Pecan Plantation Men’s Senior Softball
Rules and Regulations
Where not specified in the following, all Rules from the current Official ASA Rulebook will be in effect, including use of a separate scoring plate and a double first base to prevent collisions and injuries, a strike zone mat, courtesy base runners, commitment lines, all players in the batting line-up, a five-run rule per team per inning (with the exception of the last inning for the team trailing in the score). The purpose of these rule changes is to promote a safe, enjoyable, and competitive game for all participants. Each team manager, player, and umpire affiliated with the Pecan Plantation Men’s Senior Softball League shall be knowledgeable of and abide by the following special senior softball rules which apply to our league.
1. The Playing Field
The layout of the current field at the Pecan Activities Center is in accordance with most of the ASA Rulebook.
Strike Zone Mat: A strike zone mat will be used. The mat will be 17 inches wide and 24 inches long measured from the end of the mat to the tip of each side that abuts the backside of home plate. The end of the mat that abuts home plate shall have a v-shaped notch that will conform to the outline of the backside of home plate. Together, home plate and the strike zone mat will form a rectangular shape 17 inches by 32.5 inches.
Bases: It is mandatory that first base be a safety base, 15 by 30 inches, half white and half orange, and not more than three inches high. First base (safety base) shall be positioned so that the white portion is where first base would normally be in fair territory and the orange half shall be in foul territory. Safety lines will be marked three feet either side and along the front edge of second and third bases. Baserunners will be allowed to cross these lines in lieu of tagging the base in the event of a play on the baserunner at that base (please see Section 4 on Base Runners).
Courtesy Runner Line: A courtesy runner starting line will be marked at home plate as an extension of the third base foul line crossing home plate and extending eight feet into foul territory on the left-hand batter side of home plate. The courtesy runner must remain behind this line until the batter hits the ball.
Commitment Line: A three foot commitment line shall be marked across and perpendicular to the third base foul line and placed 20 feet from the back left corner of home plate If a base runner crosses this line, he is committed to continue to the scoring plate. If the runner crosses the commitment line and re-crosses the line , he will be declared out and the ball will remain alive.
Scoring Plate: The back point of the Scoring Plate is located 8 feet diagonally from the left front of Home Plate. The Scoring Plate should be anchored to the ground to prevent slippage and should not change position during the game. The Umpire is responsible for keeping the Scoring Plate clean as often as Home Plate
2. The Game
Umpires: The umpires assigned to work our games are considered representatives of our League and as such are authorized and required to enforce each and every section of the Official Rules. Umpires have the power to request any manager or player to do or omit to do any act which in their judgment is necessary to give force and compliance to one and all of the Rules, and to inflict necessary penalties. The Umpire’s responsibilities extend to all parts of the field and his duties and jurisdiction encompass all those duties normally covered when more than one umpire is assigned. The Umpire also has the responsibility to move the game along as fast as possible. Umpire’s judgment decisions may not be appealed on the grounds that he was not correct for the following:
1. On a decision involving a ball or strike
2. That a batted ball was fair or foul.
3. That a base runner was safe or out
4. When a game is called for weather or other logical reasons
The Umpire shall reverse no decision involving his judgment unless he himself is convinced he was in error.
Players and Replacements: If a team in unable to field a team with at least nine players by the scheduled start time, that team will suffer a forfeit (score 7-0). Replacement players (if available) may be added to bring the team with the forfeit into equal manning with the opposing team in order to play a non-official game. All League rules will apply to these non-official games.
Pitch Count: The official count to each batter shall be four balls and three strikes with every batter starting with and 1 and 1 count. An intentional base on balls may be delivered by the pitcher by notifying the umpire without pitching the required four balls. After two strikes, the batter is allowed one courtesy foul ball. A second foul ball after two strikes will be declared an out.
Length of Game: A regulation game is seven innings. When the time limit of 75 minutes expires, the umpire will clearly announce to both team managers that the teams will finish that inning and play one more complete inning if necessary. If there is an injury during the game that requires medical attention, the clock will be stopped and will resume when the umpire calls “play ball.”
Tie Game: If the game is tied after seven innings, the time limit rule will be waived and the game shall continue for no more than three additional innings, at which time if the game is still tied, the game will be ruled a tie with a half-game awarded to each team.
Five Run Rule: Each team is limited to scoring five runs per inning except when trailing their opponent in the last inning. If a visiting team is trailing in the last inning, they may be allowed to score as many runs as they can.
Appeal Play: An appeal play is a play on which an umpire may not make a decision until requested by a manager or player. The appeal must be made before the next legal or illegal pitch or before all infielders have left fair territory on the way to their dugout. Types of appeals may include the following:
1. Missing a base or touching only the white portion of the first base when a play
is being made.
