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2017 Rules - West Norriton Coed Softball


Co-Commissioner: George Gibson

E-mail: ggibson@wnces.com
Cell: (610) 539-1573

Co-Commissioner: Pete Marion
E-mail: pmarion517@verizon.net
Cell: 610-316-8912


1. Per township, borough and school regulations, alcoholic beverages are not permitted on township, borough and school property.
2. Dispose of your trash in the appropriate receptacle.  If there are no receptacles available, take your trash with you.  Do not toss cigarette butts on the ground.
3. Do not park illegally and do not park on the grass at any fields.
4. Unsportsmanlike conduct includes but is not necessarily limited to: fighting, verbal or physical abuse, racial or ethnic slurs, inappropriate comments or behavior that may be construed as sexual harassment, profanity, obscene gestures, flagrant and violent play, taunting, trash talk, baiting, cheating, throwing or abusing equipment, destruction of field or league property, physical intimidation or abuse of an official or opponent or ANYONE at the field or on the grounds. 
5. All injuries to players, coaches and league officials occurring during league sanctioned activities must be reported immediately to George Gibson (610) 539-1573 or ggibson@wnces.com


West Norriton Coed Softball Game Day Rules
USA rules apply, unless superseded by our league rules (see below).  
Note: ASA Softball changed its name to USA Softball in 2017.

TEAM MANAGER / UMPIRES / GENERAL RULES

  1. One person designated as the game-day manager shall be responsible for the conduct of their team and shall act as spokesperson for the team in all discussions with the umpire.  The manager must run the team, having full control over his/her players.
  2. One umpire will be provided for each game. The umpire will make all calls and control the game per USA and league Code of Conduct.  
  3. If there is a question about a rule, the legality of a bat or player eligibility, call time and call (or have the umpire call) George Gibson (610-539-1573) or Pete Marion (610-316-8912) IMMEDIATELY - before the next play.  All protests will be decided on during the game by a league commissioner, not after the game.  Judgment calls cannot be questioned.
  4. No music, once a game starts.  Music that contains foul or discriminatory language should not be played under any circumstances. (some people find music during a game to be distracting or sometimes offensive, so use common sense here)
  5. Players, coaches, umpires, volunteers, etc. may not participate in league sanctioned activities while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  6. Do not park illegally and do not park on the grass at any fields.

INJURIES / INSURANCE
If one or more of your players is injured (as outlined below) during a league sanctioned activity, report it (or have the player report it) immediately to: 

George Gibson

E-mail: ggibson@wnces.com
Cell: (610) 539-1573

Reportable Injuries include:
1. Any injury requiring a doctor's care or hospitalization
2. Fracture or break
3. Severe strain or sprain
4. Severe bleeding
5. Any other medical emergencies such as heart attack, seizure, etc.

Our league carries secondary accidental insurance.  Our insurance company will not cover injuries that are not reported in a timely manner.


EQUIPMENT

  1. The home team will provide game balls - two each, 11" and 12" game balls (one new and one used/good condition).  Males will hit with the 12" yellow softball.  Females will have the option of hitting with either the 12" softball or the 11" softball.  If the wrong ball is used, the manager of the offensive team has the option of taking the result of the play, or having the last batter bat over and assume the ball strike count prior to the wrong ball being discovered.
  2. Bases are to be set 65’ apart, unless the field has anchored bases.
  3. The home team will provide an orange and white double-first base (not just a base and mat).  Refer to USA rule 8-2 M 
  4. The home team provide the 2’ x 3’ league-issued strike mat.   Umpires shall place the mat a couple of inches behind the plate.  Any legal (6’-12’) pitch hitting the mat or the area between the mat and plate shall be called a strike.  A pitch that hits the plate is not a strike. 
  5. Metal spikes are not permitted.
  6. Home teams will provide two cones placed 110 feet from home plate  (See Fielding Rule 2)
  7. Home teams will provide a pitching rubber that is to be placed 50' from home plate.  It is to be used at all fields but Heels and Bridgeport  (those fields have pitching rubbers set at 50').

