League Rules and Regulations
The following rules and requirements have been approved by the majority of the Managers Board and League Commissioner.
- Each team shall adhere to the Rules and Regulations of the Amateur Softball Association unless otherwise stipulated in this document adopted by the Keystone Softball League (KSL).
- All teams must have a manager before the start of the season. Managers must be at least eighteen (18) years of age
- It is the manager's responsibility to make sure all players understand and abide by all ASA and KSL rules.
- It is the manager's responsibility to maintain contact with all players to ensure effective communication.
- It is the manager's responsibility to manage his/her team in a safe manner that promotes healthy competition, gamesmanship, character, and class.
- It is the manager's responsibility to ensure that player(s) participate in enough games to achieve playoff eligibility.
- It is the manager's responsibility to manage player and spectator conduct to ensure that they are acting within the defined rules.
- It is the players responsibility to understand and abide by all ASA and KSL rules.
- It is the players responsibility to maintain contact with team managers to ensure effective communication.
- It is the players responsibility to report injuries or concerns to the team manager.
- It is the players responsibility to be safe and play hard while exhibiting healthy competition, gamesmanship, character, and class.
- It is the players responsibility to maintain mature conduct on and off the field, and acting within the defined rules.
- It is the players responsibility to refrain from vulgar language. Any vulgar language can lead to an immediate ejection from the existing game or the next game in the case that the ejection occurs after the last out.
- Teams are highly encouraged to have a KSL approved uniform shirt that distinguishes itself from other teams.
- Uniforms shall have a number that uniquely represents each player, and must sync up with the roster.
- Uniform numbers shall be numbered between 0-99, and two players from the same team may not be on the field with duplicate numbers..
- Official team rosters, as provided by the league, must be submitted to the KSL Commissioner before the first regular season game. All changes to the roster must be given to the KSL Commissioner before any player can play.
- All teams must pay league fees before they play in their first game every season.
- Each team must submit an official final roster before the start of playoffs. A team that does not participate in playoffs is not required to submit a playoff roster.
- In no instance shall a KSL member (manager, player, etc.) participate in another KSL game for another KSL team during the regular or post season. Members can only be on one (1) roster during any KSL season.
- During the regular season if a player wishes to move from one (1) team to another before the final game has begun, the player must have the approval of the team they are leaving and the KSL Commissioner. Once a player leaves their original team, they shall not be eligible to rejoin their original team for the balance of the season.
- Rosters and game statistics will be made available on the league website for each manager to view opposing team’s roster.
- All participants must be a minimum of 18 years old. Special considerations may be considered on a case by case basis by the league commissioner. If and underage player is granted clearance by the KSL commissioner they must have a waiver signed by their guardian.
- Games will be scheduled at 6:30, 7:45, and 9:00. Any exceptions would need to be approved by all impacted managers and the league commissioner.
- All games will be scheduled on Tuesdays, either a single game or a double header. The league will make every effort to only schedule each team one night per week, but this is not a guarantee.
- Rain Makeups can be scheduled by the league. The league will attempt to ensure that a 48 hour notice is provided before a schedule is deviated, but not required when towards the end of the season.
- Scheduled Games can only be rescheduled by the KSL Commissioner without approval from all managers impacted.
- The Commissioner can decide to remove games from the schedule as long as there are no playoff implications, and will allow the playoffs to commence on time.
All games shall be conducted in accordance with the Official Rules of Softball according to ASA Regulations as found in the Official ASA Rulebook (www.asasoftball.com) except as modified on this document. When there is a discrepancy between the Official Rules of Softball according to the ASA and KSL rules, KSL rules shall prevail.
FIELD SET UP (100 Series)
STRIKE MAT: A league approved rubber strike mat shall be placed behind home plate in such a fashion as to touch home plate. The strike mat is considered an extension of home plate. Any pitched ball that touches any part of home plate, no matter how slight, or the strike mat shall be considered a “strike”. Any pitched ball that fails to touch any part of the strike mat or home plate shall be deemed a “ball”. The "black" of the plate is not the plate. If a pitch hits only the black of the plate it is not considered a strike. For plays at home, the mat is still considered an extension of the mat and may be used as the plate is for any runner coming home.
