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General Rules and Procedures Update 1/1/2018


1) Game Start Time / Forfeits (for 10U, 12U, and 18U games)

Weekday games will start at 6:00p.m. For all 6:00 p.m. games, if one or both teams do not have eight players at 6:00 p.m., they will have until at least 6:15 p.m. to field a team. As soon as both teams have at least eight players, the game must begin. For a game on or after May 15th, teams may have until 6:30 p.m. to field a team. Eight players must be present by the forfeit time (6:15p.m. or 6:30 p.m.) or the game will be declared a forfeit. (Daytime games will be a forfeit if eight players are not available within fifteen (15) minutes of the scheduled starting time.) If at any time during a game a team fields less than eight (8) players, a forfeit shall be declared. Players arriving late must enter the game immediately, placed at the bottom of the batting order and be available for fielding. If a team is unable to field the minimum number of players, substitutes may be requested from the Division Coordinators as follows:

Substitute Procedure Rules
a.)All subs must be registered with the Bethlehem Tomboys.
b.)If there are a sufficient number of players interested in substituting, each manager will be supplied with a roster of substitutes for her/his team. If a substitute is needed, she/he will call those players. If an adequate number of substitutes cannot be obtained, she/he can contact the Division Coordinator to obtain sufficient substitutes. Each team must have five (5) of their own players to begin the game.
c.)Sub must be reported to the opposing manager and must bat last.
d.)Sub must start and play at least three innings in the field.
e.)Sub cannot play if her team is playing at the same time.
f.)Sub may not pitch but can play any other position, including catcher
g.)Sub must be from the next lower division.
h.)If a coach has less than 10 players, he/she may call in subs to reach 10 players maximum. Subs are not to be called if the coach has 10 confirmed players for a game. If a sub comes to your game, and other players on your team show up unexpectedly, the sub must still be allowed to play.
i.)The same sub player can only be used twice during a season by one team. Note: We are relying on an honor system on this rule - please abide. Exceptions are at the discretion of the directors.

Managers may not agree on their own to postponement or rescheduling of a game. If the managers agree to a postponement or a rescheduling of a game on their own, the game will be considered a double forfeit with each team receiving a loss.

If a game is called before it is an official game (see below) and the score is tied, the game must be completed on the next day that would have been used for a rain-out date. Home team manager must notify the Division Coordinator to make arrangements for a continuation of the game.


2) Innings

a.) Innings per game:
10U – 6 innings
12U – 7 innings
13UP – 7 innings
b.) Official Game (regarding games called because of rain or darkness) - 3 1/2 or 4 innings (depending upon which team is ahead.)
c.) No games may go more than three (3) extra innings. If the game is still tied, each team will be given credit for one-half win and one-half loss. 6U/8U Divisions - No extra innings.
d.) No inning shall start after 1 3/4 hours past the start time. The 1 3/4 hours is based on the actual start time (not the scheduled start time.) Managers and the umpire(s) should be in agreement of the actual game start time BEFORE the game begins. It is the responsibility of BOTH managers to approach the umpire and all note the same time. If the managers do not approach the umpire prior to the start of the game and there is a discrepancy later on as to the actual start time, then the managers MUST defer to the umpire. The umpire's decision as to the actual game start time will be final.


3) Uniforms / Equipment Safety Rules

a.) Uniform shirts must be worn at all games or the player is declared ineligible for that game.
b.) Full catcher's equipment must be worn.
c.) Metal cleats will not be worn.
d.) No jewelry.
e.) Batting helmets with chin straps and face masks must be worn at all times while in the batter's box and on the bases.
f.) All players wearing glasses must have straps on the glasses and plastic lenses.
g.) For safety reasons we must insist that only team personnel be on the bench or in the immediate area.
h.) On deck batters must be in the circle and no other players should be allowed in the area.
i.) Only official softballs and official softball bats may be used during the games. (Exception – 6U & 8U).
j.) No smoking.
k.) No one shall be allowed behind the backstop and/or home plate during the game or while a pitcher is warming up. The umpire must clear the area and take appropriate action.
l.)
 In 8U, 10U, 12U, and 13UP Divisions - All infield players are required to wear protective face masks.  No play shall commence otherwise (Rule adopted by Board in 2014 will continue moving forward, the league provides masks for players who do not have their own).

