Rules and Regulations - 2017Updated Friday December 15, 2017 by JG.
STAFFORD GIRLS SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION, INC.
GENERAL RULES AND REGULATIONS
ADOPTED FOR THE 2018 SEASON (11/14/2017 revision)
It is the intent of the Stafford Girls Softball Association (SGSA) to follow the current “Official Babe Ruth Softball Rules” for the Senior, Junior, and Coaches Pitch divisions with the following rule modifications. T-Ball rules are covered under the T-Ball section of this document.
Player Divisions: Grades:
T-Ball Kindergarten & 1st Grade
Minors (formerly Coaches Pitch) 2nd& 3rd Grades
Junior 4th to 6th Grades
Senior 7th to 12th Grades
Note 1: In the Senior Division, 11th and 12th graders may play in the league subject to SGSA Executive Board approval.
Note 2: (Pre-K exemption rule) Players wishing to register and play in the T-Ball Division shall reach the minimum age of four (4) on or before January 1stof the registration year.
Note 3: A player shall have completed a minimum of two (2) years for Kindergarten or three (3) years for Pre-Kindergarten of T-Ball prior to advancement to the Minors Division. This requirement may be waived at parent’s discretion and Executive Board approval. This waiver MAY be granted only if there is a shortage of players in the Minors Division and the Executive Board deems that the player can safely protect themselves and compete at the higher level of competition.
1) Defensive Players: Minimum number of Outfielders/Infielders (prior to pitch/Hit)
Total by Divisions:
T-Ball- (Whole Team) 3 / 4
Minors - Ten (10) 3 / 4
Junior - Ten (10) 3 / 4
Senior - Ten (10) 3 / 4
Note 4: Minimum of eight (8) players required to play in all divisions, to begin and end all games.
Note 5: Senior and Junior divisional players shall play a minimum of four (4) defensive innings per game. Minors divisional players shall play a minimum of three (3) innings per game.
EXECPTIONS TO NOTE 5:
***When disciplinary action is initiated by the manager, the manager is to notify the umpire and the opposing team manager of such action prior to the start of the game, or as soon as such action is taken during the game.
NOTE 6: Minors (formerly CP) division shall be limited to six (6) infielders at standard infield positions.
2). Batting Line-Up:
All teams will bat their full roster. Each inning will be ended with three (3) outs or the “Run Rule” for that division. The batting roster will be made prior to the start of each game, and a copy given to the opposing coach. NO CHANGE in the batting order can be made during any game.
If a player arrives late, she will be placed at the bottom of the batting order and opposing coach notified.
In the event of a player becoming injured or unable to continue play due to illness, the batting order will continue as listed except for the injured/ill player.
If an injured/ill player re-enters the game, they shall be placed into the batting order in her original spot at the start of the game.
NO OUT will be assessed to the batting team in this case for the missing player if the opposing manager/coach is notified of this change. This rule applies to players who leave the game/fields prior to the completion of the game to attend other functions or family event. Players remaining on the bench shall remain in the batting line up.
3). Substitution Rule:
Open and free substitutions shall be permitted with the exception of the Junior/Senior division pitching rule.
Minor League (formerly Coaches Pitch) Division:
Players will be pitched to only by a member of their own team. If the pitcher throws 4 balls before throwing 3 strikes, the coach (for the batting team) will then step in and throw 3 strikes. If the player does not hit the ball then they are out.
The coach/pitcher shall also act as the umpire when pitching. It is ONLY this person who can make the final rule of the game.
The coach/pitcher, on the mound, serves only to pitch the ball and to call the plays and shall not touch the ball at any time if it’s in play. If the coach acting as the pitcher accidentally comes in contact with said ball, the play will continue with the ball considered live. At the midway point of the season, a player pitcher may be used by one or both teams.
