Santa Clara First Baptist Softball League
2023 Co-Ed Softball
New or modified rules are in bold
- Santa Clara First Baptist Church operates the softball league described in this document. Minimal team fees are applied to costs associated with the organization, administration and management of the leagues. The governing board meets during the year as needed to develop and enforce league policies, rule on game protests, oversee the league director's activities, and other actions deemed necessary to promote and strengthen this league. Board members are elected each year by the coaches following the end of the softball season to serve the following year. Board members are reaffirmed during the mandatory pre-season coaches meeting.
- The object of this softball league is to provide good, Biblical fellowship and Christian outreach with others. Since there are no umpires for the regular season games, the integrity of the game is dependent on the integrity of the players and coaches. Perhaps nothing is more disappointing to our Lord than for His people to be arguing and creating dissension over trivial matters (see Ephesians 5:1). It is by God's grace that we are able to participate in athletics and we need to keep His glory in mind as we play.
- All rules not covered here are to be in compliance with ASA Softball Rules.
- All questionable plays or rule interpretations are to be discussed and resolved by the two team's coaches only. It is the policy of this league that the two coaches resolve any unsolved disputes, disagreements, etc. If no agreement can be reached, a flip of the coin should be the decision maker. If there is a rule interpretation question(s), it should be brought to the attention of the league director for possible discussion with the league's board. Failure to abide by the league policies could result in expulsion from the league.
- All games are to begin play at 6:00pm or the scheduled time listed on www.SportDoggy.com. If any team is unable to field a minimum playing team by 15 minutes after the listed start time, the game will be forfeited. If the two teams decide to play anyway, the official forfeit is still recorded regardless of the outcome of the game. If a game must be played on a site other than the one listed on the schedule, the forfeit time is 30 minutes later than the listed start time.
- The home team is responsible to furnish the following for each game:
- One 12" covered softball with .52 COR/300 COMP specs. Preferably the Worth Hot Dot ASA stamped ball. At the home team's expense.
- One set (5) of legal size acceptable (safe) bases (17″×33″).
- One carpet strip not to exceed 4″×17″ of a different color for the pitchers rubber.
- 1st base is to be taped off in the center to designate a runner and fielder portion.
- A measuring device (rope) by which to measure the foul line cones (90 ft.), the centerfield cone (65 ft.), the base paths (60 ft.), the commit cone (30 ft.) and the distance between home plate and the pitcher's mound (46 ft.). Note the base path for advanced division is (65 ft.).
- A set of five (5) field cones. Two for marking the foul lines, two for marking a point on the foul lines that is 90 feet beyond first and third base and one for centerfield to mark the distance of the arc between the 1st and 3rd base 90 foot line and second base. The centerfield cone is set 65 feet behind second base in a direct line from home plate.
- One (1) commit line cone to be placed on the third base line at a distance half way between third base and home plate.
- The game devotional is to be given to both teams at the conclusion of the game. The teams should meet together for this devotional time of approximately five (5) minutes. The visiting team should open each game with a prayer.
- The bases are to be 60 feet apart, measured center to center, and are set up so the length of the base is going the direction of the runner. In the advanced division the bases are to be 65 feet apart.
- Each team is responsible for keeping a scorebook. Each team coach is to present to the opposing coach his lineup prior to the start of the game.
- Each game is to last seven (7) innings or as long as the daylight allows safe play, whichever occurs first. Tie games should be played until one team wins or darkness prevents the conclusion of the game. Tie games will be final. Double forfeits are losses for both teams. For standings purposes, wins are 1 point, ties are 1/2 point, losses are 0 points. Forfeits are always a loss.
- There will be a maximum of seven (7) runs per inning allowed except after the 5th inning, which are unlimited. This applies to Playoff games also.
- If a team is ahead by fifteen (15) or more runs at the end of the fifth inning or any inning thereafter, the game will be considered finished. In the Recreational division the losing team has the sole discretion to use this rule to the end game.
- ALL teams are responsible for reporting their game scores immediately after the game. Please respond to the Sportdoggy email to report game results. You may also text the league director at (408)390-4696 or email email@example.com on any Softball related issue.
- Weekly standings will be published at: www.sportdoggy.com
- Each team will provide a pitcher to pitch to the opposing team.
- The pitcher's carpet is to be located 46 feet from home plate.
- The pitcher must begin with one or more feet on the pitcher's carpet and the pitcher's motion cannot exceed one step before releasing the pitch.
- All pitches are to be delivered in an underhand slow pitch fashion by the pitcher.
- Each batter will be given four (4) balls or two (2) strikes to make a hit on the playing field. The playing field is the area between the first and third base foul lines.
