SUN CITIES SENIOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE

CENTRAL LEAGUE RULES

MAR 7 2017 (Revised)

 

General

The Central League will be governed by SSUSA rules except as modified.

( If needed, use the ASA rules for clarification of SSUSA rules only ).

Organization

The Central League will be composed of players from Sun City West and Sun City Softball Club.

Uniforms

1.  The clubs furnish pants, shorts, jerseys, and caps/women's visors.  Articles of uniforms are for league or club play only and are not to be used for non-league/club activities.  Alterations are not permitted except for temporary "tucks" for fit.  Any permanent alterations will result in a charge to the player.  Caps/visors, pants, and shortswill be replaced on an exchange basis only, if worn out or damaged by play.  All articiles of uniform are the property of the club.  Any player who resigns his membership must return jersey's pants, and shorts.

2.  In support of our sponsors a full league - issued uniform consisting of cap/visor, pants, shorts, and team jersey must be worn so the sponsor's name is clearly visible and shirttails tucked in.  With the exception of the umpires, all players, coaches, and managers must wear their league issued uniforms.  In case of cold or inclement weather, additional clothing will be allowed.

3.  Players will not be allowed to play unless dressed in their properly worn, league issued uniforms.  However, players will be given one warning by the umpire to immediately fix the uniform problem or be removed from the game.  The team will be charged with an out each time the player would have to bat.  The team will continue to play minus the removed player.  The respective Board will be notified of repeated offenses and be dealt with accordingly.  This rule is for the benefit of the sponors, for proper newspaper/team pictures and for the professionalism of the SCS.

Game Rules

1.  General

Each game will be 7 innings except for the following.  After 60 minutes have expired, the current inning will be completed and one additional inning will be played, if needed.  The umpires are responsible for insuring the game starts on time and both teams are notified when the time expires and the next regular inning will allow unlimited runs.

The first game will start no later than its prescribed time from the schedule, unless otherwise indicated.  At the designated time, the scorekeeper will start the clock whether teams are ready or not.

Teams are limited to four (4) runs per inning except for the last inning in which each team can score unlimited numbers of runs.

2.  Flip-Flop Rule

Games will be 7 innings, or the time limit, whichever comes first.  If the visiting team is ahead by five (5) or more runs, the unlimited inning will be reversed where the home team bats first and the visiting team bats if needed.

3.  Mercy Rule

If a team is ahead by 12 runs after 6 innings the game will be over.  5 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead.

4.  Tie Games

If the game is tied after 7 innings or the time limit, A modified international tie breaker will be in effect. One more inning will be played. The last batter that completed their bat will go to second base (no courtesy runner until the runner reaches 3rd base) and one out. Teams will be limited to four (4) runs.  If the game is still tied it will go in the books as a tied game.

5.  Cancelled or Delayed Games

In the event games need to be cancelled by - Field manager, Central League Committee members, or a club board member in that order.  When any game is cancelled due to inclement weather, succeeding games at the field will be cancelled.  The person cancelling the games must contact all the managers of subsequent games at the field to notify them of the cancellation so they can call their players.  When part of the day's schedule is completed and the weather closes the field, games will count for the record.  A game must be 5 completed innings to be considered complete unless the home team is ahead at the end of 4 1/2 innings.

In the event games are delayed due to frost or other temporary conditions the games will be played after the delay and a reduction of innings played may be implemented if the delay is more than 30 minutes.  A reduction of innings must be decided by a member of the Central League Committee.

Playing Rules

1.  Team Organization

Each team will consist of 11 players.

In order to enter the game, a player arriving late for a game must arrive before the team has batted through the lineup.  If the manager obtains a substitute player for the late player and the substitute has batted, the late player CAN NOT enter the game. A non-injured player who leaves the game early for any reason will be declared an "out" each time he would have come to bat. No substitution allowed for a non-injured player.

Teams must have a minimum of 9 players including substitutes to avoid a forfeit.

