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Tournament Rules: Softball

The following rule book will cover all SSC Softball Tournaments. It is described in its entirety below.

 

Game Time/ Defaults

  • Please arrive 5 minutes prior to your start time to ensure that your games start on time.
  • Games are 45 minutes in length with no new inning starting after 40 minutes. A maximum of 5 innings will be played. A default will occur if any team cannot field a squad by 10 minutes after the official start time.
  • There is a hard cap at 45 minutes.  If the home team is trailing in the game and the current inning is not completed by the 45-minute mark, the score of the game will be the score at the end of the previous completed inning.  If the score is tied, or the home team is ahead at the 45-minute mark, the score will be taken as is at the time of the 45-minute curfew.  The home team does not bat if they are ahead going into the bottom half of the final inning
  • Teams are comprised of 9 players (1 rover) with a minimum of 3 of each gender.
  • A team can also play with 8 people if they only have 2 of one gender (i.e. 2 women), BUT a team of 9 or more players that only has two women can only have 8 players on defence (you will be playing short 1 person on defence - meaning there will be no rover).
  • Please don't delay or waste too much time warming up. Warm up before your game is scheduled to begin.
  • The 'home' team will be determined by a coin toss (rock/paper/scissors is welcome as well).  In playoffs, the higher seeded team will be the home team.

 

Team Format

  • Teams are comprised of 9 players (1 rover) with a minimum of 3 of each gender.
  • A team can also play with 8 people if they only have 2 of one gender (i.e. 2 women), BUT a team of 9 or more players that only has two women can only have 8 players on defence (you will be playing short 1 person on defence - meaning there will be no rover).

 

Equipment/Set Up

  • Bases, balls, pitching nets, and catcher's masks will be provided onsite and it is the teams' responsibility to bring their own gloves and bats.  The official softball of Sport & Social Club leagues is the Worth Red Hot Dot. 
  • All bats must be softball bats (cannot be baseball bats). Bat regulations will be guided by the USSSA bat policy. The basics idea of the USSSA bat policy is as follows: only bats on the USSSA Licensed / Approved bat list are legal for use. To be legal they must be marked "USSSA BPF 1.20" or for bats manufactured prior to 2004, marked "BPF 1.20". Note: The USSSA does NOT produce a banned list, only an approved list. You can access the USSSA approved bat list at the following link: http://www.usssa.com/usssa/usssa-general/LegalBats.asp
  • Softball helmets for batters and base runners are not required. It is permitted for players or teams to supply and wear their own helmets if they choose to do so in the interest of safety.
  • Metal cleats are not allowed.

 

General Rules

General Rules (games will be governed by the SPO rules, with the following exceptions and highlights):