2. Leaving a base on a tag-up before the ball is caught.
3. Batting out of order.
Protests: Protests will generally not be filed in the instance of an interpretation of the rules. The only protests which will be reviewed by the League officers will involve those concerning use of an ineligible player and must be filed within 24 hours by e-mail to any League officer.
Shoes: In the interest of safety, it is recommended, but not required, that all players wear appropriate shoes with soft or rubber cleats. Metal and hard plastic cleats will not be allowed. Exposed jewelry which may be judged by the umpire to be dangerous must be removed and not worn during the game. Medical alert bracelets are not considered to be jewelry but must be taped to the body so the information remains visible.
Official Bat Standards: The bat standards are contained in the ASA Official Rulebook. Bats must conform to those rules as well as be listed on the Approved Bat List as published by the ASA. If a bat cannot be ascertained by consulting the Approved Bat List, it must have a BPF logo sticker stating that it meets a BPF of 1.20 or less and that the bat is Official Softball. All bats must have a safety grip of tape, cork, or some composition material and have a safety knob of a minimum of ¼ inch to facilitate holding the bat during the batter’s swing. Team managers will ensure the team’s bats meet these standards before the beginning of each game. The umpire may inspect any bat at any time for conformity to these standards. An opposing manager may request the umpire check another team’s bat for conformity, as well. If declared illegal, the bat must be removed from the game, and if the bat is used after this, it will result in the batter being called “out.”
Official Softballs: The official ball to be used must be a 12-inch circumference, .44 COR.
4. Playing Rules
Pitching Regulations: The height or arc of a legal pitch must be from six to 12 feet above the playing surface. –The umpire shall immediately and distinctly call a pitch “illegal” when, in his judgment the ball does not meet these requirements. The batter may, at his risk, swing at an illegal pitch. When the batter chooses to swing at an illegal pitch, the pitch is no longer considered “illegal.”
Foul Third Strike: After two strikes, the batter will be allowed one courtesy foul ball. Any subsequent foul ball will be declared an out and the ball is dead at that point.
Base Runners: Runners may overrun second and third bases by touching the ground across the line at second base or the foul line at third base. Runners must touch either first base or the scoring plate in order to be declared safe. If a baserunner overruns second or third base, he must return to and touch that base before advancing to the next base. If the defensive player in any case has possession of the ball before the runner has a foot down on either first (orange) base, the safe lines at second or third bases, or the scoring plate, the runner is out. If the runner touches home plate or passes over home plate in an attempt to score, the runner is out. If the defensive team attempts to tag a runner attempting to score at the scoring plate, the runner is automatically safe.
Courtesy Runners: A courtesy runner may be used for a base runner at any time, but the same courtesy runner may not be used more than once per inning.
Base Stealing/Advancing: Base runners must keep contact with their base and may leave it only when a pitched ball has reached or passes home plate and is swung at or batted. If a runner leaves his base before the batter swings or hits the ball, the umpire shall call that runner “Out.”
Sliding/Avoiding Collisions: Sliding into any base or the scoring plate is not permitted and will result in the runner being called “Out.” The runner must make every effort to avoid colliding with opposing players while running the bases. If a runner misses a base or must take evasive action to avoid a defensive player, the runner will not be called out. In the event the runner must take evasive action to avoid a defensive player in his path who is not in the act of making a play, interference will be called and the runner awarded the next base. If a runner makes contact, impedes or hinders a defensive player attempting to execute a play, the runner will be called “Out.” If, in the judgment of the umpire, the runner made deliberate contact with the defensive player, the runner may be ejected from the game. If , in the judgment of the umpire the defensive player made deliberate contact with the runner, the defensive player may be ejected from the game.
Fake Tags/Runner Avoiding Thrown Ball. Fake tags in an attempt to cause the runner to change paths or stop running will result in the runner being awarded an extra base. The umpire shall issue a warning to the offending defensive player. In the event the defensive player makes another fake tag, the umpire may eject the player. In the event of a double play, the runner should make every attempt to avoid the relay throw by either running to the baseline side opposite the path of the throw or giving way to the outfield side (this rule is local and is intended for safety). If the runner makes contact with the infielder after the relay throw is made for an attempted double play, the runner shall be declared out and the batter-runner shall be declared out.
5. Player/Team Code of Conduct
The team manager is the person appointed to be responsible for the team’s actions on the field and to represent the team in communication with the umpire and the opposing team. Each player is expected to conduct himself both on and off the field in a positive manner by abiding by the rules of the league, accepting the decisions of the team manager and umpires in good sportsmanship, neither taunting nor degrading an opponent or teammate, avoiding bodily contact that may cause injury to others or himself, never directing abusive or profane language toward officials or opponents, exercising control over his family members and friends to the extent of the above articles, and not commit any act that could be considered unsportsmanlike conduct.