Official Guide and Playing Rules for 2018
These rules replace and/or supersede any rules printed
Prior to this date for the
HUFF-N-PUFFERS SENIOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE
All competition shall be conducted in accordance with rules set forth in this official guide and in the
ASA Softball Playing Rules. Any suggestions, proposed changes, or revisions to the rules should be submitted in writing during regular Meetings or at the Governing Board meetings.
2018 RULES COMMITTEE
JERRY BACHER -- CHAIRMAN
KEN DIPPONG ED KUSTRA
TOM ZIGMAN JIM LEONARD
UMPIRE-IN-CHIEF: LARRY KEATING
(**) Denotes 2018 rule changes
RULE 1 Playing Field
1.1 Commitment Line
A three (3) foot Commitment line shall be marked perpendicular to the foul line halfway (32 ½ feet) between third base and home plate. No tags allowed on runners past the Commitment line.
1.2 Restraining Line (**) Division 2/3 Only
A three foot line 15 feet from home plate on the first base line will be set as the Restraining Line. If there is a substitute runner for the batter and the batter crosses that line, the play will not stop, it will be treated as a delayed call. If the runner for the batter makes it to first base, he will be called out at the end of the play.
1.3 Scoring Plate (**)
All Divisions: There will be no scoring plate. There will be a scoring line that will be an extended first base foul line. The scoring line is used by the offense (runners) only.
1.4 Strike Zone
A strike zone mat will be used, with the front of the mat centered on and in line with the front of the field home plate. The mat will be twenty two (22) inches wide and thirty four (34) inches long. The mat will lay on and completely cover home plate.
1.5 Double bag – First Base
An additional base shall abut first base. The additional base will be in foul territory.
1.6 Pitcher’s Safety Screen
A pitcher’s safety screen will be used in all Divisions. Placement of the pitcher’s safety screen will be on the glove side of the pitcher, to the middle of the pitching rubber, three (3) feet or one stride in front of the pitching screen. See below for Division 3 Screen placement.
Rule 2 Attire
2.1 Metal Cleats
Metal cleats will not be permitted.
2.2 Protective Clothing
Protective clothing or equipment is allowed.
2.3 Home vs Visitors
The Home team will wear white shirts and use the first base bench and right field for pre-game practice. The Visiting team will wear red shirts and use the third base bench and left field for pre-game practice.
2.4 Uniform Requirements
Players, managers and coaches must be in proper uniform. Pants or shorts must be solid dark blue or black in color. They can have one strip or logo on them. Wearing a cap is optional. If a cap is worn, it must be a HUFF-N-PUFFERS cap. Players not in proper uniform will not be permitted to play. This rule will be enforced by the umpires.
Rule 3 Equipment
3.1 Shared Equipment
All equipment will be shared by both teams unless privately owned.
3.2 Softball Specifications (**)
Home teams will furnish game balls supplied by the league. These balls will be determined in all particulars from time to time by the Governing Board and the Governing Board may in its discretion choose a different ball for each Division of the league.
3.3 Equipment Required
The Commitment Line, Scoring Line, Strike Zone Mat, Pitching Screen and the Double Bag at first base shall be used at all scheduled and playoff games.
3.4 Illegal or Altered Bats
Anyone using an illegal or altered bat (shaved, rolled, etc.) as defined by the ASA will be subject to ejection from the game and further punishment as determined by the Governing Board.
Rule 4 Players(**)
4.1 Division 1
Division 1 teams may field a maximum of twelve (12) defensive players.
4.2 Division 2
Division 2 teams may field a maximum of thirteen (13) defensive players.
4.3 All Divisions
All teams must have nine (9) players from its roster to start a game.
4.4 Substitute Players
Substitute players may be added for a total of twelve (12) for division 1. Division 1 substitute players may be used as follows: A “B” or lower may replace a “B” player. A “C” or lower may replace a “C” player. A “D” or lower may replace a “D” player. An “E” may replace an “E” player. Any player may replace a “A” except another “A” player. Substitute players in Division 1 can be for the positions of Catcher, Right Field, or First Base. Division 2/3 substitute players can play anywhere. Division 2/3 teams may replace an A for A, B for B, etc. for a total to equal the opposition (13 vs 13).
