USGF’s On-Line Fast Pitch Rule book is located at:
The On-Line Rule book Supersedes ANY Printed Edition
- Classifications and Age Requirements
- Playing Field
- The Game
- Players and Substitutes
- Pitching Rule
- Base Running
- Dead Ball Suspension of Play
- Coach/Manager or Player Ejection
- 8U Rules
Article I Name and Objective
Article II Membership
Article III Team Eligibility
Article IV Individual Player Eligibility
Article V State and Invitational Tournaments
Rule 1. CLASSIFICATIONS AND AGE REQUIREMENTS
Sec. 1 THE YOUTH FAST PITCH PROGRAM WILL BE DIVIDED INTO THE FOLLOWING CLASSIFICATIONS.
A Class, B Class, C Class and Recreational
A player’s age on January 1, of the season at play will be classification in which the player is eligible to participate.
A players’ age on or before January 1, 2017 determines the age eligibility group in which a player must participate for the 2017 season.
Age 6 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 6U
Age 7 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 7U
Age 8 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 8U
Age 9 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 9U
Age 10 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 10U
Age 11 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 11U
Age 12 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 12U
Age 13 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 13U
Age 14 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 14U
Age 15 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 15U
Age 16 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 16U
Age 18 on or before January 1, 2017 must play 18U
Sec. 2. The fast pitch program is designed for girls.
Sec. 3. The Fast Pitch season and Team registration will run from August 1 until
July 31. Tournaments and leagues played after July 31, will qualify teams
for the following summer’s State and World Series Tournaments. All teams
playing between August 1 and December 31, must play by the following
year’s eligibility classifications.
A. Any player can play in a higher classification, but cannot play in a
lower classification. Exception: This does not apply to the 18 &
Over Division; a player cannot play up in this division unless they
meet the criteria in Section 1.
B. A player shall not compete in any sanctioned tournament
with more than one team during the same tournament.
Rule 2. PLAYING FIELD
|Divisions||Pitching Distance||Base Paths||Playing Field Radius|
|8U||35 FEET||60 FEET||200 FEET|
|9U||35 FEET||60 FEET||200 FEET|
|10U||35 FEET||60 FEET||200 FEET|
|11U||40 FEET||60 FEET||200 FEET|
|12U||40 FEET||60 FEET||200 FEET|
|13U||43 FEET||60 FEET||200 FEET|
|14U||43 FEET||60 FEET||200 FEET|
|15U||43 FEET||60 FEET||200 – 225 FEET|
|16U||43FEET||60 FEET||200 – 225 FEET|
|18U||43 FEET||60 FEET||200 – 225 FEET|
|18Over||43 FEET||60 FEET||200 – 225 FEET|
Rule 3. EQUIPMENT
Sec 1. Official Bat: shall be round and straight in length, the maximum length shall not exceed 34 inches, weight will not exceed 32 ounces. The bat will have a safety grip to ensure holding the bat during the swing. The grip shall not be less than 10 inches nor exceed more than 15 inches from the knob of the bat. All markings must be permanent and visible, cannot be decals that can be removed or added to the bat.
A. The Bat: will be made of hard wood, aluminum, fiberglass, graphite. Bats must have a closed end barrel, with the knob portion being welded, or mechanically attached to the bat.
B. All Bats shall be USGF approved, when a bat does not meet USGF specifications the bat will be declared altered and the Tournament Director shall prohibit the use of the bat.
C. The performance standard for any bat, (Other than wooden) will have a Bat Performance Factor (BPF) of 1.20 or less under the BPF test standard. A Bat will not be considered legal in USGF play unless marked by bat company (1.20 BPF) or “BPF 1.20”.
D. No attachments such as a donut or fan may be used while batting or loosening up. Only one bat will be allowed while in the on-deck circle.
E. The Umpire or Tournament Director shall have the right to inspect a bat anytime. Anything not covered under the official bat section will be in sole discretion of the Tournament Director. As to whether the bat has been altered.
Sec 2. Official Ball: In 10U, 8U and 6U the ball will have optic yellow cover with blue stitch, circumference will be 11” +/- 1/8” weight 6.0 oz +/- 0.20 oz, 47 max cor, 375# max compression and be stamped USGF Fast Pitch. Any age above 10U will have optic yellow cover with blue stitch, circumference will be 12” +/- 1/8”, weight 6.6 oz +/- 0.30 oz, 47 max cor 375# max compression +/- 45# and be stamped USGF Fast Pitch.
Sec 3. Batting Helmets: While in playing field territory all non adult coaches, batters, base runners, on deck batters will wear a NOCSAE approved batting helmet. The helmet will have extended ear flaps that cover both ears and temples and a face mash/guard that is NOCSAE approved. Note: Chin strap is optional.
- Catcher Helmet will be worn by any non adult while warming up a pitcher while in playing field territory. The catcher helmet will be NOCSAE approved with dual earflaps, approved mask, with throat protector. Note: If a hockey style catcher helmet is used a separate throat protector is not needed.
- When an umpire or Tournament Director observes anyone required to wear a batting or catcher helmet deliberately removing the batting helmet while the ball is alive, the umpire or Tournament Director shall issue a warning to the coach of the involved person’s team. Any violation after warning shall result in ejection of coach and player confined to bench area for that game.
- All jerseys will have non duplicating numbers. Numbers must be no less than three inches in size and visible at all times.
- All players in game are prohibited from wearing jewelry. Medical alert tags are not considered jewelry. But if worn must be taped to body to remain visible. Anything other will be considered jewelry and if not removed player will not play.
- Shoes: will be required for all players. The sole may be smooth or have soft or hard rubber cleats. Cleats must be rectangular and not extend more than 1 inch from the sole. Shoes with detachable cleats that screw into the sole are allowed. Pitching Toes are allowed for all players as long as securely fastened. Metal cleats are allowed in 14U and above only.
- A USGF approved glove/mitt must be worn by all fielders. The glove/mitt worn by catcher may be any size. The pitcher glove/mitt shall be uniform in color and cannot have white, yellow, nor gray circles that will give the appearance of a ball. Note: two tints of the same color are considered uniform in color.
Sec. 1. Dead Ball: Is considered not in play until umpire calls play ball, (or gives the signal by pointing at the pitcher and pitcher is in position to pitch).
Sec. 2. Bunt: A ball not swung at, but intentionally tapped with the bat.
Holding the bat in the strike zone is considered a bunt attempt. In order to take a pitch, the bat must be withdrawn – pulled backward and away from the ball. If a bunt on third strike results in a foul ball, batter will be out.
Sec. 3. Drag Bunt: Is when the batter attempts to bunt the ball while running forward in batter box carrying the bat with her.
Sec. 4. Slap Hit: Is an act by the batter showing the appearance of bunting then using a modified swing or chop as the ball is pitched. A slap foul ball will be treated as any other foul ball with 2 strikes.
Sec. 5. Foul Ball: A ball that comes in contact with the bat while being batted then settles on foul territory between home and first base or home and third base. Bounds past first or third base while in or over foul territory, or while foul territory touches an umpire, player, coach or any object foreign to the natural ground.
Sec. 6. Foul Tip: Is a batted ball that goes directly from the bat to the mitt of the catcher that goes no higher than the batters head and legally caught by the catcher, ball remains alive.
Sec. 7. Fair Ball: Is a batted ball which,
- settles or is touched on or over fair territory between first base and home or between third base and home.
- While over or on fair territory touches any player, equipment, or umpire.
- Touches first, second or third base while bounding to the outfield.
- While over fair territory leaves playing field while in flight.
- Falls or is touched while on or over fair territory beyond first or third base.
Sec. 8. Forfeited Game: is a game awarded to the opponent of the offending team. The score shall be recorded as 7 to 0. In the 8 & under division, the score will be recorded as 5 to 0.
Sec. 9. Dead-ball Area: An area beyond any real boundary, such as a fence, rope, chalk line, or any imaginary boundary line as determined in the pre-game conference. If a ball becomes lodged in a fence or backstop it is considered to be in dead ball area.
Sec. 10. Dead Ball: Any ball not in play or a live ball that becomes dead during play. (Ball not considered in play again until plate umpire calls play ball.)
Sec. 11. Blocked Ball: A live ball that is touched, stopped or handled by a person not engaged in the game. Or a live ball that touches any object that is not part of the official equipment or playing area. Effect: The ball is dead. A live ball that strikes a base coach unintentionally is not called a blocked ball.
Sec. 12. Batter-Runner: An offensive player, who has hit a fair ball and has not been, put out or reached first base. A batter becomes a batter-runner that moment that bat contacts the ball and the ball is fair.
Sec. 13. Batter’s Box: The area in which the batter is restricted to, while in position to bat. The batter must have both feet entirely within the lined of the box prior to the pitch.
(The lines are considered to be within the box.)
Sec. 14. Base Path: An imaginary line, three feet to either side of a direct line between two bases. The runner is restricted to this base path when a fielder is making an attempt to put the runner out.
Sec. 15. Crow Hop: Is the replanting of the pivot foot prior to delivery of the pitch.
Sec. 16. Leap: Is when both feet become airborne.
Sec. 17. Pivot Foot: Is the foot which is in contact with the ground, as opposed to the non-pivot foot, which the pitcher uses to step toward home plate.
Sec. 18. Base on Balls: Often referred to as a walk. If a batter receives four balls before being put out she is awarded a base on balls. There is no intentional walk in fast pitch.
