Softball rules

Softball Rules

SUMMARY

  • 10 players on the field maximum including 7 men and 3 women -UNLIMITED FEMALES ALLOWED.
  • 8 players, including 1 woman required to start a game (not forfeit)
  • Modified arc pitching rules – arc must be between 6’ and 12’
  • ToneSports will provide certified umpires for every game
  • To encourage participation, teams may bat as many players as they want, but must not exceed an approximately 7:3

ratio of men to women (examples and details below)

  • No more than 3 men may bat in a row in the batting order
  • Intentional walks to a male batter with a female behind him in the batting order –
  • Intentional walk defined as 4 consecutive balls at the start of an at bat (4-0 count)
  • Male batter gets a two-base award. The female batter has choice of taking a walk or batting
  • No mercy rule. Teams play until the time limit
  • Teams will more than 1 forfeit with, not be eligible for the playoffs
  • Any unsportsmanlike behavior will result in that player/team being suspended/removed from participating in all

ToneSports leagues for one year

 

FORFEITS/GAME TIME

Please don’t forfeit. Your teammates and opponents count on you to have a full team and competitive game. Each team

must have at least 8 (eight) players including 1 (one) women to start a game. Game time is forfeit time. There is a 10-

minute grace period for early games only. Due to the extremely tight schedule, we strongly suggest arriving at the field

20-30 minutes before game time for warm-ups since the games must start on time to complete the game. *New forfeit

Rules*. Teams will more than 1 forfeit will not be eligible for the playoffs.

 

FORFEIT NOTIFICATION

If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, you MUST contact us by 3:30 pm on the day of the

game at drew@Tonesports.org or trevor@Tonesports.org. For Sunday games, we MUST be notified by 4PM on the

Friday before hand. If your decision is not made until after that time frame, you should still try to reach ToneSports, and

we will make efforts to contact the other team. If we can reach them in time to keep them from showing up, no extra

penalty. If your team forfeits twice in a season without notification; your team runs the risk of, not being able to

participate in ToneSports softball in the future.

There is no additional penalty if you show up short-handed (and need to add other ToneSports players to field a full team)

and have to forfeit the game, since you did make an effort to get a team to play. Once ToneSports is notified you are

forfeiting, it is official (you cannot change your mind), and the other team will be notified.

 

START OF THE GAME

Home team is listed second/on the bottom of the schedule. They will take the field first and use the first base benches.

Home team will also have the official scorebook. Each team is responsible for keeping the score and having its

scorebook in proper order. Before the start of the game, both coaches will meet at home plate to discuss the ground rules

with the umpire.

 

CLOCK

All games are seven innings or about 70-minutes (warm up time included); the last inning will start 10 – 15 minutes before

the next scheduled game. The umpire will enforce this rule and will make the call at the top of the final inning. Note: Due

to differing circumstances in each and every game, some games will finish short of the full 70 minutes while others might

run over the time limit. Please respect your umpire’s call in this matter. He/she must keep all games on time in fairness

to teams playing later games and due to Parks permit restrictions.

 

Please, no infield or batting practice before a game. Get to your games early enough to warm up on the side while the

previous game is still being played. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the games, as the subways are often

unpredictable and the fields are located 5-15 minutes away from the subway station. Two warm-up pitches between

innings and have your team hustle on and off the field since we are on a tight schedule. Have fun and please do not give

the umpires a hard time. Thanks for your cooperation.

Exception: A 10-minute grace period will be allowed for the first game only, but this will come out of the game time. The

umpire’s watch is the official game time. Umpires or the league supervisor may call an end or a postponement of a game

at any time due to time restrictions or weather conditions. No protests will be accepted concerning calling a game due to

time limit restrictions.

 

RAINOUT/TIME EXPIRATION DURING A GAME/INNING

If a rainout occurs while a game is in progress, 4 innings must be completed for the game to count. (If the home team is

ahead after the completion of the top of the 4th, this constitutes a complete game). The umpire’s clock is the game clock

and they will inform both teams when the game has started. No minimum number of innings for a complete game if the

time limit has been satisfied. If a rainout occurs before a game is considered a complete game, the game will be replayed

in its entirety. After your game is completed, please clear all benches ASAP and get to the bar. Whenever possible,

playoff games will be given 90 minutes for completion as opposed to the 70 minute regular season games. Should 7

innings not be completed by 90 minutes, the game can be extended at the discretion of the umpire after taking several

factors into consideration.

