NHYBS Softball Rules | North Hunterdon Youth Baseball and Softball
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Softball Rules by Division

GAME START TIMES

All games in April will have a 5:45 PM start time

All games in May will have a 6 PM Start time

All games will have a 2hr no new inning policy.

All games will have a 2:15hr drop-dead time.

Umpire reserves the right to end a game sooner than planned due to darkness or lighting.

Play-off games are played in full with no time limits.

 

FIELD PREP AND SNACK SHACK RESPONSIBILITIES- ALL LEVELS

Field Prep – In the event that the field is not prepped prior to the game, the home team is responsible for field preparation (lining the field, putting bases out and away, setting up the pitching machine, raking, etc…) 

Equipment Box/Shed – The visiting is responsible for ensuring that the equipment box is locked after the last game is played. 

Game Ball – The home team is responsible for supplying one new and one good condition game ball. 

Copy of Rules – The home team is responsible for having a copy of the Rules and Regulations. 

Umpires – It is the home team Manager’s responsibility to notify the Umpire if a game is cancelled due to weather.  If the game needs to be rescheduled, please contact Steve Yip via text or email (908-451-2967- treymikepage@yahoo.com)  The game will be scheduled in the next available time slot.

Snack Shack-The home team must operate the snack shack for each home game with at least one team representative. 

All snack shack food is cooked upon order, and no food should be precooked. Children under 18 cannot cook or be near cooking surfaces. 

Cancelling Games- Every effort must be made to play all scheduled games. In the event due to weather or conditions a game needs to be cancelled, the umpires must be notified at least one hour prior to game time. If the managers cannot agree on the status of the game the divisions commissioner should be contacted to make a final decision.

Post-Game Field Maintenance- The visiting team is responsible for racking the field post game.  

Parent who have paid to “opt out”- of volunteering will not be required to participate in these responsibilities. Every effort will be made to ensure no one team has more than half of their parent on the team having opted out.

 

SPECIAL NOTES REGARDING DRAFTS

ALL players from 9 to 14 years old MUST ATTEND THE EVALUATION prior to the draft.

Each league draft will be declared final ten minutes after the last selections are made. During these ten minutes, trading newly selected players will be allowed. If for any reason, after the draft has been declared to be final, a player is determined to have been accidentally left out of the draft, all Managers of the effected league will meet via a conference call, e-mail or meeting, and vote on how the league will handle that particular situation. This conference call/e-mail/meeting will be coordinated by the league President. In the case of a tie vote, the League President will cast the deciding vote.

 

Any Player that does not attend evaluations will be selected by chance in a random selection determined by drafting coach or manager. Players that did not attend evaluations will be placed into blind selection pick (i.e. plastic egg) and will be assigned to the team of the drawing manager or coach.  

 

 

 

North Hunterdon Youth Softball
Rules and Regulations
 Majors Division

 

GENERAL 

Games will be played in accordance with Babe Ruth Softball rules as specifically amended by these local rules.  Basic rules of softball will be taken as those stated for youth play by Babe Ruth Softball

LEAGUE ALIGNMENT

6th through 8th graders with select 9th graders (9th graders who are age 14 on January 1 of current year) and select 5th graders

 LENGTH AND FORMAT OF THE GAME 

1. Length of Play

Seven innings, unless the game is called by the umpire due to a mercy rule, time limit, rain or other reasons that place participants in peril.

Other than mercy rule or time limit, games called by the umpire shall be regulation after 4 complete innings (3 1/2 innings if home team is ahead).

 

Games that are not considered regulation shall be resumed at the exact point where they were stopped at a future time.

 

Weekend games will have a 2 hour no new inning and 2 hour and 15 minute drop dead time limit

 

Regular season games can end in a tie.

 

2. Time Limitations - Umpire has the official clock – please check for any discrepancy before the game starts.  These guidelines are to be followed for ALL regular season games. No one-off coach agreements beforehand.  The umpire retains the right to end a game at any point should he/she consider weather or other conditions to be present that cause unsafe play and/or puts the players in peril.

If a weekend games are not completed by 2:15 from its start time the game will end and the score will revert back to the last full completed inning.  Should a game revert to a previously finished inning to determine the outcome because of a time limitation, no inning will be charged to the pitchers who pitched in the last unfinished inning.

3. Length of Innings Every ½ inning will end after 3 outs or if 5 runs are scored with the exception of the 7th inning when there is no run limitation.

4. Mercy Rule – The Mercy Rule is applied if a team is ahead by 12 or more runs at the end of the 5th inning (or any inning thereafter) or 10 or more runs after 6 innings.

The HOME team gets to bat the bottom half of the 5th or 6th inning if the AWAY team is ahead by 12 or more runs in the 5th or 10 or more runs in the 6th. If the HOME team fails to close the run gap after batting its half of the inning, the AWAY team wins via the Mercy Rule and the game is officially over.

 

If the HOME team is ahead by 12 or more runs in the 5th or 10 or more runs in the 6th after the AWAY team bats in the top of the 5th, 6th or 7th inning, the HOME team does NOT have to bat in the bottom half of the inning. The HOME team wins via the Mercy Rule and the game is officially over.

