2016 Rules and Regulations

3rd– 5th Grade League

Rule Highlights

  • League play will begin on Saturday, April 30 and continue through the end of June
    • Practices are at coaches’ discretion during week.
    • An invitational tournament and an All-Star game may be played, based on field availability, into the first couple weeks of July. Teams may be consolidated depending on player availability.
  • 6 teams (2 – Sheridan Park, 1 Harrison Park, 2 Hoyne, 1 NWLL)
  • Games played on Saturday mornings:
    • Games at Hoyne Park will start at 10:00am, Harrison Park – 9:30
    • Games at Sheridan Park will alternate between 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
  • The League shall use a standard white or yellow 11-inch diameter training softball, which includes a rubberized surface.
  • Coaches will pitch exclusively for first few weeks of games.
    • After the initial few weeks, coaches shall pitch the first two innings, and girls will pitch the balance of the game OR the girls will pitch the entire game.
    • This will be determined based on discussion between coaches.
  • Strikes will be called. Strike-outs may occur on swings and called third strikes. No walks shall occur.
  • 10 players in field but a continuous batting order will be in place (all girls bat in their designated order)
  • No stealing or dropped third strikes
  • A catcher will be used with full gear. Several balls will be handy to speed up game when catcher is unable to catch a pitched ball.
  • Umpires will be paid local high school softball and baseball players.


Set-up

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 30 feet.

Pitching Area

  • The pitching rubber is made of rubber and is level with the ground. It is two feet wide and six inches deep. The pitching rubber is placed in the middle of the pitching circle, which is 16 feet in diameter.

Bases  

  • Bases are 15 inches long by 15 inches wide. The bases must be securely fastened in position for fairness and to avoid risk of injury.
  • Where possible, a safety base will be used for 1st The orange half of the base shall be used by the runner and the white half shall be used by defensive player.

The Game

  • 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.
  • If a team forfeits, teams may still play a scrimmage game or practice during the allotted time.
  • A game shall consist of five innings, and shall not exceed 90 minutes 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 before their half of the inning before the third out.
  • A game is official if three innings are completed or if the home team has scored more runs before the third player is out in the last half of the fifth inning.

 

Umpires

  • Umpires will be paid high school softball and baseball players.

Teams

Defense

  • Each team consists of 10 players on the field when playing defense.
  • The defensive positions are as follows: pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, short center, third baseman, shortstop, left fielder, center fielder, right 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.
  • The ball is dead once the pitcher or coach pitch has possession of the ball in the pitching circle (approximately a 5ft radius from the pitching rubber).

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. One warning will be issued per team per game.
  • Players bat in the order listed on the batting line-up card; if players do bat out of order, the player who was supposed to bat is out.
  • If a player has not completed a turn at bat when her team’s half of the inning at bat has ended, she becomes the first batter of the next inning at bat.
  • There is no stealing and no dropped-third strike.
  • Players are required to slide only when there is a play at the base to avoid collision.

Scoring

  • The winning team is the one that scores the most runs.
  • A run is scored when a player safely completes a circuit around the bases, touching each base in turn before arriving at home plate.
  • A maximum of five runs is permitted within each inning per team, with a “NO LIMIT ON RUNS” in the final inning.

 

 

Outs

  • A batter is out if she throws the bat. No warnings shall be issued after the third game of the year.
  • A runner is out if she intentionally removes her helmet before she crosses home plate. The umpire shall determine whether the removal was accidental or intended. No warnings shall be issued.
  • Each team is entitled three outs per inning, with a maximum of 5 runs scored per inning.
  • A force out is a put out during which an offensive player who is being forced to advance is tagged out, or is put out by a fielder who holds the ball while touching the base toward which the forced runner is advancing.
  • A tag out is putting out an offensive player, who is not touching a base, by touching the runner with a live ball or with the glove or hand when the live ball is securely held by the fielder in the glove or hand touching the runner.
  • A batter is out if a ball is legally caught on the fly; the preceding runner interferes with an attempt to field the ball; there are three strikes against the batter, including if the third strike is a foul tip caught by the catcher; the batter misses the third strike and is hit by the ball; or 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 a 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 a thrown ball; being hit by a fair ball off base before the ball has touched or passed a fielder.
  • Runner may advance to the next base if she is more than half way to said base when ball is in possession of pitcher/coach pitcher.

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 a 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

  • This is a slow-pitch
  • For the first few weeks of games, coaches will pitch exclusively unless each competing team’s coaches agree to an alternative plan.
  • Coach pitchers shall attempt to avoid interference with the ball once it is hit. It remains A LIVE BALL even if it hits the coach pitcher.
  • Strikes will be called. No walks shall occur. If a girl pitches 4 balls, then the opposing coach returns to pitch to their batter. The player/pitcher may return to pitch for the next batter.
  • If a girl “walks” 3 batters in a row, then a new pitcher should be assigned.
  • If a batter is hit by a pitched ball the batter shall be awarded first base.
  • If a pitched ball bounces and then hits the batter, this is considered a ball and the runner is not awarded first base.
  • If a girl hits 2 batters in an inning, she must be removed as pitcher and may not return as a pitcher for that game. NOTE: Hitters cannot be hit by a pitch in the strike zone.
    • She may, however, play elsewhere in the field for that game.
  • Each team’s pitcher may pitch for three innings or 9 consecutive outs.
  • 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.
  • The pitcher may take one step that must be forward, toward the batter, and simultaneous with the delivery.
  • 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.

 

 

 

Additionally

  • The runner may also advance to the next base as directed by the umpire 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.

Equipment

Uniforms

  • The official uniform (including uniform jersey, and/or shorts/pants, visible undergarments, socks, caps, or head-wear) may bear only a single manufacturer’s logo or trademark.
  • Uniform sleeve lengths may vary, but the sleeves of each individual player should be approximately the same length and shall not be ragged, frayed, or slit.
  • 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 ideally with a face-mask 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.
  • The catcher shall wear a head protector and protective mask, as well as 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.
  • No jewelry shall be worn by any player. Players with recently pierced ears may cover studs with bandages.

Ball

  • League shall use a standard white or yellow 11-inch diameter training softball, which includes a rubberized surface.
  • NEW game balls will be supplied by the designated home team for each game. Game balls will stay with home team upon completion of each game.

Bat

  • Bats should be a smooth cylinder with a knob.
  • A bat cannot be more than 2¼ 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, the pitcher, and the catcher.

Footwear

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

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 are 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.

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.