Rules of the Field

2022 Women's Church League

Rules Updated: April 3, 2022
Rules that are highlighted are new/changed from last season.

Player Etiquette

  1. No alcoholic beverages or smoking.
  2. No profanity or foul language.
  3. Ejection from the game is a possibility with evaluation by coaches to determine.
  4. Metal spikes are not permitted.
  5. Throwing the bat will receive one team warning; second time the player will be called out.
  6. If the bat is thrown out of anger, the player may be subject to ejection.

 

Team Eligibility and Pre-Game

  1. Minimum 7 players permitted.
    1. If 7 players are present, the opposing team will provide a catcher (catcher makes no plays).
  2. If a team has 9 or more players, they will provide their own catcher.
  3. Minimum age of player is 15.
  4. Home team provides a new softball to begin the game.
  5. Home team has the field for warm ups prior to the game until 6:30 PM.
  6. Visitors have the field from 6:30 PM until 6:45 opening prayer.
  7. Game start will not be delayed for late arriving players who miss warm-up.
  8. Opening prayer will be made by the visiting team and the closing prayer will be the home team.
  9. Games start at 6:45 promptly following opening prayer.
  10. 15 minute period before forfeiture.

 

Game Format and Umpires

  1. Games will be 7 innings long if conditions permit.
    1. 5 complete innings of play will be considered a complete game if conditions don’t allow for 7 innings.
  2. Darkness will be called at discretion of the coaches.
  3. Rain games will be determined by the consensus of the coaches.
  4. Make up games should be rescheduled at the earliest convenience of both coaches.
    1. All make ups must be played by the last scheduled game of the season.
  5. Home team will provide 1 umpire.
  6. If a second umpire from the visiting team is available, he/she may be utilized.
  7. There will be no arguing with the umpire about calls.
    1. If calls are in question, they will be addressed by the coach and the umpire.
  8. Disputes over rule interpretations on the field shall be settled by coaches, assistant coaches, and umpire only.
  9. All base paths shall be 60’ in length.
  10. Foul balls are unlimited.
  11. This is a 3 strike 4 ball league.
  12. Home runs – Each team will be allowed to hit 2 HRs over the fence during a game.
    1. For rules when the 2 HR limit is reached see: Fair, Foul, and Dead Balls

 

Pitching

  1. Pitching distance will be a minimum of 45’.
  2. Foot must be in the vicinity of the rubber and cannot be less than 45’ from home plate.
  3. Any pitched ball, with the proper arc of 6’-12’, hitting any part of the carpet will be called a strike.
    1. Pitches not meeting the 6’-12’ requirement or hitting the mat will be called a ball.
  4. Catchers must let the ball hit the ground or mat before catching it.
  5. Strike carpet is rectangular in shape and measures 21 inches wide by 36 inches long.

Runners

  1. No barreling into fielders, if this occurs runner will be ruled out.
  2. Runners must stay in the baselines and fielders are not to block bases or baseline with their body.
  3. Leaving the base early before the ball is hit is a warning the first time and an out the second time.
  4. On an overthrown ball that goes out of play, the runner advances base + 1 base.
    1. ie, if the runner is almost to first they would be awarded second.
      Play stops when the ongoing play has come to a stop; at this time the umpire should call time on the field.
  5. Time can be called by a player once play action has ceased.

 

Home and Commit Lines

  1. Commit Line/Home Line: For safety, we will be using a home line, instead of home plate, and a commit line.
  2. The commit line will be drawn 20 feet from home plate, perpendicular to the base line.
    1. Once the base runner crosses the commit line, they must continue home.
  3. The home line will be 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 cross the home line prior to the catcher catching the ball while the catcher is touching home plate, similar to 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 runner touches home plate, they will be out; if both happen, the runner is out, as they shouldn’t be crossing the plate.
  4. Courtesy Runner – may be used for either batter or base runner.
    1. The preference would be the batter runs to first, but if the player is physically unable, the courtesy runner must start with their hand on the backstop until the ball is hit.
    2. In either situation, the courtesy runner should be the last batted out or the last person in the lineup if no out has been made.

 

Fair, Foul, and Dead Balls

  1. The position of the ball determines whether it is fair or foul.
  2. If a ball is caught in flight out of play, runners may advance at their own risk.
  3. Infield fly rule – infield fly applies when there are runners on 1st and 2nd or 1st, 2nd, and 3rd with less than 2 outs.
    1. Infield fly is ruled by the umpire and will be announced verbally during the play.
    2. If the rule is called, the base runners may try to advance at their own risk. If the ball is caught, after tagging up, base runners may try to advance.
  4. All balls hit over the fence once the 2 HRs have been reached will result in ground rule doubles.

 

Mercy Rule

  1. Each team will be allowed to score at least 10 runs per inning.
    1. If your opponent has the lead, your team will be allowed to continue to score until you have gained a 10 run lead over your opponent.
      1. i.e., your opponent has a 12 run lead, you will be allowed to score 22 runs.
    2. Once one of those scenarios has been reached (you had the lead and scored 10 more runs or you were behind and gained a 10 run lead) your batting is over for the inning regardless of outs.
    3. One exception of this rule will be in the 7th inning as there will be no cap on the runs scored.
  2. Beginning with the 5th inning, a 15 run mercy rule will apply.
    1. If either team has a 15 run or more lead at the end of the 5th inning, the game will be over.
    2. The same rule applies in the 6th inning as well.

Rules Updated: April 3, 2022
Rules that are highlighted are new/changed from last season.