Softball Rules – DC

Markets: DC Metro

Format: Softball


  • 10 players on the field maximum including 7 men and 3 women
  • 8 players, including 1 woman required to start a game
  • Modified arc pitching rules – arc must be between 6’ and 12’
  • NEW: Wooden or Alloy bats only
  • NEW: Home run rule: If a homerun is hit, it’s an automatic out for that team
  • Pitch must hit home plate and/or the strike mat to be deemed a strike
  • ZogSports will provide umpires for every game
  • To encourage participation, teams may bat as many players as they want, but must not exceed an approximately 7:3 ratio of men to women (examples and details below)
  • No more than 3 men may bat in a row in the batting order
  • ZogSports will provide 1 Clincher ball for each game and a set of bases
  • Intentional walks to male batter with a female behind him in the batting order
  • Intentional walk defined as 3 consecutive balls at the start of an at bat (4-1 count because of accelerated count (batters start with 1 ball and 1 strike)
  • Male batter gets a two-base award. The female batter must bat.
  • No mercy rule. Teams play until time limit
  • Teams MUST submit a written line-up card to the ump before the start of play; teams must update it once late players arrive to the field
  • Any unsportsmanlike behavior will result in that player/team being suspended/removed from participating in all ZogSports leagues for one year


  • Please don’t forfeit. Your teammates and opponents count on you to have a full team and competitive game.
  • Each team must have at least 8 (eight) players including 1 (one) women to start a game.
  • Game time is forfeit time.
  • Due to the extremely tight schedule, we strongly suggest arriving at the field 20-30 minutes before game time for warm-ups since the games must start on time to complete the game.
  • Teams earn -1 in the standings for each forfeit.


  • Home team is listed second/on the bottom of the schedule. They will take the field first and use the first base benches.
  • Each team is responsible for keeping the score and having its scorebook in proper order.
  • Before the start of the game, both coaches will meet at home plate to discuss the ground rules with the umpire.
  • Both teams should confirm the score at the end of each inning with the umpire.
  • If there is any discrepancy with the score, the umpire has the final say on the score of the game.


  • Line-up cards will be filled out before the start of each game (first name/last initial and number if available).
  • Teams are responsible for their own line-up card.
  • All changes to your line-up must be reported to the umpire and opposing team.
  • We go by the honor-code for line-up cards.
  • If you feel another team is not honoring their line-up card, please bring it to the umpire’s attention immediately.


  • All games are seven innings or about 55-minutes (warm up time included); the last inning will start 10 minutes before the next scheduled game. The umpire will enforce this rule and will make the call at the top of the final inning. Note: Due to differing circumstances in each and every game, some games will finish short of the full 55 minutes, while others might run over the time limit. Please respect your umpire’s call in this matter. He/she must keep all games on time in fairness to teams playing later games and due to Parks permit restrictions.
  • Please, no infield or batting practice before a game. Get to your games early enough to warm up on the side while the previous game is still being played. Give yourself plenty of time to get to the games, as the metros are often unpredictable and the fields are located 5-15 minutes away from the metro stations. Two warm-up pitches between innings and have your team hustle on and off the field since we are on a tight schedule. Have fun and please do not give the umpires a hard time. Thanks for your cooperation.
  • The umpire’s watch is the official game time. Umpires or the league supervisor may call an end or a postponement of a game at any time due to time restrictions or weather conditions. No protests will be accepted concerning calling a game due to time limit restrictions.
  • If a game is cut short due to weather, the lights being turned off, or any other matter that is out of our control, the last completed inning will be the official game score.


  • All batters start with a 1-1 strike count.
  • Rainout/Time Expiration During a Game/Inning – If a rainout occurs while a game is in progress, 4 innings must be completed for the game to count. (If the home team is ahead after the completion of the top of the 4th, this constitutes a complete game).
  • The umpire’s clock is the game clock and they will inform both teams when the game has started. No minimum number of innings for a complete game if the time limit has been satisfied.
  • After your game is completed, please clear all benches ASAP and get to the bar. Whenever possible, playoff games will be given 90 minutes for completion as opposed to the 60-minute regular season games. Should 7 innings not be completed by 90 minutes, the game can be extended at the discretion of the umpire after taking several factors into consideration.
  • Mercy Rule – No mercy rule. Teams play until time limit
  • Tie Rule – If a game is tied after seven innings, one extra inning of play will be allowed to break the tie, time permitting. If time expires and game is tied, the game stands as a tie.


