Donegal Rheems Girls Softball League: 2017 League Rules

Thursday, February 4
2017 League Rules

  Updated: 12/15/16

2017 PLAYING RULES

 

The Donegal/Rheems Girls Softball League will follow the Amateur Softball Association's (ASA) Fast pitch rules and regulations, except for the following League rules, which will supercede ASA rules.

 

1. Age Groups- The League will follow ASA Code 501.G., which states that the player's age on January 1 of the current year determines the age classification in which the player is eligible to participate. The League will sponsor League play for the following age groups:

                         8U

                          10U 

                         12U – A & B Divisions

                         14U – A & B Divisions

                         18U (This division has its own rules and regulations.)

   a. Players may play up one age group above their actual age group (as outlined in Rule 3.c. below.)

   b. Any violation of the age limit rule will result in the forfeiture of all games involving the player which caused the violation.  (Associations may complete a waiver form to roster a player up one age level for the current season.)

 

2. Team registration fees are $150.00 per team and must be paid to the League Treasurer by the February meeting. The 8U division is not required to pay a registration fee.  (18U registration may be delayed).

    a. Proof of insurance is required from each association for all teams.  Due at April's Coaches' Meeting.

3. Team Rosters- The League's standard roster must be submitted to the League Secretary by the April meeting.

   a. Players may not change teams within the same age group once rosters have been submitted to the League Secretary. Any player must play for an association or team within the high school district they reside. Any exception to this rule must be presented to the League for review and approval of a Waiver.

INTERPRETATION for Rule 3.a.: Players rostered on an A team may not play with a B team within the same age group.  Players rostered on a B team may not play with an A team within the same age group.

   b. New players may be added to a roster until May 15 of the playing season. No players may be added to a roster for any reason after this date. The League Secretary must receive notification in writing of any new player being added to the roster before that player is eligible to play.

   c. Players must be rostered in their age appropriate group within their Association. The girl’s age determines her primary team.  A player may only be rostered on one Donegal/Rheems team. (Associations may complete a waiver form to roster a player up one age level for the current season.)  A player may play up to the next age group without being rostered at the above level. This rule is to supplement the number of players at each age group to limit the number of forfeits. If a player plays up and enough girls at the proper age are present, she only plays the minimum number of innings as outlined in Rules 4.d.1. and 4.e.1.  No player can play up if there are 12 or more of the age appropriate players at the game. Any deviation of this rule needs Association and League approval.

INTERPRETATION for Rule 3.c.: Pick up players must come from a lower age group. A teams cannot pick up B players from the same age group and vice versa.

   d. Playing of players not properly on a team's roster will result in the forfeiture of all games involving the improper players which caused the violation.

   e. Rosters containing player names and birth dates for any team will be available upon request from the League Secretary.

 

4. Minimum Player Participation (does not apply to 8U):

   a. Each team shall field ten players, however, prior to each pitch, no more than six players may play in the infield, and outfielders must be at least 10 feet from the baseline. A team may, due to injuries or shortage of players, play a game with eight players with the ninth position being an automatic out. If a team cannot play eight players it will forfeit the game.

   b. Coaches shall have the right to bench a player as a disciplinary procedure. Such a player must be identified to the umpire and the other team's coach prior to the start of the game.

   c. Courtesy Runners- Follow ASA rule 8 section 10-except for parts (B) and (C) when using a continuous batting order, in which case the courtesy runner is to be the player who made the last out.

   d. 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U-B

         1). All players on a team's roster who are present at the start of the game must play at least two innings in the field.

         2). Each team must maintain a continuous batting order of all players present.Any player arriving after the start of the game is to be added to the bottom ofthe batting order. Any player leaving the game early is to be deleted from the batting order without penalty.

         3). Free substitution is allowed.

         4). 12U and 14U will be split into A/B divisions accordingly to player’s ability.  If there are multiple teams for an association, one must be an “A” team.

          5). Coaches- All head coaches must be eighteen years old or older before January 1 of the playing season.

   e. 14U-A:

          1). All players on a team's roster who are present at the start of the game must play at least two innings in the field and bat once. However, a coach may elect, prior to the start of the game and upon notification to the umpire and the other team's coach, to use a continuous batting order of all players present. (A player arriving after the start of the game is to be added to the bottom of the batting order, and any player leaving the game early is to be deleted from the batting order without penalty.)

Clarification:  Both teams do not have to choose the same batting order method.  One can play continuous while one plays standard ASA. 

          2). Offensive Substitution (for teams not electing a continuous batting order):All players may be re-entered in the game one time after being substituted for. A player may only be re-entered in their original position in the batting order.

          3). Defensive Substitution: Free defensive substitution.