 

If the HOME team goes ahead by 12 or more runs in the 5th or 10 or more runs in the 6th after the AWAY team bats the top of the 5th, 6th or 7th inning, the inning does not need to be completed.   The HOME team wins via the Mercy Rule and the game is officially over.

 

5. Number of Players – Majors teams will utilize 9 defensive players. Teams are allowed to start with a minimum of 8 players. No team may start a game with less than 8 players. There will be a 20-minute grace period.  If 8 players are not available within 20 minutes of the scheduled start time the game is forfeited.  If a team starts the game with 8 players, there will be NO automatic out penalty for the 9th batting slot. Additional players may be added at any time but must be added to the last position in the batting order. In the case of an injury, a team may continue to play with 7 players provided the team started the game with only 8 players. If the team started the game with 8 or 9 players and a player is removed from the game and is not replaced, her batting slot will be an automatic out.

Teams must play 4 players in the outfield.  Outfielders must begin each pitch with both feet on the outfield grass.

6. Line Ups & Playing Time –All players attending the game will bat the entire game (Cinderella batting). All players present at the start of the game shall be listed in a continuous batting order and given to the opposing manager before each game. The batting order must include the player’s name and uniform number.  If a player arrives late, she will be placed at the end of the batting order.  No player can sit defensively for more than one inning at a time. If a player arrives late their defensive time does not count until the start of the next full inning.  All players will remain in the stated batting order regardless of field substitutions. 

Coaches are expected to have their team lineup prepared in advance.

 

7. Substitutions – There are unlimited substitutions

 

8. Coaches – Managers and Coaches are not allowed on the field of play during play. 
 

9. Scoring – Each team may keep score. The Home team is responsible for the official score.  Coaches should verify the score with each other and the umpire between each half inning.

 

10. Pace of Game - PLEASE – let us not waste precious daylight between innings.

Courtesy runners are allowed for the catcher at any time.  It is preferred that a courtesy runner is used for the catcher with 2 outs of any inning

The courtesy runner for the catcher MUST be the last BATTED out in the lineup  

The catcher is deemed to be the catcher from the prior inning, not a new catcher coming in the following inning (exception for Speed Up play below).

 

It should take no longer than 3 minutes to changes sides between half innings

Returning pitchers get no more than 5 warm up pitches.

Make sure your players know where they are playing each inning.  Players should know where they are

playing in the field before the end of their team’s turn at bat.

Get your catcher ready for the next inning as soon as possible.  

Try hard to get in at least 5 innings in for each game.  This will give our players maximum playing time and keep the game moving.

 

Weekday games played before May 15 or started after 6:20 PM

Speed up play will be enforced

ABSOLUTELY NO INFIELD OR OUTFIELD BALLS AFTER THE FIRST INNING

Returning pitchers will get 3 warm up pitches between innings (5 in the top & bottom of the 1st).  New pitchers will receive 5 warm up pitches.

Courtesy runners for the catcher of the next inning is mandatory (courtesy runner is not allowed for catcher in home team’s final at bat)

 

11. UNIFORMS 

Uniform – Players are required to be wear their team shirt and black pants. Metal free (no zippers or otherwise) outerwear is permitted in the field should the weather require it – pull over hoodies are best.

Cleats – Metal cleats are prohibited. 

Protective Helmets – All batters and base runners must wear protective helmets with facemask and chinstraps.

Protective Masks – All Pitchers are required to wear a protective mask when pitching.  It is strongly encouraged that ALL fielders wear protective masks while in the field.

 

 

12. EQUIPMENT 

Softballs – A 12” “hard” softball will be used for practice and games.  

Bats – All bats must be marked “Official ASA Softball” by the manufacturer. 

Bases – 1st base shall be a double base to avoid collisions.

13. LAYOUT OF THE DIAMOND 

Bases – The distance between all bases shall be 60 feet. 

Pitching Rubber The distance between the rear point of home plate and the front side of the pitcher’s rubber shall be 43 feet for pitchers that are 14U Eligible (Player age is 13 or 14 on January 1 of current year) and 40 feet for pitchers that are 12U Eligible (Player age is 11 or 12 on January 1 of current year)

Out of Bounds – Out of bounds areas will be clarified by the umpire and both team’s coaches prior to game time.  Any ball that goes out of bounds will be a dead ball and all base runners will advance 1 base.

14. BATTING 

Base on BallsAfter the fourth ball, the batter may take the base. 

Strike OutsThe batter will be out after 3 strikes. 

Bunting – Bunting is permitted.

Hit by a Pitch – A player must attempt to avoid being hit by a pitch. If an attempt is made and the batter is still hit, then the batter will be awarded 1st base.  

No Show Bunt and SwingPlayers who square to bunt cannot pull the bat back and swing.  If a player shows bunt, they can either attempt the bunt or pull the bat away (not offer).  Any player who shows a bunt and pulls back and swings will be automatically out and the ball will be dead.  All base runners will return to the base they occupied before the pitch was thrown.  The batter does not need to make contact on the swing to be called out. 

15. BASE RUNNING

Leading – The base runner may lead after the ball has been released from the pitcher’s hand.  If the catcher attempts to make a play on the base runner, the base runner has the option of advancing to the next base. If a base runner leaves the base early, the ball will be dead and the base runner will be immediately called out.

