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MSCSA DAY LEAGUE PLAYING RULES

(As of February 11, 2015)

  1. PLAYING FIELD: The home team is responsible for procuring the playing field and ensuring that it is in good playing condition, including line markings, bases and a regulation mat
    1. REGULATION MAT: A strike zone mat will be used. The mat will be 17" wide, and 24" long, measured from the end of the mat to the tip of each side of the mat that abuts to the backside of home plate. The end of the mat that abuts home plate will have a "V" shaped notch that will conform to the outline of the backside of home plate.
    2. BASES: Bases will be sixty-five (65) feet apart.
    3. PITCHING RUBBER: The front of the pitching rubber shall be 50 feet from the back point of home plate.
    4. ADDITIONAL LINE MARKINGS: Courtesy Runner Line - A line in foul territory, parallel to the third base line and five feet further back from first base than the third base line. Run Through LinesFour (4) foot lines, starting two (2) feet away from the base, on each side of second and third bases at the base edge nearest to the previous base and running parallel with the base edge. Commitment Line - A line twenty feet from the front edge of home plate closest to third base across the third base line. Scoring Line - A 3-5’ line in foul territory that is perpendicular to the third base line and starts eight (8) feet away from the front edge of home plate closest to third base.
  2. BATS:  All bats must have an ASA approved logo stamped on the shaft of the bat “by the manufacturer”, of have 1.21 or 1.20 stamped on the bat by the manufacturer. All ASA logos must be clearly visible, the entire ASA logo, or the bat cannot be used for play. In 2016, ASA has ruled that certain Easton bats are no longer approved, and they are listed on ASA's website at http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/News/2016/January/22/An-important-message-about-updates-to-Certified-Bats. Lastly, the Miken MSU Ultra and the Miken MSUM Ultra Maxload are illegal bats for our league.
  3. PENALTY: During play, a player found to have used an illegal bat, before the next batter receives their first pitch, will be immediately ejected from the remainder of that game. If noticed before a pitch is thrown to the next batter, the umpire shall call the batter out who used the bat and is now on base. The bat shall be removed from the game, the play will be called a “dead ball” play, and all runners must return to the base they occupied at the time of the batted ball.   If the same player has a second violation in the same season, that person will be suspended for the next four league games.  This suspension will carry over through the post-season tournament and into the next season as necessary. If the same player has a third violation in the same season, that person will be suspended from the league for the remainder of the season, to include tournaments. The manager of the ejected or suspended player shall notify all other managers in their division of play, and the Executive Committee, of the initial ejection as well as any second offense resulting in a suspension, or third offense resulting in suspension from the league. This notification must be submitted in writing (ex: via email) on the same day as the ejection or suspension occurs.
  4. BALLS: The home team shall furnish two (one new and one very good used) ASA approved 12-inch balls. All play will be with .52/300 compression balls for each game. Women players will bat the same ball as the men. The ball cover will be yellow. At any time during the game, if a ball is discovered not to match MSCSA league specifications, it shall immediately be removed from the game and replaced by the home team with an appropriate ball.
  5. PLAYERS: A roster player may not change teams during the season without their Manager's approval. Division B and C teams are allowed a maximum of eleven defensive players. A B team may use non-roster players from the lower Division but must forfeit the game. Players from the opposing team may be used without forfeit if the opposing manager agrees to let them play. All teams must start and finish the game with at least nine of their roster players, otherwise they forfeit the game, unless the opposing manager agrees to supply players to prevent the forfeit. Players may be substituted for at the manager's discretion. If a person not in the batting order once the game starts, enters the game as a pinch hitter, that person must play the next inning on defense, for at least one inning. In all Divisions, if a player is taken out of the game, to include being taken out of the batting order, he can return but must return in the same batting order. For season play, once the game has started, if a player is taken out of the game due to an injury or requirement that the person exit the softball complex, and there is no one to substitute for him, the team will not be required to take an automatic out in that player’s batting turn as the game progresses. But at tournament time, if this happens, the team will take an out if this person’s turn at bat arrives and he/she is unavailable to hit. On defense, players may be swapped in and out of a game at any position, at the manager’s discretion, but they must bat and remain in their original batting order throughout the game. If a team starts a game with only 9 or 10 players, and the other team can only supply defensive players, the team that is short will not be charged an out in their 10th and/or their 11th batting positions.
    1. MIMIMUM AGE REQUIREMENTS: Players reaching the minimum ages shown below at any time during the current calendar year are eligible to play during that year. Managers shall verify their player's ages as shown on the Player Agreement and Liability Waiver. Suitable identification is required – either a copy of a birth certificate, a valid Texas driver’s license, or some other official document as may be required by the Board of Directors.

