Softball Rules – NJ
Markets: New Jersey
- 10 players on the field maximum with no more than 7 men
- 8 players, including 1 woman required to start a game (not forfeit)
- Modified arc pitching rules – arc must be between 6’ and 12’
- Batters will start with a 1 ball, 1 strike count
- ZogSports will provide an umpire for every game
- No more than 3 men may bat in a row in the batting order
- 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)
- Male batter gets a two-base award. The female batter must bat.
- No mercy rule. Teams play until time limit
- Any unsportsmanlike behavior will result in that player/team being suspended/removed from participating in all ZogSports leagues at the discretion of the league manager.
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 15 minutes before game time for warm-ups since the games must start on time.
If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, you MUST email email@example.com by 2:00pm. For weekend games we MUST be notified by 2:00pm 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. Once ZogSports is notified you are forfeiting, it is official (you cannot change your mind), and the other team will be notified.
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.
START OF THE GAME
Team captains will play Rock/Paper/Scissor to determine who is home & away. The ZogSports umpire will have the official scoresheet. Please arrive at the field with your lineup prepared for the umpire. This will save time and allow us to get the games started immediately. Lineups must be given to the ZogSports umpire when both captains meet at home plate to discuss the ground rules before game time.
All games are seven innings or about 60-75 minutes (indicated on your schedule) depending on the league; no new inning may start 15 minutes before the time limit. The umpire will enforce this rule and will make the call at the top of the final inning. Note: We want to play as much softball as possible. Decisions on time of play will ultimately come down to the umpires discretion. 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.
RAINOUT/TIME EXPIRATION DURING A GAME/INNING
If a postponement 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). If a rainout occurs before a game is considered a complete game, the game will be replayed in its entirety. At the discretion of the league manager, based on the amount of time played, a game may be considered official even if 4 innings have not been played.
If an inning is not completed due to sunlight, field lights or any other unforeseen circumstances, the score will revert back to the last completed inning. If the game did not reach 4 innings or the time limit, the game may be continued or rescheduled.
No mercy rule. Teams play until time limit.
During the regular season, games can end in a tie.
For rainout information, please call the Weather Alert Hotline at 332-213-9023 (https://play.zogsports.com/weather-alert-hotline)
The ZogSports office will try to let everyone know as soon as possible about a rainout. At that time we will update the ZogSports weather alert hotline and try our best to send an email to the league. 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.
RAINOUT MAKE UP DATES
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.
Team registration covers the first 15 players on your roster. Teams can drop and add players up to the 3rd week. Rosters are frozen after the last game of the 3rd week. 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. DURING THE PLAYOFFS, ONLY PLAYERS ON YOUR ROSTER ARE ALLOWED TO PLAY. Waivers must be signed by all players. PLAYERS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY GAME WITHOUT SIGNING THE ZOGSPORTS WAIVER.
ZogSports follows the ASA softball rules, with the exception of 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, with no more than 7 males. There are no position requirements of any players. 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 woman). There is no maximum number of women allowed on the field/in your line-up. A player arriving late may be inserted at the bottom of the order even if you have batted around one or more times. If a team has less than the minimum required number of players, they can pick up other ZogSports players to reach the minimum requirement during the regular season.
PICKING UP PLAYERS
If a team has less than the minimum required number of players, they can pick up other ZogSports players to reach the minimum requirement during the regular season. Teams must have at least 5 players from their team to be allowed. If this is not possible, the game will be ruled a forfeit. Both the umpire and opposing team captain must be made aware of any picked up players.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS IN THE BATTING ORDER/LINE-UP
In order to encourage maximum participation, teams must bat every player present. No more than 3 men can bat in a row (this includes the end of the lineup/beginning of lineup wrap around). In situations where a team has more men than women present, some women may need to bat twice in the rotation. Men may never bat twice in the rotation.
If a team is only playing with 1 woman and she is on base when due up again:
It is an automatic out
The last male to make an out replaces her on base and she is at bat
A player may be in the batting order and not play in the field. 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. Gaining a tactical advantage is not an exigent circumstance. If injury occurs and/or a player leaves the field location, the next batter “moves up” to bat with no penalty. If a female is injured, the batting order may be adjusted to accommodate for too many males hitting in a row. The changes made must only be the bare minimum to accommodate for this. Any player who is not available to bat when due up receives an automatic out.
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.
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 – The strike zone is the plate and mat behind home plate
There is no limit on the number of foul balls a batter may hit. A foul ball will count as strike 2, but not strike 3 unless caught by the catcher. A foul ball above the batter’s head may be caught for an out.
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)
· Male batter gets a two-base award. The female batter must bat. Base runners must be forced in order to advance bases.
· This rule is to discourage walking male batters to pitch to female batters.
An imaginary outfield line exists approximately 10 yards into the outfield. No outfielder may step in front of this line until after the ball is hit. First violation will be a warning and choice for the offense to replay the at bat. Following 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.
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 (unless there is only 1 female playing in the game). Once you use a courtesy runner you MUST use one for the remainder of the game.
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 runner leading will be called out.
OUT OF PLAY/DEAD BALL
Runners are awarded two bases on a throw that goes out of play. The two bases are awarded from the base the runner had obtained at the time the ball was thrown. An obtained base is one which the runner is standing on or has passed.
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. Ground rules will be addressed before the start of the game to determine dead ball areas.
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
An infield fly can only occur with less than 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd or 1st, 2nd and 3rd. If a high fly ball is hit in the infield and can easily lead to a double play, an infield fly will be called. The batter is automatically out. Tagging up still applies if the ball is caught. The infield fly rule only applies to balls hit in fair territory.
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. A ground rule double is a two base award for the batter and any runners currently on base.
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.
HOME RUN LIMIT
Some of the fields we use have short home run fences. Based on the field, a home run limit may be enforced (typically a limit of 3 or 5 per game). Ground rules will be included in the welcome email and communicated by the umpire at the field. Any homeruns beyond the limit will result in an out and all runners will return to their respective bases. Inside-the-park homeruns are not counted towards the limit. Balls that bounce off the top of the fence or a fielder’s glove and go over the fence ARE counted towards the limit. If, in the umpire’s judgment, it is deemed that an outfielder intentionally swatted a ball over the fence to record an out, that play will be treated as a ground-rule double.
FIRST BASE/SAFETY BASE
Two bases will be placed at first base to avoid collisions. The hitter/runner must tag the outside (safety) base only when running to first and the 1st baseman 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 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. A batted ball that hits the inside base is declared a fair ball, and a batted ball hitting the outside base is declared foul.
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 will 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.
It is also the catchers responsibility to give the runner a clear path to home plate.
ZogSports is a charity-focused, social sports community 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.
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.
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. 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.
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 at the league managers discretion. If that player is caught playing in that game, the team will forfeit.
Players throwing bats after hitting the ball will be warned once. The batter will be called out for any second offenses.
The ZogSports Official Drug & Alcohol Policy is as follows:
All alcohol, cigarettes and illegal drugs are strictly prohibited from all facilities. Anyone who is caught violating this policy will receive an immediate lifetime ban from all ZogSports activities.
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.
7. 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.