Sliding – Is permitted and encouraged.  A player must slide into home plate to avoid contact if there is play at home plate otherwise the runner will be automatically called out by the umpire.  This is the umpire’s discretion and for the players safety.

Tagging Up - A runner is allowed to tag up and attempt advancing to the next base when a fly ball is caught.

Runner Hit by a Ball – If a fair-batted ball hits the base runner before it is touched by a defensive player, the base runner is out and the batter is awarded first base. All other base runners return to the previously base occupied, unless they are forced to advance because the batter is awarded first base. 

Running into a Defensive Player – Base runners must slide or avoid defensive players. A base runner may not run into a defensive player or attempt to knock a defensive player out of the play. A base runner may slide into a base guarded by a player.  If base runner intentionally runs into a defensive player attempting to make a play on a batted ball, the base runner is out and the ball is dead.  No other base runners may advance.  Fielders must make every attempt to remain out of the base line and away from the bases should they not be making a play on the ball.  If a fielder impedes the baserunner, the base runner will be awarded the next base.  This is the umpire’s discretion.

16. Pitcher Circle Rule – The pitcher’s circle is defined as an 8-foot diameter radius to the pitcher’s rubber.  A play is considered dead once the pitcher gains possession of the ball and is within the pitching circle.  If a runner is between bases when the pitcher gains such possession, she may continue to advance to the next base or retreat to the previous base. If the pitcher attempts to put out the runner, the ball becomes live again. 

Every effort should be made by the home team to chalk this 16’ circle on the field prior to the start of the game. This is possible at Bundt Park but not at the High School. In the event you play a game at North HS you should scratch the circle into the dirt with a bat handle or similar instrument.

17. Drop Third Strike – Drop Third Strike rule WILL be in effect.  (Drop third strike will not be in effect for inter-league games)

18. FIELDING 

Infield Fly Rule – Infield fly rule will apply.      

Overthrow – Babe Ruth rules will apply.

19. PITCHING 

Contact with Rubber – Both feet must start on the rubber. The pivot foot must remain in contact with or push off and drag away from the pitching rubber until the ball is released.  If any of these rules are broken, an illegal pitch can be called by the umpire which will result in a called ball on the batter (see illegal pitch rules below).

Pitching eligibility is by week, Saturday through Friday. Pitchers are eligible to pitch 8 innings per week. If a pitcher appears and throws at least one pitch, an inning is charged to the pitcher. An additional 4 innings are allotted if and only if a third game occurs in the same week.  Managers are responsible for keeping track of their pitcher’s innings and is subject to audit.

* Should a game revert back to a previously finished inning to determine the outcome because of a time limitation, no inning will be charged to the pitchers who pitched in the last unfinished inning.

 

Teams can only use the additional 4 innings if the third game actually occurs during the course of the one week. You cannot tap into the additional 4-inning allotment in the second game of the week just because you have a third game scheduled for the given week.  If a pitcher has thrown 8 innings in the first two games of the week, she is maxed out.  She would however be eligible for another 4 innings in the third game of a single week.  In the event that a team violates the pitching eligibility rule, the result could be forfeiture of the game.

In the event that a team violates the pitching eligibility rule, the result could be forfeiture of the game.

* Some examples:

If a pitcher throws 7 innings in the first game and none in the second game then she would have 5 innings remaining for the 3rd game.

If a pitcher throws 4 innings in the first game, 2 in the second game (6 total), then she would be eligible for 6 innings in the 3rd game. 

Substitution - Pitchers who are removed may return to pitch at any time during the game as long as pitching eligibility is considered.

 

Hit by Pitch - A pitcher must be relieved and may not return if she hits 4 batters in the course of a game.

 

Trips to the Mound / Charged Conferences – Babe Ruth rules – each team is allowed 3 charged conferences per 7 innings. They may all be used during 1 inning or spread out over the 7. On the 4th conference the pitcher must be switched, the pitcher can play another defensive position. It is not a charged conference if the manager informs the umpire they are replacing the pitcher before any verbal comments with the defensive player(s) or during an offensive conference and the defense is ready to play when the offense is ready.
"A pitcher may be removed as a pitcher and return as a pitcher only once per inning provided the return does not violate either the substitution or charged conference rule."

 

Balks – Balks will not be called.

 

Illegal Pitches – Umpires can choose to call illegal pitches after first issuing a specific explanation of the illegal pitch and issuing a warning to the pitcher and manager. If an illegal pitch is committed, a ball is charged and runners do not advance.

 

A CROW HOP is not the pitcher's failure to drag the push-off foot along the ground.  A crow hop is, as the name implies, a forward hop or step off the pitching rubber by the pivot/push-off foot (typically moving it forward a foot or more) to "replant" it and use it for a second push-off point.  It is not permitted in girl /women’s softball. 

 

"A crow hop is defined as the act of a pitcher who steps, hops, or drags off the front of the pitcher's plate, replants the pivot foot, establishing a second impetus (or starting point), pushes off from the newly-established starting point and completes the delivery."