2.  SUBSTITUTES - PLAYERS MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE FOLLOWING SOURCES.

Managers need to check the sub pool, or bye teams first before calling team roster players.

Roster and Sub players can sub three (3) times per team per sessison.

Subs need to be the same rating or lower.

Roster and Sub players may play three (3) times per week.

Limit of two games per day - one team game / one sub game.

Exception:  6 rated players may play four (4) times per week.  Limit of three games per day.

A four (4) rated player CAN NOT be a substitute pitcher for another team.

Emergency Pitcher - During the game should the pitcher become sick or injured a replacement pitcher can be obtained from the stands.  Pitcher of any rating ( no 4's) can sub as a pitcher only.  Replacement pitcher is except from the substitute rule for the game.

Drafted Pitchers ( in the box at draft time ).

Any pitcher of any rating can sub for drafted pitcher.

Limit two (2) sub games (pitching position) per week - no limit per team.

To Qualify - Team needs to have selected a drafted pitcher out of the Pitcher Box at draft time.

Once the game has started a player who is injured or has an emergency situation may be replaced if the team strength drops below eleven (11).  Select a player from the stands.  An eligible substitute would be allowed using the same substitute rules listed above.  The replacement player bats in the same batting position of the player who has left the game. The manager needs to check with the replacement player to determine if the player has substituted this week.  If the replacement player plays only the 5th - 6th - 7th innings it will not count as a full substitution.

If a replacement player from the stands is not available, close the line up - no out for the missing player.

If a player is identified as an illegal substitute per the substitution rules, that player will be removed from the game.  The offending team will continue to play minus the illegal player.  The position will remain open in the line up and an out will be recorded each time that position is scheduled to bat.

If the game has been completed using an illegal substitue the team forteits the game.  A member of the Central League Committee will monitor the substitutions.

3. COURTESY RUNNERS

An entering courtesy runner can be replaced as long as no pitch has been thrown.

Courtesy runners can be used from any base 1st, 2nd, or 3rd but not from home plate.

A modified SSUSA rule on courtesy runners will be used.  A player may courtesy run 2 times per game. You may only run once per inning as a courtesy runner.  A courtesy runner whose turn at bat comes while they are on base will be out.  They will be removed from the base and come to bat.  A second courtesy runner can not be substituted at this time.  A courtesy runner may not run for an existing courtesy runner except for an incurred injury.  If a player has a courtesy runner he/she can't be a courtesy runner in the same inning. A courtest runner who is discovered to be illegal (more than 2 times courtesty running) while they are on base will be out.  If discovered after they are no longer on the base (example: they scored or the inning has ended) there is no penalty.

4. BALLS AND STRIKES

A legal pitch with an arc of 6' to 12' that touches the plate/mat is a strike.  The batter is out upon hitting a 3rd strike foul.  Runners may advance at their own risk when a third strike foul is caught.

If the batter hits a foul tic, no matter how high, and is caught by the catcher, the batter is out.

BATTER’S BOX

The batter must have at least some portion of both feet on or inside of the lines of the batter's box at the start of the pitch.  A batter who steps out of the batter's box at anytime during the pitch and then hits the ball fair, or foul shall be called out.  Steps out means touching the ground completely outside of the lines of the batter box

5. Base Running

Defensive players cannot decoy the base runners into thinking a play is being made on him/her to impede their progress.

Double first base: When a play is being made on the batter/runner, runner must touch the orange bag. If runner touches the white bag he/she will be called out by the umpire. There is no appeal by the defense team. The defensive player must touch the white bag to record an out. Exception, if the defensive player at 1st is pulled into foul territory as a result of a bad throw, the player can touch the orange bag and record an out prior to the batter/runner reaching the base. The batter/runner can use either the white or orange bag in this situation.

Sliding or Diving

Sliding or diving, returning to a base after passing or touching it will be permitted.

Avoid Unnecessary Contact

In the interest of safety, runners coming into a base must avoid unnecessary contact with a defensive player who is receiving the ball for a force out. A defensive player may not block a runner when they are not fielding the ball.