Sec. 19. Passed Ball: a pitch that cannot be fielded by the catcher which enables a runner to advance.
Sec. 20. A batted or thrown ball is in flight until it has touched the ground or some object on fair or foul ground, or it has touched a person other than a fielder.
Sec. 21. An on-deck circle for each team is a circle 5 feet in diameter located a
safe distance to the side and away from home plate, at least 30 feet if space allows.
Sec. 22. A catch is the act of a fielder getting secure possession in a hand or glove of a live ball in flight and firmly holding it, provided a cap, protector, mask, pocket or other part of the uniform is not used to trap the ball. It is considered a catch. If a fielder catches a fair or foul ball and then leaves live-ball area with both feet by stepping or falling into a beach, dugout, stand, bleacher or over any boundary or barrier, such as a fence, rope, chalk line, or a pre-game determined imaginary boundary line of the field of play. Falling into does not include merely running against such object. It is not a catch when a fielder touches a batted ball in flight and the ball then contacts a member of the offensive team or an umpire and is then caught by a defensive player.
NOTE: When a batted ball or pitch is involved, the above definition of catch applies. For any other thrown ball, the term is used loosely to also apply to a pickup or to the trapping of a low throw which has touched the ground. A fielder may be grasping the ball even though it is touching the ground while in the glove.
Sec. 23. Offensive interference is an act (physical or verbal) by the team at bat, which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. Or when a runner creates malicious contact with any fielder with or without the ball, in or out of the baseline; or when a coach physically assists a runner during playing action. It is umpire interference when the umpire, inadvertently moves so as to hinder a catcher’s attempt to throw or when a fair ball touches an umpire. Spectator interference is any action by a spectator, which impedes the progress of the game.
Sec.24. Obstruction is an act (intentional or unintentional, physical or verbal) by a fielder, any member of the defensive team or its team personnel, which hinders a runner or changes the pattern of play or when a catcher or fielder hinders a batter.
A. It is catcher obstruction when a catcher hinders or prevents a batter from swinging at a pitch.
B. A fake tag is an act by a defensive player that simulates an attempt to tag a runner. Faking a tag is always considered obstruction.
Sec. 25. An Inning: The portion of a game that alternates between offense and defense. Each team is allowed 3 outs while on offense. A new inning begins immediately following the 3rd out of the home team.
Sec. 26. A fair ball is a batted ball which:
A. Settles or is touched on or over fair territory between home and first
base or home and third base;
B. Is on or over fair territory including any part of first and third base
when bounding to the outfield.
C. Touches first, second or third bases.
D. While on or over fair territory touches the person of any umpire or
player or their clothing or equipment.
E. While over fair territory passes out of the playing field in flight.
F. First falls or is touched on or over fair territory beyond first or third
NOTE: A fair fly shall be judged according to the relative position of
the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not as to
whether the fielder is in fair or foul territory at the time she touches
the ball. It does not matter whether the ball first touches fair or foul
territory as long as it does not touch anything foreign to the natural
ground in foul territory and complies with all other aspects of a fair
Sec. 27. A foul ball is a batted ball which:
A. Settles on foul territory between home and first base, or between home
and 3rd base.
B. Bounds past first or third base on or over foul territory.
C. First falls on foul territory beyond first or third base.
D. While on or over foul territory touches the person of an umpire, a
player or any object foreign to the natural ground.
Sec. 28. An infield fly is a fair fly (not including a line drive or an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort (rule does not preclude outfielders from being allowed to make the catch); and provided the hit is made before two are out and at a time when first and second base or all bases are occupied. When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an infield fly, the plate umpire immediately announces it for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the base line the umpire shall declare, “Infield fly, if fair.”
Sec. 29. Fly Ball
A. A fly ball is a batted ball that rises to an appreciable height above the ground.
B. A line drive is a batted ball which travels parallel or nearly so with the ground through most of its flight.
C. A ground ball is one that is neither a fly nor a line drive.
Sec. 30. A tag out is the putting out of a runner (including the batter-runner), who is not touching a base, by touching the runner with a live ball or with the glove or hand when the live ball is securely held therein by a fielder. The ball is not considered as having been held securely if it is juggled or dropped after the touching unless the runner deliberately knocks the ball from the hand of the fielder.
NOTE: If the ball is securely held in hand, it is up to the umpire to rule that the ball has touched the runner if that hand or glove clearly touches the runner.
Sec. 31. A throw out is a putout caused by a throw to first base to retire a batter runner, or to any other base to which a runner is forced or is required to retouch.
Sec. 32. A strikeout is the result of the pitcher getting a third strike charged to a batter. In fast pitch, this usually results in the batter being out. Anytime first base is unoccupied, or there are two outs, and the third strike is not caught, the batter-runner is entitled to advance.
Sec. 33. A legal slide can be either foot first or head first. If a runner slides feet first, at least one leg and buttock shall be on the ground. If a runner slides, the runner shall be within reach of the base with either a hand or a foot when the slide is completed.
Sec. 34. A slide is illegal if:
A. The runner uses a rolling, cross-body or pop-up slide into the fielder.
B. The runner’s raised leg is higher than the fielder’s knee when the fielder is in a standing position.
C. The runner goes beyond the base and makes contact with or alters the play of the fielder.
D. The runner slashes or kicks the fielder with either leg.
E. The runner tries to injure the fielder.
Sec. 35. “Time” is the command of the umpire to suspend play. The ball becomes dead when it is given.
Sec. 1. A. The time limit for Pool Play is 55 minutes on the clock, finish the inning. In the event that a schedule offers a Warm UP Game that dose not advance a team into a seeded bracket, it may be posted as Drop Dead, do not finish the at bat. The scores do not advance a team and the score is only collected to record the games in the USGF records system. Time limit for Elimination Play is 70 minutes on the clock, finish the inning, no drop dead. The Tournament Direct has the ability to: alter the tournament schedule based on park's "lights out" policy, the event of rain delays or any unforeseen event that presents the need to alter game schedules during the course of a tournament. This may include game times and dropping loser bracket games.
Sec. 3. After the completion of 7-innings, or when time limits have expired, and the score is still tied, the tiebreaker procedure will begin (there will be no exception to this rule). The last batter who had the last completed at bat the previous inning, assumes a position on 2nd base. A substitute may be inserted, a courtesy runner may be used for anybody including the player assuming the role of base runner at 2nd base. This procedure would be done at the beginning of each half inning; until a winner is determined.
Sec. 4. A game ends when the team behind in score has completed its turn at bat in the seventh inning, in any extra inning or time limit has expired. If the home team scores a go ahead run in the bottom of the seventh inning, in any extra inning or time limit has expired the game is terminated at that point.
Sec. 5. If a game ends because of weather conditions and the tournament director feels that the possibility of resuming the game is not likely, it is then a regulation game provided:
A. Three full innings have been played; or if the home team has scored an equal or greater number of runs in two or two and a fraction turns at bat than the visiting team has scored in their three-inning turn.
B. Play has gone beyond three full innings and is called when the teams have not had an equal number of completed turn’s at bats. The score shall be the same as it was at the end of the last completed inning; unless the home team in its half of the incomplete inning, scores a run (or runs) which equals or exceeds the opponent’s score, in which case, the final score shall be as recorded when the game is called.
Sec.6. A game shall be forfeited to the offended team by the tournament director when a team:
A. Is late in appearing or in beginning play after the umpire calls “Play Ball.”
B. Refuses to continue play after the game has started.
C. Delays more than one minute in resuming play after the umpire calls“Play ball” or in obeying the umpire’s order to remove a player for violation of the rules.
D. Persists in tactics designed to delay or shorten the game.
E. Willfully and persistently violates any one of the rules after being warned by the umpire.
Sec. 7. Score of a forfeited game is 7 to 0 unless the game is forfeited after the number of innings required for a regulation game and the offending team is behind, then the score remains as recorded. If the offending team is leading, the score shall be 7 to 0. All individual and team averages shall be included in the official records, except that no pitcher shall be credited with a victory or charged with a loss in such a game if it is not a regulation game.
Sec. 1. A team shall consist of at least nine players, whose positions shall be designated as; (1) Pitcher, (2) Catcher, (3) First Baseman, (4) Second Baseman, (5) Third Baseman, (6) Short Stop, (7) Left Fielder, (8) Center Fielder, (9) Right Fielder, and a designated hitter and/or an additional player.
Sec. 4. ART 1. DP/FLEX - Each of the two teams must start with nine players. A team has the option of using the AP as a 10th batter. A team my use the DP/FLEX and/or an AP. Substitutions must be presented to the umpire and the official score keeper. A team must report to umpire and show on presented line up the use of DP/FLEX and or AP or relinquish the right of use for the game.
PENALTY: AFTER THREE CHARGED CONFERENCES IN A SEVEN INNING GAME, OR FOR ANY CHARGED CONFERENCE IN EXCESS OF ONE IN EACH EXTRA INNING, THE PITCHER SHALL BE REMOVED AS A PITCHER FOR THE DURATION OF THE GAME.
B. Each team, when on offense, may be granted not more than one charged conference per inning to permit the coach or any of that team’s personnel to confer with the base runners, the batter, the on deck batter or other offensive team personnel. The umpire shall deny any subsequent offensive team request for charged conferences. This offensive team charged conference rule is effective when the ball first becomes alive at the start of each half inning. Time granted for an obviously incapacitated player shall not constitute a charged conference.
