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Below are the playing rules from Spring 2016
Long Beach Heartwell Fastpitch
2016 Spring League Playing & Operating Rules
Long Beach Heartwell Fastpitch will abide by the ASA 2015 Official Rules of Softball including the section on Junior Olympic 8-Under, 10-Under, and 12-Under, and 14-Under, with the following exceptions and modifications specified in these League Playing & Operating Rules for LBHFP:
REMEMBER: THIS IS RECREATIONAL SOFTBALL AND IS BASICALLY DESIGNED TO BE A DEVELOPMENTAL PROGRAM. ALL GIRLS GET TO PLAY.
Pre-Game Procedures/Plate meeting with Umpire(s), five (5) minutes prior to start of game all players must be in the dugout and all warm ups must end. Exception, pitchers and catchers may continue to warm up in outfield or dead ball territory (NO PITCHING WARMUPS ON INFIELD DURING PLATE MEETING). Manager or Head Coach needs to be at home plate five (5) minutes prior to start of game for plate meeting with Umpire(s). Each coach is to exchange line-ups and show the umpire the line-up sheets. The Umpires is to receive full payment of fees prior to start of game.
*Any deviations of the game rules shall be brought up at the Pre-Game Conference with the Umpire(s). All Coaches are responsible for ensuring that all of their team and players are legally and properly equipped.
I. All Divisions:
A. ASA (mercy rule) Run ahead rule per rule book: 15 after 3 innings. 12 after 4 innings, 8 after 5 innings.
1. In the event that the drop-dead time is reached in the middle of an inning, the score will revert back to the last completed full inning. If the home team ties or goes ahead in bottom of last inning that is played, the 3rd out does not have to be recorded. If home team was leading after previous inning and then has to come back and tie game in last inning and does not go ahead and inning is stopped, because of time, that too will revert back. If after “No New Inning Time” has expired and the teams have completed the inning, the game will end even if tied. Each team will receive ½ win & ½ loss.
2. If after 7 innings the game is tied and there is time left, then the International Tie Breaker will be used until a winner is determined or time expires. Once time has expired and the score remains tied, each team will receive 1/2 win & 1/2 loss.
B. Substitutions and Batting:
1. All divisions will bat Round Robin with free substitution on defense. (Every Girl Plays.) No girl will sit consecutive innings on defense (unless for disciplinary reasons pre-approved by the player agent / board.)
2. *There is no penalty out taken for a team while at bat and having less than 9 players with which to play.
3. Short-Handed rule: A team may start with 8 players but when another player arrives, they must be inserted into the lineup in the ninth batting position. If a 10th player arrives, they must be inserted in the 10th spot in the lineup. Subsequent arrivals must be listed in order of arrival up to the maximum number of players on the lineup card allowed by the league.
4. If a player, who is either a batter or runner, should have a personal emergency and calls Time Out. That Batter or runner may leave the field to tend to that emergency after notifying the umpire.
a. If the batter has to temporarily leave the field then the player who follows her in the batting order takes her place and assumes her Strikes and Balls count.
b. If the runner has to temporarily leave the field, then the player who made the last out will take the runner’s place on the bases.
5. Players may NOT be borrowed from another team within the league from the same age classification.
6. Under round-robin batting:
a. The DP/FLEX rule will not be in effect.
b. A team may have between 9 and 16 batters and no more than 9 defensive fielders (or 10 fielders in 8-Under division) as modified in these League rules.
c. If a player needs to leave early, this must be declared to the plate umpire and the opposing team at the plate meeting (before the game starts). No penalty "out" will be assessed if the situation is declared before the game starts. If the situation is brought to the attention of the umpire and the opposing team during the game, a penalty "out" will be declared only the first time that the vacant spot in the batting order comes up. An inning or a game can end with an automatic out.
d. All batters must bat and run for themselves unless injured. If a batter or runner becomes injured and cannot complete their turn at bat or time on the bases, a replacement runner will be allowed to finish the at bat or time as a runner for that half inning only.
e. When all play has stopped, the team member who was the “last out” before the injured player's turn at bat will be the replacement runner. If the last out is on base or at bat, the next available player in the line up before the injured player will become the replacement runner.
f. Any batter or base runner that must use a replacement runner a second time due to injury will be removed from the game for safety reasons. When the player is removed from the game due to injury and misses the next at bat, an out will NOT be declared for that and subsequent at bats.
g. A player may be used as a replacement runner only once per inning.