ZogSports offers two ways to check if your game is on or rained out:
1. Primary – Weather alert page at
2. Secondary – Weather Alert Hotline at (332) 213-9023

The ZogSports office will determine before the first game time of the night whether or not to cancel a game for that evening. At that time we will update our website (weekday games only) to reflect information for that evening. Should the weather take a sudden turn for the worse, it will be up to the discretion of the umpire on the field whether or not to play, cancel, or postpone the start/continuation of the game.Please note: Not every field becomes unplayable after a rainstorm. We will make an effort to have games on every playable field possible. Games will be postponed immediately if lightning is in the area. If it has been 10 minutes since the last lightning strike, at the umpires discretion, the game will proceed.


Rainouts will be made up during the season and at the end of the season. You may be scheduled to play more than one game a week, depending on the number of rainouts. If ZogSports experiences excessive rainouts during the season, there is a chance that your team will not be scheduled for all of your make up games. We sincerely hope that this does not happen, but acknowledge the possibility. Thanks for understanding.


There is no maximum number of players allowed on your roster. Teams can drop and add players up to the 4th week, but additional uniforms cannot be ordered after the deadline. Rosters are frozen after the last game of the 4th week. Players are recommended to wear their ZogSports t-shirts. Rosters must be submitted before the start of the first game played. Officially, if you are short handed during the season you may pick up another ZogSports player(s) not on your roster for the game. Our practical rule is to play every game possible, so captains can discuss at the game if one team is short. DURING THE PLAYOFFS, ONLY PLAYERS ON YOUR ROSTER ARE ALLOWED TO PLAY. Waivers must be signed by all players before the start of the first game. PLAYERS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY GAME WITHOUT SIGNING THE ZOGSPORTS WAIVER.


ZogSports will supply a softball Clincher size 12 and bases for each game. Each player is responsible for his/her own gloves, bats, etc. Please have catchers clear home plate/batters box of any bats during play. BBats outlawed by the ASA/USA are not allowed. Zog also goes a step further and bans bats that are 100% composite (a composite handle is fine, however) Bats must have a 100% Alloy barrel (composite handle is ok) and have the ASA/USA stamp. Wood bats that have an USA/ASA stamp are considered legal.. If neither team brings the proper equipment (bats & gloves), the umpire can call the game a double forfeit and the game will not be rescheduled.


ZogSports follows the ASA Rules of Softball, with the exception of these specific league rules. Only captains can discuss a rule with the umpire and no judgment calls will be discussed. Players will be ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct towards an umpire. Number of Players on the Field – Maximum number of players in the field is 10, including at least 3 women. There are no position requirements of any players, (i.e., there need not be 1/2 females in outfield and 1/2 in the infield). Minimum number of players in the field/your starting line-up is 8 (at least 1 of whom must be women), (or if a team has nine players, two out of nine must be women). There is no maximum number of women allowed on the field/in your line-up. No more than 7 men are allowed on the field at one time. A player arriving late may be inserted at the bottom of the order even if you have batted around one or more times. You are allowed to place that player in the field, if your team is not batting. Make the umpire and opposing team aware of these additions. If a team has less than the minimum required number of players it is up to the opponent as to what is allowable (i.e., the opposing team may give a team a player or allow them to pick up another ZogSports player). If this is not possible, the game will be ruled a forfeit.

Number of Players in the Batting Order/Line-Up – In order to encourage maximum participation, teams may bat more than ten players. Regardless of how many people you choose to bat, you must bat 3 women in the first 10 spots and no more than 3 men can bat in a row. In situations where additional players wish to bat, the line-up must come as close to a 7 to 3 ratio as possible, even if some women need to bat twice in the rotation. Men CANNOT bat twice in the line-up to achieve a 7 to 3 ratio if a team plays with more women than men. Line-ups must be given to the umpire for every game.

Men in Batting Order Number of Women Required in the Batting Order:
7 1(if a team is short players, they need to have the women present bat three times)
7 2 (if a team is short players, they need to have 1 women present bat twice)
7 3
8 4 (1 women bat twice if necessary)
9 4 (1 women bat twice if necessary)
10 5 (2 women bat twice if necessary)
11 5 (2 women bat twice if necessary)
12 6 (3 women bat twice if necessary)
*6 2 **If playing short 1 woman and man

A team does not need to bat more than 10 (the players in the field). All other players could substitute into the game at any point.Teams must designate which women will bat twice on their line-up card. Only those women will be allowed to bat twice or the batting out of order rule will be enforced. A player may be in the batting order and not play in the field. However, in order to play in the field, a player must be in the batting order. While in the batting order, a player may enter, leave, or re-enter the fielding team (free substitution).