Commitment Line / Scoring Line

commitment line - Once a runner's foot touches the ground on or past this line, the runner is committed to advancing to the scoring line and may no longer be tagged out.

scoring line - A base runner's foot down on or past the scoring line prior to the ball being received by a defensive player touching the strike matt results in the scoring of a run.

Crossing or Touching Strike Matt or Batter's Box - The runner shall be called out if he/she touches or crosses over any portion of the strike matt or the batter's box.  Ball remains alive.

6. Pitcher’s Box

A pitcher’s box consisting of the area from the front of the pitcher’s plate, extending back 10 feet and 24 “ wide will be used. The pitcher must release the ball after coming to a complete stop with one foot or both feet in contact with the pitcher’s plate or within the pitcher’s box. One foot must remain in contact with the plate/box when the pitch is released with an underhand motion. A step simultaneous with the release of the ball may be taken in any direction with the free foot. The pitcher must be facing the batter when delivering the pitch.

If the sun presents a problem to the batter in the early morning, they may request that the pitcher moves to one side or the other of the pitching box to allow them to see the pitch.

7. Pitcher’s Face Mask

SSUSA 2014 Playing Rules Amendment.

PITCHER’S MANDATED MINIMUM SAFETY EQUIPMENT.

Pitchers are required to wear a protective face mask while pitching.

Pitchers are recommended to wear additional protective safety equipment, comprised of heart/chest protection and shin guards.

Pitcher’s are not required to wear the recommended safety equipment. 

There will not be a game if either teams pitcher are not wearing a face mask.

If a team does not have a player who will pitch with a pitcher’s mask, that team forfeits the game.

8. Protests/Appeals

Only a manager may appeal a call. 

Judgment calls such as balls and strikes, runner out or safe, and fair or foul balls, are not grounds for appeal.

Interpretation of the rules will be the only grounds for protest and will be settled on the field between the umpires and the two managers.

Managers must appeal other violations such as ineligible sub or runner, runner missing a bag, interference, and batting out of order to the home plate umpire. Any situation where a rule is not covered in our Central League rules, the two managers must agree to a solution.

9. Ejections

An umpire or Central League Committee person will eject a player who threatens or uses abusive language directly toward an umpire, player, or spectator. The umpire or Central League Committee person ejecting a player must submit a written report to the Central League Committee Chairperson within 24 hours. An ejected player must leave the field / softball complex within 3 minutes. An ejected player is automatically suspended from playing in any games, from the time of their ejection until conclusion of their next regularly scheduled game.Suspension shall be redefined as a player being suspended from all league activities including but not limited to playing in a game, umpiring, scoring, announcing, spectating, special events, practice, etc.”
 If player refuses to leave the field / softball complex the player will be suspended for two or more games. Should a player attack an umpire, player, or spectator, the Central League Committee will suspend the player from further play pending a decision on disciplinary action. Presidents of both the Sun City West and Sun City Clubs are to be sent copies of the action taken.

Grievance – Should a player disagree with the decision of the Central League Committee they have the right to appeal to their respective Club Board President.

10. Warm – Up Pitches

Start of the game each pitcher will be allowed 5 warm-up pitches.

At the beginning of each inning, three (3) warm – up pitchers or one (1) minute which ever comes first. Five (5) warm – up pitches will be allowed when a pitcher relieves another. Infield warm – up will be for each inning until the umpire calls balls in.

11. Equipment

No banned bats (see ASA banned bat list ) will be allowed during Central League play.

Pitcher’s screen is not allowed in central league games.

12. Batting Out of Order

A batter shall be called out, for batting out of order only after they complete their time at bat. Scorekeeper can notify the umpire the batter is batting out of order. If the error is discovered before they complete their time at bat, the correct batter will bat and assume the current count of balls & strikes. The appeal must be made before the first pitch to the next batter is made.