 

"Pushing off with the pivot foot from a place other than the pitcher's plate is illegal."

 

LEAPING can be caused by a failure to "drag" the pivot/push-off foot.  Leaping, in fast pitch softball, is the act of having both feet off the ground at the same time.
 

20. SAFETY 

At all times please keep in mind the safety of the children.  All players must remain on the bench or behind the protected areas while the game is in progress.  Practice swings should be in the batting cage, or supervised by a coach.  Only team members may be in the dugout area.

21. INJURIES 

Blood Rule - A player, coach or umpire who is bleeding or who has blood on their uniform shall be prohibited from participating further in the game until appropriate treatment can be administered.  If medical care or treatment is administered in a reasonable length of time, the individual will not have to leave the game. 

Player InjuryA player may be removed from the game at any time because of injury.  She may return to the game later at the discretion of the manager. If an injured player is unable to bat, no penalty shall be assessed.  An injured player who misses an at bat but subsequently returns to the lineup shall assume her original batting order position. 

22. MISCELLANEOUS 

Postponement – A manager may request postponement of a game if he/she is unable to field a team due to school, religious or other conflicting events.  This request must be made to the League scheduler 5 days before the scheduled game and is not guaranteed.  

23. SPORTSMANSHIP

Umpires – Only the Manager or Coach may approach the umpire to question a call. Coaches are NOT to speak to the umpires or make any comments about a play/call until a play is COMPLETELY over and a call has been made on the field.  Once the ball has been returned to the pitcher’s circle, the coach then may call time out and both sides can convene with the umpire(s) to discuss the call.  

 

No spectators, parents, coaches, players, etc. shall be standing behind the backstop 

 

Please, no hitting sticks should be used as the opposing pitcher is in motion or throwing a pitch

 

Our goal is to provide our players with a fun, team bonding, and skill developing experience. We need to set a good example for them. Count to three and process what just happened before you quite possibly overreact to something.  Poor behavior and bad sportsmanship are remembered long after the play, game and even the season, is over.

 

Sportsmanship Pledge – Is now covered during the registration process and is the responsibility of the Manager to ensure their team follows it.

 

24. PLAYOFFS, CHAMPIONSHIP GAME 

Rules – All league rules shall apply to post season games with the exception of pitching which is unlimited innings for all pitchers.  The Board of directors reserves the right to amend rules as deemed necessary.

 

North Hunterdon Youth Softball

Softball Rules and Regulations

Minors Division

 

GENERAL 

Games will be played in accordance with Babe Ruth Softball rules as specifically amended by these local rules.  Basic rules of softball will be taken as those stated for youth play by Babe Ruth Softball

LEAGUE ALIGNMENT

4th through 5th graders and select 3rd graders

LENGTH AND FORMAT OF THE GAME 

1. Length of Play

Six innings, unless the game is called by the umpire due to a mercy rule, time limit, rain or other reasons that place participants in peril.

Other than mercy rule or time limit, games called by the umpire shall be regulation after 4 complete innings (3 1/2 innings if home team is ahead).

 

Games that are not considered regulation shall be resumed at the exact point where they were stopped at a future time.

 

Weekend games will have a 2 hour no new inning and 2 hour and 15 minute drop dead time limit

 

Regular season games can end in a tie.

 

2. Time Limitations - Umpire has the official clock – please check for any discrepancy before the game starts.  These guidelines are to be followed for ALL regular season games. No one-off coach agreements beforehand.  The umpire retains the right to end a game at any point should he/she consider weather or other conditions to be present that cause unsafe play and/or puts the players in peril.

If a weekend games are not completed by 2:15 from its start time the game will end and the score will revert back to the last full completed inning.  Should a game revert to a previously finished inning to determine the outcome because of a time limitation, no inning will be charged to the pitchers who pitched in the last unfinished inning.

3. Length of Innings Every ½ inning will end after 3 outs or if 5 runs are scored with the exception of the 7th inning when there is no run limitation.

4. Mercy Rule – The Mercy Rule is applied if a team is ahead by 12 or more runs at the end of the 5th inning.

The HOME team gets to bat the bottom half of the 5th or 6th inning if the AWAY team is ahead by 12 or more runs in the 5th or 10 or more runs in the 6th. If the HOME team fails to close the run gap after batting its half of the inning, the AWAY team wins via the Mercy Rule and the game is officially over.

 

If the HOME team is ahead by 12 or more runs in the 5th or 10 or more runs in the 6th after the AWAY team bats in the top of the 5th, 6th or 7th inning, the HOME team does NOT have to bat in the bottom half of the inning. The HOME team wins via the Mercy Rule and the game is officially over.

 

If the HOME team goes ahead by 12 or more runs in the 5th or 10 or more runs in the 6th after the AWAY team bats the top of the 5th, 6th or 7th inning, the inning does not need to be completed.   The HOME team wins via the Mercy Rule and the game is officially over.

