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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
Norfolk Softball League - Junior Division - Playing Rules|
The Norfolk County Softball League follows 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.

We are grateful for the many volunteer coaches who help each season. Please be advised that volunteering does not guarantee a position.

  • THE GAME:
    • Minimum of 8 players to start, but teams can finish a game with less than 7 players
    • 6 innings or 1:30 time limit (no new inning, 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 7:30 PM or 1:30 after the start of the game, then that inning will be the last inning and will be allowed to score unlimited runs. Any game that starts later than the original start time will follow the above rule based on the original start time.
    • 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.
    • 4 run limit per inning. Any runs scored beyond 4 do not count. Unlimited runs allowed in the 6thh inning (or the last inning as declared by the umpire)
    • When a makeup game needs to be scheduled the teams have 12 days to play the makeup game. The home team will offer three dates to the visiting team, preferably on a Tue, Thur, Fri or Sun. The visitor must accept one of the dates or forfeit. In the case of field availability issues, the game may be played at any available field but the original home team remains the home team.
    • 11 inch ball
  • PITCHING:
    • The pitching distance is 35 feet.
    • Pitchers must start with both feet on the rubber, and may only step towards Home Plate.
    • Modified or Fast Pitch motion is acceptable.
    • No pitcher can pitch more than 4 innings per game
    • Only the starting pitcher can re-enter.
    • 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. Bounced balls do not count, nor do “coach pitch” pitches.
    • No Walks. After the 4th ball, a coach will enter to pitch. The at-bat continues with the same count until the batter hits a ball into fair territory or strikes out. The pitcher continues to field the position.
    • The Umpire calls balls and strikes.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • No dropped 3rd strike.
  • ON THE BASES:
  • No continuation on a walk.
  • Runners can take a lead after the ball leaves the pitcher's hand
  • Stealing is allowed, with a limit of one base at a time. No stealing home. No advancing on an overthrow.
  • Pinch runners are encouraged for pitchers and catchers. The last recorded out will be used as 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.
  • Free substitution. Players can play any position and there are no rules on rotating positions.
  • 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 (standard USA softball rules)
  • No Infield Fly Rule in effect.
  • 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.
  • 10 players in the field, including 4 outfielders
  • Outfielders must start on the outfield grass (or 25’) prior to each pitch.
  • PLAYOFFS:
  • Playoffs are a single elimination tournament and every team qualifies
  • Seeds are determined by the final standings
  • Tie-breakers will be used in the following order: head to head play, fewest losses, fewest runs allowed, coin flip
  • Playoff games will have a 1:45 time-limit, with the exception of the Semi-Finals and Championship Game (full 6 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: the 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.
  • 10 defensive players
  • If the game is tied after 6 innings the International Tie Breaker format will be used.
  • 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.
  • Use of facemasks is encouraged, especially for infielders and pitcher. Each town team will follow the rules of their own league regarding mandatory use of masks.

UMPIRES:

  • The Junior Division can utilize USA Umpires or trained high school players. 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.
  • Grades 6, 7 & 8
    Senior Division - Playing Rules
    The Norfolk County Softball League follows 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.
    We are grateful for the many volunteer coaches who help each season. Please be advised that volunteering does
    not guarantee a position.

    THE GAME:

    • Minimum of 8 players to start, but teams can finish a game with less than 7 players
    • 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
      inning and will be allowed to score unlimited runs. Any game that starts later than the original start time will
      follow the above rule based on the original start time.
    • 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.
    • 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)
    • When a makeup game needs to be scheduled the teams have 12 days to play the makeup game. The home
      team will offer three dates to the visiting team, preferably on a Tue, Thur, Fri or Sun. The visitor must accept
      one of the dates or forfeit. In the case of field availability issues, the game may be played at any available field
      but the original home team remains the home team.

    PITCHING:
    • The pitching distance 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.
    • Only the starting pitcher can re-enter.
    • 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.
    • 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.

    ON THE BASES:

    • Runners may steal any base (USA rules) with no maximum. Runners can take a lead after the ball leaves the
      pitcher's hand
    • Dropped third strike is allowed. 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 are encouraged for pitchers and catchers. The last recorded out will be used as 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.
    • Free substitution. Players can play any position and there are no rules on rotating positions.
    • 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 (standard USA softball rules)
    • The Infield Fly Rule IS in effect.
    • 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 will be used in the following order: head to head play, fewest losses, fewest runs allowed, coin flip
    • Playoff games will have a 1:45 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: the
      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
    • If the game is tied after 7 innings the International Tie Breaker format will be used.

    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.
    • Use of facemasks is encouraged, especially for infielders. Each town team will follow the rules of their own league regarding mandatory  
      use of masks.

    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.

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