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Groton Dunstable
Youth Softball League
 
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Groton Dunstable Softball League
2010 Inter-town Softball (3rd/4th Grade) Division 3 Rules
Download: Cortland Minors Rules

Goal: To teach the fundamentals of softball and to develop a positive attitude towards sports and team play. OUR MOST IMPORTANT GOAL IS TO HAVE FUN!

General Rules
  1. Every coach is responsible for the safety of his/her team.
  2.   a. All players must remain on the bench or in out of bounds area, except batter and on deck batter.
      b. All catchers must wear proper equipment, even when warming up.
  3. Coaches are not permitted in the playing field during a game. The only time a coach is allowed to be on the field during a game is when the coach has come in to replace a pitcher that has walked more than the allotted batters in that inning.
  4. No game should be started without a minimum of seven players on a team. A forfeit could be called, however, we are here to let the kids play, so try your best to work it out. Free substitution of players is allowed. Players arriving late may enter the game immediately upon arriving at a stoppage in play. Late arriving players should be added to the bottom of the batting order.
  5. If there is no umpire present at game time, both coaches must agree on a substitute or the game should be made up.
  6. An 11 inch safety (optic yellow) softball will be used.
Game Rules
  1. There are 6 innings per game. Three outs or 4 runs end all innings.
  2. Games are limited to 1.5 hours. No inning may start later than 1.5 hours after the scheduled start time (i.e., an inning cannot start after 7:30 for a game that started at 6:00)
  3. Ten players on the field, the short fielder must stay in the outfield. All outfielders should play on the outfield grass.
  4. All players should play four innings and should not sit out 2 innings in a row. (You might try making a position roster ahead of time to post in the dugout so time is not wasted telling the players where to play.)
  5. All players must be in the batting order whether they played in the inning or not. Pinch-hitting is not allowed.
  6. Bunting is not allowed.
  7. We will not honor the dropped third strike rule.
  8. No pitcher will appear in more than two innings.
  9. Pitching distance is 35 feet. The pitcher must remain within the white circle at the mound. If pitchers are struggling early in the season, coaches may agree on moving pitcher to just outside the circle.
  10. In the event that a pitcher walks 3 batters in a row or 4 batters in any single inning, a coach for the batting team will come in the game to pitch. The girl who was pitching will remain near the pitching circle and field any “IN PLAY” balls that come to this location. The coach is not allowed to make any plays on the field. The umpire will call strikes but no balls when the coach is pitching.
  11. Three strikes to a batter is a strikeout; four balls is a walk.
  12. No stealing of any base is allowed.
  13. Leading off any base is allowed after the ball crosses home plate. If the ball is put in play and a runner has left early a dead ball will be called.
  14. One base on an overthrow that goes out of bounds. An overthrown ball in the playing field is live until returned to the pitcher.
  15. No infield fly rule.
  16. A hit can be as many bases as the child can reach before the ball reaches the pitcher's circle.
Coaches Responsibilities
  1. Before each game, all players' names in the correct batting order should be submitted to the opposing team for entry into their scorebook.
  2. Coaches should rotate players to different positions during each game. No one should be an outfielder only.
  3. Coaches should make every attempt to let any girl who wishes to pitch an opportunity to do so, however the first time the girls is on the mound should not be during a game. Please make sure they have a chance to practice pitching prior to a game situation.
2010 Inter-town Softball (5th/6th Grade) Division 4 Rules

Download: Cortland Majors Rules

General Rules

  1. Prior to each game, batting orders must be exchanged and recorded into the respective scorebooks.
  2. All players must remain on the bench or in the out of bounds area when not batting or on deck.
  3. Coaches are not permitted in the playing field.
  4. No game shall be started without a minimum of 8 players on a team. A forfeit can be called, however we are here for the children so do your best to work it out. Forfeits require a full game fee for the umpire.
  5. If at game time an umpire is not present, a substitute (agreed on by both coaches) can be used or the game can be made up.
  6. Catchers must wear proper equipment, even when warming up.
  7. The home team is responsible for paying the umpire.
Game Rules
  1. The time limit is on hour and forty-five minutes (1 hr. 45 min.) from the actual game's start time. Exception: if the umpire arrives late, the time limit begins when the game is started. No new inning shall start after the one hour and forty-five minutes have elapsed.
  2. Ten players on the field, the short fielder must stay in the outfield.
  3. All players must be in the batting order whether they played in the inning or not. Pinch-hitting is not allowed. No batting out of order.
  4. Free substitution for defensive positions.
  5. Bunting is allowed.
  6. No infield fly rule.
  7. One base on an overthrow that goes out of bounds. An overthrown ball in the playing field is live until returned to the pitcher's circle.