No player may be dropped from the batting order, absent extenuating circumstances such as serious injury, as determined by the umpire. Gaining a tactical advantage is not an exigent circumstance. If an injury occurs and a player cannot bat, the next batter “moves up” to bat with no penalty. Any player (without approved injury excuse) who is not available to bat when due up receives an automatic out.

Re-Entry Rule – Any player may withdraw and re-enter the game one time, provided the player occupies the same batting position whenever he/she is in the line-up.
Batting Out of Order – If the error is discovered while the incorrect batter is hitting, then the correct batter will assume the ball/strike count of the incorrect batter. If the incorrect batter reaches base safely and the error is discovered, the correct batter will be called out. All runners will return to their original base and the incorrect batter will return to the bench. The opposing team must make the umpire aware of “batting out of order” before a pitch is thrown to the next batter. If not, then the incorrect batter will stay on base.

Position Changes/Substitutions – Players may move freely from one field position to another, but the batting order must stay the same. Teams must report ALL SUBSTITUTIONS AND PLAYERS REENTERING the game to the umpire & opposing team.

Pitch Arc – The arc on pitches must be between six feet and twelve feet above the ground. The umpire will call a ball not within the prescribed limits an “illegal pitch” as soon as possible. If the batter swings, the pitch shall be treated as though it were thrown within the legal limits. The umpire’s call on a pitch is absolutely final!

Strike Zone – There will be a strike zone mat behind home plate. If the pitch is within the acceptable arc and hits any part of home plate and/or the strike zone mat, it will be called a strike.

Foul Balls – In order to keep the games moving, once a player has 2 strikes, he/she will only be allowed to foul the ball off twice.

Home Runs – Per new rule from DC Parks & Rec, If a homerun is hit, it’s an automatic out for that team

Walk To Male Batter – Intentional walks to male batter with a female behind him in the batting order:
Intentional walk defined as 3 consecutive balls at the start of an at bat (4-1 count with one ball and one strike coming from the accelerated strike count)
Male batter gets a two-base award. The female batter must bat.
This rule is to discourage intentionally walking batters. Managers are responsible for making this rule and other rules known to their team members and will not be reminded during games.
Teams must inform the ump and pitcher before the pitcher pitches the first ball to the male batter that a female batter is on deck.

Outfield Line – An imaginary “outfield” line exists approximately 10 yards into the outfield. No outfielder (except the short fielder) may step in front of this line until after the ball is hit. Violations of this rule will result in a single being awarded to the batter, and ALL runners advancing one base, regardless if the awarded single caused a forced advance or not. This means that if you are playing 10 players, three must be behind the line. This is to prevent unfair positioning of players on a field.

Courtesy Runners – Injured players may receive a courtesy runner once they reach first base. The courtesy runner must be the last player of the same gender to make an out in the game. A female must be replaced by a female and a male must be replaced by a male.

No Leading/ No Stealing – There is no leading or stealing allowed. A player may leave the base once the ball makes contact with the bat. If a player is leading, a warning will be issued to the team. Every other time after that, the team will receive an out. If this is the 3rd out of the inning, the batter will be first up in the next inning.

Overthrows/Out Of Play – Runners are awarded two bases (the base he/she is going to at the point of the throw plus one more) on overthrows that go out of play. Direction of runner has no bearing on the award (i.e., when an overthrow is made on a runner returning to a base, they are awarded two bases from that base). Note: in cases where a base runner runs past first base, he/she must make a clearly aggressive turn towards second base to be granted 2nd and 3rd in overthrow situations. Otherwise, the runner will advance only one base to 2nd base.

All thrown balls are deemed out of play when the ball is thrown over/beyond the fence or beyond the imaginary line extending from the end of the backstop (if there is no fence). This imaginary line applies to overthrows and caught fly foul balls.

If the ball is overthrown and hits the fence behind the 1st or 3rd base lines, this is NOT considered out of play and the runner may advance, BUT at his/her own risk.

Infield Fly Rule – On an infield fly (any fly ball within the infield with significant arc and deemed an “easy catch”) with less than 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd or 1st, 2nd and 3rd, the batter is automatically out and runners may not advance.

Ground Rule Doubles/Home Runs – Several ZogSports fields have a fence or a wall. Balls hit over the fence/wall are considered a ground rule double or a home run depending on the field and the ground rules established by the umpire at the game. Since we only have one new ball/game, the team hitting the ball over the fence/wall is responsible for retrieving the ball immediately and getting it back into play. The same applies for foul balls.

