past the straight line of the body.
  • There should be no more than one revolution in a windmill delivery, but you don’t need to use a windmill delivery.
  • Coaches are allowed one trip to the mound per inning and must pull the pitcher on the second visit in an inning.
  • A pitcher shall be replaced if she strikes 2 batters with a pitch in the same inning or a total of 4 batters in one game. She may not return to the mound but may play other defensive positions. However, all batters must attempt to move out of the way of a pitch.
  • If a pitcher pitches a ball and it bounces and hits the batter, and the batter makes an attempt to avoid getting hit, batter is awarded first base. If a pitcher pitches a ball and it bounces and hits the batter, and the batter swings and misses, a strike shall be called and the batter is not awarded first base.

Equipment

Uniforms

  • Registered Players may wear a shirt of their team’s color if their assigned jersey is unavailable.

Head Gear

  • Caps, visors, or headbands may be worn.
  • A batting helmet is mandatory for each batter, on–deck batter, base runners, and players in the coach’s boxes. The batting helmet shall have extended earflaps that cover both ears and temples.
  • Batting helmets that are broken, cracked, dented, or that have been altered are prohibited from use.
  • The catcher shall wear a head protector and protective mask. A catcher should also wear a body protector and protective shin guards. Failure to wear the required catcher’s equipment when ordered to do so by the umpire results in the player to be ejected from the game.

Ball

  • Senior Division shall use a standard white or yellow 12 inch diameter softball.

Bat

  • The bats should be a smooth cylinder with a knob.
  • A bat cannot be more than 2 ¼ inches in diameter at its thickest part and no more than 34 inches in length.
  • A bat shall have a safety grip of cork, tape, or composition material.
  • The grip shall extend a minimum of 10 inches, but no more than 15 inches, from the handle end of the bat.

Glove

  • Gloves must be worn by all fielders, pitcher, and back catcher.

Footwear

  • Players are required to wear athletic shoes.
  • Shoe sole or heel protections other than the standard shoe plate are prohibited.
  • Metal cleats and metal toe plates are prohibited.

Playoffs

  • Playoffs will take place at the end of the season with the top 8 winning percentages making the play offs, and seeded accordingly. The point was mentioned on our initial call that every team should make the playoffs. Up for discussion.
  • Tie breakers will be applied in the following order:
    1. Head to head competition
    2. Head to head run differential
    3. Total runs scores for season
    4. Total runs against for season


Code of Conduct

Players

  • Players shall at all times demonstrate good sportsmanship. This includes, but is not limited to, their participation in cheers. Teams are allowed to motivate their teammates and express team pride through positive cheers. Cheers which are intended to demoralize, distract, or insult the opposing team are strictly prohibited. Umpires shall determine if cheers are of a negative nature and shall issue a team warning. Umpires then have the authority to remove players who antagonize the opponent after being directed to stop.

Coaches

  • All Coaches and Assistant Coaches shall model good sportsmanship for all of the leagues’ players. At no time will abusive and/or profane language be tolerated. Umpires shall determine if a coach’s behavior and/or language during a game is excessive and shall issue a warning. Umpires then have the authority to remove said Coach who does not correct his or her behavior after being directed to stop.
  • Only Coaches may approach an Umpire to challenge a call. They may not continue to press a point if the Umpire has declared that they stand by their ruling.
  • All protests must be lodged by a Coach at the time of the alleged infraction. This is done by notifying the home plate umpire, who in turn shall notify the opposing manager. Once a succeeding pitch or play occurs, the right to protest is lost. A written protest must then be submitted to the league office within 24 hours of the game in question
    • All protests will be heard by all park supervisors with a ruling made within 7 days.

Spectators

  • Spectators are encouraged to support their players in a positive fashion; therefore, abusive language, conduct, violence, or threat of violence by spectators will not be tolerated.
  • Coaches are responsible for the orderly conduct of spectators and are expected to intercede when they notice or are informed that their spectators are behaving inappropriately.
  • A spectator’s gross misbehavior and/or refusal to comply with an Umpire’s directive may result in forfeiture of the game.
  • Chronic misbehavior by a parent may result in a player’s removal from the League.