WSL League Rules
Rules and Regulations – 2017 Season
- Umpires are selected based on knowledge of the rules, temperament, and reliability.
- Umpires are to be compensated $30 from each team immediately after the game ($60 total).
- Umpires have the right to warn and/or eject any player from a game due to behavior, dirty play, aggression, fighting.
- Managers and players do not have carte blanche to treat umpires with disrespect, yell, curse or threaten. Being an umpire is not an easy job, they are out there doing the very best they can. They should be treated with the same fairness and respect that players give to their own teammates.
- IN THE EVENT OF A CONFLICT: Managers and Umps will need to confer with each other. It is the responsibility of the Manager of his/her team to take control of his/her own team. The ump will speak to the Manager, he/she will be required to diffuse his/her team. It is not the duty of the umpire.
- DIFFICULT UMPIRES: If you as a manager or player feel that an ump is either bad, difficult, not performing his/her duties, you have every right to email the head of the ump crew to let them know of the situation. The email address is email@example.com. Please write a detailed email explaining what happened so that it can be resolved with the umpire.
- Managers and players who continuously berate, yell, scream, or threaten umpires will be given a warning and could eventually be kicked out of the league.
- Using racial slurs, homophobic slurs, threats, throwing bats, etc…is cause for immediate ejection and the player will be required to leave the park. This league is much bigger than the bad attitude of just a few players. We cannot risk a fight or losing our permits over someone getting physically and emotionally abusive while playing softball. Managers who do not make their players leave will then be suspended.
- Fines: Once a player is ejected, they will have to pay a $40 fine to the league to return back the next game they want to play.
- Multiple suspensions: If a player is suspended more than once, they are out of the league permanently.
- Umpires will be graded at mid-season and at end of season by managers of the WSL.
a) Umpires who have been graded subpar will be asked to improve either their attitude, or knowledge of the rules.
b) The umpire(s) who has been graded the BEST (mid-season & end of season) will be given a $60 bonus and will have the opportunity to ump games in the playoffs. This will of course depend upon availability of ump.
- Umpires may drink a reasonable amount but must not get drunk. Please note: This is a paid position, so please refrain from getting drunk while umping the game.
- Umpires are responsible for taking a picture of the line-up book of each team in the game they are umping once the game is over and emailing it to Justin: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
- Cleats: Metal spikes are not permitted. Only rubber cleats are allowed. A player wearing metal spikes may not play at all. No questions asked. If a player is asked to remove his/her spikes and he/she does not do so and is found to be playing with metal spikes, player is out of the game and will serve a 1 game suspension.
- Other Equipment: Each team must bring at least one new Clincher softball to each game. The league will provide bases, chalk, and paint for the grass.
- Scorebook: Each team MUST have a scorebook, or a score sheet, and a way to track the game they are playing in. This is so umpires can take a picture of it and send it into the league for tracking. Teams who do not have a book or sheet to be photographed are at risk of having their player(s) not being honored with a game played which will ultimately count against your player’s playoff eligibility.
- Returning bases to the shed: After the final game of the day, the home team on each field is responsible for gathering up all the bases, putting them in the bases bags, and bringing them to the shed behind the Turkey’s Nest.
a) To get the key to the shed: Go into the Turkey’s Nest, ask the bartender for the key to the shed. Go outside and around to the side of the Nest. There is a gate there. Use the key to unlock the gate. Walk into the parking lot area, in the left side corner, there is a shed. Open it by releasing the bungee cord. Place the bags on the TOP SHELF. The bottom shelf is for the kickball league. Close the shed; secure the door with the bungee cord. Lock the gate behind you. Return to the bar and give the key back to the bartender. Say, “Thank you,” get a Big Bud.
- What is a strike??:
- Starting Position: The pitcher is facing home plate with at least one foot on the “rubber,” or place designated as pitching area (a chalk line). When the batter is ready, the pitch must be delivered in one continuous underhand forward motion. Prior to forward motion, or if the pitcher freezes or pauses, the batter has the right to call timeout. The umpire, however, must grant this timeout. The batter must ask for it loudly, and clearly enough and the ump must grant it. The pitcher may take one step toward home plate only.a) Illegal Pitch: Flat & Fast Pitch. A flat & fast pitch is a pitch that does NOT have a “bump” or “arc” in its travels to home plate as defined by above.
b) Stuttering or pausing during the pitch: If a pitcher pauses, stutters or freezes after his FORWARD MOTION has begun, this is also considered an illegal pitch.