Double First Base – Two bases will be placed at first base to avoid collisions. A batted ball hitting the inside base is declared fair, and a batted ball hitting the outside base is declared foul. The hitter/runner (offense) must tag the outside base only when running to first and the 1st baseman (defense) must tag the inside base only to avoid collisions. If the defensive player tags the outside base, the runner can be awarded first base. If the runner (offense) tags the inside base, he/she can be called out. Once the runner has reached first base and attempts to go beyond first base, the inside base is the only playable portion of the base.

Interference/Base Running – When a runner interferes with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball or interferes with a throw, the runner is out. If the runner interferes with a fielder during a POSSIBLE double play and the runner did not slide, get out of the way, or slid with excessive contact to disrupt throw, the immediate succeeding runner shall also be called out. Interference can be physical contact, verbal distraction, or any other type of distraction that would hinder the fielder in the execution of a play.

Home Plate Rule – If there is a play at the plate, it is the runner’s responsibility to avoid contact. The umpire has discretion to decide whether the runner initiated contact and should be called out. Any excessive contact or collision will result in an “out” and/or ejection. This includes contact with the catcher. Sliding is allowed but not required. Runners must touch home plate to score (the strike mat is not considered home plate).

Fake tags and barreling will result in immediate ejection from the game and will not be tolerated. Sliding is not required, however a runner must be attempting to reach base and the defensive player must be attempting to catch the ball. If there is no play, the defensive player cannot block a base. Warnings will be issued, followed by ejection from the game if necessary. Collisions and injuries are to be avoided if at all possible.

Fielders may not block the base paths. If obstruction occurs, the umpire can award the runner the next base.


ZogSports is a charity-focused, social sports club. Our goal is for you to have fun. We hope that you keep this in mind when participating. Although the games may become intense, you still can be competitive while maintaining good sportsmanship. With this said, any behavior deemed unacceptable by the umpire or ZogSports staff may result in suspension and/or ejection from a game or the league.

Any player wearing metal spikes will be ejected from the game. If that player is caught wearing spikes a second time, they will be removed from the league. No warnings.
Any player(s)/team(s) that are involved in a fight will be suspended from all ZogSports Leagues for life. Any teams will forfeit all remaining games. The umpire has the right to sit a player for an inning if necessary.
Any excessive contact or collision will result in an out and ejection of player. You must give yourself up, get out of the way or slide. No exceptions, IMMEDIATE ejection if players do not follow this rule.
Any defensive player initiating a FAKE TAG (initiating a tag without the ball to stop or force a runner to slide) will result in an ejection of that player. The runner will be awarded 2 bases.
Any player abusing the umpire will be given a warning and if any physical or subsequent abuse occurs, the referee has the right to eject a player from the game. Throwing Bats – Players throwing bats after hitting the ball will be warned once. The batter will be called out for any second offenses.Beer/Clean-Up – Unfortunately beer is not allowed on/at the field. Please wait until after the games to join us at our Happy Hour bars for the drinking to begin. Please do your part to keep the parks clean and use the trash cans provided. This is really important. If we do not clean-up, we risk losing our permits.TIE BREAKERS FOR PLAYOFFS/SEEDINGS
1. Winning percentage
2. Head-to-head competition
3. Record against other teams in or tied for playoffs (winning percentage – i.e., 0-1 is same as 0-2, but 1-3 is better than 0-1)
4. Number of wins
5. Record against next best common opponent
6. If team forfeited, loses tie breaker if other tiebreaker rules don’t resolve seeding


To forfeit, please fill out this form.

Forfeits ruin the experience for everyone. ZogSports exists to give you an opportunity to play and build community and forfeiting is a huge bummer. If your team absolutely needs to forfeit, you must let us know in advance so we can contact your opponent so that they don’t unnecessarily travel to the gym/field.

If you do not inform us of a forfeit your team could face penalties in your league’s standings. Once ZogSports is notified of your forfeit, it is final (you cannot change your mind) and the other team will be notified.


National Mall Field- If any ball goes past the 1st base sidewalk, it is ruled out of play and the runner advances 2 bases if runner is advancing towards 2nd, otherwise only 1 base is taken. New York Ave Playground Field- If the ball hits the 1st or 3rd base fence it is still in play. If the ball is hit even or past the tree line, it is ruled a home run. If the ball rolls past the tree line, it is ruled a ground rule double.

CODE OF CONDUCT: The Participant’s Code of Conduct applies to all ZogSports participants. You can access the ZogSports Participant’s Code of Conduct HERE.

Markets: DC Metro