MERCY RULE

No mercy rule. Teams play until the time limit

 

TIE RULE

If a game is tied after seven innings, one extra inning of play will be allowed to break the tie, time permitting. If time

expires and game is tied, the game stands as a tie.

 

RAINOUT INFOMATION

The ToneSports office will determine by one and a half hours before game time whether or not to cancel a game for that

evening. At that time, we will update the ToneSports weather alert hotline and update our website (weekday games only) to

reflect information for that evening. Should the weather take a sudden turn for the worse, it will be up to the discretion of

the umpire on the field whether or not to play, cancel, or postpone the start/continuation of the game.

We will make an effort to have games on every playable field possible.

Games will be canceled immediately if lightning is in the area.

 

RAINOUT MAKE UP DATES

Rainouts will be made up during the season and at the end of the season. You may be scheduled to play more than one

game a week, depending on the number of rainouts. If ToneSports experiences excessive rainouts during the season,

there is a chance that your team will not be scheduled for all of your make up games. We sincerely hope that this does

not happen, but acknowledge the possibility. Thanks for understanding.

 

 

SOFTBALL EQUIPMENT

Each team will supply a new softball Clincher size 12, a catcher’s mask and bases for each game. Each player is

responsible for his/her own gloves, bats, etc. Catchers MUST wear the mask at all times behind the plate. Please have

catchers clear home plate/batter’s box of any bats during play. Bats outlawed by the ASA are not allowed.

If neither team brings the proper equipment the umpire can call the game a double forfeit and the game will not be

rescheduled.

SOFTBALL RULES

ToneSports follows the ASA Rules of Softball, with the exception of these specific league rules. Only captains can discuss

a rule with the umpire and no judgment calls will be discussed. Players will be ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct

towards an umpire.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS ON THE FIELD

Maximum number of players in the field is 10, including at least 3 women. There are no position requirements of any

players, (i.e., there need not be 1/2 females in outfield and 1/2 in the infield). However teams can’t have more than 6

players in the infield, including the pitcher and catcher. Minimum number of players in the field/your starting line-up is 8 (at

least 1 of whom must be women), (or if a team has nine players, two out of nine must be women). There is no maximum

number of women allowed on the field/in your line-up. No more than 7 men are allowed on the field at one time. A player

arriving late may be inserted at the bottom of the order even if you have batted around one or more times. You are

Allowed to place that player in the field, if your team is not batting. Make the umpire and opposing team aware of these

additions. If a team has less than the minimum required number of players it is up to the opponent as to what is allowable

(i.e., the opposing team may give a team a player or allow them to pick up another ToneSports player). If this is not

possible, the game will be ruled a forfeit.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS IN THE BATTING ORDER/LINE-UP

In order to encourage maximum participation, teams may bat more than ten players. Regardless of how many people

you choose to bat, you must bat 3 women in the first 10 spots and no more than 3 men can bat in a row. In

situations where additional players wish to bat, the line-up must come as close to a 7 to 3 ratio as possible, even if some

women need to bat twice in the rotation. Line-ups must be given to the umpire for every game.

 

Men in Batting Order Number of Women Required in the Batting Order

7 1(if a team is short players, they need to have the women present

bat three times)

7 2 (if a team is short players, they need to have 1 women present bat

twice)

7 3

8 4 (1 women bat twice if necessary)

9 4 (1 women bat twice if necessary)

10 5 (2 women bat twice if necessary)

11 5 (2 women bat twice if necessary)

12 6 (3 women bat twice if necessary)

*6 2 **If playing short 1 woman and man

Teams must designate which women will bat twice on their line-up card. Only those women will be allowed to bat twice or

the batting out of order rule will be enforced.

A player may be in the batting order and not play in the field. However, in order to play in the field, a player must be in the

batting order. While in the batting order, a player may enter, leave, or re-enter the fielding team (free substitution).

