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2018 SOFTBALL RULES

BBSA SOFTBALL RULES AND CONDUCT

1.0           MANAGERS AND COACHES

1.01        The Board of Directors of the BBSA will review the performance of all Managers and Coaches from the previous season. Managers and Coaches will be rated on their overall handling of players; attendance at practices, games and meetings; and overall adherence to the spirit of the BBSA Rules. Upon completion of this review, the BBSA Board of Directors shall decide whether or not to extend an invitation to these Managers to submit their name as a Managerial candidate for the upcoming season. Managerial positions will be offered to the best qualified candidates who have expressed an interest in writing. Managerial positions are not guaranteed from season to season. First preference shall be given to Burlington residents.

1.02        First Time Managers are free to engage one Head Coach. Returning Managers may choose their head coach only if he/she managed with that same coach during the previous regular season. First time coaches may be assigned to Managers (as head coach) at the Board of Directors discretion. Once season has started managers may solicit parent volunteers as long as the volunteers have a valid CORI. The Board Directors retain the right of final approval or disapproval of selected coaches and assistants.

1.03        If an Umpire does not show up for a scheduled game, that game must be played. The Managers shall attempt to find an appropriate candidate; however, if the Managers can not agree, the home team shall appoint the Umpire .                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1.04 All Managers/coaches shall display fair play and sportsmanship at all times.

2.0           GENERAL RULES AND PROCEDURES:

2.01        Each player will play at least 9 defensive outs per game. A player may be substituted before the start of any half inning.

2.02        Players in the field: Junior and Intermediate League- No more than ten (10) players shall be positioned in the field, however games can be played with as few as eight (8) players in the field, if need be. The game must be declared a forfeit if a team is unable to field at least eight (8) players. Senior League- Nine (9) players shall be positioned in the field, however games can be played with as few as eight (8) players in the field, if need be. The game must be declared a forfeit if a team is unable to field at least eight (8) players.

2.03        Batting Order:

The Junior and Intermediate leagues will use a perpetual batting order. Senior may chamge batting order game to game. Managers must submit their opening day batting order to league director. Batting orders will be distributed to all teams for reference. Managers are permitted to change their batting order half way through the season, but must submit it in writing to the league representative. In the event a new batting order is not submitted in writing to the league rep, the previous batting order shall remain in effect. Failure to follow the perpetual batting order rules through the regular season will be reported to the Board and may face disciplinary action. Perpetual batting order will not be in effect during the playoffs. NOTE: Perpetual batting order means that the batter who makes the final out of the game will be the last batter in the batting order for that team in the next game.

2.04        A player must play at least two complete games in each half of the season, provided she attends at least six (6) games per half.

2.05        If a player is being disciplined, the opposing Manager/Coach and umpire must be notified before the game. If for some extreme reason a player must be disciplined during a game, the Manager/Coach shall get together with the opposing Manager/Coach and come up with an amicable and immediate solution to the problem. The Manager of the disciplined player shall notify the league rep within 24 hours.

2.06        Illegal Bats: All bats must fulfill official Babe Ruth Softball requirements. All illegal bats must be removed from the game. Any player who reaches base safely while using an illegal bat shall be declared OUT and the ball shall be declared a dead ball. All runners shall return to the bases they occupied prior to the play. This is enforced as an appeal play and the Manager/Coach of the defensive team must make the appeal to the umpire before the first pitch is thrown to the next batter.

2.07        Collision Rule: A runner must avoid a collision with a fielder by attempting to get around the fielder or by sliding. If in the judgment of the umpire the runner does not attempt to avoid a collision, the runner is ruled OUT. If in the judgment of the umpire the runner deliberately collides with a fielder, the runner shall be ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct.

2.08        Full uniforms and team hats must be worn by every player in the field in accordance with "Babe Ruth” provided they were supplied with a uniform and hat.

2.09        The batter, base runner, and any player serving as a base coach must wear a helmet at all times. There must be no removal of helmets. This is for the safety of everyone involved. Failure to comply with this safety measure will result in the following action:

· First offense: Warning issued to player.

