Recreation and Wellness Center
INTRAMURAL SOFTBALL- RULES AND PROCEDURES
- The following rules and procedures are for those items which the Recreation and Wellness Center feels a need to further elaborate and clarify. In no way should the absence of a particular rule or procedure be interpreted to mean that it will not be enforced. All team coaches are responsible for the information in current issues of the Intramural Handbook and the Amateur Softball Association Rule Book.
- An Intramural Supervisor will be on duty for each game. The Intramural Supervisor has been given directions and authority by the VRWC to carry out necessary duties. Any problems should be referred to the supervisor in charge.
- No player, coach, or spectator shall use abusive or insulting language, or physically abuse any player, coach, spectator, or intramural employee.
1.1 Responsibilities of Coaches
- Check with your players to see if any of them are participating in other intramural activities that may cause a time conflict with your softball schedule. If you have players in these other activities notify VRWC immediately and we will try to avoid conflicts.
- Read and know the rules. Have a team meeting to go over the rules and schedule.
- Control yourself, your teammates, and your spectators.
- Represent your team prior to, during and after games and at all meetings.
- Keep the score sheet completely and accurately.
- Player eligibility.
- Only the captain may address an official on matters of rule interpretation and for information.
- Check the web page for any recording errors of game results, records, and for the playoff schedule following completion of regular season play.
- No alcoholic beverages are permitted on the intramural field. (See posted policy)
- Faculty/Staff may play in the fall leagues.
- A person may play for one team only. (Exception: a person may play on one men’s or women’s team and one co-rec team.)
- To be eligible, each player’s name must be on the team roster filed with the VRWC.
- Freshmen are not eligible for any league except the freshman leagues.
- Penalty for any of the above is possible forfeiture of the game and player suspension.
1.3 Number of Players
- Each team may have a maximum of 10 players on the field and may bat 11 players. (EP)
- It is recommended that a team have a minimum of 15 players on the roster.
- A team may start and finish a game with 9 players, even if it started a game with an EP.
1.4 Protest Procedure
- Get the two captains together with the official and settle the dispute.
- If satisfaction is not reached, call the IM Supervisor who will then settle the problem.
- Neither team may leave the site, nor may the game begin or continue until the protest has been settled.
- Eligibility protests must be filed with the IM Supervisor before the game, or when the player in question enters the game.
- Judgment calls cannot be protested. Other rule or policy interpretation protests must be made before the next pitch is thrown.
- Teams who wish to carry the protest further may do so by following the guidelines set forth in the Intramural Handbook.
2. THE GAME
- A five minute grace period is in effect for each game. A team must have at least 9 players present by forfeit time to begin a game. (The umpire is the official timer.)
- Games are 7 innings in length. No new innings may begin after 50 minutes from the game’s starting time. No time limit in playoff games.
- If no umpire is available, teams must call their own game. This will count as an official game.
- A team with a 12-run advantage after 5 complete innings will be declared the winner.
- In case of inclement weather, 4 innings constitutes a complete game. (3.5 if home team is ahead.)
- Tie games will stand in regular season play. Ties will go into extra innings in the playoffs.
2.2 Game Equipment
- Balls: The VRWC will supply gold dot softballs for all leagues.
- Each team is responsible for supplying its own bats. Bats and softballs may be purchased from the VRWC equipment desk. Bats may also be checked out on a limited basis.
- The bat may be no longer than 34 inches. If aluminum, it must be of one-piece construction; no rubber knobs are permitted. The bat must have “Official Softball” visible on it, and it must have at least 10 inches of grip (rubber, tape, etc.). If a batter steps into the batter’s box with an illegal bat, the batter will be called out.
- Shoes must be worn. No metal cleats, hard soled, combat, or hiking boots are permitted.
- Gloves may be worn by all players, but mitts may be worn only by the catcher and the first baseman. The pitcher’s glove must be of a single color and not gray or white.
- Catcher’s masks are available to be checked out from the VRWC equipment desk.
- A player may not participate if he is wearing any type of cast.
2.3 The Field
- Bases are 65 feet apart.
- The base path is 3 feet on either side of the line between bases.
- The batter’s box is 3 feet wide and is 6 inches from the edge of home plate. It extends 40 inches forward from the front edge of home plate, and 36 inches backwards from the side corner.
- Ground rules:
- A thrown or batted ball touched by a player or spectator on another field: umpire’s judgment on where runner(s) would have advanced.
- A fair batter ball rolling out of play: umpire’s judgment on where runner(s) would have advanced unless stated otherwise below.
- Out of play of all fields: behind the backstop or over either fence. Overthrows: two bases from the time of the throw.