4) Playing Time

a.) All Divisions: Girls play at least one half game in the field if her attendance at games and at practices is satisfactory.
b.) All Divisions: Girls who exceed three unexcused absences may be suspended from active play and put on an inactive roster maintained by the Division Coordinator. This action is taken at the discretion of the team manager. The Division Coordinator must be notified of this action and it must be approved by a committee consisting of the Division Coordinator, two members of the executive board and a board member familiar with the players in the division. The parents of the girl will be notified of the possible suspension prior to the meeting of the board members.
c.) All Divisions: All players will be allowed regular turns at bat even though they do not have a field position. There will be a constant batting order of all players.
d.) All Divisions have unlimited substitutions at the manager's discretion. However, each player must play at least one-half (1/2) game as stated in Rule 4a.
e.) A player injured during a game and subsequently removed may re-enter the game depending upon judgment and decision of the umpire and manager involved.
f.) All Divisions may field a MAXIMUM of 10 players, but the 10th player must play outfield. (Exception – 6U teams should field all players even if in excess of 10.)


5) Protests

No protests.

6) Dead Ball Lines

We will establish imaginary dead ball lines in line with the ends of the backstops. No foul ball may be caught beyond these lines.

7) Rule Changes

Rule changes during the season require a vote of 75% of the full Board of Directors.

8) Team Roster / Waiting List

A manager may request a permanent player to maintain the team size if the number of players assigned at the start of the season changes. Requests go through the Division Coordinator to the Registration Chairperson and a four (4) person review.
A manager can only request a player to replace someone who is out for the rest of the season and not a player who is injured and who will be coming back.
When there is an opportunity in each division to provide equal number of players for each team, then the girls will be called off the waiting list. The Registration Chairperson will maintain the waiting list and contact the Division Coordinator for distribution of the players.
No player will be allowed to transfer to another team for ANY reason once the season begins. If, PRIOR TO THE START OF THE SEASON, a parent feels there is a very strong, compelling reason to make a change for the sake of the child, a parental written request to the Board must be submitted. A minimum of five (5) Board members will approve or deny the request. The Division Coordinator will notify the parent/managers of the decision.


9) Final Standings/End of Year Tourneys

a.) Final Standings will be determined by win/loss percentage, even if the teams have not played an equal number of games. If two or more teams have the same win/loss record upon completion of the regular season, standings will be decided in the following manner in order of priority:
1. Head-to-head competition.
2. Runs allowed in head-to-head competition
3. Average Runs allowed per game for all games
4. Coin flip.
b.) For the end of year tourneys, seeds will be assigned according to final standings. The home team will be the higher seeded team from the regular season standings.
c.) Championship games in the end of year tourneys will be played without time limits in all divisions.



10) Official Scorebook

Managers are encouraged to confirm the game score at least once an inning. In case of a disagreement about the score, the home team scorebook shall be considered official, as long as it is fair and legible (as determined by the umpire or Director on Duty) and has entries for all players on both teams.


6 & UNDER (6U)

1) 6U Division teams will play twice a week, with each session being divided into two halves. The first half will be a structured practice, working on the fundamental skills of softball – throwing, catching, hitting and running. The second half will be game play.
2) Coaches will be provided practice plans that will progressively build on one another through the season.
3) After 45 minutes of practice (the home team practices on the infield and the visiting team in the outfield), the teams will take a break for “halftime.” Then, each team of approximately 8 girls will play in a 45-60 minute game.
4) During the first half of the season, all of the girls will hit off the tee. In the second half of the season, (starting May 7) coaches will pitch three pitches to the batter. If she fails to hit the ball, it is placed on the tee. When a manager/coach or parent pitches, the defensive team must place a player near the pitcher to field the position. If during the second half of the season, a manager/coach determines a particular player requires the use of a batting T, one can be used.
5) Basepath - 45 feet.
6) Players may only advance one base at a time.
7) No strikeouts or walks.
8) Switch sides after every girl bats.
9) No sliding.
10) No infield fly rule.
11) No bunting.
12) Batted ball must travel at least 5 feet.