- Enforcement: There is a “three strike rule” for pitchers who violate the pitching rule. On the third violation, the player can no longer pitch. The player is not kicked out of the game; he/she is just no longer eligible to pitch for the remainder of that game.
a) If the pitcher delivers an illegal pitch, it is the responsibility of the umpire to yell “Illegal Pitch!” and it is IMMEDIATELY a dead ball. No matter if the batter gets a single, a homerun, or swings and misses, the play is dead, it is called a BALL and the pitcher is given a warning. This is counted as a violation. Again, three violations means the pitcher can no longer pitch.
- “Trick” Pitches: Pitchers may throw knuckle balls, spinning balls, or backhanded pitches. However, it is illegal to throw a ball that contains any foreign substances, including clumps of dirt, on the surface of the ball.
- 3 strikes: A batter gets three strikes. If a batter has 2 strikes on him/her and they then foul off a pitch, this is considered a THIRD STRIKE and the batter is out. A batter may strike out looking (not swinging) at a 3rd strike as well as swinging.
- 4 Balls: Four balls is a walk.
a) If a male batter before a female batter walks on four straight balls, the girl following has the option to take first base as well, or hit, if she so desires. If the female batter does not opt to take the walk the runners DO NOT advance. The ONLY way the runners advance is if the female decides to take the walk.
- Courtesy Runner from Home Plate: There are NO courtesy runners allowed from home plate. The batter MUST make it to first base (or 2nd, 3rd) before he/she can have a courtesy runner.
- Courtesy Runners: Two courtesy runners are allowed per game – that is it. If a team already has two courtesy runners and then an additional player gets hurt and wants a runner, this is NOT allowed. The injured player either runs for himself/herself, or he/she is out of the game. Once the batter reaches base safely, the courtesy runner may now enter for the batter. The player(s) who need a runner can be designated before the game, or before the player’s at-bat. If there are no runners who have been designated and a player gets injured and cannot run, this player can now have a runner. Once this player has been announced that he/she needs a courtesy runner, the player must ALWAYS have the designated runner run for them for the remainder of the game. Again, each team has a maximum of two allowed. No exceptions.
- The LAST BATTED OUT is always the courtesy runner. If the last batted out also has a courtesy runner, then it’s the out before that one.
a) The courtesy runner must be of the same gender as the runner they are replacing. If there are no other females available to be a courtesy runner for a female, the opposing team is given the right to choose the runner for the female.
- Bunting/Chopping: Bunting, or “chopping,” of any kind is not permitted. Any attempted bunt, half swing, or chop, intended to cause the effect of a bunt or a chop, results in an automatic out. Runners may not advance.
- Safety First: The primary goal on the base paths, above all, is to avoid dangerous collisions between runners and fielders.
- No Leading Off: There are NO leadoff’s in the WSL. Runners must stay put on their bag until THE BALL IS HIT. This means the batter must make CONTACT with the ball before the runner can run. If a runner leaves early, or runs and the batter did NOT swing, then the runner is given a warning. If the runner does it again, the runner is out. Then EVERY TIME ANY RUNNER ON THE OFFENDING TEAM LEAVES THE BAG EARLY FOR THE DURATION OF THE GAME he/she will be called out.
- First Base: Double bases or two bases will be used at first base. The orange base (or the outside base in foul territory) is designated as the “runners base” and the white base (or the inside base in fair territory) is designated as the “fielders base.”
a) Runners Base vs. Fielders Base: If there is a play at first base, the runner MUST step on the orange base (or the outside base in foul territory) and the first baseman must step on the white base (or the inside base in fair territory). Only when the runner is rounding first base or going for multiple bases can he/she use the white base (or the inside base in fair territory).
b) First baseman stepping on orange base: If the first baseman steps on the orange base (or the outside base in foul territory) and does not use the white base (or inside base) by the time the runner gets to first base, the runner is safe.
c) First baseman obstructing path to first base: If the first baseman obstructs the base runner headed to first in a way that puts the runner in danger or prevents the runner from reaching the base, the runner is awarded first base.
d) First baseman obstructing path to second base: On a base hit, when there is clearly no play at first base, the first baseman must allow the runner the opportunity to round the base and run for extra bases. It is the responsibility of the first baseman to get out of the runner’s way. Collisions which result from the first baseman failing to clear the way for the runner when there is no play at first base may result, according to the judgment of the ump, in the next base being awarded to the runner.
e) Base runner interfering with first baseman: A base runner heading to first base must run in the runner’s lane on the foul side of the first base line. A base runner, who runs on the infield side of the line and prevents the first baseman (or any other player) from fielding the first base position, is automatically out.
f) After the runner reaches first base: After passing first base, the runner can turn right into foul territory or left into fair territory and he is not considered “live.” It is only when the runner makes a motion to advance is he considered “live” and can be tagged out.