Junior & Senior Divisions:
Any player that participates in an advanced level of softball to include middle school, high school or travel ball is considered an advanced player and will be tagged as an advanced pitcher. If any player tagged as an advance pitcher wishes to have the advanced pitcher tag removed, the coach shall request a private pitching evaluation from the executive board to determine the status of that player for the upcoming season. If it is determined by the executive board that the advanced pitcher tag is removed from that player, the said player will be recognized as a NON-ADVANCED pitcher for that current season and fall under the NON-ADVANCED player pitching rules.
If at anytime during the current season to include the regular season and playoffs, the board determines a pitcher is pitching at an advanced level, the executive board reserves the right to assign the ADVANCED PITCHER tag to any player it deems as advanced.
*The Babe Ruth Tournament team will NOT be considered to be an advanced level of play there for players who participate in the Babe Ruth Tournament(s) are exempt from the ADVANCED PITCHER rule.
Advanced pitchers are only allowed to pitch the 5th and 6th innings of each game in the Junior division, and the 6th and 7th innings in the Senior division. Each team SHALL use NON-ADVANCED pitchers for the first four (4) innings of the game in the Junior division and the first five (5) innings of the game in the Senior division.
Advanced pitchers in both divisions may continue to pitch if the game is extended to extra innings. Once the allotted innings pitched limit per week has been reached, the advanced pitcher shall be removed from the mound and replaced with a new pitcher.
If an umpire declares “last inning” prior to the game reaching the last two (2) innings for each division, NON-ADVANCED pitchers SHALL be required to continue pitching to complete the shortened game. This rule remains in effect for all games shortened by a mercy rule to include the regular season and playoffs.
All extra innings will count towards the allotted allowable innings pitched per week restriction for advanced pitchers and non-advanced pitchers.
A pitcher’s maximum number of innings per week shall be eight (8) innings except as noted below. Any girl that currently plays, or has played in the previous fall season, an advanced form of softball including, but not limited to Travel or Tournament team, shall be limited to six (6) innings per week and is limited to the last two (2) innings of the game. Fast pitch is to be utilized with windmill pitching encouraged.
A pitcher’s maximum number of innings per week shall be ten (10) innings except as noted below. No high school Varsity pitchers may pitch in the SGSA. A Varsity pitcher is a pitcher who has pitched more than ten (10) innings at the varsity level in the current season. Any girl that currently plays, or has played in the previous fall season, an advanced form of softball including, but not limited to Travel, Tournament, Middle School or High School softball, shall be limited to six (6) innings per week and is limited to pitch only the last two (2) innings of the game. Fast pitch is to be utilized with windmill pitching encouraged.
The Executive Board will determine the tagging status of the advanced pitchers. A player’s head coach may challenge a pitchers’ status by submitting a request in writing to the Executive Board for review. The request shall include the player's name, division in which she plays, and the name of her head coach/team.
Each head coach in each division is allotted no more than two (2) challenges per current season to include playoffs for opposing pitchers. Once the head coach has used his/her allotted challenges per the current season and playoffs, no other challenges from said head coach shall be considered for review by the executive board.
pitchers’ name, numbers, and the number of innings pitched and shall
report with the game results at the concession stand at the completion of the game. An email can be sent to the web site coordinator with the information listed above.
T-Ball Division: NOT PERMITTED
Minors: Teams shall attempt to bunt three (3) times per game, the same player is NOT ALLOWED to attempt or bunt more than one (1) time per game.
Juniors and Seniors Division: Sacrifice bunting and bunting for a base hit is allowed.
Fake bunt-pull back swing is only allowed in the Senior Division.
T-Ball Division: Sliding is not encouraged.
Minors Division: Sliding is encouraged
Junior Division: A runner must attempt a slide to avoid contact with the defensive player. At the umpire’s discretion, a player may be called out for not sliding and making contact with a defensive player.
Senior Division: A runner must attempt a slide to avoid contact with the defensive player. At the umpire’s discretion, a player may be called out for not sliding and making contact with a defensive player.
