GIRLS SOFTBALL SENIOR LEAGUE RULES
Wellesley-Wayland-Weston Girls Softball follows all ASA rules, AND the rules
and exceptions listed in these two pages.
Batters: All batters must wear helmets with approved NCOASE face masks and chin straps. All bats must bear the ASA approved label with a date of 2000 or later. No fake- bunt/swing-away: Any batter that presents in a bunting position, and then swings away, will be called out. Runners who throw off the helmet while the ball is live are called out.
Stealing: Stealing of all bases is allowed. Runners may leave the base when the pitcher releases the ball.
Pitching: The official distance is 40 feet for 6th graders and 43 feet for 7th and 8th graders. With the approval of the opposing head coach, developing 7th grade pitchers may use 40 feet. 6th graders have the option (this is encouraged) to pitch at 43 feet. All pitchers must start their motion with both feet on the rubber. One stride forward is allowed. No backward step is allowed. The pitcher may drag the other foot on the follow-through.
Pitchers are not allowed to take a step forward before delivering the ball.
Hit By Pitch: If a batter is hit by a pitch that is not called a strike the batter is awarded 1st base. If the pitched ball bounces in the dirt prior to hitting the batter it is still counted as a hit batter. If ball is in the strike zone or swung at, the pitch is a strike even if the batter is hit.
Dropped 3rd Strike: A batter is allowed to reach first base on a dropped third strike unless 1st base is occupied with less than two outs. The catcher may tag the batter or make a throw to first to complete the out. If the 3rd strike bounces in the dirt, even if it is then caught by the catcher, it is considered a dropped pitch. If the 3rd strike bounces in the dirt and is then caught by the catcher, it is a trap. The catcher must either tag the batter or throw to 1st to complete the out.
Over-Running 1st Base (or any other base): If a runner over-runs 1st base: once the pitcher has control of the ball within the 8-foot pitcher’s circle – and is not making a play (a fake throw is considered a play), runners not in
contact with their bases must immediately attempt to advance or return to the base. If not, the ball is dead. “No Pitch” is declared and the runner is out. (2010 Softball Official Regulations. pg. 79)
Double 1st Base: If the double 1st base is in use, the runner has the right to the orange portion of the base. The fielder has the right to the white portion. Should a dropped 3rd strike be fielded in foul territory the catcher may throw to the 1st baseman in foul territory. In this instance the runner
may take the white portion of the base and the 1st baseman takes the orange portion.
Slide Rule: A fielder is not allowed to block a base while awaiting a throw. If the fielder already has the ball in her possession she may block the base. The runner is out if the runner interferes with play, including colliding with the fielder which should be avoided. THEREFORE THE DEFAULT STRATEGY IS TO SLIDE IF THE PLAY IS CLOSE, WHETHER OR NOT IT IS A FORCE PLAY.
Batting Order: Continuous. Every player in the game must take a turn in the batting order. All coaches should submit a batting order to the umpire and the opposing coach at the beginning of the game. Should any player arrive late the umpire and opposing coach must be notified and the player must be added to the end of the batting order. Should a player leave early the umpire and the opposing coach must be notified. Batting out of order may result in the batter being called out.
Fielders: Each team may field 9 players, with three players spread across the outfield regardless of the number of players on each team.
Player Minimum: A minimum of 7 players is required to avoid a forfeit. Any team that cannot field 7 players within 15 minutes of the scheduled starting time suffers a forfeit. A team may call up 5th grade Junior League players from their assigned sister team(s) to avoid a forfeit, but the 5th grader cannot play in a Senior League game if it conflicts with her Junior League game. Should a team have fewer than 7 players they may borrow outfielders from the opposing team for defensive purposes only in an effort to play the game. The score will be registered as a 7-0 forfeit.
Inning Limits: The league goal is equal playing time. The following rules are in force for the regular and during playoffs.
- Position players, other than pitcher and catcher, may play a maximum of three innings at one position.
- In order to help ensure equal playing time, no players shall be out of the defensive lineup for a second time until (or coincident with) such time as all other players have been out at least once.
- Subject to the immediately preceding rule, the catcher may play the entire game.
- ALL PLAYERS MUST PLAY 2 INNINGS IN THE INFIELD. THIS SHOULD BE IN THE FIRST 5 INNINGS. COACHES SHOULD SCHEDULE "MAKE UPS" IF PLAYERS MISS THEIR INFIELD ASSIGNMENT DUE TO RAIN, ETC.
- Pitchers have a 4-inning limit per game. Innings do not have to be contiguous, but a pitcher can only ENTER a game twice in any one game. If a game goes into extra innings the limits still apply. Any appearance within an inning counts as an inning pitched.
Plunk Rule: Any pitcher who hits two batters in the same inning must come out for the remainder of that inning. Once a pitcher hits the fourth batter, she stops pitching immediately and may not return as a pitcher in that game.
Umpires: ASA certified umpires are paid $60 per game (Wellesley only). Payment should be made by the home team prior to the start of the game. Arguing with the umpire is not allowed. Expressing ANY disagreement with umpire judgment calls is not allowed. Coaches are allowed to discuss rule interpretations with umpires between innings. Except for safety issue reasons, coaches should avoid interrupting the opposing team's play with timeouts for questions or concerns.
Game Length: Games are 6 innings. In the event of a tie at the end of 6 innings extra innings may be played. Should a game be rain-shortened it is official once four innings (3-1/2 if the home team is leading) have been completed.
Time Limit: No inning may start after 1 hour and 45 minutes from the first pitch. If time will only allow 5 innings the umpire will make an announcement to this effect prior to the start of the 5th inning. THERE IS NO TIME LIMIT FOR PLAYOFF GAMES.
Run Limit: Except for the final inning, there is a 4-run limit per inning, provided however that once the 4th run scores, additional runs may be scored on that same play until the ball is dead. In the final inning (as determined by the umpire), runs are unlimited until 3 outs are recorded.