2018 League Rules
UPDATES as of June 1, 2018 - Please Review!
Updated Friday June 1, 2018 by Mens Club Softball.
Inter-congregational Men's Club Softball League Rules - 2018
(Updated June 1, 2018) - Please reveiw updates to rule #13.
Questions regarding these rules, than please email me so they can be addressed and discussed by team managers.
We follow ASA rules (each team will receive a printed rule book) with described exceptions below. ASA updates their rules periodically and they're listed here.
- EVERY PLAYER MUST have a signed waiver on file with the league prior to stepping foot in the batter’s box or on the field. Download -> here <- .
- Each team must pay a $100 deposit to secure their place prior to Jan 31st 2018. This deposit is applied toward final team’s dues to the league.
Each team’s full dues must be paid in full by May 1, 2018 or an additional charge of $50 per week assessment will be added to total costs. If not paid by the start of the first week of the season, team will forfeit all games until paid in full.
- Each team’s Manager must come out and talk to the umpire before the start of the game at the umpire meeting. Only the Manager should be talking to the umpires. If the Manager is not there, another player Captain must to be identified before the game. Any issue a team or player has with another team or player, during the game, has two options:
- Respectfully go to the other team’s Manager and discuss the problem, or
- Address with your team’s Manager and ask that he discuss with the Umpire to review the problem.
- When the game ends, no player shall approach any umpire once they have left the field to question a call from the game. If there are any issues with any of the umpires, please notify your team Manager or one of the league coordinators ASAP.
- Home run rule at Community Sports Park (on Keith Road) and Drake Sport’s Park, for our league: Each TEAM is entitled to TWO over-the-fence home runs per game. After which, any fair-ball hit over the fence will be counted as an OUT.
The team that hit the ball over the fence is responsible for shagging the ball!
- If a ball is hit into foul territory over the fence, the team on that side of the field must fetch the ball.
- GUEST (Away) team is listed first on the schedule and will sit on the 3rd base bench.
HOME team will sit on the 1st base bench.
HOME team is responsible to keep score on the posted score card near the 1st base bench. Schedule should match and is listed 'Away Team (3rd base bench) @ Home Team (1st base bench)'
- Each team must keep a score book and track at-bats, outs and runs for their own team. It is required to be at each game.
- We will be using a supplied strike mat. The Pitcher must underhand toss a pitch with a 6-10 ft. arc and the ball must land on the strike mat to be considered a strike. The Catcher is not to interfere with the landing of the ball. If the ball hits home plate, the call will be a ball. A player at bat will start with a 1 ball, 1 strike count.
- All bats must be ASA certified and labeled SLOW-PITCH softball bats. The umpires will check the bats before each game and these are the only bats allowed during the game. Each team must have game bats lined up in your dugout before the game. If somebody shows up late, it is their responsibility to show the bat to the umpire between innings and before the bat is used by any batter. If anybody then uses an unapproved (or illegal) bat once the game starts, the bat will be taken away until the end of the game, the batter will receive an automatic dead ball out.
- The Umpire will announce the start time at the beginning of each game. Each team must write this time in their scorebook for that game. No inning can start after the game time limit (1hr. 10 mins).
- We will have a second first base - next to first base (in foul territory). Upon hitting the ball, the batter/runner will run to the base in foul territory. The First Baseman will play the ball at the other (fair territory) bag, all to avoid injury. Runners MUST run to the foul territory first base. Fielders MUST play the ball to the fair territory first base. Players who run to the wrong base will be called out immediately - NO WARNING WILL BE ISSUED. Runners, who are interfered with by the fielder playing on the wrong base, will be given first base and, at Umpire’s discretion, one additional base.
- There will be a commit line drawn perpendicular to the third base line, approximately 15 feet down the line from third base toward home plate. Once a runner has touched or crossed the "Commitment Line", he or she has committed to trying to score and may not return to third base. A force play will now be in effect at the home-plate "scoring line." In the event that the runner returns to third base and does not try to score after having "committed", the runner will be called out by the Umpire. NO RUNNER CAN TOUCH HOME PLATE. ALL RUNNERS MUST RUN TO THE "SCORING LINE" while the fielder plays the plate or attempts to beat the runner by race to the line. If the runner does not run to the scoring line he will be called out.
The runner must run through the scoring line. The RUNNER SHOULD NEVER TOUCH HOME PLATE. The fielder must never tag the runner. If a runner touches home plate THEY WILL BE CALLED OUT even if they beat the force play. If the fielder touches the runner, the runner will be called safe.
- There can be no FAKE tags on a player. If there is no play at a base, and if a player makes a fake tag, he will be ejected from the game. In our league, there is no need for this and may cause somebody to slide for no reason or slow up and pull muscle or hamstring. We are a recreation league, therefore, there’s no reason to potentially cause injury to another player.
- Game balls will be supplied by a league representative to the umpires prior to the game, however, each team Manager must confirm that this occurred and is responsible to supply a game ball if necessary.
- Season AND playoff games will be up to 7 innings; an inning cannot start after 1 hour 10 minutes.
- No time limit for the Championship game.
- Regular season and playoff mercy rule is 12 runs after at least 5 innings played for all games.
- NO Mercy rule for Championship game.
- Players must be men, 18 or older to play—no exception. Players must be a member of their associated Temple’s Men’s Club/Brotherhood. Players cannot play for multiple teams, unless acting as a substitute player per rule #22 below.
- A team must start the game with at least 8 players. Game clock of 1Hr. 10Min starts at scheduled time. A team will be given a ten-minute grace period if they’re trying to field a team of less than 8 players (after start of game could have less because of injury and continue game).