 

5. Number of Players – Minors teams will utilize 10 defensive players. Teams are allowed to start with a minimum of 8 players. No team may start a game with less than 8 players. There will be a 20-minute grace period.  If 8 players are not available within 20 minutes of the scheduled start time the game is forfeited.  If a team starts the game with 8 players, there will be NO automatic out penalty for the 9th batting slot. Additional players may be added at any time but must be added to the last position in the batting order. In the case of an injury, a team may continue to play with 7 players provided the team started the game with only 8 players. If the team started the game with 8 or 9 players and a player is removed from the game and is not replaced, her batting slot will be an automatic out.

Teams must play 4 players in the outfield.  Outfielders must begin each pitch with both feet on the outfield grass.        

6. Line Ups & Playing Time –All players attending the game will bat the entire game (Cinderella batting). All players present at the start of the game shall be listed in a continuous batting order and given to the opposing manager before each game. The batting order must include the player’s name and uniform number.  If a player arrives late, she will be placed at the end of the batting order.  No player can sit defensively for more than one inning at a time. If a player arrives late their defensive time does not count until the start of the next full inning.  All players will remain in the stated batting order regardless of field substitutions. 

Coaches are expected to have their team lineup prepared in advance.

 

7. Substitutions – There are unlimited substitutions

 

8. Coaches – Managers/Coaches are permitted on the field only for pitching to complete an at bat and must immediately remove themselves from the field of play once a ball is put into play without interfering with the play.  For fields with a deep backstop, teams may choose to put a coach at the far end of the backstop to retrieve Catcher’s passed balls.  Coaches should not touch a passed ball when a runner is on 2nd.

 

9. Scoring – Each team may keep score. The Home team is responsible for the official score.  Coaches should verify the score with each other and the umpire between each half inning.

10. Pace of Game - PLEASE – let us not waste precious daylight between innings.

Courtesy runners are allowed for the catcher at any time.  It is preferred that a courtesy runner is used for the catcher with 2 outs of any inning

The courtesy runner for the catcher MUST be the last BATTED out in the lineup  

The catcher is deemed to be the catcher from the prior inning, not a new catcher coming in the following inning (exception for Speed Up play below).

 

It should take no longer than 3 minutes to changes sides between half innings

Returning pitchers get no more than 5 warm up pitches.

Make sure your players know where they are playing each inning.  Players should know where they are

playing in the field before the end of their team’s turn at bat.

Get your catcher ready for the next inning as soon as possible.  

Try hard to get in at least 5 innings in for each game.  This will give our players maximum playing time and keep the game moving.

 

11. UNIFORMS

Uniform – Players are required to be wear their team shirt and black pants. Metal free (no zippers or otherwise) outerwear is permitted in the field should the weather require it – pull over hoodies are best.

Cleats – Metal cleats are prohibited. 

Protective Helmets – All batters and base runners must wear protective helmets with facemask and chinstraps.

Protective Masks – All players MUST wear protective masks while in the field.

12. EQUIPMENT

Softballs – An 11” “hard” softball will be used for practice and games.  

Bats – All bats must be marked “Official ASA Softball” by the manufacturer. 

Bases – 1st base shall be a double base to avoid collisions.

13. LAYOUT OF THE DIAMOND 

Bases – The distance between all bases shall be 60 feet. 

Pitching Rubber The distance between the rear point of home plate and the front side of the pitcher’s rubber shall be 35 feet.

14. BATTING

Base on Balls – There are no base on balls. After the fourth pitched ball, the offensive team’s coach will finish the at bat until the ball is put into play or until strike 3 is called on the batter.  The number of strikes obtained by the player will carry over to the coach pitch.  If the batter has 2 strikes when ball 4 is thrown by the pitcher, the batter will still have 2 strikes when the coach begins pitching.  The coach pitcher must stand within the pitching circle when the pitch is thrown as well as the follow through.

Strike OutsThe batter will be out after 3 strikes. 

Bunting – Bunting is permitted but not when the coach is pitching.

No Show Bunt and SwingPlayers who square to bunt cannot pull the bat back and swing.  If a player shows bunt, they can either attempt the bunt or pull the bat away (not offer).  Any player who shows a bunt and pulls back and swings will be automatically out and the ball will be dead.  All base runners will return to the base they occupied before the pitch was thrown.  The batter does not need to make contact on the swing to be called out. 

Hit by Pitch - If a player is struck by a pitch (regardless of the ball bouncing in front of them or not), they will be awarded first base.  The coaches should be teaching the girls to try and get out of the way. 

Batted Ball that hits the coach - A batted ball that hits the coach either directly or after coming into contact with a fielder, will immediately be declared "dead" by the umpire: no further play is permitted. The batter is awarded first base: all other runners advance one base regardless if they are forced or not.

15. BASE RUNNING

Stealing –Stealing of 3rd base is allowed on release of the pitch.  No other bases can be stolen. There is no jeopardy to the defensive team for attempting to throw out a running trying to steal 3rd base.  If the ball is over thrown no runners may advance.  If the runner stealing third comes off the bag for any reason before the ball is returned to the pitching circle the defense can tag that runner out.  There is no stealing when a coach is pitching.

