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Playing Rules

Regular Season 2020

The League will use USA Softball rules to govern League play with exceptions passed by the Executive Committee.

  1. Eligibility:
    1. Teams are under no obligation to have any percentage of male or female players.
    2. The umpire shall determine what jewelry is allowable on the playing field.
    3. The only uniform requirement is that all team players on wear uniform shirts that are alike in color and style, possessing unique and visible numbers. There are no hat requirements. Outer garments required due to medical reason or inclement weather will be allowed over regulation uniforms with notification to the opposing manager.
    4. A player with prosthesis may use a wooden bat.
    5. This League will adhere to the American Disabilities Act of July 25, 1990 as outlined by USA Softball.
    6. All USA Softball approved bats may be used at all games played with a 44 core ball. No bat indicating it is "titanium" or "triple-walled" will be permitted.
  2. Playing Rules:
    1. Time Limit: No new inning shall begin after fifty-five (55) minutes unless the game is tied.
    2. Starting Count: Batters start with a 1 ball - 1 strike count for all games except for extra innings (see "Tie Games" below).
    3. Extra Hitters: Up to 2 extra hitters are permitted in the batting order for each team.
    4. Official Scorebook: The official scorebook of the game will be that of the designated home team.
    5. Minimum Number of Players: A team which does not field at least nine (9) players within five (5) minutes (updated April 2019) of the scheduled game start time will forfeit that game. A team must begin play as soon as nine (9) players are available if within 5 minutes after game start time. A 10th player arriving during the game may play if he/she has been listed on the line-up card provided to the umpire. The 10th batter may enter the game AFTER the inning in progress has ended (updated April 2019). The 10th position will NOT be an out in the lineup until the position is filled (updated April 2019).
    6. Courtesy Fouls: All Divisions are allowed one courtesy foul after a 2nd strike.
    7. Courtesy Runners:
      1. Courtesy runners may be used once per inning and may be ANY player on the line-up card.
      2. If a courtesy runner is on-base when their turn at bat comes - the player who is being run for will be called out. The courtesy runner will be removed from the base and take their turn at bat.
      3. A second courtesy runner or a substitute is not allowed.
      4. A player may use a courtesy runner at any time during the inning.
    8. USA Softball Run Ahead Rules will be enforced. All games will end with no ability for a losing team to have additional at bats.
      1. Run Ahead Rule 3 innings: 20 runs
      2. Run Ahead Rule 4 innings: 15 runs
      3. Run Ahead Rule 5, 6 innings: 10 runs
    9. Tie games - extra innings (except the Championship Game): Batters start with a 3 ball - 2 strike count (one-pitch format) with no courtesy foul for extra innings. The player last at bat will be the runner on 2nd base at the beginning of each extra half-inning. All other rules apply from that point.
    10. Championship Game: Extra innings will continue with a 1-1 count.
    11. New for 2020: Commit Line and Extended Home Plate
      1. A "Commit" line will be drawn perpendicular to the third base line approximately 22 feet from home plate. Any runner crossing this line must continue toward home plate. Until the runner crosses this line, he/she may return to third base.
      2. "Extended Home Plate": A base will be placed adjacent to the plate, approximately 5'-6' on a line extended from first base which will serve as an "extended home plate". Runners touching this base will be considered "safe" unless the Catcher has possession of the ball and is in contact with the Home Plate before the runner touches the Extended Home Plate. The runner must not attempt to contact Home Plate at any time. All plays at the plate will be considered Force plays.
  3. Umpires:
    1. $50 Umpire fee is established by the EC and paid before game time by the competing teams. The teams shall divide the cost of the established fee equally between them.
    2. Teams will pay the umpire using the payment app, "Venmo". If the team fails to pay the umpire fee to the assigned umpire or UIC before the end of that game that team will forfeit that game and will be penalized accordingly.
    3. There will be at least one umpire for each regular season game.
    4. There will be no protest on any decision involving accuracy of judgment.
  4. Equipment:
    1. The yellow optic color, red stitch 12-inch ball with a ball COR of .520 or under and a ball compression of 300.0 lbs or under will be used. Balls will be provided by the League.
    2. Bats used must appear on the approved Bat list, have a 2000, 2004, or 2013 ASA certification mark, or the new USA Softball Approved Certification marks and not be on the Non-approved list with 2000 or 2004 certification marks list.
  5. Regular Season Tie-Breaker Rules:
    In the case of ties between two or more teams at the end of the regular season, the following guidelines will be used to break the ties.
    Two Way Ties:
    1. The team that holds the win advantage in head to head competition between the two teams will be the higher finisher
    2. In the event that there is an even number of games between the two teams where their head to head record is the same, the following criteria for breaking the tie should be used:
      1. Run differential
      2. Random Draw
    Three Way Ties:
    1. In a three way tie where one team has a win advantage over each of the other two teams in head to head competition, that team would finish higher than the other two.
    2. In a three way tie where no team holds an advantage over the other two in head to head competition, the following criteria shall be used in breaking ties:
      1. Run differential
      2. Random Draw
    Other Ties:
    Ties involving more than three teams will be decided on these same criteria to the extent they can be similarly applied.
  6. Forfeits: For 2020 Season (considered on a case-by-case basis)
    1. Teams are allowed four (4) forfeits per season. After the fourth forfeit, the team is required to submit a plea to the Executive Committee in order to complete the season.
    2. Forfeits cost the forfeiting team $100 per forfeited game.