Legal Bats

  1. Our league allows only bats that are on our approved bat list.  http://www.wnces.com/bats.htm  (Print and carry the list with you).
  2. (USA Rule 7 Section 6B) When a batter enters the batter’s box with or is discovered using an altered or non-approved bat. EFFECT: The batter is called out and ejected from the game (our league rules provide an automatic one game suspension for players who have been ejected. Suspension will begin immediately).  Player(s) are subject to ejection and minimum 3 game suspension for using a composite barreled bat or Utrip bat.
    Note: Section 6 B-C: If a previous batter has used the same altered or illegal bat and a pitch has been made, the current batter only is out.
    Penalties are assessed only if a batter uses a non-approved bat in a game situation. We strongly suggest that you keep all non-approved bats away from the backstop, benches and fence.
  3. If (in the umpire's judgment) a bat is damaged (flattened or cracked, etc.), the umpire can remove it from the game (no penalty assessed).
  4. Bats may be inspected by an opposing team captain and umpire at any time before and during the game.  Captains should carry the league approved bat list with them at all times.  It is a good idea to highlight your own team’s bats in case they are ever called into question.  The league commissioners reserve the right to inspects bats at any time.
  5. Illegally altered bats - for the purpose of increasing performance - may result in a lifetime ban from USA.

PRE-GAME

  1. The home team must set up bases, cones and mat no later 10 minutes prior to game or immediately upon completion of the previous game.  All on-field practice must cease while the field is being set up (bases, raking, water removal, etc.).
  2. (USA Rule) Lineups must be exchanged no later than 5 minutes prior to the scheduled start time.  Players who are not present when lineups are exchanged (League note: even if they are “right around the corner”) may not be listed in the starting lineup.  If you have at least 8, play with what you have.  
  3. Umpires will allow a 10 minute grace period for a team to field (or bat) at least 8 players.  After 10 minutes, a forfeit may be declared.

LINEUP  

  1. Ten Players - P, C, (no more than) 4 infielders, (no more than) 4 outfielders.  EH(s) optional.
  2. With EH(s), 11 or 12 players bat with only 10 playing defense. (See EXTRA HITTER SECTION)
  3. A minimum of 8 players is required to start the game.  If at any time during the game a field cannot bat/field at least 8 players, a forfeit is declared.
  4. A minimum of 3 spots in the batting order and 3 positions in the field must be occupied by a female.  
         a. If a team bats/fields only 2 females, an automatic out must be taken in the 3rd spot in the batting order.  
             The team may only play 9 players in the field (including 2 females).
         b. If a team bats/fields only 1 female, an automatic out must be taken in the 3rd and 7th spot in the batting order.
             The team may only play 8 players  in the field (including 1 female).
  5. At least one female must bat in one of the top six slots in the lineup, unless the team starts the game taking an automatic out(s), in which case, this rule is waived.

  6. There is no penalty for not having enough males, as long as a team can bat/field at least 8 players.

  7. (USA Rule) Players who are not present when lineups are exchanged (even if they are “right around the corner”) may not be listed in the starting lineup. 
  8. Batters cannot be moved to another spot in the batting order for any reason.  
  9. Do not lend opposing teams players.  Though it's done with good intentions, it usually doesn't end up well.  If one team does not have enough players to start a game, but you still want to play, you must call a forfeit first, then you can split up the teams any way you wish and play a scrimmage game.  Our insurance does allow "approved, sanctioned, organized" "practice" or "covered activities" as long as you play with rostered players.  The scrimmage game must finish no later than 15 minutes before the scheduled start time of the next game.
  10. If a team starts with less than 10 fielders, any players arriving late may be added to the lineup and/or fielding team immediately (the first time though the batting order only).  Late arriving female(s) will occupy the lowest spot in the lineup with an automatic.  In all other instances, late arriving player(s) shall occupy the last spot(s) in the batting order.  If the short-handed team is in the field at the time of the player's arrival, the player may take their position in the field prior to the next batter.
  11. No additions can be made to the lineup after the first time through that team's batting order.  This includes late arriving players to vacant spots or EHs.
  12. (USA Rule) If a player is ejected, a team may NOT continue to play short-handed.  If no substitutes (same gender) are available, the game shall be declared a forfeit.
  13. If a player has to leave the game for any reason other than ejection or the USA blood rule and if no substitutes are available, their spot in the batting order is an automatic out.  Once the spot is vacated, it must remain vacated for the remainder of the game.  EH(s) shall remain in their current spot lineup, and can move to the field.  However, if the vacated spot in the lineup causes a team to field less than three females, the position in the field cannot be filled by a male and must be left vacant.

