Game Rules and Regulations
The MCSSA intends to create a softball experience for senior men and women that encourages fun, exercise, and competition. Emphasis is placed on avoiding bodily contact that can result in injuries. Emphasis is also placed on sportsmanship and respect for officials and fellow players. The MCSSA intends to abide by municipal ordinances for the park, including prohibitions on tobacco and alcohol consumption.
With exceptions, MCSSA games are played in accordance with the rules for senior softball prescribed by the ASA/USA softball associations. The game management rules specific to the MCSSA and exceptions to the ASA/USA rules are outlined below.
I. Participation Eligibility
A. Participation in MCSSA games is open to men 50 years of age and women aged 40 years and older. To participate, men must be 50 years old and women at least 40 years old by the end of the calendar year.
B. Participation is limited to men and women who are registered with the MSSCA and whose participation fees are fully paid.
A. Bats must bear the ASA 2004 certification mark, or the undated ASA certification mark implemented in 2013 and must be marked Official Softball by the manufacturer. Bats with certification marks listed on the ASA Non-Approved Bat List (http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/Play-ASA/Certified-ASA-Equipment.aspx) are not allowed nor are bats with a bat performance factor (BPF) greater than 1.20. No Senior Bats.
B. No metal cleats are allowed.
C. Balls are ASA certified 12-inch 0.44/375 balls for men and 11-inch balls for women. Use of the smaller ball by women is optional.
D. Jewelry that can cause injury to the wearer or other players is not to be worn during game play.
E. Each player is issued a shirt and cap and is expected to wear them during play.
III. Field Layout
A. The distance between bases is 65 ft.
B. A rubber Home Plate Extension Mat is used to create a pitching target 19” wide and 35” long.
C. A Secondary Home Plate (scoring plate) is located about 6 ft. behind the primary home plate.
D. A Secondary First Base is located adjacent to the primary first base in foul territory. The secondary base is orange.
E. A Commitment Line is placed across the 3rd base-to-secondary home plate scoring line at a distance of 20 feet from the secondary home plate.
F. An outfield Encroachment Line is marked with orange cones at a radial distance of 160 feet from home plate, ALL outfielders will be behind cones before each pitch. “A” League will not use cones. (No A league this year).
G. The pitching rubber is 50 ft. from home plate.
IV. Game Management
A. Team Responsibilities
1. Home Team
a. Listed first on the schedule and will sit in the Third Base dugout.
b. Must provide the scorebook and scorekeeper for the game being played. If the home team cannot find a non-player to keep score, the official scorebook will be kept in the home team dugout. If the home team only has 10 or fewer players, the visiting team will keep the scorebook in its dugout when they are at bat.
2. Visiting Team is Listed second on the schedule and will use the First Base dugout.
3. Winning Team
a. The Manager of the winning team is expected to report the score of the game within 24 hours of game completion. If scores are not reported by Friday morning of game week, the game is subject to forfeit.
b. An email address or phone number for reporting scores will be provided to team managers at the start of the season.
B. League Responsibilities:
1. Will provide (2) 12-inch softballs, (1) used 12 inch softball and (1) new or good condition.
2. One 11- inch softball for each night, per field. Will have extra balls available for umpires upon request.
3. Will provide Rubber Home Plate Extension and cones.
4. Pitching mask will be available (4 mask).
C. Team Participation:
1. All players are on the batting lineup. No player will sit out more than two innings per game unless there is a medical reason or if the player chooses to sit out.
2. Games will be played with a minimum of eight and a maximum of 10 fielders. A team with an insufficient number of players may pick up a maximum of three substitute players from other teams. A team playing with substitutes must field at least six players of its own team.
3. The first two substitute players must play either catcher or right field positions. A third substitute must play right center or first base. For safety of players, the subs can play other positions with approval of both coaches.
4. A game may be completed with one less than required to start. An out will be recorded when the vacant position in the batting order is scheduled to bat.
5. Teams must be prepared to take the field at the scheduled game time. The game is subject to forfeiture if a team is unable to take the field within ten minutes of the scheduled start time. If extra time is required to muster a team, the delay will be deducted from the allowed game time.
6. Substitutes shall be "picked from a hat" from all available players at the field providing there is more than enough subs available.
D. Game Duration and Scoring
1. Games are seven innings or one hour and thirty minutes. No inning will begin after the time limit has expired. An inning started before the time limit may be completed.
2. A 15-run Mercy Rule applies after five innings. A team leading by 15 or more runs after the trailing team has batted in the 5th inning is deemed to have won.
3. A team may score a maximum of five runs per inning unless that team is behind by more than five runs, in which case, the team may score enough runs to pull even with, but not pass, the opposing team. If a team reaches the allowed number of runs on a play that would produce excess runs (e.g., an over-the-fence home run), the excess runs do not count.
4. There is no scoring limit in the 7th inning. This applies to an earlier inning if, in the umpire’s judgment, the game will be time-limited and both teams are advised of the situation at the top of the inning.