7). Leading and Stealing:
T-Ball Division: Leading and stealing is NOT ALLOWED.
Minors Division: A runner may lead upon the pitchers release, and shall return to the base when pitcher/coach has possession of the ball. Dancing or baiting of a defensive player between bases is NOT ALLOWED.
NOTE 9: Stealing should be introduced and taught at this level of play, therefore, prior to the start of the game, the managers may agree to attempt stealing. If both managers agree, players may attempt to steal from 2nd base to 3rd base only.
NOTE 10: If the player successfully steals 3rd base, the player is frozen until a batted ball is put in play. The runner shall not advance from a bad throw from the catcher. Catchers therefore should be encouraged to make throws without fear of runners advancing.
Junior Division: A runner may lead upon the pitchers release,and shall return to the base when pitcher has possession of the ball. Dancing or baiting of a defensive player between bases is NOT ALLOWED. The umpire shall issue one (1) warning per game per team, explain the rule, and call the runner out on the next rule infraction.
Once the player has stopped their lead, their next move is considered their “committed” move and must continue to the next base, or return to the original base. If the runner stops their lead (pauses), then commits to the next base, it is counted as a steal regardless if the runner stops again prior to reaching the next base and returns to the “starting” base.
Stealing: Shall be limited to five (5) steals per inning per team.
If a team has reached its limit of five (5) steals per inning, and a runner attempts a sixth (6th) steal, the runner will be returned to the base at which the play began with no penalty to the runner. However, if the runner attempts the sixth (6th) steal of the inning and is tagged out in the process, the runner shall be called out with no safe return.
There shall be no continuation rule allowed. If a batter is issued a walk from the pitcher, the batter shall stop at first base and may not continue on to second until the next pitch is delivered. This includes a “passed” ball four (4) or “wild” pitched ball four (4).
Regardless of the play, the walked batter is frozen at first base, until the next delivered pitch. All other runners may attempt to advance with the play, in accordance with the rules, at their own risk.
STEALING OF HOME IS NOT ALLOWED! However, a runner at 3rd base may attempt to advance on a wild pitch or a passed ball. If this play occurs, the batter shall exit the batter’s box and relocate to a safe area to avoid interfering with the play. If the batter fails to vacate the area, interference may be called and the runner called out.
Senior Division: Open stealing is permitted upon the pitchers release.
8). THE CATCHERS RULE: (Junior Division only)
1). During a steal attempt, if the catcher makes a bad throw to any base, the runner at that base is frozen to that base until the next pitch is delivered. The runner can’t advance from the over throw.
2).During pick off plays from the catcher to any base, the runner cannot advance on an over throw from the catcher. If the catcher makes a good throw and the ball is fielded by the defender, the runner may attempt to advance to the next base at the runners own risk. If the runner proceeds to the next base safely, this will count as a steal against the offensive team for that inning. If the offensive team has used their allotted steals for that inning, and the runner makes it safely to the next base, the runner will be returned to the original base at which the play began. During this play, if the defensive team tags the runner out prior to reaching the base safely, the runner shall be called out.
3). When a catcher misses a pitch, it is considered a passed ball or a wild pitch. If the runner advances, it will be counted as a steal for that inning.
9) Dropped 3rd Strike: The dropped 3rd strike rule applies to the Senior Division only.
10).Complete Game Rules:
DIVISION: Maximum Innings: Minimum Innings:
T-Ball 3 2
Minors 4 3
Junior 6 4
Senior 7 5
NOTE 11: Junior games will try to begin at 5:30pm and will have a mandatory start time of 5:45pm. Last inning will be called between 6:45pm and 7pm with “drop dead” finish time being 7:15pm. Senior games will try to begin at 7:15pm and will have a mandatory start time of 7:30pm. Last inning will be called 1.5 hours after the start time with “drop dead” finish time being 2 hours from start time. If a started game is suspended by the umpire due to inclement weather or darkness before the minimum number of innings is completed, the game will freeze, and play will resume at the point of delay and continue until the minimum innings required is completed. If last inning is called after the minimum number of innings is completed, each time will bat until 3 outs are called or the entire line up bats one time, whichever occurs first.