No player may be dropped from the batting order, absent extenuating circumstances such as serious injury, as

determined by the umpire. Gaining a tactical advantage is not an exigent circumstance. If an injury occurs and a player

cannot bat, the next batter “moves up” to bat with no penalty. Any player (without approved injury excuse) who is not

available to bat when due up receives an automatic out.

RE-ENTRY RULE

Any player may withdraw and re-enter the game one time, provided the player occupies the same batting position

whenever he/she is in the line-up.

BATTING OUT OF ORDER

If the error is discovered while the incorrect batter is hitting, then the correct batter will assume the

ball/strike count of the incorrect batter. If the incorrect batter reaches base safely and the error is

discovered, the correct batter will be called out. All runners will return to their original base and the

incorrect batter will return to the bench. The opposing team must make the umpire aware of “batting out

of order” before a pitch is thrown to the next batter. If not, then the incorrect batter will stay on base.

Position Changes/Substitutions – Players may move freely from one field position to another, but the batting

order must stay the same. Teams must report ALL SUBSTITUTIONS AND PLAYERS REENTERING the

game to the umpire & opposing team.

PITCH ARC

The arc on pitches must be between six feet and twelve feet above the ground. The umpire will call a ball

not within the prescribed limits an “illegal pitch” as soon as possible. If the batter swings, the pitch shall

be treated as though it were thrown within the legal limits. The umpire’s call on a pitch is absolutely final!

Strike Zone – The strike zone is that space over any part of home plate that is between the batter’s front

shoulder and back knee when the batter is lined up with home plate.

FOUL BALLS

There is no limit on the number of foul balls a batter may hit. A foul ball will count as strike 2, but not strike 3 unless

caught by the catcher. A foul ball above the batter’s head may be caught for an out.

 

Walk To Male Batter – Intentional walks to male batter with a female behind him in the batting order –

  • Intentional walk defined as 4 consecutive balls at the start of an at bat (4-0 count)
  • Male batter gets a two-base award. The female batter has choice of taking a walk or batting
  • This rule is to discourage walking male batters to pitch to female batters. Managers are responsible for making

this rule and other rules known to their team members and will not be reminded during games.

OUTFIELD LINE

An imaginary “outfield” line exists approximately 10 yards into the outfield. No outfielder (except the short fielder) may

step in front of this line until after the ball is hit. Violations of this rule will result in a single being awarded to the batter,

and ALL runners advancing one base, regardless if the awarded single caused a forced advance or not. This means that

if you are playing 10 players, three must be behind the line. This is to prevent unfair positioning of players on a field.

 

COURTESY RUNNERS

Injured players may receive a courtesy runner once they reach first base. The courtesy runner must be the last player of

the same gender to make an out in the game. A female must be replaced by a female and a male must be replaced by a

male.

 

LEADING/ NO STEALING

Runners can leave the base once the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. If a runner leaves early, the ball is dead and the

runner is declared out. If this is the 3rd out of the inning the batter will be first up in the next inning. If the batter does not

swing or swings and misses, and the runner is still off the base (leading), a force situation is in play until the runner returns

to the base.

 

OVERTHROWS/OUT OF PLAY

Runners are awarded two bases (the base he/she is going to at the point of the throw plus one more) on overthrows that

go out of play. Direction of runner has no bearing on the award (i.e., when an overthrow is made on a runner returning to

a base, they are awarded two bases from that base). Note: in cases where a base runner runs past first base, he/she

must make a clearly aggressive turn towards second base to be granted 2nd and 3rd in overthrow situations. Otherwise,

the runner will advance only one base to 2nd base.

All thrown balls are deemed out of play when the ball is thrown over/beyond the fence or beyond the imaginary line

extending from the end of the backstop (if there is no fence). This imaginary line applies to overthrows and caught fly foul

balls.

If the ball is overthrown and hits the fence behind the 1st or 3rd base lines, this is NOT considered out of play and the

runner may advance, BUT at his/her own risk.

 

INFIELD FLY RULE

On an infield fly (any fly ball within the infield with significant arc and deemed an “easy catch”) with less than 2 outs and

runners on 1st and 2nd or 1st, 2nd and 3rd, the batter is automatically out and runners can advance, BUT at their own

risk.

