2017 Huff-N-Puffers

Official Guide and Playing Rules for 2017 
These rules replace and/or supersedes 
any rules printed for the Huff-N-Puffers Senior 
Softball League prior to this date.

All competition shall be conducted in accordance 
with rules set forth in this official guide and in the
ASA Softball Playing Rules.

Any suggestion, proposed changes, or revisions to 
the rules should be submitted during the regular
meetings or at the Governing Board meetings.

2017 Huff-N-Puffers

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 lines. 

1.2  Restraining line   A three foot line 15 feet from home plate on the first base line be set as the restraining line. If a batter who is being run for crosses this line he shall be called out and all play shall stop. Any base runners shall return to the base they were on before the last pitch to the batter.

1.3  Scoring Plate    SENIORS-A scoring plate shall be placed eight (8) feet from the back tip of home plate on an extended line from first base. The scoring plate is for use by the offense (runners) only.   JUNIORS-There will be no scoring plate for the Juniors, they will have a scoring line that will be an extended 1st base foul line.

1.4  Strike Zone Mat    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 lie on and completely cover existing field 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 both the Junior and Senior division. Placement of the pitcher’s safety screen must 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 rubber.

Rule 2Attire

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    Home team will wear white shirts and use the first base bench and right field for pre-game practice. 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 a stripe or a logo on them. Wearing a cap is optional. If a cap is worn, it must be a HUFF-N-PUFFER 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 is to be used by both teams unless privately owned.

3.2   Softball Specifications    Home teams will furnish game balls supplied by the league. These balls will be 44 cor and have a 375 compression ratio.  These balls will be determined in all particulars from time to time by the Governing Board (G.B.) and the Governing Board may in its discretion use a different ball for each division of the league.

3.3   Equipment Required    The Commitment Line, Scoring Plate, Strike Zone Mat, Pitching Screen and Double Bag at first base shall be used in all scheduled and playoff games.

 3.4   Illegal Bats    Anyone using an illegal bat (Altered: shaved, rolled, etc) as defined by the ASA shall be subject to ejection from the game and further punishment as determined by the Governing Board.

Rule 4  Players and Substitutes

4.1   Junior Players   Junior Division teams may field a maximum of twelve (12) defensive players. 

4.2   Senior Players   Senior Division teams may field a maximum of thirteen (13) defensive players. 

4.3   Junior and Senior Divisions   A team must have nine (9) players from its roster to start a game. Substitute players may be added for a total of twelve (12) players in the Junior Division. Substitute players may be used as follows: A “B” or lower player may replace a “B” player. A “C” or lower player may replace a “C” player. A ”D” or lower player may replace a “D” player. An “E” player may replace an “E” player. Any player may substitute for an “A” player except another “A” player.   Substitute players in the Junior Division can be for the positions of Catcher, Right field, or First base. Substitute players in the Senior Division can play anywhere.

4.4   Substitute Players  Senior Division teams will be the same as the Junior Division except that they can replace an A for A, B for B, etc for a total to equal the opposition. (12 vs 12). 

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.

4.7   Forfeit   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 times.

Rule 5  Draft

5.1   Core Players   Juniors: Draft all players. No core players will be selected. No pre-drafting of pitchers or “B” players. An open draft, all players are draftable, no automatic pass for “Buddies”. Seniors: Draft all players. No core players will be selected.  

5.2   Team Rosters   Junior Division team rosters will be formed by a draft of all eligible (paid up) members at draft time from the ages sixty (60) and up, and all other players requesting to play in the Junior Division.   Any player not selected in the Junior draft will automatically be entered into the Senior draft.

5.3   Draft Order   Juniors and Seniors: All teams draw a number (If 6 teams then 1 through 6). Whoever draws # 1 will have the 1st pick, # 2 the 2nd pick, # 3 the 3rd pick, # 4 the 4th pick, # 5 the 5th pick, # 6 the 6th pick, and then proceed in reverse order 6-5-4-3-2-1, then back again 1-2-3-4-5-6. Etc, etc, etc. Note: After the 1st pick, both team # 1 and # 6 will have double picks. 
SENIORS: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1-1 ETC. (10 teams)
JUNIORS: 1-2-3-4-5-6-6-5-4-3-2-1-1-2-3-4-5-6-6-5-4-3-2-1-1 ETC. (6 teams)

5.4   Drafting Managers    Managers will not be drafted; they will be assigned to the team they are managing.

Rule 6Batting

6.1   Senior Ball/Strike Count   Each batter will start with a one (1) ball and one (1) strike count in the Senior Division and one (1) ball and one (1) strike in the Junior Division.

6.2   Number Fouls   A foul after two (2) strikes is an out in the Seniors. Two (2) fouls after two (2) strikes is an out in the Juniors.