NOTE 12: Girls not present at the original game, shall be added to the bottom of the lineup when play resumes and enter the game.
NOTE 13: The score book shall be signed as an official record by both managers or assistant coaches and game umpire.
NOTE 14: If the game results in a tie after the maximum number of innings is played/completed:
T-Ball Division: All games end in a tie. (NO WINNERS OR NO LOSERS)
Minors Division: Each team shall be awarded a ½ win.
Junior Division:The games will continue for one (1) additional inning with the “International tie breaker” rule in effect until a winner is determined, the time limit is reached (2 hours) or the game is called due to darkness. If no winner is determined, each team shall be awarded a ½ win.
Senior Division:The games will continue for one (1) additional inning with the “International tie breaker” rule in effect until a winner is determined, the time limit is reached (2 hours) or the game is called due to darkness. If no winner is determined, each team shall be awarded a ½ win.
NOTE 15: The International Tie Breaker Rule is defined as follows: Each new ½ inning will start with a runner, the last batted out of the previous inning on second base with no outs. The game will resume as normal with all applicable games rules applied.
NOTE 16: All rescheduling of incomplete games will be done by the SGSA League Player Agent for that division within two (2) weeks of the originally scheduled game. There will be only one postponement of the make-up game.
NOTE 17: Games can only be rescheduled for inclement weather conditions, and for any unforeseen school functions with a 24 hour notice to the player agent.
11).Maximum Runs Per Inning:
Divisions: All innings except last: Last:
T-Ball Open Open
Minors 4 8 Run Limit
Junior 4 Open
Senior 5 Open
12). Mercy Rules
Junior Division:If a team trails by twelve (12) or more runs after batting in the fourth inning.
Senior Division:If a team trails by fifteen (15) or more runs after batting in the fifth inning.
T-Ball Division: 60 minutes (1 hour)
Minors Division: 90 minutes (1 ½ hours)
Junior Division: 120 minutes (2 hours)
Senior Division: 120 minutes (2 hours)
14). Pitching Rubber Measurements
T-Ball: 35 Feet
Minors: 35 Feet
Junior: 40 Feet
Senior: 43 Feet
15). Regulation Softball Sizes
Division: Softball Size:
T-Ball: #1 Ball
Minors: #5 Ball
Junior: 12” Ball
Senior: 12” Ball
16). Junior and Senior Division Temporary Draft
Junior Division:Junior division teams may draft from the Coaches Pitch division in accordance with the rules of the league, through the coaches pitch division player agent, with player agent recommendation and Executive Board approval.
Senior Division:Teams may temporarily draft no more than three (3) sixth (6th) grade players from the junior division in accordance with the rules of the league, through the junior division player agent, with player agent recommendation and Executive Board approval.
Fifth (5th) grade players from the junior division may also be temporarily drafted with player agent recommendation and executive board approval.
17). Infield Fly Rule
The infield fly rule as defined in the ASA Rule book shall apply to the senior division only.
C. Existing Teams: An existing team in any division is defined as a team from the previous season, regardless of new sponsor or new head coach, has one (1) or more players from the previous year’s roster remaining on the new season’s roster.
D. Choosing of Coaches
Each season, head coaches shall be selected and approved by the Executive Board.
The March meeting shall be mandatory for all head coaches. All coaches must show proof of taking the Babe Ruth Coaches Certification course or proof of taking the Rutgers Safety Certification course before the season begins.
2). Assistant Coaches
Each season, all assistant coaches shall be selected and approved by the Executive Board.
All assistant coaches must be chosen after the draft from new or existing coaching applications.
