2016 Berea Baseball Association/Strongsville Collaborative
RULES AND REGULATIONS for the 12-14 year old Softball League
Only the Executive Board Berea Baseball Association may change or modify these rules. Official NFHS Fast Pitch Softball Rules apply, except as amended herein:
RULE 1: DIVISION AND PLAYER LEGIBILITY
- League Divisions and Player Ages
Age 12 – A ball player cannot turn 13 years old prior to August 1, 2016
Age 13 – A ball player cannot turn 14 years old prior to August 1, 2016
Age 14 – A ball player cannot turn 15 years old prior to August 1, 2016
- Exceptions to the above rules must be approved by the League Director and Director of Operations. A player approved to “play down” will not be allowed to pitch.
RULE 2: UNIFORMS, EQUIPMENT AND THE PLAYING FIELD
2.01 Jersey, pants, socks and visor are provided by the Berea Baseball Association and should be worn by each player during the game. Jerseys cannot be altered and must be tucked in. Earrings other than simple studs or other piercings, watches, necklaces must be removed prior to the start of a scheduled game. Medical alert jewelry or religious emblems are permitted, provided they are taped down or otherwise secured prior to the player taking the field.
2.02 Only NSA, USSSA, or ASA approved fast pitch bats are allowed. Baseball/T-Ball bats are not allowed.
2.03 Illegal bats will be removed. If an illegal bat is discovered after a ball is hit, the batter will be called out and all base runners will return to their original bases.
2.04 Balls, bats, catching equipment and masked helmets are supplied by the BBA. Coaches and players should respect this equipment. A player may be ejected, without warning, from the game for throwing her equipment in anger. A team warning will be issued in regard to any further infraction of the rule, resulting in a forfeiture of the game. Helmets must be worn at all times on the playing field, including but not limited to the on-deck circle, batting, running the bases, or coaching a base.
2.05 No metal spikes are allowed.
2.06 Bases will be a distance of sixty (60) feet and the pitching plate will be forty (40) feet.
2.07 Fielding Face Masks must be worn by the Pitcher, First Baseman and Third Baseman. All batting helmets are required to be equipped with a face mask.
RULE 3: GAME PRELIMINARIES AND GROUND RULES
3.01 Ground rules and regulations must be covered before each game between the umpires and head coaches. Upon completion of the pre-game meeting, the umpires will determine the official start time.
3.02 Each Team will present a batting order line up card to the opposing coach that will include the players name, uniform number, league age and position playing. Only changes to the batting order need to be reported to the opposing coach once the game starts.
3.03 Only the team head coach, three (3) assistants, players in uniform, and a bat person are permitted in the dugout or playing area. The bat person must wear a helmet while on the field.
3.04 Players, coaches and assistants are discouraged from addressing or mingling with spectators or sit in the stands during a game they are participating in, with the exception of controlling unruly behavior.
3.05 The home team will occupy the first base dugout. The home team also acts as the official scorekeeper.
3.06 The infield fly rule will apply. The infield fly is a fly ball hit in fair territory (excluding line drives or bunt attempts), which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied with less than 2 outs. The batter is out and the runners may advance at their own risk.
3.07 Appeal plays (runner missing a base, leaving early on a tag up, etc.) will be the responsibility of the umpire and decided immediately. No appeal from a player or coach is necessary.
3.08 In the event of an extreme possible injury (player hit by the ball, collision, etc.), time will be called and play will stop immediately (dead ball). Runners may not advance after time has been called and may be sent back to the base she was originally occupying or running to at the time of the injury, based on “dead ball” rules.
RULE 4: STARTING AND PLAYING TIME
4.01 Only the first game of the day on a field will be allowed to warm-up on the field before their game. Teams should be at the field and ready to play 10 minutes before their scheduled time. The umpires will have final authority on the matter of warm-ups in order to start games on time. No infield or outfield practice after the first inning.
4.02 Regulation Games - Games will be seven (7) innings, or two (2) hours with no new inning to begin after one hour and thirty minutes of play, unless extended because of a tie score, or shortened because of weather, curfew or time limit. Games will be official after five (5) innings (4 1/2 if the home team is ahead) or one hour and thirty minutes, whichever comes first. The home team only bats in the final inning if they are trailing or if the score is tied. If a game is tied after 7 (seven) innings extra innings will be allowed up to the 2 hour time limit. Play will be discontinued at the two hour mark regardless of which team is ahead or game situation. The score at the two hour mark will be the final score.
4.02a Any game started that is suspended due to weather, acts of nature, equipment malfunction, or curfew, etc., may be replayed, continued or canceled at the discretion of the League Director
4.03 Games will begin at scheduled times, provided the umpires and field are ready for play. The umpire will record the official start time in the home team scorebook. Weather delays and cancelations after the game begins are at the umpire’s discretion, but do not stop the game time clock. The following rules will apply in the event of lightning:
- A) A 30 second or less flash-to-bang count will result in removal of all players from the field to an appropriate shelter.
