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Softball Rules

Amateur Softball Association (ASA)

The Amateur Softball Association (ASA) is the Governing Body of Amateur Softball in the United States. Rules not specifically covered by WCSSC Rules will be enforced according to ASA Rules. ASA rules may be found at www.asasoftball.com.

Arguing Balls & Strikes

Players may not argue balls & strikes. Doing so is subject to immediate ejection from the game.

Baserunner Interference

 Baserunners may not interfere with a defensive player making a play, except when sliding into a base. Baserunners interfering with a defensive player will be called out.

 Bat List - Approved & Banned Bat

Please contact Tim Horan, Commissioner, WCSSC Softball, for the Official WCSSC

Softball League Bat List at 484-919-8547 or tim@PlayPhillySports.com.

Bats

Double wall bats, triple wall bats, two piece bats, 100 % composite bats and all bats banned by the ASA are not permitted to be used in WCSSC games. Additionally, any bat listed on the WCSSC Banned Bat List is not permitted to be used in games.

 If a batter using an illegal bat reaches base, and the usage of the bat is brought to the attention of the umpire before a pitch is thrown to the next batter, the batter using the illegal bat will be called out. Any runners that advanced while the illegal bat was in play must return to the base occupied before the bat was used. Umpires will remove illegal bats from play once alerted to their usage.

Any player using an illegal bat may be ejected from the game and may be suspended for one game and his/her team may be forced to forfeit the game the illegal bat was used, WITHOUT WARNING!

Any equipment in question should be brought to the attention of the umpire.

The umpire and/or Commissioner will make all final decisions regarding equipment discrepancies.

It is encouraged to inspect all bats to be used in a game during ground rules.

Batterâ??s Count

All at-bats begin with a one ball, one strike count. A batter is allowed one foul ball after his/her second strike has been called. The batter is out on strikes upon his/her second foul ball following his/her second strike. 

Batting Order/Batting Order Male:Female Ratio

Teams are encouraged to exchange batting orders prior to each game. A team may bat as many players as it wishes, in any order it wishes. However, a 3:2 male to female ratio must be kept, unless there are more women than men. Men MAY NOT bat twice in the lineup to achieve a 3:2 ratio if a team plays with more women than men. If a team does not have enough women, one or more woman must bat twice in the batting order. Follow the chart below to determine batting order ratio:

Batting Order Ratio Chart

6 men to 2-3 women (When playing with 8 or 9 players, one or two women must bat twice)   

6 men to 4 women

7 men to 4 women

8 men to 5 women (One or more woman batting twice if needed)

9 men to 6 women (One or more woman batting twice if needed)

10 men to 6 women (One or more woman batting twice if needed)

11 men to 7 women (One or more woman batting twice if needed)

12 men to 8 women (One or more woman batting twice if needed)

 

Batter Out Of The Batterâ??s Box

A batter may not hit a ball while standing outside of the batterâ??s box. The batter will be called out when:

1. One or both feet are touching the ground while completely outside the lines of the batterâ??s box at the time the ball makes

    contact with the bat. Whether the ball is hit fair or foul has no bearing on the call. (ASA Rule 7.6D)

2. Any part of either foot is touching home plate at the time the ball makes contact with the bat. Whether the ball is hit fair or

    foul has no bearing on the call. (ASA Rule 7.6E)

In both situations the ball is dead, play is stopped, and all baserunners must return to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.

The fields used during WCSSC rarely have lined batterâ??s boxes. So, out of the batterâ??s box calls will be made by the umpireâ??s

judgment of the position of the batter. A batter standing out of the batterâ??s box who swings and misses will not be called out. The 

pitched ball must be hit by the batter, regardless of the hit ball landing fair or foul, for the call to be made.

