Softball Rules and Regulations
(Revised for Spring 2021)
All play will be judged according to the rules set down by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball with the following exceptions. Any situation not specifically covered in these local rules will be governed by the current years ASA rules.
Only those girls properly registered with the towns Frankfort, Mokena, Monee, Tinley Park (Bulldogs and Bobcats) and Lockport Girls Softball Programs will be eligible to participate in association activities and game play. All fees must be paid and a completed registration form must be on file. Any team using a player who is not registered with their town or a player that is registered, rostered and plays on a Full Time Travel team will automatically forfeit the game in which the action occurred.
Age determination is based upon the player’s age as of December 31st of the year preceding play for spring season. If a player wishes to play in a division other than their age level, the parent(s) of the player must formally petition the league board which will then notify the SSC President for approval.
· 8 U- 7 and 8 year olds
Age determination for the fall season is based upon the division that the player’s age will place them into for the spring season preceding the fall season. No registered or rostered travel players are allowed to register.
Each player must be in proper uniform to participate. A players’ uniform consists of the standard team uniform shirt, shorts, pants and safety equipment. Uniform shirts should be tucked into the player’s shorts or pants.
No jewelry or hair combs are allowed to be worn during game play. Medical alert jewelry is permitted.
Only official softball bats will be allowed. Bats made of aluminum, graphite, or ceramic materials must have an official softball insignia or have had it before such an insignia wore off. T-ball, little league, and baseball bats are prohibited.
Only softballs with the official ASA/USSSA/NSA softball insignia are to be used for game play. All game balls are supplied by the home team at the beginning of each game.
· 8U Rookie- 11”softie
All batters, on-deck batters, and base runners are required to wear protective-batting helmets at all times. It is mandatory for all batting helmets to be equipped with a face mask. A player may wear their own batting helmet only
if it is equipped with the mandatory face mask. A player who in the judgment of the umpire intentionally removes a helmet while base running during a live play will be called out.
Players face mask
It is HIGHLY recommended that any player in the position of PITCHER wear a protective mask. It is further recommended that protective masks be worn by all infielders for their safety.
Catchers must wear a catcher’s helmet, face mask with integrated or attached throat guard, chest protector, and shin guards.
An umpire should be utilized to call balls, strikes and outs. If an umpire has not been assigned for the game then a coach or parent volunteer should be used.
A minimum of 6 players is required for a team to start a game in this division.
Field Dimensions and Gameplay
The distances between the bases is as follows and is measured from the back tip of home plate
· 8U- 50 feet
The distance for the placement of the pitching rubber will be the measurement from the back tip of home plate to the front edge of the pitcher’s plate.
· 8U- 30 feet
Standard Game Length
· 8U- 5 inning or 90 minutes. No new inning after 75 minutes.
Leaving from a base is not allowed until the ball has left the pitchers hand. Lead offs should be taught at this level.
Stealing: Stealing is not allowed before May 31st. However, after May 31st, 2021, stealing will be allowed. This must be discussed before the game with coaches and umpire-all coaches must agree. At that point, ONLY the lead runner will be allowed to steal - 1 base per batter. If a play is made on a steal-there will be no advancing on an overthrow.
8U- Sliding or other effort must be made to AVOID CONTACT with the defensive player.
Infield fly or drop third strike are not in effect
A very liberal strike zone will be utilized. From the armpits to mid-shin and three balls outside and inside the plate shall constitute a strike.
A continuous batting order will be employed, and outs will be called. An inning will end at the earliest of the following: batting through the lineup, 3 outs, or five runs. To ensure equal batting opportunities, coaches will be strongly encouraged to keep the same lineup throughout the season, beginning a game where the order left off the previous game.
Each player shall play in the field every inning. Extra players should be utilized in the outfield (up to 5 outfielders can be used at a time). All outfielders must be in an arc-shaped pattern, equi-distant to the cut of the outfield grass. No short-center position will be used. A catcher must be utilized no matter how many players a team has.
A player shall not play the same position for the entire game and must play the infield for at least half the innings of the game.
Coaches are encouraged to play players at every position throughout the season.
Free defensive substitutions are permitted. Coaches may switch positions anytime during an inning.
Play is considered stopped when an ATTEMPT to return the ball to the pitcher is made and the ball crosses into the general area of the pitching circle (although it may not be chalked). Runners who have advanced past the mid-point between bases may continue to the next base, runners who have not must return to the previous base. On balls hit to the outfield, once the outfielder begins to throw the ball back into the field the runner may only continue to the base she is currently running to.
Runners cannot advance on an overthrow to ANY base.
All games will be player pitch for at least the first two innings. A team may opt to player pitch the entire game or change to coach for the last inning. This will be at the discretion of the coach, allowing an opportunity for more player pitch, or batting through the order.