    NOTE: On overthrown balls begun by a batted ball (i.e. balls overthrown in attempt to make a defensive play), runners may attempt to take as many bases as they desire, provided the ball is still within play and not within the pitching circle. Once the ball is within the pitching circle, no further advancement can be made other than the base they may be in the process of reaching at the time, and if the ball is out of play, it becomes a dead ball and the appropriate out of play advancement is instituted.

  8. Runners may not leave the base (lead or steal) until the ball has crossed the plate.
  9. Runners may steal 2nd or 3rd base, however all runners are limited to one base per pitch - if there is an overthrow, the runner may not advance to another base.

    Stealing Home: Runners on 3rd base may steal home only after the ball crosses the plate AND the catcher makes a clean catch or stop (keeps ball in front of her). In this case, the ball remains live and the runner may steal home before the ball is returned to the pitching circle. If the catcher fails to cleanly catch or stop the ball, the runner may not advance home.

    Additional Clarification: If the catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher and it is overthrown or mishandled by the pitcher and ends up outside of the circle, the ball is live and the runner on 3rd base is allowed to steal home. Also, if the ball is intentionally thrown to any other location on the field outside of the pitching circle, the runner on third may attempt to steal home if she desires. This includes when a ball is thrown by the catcher to 2nd base, if a runner is trying to steal 2nd.

  10. We will not honor the dropped third strike rule.
  11. A pitcher must start with both feet in contact with the rubber and must have her pivot foot (right foot for a right handed pitcher) in contact with the rubber until the ball leaves her hand.
  12. A pitcher may leave the game and return in later innings as long as she doesn't appear in more than three (3) innings per game. One pitch thrown in an inning constitutes an inning of pitching.
    In the course of the game, if a team in the field has used their first pitcher for the maximum 3 innings, and their second pitcher is having difficulty throwing strikes ( 5+ consecutive walks), the two coaches could agree to allow that team to return their first pitcher to the game. This rule is contingent on agreement from both coaches. It is expected that there will be an element of sportsmanship here - this is not endorsing a team to bring back a "speed" pitcher to control the game in their favor. This is also assuming that there is no 3rd pitcher option. This rule will apply to regular season games, as well as play-off games.
  13. For the safety of all players, any pitcher who hits 3 batters in a game must immediately be removed from the pitching position for the rest of the game (she may play any other position). Hit by Pitch (HBP) is determined by the umpire - i.e., at the umpire's discretion, the batter has made a legitimate effort to avoid being hit by the ball. Coaches should review this rule with the umpire before each game.
  14. Pitching distance is 40 feet - no exceptions.
  15. There will be a mercy rule of 5 runs per inning. The inning shall end once a team has scored the maximum number of runs. Continuous plays are not allowed. It is the responsibility of the coaches to stop their base runners once the inning run rule has been reached. If time allows, the sixth inning (and ONLY the 6th inning) is an unlimited-run inning.
  16. The slaughter rule for the game is 15 runs. The game will end anytime after the losing team is behind by 15 runs and has batted four (4) times. This update was mandated by the Greater Lowell Umpire's Association.
    Example 1: If the home team were ahead by a score of 15-5 going into the BOTTOM of the fourth inning, the game would end if the home team were to score 5 runs (thus putting them ahead by 15 and the LOSING team would have batted four times).
    Example 2: If the visiting team is leading 15-5 after four full innings, the game would continue but could end immediately if the visitors scored 5 runs in the top of the 5th inning. In this case, the visitors would be ahead by 15 runs and the LOSING team (the home team) would have already batted the minimum 4 times.
  17. Cheering for your own team is highly encouraged. Teamwork and building an enjoyable experience for all the girls in the league is our desired goal. However, there comes a time when the line can be crossed and it is up to the coaches and the umpire to be aware of the incidents and to try to maintain a level playing field for both teams. This issue is not only between girls from both teams, it involves coaches and parents. Negative cheers about the other team should not be tolerated. Sudden noises (shouts, horns, foot-stomping, "swing", or other noise making devices) shall not be tolerated. Yelling things like "good pitch", "ball", "strike", etc. is not allowed until after the pitch is over and has been called by the umpire. These are manipulative techniques intended to influence the batter and the umpire. This should not need to be a rule - it is sportsmanship and etiquette. Coaches are responsible for adherence to this etiquette for themselves, their other coaches, their players AND their players' parents.
  18. The catcher may attempt to throw out a runner at any base who has led off that base too far. In the event that the catcher makes an errant throw to the base, ALL runners may advance ONE BASE ONLY.

