Sun & Fun Senior Softball League
The official rules to be used by this League are the ones laid out specifically for “Senior Slow Pitch” in the 2015/2016 Senior Softball (SSUSA) Rule Book combined with the following “Playing Rules”. When a conflict exists between the two, the Sun & Fun rules take precedence and can only be amended per Article V paragraph A Item #7 or Article VIII paragraph F of the Sun & Fun Constitution and By-Laws.
1. Number of Players on a Team
1.1. Teams consist of no less than 9 Players.
1.2. No more than 11 Players can play on defense but an unlimited number can be in the offensive lineup.
1.3. If a Team has at least 9 Players they can borrow Players for a game from the opposing Team, and the opposing Manager will determine if the loaned Players should play defense only or also be allowed to bat.
1.4. If a Team has less than 9 Players then they will forfeit the game (see League Rule 1.3).
2.1. There can be unlimited substitution on defense as long as the Players are in the offensive lineup.
2.2. In case of injury, illness or any other reason for leaving the game, and no substitute is available, the Player’s spot shall be skipped and no out declared. However, the Player may not return to the game.
2.3. Starting Players may be substituted for and re-entered one time, provided they occupy the same batting position.
3. Courtesy Runners
3.1. A courtesy runner may be used for a Player from home plate or any base at any time.
3.2. The runner must be a player in the offensive lineup.
3.3. A Player may be a courtesy runner only once per inning and will be called out after that.
3.4. A courtesy runner may not replace a courtesy runner, except in case of an injury.
3.5. A courtesy runner caught on base when it is his turn at bat will be called out as a runner and must come to bat.
3.6. A player becomes a courtesy runner when the umpire calls “Play Ball” or puts the ball back in play. You cannot change to another designated runner after that.
3.7. When a courtesy runner is used from home plate and the batter touches 1st base or interferes with the play after he hits the ball, he will be called out.
4. Base Running
4.1. A running start to the runner’s line at home plate is not allowed. The burden will be on the umpires to enforce the ASA Rule 8 Section 7 Subsection R rule which states that a runner is out if he leaves the base to which he is legally entitled before the ball either hits the ground, reaches the plate or is struck by the bat.
4.2. When there is a play being made at 1st base, the runner can be called out for not observing the runner’s line. When a play is being made at first base and the red bag is not obstructed, if the batter/runner touches any portion of the white bag it is an automatic out. If no play is being made at first base, the runner may touch the white or red base and advance toward 2nd base. After a run-by, he does not have to return to 1st base before advancing to 2nd.
4.3. A runner may not dive or slide into 1st base or home plate, except he may dive or slide back into 1st base.
4.4. A runner may pull up, slide or dive into, or back into, 2nd and 3rd base. There is no run-by rule for 2nd or 3rd base in this League.
4.5. All plays are force-outs but a runner can be tagged out everywhere except at home plate, between the commitment line and the alternate home plate.
4.6. A “no contact” or “no crash” rule will be strictly enforced. Interference by a runner will be an automatic out and obstruction by a defensive player will result in extra bases awarded by the umpire.
4.7. There is no limit to the number of bases a runner can advance, as long as the ball is in play.
4.8. The outfield fence must be at least 235 feet in order to attain an automatic over-the-fence home run. The only exemption to this rule is at Hawthorne where their fence in right-center field is less than 235 feet but of sufficient height to compensate.
4.9. A runner attempting to advance to the next base can reverse direction only one time when a play is being made on him, unless he has passed the commitment line, located 20 feet from the alternate home plate.
4.10. A runner attempting to score must run to the alternate home plate and will be called out for touching the regular home plate first.
4.11. A force-out at home is accomplished by the defensive player stepping any portion of the strike mat while in possession of the ball.
4.12 New in 2016-17 Season. (No Contact No Crash Rule Addition).
If a runner intentionally collides with a defensive player attempting to field the ball or make a throw, the runner will be called out. BOTH umpires will conference and if determined to be intentional or violent, runner will be ejected.