          4). Coaches- All head coaches must be eighteen years old or older before January 1 of the playing season.

          5). 14U will be split into A/B divisions accordingly to player’s ability. If there are multiple teams for an association, one must be an “A” team.

 

5. Equipment and Fields

a. The League will furnish each team with 12 size-appropriate balls.

   b. Only balls that are identical in make and manufacturer to the balls provided by the League are acceptable for game use.

   c. As of 2003, all 10U, 12U, 14U and 18U will use only ASA approved bats.  10U may use Tee-ball bats. Tee-ball bats may be no longer than 26 in. and must say "Little League" on them.

   d. ASA 2000 stamped bats will be permitted in League play.

e. Fields must be furnished with a double first base.

   f. Batting helmets must have mask/guards attached and helmet straps.

    g. Metal cleats are not allowed in any division except 14U-A.

 

6. Games

   a. All games will be played as scheduled unless postponed by inclement weather. Such postponed games will be rescheduled as set forth in Rules 6.b and 6.c.

   b. Within one week following the originally scheduled game, the home team coach will notify the commissioner of the makeup date, time and location which was mutually agreed upon by both head coaches. The commissioner will inform the umpire scheduler of the time and location of the makeup game. Failure by either team to play the makeup game as rescheduled will constitute a forfeit.

   c. If within one week following the originally scheduled game, the coaches are unable to mutually reschedule the postponed game, the commissioner will reschedule a makeup gamefor the teams. Failure by either team to play the makeup game as rescheduled will constitute a forfeit.

   d. Practice time prior to the start of games: The visiting team shall be allowed a minimum of 15 minutes access to the playing field in the 20 minutes preceding the scheduled start ofthe game (however, late arrival of the visiting team will not extend this time and games will start at the scheduled time, regardless if late team has had time to warm up on the field). In situations where the field is unavailable to either team prior to the start of the game, each team will receive equal time on the field (even if such time is zero).

   e. A team which is 15 or more minutes late following the scheduled game start time, will forfeit the game. The late team will be obligated to pay the umpire fee(s).

   f. All regularly scheduled games will be 7 innings (6 for 10U, no requirement for 8U), however, no new inning may be started after 2 hours from the start of the game. If a game is suspended by the umpire due to weather or player injury, the game clock will also stop until the umpire resumes play.

   g. All games will be completed unless forfeiture by the losing coach at the time of stoppage or at the umpire's discretion. A game called by an umpire shall be ruled complete if 5 or more complete innings (4 for 10U) have been played, or if the home team is winning after 4-1/2 innings (3-1/2 for 10U), or if the game has been played for 90 minutes or more.  See ASA rules for scoring a game stopped for time or conditions.  (This rule does not apply for 8U.  Coaches will decide if they will call it a game or continue play at an agreed upon time.)

   h. Tied games-ASA tie breaking rules will be in effect for games which are tied at the end of the 7 regular innings (6 for 10U) if time limit has not expired. See ASA Rule 5, Section 11 for tie breaker rules. Regular season games can finish as a tie after time limit or at the umpire’s discretion.  The time limit DOES APPLY to play off games but the game CANNOT end in a tie.  See rule 10.c.  (This rule does not apply for 8U.)

    i. 10U will play 6 innings.  12U & 14U will play 7 innings. For 10U, there is a 5 run limit on every inning except for the 6th inning where there are unlimited runs. For 12U-A&B and 14U-B, there is a 5 run limit every inning except for the 7th inning where there are unlimited runs. 14U-A have no per inning run rule. If the 6th inning is not reached in 10U or the 7th inning in 12U and 14U-B, then the run limit still applies.  (This rule does not apply to 8U.)

   j. 10U, 12U-A&B and 14U-A&Bwill play a 15 Run Ahead Rule- A game will be called complete when a team is ahead by 15 runs after 5 innings (4 for 10U), 4-1/2innings if the home team has the lead (3-1/2 for 10U), provided all players have batted and played at least one inning in the field.  (This rule does not apply to 8U.)

   k. The game score is to be reported to the designated Scorekeeper by the winning team within 24 hours following completion of the game. Scores will be reported via the Report a Score option on the website. Any score unreported after the season deadline, will be posted as a 7-7 tie for playoff seeding.

   l. The League’s Division champion will be determined by the team with the best record at the end of the regular season. In the event of a tie, the winner and final League standings will be determined as follows:

1).Head to head record in regular season.

2). Least amount of runs allowed by teams tied.

3). Least amount of runs allowed overall in regular season.

7. Playing Rules

a. 8U - Rules are flexible.  Determined at time of play.

b. 10U

1) No dropped third strike rule.

                   2)No infield fly rule.

                    3)Only one base stolen per pitch or play.