- Fielder obstructing a runner: If a fielder, while NOT in the act of fielding, obstructs the base path in a manner that causes a collision or severely impedes the runner’s progress around the bases, the umpire should rule the runner automatically safe and award the base they were going to.
- Runners interfering with fielders: If a runner on the base path collides with a fielder who is in the act of fielding, preventing him from completing the play, the runner is out.
- Aggressive base running: If a runner aggressively or purposefully initiates, collides, intention to harm, slides with cleats up with intent to injure, harms anyone in the base path, the runner is OUT and immediately ejected from the game.
- Avoiding Collisions on close plays: Runners are strongly encouraged to slide on close plays to avoid obstructing the play of infielders and to avoid collisions, but it is not mandatory. A base runner who chooses not to slide on a close play MUST ease gently into the base standing up, OR avoid contact with the fielder by going around him/her and NOT making contact, or simply give himself/herself up. A runner, who goes into a base standing up and makes a hard collision with the fielder, will be ruled out, with the possibility of being ejected from the game. SAFETY FIRST!
- Runner obstruction: Runners may NOT hold, hug, slap the ball away, or obstruct the fielder from making a play.
- Force out rule: When a player is forced out, they must: peel out of the baseline, slide, or duck, and essentially get out of the way. A runner is not allowed to stand in the base path, wave arms, run into the fielder or interfere with a thrown ball. If the player does not get out of the way and give him/herself up, the player is out and so is the batter who hit the ball. It is a double play. If a runner does not get out of the way, they are at their own risk of being injured by a thrown ball.
- Home plate avoiding collisions: Safety is of crucial importance around home plate. Controlled feet-first sliding on close plays is strongly encouraged, as it is generally accepted as a safer method than head-first sliding. Sliding is recommended but not mandatory. Avoiding collisions is MANDATORY. Typically the on-deck batter has the responsibility to let the runner know whether or not to slide. Teams are encouraged to get all players to understand and use this system. But take care not to overcrowd the area around home plate.
a) A play at home plate: Ideally the runner should slide to avoid a collision. If the runner does not slide, he or she must ease into home plate, or avoid contact with the player covering home, or he/she is automatically out.
b) No play at home plate: If there is NO play at home plate at all and the catcher (or another fielder) is standing on or in front of home plate blocking the path, the runner is awarded the vicinity around home plate and is safe. Keep in mind this is when there is NO play at home plate. This is in effort to avoid injury. The runner should NOT barrel into the catcher or other fielders if they are in the way.
- Runners obstructing home plate: Once a runner(s) has scored, it is his/her responsibility to clear the area and allow the defense the opportunity to make a play at home if another runner is attempting to score. If runners are conglomerating around home plate and have obstructed the fielder, and made it impossible for them to make a play at the plate, then the runner scoring is out due to interference.
- Runner on the base paths, and is hit by a batted ball: If a runner is running around the bases and in fair territory and is hit by a batted ball, the runner is out.
a) Runner on a base: If a runner is on ANY base, and is hit by a batted ball, the runner is out. Being on a base does not automatically make the runner safe. The ball is now dead and no runner may score, nor runners advance, except runners forced to advance.
b) Runner in foul territory: If a runner is in foul territory and not on a base and is hit by a ball, he/she is not out and it is a foul ball.
- Runner Dragging the Base: The bases not being stationary does not give the base runner the right to drag the base. If a base runner goes into a base and the base slips, or slides away, as long as the runner is in the general vicinity of where the base SHOULD BE, then the runner is safe. If the base runner runs past the base, but uses his foot to grab the base and drag it FURTHER than where it should be, then the runner needs to be considered OFF the base and therefor “live.” Runners cannot drag the base multiple feet and be considered safe, since if the base was stationary, he would be off the base.