EXTRA HITTER

  1. Each team is allowed an extra hitter (EH).  (We do not use a DH)  The extra hitter is only permitted if a team fields 10 players, including at least 3 females. Teams may use one additional EH, however, no more one male can EH.
  2. EH(s) may bat anywhere in the batting order (but obviously, must stay in the same spot in the batting order the entire game).
  3. EH (and an additional EH) can be added the first time around the order only (add to the bottom of order after game starts).
  4. When an EH is used, all 11 (or 12) on the starting line-up must bat and any 10 of those 11 (or 12) may play defense (in accordance with our defensive coed rule).
  5. The EH(s) may enter the game on defense at any time, but the batting order must remain the same throughout the game.

SUBSTITUTIONS

  1. The opposing team must be notified of all substitutions.
  2. (USA Rule) Re-entry Rule: Any player may be substituted in the lineup and re-entered once, providing players occupy the same batting positions whenever in the line-up.
  3. Females can substituted for a male or female (but not as a courtesy runner).  Males can only be substituted for males (applies to re-entry rule and injuries too).  Under no circumstances can a male be substituted for a female.

COURTESY RUNNER

(USA Rule 8 Section 9B2): Any eligible player on the official line-up including available substitutes may be used as a courtesy runner.
Courtesy runners must be reported to the umpire and opposing team at the time they enter.

League Rule: A courtesy runner may be used for one male and one female per inning, even if they come to bat more than once that inning. Only males can run for males and females for females. We do not use a designated rabbit runner.

(USA Rule) A courtesy runner whose turn at bat comes while on base:
Effect: Will be called out. The courtesy runner will be removed from the base and take their turn at bat. A second courtesy runner is not permitted at this time.

(USA Rule) A courtesy runner may not run for an existing courtesy runner except for an injury.
Effect: Violations result in an out and the runner is removed from the base.

(USA Rule) A runner who is replaced with a courtesy runner may not be used as a courtesy runner for the remainder of the inning.
Effect: Violations result in an out and the runner is removed from the base.


TEN RUN RULE

  1. (USA Rule, variation) If after 5 innings, a team is winning by 10 or more runs (4 ˝ innings if it is the home team), the game is over.
  2. A team may score a maximum of 10 runs per inning through the first 4 innings.  From the 5th inning on, there is no limit.

PITCHING

  1. Pitchers shall pitch at 50 feet from home plate, regardless of the field dimensions.  Home teams will provide a pitching rubber that is to be placed 50' from home plate.  It is to be used at all fields but Heels and Bridgeport (those fields have pitching rubbers set at 50').  Pitchers are allowed to pitch up to 5 feet behind the rubber but NEVER in front of it.
  2. A legal pitch is 6-12' arc, as determined by the umpire.  No one may question balls, strikes or arc.
  3. (USA Rule) Illegal Pitch - If an illegal pitch is called by the umpire, the batter may swing at his/her own discretion/peril. If the batter does not swing, the pitch shall be ruled a ball.

BATTING

  1. No bunting or (intentional) chop hitting.
  2. Each batter, regardless of gender, will start with a 1-1 count.
  3. Umpires will call (4) balls and (3) strikes.
  4. Any legal pitch (6’-12’) that hits the mat or the area between the mat and the plate is a strike (as determined by the umpire).  A pitch that hits the plate is not a strike.
  5. A foul ball on the third strike will be considered a strikeout.
  6. (USA rule 8.1.4)  A walk to a male batter batting in front of a female will result in a two base award to the male batter.
    (variation of the USA rule).  In our league, with two outs, a female does not get the option to (automatically) walk - she must always bat.  Note: The defensive team may still walk her intentionally or unintentionally.
  7. A batter walking in front of an automatic out that would have been occupied by a female will NOT be awarded second base.

