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Westwood Youth Softball

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In Town League Rules for All Divisions where Metrowest Rules Do Not Apply

1. Games should start at 6PM (refer to schedule). All teams should make every attempt to play and get the game in. 

2. Players should wear their team uniforms if available.

3. All footwear is acceptable with the exception of metal cleats.

4. Players may use their own bats as long as they are Official Softball bats.  ASA certified bats are required where ASA umpire is officiating the game.

5. Underhand, slingshot and windmill pitching are allowed. Both feet should be in contact with the pitcher's rubber at the beginning of the delivery and one step forward is allowed upon delivery of the ball. The pitcher's first step must be forward. Some allowance with the back foot not being in contact with the rubber will be permitted.

6. Catchers must wear a face mask, chest protector, shin guards and helmet.

7. Players must wear helmets when batting and base running.  We suggest the players have their own helmet.  We recommend you have a cage and chin strap on the helmet.  Older divisions will require cage and chin strap.

8. The home team will provide the game ball, set up and return the bases, set up home plate and pitcher's rubber, and return all equipment to the storage area after the game.

9. The umpire will have the final decision in calling plays.

10.Coaches and players are allowed to coach the bases (players must wear helmets). Base coaches are not allowed to touch the runners.

11.A pitcher in all grades who hits a batter(s) hard (umpire's discretion) twice in one inning must be removed from the pitcher's position for the remainder of that inning.  Hit batters are awarded first base when hit hard. The same pitcher who hits a batter(s) hard 3 times in the same game can not return to pitch that game. This player is allowed to play another position.

12.Stealing bases is not allowed below the minor (AAA) league.

13.Bases are generally not secure so runners are given first contact when sliding or moving a base.

14.The amount of bases allowed on overthrows is limited on all levels except majors. On an overthrow to first and third, the runner will get one base if the ball goes out of bounds. The runner must make the next base on all balls that remain in play.

15.At all levels, base running should not get out of hand. There is no lesson taught on a ground ball to 3rd resulting in a homerun.  All bases should be coached logically and runners are not encouraged to take an extra base when the ball is approaching the pitcher's mound.

16.No full inning or half-inning will be started after sunset time (use discretion). Extra innings may be played if a game is tied after regulation and it is still light out. Ties can exist even after extra innings. Remember that safety is an important issue when it starts getting dark.

17.Postponed games due to weather will be called by the coaches together or if there is no agreement, it will be decided by the Division Director or League Board. Try to play the minimum number of innings if at all possible. Make-up opportunities are limited. Games that are postponed for any reason can be rescheduled by the coaches, Division Director or the Board.

18.No player should sit out 2 consecutive innings, unless due to extenuating circumstances.

19.A week is defined as Sunday through Saturday.

20.A pitcher's rubber is to be used by both teams at all levels except grades 1&2.

 

GRADE 1 & 2

  1. The first 15-20 minutes should be used for skills and warm up.  The remainder of the 45-50 minutes should be playing the game.
  2. An 11 inch softie will be used as the game ball.
  3. The girls should be using at least an 11“ glove.  It makes a difference when they catch the ball in the pocket of the glove with an 11” ball.  If the glove is too small, the girls will have a harder time.
  4. Bases are 45 feet apart.
  5. A double base (white & orange) will be used for the 1st base only.  The white bag is placed in fair territory while the orange bag is in foul territory.   The first baseman must tag the white bag on a play to 1st and the runner (batter) must touch the orange bag when running out her hit in the infield. 
  6. Coaches will pitch to their own batters.  After 8 pitches, if the player does not hit the ball, the tee should be used in order to keep the game moving, otherwise the batter will walk.

Please don’t hesitate to use the tee, if the player needs it. (Remember the high school players still use it to practice off of!)