Men in B Divisions:  55  .... Men in C Divisions:  65  .... Women in all Divisions: 40

  1. MANAGERS: The manager is responsible for the team's actions on the field and represents the team in communication with the umpire and opposing team. He must have a team roster at all games and must present it to the opposing manager upon request. Managers may ask for proof of age of any opposing team player they choose; and the manager of the opposing team player has ten days to comply.   Managers shall inform their players that a copy of all MSCSA league rules are available on the league’s website, www.dfwseniorsoftball.com, and the manager should review these rules with all of their players before the season begins.
  1. CONDUCT:  Arguing with the umpire, unsportsmanlike conduct of any kind and/or use of inappropriate language or hand gestures will not be tolerated.   If the situation is not resolved by the offender’s manager or assistant manager, the opposing team’s manager will make a complaint in writing, of the incident(s) accompanied with witnesses’ names and phone numbers to the league’s 5 members of the Executive Committee. The Committee will interview everyone involved and the Vice President will announce a proper resolution to all which will include, if deemed appropriate, disciplinary action taken by the Executive Committee.
  1. PLAY OF THE GAME:
    1. The Home Team for each game has first choice of dugouts, regardless of which team arrives first to play.
    2. OFFICIAL GAME: A regulation game shall consist of seven innings. When a team has scored five runs in one inning (innings one through six) it must take the field. Each team may score an unlimited number of runs in the last inning. Due to weather or other causes, a game is considered complete if five full innings have been played. The score of five full innings, four and one-half if the home team is ahead, or six full innings, five and one-half if the home team is ahead, whichever is the maximum number played at the time the game is halted, will determine who won the game. In case of doubleheader games, the two coaches may agree to play five (5), six (6) or seven (7) inning games; or any combination.
    3. PITCHING: The pitcher will become set for one second and then release the ball within five seconds. The pitcher may release the ball from up to five (5) feet directly behind the rubber. For any batter, the pitcher must select a single location to pitch from and use it as if the pitching rubber was there, and must pitch from that location until the next batter in the line-up comes to the plate. A quick pitch (release of the ball before the batter becomes set) shall be called a ball by the umpire.
    4. BALLS AND STRIKES: The pitched ball must have a perceptible arc and reach a height of at least six (6) feet from the ground, while not exceeding a maximum height of twelve (12) feet from the ground or it is called a ball. The height of the pitched ball is based solely on the discretion and judgment of the home plate umpire. The pitched ball must also touch any part of the mat or home plate to be a strike. The batter is out on three strikes, on a third strike foul ball, or on a called "infield fly rule". An infield fly is to be called only by the Home Plate Umpire. To be an appropriate “infield fly out”, in the discretion of the home plate umpire, the ball must be deemed catchable with “ordinary effort” when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied with less than two outs. "Ordinary effort" applies to the capabilities of the defensive player or players involved.
    5. BATTING: The manager does not have to bat all of the players that are present but he must bat all of the active defensive players. The batting order must be followed throughout the game.  During league play only, if a runner is injured or required to leave the field of play for personal reasons, an out will not be taken when that player's turn at bat arises. In tournament play, ASA rules apply to this situation, and automatic outs are taken if a player that starts the game can no longer bat in their assigned rotation.
    6. COURTESY RUNNER: A courtesy runner may be used for a base runner at any time, but the same runner may not be used more than once per inning. Any courtesy runner found running more than once per inning will be called out. Another courtesy runner may not replace a courtesy runner unless an injury causes removal of the original courtesy runner permanently from the game. A courtesy runner on base, when it is his turn to bat, will be called out and will be removed from the base to come to bat.
    7. SUBSTITUTE RUNNER: In Division B and C games, a batter may have a substitute runner at any time including from home to first. The runner must start from behind the courtesy runner line. The batter is no longer out if the courtesy runner crosses the courtesy runner line when the batter swings at a ball and misses it.
    8. INTER-DIVISION PLAY: When teams of different divisions compete against each other, the playing rules of the lower division, if different, will apply.
