We follow Massachusetts ASA Softball rules with the following highlights and/or adjustments.
All coaches must adhere to the Coaches Code of Conduct. Walpole Softball expects strict adherence to the Code and any violations will be treated very seriously and may include being asked to leave the position.
Walpole Softball is grateful for the many volunteer coaches who help each season. Please be advised that volunteering does not guarantee a position.
PLAYING THE GAME:
MINIMUM NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 7 to start, teams can finish a game with less than 7 players.
LENGTH OF GAME:
6 innings, OR
No new inning will start after 7:15. TIME LIMIT WILL CHANGE WITH A LATER SUNSET
ONCE "LAST INNING" HAS BEEN CALLED, THAT DECISION IS FINAL REGARDLESS OF HOW QUICKLY THE INNING GOES AND WHAT TIME IT IS WHEN THAT INNING ENDS. NO GREY AREA ON THIS RULE.
RAIN OR DARKNESS: When a game is called due to rain/darkness, the game will count as a completed game if the losing team has completed three (3) innings of batting. If final inning cannot be completed due to rain or darkness, score reverts to last completed inning (unless home team took lead in final inning, they win)
Mound will be 35 feet. Pitchers cannot pitch from a closer distance.
Pitchers must start with both feet on the mound, and may only step towards Home Plate.
Four (4) inning limit per pitcher. One pitch equals one inning.
ALL pitchers can return to the game - FREE SUBSTITUTION as with field positions if she hasn't been removed for hitting too many batters and has not reached her inning limit.
Balls and strikes will be called.
Hitting a Batter:
If a pitcher hits 3 players in one inning or 5 players during their four innings in a game, she must be replaced with another pitcher immediately and that pitcher cannot return.
A hit-by-pitch counts as a walk. Determining “Hit by Pitch” is at the discretion of the umpire.
If a pitcher walks three (3) consecutive batters, a coach from the team who is at bat will finish the inning by pitching off the mound. The pitcher will continue to field the position. THERE IS NO DISCRETION ON THIS RULE. THIS RULE MUST BE FOLLOWED WITH NO VARIATION.
No pitcher change is allowed after the 3rd walk
If a change in pitchers occurs before 3rd walk, new pitcher starts with zero (0) walks.
Continuous batting order.
Batting Out of Order: the batter is out, next batter in order is up
No bunting, slap hitting or slashing
If a player misses her time at bat because she had to use the restroom, then she is skipped in the order and no out will be recorded. The next batter will bat.
If the batted ball hits the pitching coach, the ball is dead, the batter and all runners advance one base. Every effort must be made by the coach to avoid the batted ball and not interfere with the pitcher.
STEALING: No stealing
LEADS: Runner may leave the base ONLY when the ball crosses the plate. Leaving early is an out at umpires discretion
NO DROPPED 3RD STRIKES, BATTER IS OUT
PINCH RUNNERS: Pinch runners are encouraged for pitchers and catchers. The last recorded out will be the pinch runner (regardless of the inning). If one pinch runner is already on base, the next previous out becomes the 2nd pinch runner. If a pinch runner is needed in the first at-bat with no outs, the last batter in batting lineup runs.
SLIDING is encouraged. The runner is not automatically out for not sliding. Umpires will use their discretion on runners avoiding contact.
All runners must try to avoid hard collisions at any base. The umpire will use their discretion to call the runner out if the collision could have been avoided.
MAXIMUM RUNS PER INNING: 4 run maximum per inning – except the last inning.
STOPPING PLAY: Runners must stop when the ball is controlled on the mound (by any player). If a runner has already started to run to the next base – they may continue. If the defensive team makes a throw – the ball is alive. This means the runner can be thrown out or continue to advance in case of an error. If the umpire determines the runner left the base after the ball was controlled, they will make the runner return to the base.
INFIELD FLY: The Infield Fly Rule is NOT in effect.
COVERING A BASE: Players covering a base are not allowed to stand on the base and impede the runner from reaching that base and continuing to the next base. If a player does impede the progress of a runner, the umpire will use their discretion to call interference and award a runner an additional base. If there is a play at a base, the player receiving the ball cannot block the base rather must straddle the base allowing the runner to reach the base whether there is a slide or not.
OUTFIELDERS: must start on the outfield grass (or equivalent) each pitch.
ROTATE POSITIONS: (DOES NOT APPLY TO PITCHER, CATCHER, 1ST BASE) No Player can stay in the same position for more than two innings in a row. Try to help teach players to play different positions, but do not put a player in a position where you feel she may get hurt. Catcher and first base can play entire game for safety reasons.
Playoffs are a single elimination tournament and every team qualifies.
Seeds are determined by the final standings.
Games not played are not a tie, they are canceled
Tie-breakers are listed below the standings table
A coin flip will be the final tie-breaker if needed.
Playoff games will have a time-limit, with the exception of the Championship Game (full game).
When a playoff game is called due to rain, the game will count as a completed game if the losing team has completed 3 innings batting.
If a playoff game is called for darkness, the score will revert back to the last completed inning, UNLESS: If the home team took the lead in the bottom of the inning, they win the game
MOUTHGUARDS: Mandatory for all position players unless a face mask is worn, including outfielders.
HELMETS: Batting helmets are required whenever a player has a bat. Even during team practices. Helmets must also be worn by runners on the base paths.
PLAYERS IN DUGOUT: All players on the batting team MUST be in the dugout (or bench area) except the batter and the player on deck. Those are the only two players who are allowed to have a bat. The on-deck batter must stay behind a fence (or similar)
The Umpire controls the game. Coaches may not talk to the umpires while a game is in progress except to ask a question about the progress of the game. (i.e. "What is the count?" Or "How many outs are there?"). You should not argue or question any call on ball or strike, out or safe. Please treat them with respect at all times. If you wish to discuss something with the umpire, please do so between innings. Be respectful and brief.
All coaches must take the responsibility to instruct and control parents/fans of their players.