2021 MENS RULES

Brighton Men’s Christian Softball League

Purpose

Christian fun, fellowship, and witness. All players are required to exhibit their best Christian sportsmanship. Games will begin and end with a group prayer at home plate.

Players, Subs, and Team Eligibility

  1. Players should be members or in regular attendance at the church he is playing for.
    1. Or attend a non-league Christian Church.
    2. Team managers have the authority to ADD additional eligibility requirements for their own team and have the responsibility of enforcing all requirements.
  2. If you have an opportunity to use your team as an outreach to a non-Christian player, we encourage this.
    1.  Communicate with the other coaches prior to the game, so we may react appropriately (as we always should) to possible non-Christ-like behavior/actions coming from said player.
  3. Non-Christian players must abide by the rules as outlined for this league.
  4. Age: 15 years and up.
  5. Women ages 15 and up may play on a men’s softball team.
  6. Playoff Eligibility: Only players that have played a reasonable number of games during the season are eligible for playoffs.
  7. Substitute players are to be used only when you don’t have enough players from your roster to field a team.
  8. If 11 or more players, who are on the roster, are at the game, a substitute player may not be used.
  9. A coach may bat all the players more than 10 that he wishes; but they must also be rotated into defensive play unless special circumstances are discussed with the opposing coach before the game.
  10. If all players are in the batting lineup, and someone is hurt during the game, there will not be an out/penalty when it’s his turn to bat; it will just jump to the next batter in the lineup.

ASA (USA) rules apply unless stated below.

Player Etiquette

  1. Obey the NO’S: no smoking, no chewing, no foul language, no alcohol, no metal spikes, no barreling fielders, no illegal bats, no phantom tagging.
  2. Player may be evicted from the game, either by umpire or preferably by his own coach, if non-Christian conduct is present.

Warmups and Opening Prayer

  1. Home team has the field for warm-ups from 6:00 to 6:15 pm.
  2. Visitors have the field from 6:15 to 6:30 pm.
  3. Opening prayer is to be held at 6:30pm.
  4. This is NOT batting practice.
    1. The idea is to give everyone an opportunity to swing the bat a few times before they need to take their first swings during the game. This is not batting practice, its warm-ups; batting practice is for another time, not before game time.
    2. Please limit swings to a half dozen or less per player.
    3. Once the game has started, no field warm-ups after the second inning; let’s keep the game moving.

Game Length and Format

  1. Games begin at 6:35 pm.
  2. The team in the field must have at least 8 players.
  3. The batting team may start with 7 players, but must have 8, or more, players by the time they take the field.
  4. Batting team will supply the catcher to a short-handed team, but the fielding team must cover the plate on an active play at home.
  5. When a team has 9 players, they are expected to supply their own catcher.
  6. Forfeit time is 6:50 pm
  7. Games will consist of two 7 inning games.
    1. The first game will run roughly 1 hour and 10 minutes, with no new inning starting after 1 hour from the start time.
    2. The second game will start as soon as both teams are ready, but no later than 10 minutes from the end of the first game; and will run for 7 innings or until darkness.
    3. First team listed on schedule will be the home team for the first game; and then switch to the away team for the second game.
  8. Games played before and up to May 12th will be limited to 6 innings of play to reduce the risk of injury in playing softball when it is too dark to play softball.
    1. Games played after May 12th will revert to the normal 7 innings of play.
  9. If light is still an issue after May 12th the team managers may decide if 6 or 7 innings should be played.
  10. Team managers can end games early if they agree that it is unsafe to continue play due to darkness.
  11. Scores may be reported as stands when the games are called due to darkness, or the teams may reschedule the game for another day.
    1. It is up to the team managers to agree on if the entire game should be replayed or if they should start from where they left off.
  12. Mercy Rule: 15 run lead after 5 innings.
    1. This applies to both 6 and 7 inning games.

