2020 Playing Rules
RULES COMMITTEE STATEMENT
CODE OF CONDUCT
A. PLAYER SHORTAGE – REPLACEMENTS
B. SCORING PLATE
C. DOUBLE BAGS
G. MERCY RULE
H. BASE RUNNING
I. PLAYING FIELDS
J. COURTESY RUNNERS
L. STARTING TIME
M. LINEUP (SCORE BOOK)
N. RULE CHANGES
O. INCLEMENT WEATHER
RULES COMMITTEE STATEMENT TO THE LEAGUE
Having completed our appointed task of restructuring the rules, this committee would like to state that we have considered and discussed all the rule changes submitted to this committee with fairness and without bias to any individual or teams associated with this league.
You may check with local sporting goods stores or the internet for ASA rules.
The Rules Committee has reviewed, edited, and developed this document to insure greater safety, enjoyment, and camaraderie on the playing field for years to come for the intramural play of the RELICS softball league.
These rules are intended to provide reasonable guidelines for the betterment of the game. It is the intent of the Rules Committee that the subsequent outline of policy and conduct as stated herein shall be adhered to. It is the obligation of all the members of this organization to familiarize themselves with the current rules pertaining to this senior softball league.
RELICS CODE OF CONDUCT
No member of the RELICS should conduct himself on or off the field of play in a manner, which would bring discredit, dishonor, or embarrassment to the organization.
A RELIC should be courteous and refrain from the use of profane language, gestures, or expressions that would cause any uneasiness or embarrassment to spectators or players. Courteous behavior creates an atmosphere, which tends to encourage others to be courteous. It is contagious. A RELIC should enjoy the game for its exercise and camaraderie by displaying good sportsmanship. A RELIC should conduct himself as a gentleman and play by the rules and regulations of softball, ASA, and the organization.
The umpires are volunteers from RELICS players. Treat them with respect! There should be no verbal abuse and arguing should be only conducted as a discussion. Remember, the umpire has the right to dismiss you from the game for any violation of this code of conduct.
The organization has the right to disassociate itself form any member for fraud, theft, and gross moral turpitude. If the Board of Directors feels that the member is, or has had, an adverse effect and improper influence upon the organization, it may vote to have the membership terminated.
A. PLAYER SHORTAGE – REPLACEMENTS
1a. In the event a shortage of players exists at game time, the coaches must meet and attempt to resolve the problem. If one team is short and the other has more than 11 players, the coach with excess players must offer someone to the other team. Both coaches must agree with the borrowed player. (Change 2012)
1b. If both teams are short players, the home team gets first selection. Choices are then made on an alternating basis.
1c. Any team short of players may play with a minimum of 9 players including replacements. In the interest of fairness to everyone, the teams should play with an equal number of players if possible.
1d. If both teams have less than 9 players available including replacements, the game will be postponed and rescheduled if possible. The players present may either scrimmage or practice if desired.
2. All replacement players will be placed in the lineup at the end of the batting order.
3. Replacement players are to be removed if assigned team players arrive after the game starts. Any opposing team players should be returned first.
4a. (Silver division only) Any replacement player called must be in the same or lower Tier Level than the roster player. (Changed 2018)
4b. (Silver division only) If during a game, a roster player arrives unexpectedly or late, the roster player will be assigned a defensive position and the replacement player will be removed at the end of the inning. The replacement player may continue to bat but not play a defensive position. (Added 2013)
B. SCORING PLATE (HOME)
1. The extended home plate strike zone board will be used. If a pitched ball lands on any part of the extended strike zone board, the pitch will be considered a strike.
2. The catcher must make all defensive plays at the extended strike zone board only. Plays at home are a “force out” situation.
3. Both the Gold and Silver division will use a scoring line instead of the scoring plate. Line will be painted from the corner of the mat to the imaginary line between the back stop and 3rd base side fence. Painted line will be approximately 3 feet long. Runner’s foot must touch the ground on or past the scoring line prior to the ball being received by a defensive player touching the extended strike zone board for result in the scoring of a run. (Changed 2018)
C. DOUBLE BAG BASES/MATS
1a. Two first base bags will be used
1b. The runner must touch the base bag closest to the foul line if there is a play on the runner. Otherwise he is out.