Leading – The base runner may take a lead after the ball has been released from the pitcher’s hand.  The defense can attempt a throw to any occupied base in an attempt to get the runner out after the pitch is thrown.  The base runners can only return to the base they occupied prior to the pitch with the exception of 2nd to 3rd

Sliding – Sliding is permitted and encouraged. A player must slide into home plate to avoid contact if there is a play at home plate. There is no sliding into 1st base at all. If any runner slides into 1st base, they will be called out.  Runners from home to first need to run straight through the safety base

A player must slide into home plate to avoid contact if there is play at home plate, otherwise the runner will be automatically called out by the umpire.  This is the umpire’s discretion and for the players safety.

Tagging Up - A runner can tag up and attempt advancing to the next base after a fly ball is caught.

Runner Hit by a Ball – If a fair-batted ball hits the base runner before it is touched by a defensive player, the base runner is out and the batter is awarded first base. All other base runners return to the previously base occupied, unless they are forced to advance because the batter is awarded first base. 

Running into a Defensive Player – Base runners must slide or avoid defensive players. A base runner may not run into a defensive player or attempt to knock a defensive player out of the play. A base runner may slide into a base guarded by a player.  If base runner intentionally runs into a defensive player attempting to make a play on a batted ball, the base runner is out and the ball is dead.  No other base runners may advance.  Fielders must make every attempt to remain out of the base line and away from the bases should they not be making a play on the ball.  If a fielder impedes the baserunner, the base runner will be awarded the next base.  This is the umpire’s discretion.

16. Pitcher Circle Rule – The pitcher’s circle is traditionally defined as an 8-foot diameter radius to the middle of the pitcher’s rubber (16’ diameter).   A play is considered dead once the ball breaks the plane of the pitching circle.  If a runner is between bases when the pitcher gains such possession, she may continue to advance to the next base or retreat to the previous base. If the pitcher attempts to put out the runner, the ball becomes live again. 

Every effort should be made by the home team to chalk this 16’ circle on the field prior to the start of the game. This is possible at Bundt Park but not at the High School. In the event you play a game at North HS you should scratch the circle into the dirt with a bat handle or similar instrument.

When is a play dead?

  • A play is ruled dead once a fielded “live” ball breaks the plane of the pitching circle while on its way to the pitcher or another infielder who is within the circle.  At least one defender MUST be in the circle when the ball breaks the plane.

  • For throws coming into the circle the player in the pitcher’s circle should always attempt to gain control of the ball but should it get by her the play is still dead so long as the ball broke the plane and crossed through any portion of the imaginary cylinder above the pitcher’s circle on the way in.  An example would be a throw to the pitcher or other fielder (who is in the circle) where the ball sails slightly high or wide (but STILL crosses the imaginary cylinder above the circle) is still considered a dead ball at that point.

  • When the pitcher or any other fielder runs the ball into the circle.

 

More than one player occupy the pitchers circle.

When is a play NOT dead?

  • If no defender is present within the 16’ circle when a ball crosses through the imaginary cylinder, above the pitchers circle it will NOT be considered a dead ball and play continues.

  • When a ball attempted to be thrown into the circle does not pass through any portion of the imaginary cylinder above the pitcher circle.

  • Should a throw be offline (does not pass through the imaginary cylinder) and forces the pitcher or other fielder to leave the circle to obtain the ball, she must reenter the circle (break the plane) with the ball in order for the play to stop.

     

What happens with the runners?

  • Runners in between bases when the ball crosses the plane of the circle may continue to the next base at their own peril or retreat to the prior base. The fielder (pitcher or otherwise), having gained control of the ball in the circle may make an immediate attempt to get a runner out by either throwing the ball to a base or pursuing after the runner. Should she do either, the play becomes live once again and runners may advance at their own peril. 

     

17. Drop Third Strike – Drop Third Strike rule WILL NOT be in effect.

18. FIELDING 

Infield Fly Rule – Infield fly rule will NOT apply.            

 

OverthrowIf the ball is thrown out of play (out of play boundaries are determined between coaches and ump prior to the game starting): The batter (turned runner) is awarded 2nd base and all other runners advance to the base they were headed +1.  Example: A runner who was on first at the start of the play advances to third.
 

If an overthrow remains in play: Runners can advance at their own risk but no further than 1 base.  Should a fielder pick up the initial overthrow (which remained in play) and initiate a new put-out attempt by throwing the ball anywhere other than in the direction of the pitching circle (which stops play) any runner can again advance at their own risk but no more than 1 base
 

19. PITCHING 

Contact with Rubber – Both feet must start on the rubber. The pivot foot must remain in contact with or push off and drag away from the pitching rubber until the ball is released.  If any of these rules are broken, an illegal pitch can be called by the umpire which will result in a called ball on the batter (see illegal pitch rules below).

Pitching eligibility is by week, Saturday through Friday. Pitchers are eligible to pitch 8 innings per week. If a pitcher appears and throws at least one pitch, an inning is charged to the pitcher. An additional 4 innings are allotted if and only if a third game occurs in the same week.  Managers are responsible for keeping track of their pitcher’s innings and is subject to audit.

* Should a game revert back to a previously finished inning to determine the outcome because of a time limitation, no inning will be charged to the pitchers who pitched in the last unfinished inning.

