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Official NHSSC Softball Rules

Section Zero – ASA

1.Except where otherwise specified in these rules, the NHSSC shall use the most recent edition of the ASA (Amateur Softball Association) rules for co-ed slow-pitch play.

Section One – Team

1.Rosters must consist of eleven (11) players or more, with at least three ( 3 of each gender). 

2.Teams fielding with 8 players must field at least 2 players of each gender. Teams with only 1 players of given gender must field with no more field with 7; A team with no player of one gender shall field no more than 6. Fewer than 6 is a forfeit.

3.A catcher and pitcher are required positions.

4.Game substitutes are strictly prohibited. Teams found to be playing with a non-roster player will forfeit the game.

Section Two – Field and Equipment

1.All necessary equipment will be provided by the NHSSC, with the exception of fielder’s gloves.  Provided equipment includes bases, bats, balls, strike plate, batting helmets, and catcher’s helmets. 

2. Players may bring their own single-wall bats, provided that the bat in question is marked with the ASA logo.  Double-wall or multi-wall, composite, wood, baseball, and fungo bats, are explicitly forbidden. The captain of an opposing team may challenge the legality of a bat after the batter steps to the plate but prior to the batter reaching base, and ask that the bat in question be compared to the NHSSC's list of ASA-approved single-wall bats. If the bat does not appear on the list in question, and does not indicate that it is a single-wall bat, the bat shall not be used and the team possessing the bat shall lose one point in the standings.

3.All games will be played with NHSSC-provided regulation softballs; pitchers shall utilize a twelve-inch "Incrediball" for all batters. 

4.A runner’s safety base shall be used at first base.

5.Closed toed shoes are required, metal cleats and spikes are forbidden.

6.Ground Rules:

1.   A ball is live if it hits the side nets/walls. All runners are live and may be thrown out via tag or applicable force plays. They are not catchable for outs.

2.   If a ball travels on the fly (i.e. it does not hit ground, ceiling, fielder, etc.) and hits the rear wall uninterrupted below the “Green Monster” line, it is a ground rule double. If it travels on the fly and lands above the “Green Monster”, it is an automatic home run. If it is interrupted, (i.e. hits a fielder’s glove or ceiling) and then hits the back wall on the fly, it is a LIVE ball and all runners must advance as necessary.

3.   A ball hit off the ceiling is a live ball and MAY be caught for an out on the fly. As soon as it touches the ground, the runner(s) must be thrown out either by force or tag.

4.   A ball hit in foul territory may be caught for an out, either off the ceiling or on the fly. If a foul ball touches the side walls, it is a dead ball.

5.   If a ball becomes lodged in the netting, it will be a ground rule SINGLE.

6.   All balls batted into the field of play and not striking a wall or ceiling are live and in play.

Section Three – Game Times 

1.Scheduled game times are forfeit times, and the game clock shall be started at scheduled game times, regardless of any delays. 

2.All games play for 50 minutes, at which time the buzzer will sound. Any innings in progress will be completed.

3.In the event of a tie, the game may proceed until either a team is leading at the conclusion of a full inning or 50 minutes has elapsed since the game began. At the 55-minute mark the game must stop, regardless of the situation on the field, with the score at the end of the last full inning being the official score. All NEW innings started after the 55 minute mark will commence with the last out of the last inning starting as a runner on 2nd base.

Section Four – Fielding

1.Each team may field up to eight players, no more of six of whom may be of any one gender. A team with only one of a gender may play only seven fielders. A team with one players of a gender shall field no more than six players.

2.Players may change field positions at any time.

3.Any active roster player may substitute for any fielder at any time.

4.No fielder may obstruct a runner from advancing the bases.  If called, the umpire will award the runner a number of bases necessary to nullify the obstruction.

5.Infield fly rule:  There is NO infield fly rule

Section Five – Batting

1.Each team shall provide their opponents with their batting order prior to the start of the game.

2.Each team will have three outs in their half of the inning. 

3.Four balls will result in a walk being awarded to the batter.

4.All batters will begin with a count of one ball and one strike.

5.Three consecutive fouls on a two-strike count will be called an out.

6.All team members present may be placed in the batting order, but the batting order must remain the same throughout the game. 

7.Any late-arriving player may bat at the bottom of the order, until the entire lineup has batted.