C. When either team has a charged conference, the other team may also have a conference, which is not charged, provided the non-charged conference concludes when the opposing team’s charged conference concludes, thus not delaying the game.
D. Substitute, a player who replaces a player that is in the game (offense or defense). Teams are required to immediately report all substitutions to the plate umpire. Upon notification by either team, the umpire shall announce the legal substitute and make the appropriate lineup card changes. An unannounced legal substitute brought to the umpire’s attention will result in a penalty, all prior play shall stand.
PENALTY: First offense: A team warning is issued. Second offense:
The manager is ejected, from the remainder of the game only.
1. A substitute or player who replaces a pitcher while the team is on defense shall pitch to the first opponent to bat against the substitute until that batter has advanced to first base, or has been put out or until there has been a third out. To ensure that the requirements are fulfilled, the umpire will deny any coach-defensive player conference that will violate it.
a. If the starting pitcher is replaced before the first opposing batter has been put out or advanced to first base, the pitcher may play or re-enter at another position, but shall not return to pitch.
b. A player may be removed as a pitcher and returned as a pitcher only once per inning. Provided the return as a pitcher does not violate either the pitching, substitution, or charged conference rule. If the pitcher, because of injury or being incapacitated, is replaced as pitcher and the above rule is not satisfied; or if the pitcher’s substitute requires more warm-up throws than permitted, the pitcher shall not return to the game as a pitcher.
e. Re-entry, any player may be withdrawn from the game and re-entered once, provided such player occupies the same batting position whenever in the line-up. A violation results in an illegal substitution. A substitute who is withdrawn may re-enter.
f. Improper re-entry, an improper re-entry is handled as protest by the offended team. Improper re-entry is a violation after a pitch is made.
Examples of improper re-entry are as follows:
1. Starter and/or substitute who re-enters in an incorrect batting position.
2. Starter and/or substitute who re-enters a second time.
1. If an improper re-entry is discovered by the defense while the player is playing offensively, the following penalties will be enforced:
A. If the improper re-entry is discovered while player is at bat, player is ejected and a proper substitute assumes any accumulated balls and strikes.
B. If the improper re-entry is discovered after she has completed her time at bat, but before a pitch has been made to succeeding batter they are called out and the player is ejected from the game. All base runners if they have advanced must return to the base occupied at the time the improper re-entry took a position in the batter’s box.
C. If the improper re-entry is not discovered until a pitch is made to the next batter or the improper re-entry enters as a
substitute runner, player is ejected. All play that occurred while the improper re-entry was in the game will stand.
2. If an improper re-entry is discovered by the offense while the player is playing defensively, the following penalties will
A. If the improper re-entry is discovered after she makes a play on a fair batted (catch or throw) or a play on a foul fly ball before the next pitch, revert back to the previous pitch, the batter and base runner are advanced one base, the improper player is ejected.
B. If the improper re-entry is discovered after a pitch that did not result in a batted ball on which the improper
player made a play, the improper player is ejected (this includes the pitcher).
A. Prior to the pitch, the pitcher may take a position with: (1) the pivot foot on or partially on the surface of the pitcher’s plate; (2) the non pivot foot in contact with or behind the pitcher’s plate. Both feet must be on the ground within or partially within the 24-inch length of the pitcher’s plate. The hands must be apart.
B. Preliminary to pitching, the pitcher must take a position with the shoulders in line with first and third base with the ball in the glove or pitching hand, with the hands separated.
C. While in this position, the pitcher shall take (or simulate taking) a signal from the catcher.
D. After completing “C” above, the pitcher shall bring the hands together in front of the body for not less than one second and not more than 10 seconds before releasing the ball. The hands may be motionless or moving.
E. ABOUT THE PITCH:
a. The pitch starts when one hand is taken off the ball or the pitcher makes any motion that is part of the windup after the hands have been brought together.
b. Once the hands are brought together, the pitcher shall not take more than one-step, which must be forward, toward the batter and simultaneous with the delivery. Any step backward shall begin before the hands come together. The step backward may end before or after the hands come together.
NOTE: Toward is interpreted as within or partially within the 24-inch length of the pitcher’s plate.
c. The pivot foot may remain in contact with or may push off and drag away from the pitching plate prior to the front foot touching the ground, as long as the pivot foot remains in contact with the ground. Pushing off with the pivot foot from a place other than the pitcher’s plate is illegal.
NOTE 1: It is not a step if the pitcher slides his foot in any direction on the pitcher’s plate, provided contact is maintained.
NOTE 2: Techniques such as the “crow hop” and “the leap” are illegal.
F. A LEGAL DELIVERY - shall be a pitched ball that is delivered to the batter with an underhand motion.
a. The release of the ball and the follow-through of the hand and wrist must be forwarded past the vertical line of the body.
b. The hand shall be below the hip and the wrist not father from the body than the elbow.
c. The pitch is completed with a step toward the batter.
G.THE PITCHER MAY USE ANY WINDUP DESIRED PROVIDED:
a. No motion to pitch is made without immediately delivering the ball to the batter.
b. The pitcher does not use a rocker action in which, after having the ball in both hands in pitching position, she removes one hand from the ball, takes a backward and forward swing and returns the ball to both hands in front of the body.
c. The pitcher does not use a windup in which there is a stop or reversal of the forward motion.
d. The pitcher does not make more than one revolution of the arm in the windmill pitch. A pitcher may drop the pitching arm to the side and to the rear before starting the windmill motion. The ball does not have to be released the first time past the hip.
NOTE: One revolution is interpreted as “not two revolutions,” provided the pitching arm Is dropped to the side and to the rear before starting the windmill motion.
e. The pitcher does not continue to wind up after taking the forward step or after the ball is released.
NOTE: Continuation of the windup is considered any action that, after the ball is released, causes the arm to continue to rotate past the shoulder.
H. The pitcher shall not wear any item on the pitching hand, wrist, arm or thigh that may be distracting to the batter.
1. Foreign Substance on the ball/Items on pitcher
A. The pitcher shall not at any time be allowed to use any moisture or foreign substance on the ball, the pitching hand or fingers nor do anything to deface the ball. Neither shall any other player or team personnel apply moisture or a foreign substance to the ball nor do anything to deface the ball. Under the supervision and control of the umpire, powdered resin may be on the hands to dry them.
B. Penalty - For the offense, an illegal pitch shall be called.
2. BATTING HELMET - If a pitcher wears a batting helmet while on defense, the outer covering and shield shall be a non-glare surface.
I. The pitcher shall not deliberately drop, roll, bounce, etc., the ball while in the pitching position in order to prevent the batter from striking it.
J. Once the ball has been returned to the pitcher, the pitcher has 20 seconds to release the next pitch, “after the umpire says play”.
K. At the beginning of an inning or when a pitcher relieves another pitcher, one minute may be used to deliver not more than five practice pitches to the catcher, or some other teammate. For excessive warm up pitches awarding a ball for each pitch in excess of five shall penalize a pitcher.
L. If the ball slips from the pitcher’s hand during the back swing or forward motion, a ball is called on the batter. In either case, the ball remains in play and runners may advance at their own risk.
Effect Sec. 1. A - K
An illegal pitch is called immediately. It is a delayed dead ball and should be signaled by the umpire calling the illegal pitch and verbalized so a player could hear the call. The pitch is declared a ball and base runners are awarded one base without liability to be put out if the ball is not hit. If the pitch is hit then the coach will have the option of taking the results of the play or accepting the penalty.
Sec. 2. A. A catcher shall be inside the lines of the catcher’s box when the pitcher Takes a position to pitch and when the pitch is released.
PENALTY: An illegal pitch is called.
B. The catcher shall return the ball directly to the pitcher after each pitch, except after a strikeout or a putout made by the catcher, or to play on a base runner.
PENALTY: The batter is awarded a ball.
Exception: Intentionally violating the rule in order to walk the batter without pitching shall not result in a ball being awarded to the batter.
Sec. 1. Position and Batting Order: each player of the team at bat shall become the batter and shall take her position with in the batter’s box (on either side of home base), in the order in which her name appears on the lineup card as delivered to the umpire and the opposing team prior to the game. The order shall be followed during the entire game except that an entering substitute shall replace player’s place in the batting order. A batter is in proper order if she follows the preceding player in the lineup, even though such preceding batter may have batted out of order. An improper batter is considered to be at bat as soon as she enters the batter’s box and one pitch has been thrown. When an improper batter’s infraction is first discovered, time may be requested and the improper batter replaced by the proper batter who will assume the improper batter’s ball and strike count, provided the infraction is detected before the improper batter is put out or becomes a base runner.
Penality: After the lineup card has been submitted to and verified by the umpire and a change is subsequently made to a player/substitute name the umpire shall issue a team warning to the head coach of the team involved. Any further changes made to a player/substitute name results in the head coach being restricted to the dugout/bench area for the remainder of the game.
Sec. 2. After the first inning, the first batter in each inning shall be the player whose name follows that of the last batter who completed her time at bat in the preceding inning.
PENALTY: For batting out of order (Sec. 1 and 2):
A. A batter shall be called out on appeal when she fails to bat in her proper turn and another batter completes a time at bat in her place.
NOTE: Only the defensive team may appeal out of order after the batter has completed her time at bat.