2012 Inter-town Softball (7, 8 & 9th Grades) Division 5 Rules
Download: Empire League Rules

LEAGUE PHILOSOPHY:
The U15 "Empire" Youth Softball League is a recreational softball league, made up of players and coaches from the towns of Acton-Boxborough, Ayer, Bolton, Groton-Dunstable, Littleton, Pepperell and Tyngsboro. Players participate to learn how to play softball, improve on their already acquired skills, learn how to be a valued team member and learn the importance of good sportsmanship. The league is made up of many volunteers who give their time for the benefit of the players in the league.

Coaches are counted on to instruct, encourage and motivate players in a positive manner. Players are asked to put forth their best effort at all times. Parents are asked to support the players and coaches in the league.

Many players, coaches and parents strive to excel and come determined to win. While winning is great, it is absolutely essential that no one lose sight of the purpose of this program. Everything that takes place in our U15 league should always be in the best interest of the girls.

COACHES RESPONSIBILITIES:

  1. Code of Conduct: This is an instructional league for the players, not an ego trip for the coaches and/or parents. It is of utmost importance that the less skilled players be recognized and encouraged as much as the more skilled players. Please use discretion in handling problems on the field. They should be handled quietly among the coaches and umpire. The players learn from you at practice and at games. Don't leave it up to the players to fend for themselves. They all need your constant instruction, encouragement and constructive critique. Developing good sportsmanship among the players is absolutely essential. Respect the difference between celebrating good plays and showing up the opposition.
  2. Prior to each game, batting orders must be exchanged and recorded into the respective scorebooks.
  3. All players must remain on the bench or in the out of bounds area when not batting or on deck.
  4. All players must be rotated to different positions during the game. Each player MUST play a minimum of one inning per game in the outfield AND a minimum of one inning in the infield. This prevents the weaker players from bring "buried" in the outfield and forces the better players to also have to play the outfield as well. Remember that sometimes these games don't always make it to 6 innings. Plan to get everyone their infield inning no later than the 4th inning.
  5. All players should play at least four innings. (Please make a schedule ahead of time and post it in the dugout so that time is not wasted telling players where they should be).
  6. Catchers must wear proper equipment, even when warming up. Keep the game moving by having your catcher start getting her equipment on before your team finishes their at bat whenever possible.
GENERAL RULES:
The division rules of play conform to the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) with some exceptions as noted below. If a rule is not explicitly discussed, then the ASA rules, as interpreted by the umpire, are in effect.

  1. Coaches are not permitted in the playing field.
  2. No game shall be started without a minimum of 8 players on a team. The ASA umpires enforce this for safety. If a team has less than eight players, that team must forfeit the game. Forfeits require a full game fee for the umpire. If an official game is forfeited, the teams can still scrimmage at their option. Players must play in proper positions. If a team is playing with 8 players, there is no automatic out for the 9th batting slot. On defense, if an additional player arrives, the player may enter the field between batters. If at game time an umpire is not present, a substitute (agreed on by both coaches) can be used or the game can be made up.