OUTFIELD CONES: An orange cone shall be placed on each foul line at 85 feet behind the back portion of both the first and third base bags.
GAME PARAMETERS (200 Series)
GAME TIMES: All games will start at 6:30, 7:45, or 9:00 as stated on the league schedule. A grace period of fifteen (15) minutes is allowed only for a team with insufficient amount of players (less than 8). If the game does not start within fifteen (15) minutes of scheduled time, a win will be awarded to the team with the correct number of players.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: Eight (8) is the minimum number of players a team needs to start a game; two positions that have to be fielded are pitcher and catcher. If this team loses a player (male or female) to injury and has no substitute to replace the injured player, the game is forfeited to the opponent.
RATIO: This being a Coed league, at least two females shall play the entire game. If a team has only one female, they must play the field with 9 players and take an out in the 7th batting position. So every time the 7th spot comes up that is an automatic out. The female must play the field. If a second female enters the game, then it resets to standard play with the late arriving female batting in the 7th spot of the line-up. If a team does not have a minimum of one (1) female, then the game is forfeited.
GAME LENGTH: A regulation game shall consist of seven innings. A game shall also be considered regulation if four or more complete innings have been played or if one team has a fifteen run lead after four innings the team that is behind may concede or may choose to finish the game. No new inning may start after 1:05 from first pitch. If needed, during the regular season, due to multiple rain outs the commissioner may stack 4 games into a night. If this happens, the time limit rule will be that no new inning can start after 1:00 from first pitch. There is no time limit in the playoffs.
RUN RULE: All games shall terminate after 4 innings if a team is leading by 15 runs or more, 5 innings by 12 runs or more. Playoffs: The run rule for the playoffs is 15 after 5 innings with the exception of the championship. No mercy rule in the championship.
SUSPENDING GAMES: A game may be suspended because of the following: Darkness (on fields without lights), Rain, or Lightning. A game may only be suspended by a league umpire
RESUMING GAMES: Suspended games that are not considered regulation or regulation tie games, that are suspended, shall resume where play left off on the next convenient date for both teams.
NOTIFICATION: KSL will notify team managers through Social Media, Email, and Text Message when a game cannot be played due to inclement weather. Scheduled games may only be rescheduled if they were cancelled due to INCLEMENT WEATHER ONLY. If a manager knows he will not have enough players to start the game he may forfeit over the phone by notifying the KSL Commissioner.
EXTRA HITTERS: Extra Hitters (EH) may be used. A team may field ten players and bat eleven or twelve but no more than 12 players may be used in a line-up. If the opposing team does not object, a team may bat as many players as they wish.
PLAYOFF ELIGIBILITY: A league member becomes eligible for the playoffs when they participate in 50% of the regular season games. If a player was a guest player for two games and then becomes a league member by joining a team and paying league fees, the games that were played as a guest count toward the total number of games played.
EQUIPMENT (300 SERIES)
GAME BALLS: All game balls will be provided by the KSL. All game balls will be Yellow Worth WU11SC (375/.44 core).
FOOTWEAR: All players must wear sneakers, rubber spikes, or plastic spikes (no metal). If a player is found to be wearing metal spikes AFTER the game has begun, that player will be warned. If they do not change their cleats they will be ejected from the game.
OFFENSE (400 SERIES)
BASE STEALING AND LEADS: Stealing bases and taking leads are prohibited. Base runners cannot leave the base until the batter makes contact with the ball - fair or foul. If the base runner attempts to gain an advantage by leaving the base before batter contact, or on a check swing or miss, that runner will be given a team warning. A second offense will result in all runners being called out. When multiple base runners leave early, only the lead runner leaving early shall be called out.
