These are the general rules of the Majors Division of (DSBP) Devon Strafford and Berwyn Paoli Little League Softball for the Spring 2018 season. Except as specifically modified herein, all 2018 Little League Official Regulations and Playing Rules (“LL Rules”) will be followed. Note that certain LL Rules may be restated below for convenience. To the extent there is a dispute regarding these general rules, the decision/interpretation of the Vice President of Softball shall be conclusive.
Every player on a team roster in attendance shall participate in the game. Coaches should make all reasonable attempts to cause each player, who is in attendance for the entire game, to play at least two (2) innings in the field per game.
Each team will bat all players in consecutive order, including players who are not playing in the field.
Any player injured or who otherwise leaves the game early (and will not return) will be skipped in the order (no automatic out). If a player is injured or otherwise leaves the game early and the coach desires to have the right to have such player return to the game, the player will be skipped in the order and an automatic out will be charged for any such skipped at bat.
Any late player after the game begins will be added to the last position in the batting order.
Coaches may substitute freely; players may re-enter game at any position (including pitcher).
Games are scheduled for 6 innings
No inning can begin after 1 hour 30 minutes has passed from teh start of play: provided, however, subject to field availability (e.g. no games scheduled immediately after the game in question) and prior to the start of the game, both coaches and the home plate umpire may agree to extend the time for which a new inning may begin from the start of play. The umpire shall keep the official time.
Defensive play shall consist of nine (9) players, including three (3) outfielders. If a team has less than nine (9) eligible players but at least six (6) eligible players at the start of the game, the team may play the game with that number of players in attendance- and will borrow defensive players from the other team or call up minor league players to field 9 players on the field. The team will bat all players in attendance and will not be charged with an automatic out for having less than nine (9) players in the batting order. If a team starts a game with less than nine (9) eligible players and one or more eligible players arrive after the start of the game, such players will be added to the end of the batting order and will be permitted to join defensive play upon being ready to play (in uniform and ready to immediately participate in play) and upon completion of the current batter’s at bat (and completion of the live action incurring from such at bat).
If a team does not have at least six (6) eligible players within ten (10) minutes after the scheduled start time of the game, the team shall forfeit the “official” game; provided, however, the teams are encouraged to play a scrimmage game during the allotted time with whatever players are available, including the sharing of players if necessary to have sufficient players on a team.
If during a game, one or more players become unable to continue to play as a result of injury or illness and, as a result, a team ceases to have at least six (6) eligible players, the team shall forfeit the “official” game unless the following criteria are met: (i) at least four (4) innings (five (5) in the playoffs) have been completed (3.5 innings in regular season/4.5 innings in the the playoffs if the team is the home team), and (ii) the team in question is leading the game by more than five (5) runs (7 runs in the playoffs). If during a game, a team ceases to have at least six (6) eligible players other than as a result of injury or illness, then the team will forfeit the game. If a forfeiture occurs, the teams are encouraged to continue playing the game as a scrimmage game during the allotted time with whatever players are available, including the sharing of players if necessary to have sufficient players on a team.
The pitcher will pitch from 40’ using a 12” softball, and must conform to all LL Rules.
Pitchers are limited to 4 innings per game.
One pitch thrown in an inning constitutes a full inning pitched.
A player once removed as a pitcher may pitch again in the same game.
In an effort to keep the game moving, if there are two outs, a catcher who has reached base, may be replaced as a base runner.
4. Five Run Rule
A team will retire to the field when it suffers 3 outs or scores 5 runs. The 5 run rule will apply in the last inning of a game. There is no 10 run mercy rule during the regular season.
There will be NO 5 run rule during the Major Division playoffs; the 10 run mercy rule will be in effect. (i.e., after 4 innings, or 3 1⁄2 if the home team is ahead by 10 runs, the game is official and complete).
5. Live Ball/Infield Fly Rule/Dropped Third Strike Rule
Live Ball: The ball remains in play and is live until returned to and controlled in an 8’ circle around the pitchers mound. If a circle has not been drawn, the managers will reasonably agree to the circle.
Infield Fly Rule: Fair fly ball which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when 1st and 2nd, or 1st, 2nd and 3rd bases are occupied before there are 2 outs. Umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly” and the batter is out. The ball is live and runners may advance at the risk of being caught. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.