· Second offense: Player to be removed from the game.

2.10        Bunting and Stealing:

Bunting and stealing will be allowed throughout the season in the Intermediate and Senior leagues only.

Intermediate League (Stealing):                     Stealing will be allowed from 2nd to 3rd base.  The base runner cannot leave the base until the pitched ball crosses the front of home plate. Under no circumstances can a player steal home. For example, if a player attempts to steal third base and there is an overthrow into the outfield, the base runner must remain on third base.

Senior League (Stealing):                  The base runner cannot leave the base until the pitched ball crosses the front of home plate

NOTE:  Slap bunting is NOT ALLOWED at any level.

2.11        Violation (protest) must be reported to the league rep within 48 hours and must be followed up with a written statement.

2.12        Infield fly rules: Babe Ruth Softball League rules for Infield fly are in effect for Senior league only.

2.13        Dropped third strike: Babe Ruth Softball League rules for dropped third strike are in effect for senior league only.

3.0           VACANCY RULE

Temporary Vacancy- when a team will have less than full field of players for a game (nine or ten depending on league), they may acquire additional players for that game.

Intermediate League:

Teams may call up players from the Junior League. Those players may be second (2nd) grade or an a female player playing baseball in the BBSA Burlington program in grades 3, 4 or 5.

Senior League:    Teams may call up players from the Intermediate League or a female player playing baseball in the BBSA Burlington program in grades 6, 7, 8 or 9.

Note:      No player brought up from a lower league may pitch or start before a roster player of that team.

Note:      In the event of a surplus of players due to a call up, vacancy players should only substitute into the game for other vacancy players. Roster players should not be benched in favor of non roster players.

Note:      The player’s regular team game takes precedent in case of a scheduling conflict.

Called up vacancy players must be placed at the bottom of game time batting order while maintaining the perpetual batting order per 2.03 for roster players.

4.0           PITCHING

 4.01       Intermediate League

A Manager/Coach has the option of pitching any player on the roster in accordance with the following restrictions:

·                No player may pitch more than six (6) innings in two consecutive games. Note: one pitch equals one inning. There is a 4 inning per game maximum limit within Junior League. There is a 6 inning per game maximum limit within intermediate league.

·                A pitcher must be removed if she walks four (4) batters in a row or six (6) batters in one inning. Note: A hit batter equals a walk.

  •  Intentional walks are not allowed. If, in the umpire’s judgment, a pitcher intentionally walks a batter, the pitcher must be removed.

·         All replacement pitchers must come from the field, not from the bench.  No exceptions.

In the act of delivering the ball, the pitcher shall not take more than one step, which must be forward, toward the batter and simultaneous with the delivery of the ball to the batter. The pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitcher's mound or ground until the non-pivot foot (front foot) touches the ground. The pitcher may not step backwards with the non-pivot foot, and the forward step must be taken within or partially within the 24" width of the pitching mound.

A pitcher who has been replaced (including the walk rules above) is allowed to reenter the game as a pitcher one time; however they cannot re-enter within the same inning. Once that pitcher has been replaced a second time, they are not permitted to pitch in that game again.

Pitching distances used should be in accordance with BABE RUTH SOFTBALL rules.

Junior Softball's pitching distance is 35 feet, however, if a pitcher is having difficulty reaching home plate, both Managers/Coaches must agree to move the pitching rubber in to an appropriate distance (not to be less than 34 feet). However, if both Managers/Coaches can't agree, the pitching rubber must stay at the original distance. Remember, all Managers/Coaches are encouraged to display good sportsmanship.

The ball shall be considered dead when:

·                Junior League: when the ball has been returned to the infield after a play.

·                Intermediate League: when the ball has been returned to the pitcher at the mound.

Note: Base runners who are not halfway or more to the next base at the time the dead ball rule is in effect, must return to the previous base.

Playoff Pitching:                 Above pitching rules for the Junior and Intermediate leagues are in effect during playoffs. Unofficial games do not count toward the pitching inning count.

 4.02       Senior League:

Senior Softball's pitching distance is 40 feet with the option of pitching from 43 feet using temporary rubber.  Managers/Coaches must agree to move the pitching rubber in to an appropriate distance (not to be less than 40 feet).