- Foul balls are considered strikes. A ball hit foul when the batter already has one strike will result in an out. Balls, strikes, fair and foul will be called by the catcher unless the coaches designate otherwise before the game.
- Intentional walks are not allowed. It is the intent of this league that all batters are given the opportunity to hit safely. Walking a male batter to face a female batter is not allowed. In the Advanced League the penalty for walking a male batter to face a female batter is that the male runner advances to second base if there are no strikes given to the batter. If the female batter is not on deck by the time the first pitch is thrown then the male batter may not advance to 2nd base on a walk.
- Illegal Pitches: Each pitch must travel at least 6 feet, but no more than 12 feet from the ground at its apex when on its flight to the strike zone. The coaches or their designated assistant are to determine whether each pitch is a legal one. An illegal pitch that is not swung at is considered a ball. However, both coaches must agree that the pitch is illegal. If there is doubt and the batter did not swing, it should be considered a "no pitch" and replayed. A batter is not required to swing at an illegal pitch, but if he chooses to do so, the pitch will then be considered legal.
- Any pitch with a legal arc that lands on any part of the home plate carpet will be considered a strike.
- Any legal pitch that does not touch any part of the carpet is a ball.
- Any pitch that is swung at by the batter when his bat crosses over the entire home plate carpet is a strike. All judgment calls are to be made by mutual consent of the two (2) team's coaches.
- If the pitcher is unavoidably hit by a batted grounder or line drive, the batter will be called out immediately and the play stops. Runners may not advance.
- All participants must be thirteen (13) years of age or older by the end of the year being played.
- A full team consists of ten (10) fielders and an unlimited number of batters.
- A minimum team consists of six (6) players, of which one (1) must be female. A seven (7) or eight (8) player team must have at least one (1) female player. A team of nine (9) or ten (10) players must field at least two (2) female players.
- Each team must furnish their own pitcher and catcher with eight (8) players. With six (6) or seven (7) players a substitute catcher from the other team is allowed specifically for calling balls and strikes and returning the ball to the pitcher.
- Once a player plays on a team he/she is limited to playing exclusively for that team with one exception. After playing for any team a player may move from one team to another team once, but only before the sixth game of the season. Once a player has moved to a different team he/she must remain on the new team for the duration of the season and playoffs. At no time may a player switch teams after the sixth game of the season.
PLAY & SAFETY
- The following plays by a batter or base runner will result in an automatic out: intentional sliding, diving, stealing, intentional bunts, deliberate halfswings or chop hits, stepping on or directly in front of home base while hitting the ball into fair territory and any unnecessary attempt to run over a fielder.
- Any metal baseball or football spikes are illegal. Only rubber cleats or hard rubber soled (tennis) shoes are permitted. Bare feet, stockings only, or sandals are NOT allowed. All players must wear shoes.
- Any runner whose right to a base or base path has been obstructed by a fielding player not attempting to catch a thrown or batted ball shall be awarded the base they were running to and the next base. Fielders may not block the base line intentionally but should stand along side the base line and tag the runner as he/she passes by. Any time a fielder is attempting to field any batted or thrown ball; all base runners are responsible for avoiding collisions including leaving the base line without being called out for doing so. If the runner collides with a fielder they will be called out.
- If a ball goes out of play, all base runners will be awarded the base to which they were running and the next base.
- Team coaches should mark or agree upon the area considered to be out of play before the game begins for both the infield and, if necessary, the outfield.
- Runners are not allowed to over run 2nd or 3rd base.
Runners are allowed to over run any base without being in jeopardy of being tagged out as long as they do not make any overt turn or attempt to go to the next base. If a base runner decides to attempt to advance to the next base after over running the base he is not required to re-tag the base before advancing.
- If the field conditions are considered unsafe due to rain or other similar hazard, and no nearby field is available or safe for play, the game shall not be played and both coaches shall notify the league director. The game may or may not be rescheduled by the league director. Even if only one coach agrees that the field is unplayable, the game shall be suspended.
- If at any time either coach feels that there is an issue of darkness and playing the game safely, he may suspend the game confirming with the other coach the score at the end of the last completed inning. A suspended game is referred to the league office for a decision as to whether the game score at the end of the last complete inning stands or the game is completed at a later date. Once it appears that there is any chance that darkness may become an issue, the two (2) coaches should agree at the end of each inning whether to continue to play or not. If they do agree, they should determine a specific time (e.g. 8:00 p.m.) that the game will conclude whether or not the inning (or game) is complete.
