In Division A, all bats that are stamped as 1.2 or 1.21 (BPF), “by the manufacturer” , are legal. In Divisions B and C, all bats must have either the “ASA 2000” approved logo or the “ASA Certified 2004” approved logo stamped on the shaft of the bat “by the manufacturer”. If a player uses an unapproved bat and it is challenged and discovered by the opposing coach during play, the rules of MSCSA take effect.
Prior to the start of all games, it is the responsibility of the home team’s coach to ensure that one new and one “in good shape” used ball are available. Both coaches should ensure that both balls match our league specifications, which are:
12 inch balls with a .44 COR and 375 Ibs. of compression
Yellow or white balls are allowed, but yellow is preferred
All balls used during a game must be the same color
Ladies will hit the same ball as men
At anytime during the game a ball is discovered not to match our league specifications, it should immediately be removed from the game and replaced by the home team with an appropriate ball.
In all softball games the playing fields are erratic. There is always the possibility for your footwear to slide, especially if you are not wearing cleats. The outfield may still have dew on it. The infield may have soft dirt that gives way too easily - especially coming out of the batter's box. All the bases may be moist.
Tennis shoes should not be worn, especially outfielders, in a softball game or practice as they dramatically enhance the chances of knee and ankle injuries during play. Some form of rubberized cleats are recommended for play in the MSCSA League.
Runners to Second or Third Base – Divisions B & C Only
Continually remind your players that the MSCSA Rules clearly state that if a runner does not touch second or third base, but chooses to run past the bag, if they do so on the same side of the bag as the incoming ball, or defensive play , they should be called out by one of the umpires. Also, if they touch second or third base while "running through" the bag, they are still live and can be tagged out before returning to the base.
KEY POINT stressed by the professional trainer --- stretching a "cold muscle" does no good what-so-ever; therefore:
1) Start with "jumping jacks" or jogging in place. Some need to do more, but for most around 50 jumping jacks or 1 full minute of running in place is a good number.
2) Next jog the equivalent distance of 2-3 times around the outer area of the infield. Usually one trip to the outfield fence and back is enough. Jog at your own speed but try not to stop until you return to the starting point.
3) Keeping your knees straight, try to touch your fingers to the ground - straight down, then try to touch your palms to the ground. While bent over, reach forward as far as you can, then reach back under your legs as far as you can. Remember to try and keep your knees straight at all times. Stand up-right, then repeat this 2-3 more times.
4) Holding your hands together and your arms extended straight up in the air - elbows locked, keeping your hips straight, bend to your left as far as you can and hold for a count of 5, then to your right for a count of 5. Repeat 2-3 more times.
5) Holding your hands together and your arms extended straight up in the air - elbows locked, rotate your hips as far left as you can and point your hands towards the ground for a count of 5, straighten up, then to your right for a count of 5. Repeat 2-3 more times.
6) Using one hand, push the elbow of your other arm as high and as far back as possible, without pain, and hold for a count of 8-10. Then do the same with the other arm. Repeat 2-3 more times.
7) Place one foot on something about waist high (a chain link fence works well), try to grab your toe on that foot and pull your body as tight as you can against your leg and hold for a count of 10. Then do the other leg. Repeat 2-3 more times.
8) Lastly, grasp your left ankle with your left hand and try to force the heel of your foot into your rear and hold for a count of 10. Then do the other leg. Repeat 2-3 more times.
Remember not to count too fast - the 8-10 should be close to 8-10 seconds.
Good luck – and stay healthy.
Home Plate Umpire / Coach
Your Home Plate umpire should also serve as a coach to any member of your team that is running from third base to home plate. To avoid potential injury, we do not want any runner proceeding from third base to home plate to get hit with a throw coming towards home plate, nor should the runner have any contact with the catcher.
Therefore, your home plate umpire should serve as a coach advising all runners to steer their path to the “scoring line” that is positioned 8’ to the right of home plate. Any player that runs between home plate and the edge of the scoring line closest to home plate should automatically be called out - but if the home plate umpire directs every runner to the scoring line, this should never occur.
While doing so they must also remember to serve as an umpire for any play at home plate. The runner’s foot must strike the “scoring line”, or cross over the "scoring line" and be on the ground before the catcher has control of the ball in his/her glove with their foot on home plate (not the rubber mat).
Substitute Runner From Home (Divisions B & C)
All coaches should instruct pinch runners (for batters) to clearly stand behind the “courtesy runner” line. A 2014 change to our Rules --- if a runner crosses this line on a missed swing, the hitter is no longer out. The hitter is recorded a strike and the courtesy runner repositions themselves behind the courtesy runner line.