 A Manager/Coach has the option of pitching any player on the roster in accordance with the following restrictions:

· No player may pitch more than seven (7) innings in two consecutive games. There is seven innings per game maximum limit within Senior League. Note: one pitch equals one inning.

· Intentional walks are not allowed. If, in the umpire’s judgment, a pitcher intentionally walks a batter, the pitcher must be removed.

 · All replacement pitchers must come from the field, not from the bench. No exceptions.

 In the act of delivering the ball, the pitcher shall not take more than one step, which must be forward, toward the batter and simultaneous with the delivery of the ball to the batter. The pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitcher's mound or ground until the non-pivot foot (front foot) touches the ground. The pitcher may not step backwards with the non-pivot foot, and the forward step must be taken within or partially within the 24" width of the pitching mound.

A pitcher who has been replaced (including the walk rule above) is allowed to reenter the game as a pitcher one time; however they cannot re-enter within the same inning. Once that pitcher has been replaced a second time, they are not permitted to pitch in that game again.

Pitching distances used should be in accordance with BABE RUTH SOFTBALL rules.

The ball shall be considered dead when the ball has been returned to the pitcher at the circle.

Playoff Pitching: Above pitching rules for the Senior League are in effect during playoffs. Unofficial games do not count toward the pitching inning count.

4.03        Timeouts - Trips to the Mound

A pitcher must be removed from the mound on the second trip to the mound by any coach during an inning or on the third trip to the mound by any coach during a game. A "trip" is defined in the following manner.

· Any time an umpire calls "time out" so that any of the coaches may confer with the pitcher either at the pitchers mound or along the foul line.

· Any time an umpire calls "time out" so that any of the coaches may confer with any player who subsequently confers with the pitcher before the pitcher delivers another pitch.

Time outs are not allowed for delaying a game.

An injury shall not be charged as a "trip" unless the coach does more than chat with the pitcher. In this case, the Manager/Coach shall ask the umpire to go to the mound with him/her.

4.04        Mercy Rule

Intermediate Leagues:

· The first time the mercy rule can be considered is after 3 ½ innings

· If at the beginning of, or at any time during the bottom half of the 4th or 5 th inning the HOME TEAM is leading by 12 runs or more, the game may be ended.

· If the VISITING TEAM is leading by 12 runs or more at the end of 3 ½, 4 ½, or 5 ½ innings, the game continues, and the inning is completed. If at the end of the 4th or 5 th inning the VISITING TEAM is leading by 12 runs or more, the game may be ended.

Senior League:

· The first time the mercy rule can be considered is after 4 ½ innings

· If at the beginning of, or at any time during the bottom half of the 5 thor 6 th inning the HOME TEAM is leading by 12 runs or more, the game may be ended.

· If the VISITING TEAM is leading by 12 runs or more at the end of 4 ½, 5 ½, or 6 ½ innings, the game continues, and the inning is completed. If at the end of the 5 th or 6 th inning the VISITING TEAM is leading by 12 runs or more, the game may be ended.

 4.05       Maximum Runs per Inning Rule:

In the Juniorand Intermediate and there is a five  (5) run maximum per inning rule. Senior six (6) This means that regardless of how many outs there are, once a team scores six runs in an inning, that inning is over and the other team comes to bat. However, there is a continuation rule, which should be enforced according to each leagues dead ball rule 4.01. It is enforced as follows:

· Junior League: Once the ball is returned to the infield, all base runners must stop.

· Intermediate League: Once the ball is returned to the pitcher at the circle, all base runners must stop.

· Senior League: Players can continue to run until one of the base runners is called out.

NOTE: The maximum number of runs that can be scored in any inning is nine (9). This can occur when a team has already scored five runs in an inning; the bases are loaded, and all base runners, including the batter, score before the dead ball rule takes effect and/ or before any base runner is called out.

NOTE: With the continuation rule, only those runs (beyond the 6 run maximum) that score before the dead ball rule takes effect, or before a base runner is called out, shall count for that inning. Base runners that have not touched home plate when the dead ball rule is enforced, or before a base runner is called out, shall NOT count (beyond the 6 run maximum).