If defensive player intentionally causes the same, defensive player will be ejected. In both cases both Managers are required to report incident to Pres., V. Pres. and Division Rep. within 24 hrs.
Additional suspensions may follow as in League Rules 11.0 through 11.6.
5. Bats and Balls
5.1. Legal bats for S&F must be listed by the ASA on its approved bat list as published on July 3, 2008, or have been approved subsequent to that date for slow-pitch use by ASA. Bats with the new ASA Certification Mark introduced in 2013 are legal for league play.
5.2. Any bat listed on the ASA non-approved bat list published on July 3, 2008 or after is illegal and cannot be used in league games.
5.3. If a bat does not appear on either the ASA approved bat list or the ASA non-approved bat list as published on July 3, 2008, it is illegal and cannot be used in league games unless it has been approved subsequent to that date for slow-pitch use by ASA. Each Manager is responsible for policing the bats on his own team.
5.4. The official ball used in this League will be the 12-Inch, 44 Core, 375 Compression, Optic Yellow, Diamond Flyer or Diamond Zulu softball. Each community may choose which ball to use on their own field for home games.
5.5. The home team will present one new ball, still in its wrapper, and one very good ball to the Umpire before each game.
5.6. If a player is using an illegal bat, both managers will be notified immediately and the player in violation will be called out and ejected from the game. If no one admits ownership, the opposing manager will confiscate the bat, and the manager of the team responsible for the infraction will be held responsible. Both managers must notify the Division Representative within 12 hours. In case of appeal, the Division Representative will notify the Operations Committee, who will convene and decide the appeal within 24 hours. The penalties that will be assessed are:
5.6.1. First offense - Player suspended for 14 games. If the player does not own the bat the owner shall also be suspended for 14 games. If no one claims ownership, the manager shall be suspended for14 games.
5.6.2. Second Offense by the Player, Owner or Manager - The Player, the Owner (if other than the player) and the Manager will each be suspended for 28 games. The team shall forfeit the game in which the bat was used.
5.6.3. Third Offense - Lifetime suspension for the Player, the Owner and the Manager
5.7. All bats to be used in a game must remain on the bat rack throughout the game whether the bat rack is inside or outside of the dugout. No bats may be used unless it comes from and is returned to the bat rack.
5.7.1. All bats must bear a label that identifies the owner. If the bat is a team bat, that information must appear.
5.8. Bat warmers are legal if hung in the area adjacent to the bat rack.
5.9. All bats shall be free of burrs, dents and visible cracks. If a bat has a burr, dent or visible crack, the bat shall be removed from competition.
5.10. Unless there is a readable serial number visible on the barrel of the bat, the following bat is illegal: the Miken Freak 98.
5.11. Warm-Up Bats - No more than two official softball bats, including approved warm-up bats, may be used by the on-deck batter in the on-deck circle. The warm-up bat should meet the following requirements to be approved:
5.11.1. Stamped with one-quarter inch letters WB on either end of the bat or marked in one-inch letters the words WARM-UP BAT only on the barrel end of the bat.
5.11.2. A minimum weight of 48 oz. (1,360.78 g).
5.11.3. A minimum barrel diameter of 2½” (6.35 cm).
5.11.4. Shall have a safety grip of at least 8" (20.32 cm) and no more than 15“ (38.1 cm) extended from the knob.
5.11.5. Be of one-piece construction or a one-piece permanently assembled bat approved by SSUSA/SSWC.
5.12. No attachments (i.e., donuts, fans, etc.) are allowed on an official bat except the Pow'R Wrap warm-up attachment.
6. Official Game
6.1. A normal game will be 8 innings unless extra innings are required to break a tie.
6.2. A double header between the same two teams will be 7 innings each.
6.3. A game will be considered official after the losing team has batted 5 times.
6.4. When extra innings are required to break a tie, then each team starts each extra inning with a runner at 2nd base. It will always be the last batter in the previous inning that completed his turn at bat, and a courtesy runner cannot replace him until he safely attains 3rd base. If he originally had a courtesy runner from home plate, then that same courtesy runner must start at 2nd base, and like any other courtesy runner, he cannot be replaced.