All volunteers must show proof of taking the Babe Ruth Coaches Certification course or proof of taking the Rutgers Safety Certification course before the season begins.
4) Each team may have one (1) manager and three (3) assistant coaches.
E. Expansion Teams
In the instance that expansion teams are necessary in any division, the following shall apply:
1). An expansion team in any division will only be formed when the need to expand a division is required when the number of registrations for the current season exceeds the maximum amount of roster spots allowed per team in said division.
2). Any coach accepted by the executive board as a manager of an expansion team may only choose one (1) assistant coach before draft of said division. Choice must be made from existing and approved applications.
F. Drafting Procedures
1). Picking order will be based on previous season’s official regular season record. Last placed team will pick first.
2). Expansion teams get the first two picks in the first round. The coach’s child and the assistant coach’s child are automatically placed on that team and are not considered a pick. The sponsor’s child is considered a draft pick in one of the first two draft picks.
3). If more than one Expansion team is in the draft, order of the draft for the new teams only will be picked from a hat.
4). All girls that attend evaluation will be drafted first. Upon completion of the draft, the remaining girls’ names will be drawn from a hat continuing in order of the draft.
5). Draft will be held within one week of the evaluations and will be supervised by that division’s player’s agent.
6). Siblings (with guardian’s permission) have the choice to play on the guardian or sibling’s team.
7). Late sign ups shall be chosen from a hat in order of draft by those coaches needing additional players. Late sign ups shall be allowed a date to be determined by the Executive Board.
8). Children of all S.G.S.A recognized coaches have the option to play on guardian/siblings team. Any extended family relation or hardship case must be reviewed by the Executive Board on a case by case basis.
9). Trading of players after the draft will NOT be permitted unless approved by the executive board.
10).Any player not advancing as their age group requires to the next division must be evaluated and approved by the Executive Board.
11). New coaches of existing teams draft position is based on the previous year’s standings. Coach’s daughter(s) will not be considered a draft pick. The assistant coach’s daughter would be considered the first draft pick.
F. General Provision Rules
1). Inclement weather which causes unplayable field conditions as determined by the umpire, or official cancellation by the SGSA, are the only basis for game cancellation and rescheduling.
2). A team unable to field the minimum number of players within fifteen (15) minutes of the scheduled start time shall receive a forfeit for that game. Should both teams be unable to field the minimum number of players, each team will receive a ½ loss.
3). Alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited on Township playing fields and associated areas during all practices and games, or during any official activity sponsored by the SGSA.
4).Smoking is strictly prohibited on Township playing fields and associated areas during all practices and games, or during any official activity sponsored by the SGSA.
5). Protest is allowed in the Junior and Senior Divisions. Protests must be filed on the field as per applicable ASA rules. Protest shall be filed in writing to the Executive Board for resolution within one (1) week of the game being protested.
6). Any person calling balls and strikesin any given game, whether he or she be paidor volunteer, will be considered the “Official Umpire” of said game, and is granted full authority as Umpire, and is required to follow the SGSA rules.
7). In addition to the foregoing, all other rules and regulations contained in the written agreement with the Township of Stafford shall be adhered to.
G. Safety Rules:
Refer to current High School Softball rules. These are supplemented as follows:
third base lines. This rule includes any player retrieving equipment/bats in the infield, home plate area, and dug out areas not protected by the fence. This includes batting cages. Chin straps shall be worn at all times.
H. Approved Bats
Only official fast pitch softball bats may be used in the league. Players may use their personal bats with the following exceptions:
1). NO COMPOSITE OR 50/50 COMPOSITE BATS ARE AUTHORIZED IN ANY DIVISION. First offense for not following the above rule is a warning and an automatic out during the players at bat and before the next batters first pitch. Second offense is a forfeiture of the game. Any injury as a result of use of an illegal bat, liability will fall to the (Player/Parent/Guardian) provider of the illegal bat.