4.5 Batting Order
Substitute players must bat at the bottom of the order.
4.6 Roster List
Each Manager will have a Roster List of all teams in their Division.
A team must be ready to play ten (10) minutes after the scheduled starting time or suffer a forfeit. Game starting times are 9:15 A.M. for the first game and 10:45 A.M. for the second game. The second game is scheduled to start ten (10) minutes after the preceding game. Field conditions may warrant changes in starting time.
Rule 5 Draft (**)
5.1 Division Managers: Managers in each Division will decide how they want to draft players on draft day (either be it by core or 1,2,3,4,4,3,2,1 etc.), or any other method they choose until all players are drafted.
5.2 Drafting Managers
Managers will not be drafted; they will be assigned to the team they are drafting and managing.
Rule 6 Batting (**)
6.1 All Divisions/Strike Count
Each batter will start with a one (1) ball and one (1) strike count.
6.2 All Divisions/Number of fouls
Two (2) fouls after two (2) strikes is an out.
Rule 7 Pitching
7.1 Legal Pitch
A legal pitch is a minimum of six (6) feet from the ground and a maximum of twelve (12) from the ground. Striking any portion of Strike Zone Mat, will be a strike. The pitcher must have one foot touching the rubber when delivering the pitched ball.
7.2 Pitcher’s Safety Screen
See sub-rule 1.6 for details governing the placement of the Pitcher’s Safety Screen. A batter’s first batted ball hitting the screen, if not touched by a defensive player prior to hitting the screen will be ruled a dead ball and is not playable. A thrown ball hitting the screen is a live ball and is playable. A batter will be allowed to hit the Pitcher’s Safety Screen once (1) in each at bat with no change in the existing count and a dead ball call by the umpire. Subsequent hits against the screen will be called strikes.
Rule 8 Base Running
8.1 Substitute Runners (**)
Division 1- Allow runners for a batter from home plate. The Substitute Runner can only run to first base and must stop there. If the ball is hit over the fence, then it’s a home run. A Batter Runner will stand behind a line drawn from the back corner on the lefthanders side of home plate perpendicular (right angle) the screen or the WHITE & RED MARKER hanging on the fence. The distance shall be no less than eight (8) feet from the back of home plate. The criteria used for substitute runners for the batter will be injured or hurt (NOT SLOW). All runners running for the Batter or a Pinch Runner will be the PLAYER making the last out. If the PLAYER making the last out is not able to run, then the PLAYER making the next to the last out will be the runner. Once a runner is on base he will continue to run until he scores or he is out. If the runner is on base when it is his turn to bat, a replacement may be put in for him and there is no out recorded. If a runner is needed at the beginning of a game with no outs recorded, the manager’s must agree on a runner or it defaults to the last batter in the lineup. Division 2 can have as many runners as needed as agreed to by the manager’s before the game. Any player may run for the batter at any base he safely reached before the next pitch. The last out batter does not have to be the runner. The manager will choose the runner. If the runner is on base at his turn at bat, the runner he replaced is recorded as an out, but the runner does not lose his turn at bat. Any team member may courtesy run only once per inning. Penalty: the runner is out.
8.2 Commitment Line
Sliding or diving into a base is permitted. A base runner may be out at Home Plate in a non-force situation without a tag: If the runner has crossed the Commitment Line, the defensive player must have possession of the ball while touching the Strike Zone Mat before the runner has touched the Scoring Line. The runner will be called out if he touches or crosses the Strike Zone Mat. No tags are allowed on runners that have crossed the Commitment Line by a defensive player. Once a runner or ( any part of his body) touches the ground on, or beyond the Commitment Line, the runner may not return to third base. A violation of the rule will result in the runner being called out.
8.3 Scoring Line
To score, a base runner must touch the Scoring Line before a defensive player in possession of the ball touches the Strike Zone Mat.
8.4 Physical Contact
A runner shall not be called out for contact with a defensive player not in contact with the Strike Zone Mat, unless, in the umpire’s judgement, the runner deliberately hit or could reasonably have expected to minimize or avoid the contact under the circumstances and failed to do so.