B. When an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out and the defensive team appeals to the umpire before the next pitch (legal or illegal), or before the infielders leave the diamond if a half inning is ending. the umpire shall declare the proper batter out and return all runners to the base occupied at the time of the pitch.
Exception: Any outs made on the play stand. An out for batting out of order supersedes an out by the improper batter on a play.
NOTE: If a runner advances because of a stolen base, wild pitch or passed ball while the improper batter is at bat, such advance is legal.
C. If an improper batter becomes a runner or is put out and a legal or illegal pitch has been delivered to the succeeding batter, or all infielders have left the diamond if a half-inning has ended and, in all cases, before an appeal is made, the improper batter becomes the proper batter and the results of her time at bat become legal.
D. When the proper batter is called out because she has failed to bat in turn, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows that of the proper batter who was called out.
E.When an improper batter becomes a proper batter because no appeal is properly made as above, the next batter shall be the batter whose name follows that of such legalized improper batter. The instant an improper batter’s actions are legalized, the batting order picks up with the name following that of the legalized improper batter.
NOTE: When several players bat out of order before discovery so that a player’s time at bat occurs while she is a runner, such player remains on base, but she is NOT out as a batter.
Sec. 3. A strike is charged to the batter when:
A. A pitched ball enters any part of the strike zone in flight and is not struck at.
B. A pitched ball is struck at and missed.
C. A pitched ball becomes a foul when the batter has less than two strikes.
D. A pitched ball becomes a foul tip (even on a third strike) or a foul from an attempted bunt.
E. A penalty strike is called because a batter delays.
F. A batter ball contacts the batter in the batter’s box (foul ball).
Sec. 4. A ball is credited to the batter when a pitch is not touched by the bat and is not a strike or when there is an illegal pitch or for catcher / pitcher’s delay.
Sec. 5. A foul hit or fair hit, which may be a bunt, occurs when a pitch is touched by the bat of the batter who is in the batter’s box.
EXCEPTION: Foul Tip.
Sec. 6. A batter shall not delay the game by failing to promptly take her position in the batter’s box within 10 seconds, or by stepping out of the box when the pitcher is on the pitcher’s plate.
PENALTY: If a pitcher is committed to delivering the pitch, the batter leaves the box at the risk of having a strike called while being out of position. For failure of the batter to be ready within 20 seconds after the ball has been returned to the pitcher, the umpire shall call a strike. If it is the third strike, the umpire shall call time and declare the batter out.
NOTE 1: After entering the batter’s box, the batter leaves it at the risk of being charged with delay. The batter may request time-out if she desires to step out for a valid reason and, if granted, the 20-second count will begin anew when the ball is declared live. The umpire is authorized to refuse to grant time-out if the batter repeatedly causes delay or if her leaving the batter’s box appears to be an attempt to worry the pitcher or to gain some other advantage.
NOTE 2: If the pitcher stops or hesitates in her delivery as a result of the batter stepping out of the box or holding up her hand to request time, it shall not be an illegal pitch. However, if the batter steps out of the box or holds up her hand to request time and the pitcher legally delivers the ball, it shall be called a strike (automaticially) and the ball remains alive. If a pitch is not delivered, a rule has been violated by both the batter and the pitcher. The umpire shall call time, declare, “no-pitch” and begin play again. If the umpire judges the batter’s action to be a deliberate attempt to create an illegal pitch, the umpire shall give the batter a warning, on second attempt the batter and the coach shall be restricted to the dugout for the remainder of the game. A legal substitute can be put in to assume the count if there is one available.
Sec. 7. A batter shall not hit the ball fair or foul while either foot is touching the ground completely outside the lines of the batter’s box or while touching the plate.
NOTE: A follow-through with the bat may carry one of the batter’s feet entirely outside the box so it touches the ground as the ball is leaving the bat. It is customary for the umpire to ignore this if both feet were in legal position at the start of the swing and if it is not considered an attempt to circumvent the spirit of the rule.
PENALTY: The ball becomes dead immediately. The batter is out.
Sec. 8. A batter shall not disconcert the pitcher by stepping out of the box on one side of home plate to the box on the other side while the pitcher is in position ready to pitch.
PENALTY: The ball becomes dead immediately. The batter is out.
Sec. 9. A batter is not required to make an effort to get out of the way of a pitch.
Sec. 10. A batter shall not interfere with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by leaning over home plate. By stepping out of the batter’s box, by making any other movement which hinders action at home or the catcher’s attempt to play on a runner, or by failing to make a reasonable effort to vacate congested area when there is a throw to home and there is time for the batter
to move away.
PENALTY: When there are two outs, the batter is out. When there are not two outs and a runner is advancing to home, the runner is out and the ball is dead unless the runner is tagged out, in which case the ball remains alive and interference is ignored. When an attempt to put out a runner at any other base is unsuccessful, the batter is out and all runners must return to the base occupied at time of pitch.
Sec. 11 If the bat breaks and is hit by the ball or hits a runner or a fielder, no interference will be called. If a whole bat is thrown and interferes with a defensive player attempting a play, interference shall be called.
PENALTY: The batter is out and runners return. If, in the umpire’s judgment, interference prevented a possible double play, two may be declared out. (the batter throwing the bat and the runner closest to
Sec. 12. A batter shall be called out when:
A. She enters the batter’s box with an illegal bat or is discovered having used an illegal bat and the infraction is detected before the next pitch (only the umpire or defense may detect an illegal bat).
B. A third strike is caught.
C. Her foul (other than a foul tip not a third strike) is caught in flight by fielder or such catch is prevented by a spectator reaching into the playing area.
D. A bunt on a third strike is foul.
E. A third strike (in flight) is not caught, provided a runner occupies first base at the time of the pitch and there are less than two outs.
NOTE: If there are two outs or if no runner occupies first base, the batter is not out unless the third strike is caught. The batter is entitled to try to reach first base before being tagged out or thrown out.
F. She hits an infield fly when the infield fly rule is in effect, if it is not called.
NOTE: The plate umpire usually makes the infield fly call. However, this does not preclude the base umpire from making the call as well. The umpire calls “Infield fly if fair and batter is out.” If the hit then becomes a foul, umpire reverses decision. The batter is always out on an infield fly, but the ball is alive and runners may advance in the
hope the fly may not be caught, or they may retouch and advance after the ball is touched.
G. Any coach or member of the offensive team interferes with a fielder attempting to field a foul fly ball.
H. A team is playing with one less than the starting number and his turn to bat is reached.
I. After hitting or bunting a ball, he intentionally hits the ball a second time in fair or foul territory, the ball is dead, no runner(s) advance and the batter is out.
EXCEPTION: If the bat and ball accidentally come in contact with each other a second time while the batter is holding the bat in the batter’s box, it is a foul ball.
NOTE: In the case of intentional contact with a foul ball, it must have a chance to become fair in the umpire’s judgment.
J. An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly, fair line drive or fair bunt in flight with at least first base occupied and with less than two outs.
PENALTY: All runners must return to the base occupied at the time of pitch in A, C, D, I, J.
EXCEPTION: In (a), runners would not return if they were put out on the play.
RULE 9. BASE RUNNING
Sec. 1. Each runner is awarded one base if a pitch goes into dead ball territory, or lodges in an umpire or catcher’s equipment.
Sec. 2. Stealing of bases permitted. The runner is out and the ball is dead if the runner is not in contact with the base at the time when a pitched ball leaves the pitcher’s hand.
Sec. 3. Once the pitcher has the ball within the 16-foot circle and the batter-runner reaches 1st base, the runner off base must immediately advance to the next base or return to the last base touched. However, if the pitcher makes an attempt on any of the runners then this rule does not apply.
Effect: Ball is dead and runner is out.
Exception: The runner will not be declared out if a play is made on another runner, (a fake throw is considered a play), the pitcher no longer has possession of the ball within the 16-foot circle, or the pitcher releases the
ball on a pitch to the batter.
Sec. 4. A. courtesy runner may be used only one time per inning.
B. The courtesy runner may be any player on the team’s roster.
C. Courtesy runner may be in the batting order.
D. The courtesy runner may be entered at any time.
Effect: In the event the courtesy runner is on base when it is their turn at bat they will not be removed from base to bat. The courtesy runner will remain on base, lose their turn at bat and an OUT will be declared in their bating slot. The batter following the courtesy runner will be the next batter.
NOTE: Once a base runner is replaced by a courtesy runner, the original player cannot return as the base runner. If the courtesy runner is injured and cannot resume play, the courtesy runner by be replaced by a substitute player if one is available.
A. Hitting a fair ball.
NOTE: Batter becomes a runner when entitled to run.
B. Charged with a third strike.
NOTE: if a third strike is caught, the batter is out an instant after becoming a runner.
C. A fourth ball is called by the umpire.
D. If a pitched ball is entirely within the batter's box and it strikes the batter or her clothing, and the batter makes no attempt to avoid being hit by the pitch, the ball is dead and the batter is entitled to one base without liability to be put out. However, the batter may not obviously try to be hit by the pitch. In that case the umpire will call dead ball and a ball on the batter.