1c. If a ball is hit to the outfield where there is no play at first, the runner may touch either base bag.
2. There will be only one bag at second base for the Silver and Gold division. (Changed 2016)
2a. (Gold division only) To reduce the possibility of collisions at second base between a runner and a defensive player, there will be a 3 foot line on each side of the base. The runner may overrun and cross the line on either side of the base. The runner’s foot must touch the ground on or past the line prior to the ball being received by a defensive player touching second base. The defensive player must make the play at the base or may tag the runner before crossing the 3 foot line. If there is no play at second base or if the runner is not stopping at second base, he must touch second base. (Added 2019)
1. Sliding or diving into second and third base is permitted in the Silver division only. Sliding or diving to first, second and third base when returning to the base is permitted in the Silver division only. (Change 2012)
2. In the Gold Division, sliding or diving into any base or when returning to any base is not permitted in the Gold division. Any player attempting to do so will be called out. (Changed 2019))
3. Siding into Home is not permitted and the player attempting to do so will be called out.
4. In the Gold division, the runner may overrun first, second or third base (see H. Base Running)
5. Runners shall be called out for contact with a defensive player if, in the umpire’s judgment, the contact was deliberate.
1. (Gold division) All plays at home and all bases are considered “force outs”.
2. (Silver division) Runners to second or third base must be tagged out unless a normal force play exists. Home base is a “force out” at all times.
3. If the ball beats the runner to the base or home plate in a “force out” type of play, the runner is out as long as the fielder is touching the proper base and has control of the ball before the runner touches the base/plate.
4a. Runners may be tagged out between bases or approaching a base if the defensive player has the ball and a putout is facilitated by tagging the runner instead of the base.
4b. The runner is not out if the tag is made with one hand and the ball is in the other hand.
5a. If a batter/runner is still carrying his bat when he reaches first base, he will be declared out.
5b. The batter shall not enter the batter’s box with an altered bat or non-approved bat. EFFECT: The ball is dead, the batter is out. Base runners may not advance. (Added 2014)
5c. The batter is discovered using an altered or illegal bat. EFFECT: The ball is dead and the batter-runner is out. Other base runners must return to the last base legally touched at the time of the illegal action. (Added 2014)
6. Regular ASA rules for the Silver division. Base play shall be treated according to existing ASA rules.
7. (Does not apply if pitching screen is used) If a batted line drive hits the pitcher, the umpire will call “Dead Ball Out”. Near misses, balls batted sharply through the pitcher's box or in the vicinity of the pitcher, without striking the pitcher, do NOT result in dead ball out. The pitcher MUST be in the pitcher's box when struck by a batted line drive ball for the umpire to call Dead Ball Out. (Changed 2018)
When a batted line drive ball strikes the pitcher in the arm (including the glove), while the pitcher is, in the umpire's judgment, in the process of making a reasonable defensive play on the ball, the rule does not apply.
When a batted line drive ball strikes the pitcher in the arm (including the glove), whether or not the ball ultimately strikes any other part of the pitcher's body, AND in the umpire's judgment, the pitcher had NO opportunity to make a reasonable defensive play on the ball, the umpire will call Dead Ball Out.
If the pitcher is struck in the arm(s) while reacting to protect himself or avoid being harmed by the batted line drive ball, the umpire will call Dead Ball Out. (Added 2015 Gold - Added 2016 Silver)
1. The pitch count will start as 1 ball and 1 strike.
2. On the second foul ball after the second strike, the batter will be out.
3a. The arc of a pitched ball must be between 6 and 12 feet from the ground. Otherwise it is an illegal pitch.
3b. The umpire should call an illegal pitch while the ball is in the air and it should be counted as a “ball” in the count.
3c. There are no intentional walks allowed which includes no intentional walks for defensive purposes. If a pitcher intentional walks a batter, the batter/runner will be awarded second base. If, in the umpire's judgment, the pitcher throws an excessive high pitch, excessive outside pitch or rolls a pitch over the plate when the batter has a three ball count, the umpire will call intentional walk and the batter/runner will be awarded second base. (Added 2019)
4a. The pitch starts when one hand is taken off the ball after the hands had originally been placed together (the ball presented to the batter). The pitcher may not return to both hands on the ball once one hand has been removed.