    9. If a B Division team hits a home run, they cannot hit another home run until their opponent does so. If they do, it will be a declared a dead ball and an automatic out. But, after the first home run is hit, if the opponent also then hits one, then the opponent cannot hit another one until such time as the first team to do so, does so again. If the opponent does so, it will be declared a dead ball and the batter will be automatically out. There is no limit on the number of home runs hit in a game, as long as no single team hits two before their opponent hits one.
  2. BASE RUNNING: The rules for base running are intended to avoid contact between players in order to reduce the risk of injuries.
    1. RUNNER INTERFERENCE: The runner is out if there is, in the opinion of any umpire, intentional contact with the defensive player or the runner interferes with a defensive play. In the case of a defensive play, the runner may run out of the base path and/or miss the base in order to avoid a collision; but the runner can be tagged out if short of the base they are running to. Fielders must stay clear of the base(s) and base paths when they have no play on the ball. When an umpire calls "obstruction", the runner will be awarded the base to which they were headed to when the obstruction occurred.
    2. BASE RUNNER: In Divisions B and C, any player is out if he slides going into a base on any play; however, in all Divisions, a player may slide or dive when returning to a base. The runner is not automatically out if they leave any base when the batter swings at a pitched ball, as long as they do not leave the base before the pitched ball arrives at the plate. This decision rest with the home plate umpire.
    3. RUNNER TO FIRST BASE: The rules of ASA apply. On any play at first base, except for rounding the bag with an intent to possibly run to second base, or returning to the bag after passing first base, the runner must touch the orange base only. The defensive player must only use the white base. If the defensive player is pulled off the bag so that they are in the path of the runner, the runner may touch the white bag to avoid a collision, but at no time can a runner to first fail to touch one of the two bags (orange or white). If they fail to do so, they are still “live” and can be tagged out.
    4. RUNNER TO 2ND OR 3RD BASE: In Divisions B and C, at second and third base, the runner must run to the side of the base away from the direction of the incoming ball, or the defensive play, unless they are trying to continue on to the next base. If they “run through” the base and run on the same side of the bag as the incoming ball or the defensive play, they will be called out, unless, in the opinion of the umpires, the runner has to deviate from this course in an effort to avoid contact with the defensive player. In Divisions B & C, the runner must touch the “run through line”, or the ground beyond the “run through line”, for that base before the fielder catches the ball and has contact with the base or the runner will be called out. After running through a base, a runner may then turn either left or right provided there is no motion or attempt to advance to the next base. In running through a base, if the runner touches the base, he is live and subject to being tagged out (umpires' decision). In Divisions B & C, if he/she runs through the base, they must return and touch the base before attempting to advance. In all Divisions, once a runner has touched and rounded a base, he may dive or slide back into that base if play requires.
    5. RUNNER TO HOME: All plays at home plate are force plays. The runner to home must run in foul territory and abide by the commitment line. If he runs in fair territory, he shall be called out. Once he crosses the commitment line, he must continue to the scoring line, eight feet to the right of the front edge of home plate that is closest to third base. In order to score, the runner must touch the “scoring line” or the ground beyond the scoring line before the defensive player, while in possession of the ball, touches home plate only (not the mat). The runner is out if he runs between home plate and the starting point of the “scoring line”.
    6. TAG OUT OF THE RUNNER: The runner is out if tagged at any time prior to reaching 1st base, between bases, and between 3rd base and the 20 foot “commitment line”, except if they are running through 2nd or 3rd base and have touched the “run through line” or the ground beyond the “run through line” for that base before they are tagged. There are no tag outs between the 20’ commitment line and home plate.
  3. UMPIRES:   The team at bat will provide the home plate umpire and the first and third base umpires. The first and third base umpires are also the base coaches at their positions. The home plate umpire can, and should, also coach incoming runners to run to the scoring line 8 feet from home plate versus the home plate area. All home plate umpires should carefully observe all play on the field as any call at any base can be appealed to the home plate umpire for a final decision if a disagreement occurs on any call. While the home plate umpires call can override any call made by another umpire, if disagreement still persist, the two coaches are to get with the home plate umpire and the three of them attempt to agree on the proper call.

ASA RULES: In all other matters, the official rules of the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) will apply.

 

 

 
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