E. The catcher or any infielder obstructs him. Obstruction on the batter is a delayed dead ball. The coach or captain of the team at bat, after being informed by the umpire-in-chief of the obstruction, shall indicate to the umpire whether he elects to accept the result of the play or to accept the penalty of awarding the batter first base and advancing all other runners only if forced. Such election shall be made before the next pitch (legal or illegal) or before the infielders leave the diamond. Obstruction of the batter (before he has become a batter-runner) is ignored if the batter runner reaches first and all other runners advance at least one base.
NOTE 1. Any runner attempting to advance (i.e., steal or squeeze) on a catcher’s or any infielder’s obstruction of the batter shall be awarded the base he is attempting. If a runner is not attempting to advance on the catcher’s obstruction, he shall not be entitled to the next base, unless forced to advance because of the batter being awarded first base.
NOTE 2. If obstruction is, enforced, all other runners on the play will return to the base occupied at time of the pitch unless forced to advance because of the batter being awarded first base.
NOTE 3. If the obstruction penalty is not enforced, all other runners advance at their own risk.
Sec. 6. A batter-runner is awarded first base if:
A. She is a runner because of c, d or e of section 5
B. A fair ball, other than an infield fly, becomes dead and provided a preceding runner or retired runner does not interfere in such a way as to prevent an obvious double play.
NOTE: Unless awarded first base as above, a batter-runner is entitled to first base only if the batter-runner reaches it before being tagged out, thrown out or called out for hitting an infield fly.
Sec. 7. An advancing runner shall touch first, second, third and then home plate in order. A returning runner shall retouch the bases in reverse order. When an uncaught foul ball causes the ball to become dead, the runner need not touch intervening bases. Any runner who misses a base while advancing may not return to touch the missed base if a following runner has scored.
NOTE: Any runner who misses the first base to which she is advancing and who is later called out shall be considered as having advanced one base.
Sec. 8. If a batted ball (fair or foul other than a foul tip) is caught, the initial contact of the ball by a fielder releases the runner(s) from the base(s) occupied at the time of the pitch.
Sec. 9. If a batter-runner is entitled to return to first base after overrunning, or if a runner fails to touch home plate, and if either such runner desires to return to such base, the runner shall return immediately.
PENALTY (3,4,5): For failure to touch base (advancing or returning), or failure to tag up after a fly ball, the runner is out. During playing action, the runner is out if, before returning to each untouched base, the runner is touched by the ball in the hand of a fielder, or the ball is held by a fielder on that missed base (including home plate). In this
instance, the out would be called immediately before time is called. When a runner is legally returning after a long fly ball has been caught; she can be put out by being tagged or by the defense merely touching the base occupied at the time of the pitch. If a base running infraction were the third out, runs scored by the following runner(s) would not count or when a runner crosses home plate after a preceding runner is declared the third out for a base running infraction. With two outs, if the base missed were the first to which the batter or runner was forced to advance, no runs would score.
Sec. 10. A batter-runner who reaches first base safely and then overruns or over slides may immediately return without liability of being put out, provided she does not feint or attempt to advance to second.
NOTE 1: When a walk or dropped third strike occurs in which the batter is entitled to run, it is treated the same as a batted ball. The batter-runner may continue past first base and is entitled to run toward second base as long as she does not stop at first base, if the pitcher has possession of the ball in the 16-foot circle. If she stops after rounding first base, the runner must comply with rule 9, section 18K note.
NOTE 2: A player who is awarded first base on a base on balls may continue on down the first base line after touching first base and immediately return without liability of being put out, if there is no feint or attempt to advance to second. She may also round first base and go directly to second base without stopping. If she does stop, she must comply with rule 9, section 18K Note.
Sec. 11. A runner acquires the right to the proper unoccupied base if the runner touches it before being put out. The runner is then entitled to this base until being put out, or until legally touching the next base while it is unoccupied or until a following runner is forced to advance to the base occupied.
Sec. 12. Each runner shall touch her base after the ball becomes dead. All awarded bases must be touched in their proper order. The runner returns to the base she had reached or passed when the ball became dead. In the event of interference, a runner returns to the base he had legally reached at the time of the interference. If the interference does not cause the batter to be out and any other runner cannot return to the base last legally occupied at the time of the interference, she is advanced to the next base.
EXCEPTION: The runner returns to the base occupied at the time of the pitch if his advance was during an uncaught foul.
Sec. 13. All awarded bases must be touched.
Sec. 14. When a runner is obstructed while advancing or returning to a base, by a fielder who neither has the ball nor is attempting to field a batted ball, the umpire shall award the obstructed runner, and each other runner affected by the obstruction, the bases they would have reached, in the umpire’s judgment, had there been no obstruction. If the obstructed runner advances beyond the base the runner would have reached, in the umpire’s judgment, the runner advances with liability to be put out. If a runner maliciously runs into a fielder, there shall be no award for obstruction. If any preceding runner is forced to advance by the awarding of a base or bases to an obstructed runner, the umpire shall award this preceding runner the necessary base or bases. The penalty for faking a tag is obstruction.
NOTE: When obstruction occurs, the umpire gives the delayed dead-ball signal and calls out “obstruction.” If an award is to be made, the ball becomes dead when time is taken to make the award.
Sec. 15. Each runner including the batter-runner is awarded:
A. Four bases (home base):
1. If a fair- batted ball goes over a fence in flight between the foul poles.
2. If a fair -batted ball hits a foul pole.
3. If a fair -batted ball is prevented from going over the fence by a spectator.
4. If a fair-batted ball is prevented from going over the fence by an illegal glove/mitt.
5. If a fair-batted ball is prevented from going over the fence by detached player equipment, which is thrown, tossed, kicked or
held by a fielder.
B. Three bases:
1. If a fair-batted ball (other than in item a) is touched by an illegal glove/mitt or by detached player equipment which is thrown,
tossed, held or kicked by a fielder, provided the ball when touched:
a. Is on or over fair ground.
b. Is a fair ball, while on or over foul ground.
c. Is over foul ground in a situation that it might become a fair ball.
C. Two bases:
1. If a fair-batted ball becomes dead because of bouncing over or, when passing through a fence, becomes blocked.
2. If a live thrown ball, including a pitch is touched by an illegal glove/mitt or detached player equipment, which is thrown, held,
tossed or kicked by a fielder.
3. If a live thrown ball (not by a pitcher from the pitcher’s plate as in item D) goes into a stand for spectators, or a players’ bench, or over or through or lodges in a fence.
4. If the fielder, in the judgment of the umpire, intentionally touches loose equipment left on or near the field by the defensive team.
5. Intentionally carries or throws ball into dead-ball territory.
NOTE: When two runners are between the same bases on an overthrow into dead-ball territory, the lead runner receives two bases and the following runner is awarded one base, since both runners cannot share the same-awarded base.
EXCEPTION: Runners between second and third would score, because the award does not result in both runners occupying the same base.
D. One base:
1. If a pitch by the pitcher from the pitching position on the pitcher’s plate goes into a dead-ball area, becomes blocked, lodges in an umpire or catcher’s equipment.
2. If a fielder loses possession of the ball on a tag play and the ball enters dead-ball area.
3. If there is an illegal pitch, which is not, ignored.
4. If forced from the base occupied by a following runner who must advance because a batter receives, a fourth ball, is hit by a pitched ball or hits a fair ball, which becomes dead.
5. If a runner is attempting to steal or he is forced from the base he occupies by a batter-runner or runner who must advance because the catcher or any fielder obstructed a batter (such as stepping on or across home plate, pushing the batter to reach the pitch, or touching the bat. Instances may occur when the infraction may be ignored or when the batter may be awarded first base.
6. If, with less than two outs, the batter hits a fair or foul ball (fly or line drive) which is caught by a fielder who then steps with both feet or falls into a dead ball area.
NOTE 1.: Illegal use of detached player equipment, as in items a, b or c, does not cause ball to immediately become dead. If each runner advances to or beyond the base that each would have reached as a result of the award, the infraction is ignored.
NOTE 2.: If a ball is touched with an illegal glove or mitt, any runner who advances on the play beyond the base she would be awarded does so at her own risk and may be put out.
E. When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties and/or make any awards as in the umpire’s judgment will nullify the act of interference.
NOTE EXCEPTION: It is not spectator interference if a spectator physically hinders a fielder who is reaching into a dead ball area to make a play on a batted or thrown ball.
Sec. 16. An award is from the base determined as follows:
A. The pitch:
1. If any pitch, (batted or unbatted), is followed by a dead ball before the pitcher is in the 16-foot circle for the next pitch and
before there is any throw by the fielding team.
2. For a runner required to tag up after a caught fly ball.
B. The infraction:
1. If the award is for any pitching infraction followed by a pitch.
2. For use of detached player equipment or ball touches an illegal glove.
3. For fielder losing possession of the ball.
C. The time the ball last left the hand of the thrower (in any situation other than A or B).
Sec. 17. The batter-runner is out:
A. When interfering with the catcher’s attempt to field the ball after a third strike.
B. When a batted ball in flight is caught by a fielder, or such catch is prevented by a spectator reaching into the field enclosure.
C. When a fair fly, fair line drive or a fair bunted ball in flight is intentionally dropped by an infielder with at least first base occupied and less than two outs; the ball is dead and the runners shall return to their respective bases.
NOTE: In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder permits a fair fly ball, line drive or a fair bunted ball in flight to drop untouched to the ground, except when the infield-fly rule applies.
D. When a third strike is caught; or a third strike is not caught while a runner is on first base and there are less than two outs.