 

GROUND RULE DOUBLES/HOME RUNS

Several ToneSports fields have a fence or a wall. Balls hit over the fence/wall are considered a ground rule double or

home runs depending on the field and the ground rules established by the umpire at the game. Since we only have two

new balls per game, the team hitting the ball over the fence/wall is responsible for retrieving the ball immediately and

getting it back into play. The same applies for foul balls.

 

DOUBLE FIRST BASE

Two bases will be placed at first base to avoid collisions. A batted ball hitting the inside base is declared fair, and a batted

ball hitting the outside base is declared foul. The hitter/runner (offense) must tag the outside base only when

running to first and the 1st baseman (defense) must tag the inside base only to avoid collisions. If the defensive

player tags the outside base, the runner can be awarded first base. If the runner (offense) tags the inside base,

he/she can be called out. Once the runner has reached first base and attempts to go beyond first base, the inside base

is the only playable portion of the base.

Interference/Base Running – When a runner interferes with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball or interferes with a

throw, the runner is out. If the runner interferes with a fielder during a POSSIBLE double play and the runner did not slide,

get out of the way, or slid with excessive contact to disrupt throw, the immediate succeeding runner shall also be called

out. Interference can be physical contact, verbal distraction, or any other type of distraction that would hinder the fielder in

the execution of a play.

HOME PLATE RULE

If there is a play at the plate, it is the runner’s responsibility to avoid contact. The umpire has discretion to decide whether

the runner initiated contact and should be called out. Any excessive contact or collision will result in an “out” and/or

ejection. This includes contact with the catcher. Sliding is allowed but not required.

Fake tags and barreling will result in immediate ejection from the game and will not be tolerated. Sliding is not required,

however a runner must be attempting to reach base and the defensive player must be attempting to catch the ball. If

there is no play, the defensive player cannot block a base. Warnings will be issued, followed by ejection from the game if

necessary. Collisions and injuries are to be avoided if at all possible.

Fielders may not block the base paths. If obstruction occurs, the umpire can award the runner the next base.

 

SPORTSMANSHIP

ToneSports is a charity-focused, social sports club for young professionals. Our goal is for you to have fun. We hope that

you keep this in mind when participating. Although the games may become intense, you still can be competitive while

maintaining good sportsmanship. With this said, any behavior deemed unacceptable by the umpire or ToneSports staff

may result in suspension and/or ejection from a game or the league.

 

SUSPENSIONS/EJECTIONS

  • Any player wearing metal spikes will be ejected from the game. If that player is caught wearing spikes a second time,

they will be removed from the league. No warnings.

  • Any player(s)/team(s) that are involved in a fight will be suspended from all ToneSports Leagues for life. Any teams

will forfeit all remaining games. The umpire has the right to sit a player for an inning if necessary.

  • Any excessive contact or collision will result in an out and ejection of player. You must give yourself up, get out of the

way or slide. No exceptions, IMMEDIATE ejection if players do not follow this rule.

  • Any defensive player initiating a FAKE TAG (initiating a tag without the ball to stop or force a runner to slide) will result

in an ejection of that player. The runner will be awarded 2 bases.

  • Any player abusing the umpire will automatically be ejected from the game without a warning.
  • A player ejected for ANY reason will be suspended for the next game. If that player is caught playing in that

game, the team will forfeit.

 

THROWING BATS

Players throwing bats after hitting the ball will be warned once. The batter will be called out for any second offenses.

 

 

BEER/CLEAN-UP

Unfortunately beer is not allowed on/at the field. Please wait until after the games to join us at our Happy Hour bars for

the drinking to begin. Please do your part to keep the parks clean and use the trash cans provided. This is really

important. If we do not clean-up we risk losing our permits.

UNIFORMS/FOOTWEAR

  • No metal spikes may be worn
  • Every player must wear the team uniform. Any player not wearing something close to the team uniform will start each

at bat with a one-strike count.

TIE BREAKERS FOR PLAYOFFS/SEEDINGS

  1. Winning percentage
  2. Head-to-head competition
  3. Record against other teams in or tied for playoffs (winning percentage – i.e., 0-1 is same as 0-2, but 1-3 is better than

0-1)

  1. Number of wins
  2. Record against next best common opponent
  3. If team forfeited, loses tie breaker if other tiebreaker rules don’t resolve seeding