GAME RULES:
  1. The games will last six innings and there is a time limit of one hour and forty-five minutes (1 hr. 45 min.) from the scheduled game's start time. Exception: if the umpire arrives late, the time limit begins when the game is started. No new inning shall start after the one hour forty-five minutes has elapsed. If the time limit has been passed, regular season games can end in a tie.
  2. Ten fielders are permitted on the field, which includes four outfielders. The outfielders must be positioned on the outfield grass. There will be no "hugging" or "picket fencing" the infield. Outfielders may not make a primary play in the infield (ie - an outfielder taking a throw for a force play at second base would be an example of a primary play).
  3. Continuous batting order is allowed. Late arrivals must be placed at the end of the batting order. No batting out of order. Pinch- hitting is not allowed.
  4. Free substitution for defensive positions.
  5. Bunting is allowed.
  6. Infield fly rule is in effect. Coaches should review the umpire's interpretation of the infield fly rule before each game. Umpires are asked to invoke the infield fly only for balls falling inside the base paths.
  7. One base will be awarded on an overthrow that goes out of bounds. An overthrown ball in the playing field is live until returned to the pitcher (in the circle).
  8. Runners may leave the base (lead or steal) when the ball leaves the pitcher's hand.
  9. The dropped third strike rule is in effect.
  10. Pitching distance is 40 feet - no exceptions.
  11. A pitcher must start with both feet in contact with the rubber and her first step must be in a forward direction.
  12. Coaches should confer before the game begins about the status of their pitchers and come to a mutual agreement depending on the number of pitchers available on a given night. In general, the more skilled pitchers should not appear in more than four (4) innings per game. If coaches cannot agree, then the default rule is 4 inning limit. This is recreational league - the objective should be to keep games competitive and to avoid a situation where a less-skilled pitcher is just walking multiple batters. A pitcher may leave the game and return in later innings.
  13. For the safety of all players, any pitcher who hits three (3) batters in a game should be removed from the pitching position for the rest of the game (she may play any other position). Hit by Pitch (HBP) is determined by the umpire - i.e., at the umpire's discretion, the batter has made a legitimate effort to avoid being hit by the ball. Coaches should review this rule with the umpire before each game.
  14. Maximum Runs: Innings 1-5 will end early if a team scores six runs before it is put out three times. There is no continuous play allowed (meaning that once the sixth run crosses the plate, no additional runs will count from that at bat). The only exception to the six run maximum is during the sixth inning. If time allows, the sixth inning (and only the sixth inning) is an unlimited run inning.
  15. The "mercy rule" for a game is 15 runs. The game will end anytime the losing team has fallen behind by 15 runs and has batted at least four (4) times.
    Example 1: If the home team was ahead by a score of 15-5 going into the BOTTOM of the fourth inning, the game would end if the home team were to score 5 runs (thus putting them ahead by 15 and the LOSING team would have batted four times).
    Example 2: If the visiting team is leading 15-5 after four full innings, the game would continue but could end immediately if the visitors scored 5 runs in the top of the 5th inning. In this case, the visitors would be ahead by 15 runs and the LOSING team (the home team) would have already batted the minimum 4 times.
  16. Cheering for your own team is highly encouraged. Teamwork and building an enjoyable experience for all the girls in the league is our desired goal. However, there comes a time when the line can be crossed and it is up to the coaches and the umpire to be aware of the incidents and to try to maintain a level playing field for both teams. This issue is not only between girls from both teams, it involves coaches and parents. Negative cheers about the other team should not be tolerated. Sudden noises (shouts, horns, foot-stomping, "swing", or other noise making devices) shall not be tolerated. Yelling things like "good pitch", "ball", "strike", etc. is not allowed until after the pitch is over and has been called by the umpire. These are manipulative techniques intended to influence the batter and the umpire. This should not need to be a rule - it is sportsmanship and etiquette. If necessary, coaches should ask the umpire to intervene. Coaches are responsible for adherence to this etiquette for themselves, their other coaches, their players AND their players' parents.

UMPIRES:
  1. Each town is responsible for making arrangements for all umpires for home games. The local rule modifications and boundaries of the playing field should be reviewed by both head coaches prior to the start of each game.
  2. The designated "home team" head coach will be responsible for paying the umpire his/her $38 game fee prior to the start of the game. Each head coach will provide one "new" game ball and hand it to the umpire at the pre-game conference.
  3. There will be no questioning of the umpire's calls by the coaches, players or parents. Umpires are in charge of the game. ASA rules apply except when modified by local rules.

    RAINOUTS - The decision to cancel games due to inclement weather will be by mutual agreement of the coaches. The home team's head coach must contact the league's umpire coordinator at least two hours prior to the scheduled start of a game. The 2012 league umpire coordinator is Mike Knight. Cell: (978) 302-4735,
  4. The umpire receives their fee if he/she reports to the field and there is no game.
  5. CANCELLATIONS FOR REASONS OTHER THAN BAD WEATHER - If anyone has to cancel or re-schedule a game for any other reason, contact the League's schedule maker, Bernie Lane, your towns coordinator and Mike Knight. He will assist you in re-scheduling a game if need be (including any games that were rained out). Please forward the new date and time for the makeup for posting on the leagues web site to Bob Barboza. Umpires require a notice of noon the day prior advance notice if a game should need to be cancelled for any non-weather related reason - therefore, please try to give at least two days advance notice.

GAME RESULTS:
The home team manager is responsible for sending the scores to Bob Barboza . The schedules, scores and standings will be kept online.

Empire League information can be found on the web site using the menu on the left hand side and clicking on the link for schedule, standings. Coach contact information has also been loaded for each Empire Team.

There will not be any season-ending playoffs.

 
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