- First and Third Base Coaches: There can be a maximum of two first base coaches and two third base coaches. There cannot be a conglomeration of multiple players and base coaches in fair territory obstructing the path of the runner.
- Too many players down the line: The umpire can give a warning when there are too many players gathered either down the first base or third base line in fair territory. On the 2nd warning the ump can call an immediate out. When not playing, please stay in foul territory, out of the field of play.
- Players in foul territory obstructing a player: On a pop up in foul territory, and a player is attempting to make a play and is purposefully obstructed by an opposing player, fan, spectator, the ump has the right to call the batter out.
- Max players in the field: Teams may have a maximum of 10 fielders, 2 of which must be women.
- Minimum players in the field: If a team fields less than 10 players (9, 8) there must be at least 1 girl in the field and a catcher. A team cannot play with zero girls.
- Girl Line: The outfielders must play no more shallow than 90 feet beyond first, second and third base. The area between the bases and the Girl Line is designated as the Girl Line Zone. If they are too close, the umpire must order the outfielders to play further back to accommodate the rule. Opposing managers also have the right to request the umps move outfielders back.
- Creeping Past Girl Line on Pitch: Outfielders cannot creep past (or charge) the girl line and enter the Girl Line Zone when the ball is pitched. The ONLY time an outfielder can enter the Girl Line Zone is when the girl swings the bat, or after the girl has hit the ball. The umpire may warn the outfielders and the managers of this. After multiple warnings, it is up to the umpire’s discretion to allow the girl first base regardless of outcome of her at-bat.
- Home plate: On plays at home plate, the fielder taking the throw should be positioned to the side of home plate, giving the runner a clear lane to the plate. The fielder must NOT stand on top of home plate, or in front of base blocking the path, to make a play, as this will likely lead to collisions. The fielding team should have no more than 2 players near home plate. The fielder backing up the play should be standing near the backstop.
- Impeding home plate: If the fielding team has a conglomeration of fielders at home, in front of the plate, etc…which prevents the runner from having a clear path to home plate, then the runner is deemed automatically safe.
- Infield Fly Rule: An infield fly is a fair fly ball in the infield (not including a line drive) or in shallow outfield, and in the case of a female, within the Girl Line Zone, which can be caught with ordinary effort, where the fielder is camped out underneath it, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, when there are less than two outs. The umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly!” loudly enough for everyone to hear, for the benefit of the runners, and the batter is out. The runners may advance, or “tag up” after the ball is caught at their own risk.
- Fake Tags: Fake, “phantom” tags, are strictly prohibited. If a fielder does a fake tag, he is immediately given a warning. On the second offense, the runner is given the next base. On the next offense, the runner is given the next base and the fielder is out of the game.
- Fielders Calling Timeout: Fielders can ONLY call timeout and will ONLY be granted timeout, when a fielder has control of the ball and is in the infield. To be clear: A player in the outfield with or without the ball, cannot be granted timeout. The ball must be in the infield and in the possession of a fielder. Fielders can call timeout when runners are on the bases, HOWEVER, it should only be granted when runners are safely on their bases. If runners are moving forward, in a run-down, or advancing, timeout should NOT be granted until the runners are all on their respective bases.
- In play: Everything within the foul lines on each field is in play: rocks, park benches, garbage cans, players from other games, empanada purveyors and hipsters. If a batted ball hits any of these objects in play and remains playable, fielders must play the ball accordingly.
- Interference: Play ceases and bases are awarded to the batter if a ball hit into fair territory is picked up, thrown, or otherwise intentionally deflected by a bystander, or if a ball becomes completely impossible to play as a result of some impediment or obstruction such as a hole in the ground, fence, rabid animal, etc. It is up to the umpire’s discretion the number of bases awarded due to how far the ball was hit and how far the batter had ran at the time of the obstruction. Other runners on the base paths may advance from their starting points depending upon the number of bases awarded.
a) Clarification: If a ball hits a fan, or a player playing on the opposing field, the ball is live. Only if a fan picks up ball, or other player does, and throws ball away, keeps it, etc. will the runner be awarded bases depending upon how far the ball was hit and how far the runner had run.