The Maximum Run rule is not in effect during the last inning of the game. In most cases, that will be 6th inning for Junior and Intermediate Leagues and 7th inning for Senior League. In the event that the time limit rule (6.04) will be enforced prior to 6 th inning (Junior or Intermediate) or 7th inning (Senior), the last inning of the game will have the Maximum Run rule suspended. Managers and Umpire should establish when a time limit last inning is in effect prior to starting final inning.

5.0           OFFENSES:

5.01        Any manager/coach violating the batting or player participation rules on the:

First Offense: If the game is won by the offending team, the entire game shall be replayed, a warning issued to the manager/coach, and he/she may be brought in front of the BBSA Board of Directors for disciplinary action.

Second Offense: If the game is won by the offending team, the game will be forfeited and the manager/coach will be brought before of the BBSA Board of Directors for disciplinary action.

5.02        Any manager/coach violating the pitching rules on the:

First Offense: If the game is won by the offending team, the game shall be declared a forfeit and a warning issued to the manager/coach, and he/she may be brought in front of the BBSA Board of Directors for disciplinary action.

Second Offense: If the game is won by the offending team, the game will be forfeited and the manager/coach will be brought before of the BBSA Board of Directors for disciplinary action.

5.03        Any protest of the batting order, player participation, or pitching rules must be made to the proper league rep within forty eight (48) hours of the end of the game. A written statement must follow within 24 hours after the protest has been filed.

 5.04       Any protest of the playing rules must be made to the umpire before the last out of the game. The umpire will then sign the score book noting the protest. The protesting manager must notify the proper league rep within 24 hours and follow up in writing within 24 hours of the protest.

5.05        Judgment calls of the umpire CAN NOT BE PROTESTED.

5.06        Protest Procedure:

·                League rep shall make a ruling.

·                If the protest is appealed, a "Protest Committee" consisting of the league rep, softball commissioner and the BBSA President (or his/her appointee) shall make a final ruling.

 ·               The ruling of the Protest Committee is not eligible for an appeal.

NOTE: If the protest committee is to rule on a case where a member of the protest committee is involved as a manager, coach, parent of a player or similar relation to the team(s) or player(s) involved, the BBSA President shall appoint an appropriate replacement.

6.0           OFFICIAL BBSA EVENTS:

6.01        All twilight games shall start promptly at 5:30 p.m.

6.02        Night games: No inning shall begin after 9:30 p.m. all season. Any game that has not become official shall be suspended, and re-started from that point, on the next available make up date. The lights at Simonds Park shall not be turned on under any circumstances before May 1 of the current season.

6.03        DELETED

6.04        Time Limit: No new inning shall begin after 1 hour 45 minutes has elapsed from the start of the game. Games called because of the time limit will be considered a regulation game regardless of the number of innings played. This rule applies to the junior, intermediate and senior leagues. The official start time of the game should be noted between managers and umpire prior to first pitch.

6.05        Cancelled games: All rained out games, tie games, suspended games, etc. must be scheduled for next available date. Make-up games shall be scheduled by the league rep.

6.06        Games per week: No team should ever find itself in the position of having to play three games in two days due to postponements. This rule is to assure that no teams pitching staff shall be overtaxed. The oldest make-up games should be scheduled first, whenever possible. No team shall play more than four games per week or two games in a day.

6.07        Simonds Park Lights: The lights at Simonds Park shall not be turned on during twilight games unless deemed absolutely necessary by the umpire.

6.08        Playoff Games: Any playoff game that is not completed due to weather or time restraints MUST be finished before the next scheduled game of the series. This pertains to official games only. Unofficial games must be replayed in its entirety. Should both managers agree that the game is no

6.09        Sundays: No events will be scheduled prior to 10:00am on Sundays. This rule applies to official BBSA events.

6.10        No game may be forfeited due to one team missing players to a school or religious function.

7.0           CONDUCT:

7.01        Abuse to Equipment

Abuse to equipment will not be tolerated (e.g. throwing helmets, bats, etc). Umpires will be instructed to obtain the names of any player who commits such an offense. The players name will be forwarded to the league rep and/or commissioner for the following actions:

· First Offense- The player is expelled (benched) for the remainder of that game.