4b. The pitcher shall not make a stop or reversal of the forward motion after starting his forward pitching motion.
5. Before starting the pitch the pitcher must take a position with at least one foot in contact with the Pitcher’s Box. Pitcher’s Box is 10 feet long. (Added 2013)
6. It is mandatory that each pitcher use the pitcher’s screen. Pitchers are also recommended to wear additional protective safety equipment: protective face mask, head gear (NOCSAE-approved), heart/chest protection and shin guards. (Changed 2019)
6a. The pitching screen must be placed in front of the pitching rubber but within six feet of the rubber. (Change 2017). For the Silver Division, the pitching screen will be positioned no more than one bat length in front of the rubber and the and the side bar of the pitching screen must be positioned within the imaginary perpendicular lines from the edge of the Pitching Rubber to the ˝ way mark of the Pitching Rubber. (Added 2018)
6b. After releasing the ball, the pitcher must step behind the screen. Otherwise it is an illegal pitch. After the batter swings, the pitcher is not restricted to staying behind the screen, but may move and become an active defensive player. (Added 2017) For the Silver Division, the Pitcher cannot touch/grab or hold onto the pitching screen at any time. If this occurs, the umpire will call the play dead and it will be considered a ball for the batter. If the batter hits the pitch, it will be considered a live ball. If the pitcher does not step behind the pitching screen after releasing the ball and makes a defensive play, the play will be ruled dead and the batter will be awarded a base hit and existing runners will advance 1 base (Added 2018)
6c. Batter hits the pitching screen. If the batter has less than 2 strikes and hits the pitching screen (grounder or line drive) the ball will be dead and it will be considered a strike. If the batter has 2 strikes and has his one foul to waste and hits the pitching screen (grounder) the ball will be dead and it will be considered his waste. If the batter has 2 strikes and has his one foul to waste and hits the pitching screen (line drive) he is out. If the batter has 2 strikes and used his waste and hits the pitching screen (grounder or line drive) the ball will be dead and the batter will be called out. (Changed 2019)6d. If a defensive player hits the screen with a thrown ball, the ball will remain live and runners may continue to advance (the pitching screen is part of the field).
G. MERCY RULE
1. A 5 run per inning rule will be in effect for the first 6 innings.
2. In any inning after the 6th, the 5 run rule will not apply.
3. The Visiting Team must be ahead by ten (10) or more runs after the completion of the sixth inning (last inning). If so, the Home Team will remain at bat and start a new at-bat. Use of the Flip-Flop rule is required (mandatory) unless BOTH managers agree to waive this rule. (Added 2016)
H. BASE RUNNING
1. A commitment line thirty feet from the scoring plate will be used. Once a runner's foot touches the ground on or past this line, the runner is committed to advancing to the scoring plate and may no longer be tagged out. EFFECT: Tag of the runner by a defensive player will not be allowed. The runner will be called safe and the ball remains live. NOTE: If a runner re-crosses the commitment line in an attempt to return to third base, he will be declared out and the ball remains live. (Change 2015)
2a. (Gold division) A “run by” or overrun rule will be in effect at first, second and third base.
2b. The runner is out when the batter/runner legally overruns any base, attempts to advance to the next base and is legally touched with the ball while not in contact with the base. The runner is not out when the batter/runner overruns the base after touching (or crossing at second base) and returns directly to the base. (Changed 2019).
3. A runner to first base must run in foul territory or he may be declared out.
4. (Silver Division) The first base commitment line will be the second fence post on the first base side bench. When a batter has a courtesy runner from the plate and both the batter and runner attempt to run to first base and if the batter passes the commitment line, the umpire will call the play dead and the batter/courtesy runner will be out. Runners must return to their original base. (Added 2018)
5. Awarded bases must be touched in legal order. EXCEPTION: On any fair batted ball hit over the fence for a home run, or a four base award, the batter and all runners are credited with a score. The batter and any runners on base do not need to run the bases. (Added 2019)
I. PLAYING FIELDS
1. The playing field should be lined with well-defined and clearly visible foul lines and poles, commitment lines, batter’s boxes, and runners line for first base.