E. If, after a third strike or a fair hit, any fielder, while holding the ball, touches the batter-runner before the batter-runner touches first base; or if any fielder, while holding the ball securely in a hand, touches first base or touches first base with the ball before the batter-runner touches first base.
F. When she runs outside the three-foot running lane (last half of the distance from home plate to first base) while the ball is being fielded or thrown to first base.
EXCEPTION: This infraction is ignored if it is to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field the batted ball or if the act does not interfere with a fielder or a throw.
G. When she intentionally contacts the ball a second time in fair or foul territory, if, in the umpire’s judgment, the ball had a chance to become fair.
H. When she moves backward toward home plate to avoid or delay being tagged out. The ball is dead and base runners must return to the last base touched at the time of the infraction.
I. When she hits an infield fly and the infield-fly rule is in effect.
J. When, with two outs on a dropped third strike, she does not attempt to reach first base before all infielders leave the diamond, the half-inning ends, or she gives up by entering the bench or dugout area.
K. When she is an illegal substitute and is discovered.
Sec. 18. Any runner is out when:
A. Running more than three feet away from a direct line between bases to avoid being tagged, or to hinder a fielder while the runner is advancing or returning to a base.
EXCEPTION: This is not an infraction if a fielder, attempting to field a batted ball, is in the runner’s proper path and if the runner runs behind the fielder to avoid interfering.
NOTE: When a play is being made on a runner or batter-runner, the runner establishes her base line as directly between the runner’s position and the base toward which the runner is moving.
B. She does not legally slide and causes illegal contact and/or illegally alters the actions of a fielder in the immediate act of making a play on her.
PENALTY: The runner is out and the ball is dead immediately and interference is called.
NOTE: Runners are never required to slide but, if the runner elects to slide, the slide shall be legal.
C. She does not legally attempt to avoid a fielder in the immediate act of making a play on her.
PENALTY: The runner is out and the ball remains alive unless interference is called.
NOTE: Jumping, hurdling, and leaping are all legal attempts to avoid a fielder only if the fielder is lying on the ground.
D. Malicious contact occurs (always supersedes obstruction).
E. On a force play at any base, the runner or retired runner fails to execute a legal slide, or does not attempt to avoid the fielder on the play.
F. Intentionally interfering with a throw or thrown ball.
G. Hindering a fielder’s initial or subsequent attempt to field a batted ball.
H. Being put out is prevented by an illegal act by anyone connected with the team.
NOTE 1: If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner interferes in anyway and prevents a double play anywhere, two shall be declared out (the runner who interferes and the runner closest to home). If a retired runner interferes and, in the judgment of the umpire, another runner could have been put out, the umpire shall declare the runner closest to
home out. If the batter-runner interferes, the umpire shall call the batter-runner and the runner and the succeeding runner.
NOTE 2: If two fielders try to field a batted ball and the runner contacts one or both, the umpire shall decide which one is entitled to field the ball and that fielder only is entitled to protection. If a batted ball is misplayed and remains in front of a fielder so that the fielder still has an opportunity to obtain an out, and the runner contacts the fielder,this is still interference. If the misplayed ball bounds away or past the fielder and then contact occurs as the fielder and runner collide, this may be considered inadvertent contact or obstruction.
I. Touched by a live ball securely held by a fielder or is touched by a fielder’s glove or hand with the live ball held therein while the runner is not touching base.
EXCEPTIONS: If a batter-runner safely touches first base and then over slides or overruns it, the batter-runner may immediately return to first base without liability of being tagged out, provided there was no feint or attempt to advance to second. Also, if any base comes loose from its fastening when any runner contact it, such runner cannot be tagged out because the base slides away from the runner.
NOTE: The ball is not securely held if it is dropped or juggled after the runner is touched, unless the ball was deliberately knocked from the fielder’s hand by the runner.
J. A base is not retouched before a fielder tags the runner out or the fielder holds the ball while touching such base after a caught fly ball or missed base. It is not necessary for a runner to retouch base after a foul tip.
K. Not in contact with the base at the time a pitched ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. However, if the pitcher does not allow sufficient time for a runner to return to base, the runner shall not be called out for being off the base before the pitcher releases the ball. The runner may advance as though the base was left legally.
NOTE: When a base runner is legitimately off base (i.e., moving off a base after a pitch or rounding a base after a hit, walk or dropped third strike), the pitcher is obligated to allow sufficient time for the runner to return. However, once the pitcher has the ball within the 16-foot circle, the runner off base must immediately advance to the next base
or return to the last base touched. The runner may not move off that base even though the pitcher is standing off the pitcher’s plate. Failure of the runner to respond as indicated shall cause the umpire to signal the runner
out. The ball shall be declared dead. However, if the ball is not in the 16-foot circle or a fake throw is made, the runners are not governed by this note. Being in the 16-foot circle is defined as both feet within or partially within the line.The feet may touch the line and extend outside the line. When the pitcher is in the pitcher’s circle and a runner(s) is off the base, the pitcher is considered to be playing on the runner(s) when the throwing arm is raised or any forward movement of the body is made toward the runner. Movement of the head is not considered an attempt play.
L. She fails to reach the next base before a fielder either tags runner out; or holds the ball while touching such base, after runner has been forced from the base occupied because the batter became a runner.
EXCEPTION: No runner may be forced out if a runner who follows in the batting order is first put out, including a batter-runner who is out for an infield fly.
M. A fair-batted ball contacts him before it touches an infielder, or after it passes any infielder, except the pitcher, and the umpire judges that another infielder has a play.
EXCEPTION: If a runner is touching a base when hit by a batted fair ball, the runner is not out unless he intentionally interferes with the ball or an infielder making a play. The ball is dead and the batter is awarded first base. All base runners return to the base occupied at the time of the infraction, unless forced.
NOTE: When the infield-fly rule is in effect, if a runner is hit by an infield fly when not touching a base, both the runner and the batter are out.
N. Detected attempting to advance to home plate when the batter interferes with a play at home plate, with less than two outs.
NOTE: If there are two outs, the batter is out because of interference and, since this is the third out, the runner cannot score. But if there are not two outs, the runner is out and the batter is not penalized.
O. Detected passing an unobstructed preceding runner before such runner is out (including awarded bases).
P. Detected running bases in reverse to confuse opponents or to make a travesty of the game.
Q. After at least touching first base, the runner leaves the baseline, obviously abandoning his effort to touch the next base.
R. Detected taking a position for a running start behind and not in contact with a base.
S. On or beyond a succeeding base when the ball is declared dead after having left a base too soon on a caught fly ball; or having failed to touch a preceding base; or continuing and touching a succeeding base after the ball become dead.
NOTE: A runner shall not be declared out if the fielder deliberately throws or carries the ball into dead-ball territory to prevent that runner, who has touched or advanced beyond a succeeding base, from returning to a missed base or a base left too soon.
T. If using the double base:
1. A batted ball hitting the white portion is declared fair and a batted ball hitting only the colored potion is declared foul.
2. Whenever a play is being made on the batter runner, the defense must use the white portion and the batter runner the colored portion. The batter runner is out when there is a play being made at first base and the batter-runner touches only the white portion, providing the defense appeals prior to the batter-runner returning to first base. This is treated the same as missing the base. Once the runner returns to the white, no appeal can be made.
A. If the ball is thrown from the foul side of first base line.
B. When an errant or missed throw pulls the defensive player into foul ground.
C. If using the double base, and there is a force play by an infielder on the batter-runner, who touches only the white portion and collides with the fielder about to catch a thrown ball while on the white.
Penalty: Interference is ruled, the ball is dead, the batter-runner is out, and all other runners are returned to the base last
occupied at the time of interference.
3. The batter-runner or runner may touch the white or colored base.
A. When advancing or returning on balls hit to outfield with no play being attempted.
B. When tagging up on fly ball.
C. When returning on an attempted pick-off play.
RULE 10. APPEALS
Sec. 1. Live ball appeal (before umpire calls time). Any fielder can appeal a runner once. The ball is live and all runners may advance with liability of being put out.
Sec. 2. Dead ball appeal. Umpire signals “Play Ball”, pitcher announces which runner and base he is appealing. The ball is now alive only for the purpose of making an appeal.
1. Defensive team can have only one attempted appeal per runner.
2. No runner may advance on a dead ball appeal.
3. No runner is out if he steps off base during an appeal.
RULE 11. DEAD BALL - SUSPENSION OF PLAY
Sec. 1. The batter is awarded 1st base and all base runners advance one base (if forced), when a pitched ball, not struck at and not called a strike, touches any part of the batter’s person or clothing (if not loose garment). The ball may strike the ground before it hits the batter.
Sec.1. A. The batter makes no effort to avoid being hit. The hitting of the batter is disregarded except that the ball is dead
immediately and is a strike or ball depending on location of the pitch.
1. It does not matter if the ball strikes the ground before hitting the batter.
2. The batter’s hands are not considered part of the bat.
3. If a batter swings and the ball hits her hands which send it into fair or foul territory, the ball is dead immediately and a strike is called on the batter and if third strike batter is out.
Sec. 2. It is a delayed dead ball when the umpire obstructs the catcher attempting to throw the ball.
A. If the runner is not out, he is returned to the last base attained before the obstruction occurred.
Sec. 3. Ball becomes dead immediately when:
A. A pitch touches a batter or the batter’s clothing.
NOTE: the ball becomes dead even though the batter strikes at it.