SLIDE OR AVOID CONTACT: Plays at Home Plate - Umpires will call base runners out if they fail to slide, ‘surrender’ or avoid contact when there is a play at the plate. 'Play at the plate' shall refer to any instance where a fielder is ‘about to receive the ball’ in the ‘general vicinity’ of home plate. ‘About to receive the ball’ shall refer to any instance where the ball arrives immediately before, at the same time, or immediately after the base runner reaches home plate. If, during a ‘play at the plate’ the runner fails to slide or ‘avoiding contact’ when not sliding, the runner will be immediately called out regardless of whether contact was, or was not, made with the fielder. ‘Play at the plate’, ‘about to receive the ball’, and ‘general vicinity’ shall remain judgment decisions by the umpire. Since the strike mat is considered an extension of home plate, a player who touches the strike mat is considered to be touching home plate. Play at 2nd or 3rd base - Because base runners naturally slow down (surrender) when running to 2nd or 3rd base so as to not overrun the bag, being called out for failure to slide will be based on the current ASA 'if contact is made' guidelines. However, any base runner that fails to slide or get out of the way on a double play will be immediately called out and the double play automatically awarded.
COURTESY RUNNERS: A team at bat may use a courtesy runner for a player in need (due to injury or other medical reason) providing that player bats for him/herself and reaches base safely. . Managers must specify on their lineup card before the start of the game which player(s) will need courtesy runners. If a courtesy runner is used, then one must be used for that player for the remainder of the game. The courtesy runner will be the last player to make an out, regardless of their status, whether as a result of an at-bat or on the base paths; of the same sex. If a player of that sex is not available then the last out of the opposite sex will do. If an injury to a player occurs during a game a manager may petition the umpire for exception to pregame notification rule. Any player using a courtesy runner may not play a position in the field other than 1st, 3B, pitcher, or catcher.
DESIGNATED HITTER: Each team will be allowed to use one (1) DH (designated hitter) to be used for any position in the field (not only the pitcher). Teams using the DH must make this known to the opposing team and the umpire before the game, and make sure it's recorded in the scorebook & line-up. The Fielder will only play the field, but can play any position in the field throughout the game. The Hitter may only bat and not play the field. Normal substitution and re-entry rules apply. The Hitter may come in for the Fielder to now bat and field, which would then forfeit the DH for the rest of the game. The Fielder may not re-enter. The Fielder may come in for the Hitter to now bat and field, which would then forfeit the DH for the rest of the game. The Hitter may not re-enter.
BUNTING: Female batters may bunt. Male batters must take a full swing. Any contact that is made with anything less than a full swing shall be deemed a dead ball and strike against the batter. A batter may not strike out in this instance. Infielders may charge the home plate area once the batter squares up to bunt.
HOME RUN RULE: Each team is only permitted to be up by 3 home runs (over a fence or ground rule determined home run only) on the other team at any point. If a team logs 3 home runs before their opponent and hits a ball over the fence for what typically would be called a home one, shall be a ground rule double. This rule only applies for fenced fields. In open fields there is no home run rule. A runner may advance as many bases as the defense allows.
BATTING COUNT: Male batters start each at bat with a 1-1 count. Female batters start with a 1-1 count. A courtesy foul with two strikes is allowed for men. Female's are allowed unlimited foul's unless its a bunt attempt. A bunt attempt resulting in a foul is an out.
DEFENSE (500 SERIES)
BLOCKING: The intentional blocking of any base or plate is prohibited without the defender having possession of the ball. The catcher or fielder covering a play at the base/plate shall make every attempt to allow the runner room to slide.
INFIELD PLAY (FOR FEMALE BATTERS): All infielders will remain behind the baseline when a female is at bat. Infielders must wait until the batter makes contact before crossing the line. Pitchers must stay on the rubber until contact is made. If an infielder crosses the line, or the pitcher charges the plate, before the ball is hit and makes a play on the batted ball then the umpire will decide if the play should be a dead ball or re-done. If the ball is hit and the defending player who made a play on the ball is ruled to have charged the play too early, the umpire may choose to re-do the play. Infield must maintain two players on each side of 2nd base while a female is batting.
OUTFIELD PLAY (FOR FEMALE BATTERS): When a female batter is at bat, the fielding team is not permitted to bring the outfielders to within 85-ft (marked by the cones and continuing in an imaginary arc-line from LF to RF) from the bases. Outfielders cannot move in from the imaginary arc-line until there is contact made. If they do leave early the umpire will decide if the play should be a dead ball or re-done. If the ball is hit and the defending player who made a play on the ball is ruled to have charged the play too early, the umpire may choose to re-do the play.