· Second Offense- The player will be expelled from that game and that players name will be forwarded to the BBSA Board of Directors for further disciplinary action.

7.02        Any player who participates in an altercation (i.e. fisticuffs) WILL be suspended for at least one game. Any player who starts an altercation MAY be suspended for the remainder of the season. Decision will be reviewed by Board of Directors.

7.03        Any player expelled from a game will automatically be benched for the next game that she attends.

7.04        Players are encouraged to support their own teammates both in the field and at bat. Harassing the opposing team is not permitted, as this is not in the best interest of good sportsmanship.

7.05        Under no circumstances shall a manager/coach dispute an umpire’s judgment call. If there is a question regarding a rule interpretation, the manager/coach may inquire of the umpire in a gentlemanly fashion to his/her decision. Remember, the umpires are volunteers, and as such, deserve your consideration.

7.06        Managers/coaches who are expelled from a game by an umpire WILL automatically be suspended for the next scheduled game and WILL face further disciplinary action by the BBSA Board of Directors. DO NOT BERATE THE UMPIRES!!!

7.07        Nobody except team members, manager, head coach, an assistant coach, and scorekeeper will be allowed to sit on the team bench and/or in the dugout, maximum 4 coaches.

7.08        Only team members and volunteers above the specified age limits of the particular league level may be on the field, team bench, or in the team dugout during scheduled games or practices.

8.0           EQUIPMENT

8.01        All equipment must be stacked in a convenient location that will not interfere with the action on the playing field in fair or foul territory.

8.02        Managers/coaches should make every effort to collect all equipment and turn it in on time.

8.03        Rating sheets are an important part of the equipment, and as such, MUST be filled out and turned in to League Director prior to playoffs or the Manager does not manage in the playoffs.

8.04        The home team is responsible for supplying two (2) game balls for each home game (all game balls will be supplied by the BBSA equipment manager).

  • Junior league will use 11 inch balls
  • Intermediate will use 11 inch balls
  • Senior league will use 12 inch balls.

8.05        Pitchers are encouraged to use face shields while on the mound.

9.0           SUMMER LEAGUE

9.01        All summer programs will have a separate registration and fee, to be set annually by the BBSA Board of Directors.

10.0        RULES COMMITTEE

10.01     The BBSA President shall appoint a standing committee on "League Rules and Policy." This committee shall report to the Board of Directors with a draft proposal for the upcoming season. The Board shall take action on the recommendation of this committee.

11.0        FAMILY DAY GAME SELECTIONS

11.01     Family day game policy will be set at the beginning of the season by the BBSA Board of Directors.

12.0        LEAGUE EXPANSION (This rule does not apply as Softball teams are re-drafted each year).

13.0        DRAFTING OF TEAMS

 13.01    The number of players on each team shall be set annually by the BBSA Board of Directors. The number of players per team shall not be less than 11 or greater than 15.

13.02     Grade Limitations:

·                Senior League:                     Grades 6, 7, 8 and 9

·                Intermediate League:       Grades 3, 4 and 5

·                Junior League:                      Grades 1 and 2

13.03     Only team Manager and head coach will be allowed to attend the draft.

13.04     Parent / Child Option and Siblings Manager’s and/or head coach’s daughter(s) and siblings will be slotted into the draft at the discretion of Softball Commissioner and League Director on draft day. The Softball Commissioner and League Director shall determine compensation (if any) in exchange for any child’s placement within the draft.

13.05     The BBSA President and/or B.O.D will determine the specific number of players from each age group for each team on an annual basis.

13.06     The BBSA President and or Board of Directors shall determine the amount of games to be played by each team in each division on an annual basis.

14.0        CHANGES TO THESE RULES AND REGULATIONS REQUIRE BBSA PRESIDENT and/or BBSA B.O.D APPROVAL.

15.0 DELETE - Duplication