B. The ball is illegally batted or comes in contact with the bat a second time.
C. The batter enters the batter’s box with an illegal bat.
D. Any batted ball, while on or over foul ground.
1. Touches any object other than the ground or any person other than a fielder.
2. Goes directly from the bat to the catcher’s protector, mask or person without first touching the catcher’s glove or hand.
3. Becomes an uncaught foul.
E. There is interference by a runner or a retired runner.
F. A fair ball, which is on or over fair ground.
1. Touches a runner or an umpire before touching any fielder and before passing any fielder other than the pitcher.
2. Touches a runner after passing through or by an infielder and another infielder could have made a play on the ball.
3. Touches a spectator.
4. Goes over, through or wedges in the field fence.
G. A pitch or any other thrown ball
1. Is touched by a spectator.
2. Is touched by nonparticipating team personnel.
3. Goes into a stand or player’s bench (even if it rebounds to the field).
4. Goes over or through or wedges in the field fence.
5. Lodges in an umpire. or catcher’s equipment or touches loose equipment.
H. The umpire handles a live ball, calls “Time” for inspecting the ball, or for any other reason.
I. A fielder, after catching a fair or foul ball (fly or line drive), leaves the field of play by stepping with both feet or by falling into a designated dead-ball area (i.e., bench, dugout, stand/bleacher, etc.).
NOTE: if a chalk line is used to designate an “out-of-play” area, the line is considered in play. If a fielder is touching the line, he is in the field of play and may make a catch. When the fielder completely unintentionally leaves live-ball area and then re-establishes himself within live-ball territory (one foot touching out of play line), a catch would be allowed. If the fielder unintentionally leaves a live-ball area with both feet after making a catch, the ball become dead and all base runners are awarded one base from the time of the pitch. Two bases shall be awarded each runner if a fielder intentionally leaves live-ball area with both feet.
J. Any personnel connected with the offensive team requests “Time” or uses any other command or commits an act for the purpose of trying to cause the opposing pitcher to commit an illegal pitch.
K. An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly.
EXCEPTION: INFIELD FLY RULE.
L. A runner interferes with a fielder attempting to catch a foul fly.
M. The batter-runner moves backward toward home plate to avoid or
delay being tagged out.
N. A batted, thrown or pitched ball touches in an occupied designated media area (a ball that passes through a dead-ball area in flight is not considered dead).
O. An illegal pitch occurs, but no pitch is delivered to the batter.
Sec. 4. It is a delayed dead ball when:
A. An illegal pitch is delivered.
1. The pitch is a ball and base runners are awarded one base if the ball is not hit or batter becomes base runner. Otherwise, if ball is hit, team at bat has choice of accepting the play or the penalty.
B. There is interference by a batter.
C. A catcher or any fielder obstructs a batter or obstructs the ball through use of detached play equipment.
D. The umpire interferes with catcher who is attempting to throw.
E. A coach physically assists a runner.
F. A ball touches an illegal glove/mitt.
G. Any one who is required to wear a batting helmet deliberately removes the helmet while the ball is alive.
Sec. 5. The ball becomes dead when time is taken to make an award when a catcher or any fielder illegally obstructs a runner.
Sec. 6. After a dead-ball situation, the ball becomes alive when it is held by the pitcher within the 16-foot circle and the umpire calls and/or signals “Play Ball” and gives the beckoning hand signal.
Sec. 7. “Time” shall be called by the umpire and play suspended:
A. When the umpire and/ or tournament director considers the weather or ground conditions unfit for play.
NOTE: After 30 minutes, the umpire and/ or tournament director may declare the game ended or suspended.
B. When a player, bench personnel or spectator is ordered from the field of play, or player is ordered to secure protective equipment.
C. When an umpire or player is incapacitated, unless injury occurs during a live ball, then time shall not be called until any further advancement or putout is possible.
NOTE: If necessary, the umpire may suspend play immediately if, in the umpire’s judgment, further play may cause injury or jeopardize a participant’s safety.
D. When a player or coach is granted time for a substitution, conference with the pitch, or for similar cause.
E. When play is suspended for any other cause, including an award of a base after an infraction, inspection of the ball, or the ending of a half inning.
Sec. 8. When the ball becomes dead:
A. No action by the defense during that time can cause a player to be put out.
B. A runner may not advance, nor return to a base that was not touched or that the runner was not in contact with on a caught fly ball during a live ball if the runner had advanced to or beyond a succeeding base.
C. Any runner may advance when awarded a base or bases for an act, which occurred before the ball became dead. All awarded bases must be touched.
RULE 12. SPORTSMANSHIP
Sec. 1. All players and coaches will be expected to behave in a sportsman like manner at all times. Any player, coach or parent / fan whose conduct is unbecoming or abusive will at a minimum be warned and may be removed from the playing field or stands at the discretion of the Tournament Officials or the umpires. Foul or abusive language will not be tolerated under any circumstances. Cursing or throwing equipment will be an automatic ejection. This includes a team forfeiting or being removed from the tournament if necessary.
Sec. 2. A coach, player, substitute, attendant or other bench personnel shall not:
A. Fake a tag without the ball.
B. Carelessly throw a bat. Fail to wear or deliberately remove helmet when it is required to be worn.
C. Wear jewelry or tape over jewelry (players participating in the game).
D. Hit the ball to teammates on defense after the game has started.
E. Use electronic communication, television monitoring or replay equipment for coaching purposes during the course of the game.
F. Use tobacco products in any form.
PENALTY: FIRST OFFENSE IS A TEAM WARNING. SECOND OFFENSE AND ANY SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION THE PLAYER IS RESTRICTED TO THE BENCH FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE GAME. THE COACH SHALL BE EJECTED EXCEPT FOR (E); NOTE: A REMINDER AT HOME PLATE BY THE
UMPIRE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A WARNING FOR EITHER TEAM.
G. Commit any un sportsmanlike act to include, but not limited to:
1. Using words or actions to incite spectators to demonstrations.
2. Using profanity, intimidation tactics, or baiting or taunting.
Note: The USGF disapproves of any form of taunting which is intended or designed to embarrass, ridicule or demean others under circumstances including race, religion, gender or national origin.
3. Behaving in any manner not in accordance with the spirit of fair play.
4. Leaving their positions or bench area when a fight has broken out.
Coaches who enter the field to restrain combatants from their team shall not be considered to have violated this rule.
Note: Fighting is any attempt by a player or non player to strike or engage an opponent in a combative manner unrelated to softball. Such acts include, but are not limited to, attempts to strike an opponent(s) with arm(s), hand(s), leg(s) or foot (feet), whether or not there is contact.
H. Enter the area behind the catcher while the opposing pitcher and catcher are in their positions.
I. Be in possession of any object in the coach’s box other than a scorebook, which shall be used for score keeping purposes only.
J. Be outside the designated dugout/bench or bullpen areas unless they are a batter, runner, on deck batter, in the coach’s box or one of the nine players on defense.
Note: A single on-deck batter shall remain in their team’s on-deck circle while the opposing pitcher is warming up.
K. Charge an umpire.
L. Use amplifiers or bullhorns for coaching purpose during the course of the game.
M. Argue ball and strike calls or other umpire judgment calls.
Penalty: The umpire shall eject the offender from the game, unless the offense is judged to be of a minor nature. Then, the umpire may warn the offender and eject her if she repeats the offense. [Exception: for violation of the fighting rule-ejection] Failure to comply shall result in the game being forfeited. For coaches who violate (G 1, 2, 3) (H, K L M) & I the umpire may 1. Restrict the offender to the bench/dugout for the remainder of the game.
2. Eject the offender. Any coach restricted to the bench shall be ejected for further misconduct. A coach may leave the bench/dugout to attend to a player who becomes ill or injured.
N. Deliberately throw a bat, helmet or any other piece of equipment.
O. Initiate malicious contact.
P. Call “time” or use any command any act for the purpose of causing an illegal pitch.
Penalty: The umpire shall eject the offender from the game. Failure to comply shall result in game being forfeited. In “O” an ejected player is declared out unless she has already scored.
Q. No artifical noise makers are allowed.
Sec. 1. A coach/manager who is ejected shall leave the vicinity (out of sight and out of sound) of the playing area immediately and is prohibited from any further contact (direct or indirect) with the team during the remainder of the game.
Sec. 2. If a coach/manager is ejected from a game he must sit out the remainder of that game and the following game. A player ejected must sit out the remainder of that game. Anyone ejected will be asked to leave the park at the discretion of the umpire and Tournament Director.
Sec. 1. Umpires will work to settle all problems on the field. Protests will be allowed for age and rule interpretations only. Protests must be declared to the plate umpire before the next pitch following the dispute. No protest will be allowed following the game. Tournament Officials and UIC will rule on all protests and their decision will be final.
Sec. 2. The Tournament Director may at his discretion charge a protest fee.
Sec. 3. Tournament Officials will be available at all times. If you have any questions, please talk to a Tournament Official.
Sec. 4. In tournament play, all protests must be settled, before any play can be resumed.
Sec. 5. In tournament play, when an ineligible player is discovered during the game, the offending team loses the game, is ejected from the tournament, placed last in the standing and forfeits all awards and berths that would have been awarded at that tournament.