The Third Strike Drop Ball rule is in effect for Majors Division for all games played on and after May 1. A catcher must catch a pitched ball before it hits the ground for the batter to be out on a third strike. If the catcher drops the ball after the third strike and 1st base is occupied, the batter is out and cannot advance to first. If the catcher catches the third strike foul tip the batter is out.
o Offensive-a member of the team at bat interferes with the fielder attempting to
make a play. If the umpire declares the runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base legally touched.
o Catcher/Defensive-fielder hinders a batter from hitting a pitch.The batter is awarded the base.
o Obstruction: a fielder who while not in possession of the ball, and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of the runner. By judgment of the umpire, the runner may be awarded the base. In other words, players that do not have the ball and are covering a base or home plate may not obstruct the runner.
Runners must attempt to avoid contact (this is a LL Rule). Sliding is not mandatory, however, runners who do not slide to avoid contact will be called out if contact results from the play.
Head first slides are not allowed except when a player is attempting to return to the previous base.
A player may attempt to steal a base after the ball is released by the pitcher. Stealing home is permitted. For all games played on and after May 1, a runner leaving early will be called out. Prior to May 1, a runner leaving early will be required to return to the applicable base. If Prior to May 1, a runner leaves early and a ball is put into play, the umpire will determine if such runner would have likely been out if not for leaving early and if so, the umpire will call such runner out. If the umpire determines that such runner would not have likely been out, then the runner will be required to return one prior base if unoccupied (if occupied the runner will remain on the current base). For example, if a runner is on first and leaves early and the batter puts the ball into play and the umpire determines that a forced out at second would have likely occurred if not for the base runner leaving early, the base runner shall be called out. If the umpire determines that the runner who left early would not likely have been out at second but there is a force out at first, the runner on second will return to first (or if the runner advanced to third, the runner will be required to return to second). If the umpire determines that the runner who left early would not likely have been out at second and the runner at first is safe, the runner on second will remain on second and play will continue.
A team will suspend stealing (players may still leave a base after the ball is released by the pitcher to be in a position to run if a ball is put in play) during any period of the game in which that team leads by six (6) or more runs.
A player may attempt to bunt/slap at any time.
Players may not show a bunting position/fake a bunt and then pull back and swing at a pitch.
7. Home vs. Visitor
The home team will occupy the third base dugout.
The home team is responsible for paying the umpire(s).
The home team will be responsible for lining the field and ensuring that a regulation size pitching rubber is securely placed (actually fastened to the ground) on the field at the proper pitching distance (40’ measured from the back point of home plate to the front of the pitching rubber). There are parents that volunteered for this job- please check with the VP of softball for the list of volunteers.
The home team is responsible for staffing the snackbar at Toscani
8. Bat Swinging/Bat Throwing
There is no on-deck batter. Only the batter at the plate may have a bat in hand. All other players are to remain at the bench or in the dugout.
The first three (3) batters each inning and each subsequent batter shall have a helmet on in preparation for her at-bat.
All players on the team at bat shall either stay on the bench, in the dugout, or behind the fence. No player should be running around or leaving the dugout area.
After hitting the ball, batters must drop the bat and run down the first base line. Throwing the bat once will result in a warning by the umpire; after the first occurrence, should that player throw a bat again, she will be called out after the natural stoppage of play.
Two adult base coaches may be used.
Coaches must be have their Pennsylvania Child Clearances
After requesting a time out, and after receiving permission from the umpire, a coach may:
o Approach the umpire for a rule clarification
o Go to the mound to confer with the pitcher. The catcher and other infielders may be called into the conference.
A coach may visit the pitcher twice in one inning. Should there be a third time out to visit the pitcher, the player must be removed as the pitcher.
A coach may call one timeout per inning to conference with an offensive player.
Game winning coaches are responsible for submitting final score.
All LL Rules apply during the playoffs with the following changes and clarifications below:
Continuous batting order is still utilized during the playoffs.
No infield Fly
The higher seeded team will always be the home team. This means the number 1 seeded team will always be home and the lowest seeded team will always be the visitor.
There will be NO 5 run rule during the Major Division Playoffs; the 10 run mercy rule will be in effect. (i.e., after 4 innings, or 3 1⁄2 if the home team is ahead by 10 runs, the game is official and complete).
There is no time limit on the championship game. Teams will play a 6 inning game- however please note mercy rule is in effect.
The suspension on stealing during periods of the game in which a team is leading by 6 or more runs will not apply.
Pitchers may pitch up to four (4) innings in any playoff game, including the final championship game.
Players may not show a bunting position/fake a bunt and then pull back and swing at a pitch.
All pitchers must wear a protective face mask/guard at all times.
Coaches should encourage all players to wear a protective face mask/guard at all times while playing in the field, particularly third base and first base.
All bats and batting helmets must comply with 2018 Little League International standards (bats must include a current 1.20 bpf stamp).
Metal cleats are prohibited.
All play will be with a standard 12” regulation softball; which has maximum compression of .375 and a maximum COR of .47.