- B) Thirty Minute Rule. Once play has been suspended, there must be at least a 30 minute wait after the last flash of lightning is witnessed or thunder is heard before resuming play.
4.04 Run Rule – There will be a seven (7) run rule per inning, except for the last inning to be played. No team shall continue to score after the seventh run has scored. Any runs after the seventh run scored on a play will not count. If the seventh run was scored as a result of a bases loaded walk, the ball is dead and the inning is over. The last inning of play is the 7th inning, unless another inning has been declared to be the last inning by the umpire as a result of the time limit rules.
4.05 Number of Defensive Players – teams will field ten (10) defensive players, with a maximum of 4 players in the infield plus the pitcher and catcher. The infield is defined as the area from the base paths in + 2-3 feet. A ‘rover’ position is allowed, but must be positioned behind the infielders. Teams are allowed free substitutions for all positions EXCEPT pitcher. A player may re-enter the game as a pitcher after she has pitched in the same game.
4.06 Teams must have a minimum of eight (8) players on the field no later than ten (10) minutes after the start of the game. Teams fielding seven (7) or fewer players will forfeit.
4.07 A player must not sit out more than one consecutive inning in a game. The responsibility of playing time lies with the coach. Exceptions to this rule include a player not playing in the bottom of the last inning, rule infractions (throwing a bat, ejections, etc.) during a game, an injury resulting in removal from the game and missing games/practices.
4.08 Minimum inning and game participation applies to players who have attended their games/practices as scheduled. Parents or players should notify the coach if the player will be unable to attend a practice or game. A coach, at their discretion, may not grant equal playing time to a player for unexcused absences. The coach must inform the opposing manager of this prior to the start of the game.
4.09 No verbal abuse, heckling, badgering or name calling of any player, umpire, coach or fan will be tolerated. There will be no organized noise or chanting prior to or during the pitchers delivery (i.e.: banging bats, making faces, shaking fence, “rally rally”, etc.).
4.10 Ejection of any player by the umpire will result in suspension for the rest of that game, plus the next scheduled game.
4.11 Should a player be forced to leave the game for any reason, except ejection, there is no penalty to her team when her spot in the batting order comes up.
4.12 If a player is ejected from a game, the ejected player’s turn in the lineup will be scored an out each time it is reached.
4.13 If a player is removed from a game for an injury of any nature, she may not re-enter the game.
RULE 5: THE BATTER
5.01 Batting Procedure – All players present will be placed in a continuous batting order. A player arriving late for the game will be placed at the bottom of the batting order and take their turn as the last batter. The coach must notify the opposing coach of the new player's arrival.
5.02 Bunting is allowed. A batter may not bunt with a runner on 3rd base.
5.03 Dropped Third Strike – Batters may not run to 1st on a dropped third strike and is considered an out. Base runners may not advance unless they were stealing before th third strike was dropped.
5.04 A batter will be called out when failing to bat in proper turn and another batter completes a time at bat in place of the proper batter. Base runners would return to their normal bases. The proper batter may take position in the batters box at any time before the improper batter becomes a runner or is put out, and any balls or strikes shall be counted in the proper batter’s time at bat.
5.05 If a pitched ball touches the ground and bounces through the strike zone, it is a “ball.” If such a pitch touches the batter, it is considered a “hit batter” and the batter is awarded 1st base. If a batter hits such a pitch, the ball will be considered “live” as if it were hit in flight.
5.06 A batter will be issued a warning for a bat that has been "thrown" bat following a hit ball or swing. A second infraction in the same game will cause the batter to be called out. The third infraction will result in that player being removed from the batting order for the remainder of that game; player is still eligible to play in the field. ( Differs from "Equipment Thrown in Anger" rule. See 2.04)
RULE 6: THE CATCHER
6.01 Catchers Maximum Number of Innings – The maximum number of innings a player can catch in a single game is four (4).
6.02 The catcher must wear the following equipment: chest protector, mask with throat guard, shin guards and hard helmet. A mask and helmet must be worn at all times when warming up a pitcher, either on field, or outside the dugout.
6.03 The catcher must maintain a crouch position with both knees off of the ground while a pitch to the home plate is still "in play".
6.04 Courtesy runner - The coach has the option to utilize a courtesy runner to allow the catcher to put on the catchers equipment if there are 2 outs in the inning. Runner will be the player who made the last batted out.
RULE 7: THE RUNNER
7.01 Lead Offs – A runner may not leave the base until the pitched crosses home plate. If a runner leaves the base early, play is stopped, the runner returns to base and is given a warning. The next time the runner leaves early she will be called out. Once the runner legally leaves the base and the pitcher has control of the ball, she may stop once for a count of one (1) and then must return to the base or attempt to advance to the next base. Runners stopping for longer than a one (1) count or more than once will be called out.
7.02 Base Stealing – Stealing of 2nd and 3rd base is allowed. Stealing of home is NOT allowed. A runner from 3rd can only score on a batted ball, walk or illegal pitch. A runner stealing 3rd base cannot score on an overthrow or dropped ball.