- Tree Balls: If a ball hits a tree branch, a twig, a leaf and its trajectory is NOT altered and is caught by a fielder, the batter is out. If a ball hits a tree and its trajectory IS altered by the tree, the ball is live and if caught is NOT out. Consider this the ball hitting the wall at a professional baseball game. The umpire will have to be diligent in watching to see that the trajectory of the ball is either altered or not and will have to give CLEAR and LOUD instructions to all players. NOTE: if a ball is CLEARLY in the Tree, the ball is deemed UNCATCHABLE regardless of whether or not the umpire cannot see a change in trajectory.
- Out of bounds from throws in the infield: With the ball fields not having any real out of- play territory, if a ball is thrown by a fielder to the area extending behind first base, third base, or behind the backstop behind home plate, all runners on the base paths may advance a maximum of one base beyond the base toward which they were running at their own risk. The ball is not considered dead, so the base is not awarded automatically.
a) Throws from the infield example 1: If a runner is running to first and an errant throw from the infield goes out of bounds beyond first base – regardless of whether the runner may or may not have been safe with a good throw – the batter may attempt to advance to second base. If there is a runner on first, he/she may attempt to advance to third and a runner starting on second base may attempt to score. In all cases, the ball is “live” and runners advance a maximum of 1 base at their own risk and may be tagged or thrown out.
b) Throws from the infield example 2: Likewise, if a runner is headed toward third and an errant throw from the infield goes beyond third base, that runner may attempt to score, while other runners on the bases may attempt to advance one base beyond the base toward which they were running. Again, the ball is “live” and runners may be tagged out and they advance at their own risk.
- Out of bounds from throws from the outfield: Runners are limited to the base they were trying to achieve, plus one, but they advance at their own risk. If they were not running towards the next base or if they were retreating back to the last base they achieved, they can only gain the next base. Umpires MUST be aware of runners on the base paths.
a) Throws from the outfield example 1: If a runner is headed toward third and an errant throw from the outfield goes out of bounds beyond third, that runner may attempt to score, while other runners on the field may attempt to advance a maximum of one base beyond the base toward which they were running. Again, the ball is “live,” runners may be tagged out, and they advance at their own risk.
b) Throws from the outfield example 2: If a runner is headed toward first and an errant throw from the outfield goes out of bounds beyond first, that runner may attempt to advance, while other runners on the field may attempt to advance a maximum of one base beyond the base toward which they were running. Again, the ball is “live,” runners may be tagged out, and they advance at their own risk.
- Safely retrieved ball: If a fielder safely retrieves the ball while the runners are advancing at their own risk, such as the ball hitting a tree and bouncing back, or hitting a pole or garbage can and bouncing back, essentially anything other than someone giving the fielder the ball, then the fielder can throw, or tag the runner(s), and the runner(s) is out. Illegally retrieved ball: If a fielder retrieves a ball that is tossed, or handed to him by a bystander, a spectator, the hotdog lady, or anyone, the ball is dead and the fielder cannot get the runner(s) out.
- Trading lineups: It is not mandatory, but if requested, teams may trade line-ups before the start of their games if opposing manager’s request. No questions asked.
- Using a line-up of 12 or 13 players: A team may use a 12 player line-up or a 13 player line-up. In a 10 player line-up 2 of those 12 players MUST be women. Example: 10 men, 2 women. A team can ALSO use a 13 player line up, but ONLY if they bat 3 girls. Example: 10 guys and 3 girls = 13 players. 2 women must still play in the field.
- 1 Girl Line-up: A team that has only 1 girl may only use a 10 player line-up. They CANNOT bat 11 guys and 1 girl. They can only bat 8 guys, 1 girl, and the last slot (10th) being an automatic out.
- Minimum line-up: A team must use a minimum line-up of 10 players. 2 of those 10 players MUST be women. If they can only bat 9, the 10th slot is an automatic out, if they can only bat 8, the 9th and 10th slots are automatic outs. A team with only 7 players must forfeit the game.
- Batting Through a Lineup: After a team goes through their lineup once, their lineup is SET.
a) Example 1:If a team is batting 10, and their 11th player shows up and they have already gone through their 10 player line up once, the player being added must take the slot of a player. They CANNOT be tacked onto the end of the line up once the lineup has gone through once.
b) Example 2: If a team bats through their lineup and one of their player (or players) leave during the game and there is NO replacement for that slot. Then each time that slot comes to bat and there is no hitter, it is an out.
c) Example 3:If a team is waiting for their 11th player and has 10 players, they can have an 11 player line up and take the 11th slot as an out if the player doesn’t show up in time for his/her at-bat. However, if this player NEVER shows up, that 11th slot will ALWAYS be an out for the duration of the game.