Game Start Time / Forfeits
Practice will start at 6:00 PM (or before if team arrives at field) on weeknights, and per schedule on Saturdays, and will continue for 45 minutes. Game will then begin and continue for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

There are no forfeits. Team will play with players who show up. No outfielder is required. If the number of players for one team is obviously inadequate (e.g., 2 or 3 players) then managers shall discuss and, if possible, “loan” players to the other team to balance squads. Only if total number of players from both teams is so low that no reasonable game can be played (less than a total of 10 or 12 players from both teams) will the game be cancelled.


Innings
1) No innings will start 45 minutes after game play begins.
2) Since there will be no standings kept if the game is called because of darkness or rain, then it is over regardless of innings played. If the game is rained out, no makeups are required. If the managers want to attempt to reschedule, they may do so, but should check with the Division Coordinator for field clearance.
3) No extra innings.


Uniforms / Equipment Safety Rules
10” Incrediballs will be used. Batting helmets are required.

Playing Time
In this Division, all players who are present and able to play will play the entire game on offense and defense. You may field the entire team.

8 & UNDER (8U)

1) During the first few weeks of the season, batting team Manager/Coach pitches to the batter from the pitching rubber. Manager/Coaches have a six (6) pitch limit (except that a plate appearance cannot end on a batted foul ball).

2) During the rest of the season girls will pitch at this level (starting on May 1). Pitchers pitch to a four-ball count and then batting team Manager/Coach pitches to the batter. Batter will retain whatever strike count she had when the Manager/Coach comes in to pitch and umpires will continue to call balls and strikes. Coaches have a four (4) pitch limit,(except that a plate appearance cannot end on a batted foul ball).

3) The pitching distance will be 30 feet.

4) When a Manager/Coach pitches, the defensive team must place a player near the pitching circle to field that position.

5) A Player does not reach base on a HBP when her Manager/Coach is pitching.

6) Pitcher may pitch two (2) innings per game.

7) No player may pitch and/or play first base for more than a combined total of three innings in any game. Managers are strongly encouraged to rotate their players through all positions.

8) No team may exceed four (4) runs per inning.

9) Base Paths – 55 feet

10) No stealing. Runner may not leave until ball is hit.

11) No sliding.

12) No infield fly rule.

13) No bunting.
14) If a ball is hit hard enough to reach the outfield grass, the runners may continue to advance until the ball returns to the infield dirt. A player may not advance on an overthrow.

15) Youth Umpires will officiate all 8U games. Strikes will be called at all times. Balls will not be called when coaches/managers pitch. With regard to the calling of balls and strikes, please note the following from the ASA rule book, Rule 4, Section 8c: "Any arguing on the judgment of balls and strikes will result in a team warning. EFFECT: Any repeat offense shall result in the ejection of that team member."

NOTES: 

1. It is strongly recommended that coaching staffs work with each other and Team Parents to ensure that a parent can be located behind the umpire to help with ball return during 8U games.  This is important to keeping the game moving along.  Please coordinate with the umpire to ensure that live balls are not interfered with.


Game Start Time/Innings
No innings will start 1 3/4 hours after scheduled start time.
No extra innings.


Forfeits / Rain-outs
No forfeits. Team will play with players who show up. No outfielders are required. If the number of players for one team is obviously inadequate (e.g., 2 or 3 players) then managers shall discuss and, if possible, “loan” players to the other team to balance squads. Only if total number of players from both teams is so low that no reasonable game can be played (less than a total of 10 or 12 players) will the game be cancelled.
Rain-Outs will be re-scheduled.


Uniforms / Equipment Safety Rules
10" IncrediBalls will be used. Batting helmets and fielders masks (infield only) are required.

Playing Time
In this Division, up to 10 players can play on defense, and all players will bat in a continuous lineup. You may not field more than 10 players. (Suggestion, if you have more than 10 girls, their innings on the bench can be spent practicing pitching.)

10 & UNDER (10U)

Will follow ASA 10U Class B Fast Pitch Rules with the following exceptions:

1) Team may field up to 10 positions. Must field at least 8.
2A) Players will pitch to players for the entire season. 

2B) During the first half of the season (or until a date to be determined), players will pitch to players with coach assistance as follows:

·       Players will pitch to a 4-ball count. 