  1. Teach the girls not to throw the bat after the ball is hit.  After 1 warning, the girl will be called out.  Explain the danger of it!
  2. Please be mindful of safety rules at this level.  Pay special attention to the girls swinging the bat when they are near other players.
  3. All players who are present will play every inning in the field, rotating from infield to the outfield, and every girl will bat during the inning.
  4. During the first few games, each team will be batting around every player.  After a few weeks, coaches can determine if they want to implement the 3 out rule to make it a little more competitive.
  5. The last batter in every inning clears the bases, unless you have implemented the 3 out rule.
  6. Teams should try to play at least 3-4 innings.  Please do not keep score.  Games usually end in a “Tie”.
  7. Remember to explain the rules of softball and most importantly make sure they are having fun!!

Grades 3, 4 & 5
Minor League Rules

We follow Massachusetts ASA Softball rules with the following highlights and/or adjustments. COACHING

  • All coaches must adhere to the Coaches Code of Conduct. Westwood Youth Softball expects strict adherence to the Code and any violations will be treated very seriously and may include being asked to leave the position.

PITCHING

  • Balls and strikes will be called - NO WALKS ALLOWED - continue to pitch. But a batter can strike out.

  • After the 4th called ball, the coach of the hitting team will continue to pitch to the batter. Strikes will be called and the batter can strike out. Coaches must avoid throwing extra pitches (i.e. continuing to pitch after 3 strikes to allow the batter to get a hit).

  •  A hit-by-pitch counts as a walk

  •  After the 3rd hit batter in one inning, or the 5th hit batter in the outing, the pitcher must be substituted and cannot return to pitching for that game

  •  Pitchers shall not pitch for more than 4 innings in a game

  •  The pitcher is charged with an inning pitched (throwing 1 pitch always equals an inning pitched).

  •  The pitcher can return to the game if she still has innings left and hasn't been removed for hitting too many batters.

  •  Mound will be 35 feet. Pitchers cannot pitch from a closer distance. Home team is responsible to placing the pitching mound before the start of the game.Pitchers must start with both feet on the mound, and may only step towards Home Plate.

    PLAYING THE GAME

  •  LENGTH OF GAME: 6 innings or 1:30 time limit

  •  Last inning is unlimited runs

  •  If the away team is batting 1:15 after the start of the game, then that inning will be the last inning and will be allowed to score unlimited runs.

  •  Both teams must be aware and agree on the last inning.

  •  Games are to start promptly at their scheduled time. Warm-ups must be completed and both teams off of the field by the scheduled start time.

  •  Any game that starts later than the original start time will follow the above rule based on the original start time.

ONCE "LAST INNING" HAS BEEN CALLED, THAT DECISION IS FINAL REGARDLESS OF HOW QUICKLY THE INNING GOES AND WHAT TIME IT IS WHEN THAT INNING ENDS.

RAIN OR DARKNESS: When a game is called due to rain/darkness, the game will count as a completed game if the losing team has completed 3 innings of batting.

MINIMUM NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 7 to start, teams can finish a game with less than 7 players. MAXIMUM RUNS PER INNING: 4 run maximum per inning – except the last inning.
BATTING

  • Continuous batting order

  • Batting Out of Order: the batter is out, next batter in order is up

  • No bunting, slap hitting or slashing

  • If a player misses her time at bat because she had to use the restroom, then she is skipped in the order and no out will be recorded. The next batter will bat. RUNNING:

    • STEALING: No stealing
    • LEADS: Runner may leave the base ONLY when the ball crosses the plate. Leaving early is an out at umpire’s discretion
    • NO DROPPED 3RD STRIKES, BATTER IS OUT
    • PINCH RUNNERS: Pinch runners are encouraged for pitchers and catchers. The last recorded out will be the pinch runner (regardless of the inning). If one pinch runner is already on base, the next previous out becomes the 2nd pinch runner. If a pinch runner is needed in the first at-bat with no outs, the last batter in batting lineup runs.
    • SLIDING is encouraged. The runner is not automatically out for not sliding. Umpires will use their discretion on runners avoiding contact. All runners must try to avoid hard collisions at any base. The umpire will use their discretion to call the runner out if the collision could have been avoided.