- Forfeits: A team that cannot field 8 players forfeits by a score of 10-0.
- No girl forfeit: A team that cannot field 1 girl forfeits by a score of 10-0.
- 11am Games Grace Period: Games at 11am must start at the latest 11:20 to allow for all the other games of the week to be played.
- Grace Period after 11am Game: Teams have a grace period of 15 minutes after game-time to get all their players to the field or to pick up Guest players if they have less than 10 players.
a) Clarification: If a team has 10 players, and they are waiting for their 11th (or 12th) they CANNOT delay a game waiting for additional players. Once teams have a minimum of 10 players, the game starts.
- No DH: All players in the field MUST hit. There is NO DH.
- Extra hitter: Teams may use a maximum of 2 Extra Hitters when they have 2 girls.
a) EH’s can play the field as well.
b) If a team only has 1 girl, they are NOT allowed to use any EH’s.
- Pinch Hitter: Pinch hitters are allowed, however, only batters of the same sex can pinch hit for him/her. Example: A male batter can only pinch hit for a male, and a female can only pinch hit for a girl.
- Male re-entry rule: There is NO re-entry rule for male players.
a) Example: If a manager brings in a pinch-hitter for a batter, the batter the pinch hitter is hitting for may NOT re-enter the game.
b) Injured Player: In the event of a player being substituted in, and then becoming injured and needing to exit the game, the player must be verified to be injured by the umpire and can then be swapped out without the risk of their slot now being empty. If the player enters the game and leaves because of an “injury” meaning: He/She is faking it, the slot is now empty and it is an automatic out.
- Women re-entry rule: Women may enter, or rotate, within their spots in the batting order or in the field as many times as they like, however, they must rotate within their initial slot in the line-up.
a) Example: If a team has 4 women, but are batting 2 in the line-up, those 4 women can rotate within those two slots in the batting line-up as many times as they want. If girl 1 and girl 2 are hitting in the 10th and 11th spot respectively, then girl 3 and 4 must hit in the 10th and 11th spots as well. Once they have been assigned a spot in the line-up they cannot be moved around.Clarification: If girl 1 and girl 3 are hitting in the 10th spot, they cannot be moved to the 11th spot, or swap them in other slots in the line-up.
- Minimum 1 woman: A team must have a minimum of 1 woman in the field (and in the line-up) at all times to play.
a) A team fielding only 1 woman may still play – but that team can only put 9 players (8 guys, 1 girl) in the field. Clarification: If a team has 12 players, but only 1 girl, they can still only play 9 in the field: 8 guys and 1 girl. They CANNOT put a team on the field of 10 with 9 of them being guys and 1 girl.
b) A team with 1 girl must still bat 10 players in the lineup, with the 10th spot always an automatic out. If a second women shows up during the game, she is allowed to take the field and bat 10th in the lineup.
c) If a team is has more than 10 players, but only have 1 girl, they can only use a 10 player line up and must take an out in the 10th slot. Example: If a team has 14 players but only 1 girl, they can only hit 8 guys and 1 girl (for 9 total) and the 10th slot is an automatic out. And then in the field they can only field 9 players (8 guys, 1 girl). There are NO EH’s allowed when a team only has 1 girl. If the 2nd girl arrives, she can be placed in the 10th slot.
- Subbing in a hitter/fielder: If a team is subbing in a hitter or fielder, it must be announced to the umpire and opposing manager.
- Writing player in score book who did not PLAY:
- 4 Game suspension for the manager.
Player who was added is ineligible for playoffs.
Managers bringing players into the game should be diligent in announcing to both the ump and the opposing manager that this player is in.
- Managers must be diligent in keeping track of opposing manager’s scoresheet to ensure that only players in the lineup actually played in the game.
GUEST PLAYERS and FREE AGENTS
- Guest Players: Teams may recruit guest players to play in order to avoid forfeiting or avoid playing with less than 10 players, or the requisite number of females.
a) If a team has zero girls, then the first two guest players they pick up must be female.
b) If a team has one girl, then the first player they pick up must be female.
c) If a team has two girls, they can pick up enough male players to make it to 10, but ONLY if a team has two girls.
d) A team with 10 players (8 guys, 2 females) cannot pick up any additional players.