13. Home Runs

Any fair ball hit over the fence will count as a home run. Batter needs to run all bases. All base runners need to continue running the bases until crossing the scoring line.

F. Responsibilities of players

1. Absentees

Managing a team is a difficult job requiring the cooperation of all team members. This includes field positions assigned by the manager for the game.  If you are going to be late, or miss a game, notify your manager well ahead of time. Arrive at the field a half - hour before game time to loosen up properly and thus avoid unnecessary muscle injuries.

A player who misses six (6) games per session will be replaced with a sub pool player of equal rating and they will be placed in the sub pool. If the manager wishes, they can replace the player with a lower rated player from the sub pool. If a lower rated player is chosen, their rating will be elevated for that session, to that of the player they are replacing. This also applies to players arriving after the first four (4) games of the season.

Exception: Managers are exempt from six absentees rule.

Exception: Draft Box Pitchers or replacement Pitcher for the draft box pitcher during the session are exempt from the six absentees rules.

2.  Umpires and Scorekeeper

Umpires and scorekeepers will be assigned by the CL League umpire and scorekeeping committee.

Visiting team managers will assign clock operators.

IF NECESSARY --- The team manager will assign umpires and scorekeepers. It will be the responsibility of the player assigned to arrange for their own replacement if they are unavailable. Umpiring and scorekeeping responsibilities takes priority over any request to sub as a player on another team. Umpires will be assigned by their manager based on their ability to umpire.

CENTRAL LEAGUE UMPIRES are from Central League Umpire roster.

3.  Field Maintenance

The home team is responsible for preparing the field before the first game and securing the field after the last game. If you are involved arrive early. Make sure all buildings are locked before leaving.

The visiting team of the second and remaining games is responsible for broom dragging the infield for all games at Sun City.

4. Resigning

If a player quits a team, they will be out of the League for the rest of the session.

5. Bat Standards/restrictions/penalties

The Central League uses bat standards approved by the SCW Softball Club.

A bat is considered altered when the physical characteristics of a legal bat have been changed. Anything done to a bat to enhance the performance of a bat is illegal. Inserting material inside the bat, shaving the bat, applying excessive tape (more than 2 layers) to the bat grip, or painting the bat other than at the top or bottom for identification purposes are examples of altering a bat. Exceptions: knob grips/cones, colored tape for identification purposes, address labels, or friction tape are not considered altering a bat.

Any umpire, club board member, or any member of the American, Central, or National league Committee have the right to inspect any bat that they have “reason to believe” has been altered. If there is “probable cause” the person must surrender their bat for inspection. If the bat is suspect then the bat may be digitally x-rayed for the alterations.

Any player refusing to surrender their bat for inspection will be suspended from play immediately, the player will remain suspended from all play until such time that an inspection of the bat in question has been made. If the bat has been determined to be altered the player must appear before the Board of the club they belong to for disciplinary action.

Any player found to have used an illegal or altered bat is subject to suspension from our league for up to one (1) year. Flagrant or more than one offense is subject to further punishment.

Any player found to be using an illegal of altered bat during a game. The following rule applies: if the bat is found prior to batting the bat it is removed from the game at that time. If the bat is found after the player bats, the batter is out and all runners return to the base they were at prior to the at bat.

6. Alcohol

Alcoholic Beverages may not be consumed while playing or umpiring a game.

7. Artificial Turf

Sunflower seeds, chewing tobacco and gum are not allowed on Liberty Field.

8. Sub Pool

The Sub pool is for players who request to be on the sub pool, new players (green team), players returning after six (6) absences, and players arriving after the first four (4) games of the season.

Managers may request players from the sub pool as follows:

The manager needs to contact the Central League Committee person Immediately “after” the player has a sixth absence. A bye or rainout does not count as a missed game. The committee person concurs on the sequence of loss in case more than one manager needs a replacement player. The sequence for manager selection would be determined by the actual game date and game time the player missed a sixth game. If these two factors were identical, managers would flip a coin to determine the order.

The Central League Committee person will let the manager know who the new player will be.