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10U Rules (Minor's Division)

I. League Objective

Montgomery Township Baseball and Softball Association (MTBSA) has as its goal to offer the best possible experience for the girls in its softball programs.

II. Rules of the game

The rules and guidelines contained in this document pertain to the Minors Division, namely girls who are 9-10 years of age. Our organizations will adopt the rules of softball as defined in the ASA “Official Rules of Softball.” The rules contained in this document are meant to highlight important ASA rules for this division, add to ASA rules or supersede similar ASA rules. If there is a conflict between an ASA rule and a rule in this document, the rule in this document shall take precedence.

 

Coaches

If at any time during the season a MTBSA coach, Head Coach or Assistant Coach, is ejected by an umpire that coach will have a review with the commissioner and the VP of Softball to determine his future as an MTBSA coach.

 

A. General

1) Warm up: Home team has use of the field 30 minutes prior to the game for 15 minutes and visiting team will use it 15 minutes prior to the game for 15 minutes

2) Team must have a minimum of 7 players to start game and must have at least 6 to finish or team will forfeit game. Teams must make every effort to play games as scheduled, however if it is known beforehand that a team will not have enough players to play then the game can be rescheduled by the Minors' commissioner.

3) An 11” optical yellow reduced injury factor (RIF) softball will be used.

4) Score will be kept. It is the responsibility of the home team coach to get the scoring results of the game to the appropriate league official. Standings will be maintained and may be used for playoff bracket seeding at the end of the regular season

5) Strike Zone: Between the batter’s armpits and knees; 6 inches off plate on each side

 

B. Regulation Game

1) A regulation game shall consist of six innings or 2 hours, whichever comes first. No new inning shall begin if 1 hour and 45 minutes of game play has elapsed. If a new inning begins before 1 hour and 45 min. has elapsed, then that inning can be played to completion, subject to rule B.7.

a) For regular season games, the 5 run rule shall be in effect for all innings, unless the coaches have agreed that the 6th inning (or last inning, if 6 cannot be played) will end in 3 outs (see section E.1).  For playoff games, the sixth inning must end in 3 outs.   If it appears that the 5th inning will be the last inning due to time constraints, impending darkness, or weather, both coaches must agree prior to the start of the inning whether the inning will end in 3 outs or the 5 run rule will apply.

2) A full six innings need not be played if the team second at bat has scored more runs after the top of the sixth inning, or before the third out in the last of the sixth inning

3) A game that is tied at the end of the six innings (or 2 hours) shall be considered a tie game during regular season play. If coaches agree, a 7 th inning can be played to try and break the tie as long as the inning would not start after 1 hour and 45 minutes has elapsed. During season ending playoffs, tie games shall be continued by playing additional innings until one side has scored more runs than the other at the end of a complete inning; or until the team second at bat has scored more runs in their half of the inning before the third out is made.

4) A game called by the umpire shall be regulation if either:

a) Four or more complete innings have been played, or

b) If the team second at bat has scored more runs in three or more innings than the other team has scored in four or more innings, or

c) If one team is ahead by 10 or more runs following 3 complete innings

5) If, after 4 or 5 complete innings, the umpire calls the game and the score is tied, then the game is considered a tie game during regular season, but for playoffs, must be resumed at the point the game was called at a time when it is again safe to play

6) Games that are not considered regulation or regulation tie games shall be resumed at the exact point where they were stopped

7) The umpire is empowered to call a game at any time because of darkness, rain, or other causes which place the players in peril. In the absence of an official umpire, any League official is empowered to call a game. If no League official is present, then both coaches can agree to call the game. If a game is called before completion of an inning, the score shall revert to the last full inning of play.

C. Responsibilities

    The Home Field Team is responsible for the following:

1) Lining and preparing the field

2) Providing an umpire (for purposes of providing an umpire, home field team is considered to be the team who is hosting the game at their field.  MTBSA will provide paid umpires for their home games.)

3) Setting up bases and pitching rubber

4) Providing two game balls

5) Returning bases and any other field equipment to the field storage box and locking the box

6) Contacting the opposing coach in case of cancellation due to field conditions.

7) Rescheduling any postponed games through the appropriate league official

8) Communicating the score of the game to the league (or entering the score online) within 24 hours of the completion of the game.

D. Players

1) All players must be in proper uniform (i.e. shirt, pants, socks, visor)

2) Shirts should be tucked in and visors worn forward

3) Players are not permitted to wear jewelry of any kind. This includes earrings (no tape on earrings), necklaces, watches, rings, etc.

4) Mouthpieces are recommended but not required.

5) Faceguards are required for pitchers and all infielders and recommended for other positions.

6) Plastic cleats should be worn. Metal cleats are not permitted

7) The batter and all base runners are required to wear helmets, with face guards and chin straps, at all times

8) All players should exhibit good sportsmanship before, during and after all games

9) Any player who throws equipment, or acts in an unsportsmanlike manner, or acts in a manner inconsistent with our respective leagues’ code of conduct will be taken out of the game by her coach

E. Offense

1) The 5 run rule shall be in effect (per section B.1). The end of a half inning occurs after 3 outs or once the 5th run in the inning has crossed the plate.

2) All players bat whether they are playing the field or not, the batting order is continuous

3) If a base runner is to be catcher in the next inning, the team may have a substitute runner.  The substitute runner shall be the last player who made an out

4) Runners may leave the base upon release of the ball by the opposing pitcher. There will be one warning per inning per runner for leaving a base early. A runner will be called out the second time it occurs in the same inning.

5) Stealing is permitted but of third base only.   The baserunner may not advance to home on an overthrow from a steal attempt.  Runners may not steal home under any circumstances including passed balls.

