Softball Rules – LA

Markets: Los Angeles

Format: Softball

SUMMARY

  • 10 players on the field maximum including 7 men and 3 women
  • 8 players, including 1 woman required to start a game ( and to not forfeit)
  • No Metal Spike Cleats
  • High arc pitching rules – arc must be higher than 6’
  • ZogSports will provide umpires for every game
  • To encourage participation, teams may bat as many players as they want
  • No more than 3 men may bat in a row in the batting order
  • ZogSports Umpires will provide 1 new ball and a set of bases for each game
  • Each Batter will start with an accelerated strike count of 1-and-1 at the plate (1 ball and 1 strike)
  • 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 ending with a 4-1 count
  • Male batter gets a two-base award. The female batter then has the option to walk or take her at-bat.
  • Per inning Mercy rule.  Teams are allowed maximum of 9 runs scored per inning (except in the final inning)
  • Teams with more than 1 forfeit with not be eligible for the playoffs
  • Forfeits will be the 2nd tie breaker for playoffs
  • Any unsportsmanlike behavior will result in that player/team being suspended/removed from participating in all ZogSports leagues for one year

FORFEITS/GAME TIME


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) woman 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 with more than 1 forfeit will not be eligible for the playoffs.
FORFEIT NOTIFICATION

If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, you MUST contact us by 10:30 am on the day of the game at forfeits@zogsports.com. For Sunday games we MUST be notified by 12:30PM on the Friday before hand. If your decision is not made until after that time frame, you should still try to reach ZogSports, and we will make efforts to contact the other team. If we can reach them in time to keep them from showing up, no extra penalty.There is no additional penalty if you show up short-handed (and need to add other ZogSports players to field a full team) and have to forfeit the game, since you did make an effort to get a team to play. Once ZogSports is notified you are forfeiting, it is official (you cannot change your mind), and the other team will be notified.

START OF THE GAME

Home team is determined by a game of rock, paper, scissors to be held at home plate before the softball game starts. The home team will take the field first and use the first base benches. The ZogSports umpire will have the official scorebook. Lineups must be given to the ZogSports umpire when both coaches meet at home plate to discuss the ground rules before game time.

CLOCK

All games are seven innings or about 60-minutes; no new inning will start with less than 10 minutes within the 60 minute marker. 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 60 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 traffic is often unpredictable. 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..

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. If a rainout occurs before a game is considered a complete game, the game will be replayed in its entirety. After your game is completed, please clear all benches ASAP and get to the bar.
MERCY RULE
There will be a 9-run maximum per inning per team.  This is to encourage more competitive games and more innings are played per game. This rule is NOT in effect after the umpire calls last inning (or 7th inning).  Each team (both home and away) can score as many as possible in the final inning.  We want everyone to have fun while playing with ZogSports.
TIE RULE 
If a game is tied after seven innings and there is more than 15 minutes left in the game, 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.

RAINOUT INFORMATION

ZogSports offers two ways to check if your game is on or rained out:
1. Primary – Weather Alert Hotline at (332) 213-9023 (please do not leave message on this number)

2. Secondary – Weather alert page at https://play.zogsports.com/weather-alert-hotline

The ZogSports office will determine by one and a half hours before game time whether or not to cancel a game for that day. At that time we will update the ZogSports weather alert hotline and 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 (i.e., turf fields). We will make an effort to have games on every playable field possible. Games will be canceled immediately if lightning is in the area.

RAINOUT AND OTHER GAME CANCELLATION MAKE UP DATES

Games cancelled due to rain, inclement weather, lights, park requests, or an issue outside of ZogSports’ control, 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 cancellations. If ZogSports experiences excessive cancellations during the season or if the situation does not allow, 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.
ROSTERS

Team registration covers the first 17 players on your roster. Teams can drop and add players up to the 3rd week, but additional uniforms cannot be ordered after the deadline. Rosters are frozen after the last game of the 3rd week. All players must wear their team uniform to participate in the game, no exceptions. 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. However, teams can’t pick up more than three males and one female, four players in total, not on their roster. 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 ON-LINE WAIVER.
SOFTBALL EQUIPMENT

ZogSports Umpires will provide 1 new ball and set of bases for each game. Each player is responsible for his/her own gloves, bats, etc. Please have catchers clear home plate/batter’s box of any bats during play. No metal cleats.

Bats (non-Culver City leagues): Bats outlawed by the ASA 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 ASA stamp are considered legal. If the umpire suspects that a legal bat has been doctored or altered, he or she has the authority to disallow the use of the bat regardless of whether or not the bat is on the banned bat list. 

For Culver City Leagues, composite bats are legal (must have ASA/USA stamp, no U-Trip).

SOFTBALL RULES

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 players, and the minimum number of players in the field is 8. No more than 7 male players may play in the field at one time, and teams need at least 1 female player in the field at all times. To play with the full 10 players in the field, at least three of the players must be female. 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). However teams can’t have more than 6 players in the infield, including the pitcher and catcher. Minimum number of players in the field/your starting line-up is 8 (at least 1 of which must be a female player). 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 as many players as they want. Regardless of how many people you choose to bat, you must never bat more than 3 men in a row (this includes the end of the lineup/ beginning lineup wrap around). In situations where additional players wish to bat OR the team is short female players, some women will need to bat twice in the rotation to fulfill the requirement.
Teams must designate which women will bat twice on their line-up card or to the umpire. Only those women will be allowed to bat twice or the batting out of order rule will be enforced. If a team is only playing with 1 or 2 women and they are on base when one is due up again:
  • It is an automatic out at home
  • She remains on base

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, except 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 at least 6’ above the ground. The umpire will call a ball below the prescribed limits an “illegal pitch” or “flat 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 – The strike zone is the base and mat behind home base

FOUL BALLS 
When a player has two strikes, he or she is allowed one courtesy foul ball. Once the courtesy foul ball is used, he or she bats again, but if he or she hits a foul ball after the courtesy is used, the batter is out. A foul ball above the batter’s head may be caught for an out.

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 that would end in a 4-1 count
  • Male batter gets a two-base award. The female batter then has the option to walk or take her at-bat.

This rule is to discourage walking male batters to pitch to female batters. Managers are responsible for making this rule and other rules known to their team members and will not be reminded during games.

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 (unless there is only 1 female playing in the game). If the player is unable to run to first, the umpire will make a judgment call on whether to allow a courtesy runner from home.

LEADING/ NO STEALING 

Runners can leave the base once the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. If a runner leaves early, the ball is dead and the runner is declared out. If this is the 3rd out of the inning the batter will be first up in the next inning. If the batter does not swing or swings and misses, and the runner is still off the base (leading), a force situation is in play until the runner returns to the base.

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 can advance, BUT at their own risk.

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 home runs depending on the field and the ground rules established by the umpire at the game. Since we only have two new balls per 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 RUL

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. The rule is “slide or give yourself up.”

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. 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.

SPORTSMANSHIP

ZogSports is a charity-focused, social sports club for young professionals. 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.

SUSPENSIONS/EJECTIONS
  • 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 automatically be ejected from the game without a warning.
  • A player ejected for ANY reason will be suspended for the next game. If that player is caught playing in that game, the team will forfeit.
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/alcohol 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. Forfeits, if any
3. Head-to-head competition
4. 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)
5. Number of wins
6. Record against next best common opponent
7. If none of the above tie breakers resolve seeding, ZogSports will execute a coin toss.

 

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: Los Angeles