FIELDING

  1. No more than 4 infielders and 4 outfielders at all times.
  2. Orange cones will be placed 110 feet from home plate to form an imaginary arc.  Outfielders must remain behind the arc until the ball is hit.
  3. Infielders must remain no closer than even with the bases until the ball is hit.
  4. Penalty for violation of fielding rules 1, 2 and 3: Umpire will call ILLEGAL PITCH and issue a warning - 1 per team. All subsequent offenses will result in a dead ball and the batter being automatically awarded first base.
  5. Outfielders CANNOT throw out a batter/runner (male or female) at first base. Force plays are still in effect, so outfielders can throw to second, third or home to force a runner out.  Once a batter makes a move towards second base (in the umpire's opinion), he/she becomes a base runner and can be put out.  An infielder can throw out a batter at first from anywhere, therefore an outfielder can relay to an infielder and the infielder can throw out the batter/runner at first.

BASE RUNNING

1.      No leads.  A runner may not leave a base until contact is made by the batter.

2.     (USA rule 8, Section 5G) runners are awarded TWO bases on an overthrow.  Award is governed by positions of runners when the ball left the fielder’s hand (regardless of where the ball is thrown from). 

3.   Takeout slides are not permitted.



INTERFERENCE (USA Rule) is the act of an offensive player or team member that impedes, hinders or confuses a defensive player attempting to execute a play.  Interference may be in the form of physical contact, verbal distraction, visual distraction, or any type of distraction that hinders a fielder in the execution of a play. Defensive players must be given the opportunity to field the ball anywhere on the playing field or throw the ball without being hindered.


CRASHING INTO A FIELDER WITH THE BALL. (INTERFERENCE)
(USA RULE, Supplemental 13)
In an effort to prevent injury and protect a defensive player attempting to make a play on a runner, a runner must be called out when they remain on their feet and crash into a defensive player who is holding the ball and waiting to apply a tag. To prevent the out ruling, the runner may slide, jump over the defender holding the ball, go around the defender or return to the previous base touched. If the act is determined to be flagrant, the offender is ejected.  

A. When a runner is called out for crashing into a fielder holding the ball, the ball becomes dead. Each runner must return to the last base touched at the time of the crash as this constitutes interference.

B. When, as in A above, the runner crashes into a fielder holding the ball before being put out and, in the judgment of the umpire, it was an attempt to break up an obvious double play, the immediate succeeding runner is also called out. Rule 8, Section 7 J.

C. When a crash occurs after the runner is called out, the runner closest to home plate is also out. Rule 8, Section 7 P.

D. When an obstructed runner crashes into a fielder holding the ball, the obstruction is ignored and the runner is out. (Rule 8, Section 7 Q) This type of award, Rule 8, Section 5 B (2 and 3), does not give the runner the right to violate Rule 8, Section 7 Q.

E. When a runner runs outside the three-foot lane to avoid a crash with a defender holding the ball and waiting to apply a tag, the runner should be called out.

F. When a defensive player is fielding a thrown ball and the flight of the ball carries or draws them into the path of the base runner, it is not a crash.

G. When the ball, runner and the defensive player arrive at the same time and place, and contact is made, the umpire should not invoke the crash rule, interference, or obstruction. This is merely incidental contact, or what some persons commonly call, “a wreck.”

NOTE: If the ball does not enter dead ball territory in either E or F, the ball remains live.

Note:  Nowhere in the USA rule book does it say anything about slide or submit.  The objective is to AVOID A CRASH.

 OBSTRUCTION
(USA Rule 1, Definitions, Rule 8 section 5)

      The act of a defensive team member: 
A. Who hinders or impedes a batter from striking at or hitting a pitched ball. 
B. A fielder, who impedes the progress of a runner or batter-runner who is legally running the bases unless the fielder is: 
     1. in possession of the ball. 
     2. in the act of fielding a batted ball. NOTE: Contact is not necessary to impede the progress of the batter-runner or a runner.

(Fake tags are considered obstruction and are grounds for possible ejection)

 


FIELD GROUND RULES
Any variation on ground rules must be discussed and agreed upon by both team captains and the umpire.  This includes non-stationary objects, such as bleachers.

BURNSIDE FIELD
(This ground rule is NOT to be adjusted)
Ground rule double: from the wall to the right field foul line. Includes any ball that hits the wall, goes over the wall 
or goes between the wall and the right field foul line.  Everything to the left of the wall is all you can get.
 