Catch And Carry

When a fielder carries a live ball out of play, intentionally or unintentionally, the ball is dead, play will be stopped, and all

baserunners will be awarded one (1) base from the last base touched at the time the ball was carried out of play. (ASA Rule 8.5J)

Catch And Carry occurs most often when a fielder catches a foul pop-up or foul fly ball and his/her natural momentum carries

the player out of play. The caught ball is recorded as an out. In the event the caught ball is the third out, baserunners do not

advance.

Commissioner

The Commissioner of the league holds the right to override any and all league rules if he/she deems necessary to ensure the safety, health, and well-being of league participants and the league itself.

 Courtesy Runners

Courtesy runners are permitted for injured baserunners, but must be approved by the opposing team and umpire. The umpireâ??s decision is final. A courtesy runner may be used if a female batter, who is batting twice in the line-up, is on base and is due up to bat again. The batter who made the last out shall be the courtesy runner, regardless of gender.

 Designated Hitters

Designated hitting is not allowed. All players taking the field must be listed in the batting order. All batters must play the field at least three innings as well.

Foul Ball Outs

 A foul ball above the batterâ??s head may be caught for an out.

Game Length

All games are seven innings or one hour in length, including warm-up time. The last inning will begin 10-15 minutes before the end of the hour. The umpire will enforce this rule and will make the call at the top of the final inning. Because of various circumstances in most games, some games may finish in less than an hour while others may run longer than an hour. Please respect the umpireâ??s call in this matter. The umpire is instructed to keep all games on time in fairness to all teams participating. Exception: Games will be one hour 15 minutes in length, scheduling and/or field availability permitting. 

Gender Equity

If a male batter is issued a walk and is followed in the batting order by a female player, the female player has the option of taking a base-on-balls as well, unless the bases are loaded when the male player walks.

Ground Rules

The umpire and both team captains must agree on ground rules prior to the start of each game. All ground rules calls made by the umpire are final. All bats to be used during the game should be inspected during ground rules to ensure they are legal.

Intentional Walks

Intentional walks are permitted. However, if a female player follows a male player in the batting order, the female player has the option of taking a base-on-balls if the male player is walked intentionally or unintentionally. This rule does not apply if the male batter draws a walk if the bases are loaded when he steps to the plate.

 Interference

Any act, physical or verbal, taken by an offensive team member, player or coach, whether on the field or on the bench, that impedes, hinders, or confuses a defensive attempting to execute a play will be called interference. Interference will result in a dead ball, play stopping, and the baserunner or batter-runner being called out. Physical contact with a defensive player does not need to occur for interference to be called. Example: Interference will be called if an offensive player calls for a pop-up by yelling â??I got it.â?? (ASA Rules 1, 7.1D, 7.6, 8.2, 8.5, 8.7)

 Jewelry

Exposed jewelry should not be worn during games, as doing so may be a danger to the player wearing the jewelry and fellow players. Such items include, but are not limited to, wristwatches, bracelets, necklaces, earings, and other facial piercings. Medical bracelets are encouraged to be worn if needed. Umpires are instructed to ask players to remove all jewelry.

Leading

 Leading off base and stealing bases is not permitted. Runners may leave the base once a pitched ball crosses the plane of the plate or is hit by the batter. If a runner leaves early, the umpire will call â??no pitch,â?? the ball, including a batted ball, and the runner will be called out. If the called out is the third of the inning, the batter will be the first batter to the plate the following inning. (ASA Rules 7.2C, 8.4F, 8.7R)

Line-up/Male:Female Ratio

A maximum of 10-players, no more than six men, may play in the field at one time. A minimum of 8 players must be in the field to play an official game. There are NO position requirements regarding gender. However, a team must field a catcher. If a defensive team has just 8 players, it may request the offensive team supply a catcher to retrieve pitched balls only. The substitute catcher may NOT make defensive plays. The offensive team may opt to NOT supply a catcher. In the social spirit of the league, offensive teams are encouraged to supply a catcher if needed, except during playoff games. If a team does not have enough players to begin a game within 15 minutes following the scheduled game time, the game will be forfeited to the opposing team.