8.5 First Base-Double Base
If there is a play on a batter going to first base, the first baseman must touch the white bag of the double bag in fair territory and the batter (runner) shall be called out for failure to do so. The first base-man can tag a runner before he touches first base for an out. To avoid a collision, a fielder or a runner may use the other base.
Rule 9 Scoring
Scorekeepers on the opposing teams must agree on the score of the game at the end of each half inning. All teams must keep score.
Rule 10 The Game
10.1 Required Innings
All players who are physically able to play must play in each game. Division 1, all players must play at least four (4) innings on defense unless physically unable to play, or you are the Designated Hitter and the opposing manager is to be notified. Only two (2) runners are allowed for Division 1 because of an injury or physical disability to have a designated runner (DR) starting from home plate. A player removed because of an injury will not be an automatic out. Opposing managers must be notified of any player physically unable to participate before the game and if any changes occur during the game, the opposing manager must be notified immediately. Division 2, all players must play at least four (4) innings in each game, and Division 3 it will be 3 innings, Division 2/3 teams will be allowed as many runners as needed due to injury or physical disability as agreed to by the manager’s before the game.
10.2 Line Up Cards
The managers of each team will exchange lineup cards (if requested prior to the start of the game) listing the offensive players in the order in which they will bat.
10.3 Regular Season Schedule
A round robin schedule will be used during regular season play.
10.4 Rain Out Games
Rain-out-games will be re-scheduled as to the time and day by the Umpire-in-Chief with the approval of the manager’s involved. Game in play that are called because of rain before they are a complete game shall be made up at a later date as a complete new game beginning at the first inning. A complete game is a minimum of five (5)innings or four and one half (4½) innings if the home team is ahead.
10.5 Field Conditions
Field conditions for the playing of games shall be determined initially by the Parma Service Department. After a game starts, the Umpire(s) working the game will make the decision if the game can continue.
10.6 Time Limits
Division 2/3: Game time limit is one and one-half (1½) hours unless the game is tied assuming (enough innings have been played) to constatute a complete game. No inning is to start after the time limit unless the game is tied. This rule will apply to the regular season only. Tie breaking playoff games will have no time limit. A game that is tied at the end of regulation time (after (8/7) innings for Division 2/3, nine (9) innings for Division 1 or the completion of the inning which the umpire has designated as the last inning) shall be played until one of the teams out scores the other in an extra inning(s). Division 1 will have no time limit.
10.7 Innings Played and Mercy Rule
Division 2 will play eight (8) inning games. A fifteen (15) run “Mercy” rule will be in effect after six (6) innings, or five and one half (5 ½) innings if the home team is ahead, thus ending the game. Division 3 will play seven (7) inning games with the same Mercy Rule as in Rule 10.7. This rule does not apply to post season tournament or tie-breaking playoff games. Division 1 will play nine (9) inning games. A fifteen (15) run “Mercy” rule will be in effect after seven (7) innings, or six and one one-half (6½) innings if the home team is ahead, thus ending the game. This rule does not apply to post season tournaments or tie-breaking play-off games. A one ball and one strike count will be in effect on each batter.
10.8 Run Limit
All games played will have a five (5) run limit per inning for all but the last designated inning. The game umpire shall determine the last inning based on time restraints and shall inform both team manager’s before the start of the last designated inning.
10.9 Infield Practice
Infield practice between each inning will be allowed by the umpire only if time restraints allow it.
10.10 Designated Hitter
You may have one and only one designated hitter on each team (optional), if he is able, he must run for himself. If you have 12 players, he can still DH, however you will only have 11 players in the field and cannot pick up players unless you have less than 12 total.
11.1 Dead Ball-Ball in Play
If a ball leaves the playing field, such as going under a fence, the player will not touch the ball, but will raise both hands as a signal to the umpire. The umpire will then come to the location and make a decision. Failure to follow the procedure will result in the ball being ruled in play.
