2017 COED Softball Rules

Warner Parks & Rec – Coed Softball Rules

This is a COED, recreational softball league.  Every skill level from beginners to seasoned players is encouraged to play.  We love to see competitive teams but the purpose of this league is to welcome everyone, to exercise in a fun way and to enjoy a sense of community right here in Warner.

What type of league is this?

This is a slow pitch, recreational COED softball league.  It is for fun and it gives us a chance to get out of the house and meet others who live in the Warner area.  Everyone will be playing to win but not at the cost of having fun and being a good sport.  There are plenty of highly competitive leagues around New Hampshire.  This is NOT one of them.  The Parks and Rec Board reserve the right to restrict/ban individuals and or teams, as they see fit, to maintain the spirit and integrity of the league. The Parks and Rec Board also reserves the right to amend these rules at any time.

Warner Parks & Rec Coed Softball

We are now officially known as “Warner Parks & Rec Coed Softball”. Old School PE still exists but it now only pertains to our Monday evening program that meets at Simond’s School gym and plays various games such as basketball, floor hockey and volleyball.

Rankings

We are now sorting our rankings and seeding our tournaments by Wins, Loses and then RUNS AGAINST (not runs for). This was done to prevent teams from running up the score to gain an advantage. This is a rec league!

Tournament

The top ten teams at the end of the regular season standings will move on to the championship tournament.  Championship tournament will be single elimination tournament.   The bottom two teams will play in a best of 3 series.

Home Plate

We will be adding a separate base for the runner to tag at home. There will also be a line marked half-way down the baseline as a “point of no return”. If the runner is caught beyond the point of no return and the catcher tags home plate with the ball, the runner is automatically out. This is a forced out once the runner passes that line. Having a separate base for the runner to tag versus the catcher to tag avoids collisions. This is a rec league!

Umpires

Base coaches and catchers will act as umpires. The first base coach is generally responsible for plays at first and home, and the third base coach for plays at third and second, unless the other base coach has a better view of the play. Catchers are responsible for fair & foul calls unless they defer to the other two umps.

NO ONE ELSE BUT THE BASE COACHES AND CATCHERS SHOULD BE MAKING CALLS. Any disputes that arise must be settled, as they occur, not the day after, by the team captains in a fair manner.

Above all else, please be fair, and be willing to accept some calls you might disagree with.  We are all human so we are all going to make mistakes.

No Strikeouts

There are no strikeouts in this league. In the rare case of a batter waiting for the “perfect pitch”, or a pitcher unwilling to pitch a hittable ball (i.e. not landing on the plate/strike mat), the two captains should halt the game and discuss a solution away from either dugout.

Arbitration

In the event that a team captain has a grievance they are not able to work out with the other captain, the commissioner of the league will reluctantly accept the role of arbiter.  The commissioner will hear both sides of the disagreement from each of the team’s registered captains only and make the decision.  If the commissioner is on either team, the arbiter’s job goes to the Team Captain who is currently ranked highest in the standings who’s team is not involved in the dispute.  If after hearing from both sides it is unclear who should win, the solution may be to reschedule a new game.  The Arbiter’s decision is final.  Remember, this is a recreation league and not a highly competitive cut-throat league so hopefully we won’t have to use this rule ever. So far we haven’t since the inception of the league (2012).

Regular Season Games

Regular season games are 7 innings.  A regular season game is considered official once a total of three innings have been completed.  If due to weather a game is terminated before play begins or before the 3 innings have been completed, it is up to the two teams to reschedule the game before the end of the season.

If the game is halted because of weather before 3 innings are up, the rescheduled game will resume where the game was left off.

Tournaments

A tournament will decide who the champion of the season is. All divisions play in a tournament.  Seeding tournaments will be based on best record from regular season.  When there is a tie, the tie is then decided by the total number of runs scored AGAINST.  If still tied then the tie is decided by total number of runs SCORED during the regular season.  If still a tie, then seeding the tournament is decided by a coin toss.

All tournament games are 7 innings.  If the championship game is halted because of weather before 5 innings are up, the rescheduled game will resume where the game left off.   If due to weather the game is halted after 5 innings; the championship is decided based on who was winning at that time.

-All tournament and championship games will now have an arbiter** assigned. The arbiter’s role is only invoked if there is a disagreement with a play call AND THE TWO CAPTAINS CAN’T AGREE ON A SOLUTION. Once this happens, it is the Arbiter’s job to step in and make the decision. The arbiter does not make a single call during the game unless they are invoked by either captain. THE ARBITER’S DECISION IS FINAL.