- If a team starts a game with 8 or 9 players, the opposing team WILL supply a catcher, if requested, to catch the ball from the pitcher but not help make any plays once the ball is hit. Less than 8 players, the team loses by forfeit.
- If a team has only 7 or 8 of their own rostered players, they may pick up a MCS league (or TWO) player(s) from another team(s) to staff their team to a total of NINE players to play the game. This rule is for regular season only.
- To be eligible to play in the playoffs, a player must have played in at least 25% of the regular season games for that team.
- These added players MUST bat last in the batting order and can only play Catcher, Right Field, Right-Center field, first or second base.
- If there is a forfeit, the score will be 7-0.
- All fielders must bat.
- A team is entitled to a maximum of TWO courtesy runners per inning. Upon a hit, the batter must make it to first base safely prior to requesting a courtesy runner.
- If a player walks and needs a courtesy runner, they may request from the umpire for a runner without completing the walk to first base (to save time).
- If a courtesy runner is requested, the person who made the last RECORDED out on the batting team will be made available as the courtesy runner.
- If there is no Last RECORDED OUT (i.e., because it’s early in the first inning), the last batter in the batting order will be the runner; Second to last for the second runner if required.
- Please note that regardless of injury, only TWO courtesy runners will be permitted per inning for the at-bat team. Courtesy runners, therefore, will no longer have anything to do with injury, thus if a team bats around in the batting order, and a player who, at their previous at-bat, made it safely to first and required a runner, will only be eligible for a runner the second time if the second runner has not been used by that team in that inning.
- Bases are pre-set at the field at 70 ft. apart and pitching mound is 50 feet. We will rely on WB Township’s Parks and Recreation maintenance personnel to set the bases and pitching mound prior to our arrival. NOTE: there is to be no infield practice on the field before the game starts. Players can toss the ball in foul territory or in the outfield. The Pitcher can practice from pitchers mound to a catcher. Please be courteous and don’t destroy the base lines or batter’s box lines.
- We follow the following rule regarding interference/obstruction: No base runner or fielder shall intentionally collide with any opposing runner or fielder. If a base runner causes the collision, the base runner shall be called out (and at the umpires discretion, the base runner may be ejected from the game).
- Catcher cannot block the plate, and fielders cannot block the base—with or without the ball. If there is a play at any base, and the fielder/catcher blocks the base/plate (giving the runner no area to at least slide into), the umpire can eject the fielder at his discretion (and runner is safe).
- A runner must avoid collision and/or give himself up. If a runner collides into the fielder at a base (who is clearly at the base) the runner can also be ejected at the umpire’s discretion (and runner is out). For example, if there is a play at 2nd and the runner glides into second, does not slide, touches his foot on the base, and does not even touch the fielder, this is legal. The group agreed this happens in most games all the time—bottom line is to make sure no collision, which means, if you are going full speed and don’t want to slow down, you are probably going to have to slide.
- If a player is ejected from the game, he will be required to leave the field of play, the surrounding fields/area and parking lot immediately. A player ejected from a game will be counted as an automatic OUT at their next at-bat in the batting rotation for that game.
- A player ejected will be REQUIRED to sit out the next scheduled game and possibly (a) future scheduled game(s).
- If a player is ejected the Umpire will contact league commissioner or designee to inform him of the ejection.
- If a player is ejected from a game for running into a player (usually catcher at home plate), after the game, there can be a discussion between the umpire and the manager of the team of that player that was ejected to determine if he deserves the next game ejection. The only reason not to give the next game ejection is if umpire determines the contact was NOT intentional. This is an exception to next game ejection rule.
- If a player leaves a game early, it will count as an out in the batting line-up unless they cannot play because of injury.
- If it is determined by the league that any player is making any verbal threats to harm another player on another team before, during, or after a game, the league has the right to remove the player from the league for the rest of the season. In addition, if it is determined by the league that a player purposely, and with intent, injures another player during the game, the league has the right to remove that player from the league for the rest of the season. We will first ask the umpires their opinion on this situation, and then discuss it with both team captains, after the game, before a decision is made. This must be brought up as an issue before the game is complete to the Umpire so they can make a tentative ruling.
- Each team is responsible for cleanup around the field and dugout after their game.
- Teams who play the late games will be responsible to be sure all trash is removed from dugouts and surrounding field areas, etc.
- Check website (http://mensclubsoftball.org) for rainouts, the morning of the game - or call your team’s Manager. Games will be called AT THE FIELD unless notified otherwise, so plan to show even if it’s raining for a final decision.
- The umpire’s call, whether questionable or not, is FINAL. If game has two umpires, the home-plate umpire is the “in-charge” umpire and a team manager can request the in-charge umpire to consult for a second opinion from the field umpire. A team’s captain can as the in-charge Umpire for clarification of a call or rule, however that doesn’t reverse an umpire’s call.
- There will be one umpire at all regular season games.
- There will be two umpires at all semi-final games and at the Championship game
- A request for each team is expected to have first aid kit and ice available for each game.
- Playoff Seeding, 2017 season:
- ALL teams will make the playoffs
- W-L-T record
- # wins
- Head to Head W-L-T record (two way ties only)
- Head to Head run differential (two way ties only)
- Total runs allowed
- Total runs Scored
- Coin toss
For the playoff seedings, there will be no reseeding the brackets after each round.
Refer to schedule at: http://mensclubsoftball.org
Please understand these rules. Get back to your manager with any questions.
** Questions regarding the rules?? email me so they can be discussed. **
Here's a link to some online references:
Purchase a digital copy of the ASA Rulebook at the App Store for iOS
Amateur Softball Association (ASA)
National Softball Association Online rulebooks
(NSA PDF rulebook - NOTE the ASA rulebook is not available as a PDF that I can find).
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