  • Batting Order:
    • The golden rule when making a batting order is that at no time should 3 men bat in a row
    • A team must use their full roster for batting (i.e. players cannot only play defence)
    • If the male/female ratio is greater than 2:1, then the batting order is 2 men followed by 1 woman. The male order and female order must always stay the same, although the overall order when mixed may change depending on the male/female ratio. For example, if a team has 7 men and 2 women present, the batting order will be: man 1, man 2, woman A, man 3, man 4, woman B, man 5, man 6, woman A, man 7, man 1, woman B, man 2, man 3, etc. The spot where woman C should have been will NOT be an automatic out.
    • If the male/female ratio is less than 2:1, then the batting order will be static and won't change. For example, if a team has 6 men and 4 women, then the order could be: man 1, man 2, woman A, man 3, man 4, woman B, man 5, woman C, man 6, woman D, man 1, man 2, woman A, etc. Please note that this is a hypothetical order. Teams can have women bat back-to-back if they wish, as long as 3 men do not bat in a row and they keep the order the same throughout the game.
  • The team at bat provides their own pitcher. The safety of all pitchers is a priority in our leagues and should be a priority on your team!  We recommend the following steps to help minimize the risks of pitching in our leagues:
    • We strongly recommend a minimum pitching distance of roughly 12 paces from home plate
    • We recommend pitchers consider wearing either a helmet, a catcher's mask, or a combination of both.
    • We ask that both team captains discuss the appropriate pitching distance prior to the start of the game, along with any ground rules that will be observed at the diamond.  If a hit ball touches the pitcher, the ball is declared dead and the pitch is redone - base runners return to their previous bases and the pitch count is restored. (Pitchers should do their best to avoid making contact with a hit ball, but may protect themselves if necessary on a hard-hit ball).
  • Every batter can receive a maximum of 3 pitches. All foul balls, wild pitches, strikes and balls count as one of the 3 pitches. The only exception is a ball that hits the pitcher.
  • There is no bunting or faking to bunt. However, a ball that is hit with a full swing, but does not go past the pitcher IS a live, playable ball
  • Sliding will NOT be allowed
  • Five pinch runners can be used per game. The batter must be able to make it to first base, however, if they pass first base, they cannot accept a pinch runner. The pinch runner is the last recorded out of the same gender
  • First base will have 'safety bases'. As such, there will be a base for the first baseperson to touch (white) and a separate base for the runner to step on (red). This is only on ground balls to first (i.e. if a batter hits an outfield single and there is no play at first, they may touch the white base). If the runner touches the white bag on a ground ball to first, the runner is out. Once a player has safely reached first base, the safety base will then be considered to be the ground, so the runner may only use the white base as their base
  • A player can overrun first base ONLY.
  • There are no leadoffs for base runners; you must wait until contact with the ball is made. Stealing is not allowed. Base runners that lead off should be given a verbal warning. Any future lead off in the same game by the same player is an automatic out
  • There will be a 'commitment line' between third base and home plate. Any player crossing this commitment line cannot return to third base.
  • There will also be a 'scoring line' by home plate. Runners CANNOT touch home plate, but rather cross the 'scoring line'. Any player touching home plate will be out.
  • A "force out" will always be in effect between home plate and first base. (i.e. the defensive player only has to touch their base to record an out). A baserunner CAN also be tagged on the way to first base for an out.  As well, a force out will always be in effect between 3rd base and home plate once the runner has crossed over the commitment line.  ALL plays at home are force-outs (the runner may not be tagged once he passes the commitment line). The catcher must stand on home plate for plays at home.  There is no force out at 2nd or 3rd base unless the bases before them are full (e.g runner on 2nd must run to third since runner at 1st base is coming to 2nd) - these players must be tagged.
  • A team can only score a maximum of 5 runs in one inning. EXCEPTION: A team has no run limit in the final inning of the game.
  • There is no set fielding line up (players may switch positions from inning to inning), but all players must field at least every other inning (i.e. a player cannot sit for 2 innings or more in a row). The only exception to this rule is due to an in-game injury and the opposing captain must agree to waive this rule.
  • We suggest the catcher wear the provided mask.
  • The pitching nets provided are mandatory to use. During play, it is the pitcher's responsibility to put down the net in case there is a throw being made in that direct path (particularly throws to home). In the case that the pitcher does not put down the net and the net interferes with the ball, the play is dead and the runners must return to the previous base.
  • The rover may play anywhere on the field with the exception of the catcher's position.
  • Outfielders must not encroach within 6 m (20 feet) of the baselines (the baselines spanning first and second or spanning second and third) while the ball is being pitched to a batter. As soon as the ball is batted, outfielders may move anywhere on the field in reaction to a play (i.e. they may move towards the infield).  Only one infielder may encroach from the baseline before the ball is batted to a maximum of 5 feet in front of the baseline. All other infielders must remain on or behind the baseline until the ball is hit.
  • A 'foul ball' pop-up behind home plate can only be caught for an out if it goes higher than 3 metres (10 feet). A ball not exceeding this height is considered a strike.
  • Base paths: If a fielder is not involved in the play, they must not be in the way of the baserunner. So, if the ball is not near a fielder or is obviously not going to be thrown to them, they may not obstruct a baserunner by standing on a base or in the basepath. Conversely, if a field is attempting to field the ball, a baserunner may not interfere with the fielder.
  • The infield fly rule will be in effect. The infield fly rule applies when there are fewer than two outs and there is a force play at third (runners on first and second base or the bases are loaded). In these situations, if a fair pop-up is hit that, in the pitcher's judgment is catchable by an infielder with ordinary effort, the batter is out regardless of whether the ball is actually caught in flight. To invoke the rule, the pitcher must loudly announce, "Infield fly" when there is a pop-up in the infield.  If this occurs, the batter will automatically be out, even if the ball is not caught. Runners can attempt to tag up on any caught ball, or attempt to advance if the ball is dropped (although the force place is removed since the batter is out)
  • Games can end in a tie during pool play.
  • During playoff games, if the game is tied after the completion of 5 innings, or the expired time, teams will utilize the following format. The visiting team will start the inning by placing the last out from the previous inning on second base with one (1) out. Once 3 outs have been reached, the home team will then place their last out from the previous inning on second base, also with one (1) out, and proceed to bat until 3 outs is reached. Teams will take turns doing this until the score is settled upon the completion of a full inning.
  • Foul ball calls should be made by the catcher.  Close "out" or "safe" calls at 1st base and 3rd base are to be made by "base-coaches" -  i.e. extra players on the offensive team.  Close "out" or "safe" calls at 2nd base and home are to be made by the pitcher.  Teams should do their best to ensure that base coaches are being used.  If base-coaches are not being used, all close calls should be made by the pitcher.  Please do your best to ensure that the game is being called in a fair manner.

 

Ground Rules:

  • In general, if a ball hits an obstruction (i.e. a tree, light post, etc.) then the runner can take an extra base from their position when the object was hit (i.e. if the runner touched first before the obstruction was hit, they would advance to second).
  • Other boundaries may also require grounds rules depending on the diamond.

 

Preliminary Round Matches

Preliminary Round games can be tied during the regular season.

 

Playoffs Tiebreak

There must be a winner in a playoff match. In the event that the match ends in a tie, teams will partake in the following tie-breaker until a winner is determined:

During playoff games, if the game is tied after the completion of 5 innings or the expired time, teams will utilize the following format. The visiting team will start the inning by placing the last out from the previous inning on second base with one (1) out. Once 3 outs have been reached, the home team will then place their last out from the previous inning on second base, also with one (1) out, and proceed to bat until 3 outs are reached. Teams will take turns doing this until the score is settled upon the completion of a full inning.

 

Rough Play

Any rough or physical play will result in immediate expulsion from further tournament play and may result in a lifetime tournament expulsion. Please see the Sport and Social Club General Policy for our official guidelines on this subject. It is recognized that incidental contact between players is inevitable; however, all players should go out of their way to avoid creating an unsafe play.  This rule supersedes all others. 

Please note that on-site staff members have full autonomy when supervising games. Games may be stopped entirely, players may be asked to leave the playing area or be removed from the game entirely under their discretion.

 

Alcohol

There are absolutely no alcoholic beverages permitted on SSC property. Any offenders will be asked to leave the tournament without refund. No exceptions.