- The pitcher must come to rest with at least one foot on the pitcher’s plate for no less than one second when the ball presented in front of him.
- The ball must first be delivered toward home plate on the first forward motion of the arm past the hip.
- The pitch must be released at a moderate speed with an arch of at least 6 feet from the ground, and not more than 12 feet. A pitch not within the prescribed limits will ne declared an “illegal pitch” immediately. The batter may swing at the ball if he wishes; at that point, however, the pitch becomes legal and the ball is in play.
- The pitcher has 20 seconds to release the next pitch after he receives the ball. Penalty: the umpire will begin to call balls.
- No pitch shall be declared when:
- A base runner is called out for leaving the base too soon.
- The pitcher makes a quick return pitch.
- Upon the second conference by a coach with the pitcher in one inning, the pitcher must give up pitching duties for the remainder of the inning.
- Pitchers are allowed 5 warm-up pitches before the start of the game, and 1 warm-up pitch between innings.
- The catcher shall return the ball directly to the pitcher after each pitch.
- If a pitcher desires to walk a batter intentionally, he should indicate this to the umpire who will award first base to the batter.
10. Appeal plays:
- The base runner must be appealed before the next pitch—legal or illegal—and before the defensive team has left the field (all infielders have left fair territory).
- The batter shall not:
- Have one or both feet entirely outside the limits of the batter’s box and touching the ground or any part of his foot touching home plate when he hits the ball.
- Step from one batter’s box to the other when the pitcher is in position to pitch.
- Hit or step into the batter’s box with an illegal bat. Effect: the batter is out and all runners must return to their original base.
- The batter must take his position after the umpire calls “play ball” or be called out. The batter may not step out of the batter’s box without first asking the umpire for “time.” If he does step out without asking, a ball or strike will be called.
- Batting out of order is an appeal play:
- If the error is discovered while the incorrect batter is at bat, the correct player may take his place and assume any balls of strikes—no outs are called.
- If the incorrect batter has completed his turn at bat, the player who should have batted is out, all runs are cancelled, and the base runners must return to their original positions. The next batter is the one who follows the player who should have batted.
- There can be no appeal if there has been one or more pitch since the incorrect batter completed his turn at bat. The next person to bat is the one who follows the previous, incorrect batter in order. Anyone skipped loses his turn at bat.
- The batter is out under the following circumstances:
- When bunting or chops the ball downward.
- When he hits an infield fly ball with men on first and second, or first, second, and third with less than two outs.
- With 2 strikes on the batter, any type of foul ball results in the batter being declared out. If the foul ball is caught, the runners can advance.
- Once he is out of the batter’s box, the batter cannot interfere with the catcher while he attempts to field the ball. Effect: the ball is dead and the runners must return to the last base previously touched before the interference and the batter is called out. If the interference is called on the catcher, the batter gets first base and each runner advances one base. Exception: If batter reaches first and all other runners advance at least one base safely, the ball remains alive.
- The batter cannot intentionally hit the ball the second time in fair territory with the bat; however, if there is no intention to hit the ball, the batter is not called out and the ball is in play. Otherwise, the batter is out and the runners must return to their original bases.
- Strike Zone—When the ball or any part of the it crosses over home plate in an area with its top limit the height of the top of the batter’s shoulder and the lower parts of the batter’s knees when the batter assumes his natural batting stance, and the ball does not touch home plate. (Note: If a batter is standing at the back edge of the box, the strike zone is still over the plate, not where he is standing.)
- Infield Fly Rules:
- It is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive) which can be caught by an infielder or a short fielder playing close to the infield with ordinary effort when first and second, or first, second, and third bases are occupied, before there are two outs. If the ball is near the baseline, the umpire shall declare “infield fly is fair.” The ball is alive and runners may advance at their own risk.
- If a declared infield fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared infield fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an infield fly.
- When a fielder intentionally drops a fair line drive with first, first and second or first second and third occupied with less than two outs, the batter is out and the ball is dead.
- A fair ball is one which:
- Bounds past first or third base on or over fair ground.
- Touches first or third base.
- While on or over fair ground touches a player or an umpire.
- First touches on fair ground beyond first or third base; the ball is judged by its position and not that of the player.
- Settles or is touched on fair ground between home and first base or between home and third base.
- A ball can first hit foul between home and first or home and third and roll into fair territory before reaching first or third and still be a fair ball.
- Home plate is entirely in fair territory.
10. A foul ball is on which:
- Bounds past third base on or over foul ground.
- Settles on foul ground between home and first or home and third base.
- First touches on foul ground past first or third base.
- While on or over foul ground touches a player or an umpire.
- Fair and foul calls are made on the basis of the position of the ball, and not that of the player.