 

Teams can only use the additional 4 innings if the third game actually occurs during the course of the one week. You cannot tap into the additional 4-inning allotment in the second game of the week just because you have a third game scheduled for the given week.  If a pitcher has thrown 8 innings in the first two games of the week, she is maxed out.  She would however be eligible for another 4 innings in the third game of a single week.  In the event that a team violates the pitching eligibility rule, the result could be forfeiture of the game.

In the event that a team violates the pitching eligibility rule, the result could be forfeiture of the game.

* Some examples:

Majors - If a pitcher throws 7 innings in the first game and none in the second game then she would have 5 innings remaining for the 3rd game.

Majors – If a pitcher throws 4 innings in the first game, 2 in the second game (6 total), then she would be eligible for 6 innings in the 3rd game. 

Substitution - Pitchers who are removed may return to pitch at any time during the game as long as pitching eligibility is considered.

 

Hit by Pitch - A pitcher must be relieved and may not return if she hits 4 batters in the course of a game.

 

Trips to the Mound / Charged Conferences – Babe Ruth rules – each team is allowed 3 charged conferences per 7 innings. They may all be used during 1 inning or spread out over the 7. On the 4th conference the pitcher must be switched, the pitcher can play another defensive position. It is not a charged conference if the manager informs the umpire they are replacing the pitcher before any verbal comments with the defensive player(s) or during an offensive conference and the defense is ready to play when the offense is ready.
"A pitcher may be removed as a pitcher and return as a pitcher only once per inning provided the return does not violate either the substitution or charged conference rule."

 

Balks – Balks will not be called.

 

Illegal Pitches – Umpires can choose to call illegal pitches after first issuing a specific explanation of the illegal pitch and issuing a warning to the pitcher and manager. If an illegal pitch is committed, a ball is charged and runners do not advance.

 

A CROW HOP is not the pitcher's failure to drag the push-off foot along the ground.  A crow hop is, as the name implies, a forward hop or step off the pitching rubber by the pivot/push-off foot (typically moving it forward a foot or more) to "replant" it and use it for a second push-off point.  It is not permitted in girl /women’s softball. 

 

"A crow hop is defined as the act of a pitcher who steps, hops, or drags off the front of the pitcher's plate, replants the pivot foot, establishing a second impetus (or starting point), pushes off from the newly-established starting point and completes the delivery."

 

"Pushing off with the pivot foot from a place other than the pitcher's plate is illegal."

 

LEAPING can be caused by a failure to "drag" the pivot/push-off foot.  Leaping, in fast pitch softball, is the act of having both feet off the ground at the same time.
 

20. SAFETY 

At all times please keep in mind the safety of the children.  All players must remain on the bench or behind the protected areas while the game is in progress.  Practice swings should be in the batting cage, or supervised by a coach.  Only team members may be in the dugout area.

21. INJURIES 

Blood Rule - A player, coach or umpire who is bleeding or who has blood on their uniform shall be prohibited from participating further in the game until appropriate treatment can be administered.  If medical care or treatment is administered in a reasonable length of time, the individual will not have to leave the game. 

Player InjuryA player may be removed from the game at any time because of injury.  She may return to the game later at the discretion of the manager. If an injured player is unable to bat, no penalty shall be assessed.  An injured player who misses an at bat but subsequently returns to the lineup shall assume her original batting order position. 

22. MISCELLANEOUS 

Postponement – A manager may request postponement of a game if he/she is unable to field a team due to school, religious or other conflicting events.  This request must be made to the League scheduler 5 days before the scheduled game and is not guaranteed.  

23. SPORTSMANSHIP

Umpires – Only the Manager or Coach may approach the umpire to question a call. Coaches are NOT to speak to the umpires or make any comments about a play/call until a play is COMPLETELY over and a call has been made on the field.  Once the ball has been returned to the pitcher’s circle, the coach then may call time out and both sides can convene with the umpire(s) to discuss the call.  

 

No spectators, parents, coaches, players, etc. shall be standing behind the backstop 

 

Please, no hitting sticks should be used as the opposing pitcher is in motion or throwing a pitch

 

Our goal is to provide our players with a fun, team bonding, and skill developing experience. We need to set a good example for them. Count to three and process what just happened before you quite possibly overreact to something.  Poor behavior and bad sportsmanship are remembered long after the play, game and even the season, is over.

 

Sportsmanship Pledge – Is now covered during the registration process and is the responsibility of the Manager to ensure their team follows it.

 

24. PLAYOFFS, CHAMPIONSHIP GAME 

Rules – All league rules shall apply to post season games with the exception of pitching which is unlimited innings for all pitchers.  The Board of directors reserves the right to amend rules as deemed necessary.

 

North Hunterdon Youth Softball

Softball Rules and Regulations

 Juniors Division

1. General

This is first and foremost an Instructional League for players of all abilities.

Scores for games will be logged but standings will not be kept.

10-12 game regular season schedule, no playoffs.

League assigned umpires to manage game.

Each team should have an equal number of innings at bat (complete innings).

Strive to get 4 innings (avg. 20 minutes per full inning).

2. Game Time

Time slots are 2 hours*

Each team will practice for 30 minutes prior to the game and then play 1:30 games.