7.03 Overthrow to Pitcher – Any base runner cannot advance after the ball has been released by the catcher to the pitcher regardless if the ball is caught, overthrown, dropped, etc.
7.04 Sliding headfirst in to any base will not be permitted unless the runner is returning to the original base. One (1) team warning will be issued, and any additional headfirst slides will be called out.
7.05 Fielders may not block the base path or base unless they are fielding the ball or have possession of the ball and are making a play on the base runner. Fake tags are not permitted.
7.06 Base runners must allow a fielder to make a play on the ball. If the runner interferes with the fielder, she will automatically be called out.
7.07 A runner will be called out if she runs more than three (3) feet away from a direct line between bases to avoid being tagged out.
RULE 8: PITCHERS
8.01 A maximum of three (3) innings per day, per pitcher with a maximum of six (6) innings per week, per pitcher. A non-14 year old pitcher, or combination non-14 year old pitchers, must pitch at least two (2) innings before the end of the fourth inning. An inning is defined as four (4) walks per inning, five (5) runs, three (3) batters, or three (3) outs. Any pitcher may return to pitch in a game as long as they have not exceeded their per day or per week maximum innings pitched.
8.02 Legal Pitches – The rules for legal pitches are generally as follows (see Appendix A):
- Pitcher must start with her motion with one (1) foot in contact with the pitching rubber. The other foot must be on or behind the pitching rubber and within the width of the pitching rubber.
- Hands should be apart.
- Hands should come together. The pitcher can only take one step and it must be forward. If a step is taken backwards it must be done before the hands come together.
- Once a pitcher begins her motion, she cannot pause, stop, or reverse her motion.
- Only one rotation of the arm is allowed and only one step towards the plate is allowed.
- The pivot foot that started on the pitching rubber must remain in contact with the ground until the ball is released. It may be dragged.
8.03 Breaking Balls – No intentional breaking balls (curves, sliders, etc.) are allowed. If the umpire believes the pitcher is using an illegal pitch, the pitcher will be warned (once per player). If the problem persists, the pitcher will be removed from the mound.
8.04 Illegal Pitches – Illegal pitches (as defined by Little League, ASA, NSA, USSSA, or NFHS) may be called. This is a rec/developmental league so there is some latitude granted to the umpire on how closely the illegal pitching rules will be enforced. Blatant violations, such as multiple steps or side-arm throws, should be called illegal. If the umpire believes the pitcher is using an illegal pitch, the pitcher will be warned. The umpire will explain the illegal pitch to the pitcher and the head coach. Further violations will result in a ball added to the batters count and any base runners will advance. The umpire will explain the illegal pitch to the pitcher and the head coach.
8.05 Pitchers may have five (5) warm up pitches in their first inning and three (3) in their second inning.
8.06 Coaches are allowed only one (1) visit to the mound per pitcher per inning. A second trip requires a change in pitchers. There will be a one (1) minute time limit for visits, including “travel time.”
8.07 Base on Balls and Hit Batters – If a pitcher walks six (6) batters in one (1) inning, she must be removed from the mound. A hit batter is considered a walk. A pitcher can hit no more than two (2) batters per inning before being removed for the rest of that inning. After four (4) hit batters in a game, the pitcher is removed for the remainder of that game.
8.08 There will be no intentional walks.
RULE 9: CONDUCT OF COACHES, ASSISTANT COACHES AND FANS
9.01 Only the team head coach may address the umpire or the opposing team’s head coach concerning a rules interpretation, disputed call, questions concerning the game, etc. Violation of this rule by an assistant coach, player or fan will result in a verbal warning given to the head coach. Any additional or subsequent infractions will result in the immediate ejection of the head coach and/or any assistant coach, player or fan that becomes involved in these meetings.
9.02 If the head coach is unable to attend a game, a designated head coach must be declared to the plate umpire before the start of the game. All games must begin and end with a BBA approved adult coach on the field.
9.03 Head coaches are to keep their assistant coaches, players and fans under control at all times. The umpire may eject the head coach, assistant coach, player or fan if he/she deems necessary from the playing field area. The head coach will be given reasonable time to control his assistant coaches, players or fans before he/she will be subject to possible ejection. A second ejection for one (1) team (including players, coaches and/or fans) in any game will result in immediate and final forfeiture of the game. Following a second ejection (players, coaches and/or fans) during the season, the head coach will be suspended. Re-instatement is as defined by rule 9.04
9.04 Ejection of a coach (head or assistant), or a violation of the rules herein, will earn the head coach a minimum suspension for that game plus the next scheduled game. Following an ejection, the head coach may not coach or be in contact with their team until a committee meeting consisting of the BBA President, the Director of Operations and the League Director reviews him/her. If any of the above is not readily available, a pre-approved representative of the BBA Board of Directors will serve. During this suspension, the coach may not have any contact with their team prior to, during or after a game. This also includes any team practices or team meetings.
9.05 No BBA coach will be permitted to smoke, chew tobacco, or consume alcoholic beverages while practicing with, or coaching, a BBA team.
9.06 Profanity by any head coach, assistant coach, or player is subject to immediate ejection from the game.