Rainouts and Rescheduled Games

  1. Rainout will be based upon mutual agreement of both coaches.
    1. If you have doubts, SHOW UP OR FORFEIT.
  2. Rain postponement and replay as follows:
    1. Rain stoppage before final out of 4th inning, replay new game of 7 innings.
    2. Rain stoppage any time after the final out of the 4th inning, and the score stands as complete game.
    3. If the score is tied, the game will be continued from the point of play when stoppage occurred on a make-up day.
  3. Lightning: If lightning is spotted, play will immediately stop; and will not resume until 10 minutes, with no lighting, has elapsed.
  4. If a game needs to be called, a make-up game may need to be scheduled, based on the inning of play.
  5. It is requested that 48 hours’ notice be given to non-weather caused game cancellations.
    1. A forfeiture could be requested by opposing team if less than 48 hours’ notice has been given.
  6. No schedule changes during playoffs please.
  7. Make up games: Scheduling of makeup games is the responsibility of the home team coach.
    1. Check with the commissioners regarding field availability.
    2. Make up games that have not been made up by July 14th will be recorded as a loss for both teams.
      1. If one of the coaches of a make-up game has requested 2 different times to make this game up and has been unsuccessful as of the game will be considered a forfeit and a win will be recorded to the team which had attempted to set a makeup date.

Balls and Game Equipment

  1. Each team is being supplied new 52 core / 300lb. balls.
    1. The home team listed for each game will supply a new game ball.
    2. Lost hit balls cost the batting team their best used ball.
  2. Except for a few exceptions, most slow pitch Softball bats will be legal, provided a 52 core / 300lb ball is in use.
  3. Bats on the Non-Approved ASA Bat list and Senior bats are illegal.

Umpires

  1. Batting team will supply umpires.
  2. First base coach will also ump and call 1st base; the third base coach will also ump and call plays at 2nd and 3rd bases; and the home plate umpire will call home plate.
    1. This can be modified if agreeable between the coaches.
    2. Please remember to remind base coaches that their priority is to make a safe or out call.
  3. Mature players that understand the game are strongly recommended for base coaches/umpires.
  4. If the batting team has enough players to also provide a field umpire to cover 2nd base, that would be preferable.
  5. No protests, home umpire has final decision unless both coaches are in agreed opposition to the umpire, then they may overrule him.

Pitching and Hitting

For strikes, a carpet, described in the diagram below, fitting the back of the plate will be used.


Strike mat measures 21″ wide x 36″ long.

  1. Any pitched ball, with the proper arc, hitting any part of the carpet will be called a strike. Pitches must reach at least 6 feet in height (roughly the top of a batter’s head) and not exceed the maximum of 12 feet in height (roughly the top of the back stop) and hit the carpet on the first bounce.
  2. Pitches that do not meet the above requirements will be called a ball.
  3. This is a 4 ball / 3 strike league, starting with a 1/1 count.
  4. 60 feet between bases, 46 feet to pitcher’s mound.
  5. Pitchers may move back if more comfortable with that distance for safety reasons.
  6. Batter is allowed 1 foul ball on third strike.
    1. Meaning, after the second strike (regardless of if the second strike is the result of a watched pitch or a foul ball), the batter has one free foul ball to give; but will be out with the second foul ball on their third strike.

Commit and Home Lines

  1. For safety, we will be using a home line, instead of home plate, and a commit line.
  2. Commit Line is a line drawn 20 feet from home plate, perpendicular to the base line, called the commit line.
    1. Once the base runner crosses the commit line, they must continue home.
    2. If a runner turns around and runs across the commit line after crossing it on their way to the Home Line, the player is automatically out.
  3. Home Line is a line drawn off the back corner of home plate, as an extension of the first base line.
    1. When the base runner is attempting to score, their body must break the plane of the home line prior to the catcher catching the ball and touching home plate, like a force play for a hitter/runner at first base, where the runner must beat the catch.
    2. The catcher must not attempt to tag a runner that has passed the commit line, or the runner will be safe; and if the attempt to cross home plate, they will be out; if both happen, the runner is out, as they shouldn’t be crossing the plate.

Fair, Foul and Dead Balls

  1. On an overthrow, out of play, the runner advances 2 bases from the time the ball is released by the defensive player who caused the overthrow.
    1. Example: If a base runner is one step away from second when the defensive player released the ball, but past second when the ball went out of play, they are still awarded just second and third base.
  2. It is the position of the BALL which determines whether it is fair or foul…NOT the position of the fielder; call determined by home plate umpire.
  3. When a player catches a ball in the designated playing area, and then proceeds into a non-playing area (out of play), each base runner may automatically advance one base.
  4. When a runner is struck with a fair untouched batted ball while not in contact with a base and before it passes an infielder, excluding the pitcher, the EFFECT is the ball is dead and the runner is out.
    1. All other runners must return to the last base legally touched at the time of the interference.
    2. The batter is awarded first base.