A. The game will consist of 5 innings or 55 minutes on the clock, finish the inning for pool play and for tournament bracket play, with a (Run Rule) being declared if a team is ahead by 12 runs after 3 innings two and a half innings if the home team is ahead, or 10 runs after 4 innings three and a half innings if the home team is ahead.
B. 6U pitcher/coach can stand no closer than top of 8' circle. The 8U pitcher/coach has to keep one foot on 35' rubber.
C. No bunting
E. No stealing, the runner is not allowed to run until the ball is batted. Runner is allowed to anticipate the ball being batted. When a runner leaves the bag anticipating a batted ball and there was not a batted ball, then the umpire puts the runner back on the bag without penalty. An attempt to steal is the runner leaving the bag before the ball is batted or could be batted, meaning leaving bag early or leaving bag early to advance to next bag. Runner will be called out.
F. Each position in the batting order will be at bat a maximum of once per inning, the end of an inning will be declared when either 3 outs are made or all batters have batted one time which ever comes first. (No more than twelve (12) batters per inning with no one batting twice.) It is not an advantage to have more than 10 batters.
G. Each team will name a coach to act as (designated pitcher) to pitch to their team.
H. The designated pitcher may be changed at any time during the game as long as another coach takes that position and the change is made without excessive delay of the game.
I. The designated pitcher may carry a glove onto the infield while pitching to be used for his/or her protection only. Pitchers may not pitch like slow pitch. The adult pitcher must pitch from pitching rubber.
J. While pitching, the designated pitcher may not coach his/her own team in any way. The designated pitcher may not distract the defensive in any way, either by actions or verbally. Violations of this rule will result in the designated pitcher receiving one warning from the umpire, and should a second violation occur, he will be removed from the designated pitching position for the remainder of the game.
K. If the designated pitcher attempts to field or play the batted ball, the batter runner is out. It will be in the umpire’s judgment as to attempting to field or accidental contact. Or if pitcher/coach is hit by the batted ball before it passes a fielder, a dead ball will be declared, the batter runner will not be called out, and runners may not advance. The pitch will be counted as a strike to the batter.
L. Should the designated pitcher be hit by a thrown ball, the infraction constitutes interference. All play stops, the ball is declared dead, the most advanced runner is called out, and remaining base runners must return to the last base touched unless forced to advance.
M. Before any pitch is delivered, a defensive player must be positioned parallel to the pitching rubber, to the left or right of the designated pitcher, maintaining sufficient distance as not to interfere with the delivery of the pitch. Neither this defensive player nor any other defensive player in the game, other than the catcher, shall be positioned closer to home plate than the pitching rubber. Any defensive may move ahead of the pitching rubber to field a ball once hit or thrown. There must be a line drawn in an arc from foul line to foul line at the pitching distance, to indicate this distance.
N. Balls and strikes will be called by the umpire, although no base on balls will be awarded by the umpire due to thrown pitches or intentional walks. Batter will be allowed 3 strikes or 5 pitches to hit the ball in fair territory. If 3RD strike results in a foul ball, a pitch is counted, but the batter is not out. Batter continues to bat until she either puts the ball in play, strikes out, or takes a pitch.
O. If teams are tied after 5 innings of play, they will begin the next inning with the last batter of the previous inning on 2rd base and 0 outs.
P. In 6U and 8U coach pitch you may bat 11 players on offense and play any 10 of them on defense, meaning you may use 4 outfielders. None of the outfielders may play within 10 feet of the baseline until the ball is batted and put into play.
Q. Any rule not covered under this section will be governed by the USGF Official Rule Book.
USGF Fast pitch Softball
ARTICLE I. NAME AND OBJECTIVE
Sec.1. Name. United Southern Girls Fast pitch
Sec.2. Object. To provide an opportunity for Girls to compete in a organized Fast Pitch program that is on a Tournament, State and World level.
ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP
Sec.1. Team Membership: 18 and over, 18/16/15/14/13/12/11/10/9/8/7/6/ and under.
A Team will have a class of “A”, “B”, “C” or "Recreational" which will be decided by the State Director of the Teams respective state.
A Class defined as those teams with a winning percentage of .700 or greater
B Class defined as those teams with a winning percentage of .400 to .699
C Class defined as those teams with a winning percentage of .399 or less.
Recreational Class defined as those teams that participate as league, league all star or other formed teams from recreational play for the purpose of participating in tournaments at the conclusion of the recreational season.
Sec.2. The Fast pitch season: Team registration will run from August 1 until July 31. All Teams playing between August 1 and December 31, (excluding current year’s World Series) must play by the following year’s eligibility.
Sec.3. Classifications: At any time during the Fast Pitch season the State Director and/or National Director may change a team’s classification.
Sec.4. Division of play: USGF will offer four divisions of play for State and World Series play, which will be A,B,C and Recreational provided at least five teams from each classification are participating. This applies to State and World Series Play ONLY and all Qualifier Tournaments will be open format unless the Tournament Director designates separate divisions to be awarded.
Sec.5. World Series participation: Teams must either play in their State Tournament (if provided) in order to advance to World Series play or earn 100 USGF points. For states where no State Tournament is provided, teams must have played in at least one sanctioned Qualifier Tournament.
Sec.6. League Participation: All USGF sanctioned leagues will qualify teams for Recreational State and World Series play. Teams must play in a State Tournament to advance to the Recreational World Series.
Sec.7. Umpire Membership: Fees for umpire membership will be set annually by the board of Directors.
ARTICLE III. TEAM ELIGIBILITY
Sec.1. No Team shall compete in USGF sanctioned League or Tournament play without paying membership fees to the USGF Association.
Sec.2. A Team may not carry over 21 eligible player on a roster.
Sec.3. The cut-off date for adding or releasing players to a roster will be set forth in this hard book.
Sec.4. A Tournament Director shall not accept an out of state Team without a Team Sanction Number unless:
1. The Tournament Director collects sanction fee prior to registration to Tournament.
2. Tournament Director must submit proper paper work and fees to National Office.
3. Copies must be sent to Teams State Director.
ARTICLE IV. INDIVIDUAL PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
Sec.1. To compete in the USGF program the player must be listed as a member on an eligible Team’s Roster.
Sec.2. A player shall not compete in any USGF sanctioned Tournament with more than one team during the same Tournament.
Sec.3. A Tournament Director may not Coach, or participate as a player in any Tournament in which they serve as Tournament Director.
Sec.4. When a Team wins the Championship of a State and/or World Qualifier Tournament on or after June 1 of each season the team roster will be frozen.
1. The team roster becomes frozen immediately at the qualifying event on or after June 1 and from that date forward.
2. Players will be bound to this qualified team’s roster up to and including the World Series play.
3. A Teams Manager may release up to three players from his teams frozen roster prior to State and World Series play.
4. A team Manager may add up to three players to his frozen roster prior to State and World Series play. All players added to a frozen roster must meet the following:
1. Cannot be on another qualified roster without a signed release from the previous team to which they were frozen after the June 1 deadline.
2. A player's request to be released from the frozen roster of a team in which they participated for qualification purposes shall be granted unless unique circumstances have arisen that would require mediation by the USGF Board of Directors such as three players have already been released from that same qualified roster.
3. Teams that have disbanded completely on or after the June 1 date for frozen rosters are no longer considered to have a frozen roster and all players from said team are eligible to pick up with any other team until at which time they become frozen to another qualified roster.
4. All Roster additions must be approved by the Teams State Director and/or National Fastpitch Director.
Sec.5. A player that is released from another qualified Team’s Roster cannot return to that Team during the current season. A player can only be released from one qualified Team’s Roster per season.
Sec.6. Any player that is in violation of USGF by-laws and/or official playing rules shall be considered an ineligible player.
Sec.7. Any time during or after a game or completed tournament, the Tournament Director discovers an ineligible player, the Tournament Director has the authority to apply penalties as set in the USGF rule book.
Sec.8. All players participating in a USGF Tournament shall have photocopies of their birth certificates in possession of Team Manager or Coach. Failure to have copy of birth certificate available upon demand will result in the offending team losing the game.
ARTICLE V STATE AND INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENTS
Sec.1. The State or Area Director shall conduct Tournaments within their defined boundaries.
Sec.2. Participation in the state tournament of any other state besides the state in which the team is sanctioned is not permitted unless the team participates in the state tournament of their own state with all fees paid in advance for both. Any team who has outstanding fees and/or bad checks which have not been paid in full will not be permitted to participate in any state tournament or World Series play until cleared by the USGF Board of Directors. Teams who drop from a tournament once bracketing has already occurred are still responsible for paying all entry fees in full and may not participate in any future USGF event until outstanding fees have been paid.. Such teams will not be permitted to play in State and/or World Series play until outstanding fees are cleared at the discretion of the USGF Board of Directors.
Sec.3. Entry Fees for such tournaments shall be at the discretion of the State Director.
Sec.4. The number of trophies to be awarded will be at the discretion of the State Director.
Sec.5. The Board of Directors shall adopt a system to qualify teams for State and World Series play.
Sec.6. No Tournament shall be sanctioned by USGF if all Fees are not promptly paid in Full.
Sec.7. Request for Tournament Fees Refund will be made only by the team manager.
1. Request for State Tournament or World Series Tournament Fees must be made 48 hours prior to cut off date.
2. Post mark will be considered as date of refund request.
Tournament Directors shall not be compelled to make refunds after published cutoff date regardless of circumstances.