7. HIT BY PITCH: For 10U, 12U, and 14U the ASA Rule Book applies for the entire Season. For 8U the ASA Rule Book applies for Second Half of Season: Batters must make an attempt to avoid any pitched ball by player, batter will not be awarded 1st base if no attempt is made to avoid pitched ball by player (umpires judgment). Reference: ASA Rule Book, Rule 8.1.F
C. Other - Miscellaneous:
1. Courtesy runners are encouraged to be used for your pitcher and catcher at anytime.
2. No Pitcher in any division may pitch on more than two (2) occasions during a game. The penalty will be a forfeit of the game.
3. 60 seconds or 5 pitch rule to be enforced between innings.
4. Delay of game penalties: Ball on batter for defensive or excessive warm up pitches between innings.
5. Strike on batter for offensive (not ready for at bat/not in batter’s box)
6. The BALL: The 10”RIF (reduced flight - safety) ball will be used in 8U. 11" ASA approved ball for 10U. Standard 12" ASA approved ball for 12-U through High School divisions. Game balls will be optic yellow.
7. Conduct: Umpires will have zero tolerance towards abusive language, gestures, or actions of unsportsmanlike conduct by managers, coaches, players, relatives or other spectators. It is the manager’s responsibility to correct these actions immediately. Any person or persons ejected from the game will not be permitted to return for the remainder of the game AND will be suspended one additional game.
Any complaint against an umpire will be directed to the UIC.
8. Start of Game Time: The time listed on the published game schedule. Forfeit time is 15 minutes after Game Time.
II. 14U Division will play under the (District Inter League Spring Rules.)
1. Pitching Restrictions:
a. Pitchers in the High School and 14U divisions may pitch unlimited innings per week.
b. Pitching distance is 43 feet.
2. Base Path: 60 Feet.
3. Run Limitation: None except as it applies to the ASA Run Ahead Rule.
4. Time Limit: 10U & 12U drop-dead/sudden stop at 1hr. and 30 minutes. The plate umpire holds the official time. The Home team will be Official Scorekeeper, unless the umpire assigns the Visitor Team as Official Scorekeeper.
III. 10U and 12U Game Information:
1. A regulation game for 10U and 12U is seven (7) innings. A minimum of 3 ½ innings if the home team is ahead or Time Limit is reached.
2. Time Limit: 10U & 12U drop-dead/sudden stop at 1hr. and 30 minutes. The plate umpire holds the official time. The Home team will be Official Scorekeeper, unless the umpire assigns the Visitor Team as Official Scorekeeper.
3. RUN LIMIT: 10U - 12U will have a 4 run limit per inning for the first 3 innings. Innings 4 and on will be unlimited until the game time expires.
4. PITCHING RESTRICTIONS: Pitchers in the 12U division have unlimited pitching, 10U divisions may pitch no more than 8 innings per week. 8U may pitch no more than 7 innings per week and not more than 4 innings in a game (If a team has three games in the same week, each pitcher will be allowed 2 (two) additional innings in that week)
a. Pitching distance is 35 feet in 10U and 40 feet in 12U and 43 feet in older divisions.
b. Base paths: 60 feet in 10U and 12U divisions.
IV. 8U Division Game Information:
1. A regulation game for 8U is six (6) innings. A minimum of three and a half (3 1/2) innings is an official game or the time limit is reached.
2. Time Limit for 8U is 1 hr. and 20 min. no new inning shall begin and 1 hr. 30 min. drop-dead/sudden stop time limit. The plate umpire holds the official time. Home team shall be official scorekeeper, unless the Umpire assigns the Visitor Team as Official Scorekeeper.
3. Run limit - 8U will have a 3 run limit per inning for the first 3 innings. In the 4th inning and on, the 9th BATTER RULE WILL BE IN EFFECT (WHEN THE 9th BATTER OF THE INNING COMES TO BAT, 2 OUTS WILL BE DECLARED, A PLAY MADE IN THE FIELD MUST BE MADE OR ANY DEFENSIVE PLAYER WITH THE BALL CAN TOUCH HOME PLATE TO RECORD THE 3RD OUT). The ASA Run Ahead Rule (Mercy Rule) also applies and is 15 runs after the 3rd inning, 12 runs after the 4th inning and 8 runs after the 5th inning.