Mercy Rule

 The Mercy Rule will be enforced. A team will be awarded a victory if it leads by 10 or more runs after the completion of five full innings.

 No more than seven runs may be scored in the first four innings. If the offensive team scores seven runs in an inning before three outs are recorded inning ends and the teams switch sides.

The offensive team may score as many runs as it can after the fourth inning.

 Obstruction

Any act, physical or verbal, taken by a defensive team member, player or coach, whether on the field or on the bench, that is not in possession of the ball and that impedes, hinders, or confuses an offensive player from hitting a pitched ball or reaching base will be called obstruction. Physical contact with an offensive player does not need to occur for obstruction to be called. Examples: Faking tags is obstruction. Blocking a base without the ball is obstruction. (ASA Rules 1, 8.1, 8.5B)

Obstruction calls are delayed calls and will only be made if the obstruction hinders a baserunner or batter-runner from reaching a base attempted to reach. In the event obstruction is called, the baserunner or batter-runner will be awarded the base he/she was attempting to reach when the obstruction occurred.

 Overthrown Balls Out Of Play

All overthrown balls that go out of play result in a dead ball situation and play is stopped. All baserunners, including the batter-runner, will be awarded two (2) bases when a ball is thrown out of play. The awarding of bases will be determined by the position of the runner when the ball left the fielderâ??s hand. The baserunner is awarded two (2) from the last base legally touched when the ball left the fielderâ??s hand. Whether the ball was thrown from the infield or outfield has no bearing on the play.

(ASA Rule 8.5G)

Pitch Height Requirements

A legal pitch must have an arc of 6â?? â?? 10â??. Any pitch that is not deemed legal by the umpire will be called an automatic ball. An illegal pitch may be hit at the batterâ??s peril.

Pitching Position

The pitcherâ??s rubber will placed 50â??-0â?? from home plate. While it is suggested the pitcher keep one foot on the pitcherâ??s rubber while pitching, we will allow the pitcher to throw a pitch while standing no more than one foot away from the rubber in any direction, including forward. Pitcherâ??s should pause before each pitch to allow batterâ??s to become set in the batterâ??s box. Pitcherâ??s may not â??quick-pitchâ?? batters.

Player Eligibility

Teams will be comprised of men and women, 18-years old or older. There is no limit to the number of players on a teamâ??s roster. 

Playoff Tournament

All teams are eligible for the playoff tournament. The higher seeded team is the home team for all playoff games.

Playoff Tournament Eligibility

A player must be on a teamâ??s roster and have played at least three games for his/her team during the regular season to be eligible to play in the playoff tournament.

Run Limit

An inning rule limit applies to all games. There will be a 7-run limit per inning for innings 1-4, unless one of the innings is declared the final inning. An unlimited number of runs may be scored after the fourth inning. 

Schedule

There will be six or seven regular-season games and a playoff tournament at the end of the season. All teams are eligible to play in the playoff tournament. However, the WCSSC reserves the right to eliminate lower ranked teams from the playoff tournament if it deems necessary to do so for scheduling purposes.

Shoes

No Metal Spikes Permitted.

Sliding 

Sliding is permitted, but NOT required. However, contact between baserunners and defensive players will be closely watched. Any excessive contact or unnecessary collision, as deemed by the umpire, will result in the baserunner being called out and/or ejected from the game. When a defensive player has the ball and a baserunner remains upright and collides with the defensive player, the ball is dead, play is stopped, and the baserunner is called out and/or ejected from the game and all other runners must return to the last touched base. (ASA Rule 8.7Q)

Stealing

No base stealing allowed.

Umpires

An ASA Certified Umpire will call balls & strikes, and put-outs in the field. All

 judgment decisions are final. Any excessive disagreements with the umpire will

 result in ejection from the game and/or the league if deemed necessary by the 

 Commissioner.



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