Rule 7  Pitching

7.1  Legal Pitch   A legal pitch is a minimum of six (6) feet from the ground, and maximum of twelve (12) feet from the ground. Striking any portion of the 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 Rule 1.6 for details governing the placement of the Pitcher’s Safety Screen. A batters first batted ball hitting the screen, if not touched by a defensive player prior to hitting the screen shall
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    JUNIOR DIVISION - Allow runners for batter from home plate. A Batter/Runner will stand behind a line drawn from the back corner on the lefthanders side of the Batter’s Box perpendicular (right angle) to the screen. (If Batter’s Box line is not present, the length of a Bat away from the Home Plate Point, then perpendicular to the screen will be used. The criteria used for substitute runners for the batter will be injured or hurt (NOT SLOW). In the Junior Division 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 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 managers must agree on a runner or it defaults to the last batter in the line. 
Senior Division can have as many runners as needed as agreed to by the managers before the game. Any player may run for the batter at any base he safely reached before the next pitch. In the Senior Division, 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 to 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 Plate/Line. The runner shall be called out if he touches or crosses over any portion of the Strike Zone Mat.   No tags are allowed on runners that have passed the Commitment Line by defensive players.   Once a runner or (any part of his body) touches the ground on, or beyond the Commitment Line, the runner may not go back toward third base. Violation of this rule will result in the runner being called out.

8.3   Scoring Plate   To score, a base runner must touch the Scoring Plate or 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 judgment, the runner deliberately hit or could reasonably have been expected to minimize or avoid the contact under the circumstances and failed to do so.

8.5  1st 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 baseman can tag a runner before he touches first base for an out.  To avoid collision, fielder or runner may use other base.

Rule 9  Scoring

9.1  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 10The Game

10.1   Required Innings    All players who are physically able to play must play in each game. All players must play at least three (3) innings in each game for the Seniors and four (4) innings for the Juniors on defense unless physically unable to play, or you are the Designated Hitter and the opposing manager must be notified. Senior teams will be allowed as many runners as needed due to injury or physical disability as agreed to by the managers before the game and two (2) runners for the Juniors because of injury or physical disability to have a designated runner (DR) starting at home plate. A player removed because of 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.

10.2   Line Up Cards   The managers of each team will exchange lineup cards if requested (prior to start of game) listing the offensive players in the order in which they will bat.

10.3   Regular Season Schedule   A round robin schedule shall be used during regular season play.

10.4  Rain Outs   Rained-out games will be rescheduled as to the time and day by the Umpire-in-Chief with the approval of the managers involved. Games 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 (4 ½) innings if 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 the game starts, the umpires working the game will make the decision if the game can continue.

10.6   Time Limits   SENIORS: Game time limit is one and one-half (1 ½) hours unless the game is tied assuming (enough innings have been played) to constitute a complete game. No inning is to start after the time limit unless the game is tied. This rule will apply to regular season only. Tie breaking playoff games will have no time limit. A game that is tied at the end of regulation time (after seven (7) innings for Seniors, nine (9) innings for Juniors 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).   JUNIORS: Will not have a time limit.

10.7   Innings Played    Seniors will play seven (7) inning games. A fifteen (15) run “Mercy” rule will be in effect after five (5) innings, or four and one-half (4 ½) innings if the home team is ahead, thus ending the game. This rule does not apply to post season tournament or tie-breaking playoff games. Juniors will play nine (9) inning games. A fifteen (15) run 

"Mercy" rule will be in effect after seven (7) innings, or six and one-half (6 ½) innings if the home team is ahead, thus ending the game. This rule does not apply to post season tournament or tie-breaking playoff 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 managers before 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.

Rule 11Dead Ball – Ball in Play

11.1   Dead Ball   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 this procedure will result in the ball being ruled in play.

Rule 12Umpires

12.1   Umpires   The Umpire-in-Chief will be in charge of all umpires and will be a member of the Rules Committee. His Duties will be: 1. Establish a list of qualified Umpires. 2. Assign an umpire(s) to each scheduled game. 3. Schedule 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 submitted in writing and presented to any member of the Rules Committee before the next scheduled game of 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 14Deadlines

14.1   Deadlines   The deadline set for filing applications for league membership for the current year is June 1st, and the deadline for trading of players with the consent of both managers and the players involved is May 15th. The Junior Division 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 application for league membership shall be determined by the Governing Body.

Rule 15Playoffs

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. Home team will be determined by a coin toss.

15.3   Playoffs   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.
JUNIORS: The Juniors will play a split season with a best of three (3) game playoff 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.

SENIORS: The Seniors will have their playoffs at the end of the season with the top four (4) teams participating.
First Place Team vs Fourth Place Team Third Place Team vs Second Place Team They will play one game with the two winners playing the best of three (3) for the championship. In the event of a tie, there will be a one game tie-breaker. The First and Second place teams will have the option to be the Home or Away team for the playoff game.
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 16Evaluations

16.1   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 the junior division, he can enter the junior draft and if not selected he will then be put in the senior draft. They will be evaluated on hitting, fielding, throwing, and running, and given a grade of A, B, C, D or E. This information will then be available for the draft.

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 give it to your manager, any officer, or any member of the Governing Body and they will submit it to the Rules Chairman.

Rule 18Points of Emphasis (P.O.E.)

18.1  Unreasolvable Disagreements   Unreasolvable disagreements between a player and manager regarding his team assignment shall be referred to the Governing Body. 

18.2   Injured players   All injured players must have a Doctor’s release to return to an active roster.

18.3   Refusal to Play   A player refusing to play on the team drafting him will be suspended unless a trade can be made.

18.4   Conduct   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 permitted on or off the fields: players will be ejected from the game and be suspended for the next game. A second offense 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.