- A typical batting lineup should consist of a mixture of ten (10) male and female batters. In the batting lineup, at least one female batter must be among the first five (5) batters and at least one (1) other female must be among the second five (5) batters. A team with only one (1) female can only bat/field a team between 6 to 8 players where the female must bat in the first five (5) batters, and an automatic out will take place at the end of the line up, where another female could have batted.
- A batting lineup of more than ten (10) batters is optional and can only be done if there are more than two (2) female batters, except in the beginning division where the requirement for female batters may be waived if both coaches agree prior to the commencement of the game. At least one (1) female batter must be among the third five (5) batters. For example if batting eleven (11) batters a female batter must bat in the first five (5), the second five (5), and the 11th position. For 14 batters, two (2) females must be in the first ten (10) positions and in either the 11th, 12th, 13th, or 14th position.
- Coaches may assign more than one player in any batting position with the players alternating at bats but each player must field at least two (2) innings during the game.
- All batters must field at least two (2) innings during the game, based on a 7 inning game.
- No player may bat more often than once in every ten (10) consecutive batters at any time during the game unless fewer than ten (10) players are playing.
- Batters may not step on or directly in front of the plate when batting. If they step on the plate or directly in front of the plate while hitting the ball into fair territory they are automatically out. The coaches should agree before the game who is responsible for making this call. (Typically, the two (2) coaches or their designated assistants.)
- All play is to stop when all base runners are in a stationary position on a base and the pitcher has control of the ball. Time is considered out until the next pitch is batted.
- At no time may there be more than four (4) infielders. The rover (or fourth outfielder) must play in the outfield prior to the pitch being batted. When there are four (4) infielders, all outfielders must remain behind the outfield cones (a straight line from one cone to another) until the ball is hit fair and is in play. An infielder is defined as any player (other than pitcher or catcher) playing within the area from home plate to the outfield cones. Players may switch from one position to another at any time as long as there are no more than four (4) infielders. It is possible that a team of less than ten (10) players may choose to have less than three (3) outfielders or less than three (3) infielders. Once the ball is in play, any fielder may play at any location on the playing field.
- Once a base runner's foot passes the commit line (cone) he/she must procede to home and any play at home becomes a force out. The runner must touch the runner's plate which shall be approximately three to four feet behind (toward the third base line's team bench) the home plate for pitching and batting. Any collisions at home plate will be considered the fault of the runner since the runner is to run to the runner's plate. Any collisions at the runner's plate will be considered the fault of the fielder.
- If a base runner runs to the wrong home plate while the ball is in play and the possibility existed of a play at the plate at that time, the runner is automatically out. If there was no reasonable chance of a play at the plate or the ball was out of play, the runner is NOT automatically out.
- Runners attempting to score at home plate cannot be tagged out once they have passed the cone on the third base line. They are only out if a fielder touches the batter's home plate while holding the ball (force out) before the runner touches the runner's home plate.
- There is only an automatic "force out" at first base and home plate when a runner is attempting to advance. Unless the preceding base is occupied (e.g. Runner on first going to second on a hit, runner's on first and second going to second and third on a hit), runner's attempting to advance to the next base must be tagged out. There is no automatic "force out" at second and third unless all preceding bases are occupied.
- Only single walled (100% aluminum), slow pitch (or fast pitch if a female chooses), one-piece official softball bats that meet ASA requirements are allowed. The maximum allowable BPF is 1.20. Any bats used exceeding this rating must be removed from the game. The opposing coach must approve all bats that are questionable.
- No pinch hitters. If an injured hitter reaches base, a designated runner may replace the injured hitter with the agreement of the opposing coach after the play is over. The last out before the batter is the designated runner. It must be a female for a female or a male for a male. Designated runners are not allowed in any other circumstances.
- Spectators are encouraged! However, for safety purposes, all non-involved players and spectators must remain behind the backstop or out of play.
- The top 4 teams of each division will play for the championship in a single elimination format over two days.
- A team is not eligible for playoffs if they have forfeited more than two (2) season games.
- Players are eligible to play in the playoffs only if they have played in at least three (3) regular season games. A forfeited game counts as a played game for scheduled players of the non-forfeiting team. A player must have played two (2) actual games to participate in playoffs if the third (3rd) game was forfeited.
- Standings will be determined in order of:
- Win/Loss/Tie record, most points (win 2 points, tie 1 point)
- Fewest Forfeits
- Fewest losses
- Head to Head record
- Head to Head against top team in division
- Total runs scored
- Coin toss
- Championship games must be played. No forfeits. If a team must forfeit in advance of game, the next placed team will advance and take their place.
- A Championship prize will be awarded to the 1st place winner in each division at the conclusion of the season.
Last Updated: 5/3/2023