It is important that coaches use the full 30 minutes of pre-game practice to work on basic skills such as throwing, catching, base running and hitting and also to educate the players on general knowledge of the game (force outs, backing up, tagging runners with the ball, etc). As the season progresses the coaches can agree to start the games without practice or arrive early to practice and play at the scheduled start time.

3. Length of Innings

For the 1st inning, all players on both teams will bat and will be called safe or out anyone called out should be removed from the base.  Runs will not be counted in the first inning.  It is recommended to bat your team in reverse order of your line up in the first inning.

From the 2nd through 6th innings every ½ inning will end after 3 outs or 10 batters have taken an at bat, whichever comes first.  The 10th batter will be announced and will bat as normal.  The ensuing play will be treated as if there were two outs.

4. Number of Players

Players – 10 players in field no player to sit more than 1 inning in a row.  4 players must be in the outfield.

 

5. Line Ups & Playing Time

 

All players attending the game will bat the entire game (Cinderella batting). All players present at the start of the game shall be listed in a continuous batting order and given to the opposing manager before each game. The batting order must include the player’s name and uniform number.  If a player arrives late, she will be placed at the end of the batting order.  No player can sit defensively for more than one inning at a time. If a player arrives late their defensive time does not count until the start of the next full inning.  All players will remain in the stated batting order regardless of field substitutions. 

Coaches are expected to have their team lineup prepared in advance.

 

6. Equipment

 

Softballs 11” hard balls shall be used.

 

Bases – 1st base shall be a double base to avoid collisions.

 

7. LAYOUT OF THE DIAMOND 

Bases – The distance between all bases shall be 60 feet. 

Pitching Rubber The distance between the rear point of home plate and the front side of the pitcher’s rubber shall be 35 feet.

8. BATTING & PITCHING

Coach Pitch – Coaches will pitch to their own players from 30-35 feet.  (Rubber will be set at 35 feet but coach may get 5 feet closer if they wish.) Walks are not allowed so balls and strikes will not be called.

 

No Strike Outs- If after 6 pitches the ball is not put in play a tee will be used to hit.  (a foul ball on a 6th pitch will award another pitch until the ball is missed or put in play).

 

A ball that strikes the coach pitching will be considered dead and 1 base will be awarded to all runners.

 

Bunting is not permitted

 

A coach may stand behind the catcher to retrieve passed balls to facilitate the pace of the game

 

9. BASE RUNNING

 

Leading – Runners may not leave the base until the ball crosses the plate

 

Stealing – No stealing is allowed.

 

Courtesy Runners - Courtesy runner may be used for the catcher at any time.  The courtesy runner is the last batter to make an out.  It is preferred that a courtesy runner is used for the next inning’s catcher when there are 2 outs in any inning

 

Base runners are limited to one base on all batted balls hit in the infield. No advances are allowed for overthrows to any base on balls hit in the infield.   Base runners may take additional bases on all batted balls hit into the outfield, as defined by any ball that goes 10 feet beyond the base path or any ball that is fielded by an outfielder.  Base running must end at the next base once the ball is returned to the infield and has been secured by an infielder.

 

Sliding – Sliding is permitted and encouraged.

 

10. FIELDING

 

No Infield fly rule and no dropped third strike.

 

11. UNIFORMS

 

Cleats – Metal cleats are prohibited. 

Protective Helmets – All batters and base runners must wear protective helmets with facemask and chinstraps.

Protective Masks – All players MUST wear protective masks while in the field.

12. SCORING

 

Score will be kept from the second through 6th inning and will revert back to the last completed inning if the game is called.  A minimum of 3 competitive innings will result in a complete game.

 

13. SAFETY 

At all times please keep in mind the safety of the children.  All players must remain on the bench or behind the protected areas while the game is in progress.  Practice swings should be in the batting cage, or supervised by a coach.  Only team members may be in the dugout area.

14. INJURIES 

Blood Rule - A player, coach or umpire who is bleeding or who has blood on their uniform shall be prohibited from participating further in the game until appropriate treatment can be administered.  If medical care or treatment is administered in a reasonable length of time, the individual will not have to leave the game. 

Player InjuryA player may be removed from the game at any time because of injury.  She may return to the game later at the discretion of the manager. If an injured player is unable to bat, no penalty shall be assessed.  An injured player who misses an at bat but subsequently returns to the lineup shall assume her original batting order position. 

15. MISCELLANEOUS 

Postponement – A manager may request postponement of a game if he/she is unable to field a team due to school, religious or other conflicting events.  This request must be made to the League scheduler 5 days before the scheduled game and is not guaranteed.  

16. SPORTSMANSHIP

Umpires – Only the Manager or Coach may approach the umpire to question a call. Coaches are NOT to speak to the umpires or make any comments about a play/call until a play is COMPLETELY over and a call has been made on the field.  Once the ball has been returned to the pitcher’s circle, the coach then may call time out and both sides can convene with the umpire(s) to discuss the call.  

 

Our goal is to provide our players with a fun, team bonding, and skill developing experience. We need to set a good example for them. Count to three and process what just happened before you quite possibly overreact to something.  Poor behavior and bad sportsmanship are remembered long after the play, game and even the season, is over.

 

Sportsmanship Pledge – Is now covered during the registration process and is the responsibility of the Manager to ensure their team follows it.