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Playing Rules

Beantown Softball League Playing Rules 2023

The League will use USA Softball rules to govern League play with exceptions passed by the Executive Committee.

  1. Eligibility:
    1. Teams are under no obligation to have a percentage of players of any identified gender (updated April 2022).
    2. The umpire shall determine what jewelry is allowable on the playing field.
    3. The only uniform requirement is that all team players wear uniform shirts that are alike in color and style, possessing unique and visible numbers. There are no hat requirements. Outer garments required due to medical reason or inclement weather will be allowed over regulation uniforms with notification to the opposing manager.
    4. A player with prosthesis may use a wooden bat.
    5. This League will adhere to the American Disabilities Act of July 25, 1990 as outlined by USA Softball.
    6. All USA Softball approved bats may be used at all games played with a 44 core ball. No bat indicating it is "titanium" or "triple-walled" will be permitted.
  2. Playing Rules:
    1. Time Limit: No new inning shall begin after fifty-five (55) minutes unless the game is tied (updated April 2023).
    2. Starting Count: Batters start with a 1 ball - 1 strike count for all games except for extra innings (see "Tie Games" below).
    3. Extra Hitters: Up to 2 extra hitters are permitted in the batting order for each team.
    4. Official Scorebook: The official scorebook of the game will be that of the designated home team.
    5. Minimum Number of Players: A team which does not field at least nine (9) players within five (5) minutes (updated April 2019) of the scheduled game start time will forfeit that game. A team must begin play as soon as nine (9) players are available if within 5 minutes after game start time. A 10th player arriving during the game may play if he/she has been listed on the line-up card provided to the umpire. The 10th batter may enter the game AFTER the inning in progress has ended. The 10th position will be an out in the lineup until the position is filled (updated June 2021).
    6. Courtesy Fouls: All Divisions are allowed one courtesy foul after a 2nd strike.
    7. Courtesy Runners:
      1. Courtesy runners may be used once per inning and may be ANY player on the line-up card.
      2. If a courtesy runner is on-base when their turn at bat comes - the player who is being run for will be called out. The courtesy runner will be removed from the base and take their turn at bat. A second courtesy runner or a substitute is not allowed.
      3. A player may use a courtesy runner at any time during the inning.
    8. USA Softball Run Ahead Rules will be enforced. All games will end with no ability for a losing team to have additional at bats.
      1. Run Ahead Rule 3 innings: 20 runs
      2. Run Ahead Rule 4 innings: 15 runs
      3. Run Ahead Rule 5, 6 innings: 10 runs
    9. Tie games - extra innings (except the Championship Game): Batters start with a 3 ball - 2 strike count (one-pitch format) with no courtesy foul for extra innings. The player last at bat will be the runner on 2nd base at the beginning of each extra half-inning. All other rules apply from that point.
    10. Championship Game: Extra innings will continue with a 1-1 count.
  3. Umpires:
    1. $50 Umpire fee is established by the EC and paid before game time by the competing teams. The teams shall divide the cost of the established fee equally between them.
    2. Teams will pay the umpire using the payment app, "Venmo". If the team fails to pay the umpire fee to the assigned umpire or UIC before the end of that game that team will forfeit that game and will be penalized accordingly.
    3. There will be at least one umpire for each regular season game.
    4. There will be no protest on any decision involving accuracy of judgment.
  4. Equipment:
    1. The yellow optic color, red stitch 12-inch ball with a ball COR of .520 or under and a ball compression of 300.0 lbs or under will be used. Balls will be provided by the League.
    2. Bats used must appear on the approved Bat list, have a 2000, 2004, or 2013 ASA certification mark, or the new USA Softball Approved Certification marks and not be on the Non-approved list with 2000 or 2004 certification marks list.
  5. Regular Season Tie-Breaker Rules: In the case of ties between two or more teams at the end of the regular season, the following guidelines will be used to break the ties.
    Two Way Ties:
    1. The team that holds the win advantage in head to head competition between the two teams will be the higher finisher
    2. In the event that there is an even number of games between the two teams where their head to head record is the same, the following criteria for breaking the tie should be used:
      1. Overall run differential
      2. Random Draw
    Three Way Ties:
    1. In a three-way tie where one team has a win advantage over each of the other two teams in head to head competition, that team would finish higher than the other two.
    2. In a three-way tie where no team holds an advantage over the other two in head to head competition, the following criteria shall be used in breaking ties:
      1. Overall run differential
      2. Random Draw
    Other Ties: Ties involving more than three teams will be decided on these same criteria to the extent they can be similarly applied.
  6. Forfeits:
    1. Teams are allowed three (3) forfeits per season (updated April 2022). After the third forfeit, the team is required to submit a plea to the Executive Committee to be allowed to complete the season.
    2. Forfeiting Teams are responsible for the full $50 Umpire game fee of in addition to a $50 league fine per forfeited game (updated April 2022).

~Updated April 2023

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