Tournament & Championship Game Arbiters **

Each team must provide at least two players from their team that are willing to be randomly drawn as an arbiter for the tournament and championship game.

Mercy Rules

A maximum of 10 runs is allowed to be scored in a single inning by a team.  Once 10 runs have been scored in a single inning the team is considered to have received 3 outs and the other team is then up to bat.  The only time there is an exception to this rule is during the last inning of the game.  This rule is in effect for both regular season games as well as the championship game.

During regular season games if one team is ahead by 21 points after the end of the 4th inning, the game can be stopped unless both teams agree to continue to play.

Eligible Players

All players must be 18 or older the day of the game.  All players must have a valid waiver signed and in the hand of the team captain at all times. Citizens from nearby towns are all welcome to play in the Warner league. The age requirement is non-negotiable.

Rosters

A maximum of 22 players are allowed on a team.  All players must sign a waiver in order to play in the league.  Once a player is signed to a roster this is considered their main team.  Rosters can change during the season.  However rosters are frozen prior to starting your last regular season game.

Please keep your rosters current with the league commissioner. As your team changes, your commissioner is to be included on the changes.

A team can start a maximum of 22 players (their full roster) in the batting rotation and a maximum of 10 on the field (catcher, pitcher, 1st, 2nd, SS, 3rd, LF, LCF, RCF, RF).  Each team must field a minimum of 7 players (catcher, pitcher, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, LCF, RCF) for the game to count.  If less than seven it’s an automatic forfeit.  If both teams are there anyway and a forfeit occurs, it is hoped that the other team would be willing to loan enough players to have a just for fun game anyway.

Tournament and Championship Eligibility

All teams that play in the regular season are eligible to compete in a tournament.  All players on the team must have played at least 2 regular season games with that team.

COED Rule

Each team is required to start and play a minimum of 3 women every game although we hope to see more than that.  The goal is to eventually raise the minimum in future years.  This includes the batting lineup as well as on the field.  If a team cannot field a minimum of 3 women, the game is considered an automatic forfeit unless both teams can’t in which case they must both field a minimum of 2 women or 1 woman accordingly.

In the event of an injury during a game where a team then drops below the 3 women minimum, that now vacant batting lineup slot becomes an automatic out and that team must field one less player.  As an example, if a team has three women to start and one is injured during play, that team must then field 9 instead of 10.  If two become injured, that team must then field 8 instead of 10, etc.

Pinch Runners

Pinch runners are allowed for injury or accessibility purposes only. A female runner must be substituted for a female hitter.

Pinch Hitters & Designated Hitters

Pinch hitters or designated hitters are NOT allowed in this league.

Forfeiture

In the event of one team needing to forfeit the game, the score goes on the books as 7 – 0. The purpose of 7 run rule is to not penalize the team that showed up to play with no runs scored to their record.

Batting Lineup

At a minimum, you should always have at least 10 players in the lineup (see *Rosters*) with a minimum of 3 women (see *Coed Rule*).  The order of players in the batting lineup must not change once the first pitch is tossed.  Every player in the lineup must play at least 2 innings on the field.

10 PERSON ROSTER APPROACH:  If you have 11 players but only want to bat a ten person roster, once a starting player on the roster has completed two innings in the field, you are able to substitute that extra person for any current player in the lineup of the same gender.  Once a player is subbed out, they are not allowed to play the rest of the game.

FULL ROSTER APPROACH:  If you have 11 or more players, many teams opt to just plug every team member into the lineup and leave them there and just make sure everyone plays at least two innings in the field.  No substitutions.

If a player must leave (unrelated to injury) after the game has started and does not have a substitute, the team must take an out in the lineup each time that player would have been up.

*We encourage teams to choose what works best for them.

Pitching

This is a SLOW PITCH recreational softball league.  The legal pitching arc is no lower than 6’ and no higher than 12’.  No “windmill” pitching is allowed. No quick pitching is allowed.  The pitcher must allow the batter a chance to reset before the pitch is delivered. The goal of the league is to have pitchers pitch hittable balls to keep the game going. Team captains are responsible for fielding pitchers that will do this in good faith.

Batting

NO BUNTING IS ALLOWED.  All batters must complete a swing in which they break their wrists.  All players starting a game must bat and keep the same batting order during that game.  If a player is physically unable to run bases due to an injury or accessibility reasons, a substitute runner is allowed.

