GAME RULES AND REGULATIONS
The MCSSA intends to create a softball experience for senior men and women that encourages fun, exercise, and competition in a recreational sport environment. 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, the MCSSA games are played in accordance with the rules for senior softball prescribed by the WSL softball associations. The game management rules specific to the MCSSA and exceptions to the WSL rules are outlined below. All rules are governed by the MCSSA Board, and are enforced by the board and said designees, specifically the Rules Committee Members and Umpires.
I. Participation Eligibility
A. Participation in MCSSA games is open to men 50 years of age and women aged 40 years and older 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 or USA Certification Mark or be stamped no greater than BPF 1.20. No Senior Bats!
B. No metal cleats are allowed.
C. Balls are WSL 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. The league will issue each player a shirt which they are expected to be wear 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 scoring line is located about 6 ft. behind the primary home plate.
D. A Secondary (orange) first base is located adjacent to the primary (white) first base in foul territory.
E. A commitment line is placed across the 3rd base scoring line at 20 feet from the scoring line.
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 is struck.
G. The pitching rubber is 50 ft. from home plate.
IV. Game Management:
A. Team Responsibilities
1. Home Team
a. Is responsible for field setup and take down for each game. Early games are; make sure home plante mat and outfield cones are set. For late games; make sure mat and cones are picked up and secured for the evening.
b. Provide softballs at the beginning of each game (2) 12-inch, one new and one used and (1) 11-inch.
c. Listed last on the schedule and will sit in the third base dugout.
d. Must provide the scorebook and scorekeeper for the game being played.
2. Visiting Team is listed first 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 Sunday 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 Rubber Home plate extension mat and cones for each game.
2. Will provide softballs, pitching mask, and scorebooks for each team at the beginning of the season.
C. Team Participation
1. All players shall be on the batting lineup unless a player opts out. Once a player chooses not to bat, they are out of the game fromt that point forward.
2. No player will sit out more then 2 innings per game unless there is a medical reason or if the player chooses to sit out.
3. Any player who does not believe they are being given ample playing time should address their coach first, then contact any board member for resolution.
4. Games will be played with a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 10 fielders. A team with insufficient number of players may pick up a maximum of three pick-up players from other teams. A team playing with pick-up players must field at least seven players of it's own team.
5. Pick-up players may play catcher, right field, right center or first base at the coach's discretion.
6. A game may be completed with one less than required to start (i.e., 7, players). However, your lineup must still show 10 positions; an out will be recorded for those positions that are empty.
7. Pick-up players must be league players.
D. Game Duration and Scoring
1. Games are seven innings or one hour and thirty minutes. The last inning will be called at an hour and firteen 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. If the home team is behind by 10 or more runs by the last called inning, then a flip/flop rule is in effect. The home team bats again and if they do not catch up, the game is over.
4. 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.
5. There is no scoring limit in the last inning as called by the umpire.
6. For the purposes of scoring, a team winning by forfeit it awarded seven runs.
7. 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 will be continued by playing up to two additional innings. If during these extra innings time expires, the score will revert to the last full inning and ghe 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 or runner for that batter from the previous inning). If the game is still tied after two extra innings, it will be recorded as a tie.
3. All batters in extra innings start with a one and one count.
4. A tied game that is called after five innings 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. Players leaving the game early must let both coaches and umpires know prior to leaving. This will avoid an out being called for the missing player.
3. All batting linequp will have a female batter by the 7th position or an out will be recorded
4. Pick-up players will be limited to a single during each at-bat as well as all runners on base.
5. 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.
6. The strike zone is the mat.
7. The batter enters the batter's box with a 0-0 count; execption being extra innings.
8. If the batter with two strikes hits a foul ball, the batter is called out.
9. The batter must take the batter's position in the batter's box after being directed to do so by the umpire.
10. Pick-up players will be placed at the bottom of the lineup; with the exception of a female batter who would then move to the 7th position if no other females are on the team.
11. Home Runs. Each team is allowed one home run then progressive. For any excess home runs the ball is dead and the batter is 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 home plate and the pitching rubber.
2. The ball must be delivered with an arc that reaches a height between 6 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. If a female batter chooses to hit the 12-inch ball, she must continue using it during that bat.
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 the runner. Tagging the orange base will be the same result 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 and the scoring line.
4. Catchers and other defensive players must touch the mat to record an out at home plate when the runner is between the commitment and scoring lines.
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. (i.e., duck or otherwise get out of the way).
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 scoring line before a fielder with the ball touches the home plate mat. 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 mat, he/she will be called out.
5. Players on base when a pick-up 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 plate 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 available 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, and 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 scoring 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.