5. For the purposes of scoring, a team winning by forfeit is awarded seven runs.
6. The umpire is empowered to call a game for any condition deemed to place the players in peril (e.g., lightening, wet field, light fixture failure). A game terminated by the umpire due to unsafe conditions or time constraints will be considered complete if it is called after five innings or after 4½ innings if the home team has a lead.
E. Tied Games
1. A game that is tied at the end of seven innings, and still within the 90-minute time limit (Sec. IV.C 1. above) will be continued by playing up to two additional innings until one side has scored more runs than the other at the end of a complete inning, or until the home team has scored more runs in its half of the inning before the third out is made. If during these extra innings time expires, the score will revert back to the last full inning and the game will be called a tie.
2. In the extra innings each team will start with one out and a runner on 2nd base (the last batter from the previous inning). If the game is still tied after two extra innings, it will be recorded as a tie.
3. A tied game that is called after five innings (such as in Sec. IV.C.6 above), will be recorded as a tie.
V. Games Rules
1. All players shall be in the batting line-up unless a player opts out.
2. All batting will have a female batter by the 7th position or an out will be recorded.
3. Substitute players will be limited to a single during each at-bat.
4. Prior to the pitch, the batter must have both feet completely within the lines of the batter's box. The batter may touch the lines, but no part of the foot may be outside the lines prior to the pitch and while making contact with the ball.
5. The strike zone is the mat.
6. The batter enters the batter's box with a 0-0 count.
7. If the batter with two strikes hits a foul ball, the batter is called out.
8. The batter must take the batter's position in the batter's box after being directed to do so by the umpire.
9. Substitute players will be placed at the bottom of the lineup, with the exception of a female batter.
10. Home Runs. Each team is allowed one Home Run then progressive. For any excess Home Runs the ball is dead and the batter awarded a single. Runners only advance if forced. If both teams have reached one Home Run either team may hit one more Home Run until the teams are tied at Home runs again.
1. The pitcher must pitch from 50 feet or more from home plate. They do not need to touch the rubber at 50 feet but they must be in line with it.
2. The ball must be delivered with an arc that reaches a height between six feet and 12 feet above the ground.
3. The 11-inch ball will be pitched to women batters unless the batter requests that the 12-inch ball be used.
4. Pitchers are required to use a mask while pitching.
1. Outfielders, including the rover, must be positioned outside the encroachment line until the pitch is struck. If the encroachment line is crossed before the ball is hit, the umpire may award a single or the batter can accept the result of the play.
2. Defensive players attempting to make a force-out at first base must touch the primary (white) base to record an out or tag runner. Tagging the orange base will be the same as missing first base.
3. Fielders may tag runners with the ball or gloved ball to record an out, except that no tag is permitted between the Commitment Line (Sec. lll. E.) and the Secondary Home Plate.
4. Catchers and other defensive players must touch the mat to record an out at home plate.
D. Base Running
1. If there is a play on the batter at first base the batter/base runner must touch the secondary (orange) base. The runner can be called out if he/she first touches the primary base.
2. Sliding into a base is permitted. A runner choosing not to slide must not interfere with a fielder’s attempt to complete a play.
3. If the runner overruns the base, any defensive player can tag the runner and the runner will be called out if caught off base, except first base.
4. Runners attempting to score from third base may not reverse direction after they have crossed the Commitment Line. To score, runners must proceed directly to the Secondary Home Plate (Sec. III.C) and touch the plate before a fielder with ball touches the Primary Home Plate. The runner from third base need not be forced by another base runner to be called out at home. If the runner first touches the Primary Home Plate he/she will be called out.
5. Players on base when a substitute batter gets a hit can only advance a maximum of one base. Once the runners have safely advanced, the hit shall be ruled a dead ball. Runners that may have inadvertently or intentionally overrun the base will be granted a safe return to the allowed base. If an attempt is made to throw a runner out and the ball goes out of play, all runners are awarded two bases from the last base occupied at the time of the throw went out of play. Players on base when a pinch runner is used from home are not limited to only one base.
6. Courtesy Base Runners
1. A courtesy runner may be used for any player.
2. You can use as many courtesy runners as needed in an inning.
3. Each player can only run once per inning as a courtesy runner.
4. If a courtesy runner is on base when his/her turn at bat comes up, he/she is removed from base and an out is recorded, they will then take their turn at bat.
5. A courtesy runner may be replaced with a courtesy runner due to injury, however, the original courtesy runner must leave the game.
6. Courtesy runners from home plate are allowed, but the courtesy runner will be limited to a single. The home plate courtesy runner will start behind an extended secondary home plate runners line. If an error occurs on a hit ball, the home plate courtesy runner can advance to second base at their own risk. The courtesy runner may also be awarded additional bases on an out-of-play throw.
7. When using a courtesy runner from home plate, the batter runs more than 15 feet down the first baseline from home plate, the batter shall be called out.