Social Distancing/Safety Measures:

We will implement social distancing "rules".

  1. Teams will be asked to follow the 6 foot separation when not on the field
  2. Required league waiver will be updated to cover pandemic
  3. Umpire will be required to wear a mask
  4. More focus on medical symptoms, so be aware of Covid symptoms
  5. Position of catcher will be off to the side during the pitch, not between batter and ump
  6. Both teams should bring hand sanitizers for their teams
  7. Awareness that your teams and others are following social distancing rules
  8. Dispersing of league crowds over 50 will be enforced by the officers if necessary
  9. Teams to have designated player monitor proper social distancing
  10. Coaches and umpires help monitor/enforce social distancing
  11. Face Masks/Face coverings
    1. If you are not in the game, on the field, you must wear a face mask/face covering. This applies to base coaches and anyone not at-bat or on-deck.
    2. a warning about not wearing a face mask/ face covering may be issued.
    3. Subsequent infractions may result in an Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty
  12. No spectators, if you are not on a roster, you are not allowed to be at the fields
  13. Players must wear two batting gloves when at bat
  14. Sportsmanship rule will be in effect for batting gloves and mask wearing
  15. If a player is not wearing batting gloves when they are at bat, or if they are not wearing a mask when required, they will be warned once. If it happens again, player will be ejected from the game
  16. Clipboards will be hung on backstop with lineups. No passing of lineups between teams/umpires
  17. Teams will copy lineup of opponent into their score book

Ground Rules

Beantown Softball Ground Rules 2020

William E. Smith Fields - 250 Western Ave., Boston, MA 02134
Field #1 (adjacent to the Harvard softball field)
  • On each side, an imaginary line extending from the fence in front of each bench area to the light pole shall be used for catches and overthrows, with the light pole being dead. No plays may be made against a fence in dead ball territory.
  • On the right side past the light pole, the imaginary line remains for overthrows but any fly ball may be caught for an out.
  • On the left side past the pole, the imaginary line runs to the smaller light pole in left field foul territory and is used for overthrows and catches.
  • In left field, any ball hitting the two small trees is live. Any hit ball going under the fence will be called dead and bases awarded at the discretion of the umpire.
Field #2 (adjacent to the Harvard University parking lot)
  • On each side, an imaginary line extending from the fence in front of each bench area to the first light pole shall be used for catches and overthrows, with the pole being dead.
  • On the first base side, the out-of-play line runs from the light pole and follows the contour of the path for both catches and overthrows. The path is out-of-play territory, no ball may be caught for an out on it. Any hit ball in fair territory landing on the path will be considered dead and a 2 base award will be made.
  • On the third base side, the out of play line runs from light pole to light pole for overthrows and catches.
Murray Portsmouth Field - 41 Portsmouth St., Boston, MA 02135
  • Any ball hit over the fence on the fly will be a home run. Any hit ball that goes over or under the fence or into or under the trees in the outfield shall be called dead and bases awarded at the discretion of the umpire.
  • On each side, an imaginary line extending from the fence in front of each bench shall be used for overthrows. Beyond the fence in front of each bench, any ball may be caught for an out but NOT on or over the tarred path.
  • The tarred path is in play in the outfield.
Cassidy Playground - Beacon St & Chestnut Hill Ave, Brighton, MA 02135
Field #1 (closer to Cleveland Circle)
  • On both sides, an imaginary line will extend from the fence in front of each team to the outfield and shall be used for overthrows. Beyond the fence in front of each bench, any ball may be caught for an out but NOT on or over the tarred path.
  • In left field any hit ball landing in or rolling into the drainage Lanai will be called dead and 2 bases will be awarded.
  • Other ground rules will be covered in your pre-game conference with the Umpire as necessary.
Field #2
  • On both sides, an imaginary line will extend from the fence in front of each team to the outfield and shall be used for overthrows. Beyond the fence in front of each bench, any ball may be caught for an out but NOT on or over the tarred path.
  • Other ground rules will be covered in your pre-game conference with the Umpire, as necessary.