·       Pitchers cannot walk batters but can strike them out.  Batters will be awarded first base on a HBP when a player is pitching.

·       After ball four is called by the umpire a coach comes in to pitch and assumes the strike count. 

·       Coaches will pitch a maximum of 3 more pitches.  Coaches cannot walk batters but can strike them out.  Batters will not be awarded first base on a HBP when a coach is pitching. Coaches must pitch from the 10U pitching plate.

·       On 3rd pitch from the coach the batter must swing and put the ball in play or they are called out.  An at bat cannot end on a foul ball (except for caught foul tips and caught foul fly-balls, which are outs).    

·       Coaches are not allowed to field the ball.  Pitchers will remain on the field and will act as a fielder while coaches are pitching.  When coaches are pitching the player-pitcher must start each play inside the pitching circle. 

2C) During the second half of the season (on a date to be determined) players will pitch to players full time.  Walks are allowed during this part of the season. 
3) Pitcher may pitch three (3) innings per game (one additional inning in an extra inning game).
4) One pitch constitutes one inning towards the pitcher's number of innings pitched in one game. (If a pitcher is removed from the mound, placed in another position, and then returned to the mound in the same inning, it would count as two innings for her total for the game.
5) Runners may steal at the release of the pitch. One base only, with no additional movement on throw to base. No stealing from third base to home plate. Base runners may not advance more than one base - and never to home - on a passed ball which crosses the dead ball line.
6) A four (4) run limit per time at bat will apply, except for the last inning where there will be no limit. The last inning will be the 6th inning or an earlier inning if designated, in advance, by the umpire.
7) The dropped third strike rule will not be implemented in this division.
NOTES:

1. ASA 10 & UNDER pitching distance is 35 feet.
2. Bunting is allowed whether the pitch is thrown by a player or a coach.
3. Base stealing is allowed whether the pitch is thrown by a player or a coach.

4. Infield fly applies


12 & UNDER (12U)

Will follow ASA 12U Class B Fast Pitch Rules with the following exceptions:
1) Team may field up to 10 positions.  Must field at least 8.
2) RUN LIMIT RULE: If after five (5) full innings one team is ahead by 15 runs, the game will be declared officially over. The home team must have the last opportunity to bat if they are behind.
3) A four (4) run limit per time at bat will apply, except for the last inning where there will be no limit. The last inning will be the 7
th inning or an earlier inning if designated, in advance, by the umpire.
4) Pitcher may pitch
 four (4) innings per game (one additional inning in extra inning game).
5) One pitch constitutes one inning toward the pitcher's number of innings pitched in a game. (If a pitcher is removed from the mound and placed in another position and then returned to the mound in the same inning, it would count as two innings toward her total for the game.)

6) The dropped third strike rule will not be implemented for Intermediate play in 2016 rec season.  The batter is ruled out but the ball and play remains live, base runners may advance at their own risk.  To clarify - on a swinging or called third strike that is dropped by the catcher the batter is out.  Foul tips are NOT swinging strikes.  A caught foul tip on a 3rd strike is an out, a dropped foul tip is a foul ball.  

7) Stealing at the release of the pitch is allowed for all bases, runners can advance additional bases on the throw and may steal home or advance home on a passed ball or wild pitch.

NOTES:

1. ASA 12 & UNDER pitching distance is 40 feet.

18 & UNDER (13UP)

Will follow ASA 16U Class B Fast Pitch Rules with the following exceptions:
1) Team may field up to 10 positions.  Must field at least 8.
2) RUN LIMIT RULE: If after five (5) full innings one team is ahead by 15 runs, the game will be declared officially over. The home team must have the last opportunity to bat if they are behind.
3) Retain the (dropped) third strike rule, and allow stealing
 at the release of the pitch.
4) A four (4) run limit per time at bat will apply, except for the last inning where there will be no limit. The last inning will be the 7
th inning or an earlier inning if designated, in advance, by the umpire.
5) The following exceptions to the ASA uniform rule will apply:
A.) Players do not have to wear the same hat.
B.) Players can wear shorts or pants.

NOTES:

1. ASA 16 & UNDER pitching distance is 43 feet.