Rule 12 Umpires
The Umpire-in-Chief will be in charge of all umpires and will be a member of the Rules Committee. His duties will include:
1. Establish a list of qualified umpires.
2. Assign an umpire(s) to each scheduled game.
3. Scheduling of make-up games.
Rule 13 Protests
13.1 When to Make Protests
The notification of intent to protest must be made immediately before the next legal or illegal pitch or before both teams have left the playing field after the final out. Ineligible player protest can be made at any time. All protests shall be presented to any member of the Rules Committee before the next scheduled game from the team submitting the protests, must be submitted in writing, and presented to any member of the Rules Committee before the next scheduled game from the team submitting the protest.
13.2 Protest Ruling
The Rules Committee will rule on all protests as soon as possible after the date of receipt of the written protest.
Rule 14 Deadlines
The deadline set for filing an application for league membership for the current year is June 1st, and the deadline for trading of players with the consent of both manager’s and players involved is May 15th . Division 1 will have no set date for the addition of new players. Managers will designate where new players will be assigned.
14.2 Membership Deadline
The deadline for filing for an application for league membership shall be determined by the Governing Board.
Rule 15 Playoffs
15.1 Adding Players for Playoffs
Playoff and Championship Games must be played without adding any players from other teams.
15.2 Tie Breakers (**)
In the event of a tie for the first half Championship, the winner will be decided the first time the two teams involved play each other in the second half. This game will also count in the second half standings.
Divisions 1 and 2 will have a first and second half. All Divisions: Hometeam will be determined by a coin toss.
15.3 Playoffs (**)
Divisions 1 and 2: If at the end of the season, first and second half Champions cannot play due to weather or city commitments, the team with the best overall record will be declared the Champions. Divisions 1and 2 will play a split season with a best of three (3) game play-off at the end of the season. A one-game playoff will decide the winner of each half in the event of a tie. Home team will be determined by a coin toss.
A double elimination tournament may be held at the end of the regular season for all teams interested. In the playoff or tournament games, a player cannot be a substitute unless his team has been eliminated.
Rule 16 Evaluations
All new ballplayers applying for the Huff-N-Puffers will be invited to the annual evaluations of new ballplayers before the draft. The evaluators will be the current or new managers. All managers will evaluate all ball players. The managers will determine what division the ballplayers should be in. If the ballplayer wants to go to Division 1, he can enter Division 1 draft and if not selected he will be put in the Division 2 draft. They will be evaluated on hitting, fielding, throwing and running, then given a grade of A,B,C,D, or E. This in-formation will then be available for the drafts.
Rule 17 Rule Changes
17.1 Rule Changes
Rule changes will only be considered before each season begins. If you have a rule change that you would like to submit, you must put it in writing, sign it, and get it to the Rules Chairman. You can also give it to your manager, any officer, or any member of the Governing Board and they will submit it to the Rules Chairman.
Rule 18 Points of Emphasis
18.1 Unresolvable Disagreements
Unresolvable disagreements between a player and manager regarding his team assignment shall be referred to the GoverningBoard.
18.2 Injured Players
All injured players must have a Doctor’s release to return to an active team roster.
18.3 Refusal to Play
A player refusing to play on a team drafting him will be suspended unless a trade can be made.
Conduct not considered in the best interest of the Huff-N-Puffers will be subject to disciplinary action. Fighting between players will result in removal from the game with a three (3) game suspension (the following three (3) games) for the first offense. The second offense will result in suspension for the season. Fighting in the parking lot or near the playing area is part of this directive. Profanity will not be tolerated on or off the fields: players will be ejected from the game and be suspended for the next game. A second offence can result in suspension for the season. (REMEMBER, LADIES AND CHILDREN ARE IN THE STANDS).
18.5 Avoiding Collisions
A runner must make every effort to avoid colliding with opposing players while running the bases or sliding or diving. If in the umpire’s judgment the runner fails to avoid a collision with a defensive player involved in the play, the ball will be declared dead and that runner called out. If in the judgment of the umpire the collision is considered malicious (bowling over, throwing elbows, etc.) by either the runner or defensive player, the ball will be declared dead and the offending individual will be ejected from the game and suspended for an additional game for the first offense. A second offense will be cause for suspension for the remainder of the season.
REVISED April 2018 Rev. A tah