HEELS FIELD – EAST NORRITON FIELD
Each team may hit up to 3 over-the-fence homeruns.  Any ball hit over the fence after 3 is an out.  Inside-the-park homeruns do not count against the limit.


ROSTERS

  1. Anyone age 18 and older is eligible.  Only rostered players can participate in league play.  A team using a non-rostered player will lose by forfeit.
  2. Opening Day Rosters due prior to the first game.  E-mail names only to ggibson@wnces.com
  3. 25 player limit.  (USA Softball limit is 20.  We allow 5 extra players for injuries, etc.)
  4. The roster deadline is 5 minutes prior to (team) game 9.  No changes may be made after that.
  5. Players must fill out and sign the waiver form PRIOR to participating in league activities.  Go to http://www.wnces.com/links.htm and click on Roster Form/Waivers.  The waiver must be e-mailed to ggibson@wnces.com PRIOR to the player(s) participation in league-sanctioned activities.  Sign and submit as players are added.  You don't have to get all the signatures at once.  As long as each (new) player signs the waiver and the roster is e-mailed to the league before they play, that's fine.  If a team participates in fall ball, players who have already signed the team's waiver for the summer season do not need to sign it again for that calendar year.
  6. Players may only play on one team during a season (including postseason).  If a player is found to have participated on more than one team in a season, that player will be declared ineligible for league play for the remainder of the season.
  7. Immediately upon completion of the game, scorebooks should be signed by the opposing team captain or scorekeeper (not the umpire). Scorekeepers should check the opposing team's lineup and verify the score.
  8. (Optional) Teams may take a picture of the opposing team's lineups and submit that, if they wish.
  9. The winning team must e-mail or text the score to George Gibson within 24 hours of the completion of the game.  E-mail to ggibson@wnces.com
  10. First name, last initial (if more than one person has the same first name) or first initial and last name must be written in the lineup to receive game credit.  Specify Jr. and Sr. etc., if applicable.  Whatever keeps us from having to contact you to clarify a name. NO NICKNAMES.  Write legibly.
  11. ALL teams should e-mail or text a picture of the lineup portion of their scorebook within 24 hours of the completion of the game.  E-mail to ggibson@wnces.com.  Make sure the picture is not blurry.  Game credits will not be awarded if the lineup is not sent before the next game (unless other arrangements have been made).
  12. After the last regular season game, scores and lineups are due no later than Monday at 7 pm.
  13. If a player is listed but did not bat, please note that on the score sheet.
  14. Players must play in at least 4 of their team's first 12 games to eligible for postseason play.  Whether or not they play in game 13 and 14 is totally irrelevant.  Roster additions can be made up until game 5 minutes prior to team game 9.  After game 9, this will be your team's roster for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.  For Fall, players must play in at least 2 games of the first 6 games (regardless of rainouts and when they occur).
  15. One plate appearance constitutes a game played.  Players who pinch run/courtesy run/field without a plate appearance will not receive game credit.
  16. Any team caught falsifying names will be removed from the league and forfeit their league fee.  The USA (ASA) Softball penalty for Commission of fraud - playing under an assumed name, falsifying an affidavit or roster or giving false information to (league) officials - is one (1) year minimum.

FORFEITS

  1. Two game-day forfeits in a season will result in automatic expulsion from the league for the remainder of the season (with no refund), unless there are extenuating circumstances.  Any forfeit after midnight Saturday/Sunday is considered to be a game-day no-show forfeit.
  2. Any game-day no-show forfeits will result in a $40 fine payable to West Norriton Coed Softball prior to the next scheduled game.  If the fine is not paid, the next game(s) shall result in a forfeit.  If you cannot field a team, notify the league immediately.
  3. If a team starts the game with at least 8 plays and forfeits for any reason after the start of the game, this is not considered a game day forfeit.  In this case, all players who are listed in the lineups of both teams shall receive game credit.
  4. If a team forfeits before midnight game day, and all games are rained out or otherwise cancelled, the forfeit is waived and the game will be rescheduled by the league.
  5. Forfeit – no one on the forfeiting team gets a game credit. Every rostered player on the opposing team gets a game credit. (does not apply if a game is forfeited after the start of the game)
  6. If a team drops out anytime prior to the last day of the season, that team will automatically finish in last place.
  7. If a team forfeits a playoff game, the brackets and seeding will not change and their opponent will win their game by forfeit.  Teams dropping out on or after the last day of the regular season are considered playoff forfeits.