Home Runs

  1. Home Run Rule: 3 and 1 up.
    1. After the 3rd home run (untouched ball hit over the fence), the next home run will be an out, unless the opposing team has also reached 3 home runs.
    2. Once both teams have hit 3 home runs, either team will be allowed to hit an additional home run (the 1 up).
    3. Additional home runs may continue if you are not more than 1 up over the opposing team, at which point the 2nd up would be an out.
    4. The home team, in the bottom of the last inning of the game, may not hit a home run to go 1 up.
  2. At West Highland, an untouched ball that rolls into the weeds will be a triple.

Base and Courtesy Runners

  1. No barreling or intentional sliding into a defensive fielder, runner will be called OUT.
    1. This does not include normal scuffle for bag or mishaps of play that create a collision.
  2. Runners need to stay in baseline and fielders are not to block the base or baseline with their body.
  3. If there is a play at the bag, the runner has the option of sliding or giving themselves up to the out.
    1. But again, the fielder is not to block the base; base must be exposed to the runner.
  4. Courtesy runners may be used as needed for injury situations, or a player with an existing injury.
    1. You may not use pinch runners for a slower runner.
  5. Courtesy runners will be the last player batted out.
    1. If a runner is required from home, the runner will stand a few feet to the side and even with the umpire.

Infield Fly Rule

  1. Infield Fly is defined as “a fair fly ball, not including a line drive, which could be caught by an infielder, pitcher or catcher with ordinary effort, when runners are on first and second, or first, second and third, with less than two outs.”
    1. This should be called by the home plate umpire.
    2. With an Infield Fly called, the batter is out, and the base runners are not forced to advance, even if the ball is dropped.
    3. A base runner is allowed to advance after the ball is caught, after tagging up, just like any other caught fly ball; but are not required to.

Blood Rule

  1. A player, coach or umpire who is bleeding or who has blood on his uniform shall be prohibited from participating further in the game until appropriate treatment can be administered.

Field Decorum

  1. Please leave each field free of all litter after playing games and show respect for they are on loan to us for the pleasure of this fellowship.
  2. Only designated parking areas are to be used.

Playoff Seeding

  1. Seeding for playoffs will be based on losses.
    1. If two teams have the same win/loss record, the advantage will go to the team that won when those two teams played during the regular season.
      1. If there is still a tie, run differential (diff) will be used to determine the seeding between the two teams, awarding the team with the higher differential the lower seed.

Playoff Format

All playoff rules are the same as the regular season rules unless stated below.

  1. 6:45pm first pitch.
  2. Every teams makes it into the signal elimination playoff bracket, their seeding based off their regular season record.
  3. Elimination rounds are played as 1 nine inning game.
    1. The winning team advances to the next round of the bracket.
    2. The losing team will be done for the season.
  4. The lower regular season seed is the home team.
    1. In the semi-final and championship games the home team is determined by either a coin flip or a best 2 out of 3 rochambeau.
  5. Playoff mercy rule is 15 runs after 7 innings of play.
  6. When available impartial umpires will be provided for playoff games.

Reporting Scores

  1. Winning coach MUST report scores within 24 hours of the completion of the game.
    1. If not, games will be recorded as a loss for both teams.

Ball Field Notes:

Coaches will be provided the combinations for the locks at the fields.

Cornerstone bases are in the equipment shed. Both coaches are responsible for replacing the base plugs, filling in and raking bases and home plate area, and returning everything to the equipment shed immediately following the end of the game. Cornerstone has a “Coaches First Aid Kit” in the equipment shed. IF IT IS USED, an Incident Report must be filled out and turned into any staff member on the property the same day of incident. The binder with blank forms is behind the First Aid Kit.

West Highland has bases in the shed at the field. Both coaches are responsible for returning bases to the storage box, putting in the plugs and dragging the field after the game. A mower should be in the shed to drag the field; if it is not, then the drag can be pulled with a car or truck with a hitch.

Northridge bases are kept in a storage box behind home plate. Both coaches are responsible for returning bases to the storage box, putting in the plugs and dragging the field after the game.

Shepherd of the Lakes – Both coaches will be responsible for replacing the base plugs, raking around home plate, and dragging the field following the game.