7. S&F Pitching Screen
7.1. Notes - Most communities want a little give in the screen dimensions, with screen width between 30” to 40” and the height between 72” to 84”. However for this season (2016/17), we agreed that any size pitching screen is allowed. A pitching screen that fits our requirements is available from Pitch Safe Inc. in Venice, FL. Cost $299, plus 7% taxes and $23 for shipping. The size is 76” tall and 38” wide. It weight is only 20 pounds and can be set up in less than one minute.
7.2. Each communities must make a pitching screen available.
7.3. S&F has approved using pitching screen at the pitchers discretion during S&F games. The following is the process for this program. (It should be note that for the first season with pitching screen, we will allow pitching screen width from 30” to 48”)
7.3.1. At the beginning of each inning the pitcher must decide if a pitching screen is going to be used, once the inning start there can be on changes around the pitching screen. This may change if a new pitcher come into the game.
7.3.2. The size of the pitching screen must be within the following the following range. The width must be between 30” to 40” and the height must be between 72” to 84”.
7.3.3. Each community should make available a pitching screen if requested.
7.3.4. The pitching screen must be located in the field as follows.
126.96.36.199. The front measurement of the pitching screen must be in front of the pitching rubber, but no more than 4’ in front of the pitching rubber.
188.8.131.52. On a side to side basis the pitching screen must cover at a minimum of 50% of pitching rubber length.
7.3.5. Once the pitching screen is set of at the beginning of an inning it may not be moved, unless there is a pitcher change.
7.3.6. If a batted ball hits the pitching screen it is declared a dead ball and the play is repeated.
7.3.7. If during the fielding or throwing process the ball makes contact with the pitching screen it is still a live ball.
7.3.8. Once the pitcher deliver a pitch they must step behind the pitching screen and must remain there until the ball has been hit by a batter or the play is declared dead. The pitcher may not make any defensive moves such as move back or toward one of the bases until the ball has been hit.
7.3.9. If a pitcher does not step behind the pitching screen after a pitch has been delivered, they will receive two warning and on the third occasion will be removed as the pitcher, but may continue to play at different position.
184.108.40.206. If the team does not have a replacement pitcher, they will forfeit the game.
7.3.10. If only one team is using a pitching screen they are responsible for moving the screen on and off the field when not being used.
8. Flip Flop Rule
8.1. Flip-Flop Rule – If the visiting team is ahead by 10 runs and both manager agree at the start of the last inning the Flip-Flop Rule will invoke the following." The visiting team must be ahead by ten or more runs at the beginning of the open inning. If the visiting team is ahead by ten or more runs, the home team will remain at bat and start a new at-bats (beginning their seventh or last inning at-bats), meaning all runners then on base will return to the dugout. It will be an open inning. If the home team fails to tie or go ahead of the visiting team, the game ends and the visiting team wins. If the home team ties or goes ahead, the visiting team takes its turn at bat.
9. Mercy Rule
9.1. Mercy Rule - If a team is ahead by 15 or more runs at any time after five innings have been completed, or four and one-half innings with the home team ahead, the game shall be declared a complete regulation game.
10. Scoring Runs
10.1. A team is limited to 5 runs per inning or as many as is required to tie the score.
10.2. In the last inning and any extra innings, there is no limit to the number of runs that can be scored by either team.
10.3. A team may score one extra run (5+1) on a Home Run over the fence.
10.4. There is no limit on Home Runs hit over the fence.
11. Game Line-up Sheets
11.1.All teams must present a detailed line-up sheet, prior to game time, which includes full names of players and their numbers. This list also must include the substitutes available on the bench.