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Softball Rules

UPDATED 6/18/2019...

What we bring
- Bats, Softballs, Bases

What you bring
- Sneakers or cleats (no metal spikes), Gloves

Team Setup
- 10 players on the defensive field: 4 outfield, 4 infield, pitcher, and catcher  
- Minimum of 3 females on field at a time
- If only 1 or 2 females are present, then only 7 men can still be on the field.   
- Teams must have at least 7 players present to play  

*Any rule adjustments relevant to number of players on the field can be made PRIOR to the start of the game if BOTH Captains agree and confirm with the Umpire and MCCS League Manager. *


Equipment

MCCS will provide bats, softballs, bases, the strike mat, and commit line markers.

Players/teams are responsible for providing their own gloves.

* ALL bats must have ASA approved stamp. No "Fast Pitch" bats. *

* No metal cleats are permitted!

*Catchers are permitted to wear a mask, but this is NOT not provided by MCCS. *


Pitching and Strike Zone

  • Pitches must be thrown underhand with an arc between 6' and 12' above the ground. 
  • A strike is any pitch inside the 6'-12' arc that lands on the plate or the strike mat.
  • Any pitch under 6' or above 12' is an illegal pitch and will be considered a ball.
  • Batter may swing at an illegal pitch, but it will be treated as a legal pitch.
  • The umpire may call an illegal pitch before the ball lands, but the umpire reserves the right to make the call after the ball hits the ground.
  • Each batter starts with a 0-1 count. 
  • After strike two, batter gets two foul balls before they are called out on strikes. (Updated 9/18/2019)
  • The player is out after strike three and the batter CAN foul out.
  • Four balls is a walk.


Outfielders and Coed Line

Teams may play with 4 outfielders, either 4 deep or 3 deep with 1 short fielder.

No outfielder is permitted to come within 10 feet of the infield dirt/infield area until the ball is hit.

*If a batter hits the ball into the outfield, the outfielder may not attempt to throw the runner out at first base. However, the outfielder can throw the ball to an infielder and the infielder can throw the runner out at first*


Batting Order

No more than 3 males can bat in a row. If teams are short female players they must take an out in the lineup when the female was due up. No pinch hitters and everyone bats.


Bunting

Intentional bunting is not allowed. This will result in an out.


Base Running and Safety Bases

No leading or base stealing is permitted.

Base runners must use the safety base at first base and at home plate. The safety base at first base is the bag in foul territory and the safety base at home is located to the right of home base. There is always a force out at home. The defensive team must tag the home plate while the base runner goes to the safety base. The defense can only make a tag play if the throw takes them away from home plate.  Any runner who tags home plate instead of the safety base will be called out.


Sliding

Feet first sliding is allowed at second and third bases.

Base runners may not slide at first base or home plate and base runners may not slide head first at any time.  Violation of these rules will result in the base runner being called out.

*If a runner overruns a base, he or she may dive back head first in order to regain possession of the base.


Commit Rule

The commit line will be marked by a cone approximately halfway between 3rd base and home plate. Once the base runner crosses the commit line, he or she must go home. If there is a flyball and the base runner passes the commit line before the ball is caught they are considered out.


Injured Runner

Injured players may be replaced by a courtesy runner once they safely reach a base. The courtesy runner must be the last male out for male base runners and last female out for female base runners.

There is a seven-run limit per team per inning except in the seventh inning.


MCCS is non-contact. All players must avoid unnecessary contact  at all times. Runners must give themselves up, get out of the way, or slide when a play is being made at a base. A runner who moves more than 2 steps out of the base path to avoid a tag shall be called out. Runners must avoid fielders attempting to field a hit. If a fielder is blocking the base/in the base path while waiting to receive a throw, fielder interference will be called, and the runner will be safe.


STARTING/ENDING THE GAME 


A regulation game consists of seven innings, unless extended because of a tie score or shortened because (i) either team holds a ten run or greater lead at the end of the fifth inning or (ii) the home team needs none of it's half of the seventh inning, or (iii) either team holds a 15 run or greater lead at the end of the fourth inning. 


GAME DELAYS - The umpire and MCCS League Director shall halt play if field or weather conditions are deemed too severe for play. Play shall not resume until the MCCS Representatives determine that field and weather conditions allow play. If it is determined that field and weather conditions render the game unplayable, the game shall be called. 


REGULATION GAME - If the game is called it is a REGULATION GAME if five innings have been completed and either team has the lead. 


SUSPENDED GAME - If the game is called, it is a SUSPENDED GAME if five innings have been completed and neither team has the lead. 


NOTE: A SUSPENDED GAME shall be continued from the point at which it was called until it's conclusion or it meets the REGULATION GAME parameters and is called for again. 


POSTPONED GAME - If the game is called, it is a POSTPONED GAME if fewer than five innings have been completed. 


NOTE: A POSTPONED GAME shall be considered null and void. All records shall be wiped out and the game shall be replayed in it's entirety. 


EXTRA INNINGS - If the score is tied after seven complete innings, play shall continue until (i) the visiting team has scored more runs than the home team at the end of a completed inning, or (ii) the home team scores the winning run in an uncompleted inning or until designated game play time is completed. PLEASE NOTE: Starting in the ninth inning, both teams begin with the bases loaded. 


Playoffs

The number of teams that make the playoffs will vary by league size. Regular season play identifies the teams that will make the playoffs as well as seeding for playoff schedule.  If regular season win/loss records result in a tie for a playoff spot or higher playoff seeding, the playoff tiebreaker rules are as follows:

- Head to head match ups. If still tied, then refer to:
- Highest point differential in head to head match ups - if still tied, then refer to: 
- Highest point differential through entire season.

- Substitutes within the league are not allowed during playoffs.

Registered subs must have played at least 2 regular season games with the same team in order to be eligible as subs in playoff games.

In the event of a tie during the playoffs, 1 extra inning will be played, and each team starts with a runner on second, the base runner will be the person who made the 3rd out the inning before.


Weather

Should bad weather create unplayable field conditions or unsafe game conditions (ie, lightning), see under STARTING/ENDING THE GAME above. During business hours, (9am-5pm) Ewing Township will make the decision to close fields. After 5pm, MCCS will be responsible for cancellations until the start of games. Once a game has started, the umpire is responsible to cancel or postpone the game(s) if he or she feels the field is no longer playable or dangerous weather conditions pose a threat to the safety of players.

We will send an email to everyone as early as possible if games are canceled regardless of who makes the decision. Updates will be made on the MCCS website, social media, and via email/texting system. We will do our best to make up games based on the criteria above.


Sub Policy

- Please refer to the league "Subs" page: http://mercerclubsports.leagueapps.com/pages/subs.
- If you do not have enough players for the evening, you may borrow players from other teams in the league. There will be a 2-run penalty for borrowing an in-league player.  
- You may register a Non-Rostered Substitute player as a substitute. Non-Rostered Subs must be registered through our website prior to arriving at the field. Non-Rostered Subs will pay $10 to play (given to the league manager) and must show proof of registration to referee when arriving at the field. 
- Teams that require more than three subs to field a team will automatically forfeit.  Opposing team may choose to offer players to compete in scrimmage game if desired. The opposing team will be awarded a 10-0 score.

Substitutes within the league are not allowed during playoffs. 
Registered subs must have played at least 2 regular season games with the same team in order to be eligible as subs in playoff games.

*Alcohol is not permitted at any field at any time at a MCCS event.*

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