J. COURTESY RUNNERS
1. Courtesy runners may be used at any time for an injured player.
2a. The same courtesy runner may not be used more than once per inning.
2b. Any courtesy runner used more than once per inning, will be called out.
3. A courtesy runner whose turn at bat comes while he is on base will be called out. He will be removed from the base and come to bat, unless that out is the third.
4a. Upon agreement of both coaches, a courtesy runner may be used for a batter and run from home. Any batter needing a runner from the plate will have the last (healthy) out run for him. If the last (healthy) out was a courtesy runner, the next available out will run. Courtesy runners will be able to go as far as they can go. (Changed 2018)
4b. A courtesy runner from home must start five feet behind the third base line extended across the plate.
5. A courtesy runner cannot replace a runner on base who has been a designated courtesy runner unless the original courtesy runner becomes injured.
6. A runner may be replaced by a courtesy runner once the batter ceases to advance to his base on the original play. The courtesy runner will be the last (healthy) out. If the last (healthy) out was a courtesy runner, the next available out will run. (Changed 2018)
7) Silver Division - Additional Specifications
7a. Any batter needing a runner from the plate will have the last (healthy) out run for him. If the last (healthy) out was a courtesy runner, the next available out will run.
7b. Any batter able to run to any base at his time at bat, will be required to stay on the bases and continue until he is out, or until he crosses home plate. No courtesy runners for a player once he is on base. A courtesy runner will be allowed (last healthy out) if a player is injured at any time during base running. This player will have to have a runner from the plate for the remainder of the game, or when determined, at the discretion of the coaches and umpires.
7c. Any batter needing a runner from the plate may only play defensively in an infield position. (Added 2018)
7d. Courtesy runners from home plate may under no circumstances advance beyond first base regardless of how many bases the location of the batted ball may otherwise have permitted him to reach with the exceptions (1) if the batter hits a home run over the fence, it will be allowed and counted as a home run (2) if the batter hits a ground rule double the courtesy runner will be awarded second base (3) if there is an overthrow the courtesy runner will be awarded second base. Existing runners on the bases can advance at their own risk when a courtesy runner is used from the plate. (Changed 2019)
1. No metal cleats will be permitted.
2. All bats must be have an ASA Certification mark and NOT listed on the non-approved bat list currently listed on the ASA web site. (Change 2014)
3. Members age 80 plus or who will be 80 in the current playing year may use Senior Bats, 1.21 BPF or below. (Added 2015)
4. Any bat that is rolled, shaved or altered in any way will not be legal. (Added 2015)
5. Softballs will be 12 inch, with the 52/300 core. (Change 2014)
6. The catcher is not required to wear a mask
7. If available the Cranberry/Red uniform shirt will be considered home team uniform and the gray uniform shirt will be considered the away uniform. (Added 2014)
L. STARTING TIME
1a. On weekdays, the first game will start at 4:15 PM. (Changed 2015)
1b. There will be a 15-minute grace period permitted for the first game starting time.
1c. However, no new inning of the first game shall start after 5:50 PM
2. On weekdays, the second game shall start by 6:10 or earlier.
M. LINEUP AND SCOREBOOK
1. All league teams must have and use an official scorebook (provided by the league).
2. An official lineup and batting order must be filled out prior to the start of each game. The scorebook should be completed in accordance with established score keeping guidelines for slow pitch softball.
3. Every player whose name is entered in the scorebook must play at least 3 innings offensively and defensively.
4. Round Robin batting order in which each player present (who is eligible and physically able to play) will be assigned a place in the batting order for that game and will bat whenever their turn occurs. (Change 2014)
N. RULE CHANGES
1. Any team coach may petition in writing the Rules Committee for any changes, revisions, amendments that are proposed.
2. The Rules Committee may request the Board of Directors to further review the rules and changes requested.
3. Members of the league may request rule changes in writing to the Rules Committee in the months of October and November. The member’s name, address and telephone number should be included.
O. INCLEMENT WEATHER
1. In case of inclement weather, the two coaches for that night’s game will decide if the game can be played safely. Coaches will in-turn notifies their respected players. (Change 2012)
2. Home coach will be responsible for calling the assigned ump (s) and updating “Player Ideas” on our web page. (Added 2014)