LEADING OFF & STEALING BASES IS NOT ALLOWED.  Because this is a slow pitch softball league combined with the fact that the bases are closer together than baseball and because you don’t pitch directly to the catcher and instead pitch to the mat, it would be way too easy to steal bases.

Fielding

No fielder is allowed to stand in the runner’s path without the ball including the catcher.  If interference occurs, 1 free base is awarded.  Let’s try to keep it safe and clean.

There are 4 outfielders (LF, CLF, CRF and RF).  All outfielders must be on the grass outside the infield sand or behind the designated infield line when the batter is hitting.  This is to avoid everyone playing in the infield when a weaker hitter is up to bat.  If a violation occurs, an automatic double can be awarded to the batter.

Every player in the batting order must play at least 2 innings on the field by the end of the game unless weather causes the game to end sooner.  There must be 3 women on the field at all times (see COED Rule above).  If a co-ed violation occurs, the game is forfeited (except in case of injury as noted in the CO-ED section of this document).

Safety Bases

1st base is fitted with a safety base. The outside base is used only for the runner. The runner is to tag this base and the fielder is to tag the standard/inner base.

Equipment

The following are rules about equipment.

Bats and Balls
MEN:
Wooden SOFTBALL BATS are required FOR MEN ONLY (Wooden baseball bats are NOT allowed).  The barrel of the bat can be no larger than 2 ¼” and the end cannot have a taper. Think of two coke cans stacked on top of each other. That’s essentially what the end of the bat must look like (with a 2 ¼” barrell width). All wooden bats must be made of one piece of wood and not be a composite of different woods or other materials. If a team captain has any questions, they can bring the bat to the commissioner for clarification.

WOMEN:
Women may choose to use the same wooden softball bats that the men use or they may opt to use ASA Certified Aluminum Alloy SLOW PITCH SOFTBALL BATS.  Fast pitch aluminum alloy bats are allowed but may result in damaged bats as they are usually lighter weight.  The ASA Certification (2000, 2004, 2013) must be visible on the bat to be considered valid.  The barrel of the bat can be no larger than 2 ¼”.  The two team captains must approve the bats being used before the game begins.

http://www.asasoftball.com keeps an updated list of bats allowed as well as bats with the certification marks that are BANNED.  To be safe, just make sure your bats are explicitly listed on the allowed list and you will not have any trouble.  All captains should check bats before the game and should have an up to date printout of all bats that are banned.

Failure to use an appropriate softball bat will result in an automatic out.

We play with a mandated soft core softball that must be purchased through our organization.

With the combination of wooden bats for men and the use of soft core balls, the league will be safer and more competitive for everyone.  The home team according to the schedule is required to supply at least one brand new ball for the game.

Ball Gloves
Players are required to provide their own ball gloves.  Every player on the field MUST have a ball glove.

Sneakers/Cleats
All players are required to wear proper footwear such as sneakers or cleats.  No metal spikes are allowed.  Open toed shoes such as flip/flops or sandals are not allowed.

Uniforms

Team jerseys are not a requirement nor are jersey numbers.  However, having jerseys can be a lot of fun, especially if you get creative.  Consider asking for sponsors around Warner who might be interested to help offset the costs of jerseys and the registration fee.

Rain and Other Weather-Related Cancellations

In the event that a weather-related cancellation occurs, it is up to both teams to agree on a rescheduled game date.  If the game is in progress and hasn’t yet reached 3 innings (regular season) or 5 innings (tournament), then the game is suspended until the reschedule.  If 3 full innings (or 2.5 with the home team leading) has been reached, it is considered official.

A called game ends the moment the two captains agree to end it.  EXCEPTION: if the game is called during an uncompleted inning, the game becomes a SUSPENDED game in each of the following situations:

  • The visiting team has scored one or more runs to tie the score and the home team has not scored.
  • The visiting team has scored one or more runs to take the lead and the home team has not tied the score or taken the lead.

If no agreement between the two captains is made whether to call or suspend the game, the game will be considered a tie.

Cancelations

If one team (team A) must cancel a game before the game occurs, then the other team (team B) may decide to take the automatic win or to allow a reschedule.  It is up to the two teams to work out the rescheduled game. The field for the game that was canceled will still be open to team B if they wish to show up and practice.  Please do your best to allowed rescheduled games.  This is a rec league and should be fun.

Waivers

All players MUST sign a waiver before they are allowed to play.  It is the team captain’s responsibility to make sure this is followed to the letter.  Waivers are downloadable from our website.