    DEFENSE:

    • STOPPING PLAY: Runners must stop when the ball is controlled on the mound (by any player). If a runner has already started to run to the next base – they may continue. If the defensive team makes a throw –the ball is alive. This means the runner can be thrown out or continue to advance in case of an error. If the umpire determines the runner left the base after the ball was controlled, they will make the runner return to the base.
    • INFIELD FLY: The Infield Fly Rule is not in effect.
  • ERRORS: Runners will be given one base on an error. The play will then be considered dead, and the runners may not advance further.
  • COVERING A BASE: Players covering a base are not allowed to stand on the base and impede the runner from reaching that base and continuing to the next base. If a player does impede the progress of a runner, the umpire will use their discretion to call interference and award a runner an additional base. If there is a play at a base, the player receiving the ball cannot block the base rather must straddle the base allowing the runner to reach the base whether there is a slide or not.
  • OUTFIELDERS must start on the outfield grass (or equivalent) each pitch. 4 outfielders are allowed in this league for a total of 10 players in the field.

PLAYOFFS

  • Playoffs are a single elimination tournament and every team qualifies

  • Seeds are determined by the final standings

  • Head-to-head record is the tie-breaker

  • A coin flip will be the final tie-breaker if needed

  • Playoff games will have a time-limit, with the exception of the Championship Game (full game)

  • When a playoff game is called due to rain, the game will count as a completed game if the losing

  • team has completed 3 innings batting.

  • If a playoff game is called for darkness, the score will revert back to the last completed inning,

  • UNLESS: If the home team took the lead in the bottom of the inning, they win the game REGULATIONS

  • Rotate Positions. DOES NOT APPLY TO PITCHER, CATCHER, 1ST BASE

  • No Player can stay in the same position for more than two innings in a row. Try to help teach players to play different positions, but do not put a player in a position where you feel she may get hurt. Catchers and 1st Base can play entire game. Pitcher limits discussed above.

  • Helmets: Batting helmets are required whenever a player has a bat. Even during team practices. Helmets must also be worn by runners on the base paths. Helmets must have a mask attached.

  • Infielder’s mask: Must be worn by all infielders. Several are provided to each team.

  • Equipment: Coaches are responsible for all equipment. Both taking care of it and making sure it is the right equipment for this league.

  • Players in Dugout: All players on the batting team must be in the dugout (or bench area) except the batter and the player on deck. Those are the only two players who are allowed to have a bat.

UMPIRES

  • The coach from the batting team will umpire that half inning. The coach that is umpiring will stand behind the pitcher. A coach from the pitching team will stand behind the catcher to back up pitches.
  • All coaches must take the responsibility to instruct and control parents/fans of their players.

GAME RESULTS

  • The home team is responsible to entering the game results on the league website so that proper standings can be kept.

Grades 6, 7 & 8
Norfolk Softball League - Middle School Division - Playing Rules

  • We follow Massachusetts USA Softball rules with the following highlights and/or adjustments

COACHING:

  • All coaches must adhere to the Coaches Code of Conduct. The Norfolk League expects strict adherence to the Code and any violations will be treated very seriously and may include being asked to leave the position.

PLAYING THE GAME:
MINIMUM NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 8 to start, teams can finish a game with less than 7 players.

LENGTH OF GAME:

  • 7 innings or 1:45 time limit (not a "drop dead" time limit)

  • Umpire will determine the last inning based on the approaching curfew; last inning is unlimited runs.

  • If the away team is batting after 7:45 PM or 1:45 after the start of the game, then that inning will be the last inningandwillbeallowedtoscoreunlimitedruns. Anygamethatstartslaterthantheoriginalstarttimewill follow the above rule based on the original start time.

    RAIN OR DARKNESS: When a game is called due to rain/darkness, the game will count as a completed game if the losing team has completed 4 innings of batting.

  • The run ahead rule is 15 runs after 4 innings

  • 4 run limit per inning. Any runs scored beyond 4 do not count. Unlimited runs allowed in the 7th inning (or the

    last inning as declared by the umpire)

    PITCHING:

  • The mound is 40 feet. However, pitchers may elect to throw from 43’.

  • Pitchers must start with both feet on the rubber, and may only step towards Home Plate.

  • Modified or Fast Pitch motion is acceptable.