4. Pitching Restrictions: 8U may pitch no more than 7 innings per week and not more than 4 innings in a game (If a team has three games in the same week, each pitcher will be allowed 2 (two) additional innings in that week)
5. Pitching Distance: Pitching distance is 30 feet (both player and coach) in 8-U.
6. Base Path: 60 Feet in 8U Division.
7. No dropped-third strike. No infield fly rule.
8. No walks. After ball four, a coach from the offense will pitch to the batter the number of pitches left between the current strike count and three. *See Section 13 below for League modifications during Coach-Pitch 8U Division.
9. Team option in 8U division only to have a "10th player" allowed on the field during a defensive half inning (not an option, but always unless not enough players to field the 10th player). The defensive alignment shall consist of an infield player at each of the following positions: pitcher, catcher, first base, second base, third base and shortstop. The outfield alignment will include an outfielder in the left, left center, right center and right field positions.
10. Outfielders including the 10th player must remain standing on the edge of the outfield grass line behind the base paths until the ball is hit, or a play is made on a runner because of a batted ball or steal.
11. No player except the pitcher or catcher shall start in a defensive position closer than 25 feet to home plate, measured from the front side of the plate anywhere between the 3rdbaseline and the 1st baseline.
12. *Strike zone should be per ASA Rule book; the arm pits to the top of the knees, as determined by umpire’s judgment.
13. Coach-Pitch (8-Under Division only): Coach- Pitch will be used first half of the season. (All games after will NOT use coach-pitch)
a. No stealing during coach-pitch.
b. No bunting during coach-pitch.
c. Walks are not permitted on any batter during coach pitch. The batter must put the ball in play or strike out
d. Players will pitch and the umpire will call balls and strikes while the player is pitching.
e. When a batter receives “Ball Four”, the Coach Pitcher shall pitch to the batter. The Coach Pitcher will assume the strike count and the batter shall receive up to five pitches from the Coach Pitcher. Umpires will continue to call balls and strikes during Coach Pitch. The fifth Coach Pitch must be hit by the batter or will be ruled “strike three” by the umpire. EXCEPTION: If the third pitch from the Coach Pitcher is hit foul, the batter shall receive an additional pitch and shall receive an additional pitch for each foul ball hit thereafter. The batter’s turn at bat is concluded by either hitting the ball into fair territory or by striking out. No “base on balls” or “hit by the pitch” will be awarded. THIS WILL ONLY BE USED FOR THE FIRST 1/2 OF THE SEASON. After which there will be NO coach pitch.
f. A batter cannot foul out. A foul tip caught by the catcher on the 3rd strike results in the batter being declared out.
g. The coach must pitch with at least one foot on the 30-foot rubber.
h. The pitcher shall remain adjacent to or behind the coach-pitcher and must have at least one foot in the pitcher's circle during coach pitch.
i. FIRST HALF: HIT BY PITCH for 8U: "THE BATTER BECOMES A RUNNER When a pitched ball not swung at nor called a strike touches any part of the batter's person including the hands or clothing. EFFECT: Dead ball, the batter is entitled to one first base without liability to be put out. NOTE: The batter's hands are not part of the bat." Reference: ASA Rule Book, Rule 8.1.F, without the exception rule.
j. SECOND HALF: HIT BY PITCH FOR 8U: Batters must make an attempt to avoid any pitched ball by player, batter will not be awarded 1st base if no attempt is made to avoid pitched ball by player (umpires judgment). Reference: ASA Rule Book, Rule 8.1.F
k. A pitch by the coach-pitcher that hits the batter shall count as a strike, 1st base is not awarded.
l. The coach-pitcher shall not interfere with any defensive player making a play on the ball or a runner. Coach-pitcher should avoid batted ball and defensive players. Coach-pitcher struck by batted ball, or interferes with defensive player making play on ball; Umpire shall call immediate dead ball/time.
PENALTY: the batter is declared out and all other runners are returned to last base held at the time of coach-pitch interference. Any other outs made on the play are nullified.
m. The coach-pitcher shall refrain from coaching from within the field of play. If umpire judges that the coach-pitcher is coaching the runners, the Umpire shall call immediate dead ball/time.
PENALTY: The batter is declared out and all other runners are returned to last base held at the time of coach-pitch interference. Any other outs made on the play are nullified.
14. Stealing (8-Under Division only): For the whole season.
1. Base runners may only steal one (1) base per pitch (no stealing on coach-pitch).
2. Runners are in jeopardy to be put out between bases or not in sole contact of base. When runner touches illegal base (one more base than original stolen base), Umpire will call immediate dead ball/time, and return runner(s) to legal stolen base.
3. Overthrows to 3rd base that go into dead ball territory, runner is not awarded home.
4. Home plate is closed.
(*means revised or added rule.)