Fall Softball Rules

RULES
Updated 10/1/19

FORFEITS
1. Please be on time! - Your team, and your opponent, depend on you to field a full team and have a competitive game. Games will start at 6:30, 7:45, and 9:00 (Subject to change once pace of play is determined.) After the game, please be courteous and efficient when leaving your bench for the next team.
2. Forfeit penalty  - If your team forfeits a game, the team will be subject to a $50 penalty fee via the team captain. 100% of this fee will be donated to a local, non-profit charity. For 2019 it will be the North Brooklyn Youth Baseball League.
3. Forfeit expulsion -  Any team that fails to pay this penalty will not be eligible to return the following season. Any team with 2 forfeits will not be eligible to return the following season.
4. Forfeit scoring  - If a game is forfeited, a final score will be needed as it could factor into a playoff tiebreaker, runs allowed. At the time of the forfeit, we will temporarily enter the game as a W-L for each team with no score. Then at the end of all regular season games, we'll take the average number of runs scored and runs allowed by the winning team and enter that as the forfeited final score.

GAME TIMING
1. No ump -
If an umpire doesn't show up, please contact the league managers immediately. Until a solution is reached, the last batter to come up in each half inning will serve as umpire.  
2. Game length  - All games will be 7 innings. No extra innings in regular season games -- they may end in a tie.
3. Incomplete game - If a game is called because of rain before the conclusion of the 5th inning, it does not count and will start over again (0-0) from the 1st inning at a later date.
4. Playoff suspended play  - If a playoff game is tied and can no longer continue because of darkness (judgement of the Umpire), the game will be suspended from that exact point in the inning, and will continue from that point at a later date.

SCHEDULE
1. Regular season games  -
The regular season will consist of 6 regular season games -- 5x each team will play every team once, and 1x flex game. 

2. Flex games - The 1 flex game will be against the team closest to you based on standings after 5 weeks. Flex games will occur at the end of the regular season and could be removed if we have too many rainouts.

ROSTERS
1. Roster Size
- Teams are allowed a maximum of 25 players on their roster.
2. Registration - Teams will need to register their full roster: Start of Week 1 (9/16), Start of the playoffs (TBD)
3. Alternate players  - If teams have players who can't commit to all the games, we encourage captains to register these players as 'alternates' and charge them less than their full-time players.  This is also a fair way to determine who gets the most playing time in playoffs games.  Better attendance in regular season can be rewarded with more playing time in big games.
4. Player clearance  - If a team needs to use a non-registered player to avoid a forfeit, the Captain needs to email the League Managers prior to the game for clearance. Teams will be given a forfeit loss if it is determined that non-registered player participated without clearance. No register player (either Driggs or Bedford league) can sub in as an alternate for another team.
5. Playoff Rosters  - To ensure that teams are not adding new players for big games, playoff team captains will register rosters again at the end of the regular season. This roster will be cross referenced with Week 1 rosters and any additions are subject to approval.

PLAYOFFS
1. Qualifying
- Top 3 teams will make a single-elimination playoff tournament: #3 seed @ #2 seed will play to in a Semi-final game, #1 will play in the Championship game.
2. Seeding - Regular season winning % [PCT] will determine playoff seeding. Winning % is wins divided by the total number of games played. Ties count as 1/2 win.
3. Seeding Tiebreakers - 
(1) Head-to-head record*
*If 3 or more teams have a tied winning %, "head-to-head record" is considered overall record amongst those tied teams.
If these teams did not play each other an even amount of times, we move on to tiebreaker 2, lowest runs allowed.
(2) Lowest runs allowed [PSA]*
*Amongst all teams -- not amongst head-to-head tied teams
(3) Coin toss


UNIFORMS
1. Team colors -
To improve player safety, all teams are encouraged to wear team colors during gameplay. There is no penalty for failing to wear team colors.

EQUIPMENT
1. Cleats
- No metal cleats.
2. Gloves and Bats - Players must supply their own gloves and bats.
3. Balls - Team captains are responsible for bringing new balls to each game. We use 12" Clincher Balls. They can be purchased at any Modell's, Paragon Sports near Union Square, or a few blocks from our fields at BQ Sports.
4. Bases and Storage  - It will be the home team's responsibility to pick-up/drop-off the bases. We have 2 sets of bases that are labeled and stored in a locked gate behind the Turkey's Nest. If you are not a key-holder, go into the Turkey's Nest, tell them you are with NoPro, and ask the bartender for the key to the shed.

BATTING
1. Mercy rule
- Mercy rule of 20 runs after the 5th inning.  Free play may continue afterwards.
2. Gender ratio  - No more than 3 people of the same gender may bat in a row.
3. Everyone bats - Everyone on the team will bat in a consistent order through the entire game, regardless if they are playing the field in that specific inning.
4. Pitch hitters  - No pinch hitters are allowed. If someone is injured or has to leave the game, they will be skipped over in the batting order.
5. Starting count  - Batters start with a 1-1 count.
6. Foul-outs - Batter will be ruled out on the 2nd ball hit foul with 2 strikes.
7. Bunting - Bunting and/or chopping at a ball is not permitted.
8. Intentional Walking  - Intentional walking is not permitted. Everyone wants to hit!