                    4)No stealing home.

                    5)A runner on third base or a runner who is stealing from second to third base can only score on a fair batted ball by pitch or tee or when the bases are loaded and the batter is hit by a pitch. (No out of play ball can score a runner from third or stealing third).

           6) NO WALKS.

  •  An offensive coach will pitch after the player-pitcher pitches 4 called balls.
  • The pitcher coach must be at least 18 years old.
  • The coach must pitch a legal pitch from the pitcher's plate.
  • The strike count is kept when the coach enters to pitch.
  • The umpire remains in position to call pitches delivered by the coach.
  • After 3 strikes, called or attempted, the batter is out.
  • The coach delivers a maximum of three pitches.
  • The batter will either successfully hit a fair ball, be called out on strikes, go down swinging, or be called out if the third pitch delivered by the coach is not hit into fair territory.
  • While the coach is pitching, base runners cannot leave their bases until the bat contacts the ball.
  • There are no steals while the coach is pitching.
  • There is no bunting while the coach is pitching.
  • There is no hit by pitch while the coach is pitching.
  • The coach pitcher is considered a member of the offensive team.  Therefore, if he/she is hit by a batted ball, ASA rules for interference apply.  (Offensive interference results in dead ball, the batter-runner is out.)
  • When the coach pitcher comes into pitch, the player pitcher must start with both feet in the pitcher's circle but should be positioned to the back and side to avoid the pitcher's plate. 

            7) 5 runs per inning except the 6th inning is unlimited

           8) 15 Run Ahead Rule after 4 innings

   b. 12U

            1) No infield fly rule for 12B only.  Infield fly rule does apply for 12A.

            2) 12U may steal multiple bases plus home and dropped third strike ASA rules apply.

            3) 5 runs per inning except the 7th inning is unlimited

            4) 15 Run Ahead Rule after 5 innings.

   c. 14U

             1) 5 runs per inning except the 7th inning is unlimited (14U-A have no runs per inning rule).

             2) 15 Run Ahead Rule after 5 innings.

              3) All 14U will pitch from 43 ft per PIAA rules.

              4) As an exception to rule 4.a., 14U-A will field 9 players instead of 10.

 

8. Protests- Proper ASA protest rules and guide lines must be followed at and during the game, then written notice of protest must be filed with the League President, Vice-President, or Secretary within forty-eight hours following the game being protested. All properly filed protests will be acted upon in accordance with the League's By-Laws.

   a. Matters that may be protested are governed by ASA rules.

 

9. Umpires

   a. Whenever possible, ASA certified umpires will be used for League scheduled games, except for 8U.

   b. Each League regular season game will be officiated by one umpire, except that umpires in training may accompany an umpire at no additional cost to the teams. Playoff games will be officiated, as much as possible, by two umpires. There shall be two (2)umpires for all 14U-A and 18U games, if feasible.

   c. Umpires who are not ASA certified must be at least 18 years old to umpire behind the plate and base umpires must be at least 16 years old.

         1) When no ASA certified umpire is available, the person selected shall be mutually acceptable to both teams prior to the start of the game.

   d. The home team is responsible for paying the Umpire fee prior to the start of the game. (Exception- late teams resulting in a forfeit.  See rule 6.e.)

 

10. Post Season Playoffs

   a. All age groups will have post-season playoffs, except 8U.

   b. Post-season playoffs will be conducted in accordance with the schedule arrangement made by the league each year. A- division and B- division will have separate playoffs.

    c. All rules apply to post-season games except for rule 6.h.  Post-season games cannot end in a tie.  If the game is tied after 2 hours of play, ASA tie-breaker rules go into effect.  See ASA Rule 5, Sections 11 for tie breaker rules.

    d. Championship games do not have time limits.

   e. Championship games will be full games with no limitations. 7 innings will be played for 14U and 12U (6 1/2 if the home team is winning. 6 innings will be played for 10U (5 1/2 if the home team is winning).

11. Code of conduct

         All coaches, players, parents, and spectators who attend or participate in our league's girls softball games are required to follow and honor the articles, rules and regulations established by the organization or club that they represent, the Donegal/Rheems Girls Softball League and ASA (Amateur SoftballAssociation). Misconduct and unsportsmanlike behavior, including threats of any nature towards opposing coaches, players, fans, or umpires is unacceptable at any youth sporting event and will NOT be tolerated in this league. All reports of unsportsmanlike conduct received by league officers will be seriously and immediately dealt with. Any disciplinary action will first be addressed by the organization within the league that the offender represents. Any further disciplinary action that may be determined by the league's Board of Directors based on the league's By-laws could result in a suspension from attending all league activities for an amount of time to be set by the league.