2). All bats must have at least one (1) approved ASA, NSA, USSSA, PONY or any recognized seal to be authorized for use. All bats are subject to Executive Board approval.
I. Sportsmanship Rules:
All participants, managers, assistant coaches, volunteers, umpires, parents, guardians, relatives, guests, and any spectators SHALL abide by the Stafford Township Code of Conduct.
The following rules have been established to instill good sportsmanship:
1). Ridicule, disparaging remarks or acts by anyone is prohibited
2). Decisions of the Umpires are to be considered FINAL.
3). Use of profanity by anyone is strictly prohibited.
4). Violations of the above sportsmanship rules shall receive one (1) warning from the Umpire. After a second infraction, the Umpire has the authority to eject the violator from the field and surrounding areas.
5). All infractions are subject to review and action taken by the SGSA Executive Board.
J. Play Offs:
1) The play-off format will be established by the SGSA Executive Board on an annual basis.
2) For seeding purposes, the first place team will be determined by the team with the highest winning percentage. In case of a tie, the first tie breaker is head to head and the second tie breaker is a coin flip.
3) Pitching rules and inning limits apply.
K. T-Ball Rules
T-ball is considered in nature and as such, a teaching and learning atmosphere and should prevail. Coaches should stress basic skills and team concepts so players can improve their game. It is more important to show the girls how to win and lose graciously by mixing in plenty of understanding and fun, than to teach them an obsession to win at any cost.
The T-ball Division will follow the current SGSA rules with the following exceptions:
1). Only one (1) base shall be granted, per runner on any one (1) overthrow that goes into dead ball territory. All other misplaced balls will be considered live and bases must be earned.
2). Each inning is complete when all players have batted once.
3). The team player/pitcher will stand in the vicinity of the pitcher’s mound.
4). Play is ended when the ball is in the pitcher’s circle. The player/pitcher must have made an attempt at possession of the ball within the pitching circle.
5). Two (2) defensive coaches are allowed on the field to guide their players on all games through the first three (3) weeks from opening day.
6). Bunting, leading and stealing are NOT permitted.
7). If the field conditions are unplayable, it is the responsibility of the coaches to cancel the game and contact their players. The decision to play make-up games for cancellation, suspension, or rain must be agreed upon by both coaches, and the player agent notified.
8). The team coaches shall decide on dead ball areas, outfield limits, fair and foul lines, and the pitcher’s circle prior to the start of the game.
9). No official score book or standings will be kept by any T-Ball team.
10). Aggressive base running is not permitted (i.e. the base runner is waived “home” on an outfield hit where the outfielder attempts to throw out the “hitting” base runner going to first base). The intent of this rule is to:
a). Prevent runaway scores.
b).Encourage skills other than just running and base running
c). No out will be declared when a player intentionally rolls the ball to any base to complete an out.
d). If a batter makes an out, she must leave the base. For every three (3) outs, the bases must be cleared.
1) Managers in all divisions are responsible for ALL issued SGSA equipment during each season. Managers and coaches shall inspect ALL equipment (SGSA issued or player owned) after each practice, game or sponsored SGSA Softball event to ensure the equipment is in good working order. Player safety is a PRIORITY and shall be placed in front of any other objective.
2) Any broken equipment shall be immediately reported to the SGSA equipment manager for repair or replacement.
3) At the beginning and end of each season, a date will be announced for equipment issue and equipment return. Please ensure all equipment is cleaned and accounted for prior to turn in. All equipment will be issued and returned from the equipment shed located between field 2 and field 3. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR EQUIPMENT AT THE CONCESSION STAND OR OUTSIDE THE EQUIPMENT SHED! This is NOT considered proper equipment return!
4) When a team has outstanding equipment that is NOT returned, the SGSA Executive Board may disqualify said coach from further participation in the league.
6) Recreational team jerseys must be worn by all players for all games. All players must change out of their travel or school team jerseys when playing a rec game.