6) Throwing of bats is not permitted. Player gets one warning. On second occurrence, the batter will be called out

7) Only ASA-approved bats are permitted

8) Bunting is allowed. A foul bunt as the third strike is an out.  No squaring to bunt and then pulling                  back to hit.

9) No infield fly rule

10) No run-ahead (slaughter) rule

11) Runner may “tag up” on a fly ball at her own risk, but may advance only 1 base

12) A dead ball will be declared if the pitched ball hits the batter. All runners must return to the base they were on. The batter will be awarded first base if in the opinion of the umpire, the player made an effort to avoid being hit by the pitched ball. (Batter has option to stay and continue her at bat instead of taking first base, except if she is hit for ball four in which case she is awarded first base with no option.)

13) Sliding is permitted, feet first only (no head first slides), but no sliding into first base

14) Base runners must either slide or avoid the defensive player covering the base if there is a play on the base runner at any base except first base. The base runner will be called out if they do not attempt to slide or avoid a collision with the defensive player who is attempting to make the tag or play at the base

F. Defense

1) As long as they arrive at the beginning of the game:

a) Each player should play a minimum of three innings per 6-inning game

b) Each player should play a minimum of one inning in the infield (pitcher and catcher are infield positions)

2) No player should sit for 2 innings before every player has sat for 1 inning

3) Infielders should be placed in normal position; outfielders must be in grass beyond infield

4) There should normally be 10 players in the field, consisting of a catcher, 5 infielders (including the pitcher), and 4 outfielders. There should be no more than five players in the infield, one being the pitcher

5) If there are less than ten players, the coach can remove players at any position except pitcher and catcher. The opposing coach is permitted to provide one of its players to play defense at one of the outfield positions for the short-handed team.

6.) Runners may advance only one base on an overthrow.  An overthrow is when the ball is thrown past an infielder at any base and in the case of such an overthrow the baserunners may take only the base they were going to but have not yet attained at the point of the overthrow.   There may only be one overthrow on any hit ball!

7) A live ball is declared dead when a fielder throws the ball to the pitcher and she has control of it in the pitching circle or when a ball is overthrown at a base as a result of an attempt to make a play at that base. The play stops at this point.

8) A fielder is not permitted to block a runner from touching any base if the fielder is not in possession of the ball. A dead ball obstruction will be called and the runner is automatically safe

9) No dropped third strike

G. Pitching

1) A player may pitch up to three (3) innings per game.

2) If a pitcher hits two (2) batters in one inning, pitcher must be pulled. This is only if the batter makes an attempt to avoid the pitched ball.

3) Maximum walks per inning is 3. Once the 3 rd walk has been surrendered, a coach will come into pitch upon the 4th ball thrown to any subsequent batter during the inning. The strike count will remain in effect and the batter has the potential to strike out but cannot walk. Upon the coach stepping in to pitch the pitcher will assume the defensive position and remain in the field. A hit batter (HBP) counts as a walk. If the HBP occurs as the 4th walk of the inning, the batter can take their base or have the coach come in and pitch. It is the batter`s decision.

 

H. Coaches

1) On offense, coaches must remain in the coaching boxes. A coach may not touch a player while the ball is live and in play. If a runner overruns a base and the coach stops her and pushes her back into the playing field, the runner is out

2) On defense, all coaches must coach from the bench area

I. Umpires

Home field team is responsible for providing an umpire. Umpires should be assigned before the game. If an umpire does not show up for the game, coaches should solicit volunteers from the spectators. A coach as umpire is discouraged

J. Field Layout

1) Base paths will be 60 feet.

2) Pitching rubber will be 35 feet from home plate and is measured from the back of home plate (Apex)  to the middle-front edge of the pitching rubber

3) Ball is out of play anywhere past the fence lines or where both coaches and the umpire may agree based on specific field layout. A ball that wedges under an out-of –play fence or other object is considered out of play

4) A double first base will be used to minimize the risk of injury. The white portion of the base will reside in fair territory while the orange portion of the base will be in foul territory. If the runner decides to run through first base (instead of taking the turn towards second base), every attempt should be made to step on the orange portion of the double base and into foul territory, although the runner will not be penalized for contacting any white portion of the base

K. Safety:

1) At the first sign of lightning, the game is called!

2) Any bleeding caused by impact with ball, player, or anything else will require player to come out of the game and appropriate medical attention given. They may not return in that game unless deemed safe by discretion of coaches, parents, and opposing coaches, as well as the wound be entirely covered up.

L. Roster Substitutions

1) During regular season play, teams may call up players from younger divisions if they cannot provide the required number of players (per section A.2). Any player who is called up must be a registered member of the organization. No roster player shall sit out any inning while a call-up player is in the field.

 

    M. Forfeits

1) Regular Season Games: Before the end of the regular season, teams should make every effort to reschedule any game that is cancelled. If a cancelled game does not get replayed before the end of the regular season, then that game will be entered as a 0-0 tie to complete the regular season.

 

2) Playoffs: All playoff games must be played per the playoff schedule. Games will not be rescheduled unless cancelled due to weather.

 

a) If a game is cancelled due to weather, the leagues will reschedule the game and any subsequent games that are affected by the cancelled game.

b) If Team A is playing Team B, and Team A is unable to field the required number of players, or if Team A offers a forfeit to Team B, then score shall be 6-0 in favor of Team B (one run awarded per inning to the winner).

N. Playoffs

Single elimination playoffs will immediately follow the regular season. Playoff schedules will be             published immediately after the regular season has ended. Playoff bracket seeding will be established based upon regular season standings but teams will not reseed.