- Qualified Guest Players: The league respectfully asks captains recruiting “guests” to find players whose talents do not greatly exceed that of the average player. To that end, each “guest” must be approved to play by the opposing team’s captain. Harassment from the team that is short players, due to the opposing manager not approving the guest, is NOT permitted.
- Where to play Guest Players: Guest players must bat at the end of the lineup and play catcher or positions approved by the opposing manager.
- Team Warnings for Guests and Forfeits: Picking up Guest players is not the solution for teams who are continuously short on players. Teams and players pay a fee in order to play games. When opposing teams do not have enough players to field teams, this means people who have come to play are not being compensated for their money. A team that forfeits or adds Guests players will only get 3 chances. After the 3rd chance they will be at risk not to be asked back into the WSL for the following season. There are thousands of players in NYC who want to play softball, and the WSL is one of the most popular leagues in the city. There is no excuse for not having enough players.
- Free Agents: A free agent (a player who is not on any team’s roster) can play for a max of 3 teams and ONLY 2 games PER team.
- Once they play a third game for one team they cannot play for anyone else.
- After they play for 3 teams and 2 games per team, they must decide which team to be on.
- If the player plays for a 4th team, this person is playoff ineligible.
- Roster Size: 25 Players on Week 1 roster to start. 20 Players by Week 10. Max 20 playoff eligible players.
- Rosters submission: Rosters MUST be submitted on Week 1 of the season AND Week 10 to Justin: firstname.lastname@example.org. Teams who do not submit their rosters will be given a warning by the Commissioner. Three warnings and teams will be in danger of not being asked back the following season.
- Playoff eligibility men: Men must appear in at least 9 games to be playoff eligible.
a) The league can make exceptions for special circumstances. Example: If a player is on the roster in the beginning of the season and/or Week 10 and goes to war, has an unforeseen and horrific circumstance that prevents the player from playing, the manager of the team can ask the Commissioner for approval, at which point the Commissioner will confer with the Rules Committee, and will inform that manager if the player is eligible for the playoffs. Please note: This request must come at a decent date BEFORE playoffs begin, not on the day of the playoffs. This player must already be on your roster on Week 1, or Week 10. Managers cannot add players out of the blue and claim ignorance that they “didn’t know” and expect this player to be eligible.
- Playoff eligibility women: Women will need to play a minimum 6 games in order to qualify for the playoffs. Same rules apply for eligibility when in question from rule 3a.
- Grandfather Rule: There is NO Grandfather rule. It does not matter if a player was in the league for the past 10 years, ALL players MUST play the minimum requirements (9 for men, 6 for women) to qualify for playoffs for that season. No exceptions.
- Players switching teams: Players are allowed to leave one team and join another at any time during the season.a) A player switching teams can qualify for playoffs if he plays in a minimum of six games for the team he switches TO (3 games for women) for a total of 9 games for the entire season between both teams for men, 6 games for women.
- Playoff Rosters: After each game, the umpire of the game will take a photograph of your score book and will email it to Justin: email@example.com
a) Justin will be tracking the games played for all teams. At the end of the regular season, Justin will email each team their playoff rosters. These are the players who are eligible to play in the playoffs for your team. No exceptions.
b) It is the manager’s responsibility to ensure the Ump takes a picture of your score sheet at the end of every game and sends it in. If worse comes to worse, the manager may have to do it. Please send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
c) It is the manager’s responsibility to use legible handwriting. If the league cannot read the writing, they are in danger of having player(s) lose playoff eligibility due to poor penmanship.
d) If managers did not score the game with a score book, or score sheet, and the umpire has nothing to take a picture of, the manager is in danger of having player(s) lose playoff eligibility due to the league’s inability to track games.
- Regular Season Schedule: Is what is posted on the site. It has been made as fair as possible with every team playing in each of the 4 time slots; 11, 1, 3, 5. Each team will play a minimum of 3 games per slot and some a maximum of 6 games per slot.
- Re-schedule: A team gets 1 game a year to re-schedule, they will need to notify the Commissioner at the beginning of the season, or enough weeks in advance to re-schedule the game. The Commissioner respectfully asks the manager assist him in working with the other managers so the game can be moved. This is not a one man show.