PITCHING
1. Pitch Height
- A legal pitch in an underhand lob with an arch of at least 4 feet and no more than 8 feet.
2. Strike Zone - Strikes are pitched balls that land in a box defined by the umpire behind home plate. This box is approximately 18'' from the corners of the plate, and exactly as wide as the plate.
3. Trick Pitches  - Pitchers may throw knuckle balls, spinning balls, or backhanded pitches. However, it is illegal to throw a ball that contains any foreign substances.

FIELDING
1. Dead balls
- Dead ball territory is determined by the Umpire and is communicated to both Captains upon reviewing the ground rules prior to the game.
2. Catching foul balls - Any foul ball that is caught in the air outside of the field of play, but not in within the fenced area of each dugout as defined in the ground rules, will result in an out.
3. Courtesy line - Outfielders are not permitted to be beyond the grass/dirt line before the ball is hit.  If someone is in violation of this rule, it is up to the umpire's discretion to allow the batter first base regardless of outcome of their at-bat.
4. Interference - If a batted ball comes within contact of an object, pedestrian, or player on the opposing field, the ball will be played as is. If a batted ball is impeded upon (picked up, thrown, kicked) by a pedestrian, or player on the opposite field, the play will stop, and the runners will advance at the judgement of the umpire.
5. Tree Balls  - If a ball hits the tree, a branch, a twig, a leaf, whether its trajectory is or is not altered and is caught by a fielder, the batter is out. If a ball hits the tree and lands on the field, it is a live ball. If a ball hits the tree in fair territory and goes into foul territory, it is still considered a fair ball. If the ball goes into the tree in foul territory and goes into fair territory, the ball is considered a foul ball.    
6. Infield fly - Infield fly rule is enforced. An infield fly is a fair fly ball in the infield (not including a line drive) which can be caught with ordinary effort, where the fielder is camped out underneath it, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, when there are less than two outs. The umpire shall immediately declare "Infield fly!" loudly enough for everyone to hear, for the benefit of the runners, and the batter is out. The runners may advance, or tag up after the ball is caught at their own risk.

CO-ED REQUIREMENTS
1. Players allowed  -
10 players on the field and at least 4 must be female.
2. Less than 4 females  - If a team is short on females, they can begin play, but they must follow the system below:

ONLY 3 FEMALES
FIELDING: 6 males, 3 females, any gender may play catcher
BATTING: Maximum of 9 males in the batting order, otherwise you will not be able to enforce the gender batting order rule ratio

ONLY 2 FEMALES
FIELDING: 6 males, 2 females, 1 catcher from the opposing team that can't cover home
BATTING: Maximum of 6 males in the batting order, otherwise you will not be able to enforce the gender batting order rule ratio
Once a 3rd female arrives, 3 males can be added to the batting order as a maximum of 9 males is now allowed.
This 2 female system is designed assuming that late female players are still planning on showing up and we do not want to delay the start of the game. Anything less than 3 females by the top of the 3rd inning will result in a forfeit.  Free play may continue afterwards.

BASE RUNNING
1. Courtesy runners
 - Two courtesy runners are allowed per game. The player(s) who need a courtesy runner can be designated before the game, or before the player's at-bat. If a team already has two courtesy runners and then one of their players gets hurt and wants a runner, this is not allowed. The injured player either runs for their self, or they are out of the game.
a) A courtesy runner must either be the last batted out, or a player on the bench not in the game. It cannot just be any random fast runner on your bench.
b) The courtesy runner must be of the same gender as the player they are replacing.
c) If there are no female players available to be a courtesy runner for a female, the opposing team is given the right to choose the courtesy runner.
2. Stealing/Leading off  - There is no stealing or leading off any base. Baserunners can only leave once the batter has made contact with the pitch.
3. Sliding - Sliding is allowed at the runner's discretion. In most cases it is safer to slide into a base than run upright and collide into the defender.
4. Aggressive base running - If a runner aggressively or purposefully initiates, collides, intention to harm, slides with cleats up with intent to injure, harms anyone in the base path, the runner is OUT and immediately ejected from the game.
5. Runner obstruction - Intentional contact by a baserunner in an attempt to dislodge the ball or take a defender out of a play is prohibited. The baserunner will be out.
6. Overthrows - If a ball is thrown out of play (dead ball territory as determined in the ground rules), there will be  2 bases awarded from position of the runner at the time the ball is thrown. Example: No one is on base, batter hits the ball to the Shortstop, the Shortstop overthrows the First Basemen, and ball goes out of play. The batter is awarded 2 bases from the time of the throw (1st base and 2nd base). The batter is now on 2nd base.

RAINOUTS
1. Rainout notifications -
If the field is unplayable due to weather, we will send your captain a cancellation email no later than 90 minutes before the start of a game, and post updates on our social media.

ALCOHOL POLICY
Alcohol is prohibited on the premises of any of our fields.

REFUND POLICY

All registration fees are final. When you register, we account for your place on evenly distributed teams and lock other interested parties out.


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