PITCHING (600 SERIES)
PITCHING RUBBER: Pitchers must make contact with the pitching rubber during the entire pitching motion and upon release of the ball for every pitch. Failure to do so will result in an illegal pitch. A batter may swing at an illegal pitch but if he chooses not to, the pitch shall be deemed a ball regardless if it hit the plate or strike mat. Pitchers are required to wear a mask unless they sign a waiver. If a field has a pitching rubber that is too close an umpire may allow pitchers to pitch from behind the rubber for safety purposes.
WARM-UP PITCHES: Pitchers may have 5 warm-up pitches prior to the start of the game. A relief pitcher may have the same at his/her point of entry into the game. There shall be no warm-up pitches between innings.
PITCHING ARSONAL: Pitchers must adhere to the appropriate pitching repertoire according to the gender of the hitter.A) FOR MALE BATTERS – a pitcher may pitch whatever pitches he/she has at his/her disposal (ie: Knuckleball).B) FOR FEMALE BATTERS – the pitcher must pitch with a natural pitching motion resulting in a limited front spin or back spin pitch. Pitching specialty pitches to a female batter will result in a call of an illegal pitch. The batter may swing at an illegal pitch but if she chooses not to, the pitch shall be deemed a ball regardless if it hit the plate or strike mat.
iNTENTIONAL WALKS: A pitcher may choose to intentionally walk any batter in the opponents line-up by signaling to the umpire. If an intentional walk is issued and a female batter is on deck, the pitcher is still subject to the FEMALE ON DECK rule (605.00) after the fourth inning has started.
MISCELLANEOUS LEAGUE RULES (700 SERIES)
INTOXICANTS: Consumption of alcoholic beverages or illegal narcotics is strictly prohibited on the premises. Umpires will warn the team manager. If the issue is not immediately resolved the participating persons will be ejected and the team responsible for the interruption will be subject to a fine from the league. This provision extends to all KSL Members and spectators.
CONDUCT: KSL is a league that promotes a family atmosphere. The parks we play in are open to the public and we host many events throughout the season to encourage family participation. For this reason, all KSL members must conduct themselves in a mature manner that is appropriate for such a setting. Failure to do so shall result in the offender's immediate ejection. Smoking on or near the field of play, excessive profanity, threats of physical violence, fighting, throwing equipment of any kind out of anger or frustration is strictly prohibited.
REGULAR SEASON STRUCTURE
- All games will be played on Tuesday evenings.
- Game times will start at either 6:30, 7:45, and 9:00. If the game preceding your game goes beyond the allotted time a five minute buffer will observed.
- A regular season will consist of 10 games.
- Playoff teams will be determined by how many teams are in the league each season.
- Players must participate in 5 games to be eligible for the playoffs.
- Teams will be seeded for the playoffs according to their standings at the conclusion of the regular season. In the event that multiple teams are tied according to win/loss records, the following tie breaking methods will be used:
- 1. Head to head win-loss
- 2. Head to head run margin
- 3. Runs against
- 4. Runs for
- 5. Coin toss
- The first round of the playoffs (Quarter Finals) will be a single elimination event.
- The second round of the playoffs (Semi Finals) will be a single elimination event. (With exception of sunday morning mens which will be best of three series.
- The third round of the playoffs (Championship Series) will be a best of three series.
- All teams will re-seed at the conclusion of each series.
LEAGUE ORGANIZATIONLEAGUE COMMISSIONER:
- Ensure the league is operating under good moral/ethical principles.
- Enforce all rules.
- Secure ball fields, insurance, and equipment for each season.
- Be available and serve as the main contact for KSL team(s) questions & concerns.
- Run manager’s board meetings.
- Handle game protests.
- The Managers Board consists of all team managers in KSL.
- The Managers Board gathers to meet before the season starts and before the playoffs to discuss the state of the league, league rules, and propose changes.
- The Managers Board will discuss all appeals, grievances & protests involving any violations of KSL Rules. A vote may be held to decide league action.
- Board members may not vote if they or their team are involved in any appeal, grievance or protest.