  • Pitchers can pitch unlimited innings in a game.

  • Any pitcher can return to the game FREE SUBSTITUTION as with field positions.

  • If a pitcher hits 3 players in one inning or 5 players during a game, she must be replaced with another pitcher immediately and cannot return to pitch.

    BATTING:

  • Continuous batting order

  • Batting Out of Order: the batter is out, next batter in order is up

  •  Bunting IS allowed. A foul bunt on the third strike is an out.

  •  Slap hitting IS allowed.

  •  Slashing is NOT allowed. (i.e. fake a bunt then pull the bat back and swing at the pitch). A batter who swings is immediately out - no warning

  •  If a player misses her time at bat because she had to use the restroom, then she is skipped in the order and no out will be recorded. The next batter will bat.

  • RUNNING:

  • Runners may steal any base (USA rules) with no maximum. Runners can take a lead after the ball leaves the pitcher's hand

    DROPPED 3RD STRIKE: When 1st base is open or whenever there are 2 outs - the batter may run to first on a dropped third strike. Other runners may advance as well.

  • PINCH RUNNERS: Pinch runners are encouraged for pitchers and catchers. The last recorded out will be the pinch runner (regardless of the inning). If one pinch runner is already on base, the next previous out becomes the 2nd pinch runner. If a pinch runner if needed in the first at-bat with no outs, the last batter in the batting order runs.

  • The runner must SLIDE or AVOID contact with the fielder/catcher. The runner is not automatically out for not sliding. Umpires will use their discretion on runners avoiding contact.

    DEFENSIVE POSITIONS: Players can play any position and there are no rules on rotating positions.

  • STOPPING PLAY: The Defensive Team assumes the responsibility of stopping the runners by getting the ball to a base in front of the lead runner or to the pitcher in the circle (normal softball rules)

  • INFIELD FLY: The Infield Fly Rule IS in effect.

  • COVERING A BASE: Players covering a base are not allowed to stand on the base and impede the runner from reaching that base and continuing to the next base. If a player does impede the progress of a runner, the umpire will use their discretion to call obstruction and award a runner an additional base. If there is a play at a base, the player receiving the ball cannot block the base rather must straddle the base allowing the runner to reach the base whether there is a slide or not.

  • OUTFIELDERS must start on the outfield grass (or 25’) prior to each pitch.

  • 9 players in the field (3 outfielders), but if both coaches agree then each team may field 10 defensive players (4

    outfielders).

    PLAYOFFS:

  • Playoffs are a single elimination tournament and every team qualifies

  •  Seeds are determined by the final standings

  •  Tie-breakers are listed below the standings table

  •  A coin flip will be the final tie-breaker if needed

  •  Playoff games will have a time-limit, with the exception of the Semi-Finals and Championship Game (full 7 inning game)

  •  If a playoff game is called due to rain, the game will count as a completed game if the losing team has completed 4 innings batting.

  •  If a playoff game is called for darkness, the score will revert back to the last completed inning, UNLESS: home team took the lead in the bottom of the inning, they win the game.

  •  Only the starting pitcher can re-enter once substituted for.

  •  9 defensive players per USA rules

  •  SAFETY REGULATIONS:

  • All helmets, whether league issued or personal helmets, MUST have cages. Batting helmets are required whenever a player has a bat - even during team practices. Chinstraps are no longer required by USA.

  •  Any player warming up a pitcher must be wearing a catcher’s mask.

  •  USA/ASA approved bats only. Umpires will check bats prior to the game.

  •  All players on the batting team must be in the dugout (or bench area) except the batter and the player on deck. Those are the only two players who are allowed to have a bat. On-deck batter must stay behind fence (or similar).

  •  Coaches must take the responsibility to instruct and control parents/fans of their players.UMPIRES:

  •  The League uses USA Umpires. The Umpire controls the game. Coaches may not talk to the umpires while a game is in progress except to ask a question about the progress of the game. (i.e. "What is the count?" Or "How many outs are there?"). Please treat them with respect at all times. If you wish to discuss something with the umpire, please do so between innings.

 

Westwood Youth Softball

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