8. you man bat your players in any order you like. 

9.If a player bats out of order and the error is caught by the opposing team while still at bat, the correct batter will take the original player’s place at bat and resume the current count.  If the

incorrect batter reaches base and the error is caught by the opposing team the batter will be called out.  However, the opposing team must alert the umpire to the error before the first pitch is thrown to the next batter.

10.  If a catcher interferes with a batter’s swing the batter is automatically awarded first base.

11.  Home plate, bases, and foul lines are all to be considered fair territory.  Balls that land between the foul lines and then leave fair territory prior to first or third base will be considered foul, unless the ball is touched by a fielder while the ball is in fair territory.  Balls that land in fair territory past first and third base will be considered fair, regardless of whether the ball rolls into foul territory. 

12.  Pinch batters are allowed in case of injury.  However, the injured batter may not return to the game and the pinch batter will permanently take the batter’s place in the batting order. If no substitutes are available, the injured batter shall be called out.

 

Section Six – Running 

1.Runs are scored by advancing through the bases in order.

2.A runner will be called out if he interferes with a ball in play unless said ball is first touched by a fielder or the runner is on base, if he is forced to a base that is tagged by a fielder, if he is tagged directly by a fielder, if he leaves a base before a pitch crosses home plate, if he passes a runner who precedes him in the batting order, or if he leaves the base paths to avoid being tagged. 

3.Stealing is not allowed.

4.Runners advancing to first base must use the right “runner’s base,” while fielders may use the white base.  In the event of a ball hit to the outfield, and the runner intends to advance to second, he may round the base using the white base.

5.A runner may overrun first base without penalty.  However, the runner may be tagged out in the event of an aggressive move towards second base.

6.In the event of two runners finding themselves at the same base, the runner who touches it first is entitled to it.  The other runner is automatically out.

7.Runners may not slide headfirst while advancing a base.  However, a slide back towards an overrun base is allowed.

8.Each team may, without objection from the opposing team, utilize no more than one courtesy runner per inning. A courtesy runner is only allowed when the batter has stopped on first base, and only the last batter out from the previous inning may serve as a courtesy runner. Courtesy runners still occupy their spot in the lineup, and do not take the place of the batter for any purpose other than running the bases. The invocation of the courtesy runner rule must be announced to the umpire and the opposing team captain before the courtesy runner relieves the batter of his position on base. If the opposing team objects to the courtesy runner, the original batter must remain on base. Except for this provision, pinch runners are only allowed in case of injury.  However, the injured runner may not return to the game and the substitute batter shall take the runner’s place in the batting order.  If no substitute is available, the injured runner shall be called out.

9.On all plays at home, the runner may tag EITHER home plate or the “strike plate” as to avoid a collision. There is no automatic force play, and it is the runner’s responsibility to not interfere with the fielder.

Section Seven – Pitching 

1.A legal pitch is delivered to the plate with at least one foot on the rubber, no less than 35 feet from plate, using an underhand motion.  The pitch must arc to at least six feet in heightbut no higher than 10 feet, as judged by the umpire, and must strike home plate or the “strike plate” provided by the NHSSC. 

2.Any pitch that does not fit this description and is not hit by the batter shall be called a ball.

3.A ball that slips out of the pitcher’s hand during the wind-up is a “no-pitch,” and the runners may not advance.

4.Any pitch swung on and missed is considered a strike.

5.The pitcher may not advance towards home plate until the ball is struck.

Section Eight – Scoring

1.The winning team will be credited with two points towards the standings.

2.The score remains tied then each team will be credited with one point towards the standings.

Section Nine – Umpires 

1.The judgment of the officials shall be final and binding.

2.The official shall be responsible for:

a.Keeping time

b.Calling every pitch, hit, and play

c.Recording each strike, ball, out, and run

d.Enforcing all NHSSC policies

1.No player shall argue with NHSSC staff

2. No player shall use abusive language

3. No player shall engage in unsportsmanlike conduct

e.Any player who violates these rules twice in the same game shall be ejected. Any player ejected from a game will be suspended from their next game. Any player ejected from two games shall be removed from the league. The NHSSC official on site may, at his or her discretion, recommend further disciplinary action up to and including a permanent ban from all NHSSC activities. Any player who engages in any sort of violence, including fighting, shall be banned permanently from the NHSSC.

 

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