SCHEDULE

  • After the start of the season, time or bye requests must be arranged with the opposing team.  If you want to switch times/fields with other teams, they must agree too.
  • The opposing team is not required to honor rescheduling requests.  If they do not agree to reschedule, the game must be played at the originally scheduled time and field, otherwise, the game will be declared a forfeit.
  • The league must be notified of the reschedule at least one week in advance (to schedule umpires).  A list of available fields will be posted.
  • If the all or some of the schedule is reconfigured due to weather cancellations, teams must work out the requests again, if so desired.
  • No time requests will be granted for playoffs.
  • Games rained out in July will not be rescheduled.

Do not practice on fields after a game has been rained out or canceled!


LEAGUE CODE OF CONDUCT

  1. Unsportsmanlike conduct includes but is not necessarily limited to: fighting, verbal or physical abuse, racial or ethnic slurs, inappropriate comments or behavior that may be construed as sexual harassment, profanity, obscene gestures, flagrant and violent play, taunting, trash talk, baiting, cheating, throwing or abusing equipment, destruction of field or league property, physical intimidation or abuse of an official or opponent.
  2. Threats or fighting or harassment/intimidation may result in (at least) a one year suspension.
  3. If a player or captain is ejected by the umpire, he/she will automatically serve at least a 1 (one) game suspension.  Suspension will begin the following game.  If a player or captain is ejected in the first game of a doubleheader, he/she will not be permitted to play in the second game.
  4. An ejected player or captain must leave the field and premises within one minute or their team will forfeit.
  5. Suspended players/captains are not permitted on any league fields or premises for the length of the suspension.
  6. Two suspensions in one season or any egregious offenses will be dealt with by the league arbitration committee.  The arbitration committee consists of the two league commissioners, District 14 Umpire in Chief, and team captains who volunteered to serve on the committee at the league meeting.  Committee members whose team is involved in the offense may not be involved in the ruling.  Prior to suspension, the accused must be given an opportunity for a hearing by the league commissioners and available members of the arbitration committee.  Hearing will take place within one week of the incident (assuming the accused is available to meet after 5 pm).  The accused must submit a comprehensive written account to the league prior to the hearing.  The league will also seek written accounts from umpire(s), managers and any eyewitnesses. Accused can rebut the decision to the committee within one week of said decision.  Accused may appeal the commissioners'/arbitration committee to the District 14 commissioner.  Our league will report any suspensions lasting more than one game to the USA District 14 Commissioner and Umpire in Chief.  Our league will honor all other USA sanctions.
  7. Teams that are ejected from the league will forfeit their league fee.  The league will not foot the bill for a team that can’t comply with our code of conduct.
  8. A coach is responsible for the team’s actions on the field and will represent the team in communications with the umpire and opposing team. A player may be designated as a coach in the event the coach is absent or that player is acting as a player/coach.
  9. Under no circumstances will any player or person, other than the manager/acting manager  of either team, have any right to protest any decision and seek its reversal on a claim that it is in conflict with these rules.
  10. Commission of fraud – such as playing under an assumed name, falsifying an affidavit or roster or giving false information to league officials -  shall result in a one (1) year suspension (minimum).
  11. Competing knowingly with or against suspended players – shall result in a one (1) year suspension (minimum).03. Competing with a team that is discovered to have within its possession or control an altered bat – two (2) year minimum.
  12. Player found in possession of an altered and found guilty according to Article 305 of this Code shall be suspended for a five (5) year minimum.
  13. Team discovered to have within its possession or control of an altered bat may be suspended for a two (2) year minimum.
  14. Bullying, hazing, harassment (including sexual harassment), emotional misconduct – two ( 2 ) year minimum
  15. Physical misconduct/Physical violence – five (5) year minimum
  16. Sexual misconduct (including child sexual abuse) – ten ( 10 ) year minimum

    USA SOFTBALL CODE (Link to PDF download)