- A foul tip must ho higher than the batter’s head to be caught for an out by the catcher, unless it is the third strike.
3.3 Base Runners
- A runner must run on or outside of the line going to first base. He may be called out for interfering with the play if he runs inside the line.
- If the base slides away from its proper position when a runner goes into it, he is assumed to be on the base and not in jeopardy to be put out unless he tries to advance, at which time he must go to the base. If the base travels more than 10 feet, succeeding runners need not go to the base, and all play will be determined as if the base were in its proper position. In all cases the runner gets the benefit of the doubt.
- A runner cannot go back to touch a base once a succeeding runner has scored.
- When the ball is dead, no runner may return to touch a base if he has advanced to the next base.
- A runner cannot return to touch a base once he has entered the team area.
- Two players cannot occupy a base simultaneously; the first one there is entitled to it, the other must be put out—play cannot stop while this situation exists. If a preceding or succeeding runner is awarded the base because of an obstruction call the runner on the base is entitled to return or advance respectively.
- If the ball hits an umpire or base runner after passing a fielder other than the pitcher, the ball is in play. If the ball hits an umpire or base runner before passing a fielder or base runner, the batter/runner is awarded first base. The runner is out only if the ball hits him before the ball could be fielded. Effect: The ball is dead, and the runner is out.
- If a ball had passed a fielder who could have or did play the ball, the ball is alive and base runners cannot be called out if he is hit with the ball.
- A runner may turn either way after passing first base and return without liability to be put out so long as he makes no attempt to go to second.
10. A base runner is out if he is physically assisted by a coach or a spectator.
11. The base runner is out if he passes a preceding runner who has not yet been called out.
12. A runner is now prohibited from intentionally and deliberately crashing into a fielder with great force when the fielder has the ball and is waiting for the runner. The umpire must judge whether there is great force or incidental contact on a given play. When the ball and the runner arrive at the same time, the umpire shall not apply this rule. (This does not give the runner a license to kill in any situation as the other rules and provisions could apply). Penalty for above: The runner is out and the ball is dead. If the umpire determines the act flagrant, the runner shall be ejected. In addition, no player shall block a base or home plate in a manner which would initiate contact.
13. A runner must get out of the base path to avoid a fielder who is playing the ball, or interference will be called. However, if a base runner goes out of the base path to avoid being tagged out, he is out. If no play is being made on him, he may go out of the base path.
14. When interference is called, all runners must return to the last base legally touched.
15. A base runner is not out if he is hit by a batted ball when he is touching a base, unless he intentionally interferes with the fielder making the play. (Ball is dead).
16. If, in the umpire’s judgment, a preceding runner intentionally interferes with a fielder throwing or catching the ball as part of a double play attempt, interference should be called and both runners will be called out.
- If a fielder obstructs a runner, the runner is awarded the base he would have reached had there been no obstruction. However, the runner runs at his own risk, and may be put out, if he advances beyond the base he would have reached had there been no obstruction (umpire’s judgment).
- A fake tag or simulating the motion of catching a throw is a form of obstruction. In the case of a fake tag, both teams should be given a warning. The next fake tag will result in the ejection of the player.
- If a fielder hits a batted ball or thrown ball with any part of his uniform, 3 bases will be awarded for a batted ball and 2 bases for a thrown ball. In either case, base runners may advance further at their own risk.
- Overthrows: Two bases from the time an overthrown ball is released.
- If a player catches a fly ball in playable territory and goes out of play with the ball in his possession, the runner will advance 1 base. If the umpire judges the ball to have been intentionally carried out of play, the runner will be awarded 2 bases.
- All substitutions must be reported to the opposing team’s scorekeeper.
- Starting players may re-enter the game once.
- Non-starting players may enter the game once.
- Penalty for illegal substitutions is forfeit.
- Rain-outs are not decided upon until after 3 p.m. the day of the game. After 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and at all times on the weekends, the supervisor will decide on game status. The teams involved in postponed games are responsible for web page concerning the make-up date. Occasionally, these games are schedules to be made up on very short notice.
- Do not forfeit. If you are going to forfeit, please notify the VRWC ahead of time. Two forfeits and your team will be removed from the league.
- Any player or coach ejected from a game is automatically suspended for at least one or more contests, depending on circumstances reviewed by the VRWC staff.
- An ejected player shall not have any further contact with any intramural employee that day or night. He is to leave the immediate area.
- No schedule information will be given out over the phone.
PLEASE REMEMBER THAT THE OBJECTIVE OF INTRAMURAL SPORTS IS TO ENJOY HEALTHY RECREATION… PLAY ACCORDINGLY