- Rain out/make up: Rain outs will be played at the end of the year and/or double header weekends throughout the season. The Commissioner will do his best to work with all teams to ensure everyone is treated fairly. Please understand, it’s not easy rescheduling games, so managers are asked to work with each other and show patience.
- What Constitutes an Official Game?: In the event of rain, snow, or other weather event that stops the game, we use the MLB Rule you can see here. Essentially, the HOME TEAM needs to have 5 at-bats for the game to be considered official. If the home team is winning in the bottom of the 5th and weather stops the game, the game can be considered over as they do not need their final at-bats.
- What if the game is suspended and less than 5 innings have been played?: In the event of rain or another weather event that stops a game after it has begun, but they have yet to complete 5 innings, the teams can decide to either:
a) Start the game over from the beginning at a later date or
b) Pick up from where the game left off at a later date. Both teams need to agree. If the teams cannot agree to one of those two items, the Commissioner will have final say.
- Early Games: Will start at 11:10am.
- Postponements: There are NO postponements allowed this year as there is only 1 Make Up Week. Teams can request to make same day reschedule of their time slot, however, they must work with ALL teams who are affected to make the change. This is not the Commissioner’s responsibility.
- Playoff Format: All teams under the current format make the playoffs. Teams are seeded by record. Ties will be settled by the following criteria: head-to-head, runs allowed, and finally a coin flip.
- Seeding Discrepancies: If by chance there are discrepancies, and teams cannot be clearly seeded, the Rules Committee will be asked to make a final judgment on seeding.
- Two umps for semi-finals and championship: Due to the importance of both the semi-finals and finals, having two umpires is, of course, ideal to ensure that each play can be viewed from multiple angles and to ensure that two minds can collaborate on interpretations of league rules and circumstances on the field. On close or controversial plays, umpires may take time out from the game to consult with each other before making a definitive call on a difficult play.
a) Collaboration is encouraged. If an ump makes a call that one of the managers feels incorrect, they have every right to request the umps to collaborate. From this collaboration, umps can either reverse the call, or stick with the original ruling.
- Choosing Umps for semi-finals and championship: Each team in the semi-finals and the championship will have the right to choose 1 ump from the pool of qualified and highly rated umpires. Managers can have a civilized discussion about who they are choosing with each other, however, each manager still has the right to stick with whom they chose. If there are disputes, they may be settled with the Commissioner.
- Home/Away: The higher ranked team in the divisional playoffs is deemed home team. Championship home/away will be determined by head-to-head record from the regular season, with the winner being the home team.
CODE OF CONDUCT BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE GAME
- Code of behavior: Everyone involved with the league is expected to behave with respect toward each other and others around the park. Show good sportsmanship. Disagreements and arguments are bound to happen. Don’t let them simmer; don’t let them boil over. Act like an adult and get over it. It’s softball. Foul, abusive, or threatening language directed at anyone, be they umpires, opponents, teammates, or spectators, is totally unacceptable.
a) Throwing of equipment, primarily bats, is strictly prohibited. Putting other players in danger is absolutely against the rules. There is no warning for throwing bats; the player is immediately out of the game.
b) Racial/Sexual/Homophobic slurs will not be tolerated.
- Violation of the code: An umpire can eject from the game a person who continually violates the code of behavior or plays in a manner that is a danger to other players and spectators. A person ejected from the game must take off his jersey and leave the park. If an ejected player does not leave the park, it is a 10-0 forfeit and the player is banned from the league. If the ejected player does not leave park, the manager gets a 1 game suspension. If the player has 2 ejections (overall) the player is banned from the league. Ultimately the decision to ban/suspend players & managers involved will rest with the Rules Committee. Remember that such childish behavior puts the league’s playing permit in jeopardy.
- Cleaning up: To keep in good standing with the Parks Department, we need to keep the fields and its surroundings clean BEFORE and AFTER each game. This means that teams playing at 1pm may need to do some cleaning before doing warm ups and batting practice. It may not sound fair but that’s the way it is. As permit holders, we are responsible for the entire field once we are there. Teams playing the late games must do the same after their games.
THE GOLDEN RULE(S)
- Remember, this league was, is, and forever will be, at its heart, laid-back and fun. Rules and regulations notwithstanding, let’s remember not to take things too seriously. Be fair. Be mindful. Be nice. Teams are, as always, advised to invite their opponent out for drinks after each game, and, as always, the point of this all is for everyone to have a good time.
- Play ball.