Player Pitch: Players pitch to the opposing team. A team pitcher shall pitch up to 5 pitches per batter. If three strikes are thrown without contact, the batter is out. After a pitcher throws three called “balls” the coach from the batting team will pitch to the batter, inheriting the current count.
Coach pitch: The coach will inherit the count, and continue to pitch until completion of the at-bat. The coach does not have to pitch from the pitching rubber.
Coaches need to make every attempt to get out of the way when a ball has been hit. If the batted ball hits a coach, the play is considered dead and the batter is awarded first base.
The defensive team pitcher should be positioned to the left or right of the Coach pitcher.
Pitcher inning limits
· 8u- A pitcher is limited to two innings per game.
If a player enters a game and pitches to one batter, that will constitute an inning.
Hit by pitch
Because this is a developmental pitching level, coaches need to use common sense. Hit batters will occur. Encourage batters to move out of the way of a wayward pitch. Batters WILL NOT be awarded 1st base.
If a pitch hits a batter, the Coach will come in to pitch. (3 pitches will be given.)
Home Team Responsibilities
It is the responsibility of the manager of the designated home team to set up the bases and pitching rubber prior to the start of the game. It is the responsibility of the manager of the designated home team to retrieve the items from the field and place them back in the lockbox after the game. Base peg covers must be replaced on the field and the clean-out tool returned to the lockbox. The area around the pitching circle and batters boxes should be raked and leveled. It is the responsibility of the manager of the designated home team to make sure that the lock on the lockbox is securely locked before they leave a field. Missing or damaged equipment should be reported to the division coordinator immediately after the game.
The home team is responsible for supplying a new game ball at each game. These balls are supplied by your town to the manager at the beginning of the season.
Games cannot be canceled and rescheduled for any reason except adverse weather conditions or unplayable fields. Only the SSC Scheduler can make this determination prior to the scheduled start time of a game.
The Home Team Towns Softball President or designated field coordinator will make all decisions pertaining to field cancelation due to adverse weather conditions or unplayable fields. Managers can confirm game cancellations through the Main Website at www.Frankfortgirlssoftball.com. Towns will report field conditions no later than 4:00 weekdays and 7:30 am on the weekends to the SSC President or Scheduler.
If games have not been officially canceled, managers should proceed with the scheduled start time. Managers must arrive at the scheduled field at the time they requested their team to arrive. Games cannot be called beforehand in anticipation of adverse weather conditions or the assumption that the field is unplayable. All reasonable attempts should be made to play scheduled games.
The umpire has the authority to cancel a game before one is started, if adverse weather conditions exist. If both managers agree before the start of the game that adverse weather conditions exist, the game can be cancelled. These games will be rescheduled.
The umpire will have general responsibility for calling games due to weather conditions. If lightning and/or thunder is observed and the umpire has not elected to call the game, the managers of the teams will be empowered to make a joint decision to remove his/her players from the field. If there is a disagreement as to the merits of this action it must be reported by the disagreeing party to the Grievance Committee within 48 hours. If for any reason other than adverse weather, a game cannot be played, it will be forfeited by the team which cannot play.
Any changes to the schedule will be communicated through the advanced communication system build into the website. Changes will be sent via email and text message (if available on your phone). It is the players and coaches’ responsibility to check their email and text prior to leaving for a scheduled game.
If lightning is observed, the game should be halted immediately, and the players should be removed from the field. If the field is equipped with lightning detection equipment, all warnings from such equipment are to be strictly and absolutely obeyed, in spite of any observation of weather conditions to the contrary. Safety of all participants and spectators is the priority.
All players, parents, coaches, and managers must adhere to the Code of Conduct, to which they signed at the beginning of the season. Disputes should first be discussed by managers and umpires with the umpire holding discretion in enforcement. If disputes cannot be settled at the game, complaints must be submitted on an Incident Report form (On MBSA Website) to the division coordinator (Frankfort) who will forward the report to the SSC League President.
Umpires retain the authority to eject any offending party from the game and determine what is foul language and unsportsmanlike conduct. Ejected parties must leave the vicinity of the field until the completion of the game and shall not approach or otherwise attempt to communicate with the umpires or opposing team following the completion of the game.
Bats or any other equipment thrown in anger will result in the batter being declared out and dismissal from the game with the ball being declared dead.
A bat that slips from the batter’s hand will result in a warning to the team for the first occurrence. The second team occurrence will result in the batter being declared out, the ball declared dead, and the runners unable to advance. This ruling is based on the judgment of the umpire and is a non-arguable judgment call.
The Grievance Committee will handle only the following matters:
· Protests pertaining to lightning/thunder scenario. All other weather, darkness, curfew, etc. decisions are the sole responsibility of the umpire and will not be reviewed.
· Reported incidents of improper conduct by team managers, coaches, players, or spectators that are of a nature that poses a threat to the health and well-being of the players and/or the league.
No other protests are allowed.