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PSL Softball Rules

GENERAL

WAIVER OF LIABILITY

  • All participants must agree to the waiver of liability.  
  • The waiver can be accepted on each participant player's dashboard.
  • A waiver must be signed for each league that is participated in.
  • All participants in the league assume the risk of injury.  The PSL, its volunteers, and employees shall not be liable for injury to person, loss or damage to personal property arising from or in any way resulting from participation in the league.
SPORTSMANSHIP
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated.
  • Any behavior that is deemed violent, harassing, and/or inappropriate in any way, as witnessed by the umpire, referee, or PUMP/PSL staff, will result in the actions outlined in our Sportsmanship Policy.
  • A player who is ejected from a game must leave the premises immediately.  Play will not resume until the ejected player has left.
  • Officials reserve the right to end a game at any point if the overall sportsmanship is out of line.
  • Captains are to be the team liaison to discuss any call or rule with an official during game play.  
WEATHER POLICY
  • The decision to call a rainout will be made as early as possible and will be updated on our Rainout Line as per PSL policy.
  • We will endeavor to play in mildly inclement weather. Rainouts will not be called unless conditions on the sand are extremely poor or the weather is deemed dangerous.
  • Umpires have the jurisdiction to call a game due to darkness or weather at the beginning or during a game.
TEAMS
SUBMITTING A ROSTER
  • Each team must submit a roster with a minimum of 10 and maximum of 18 players.
  • No player may register for more than 1 team within the same league.
  • Rosters must be submitted and a waiver form must be signed before any player may take the field.
  • Rosters must be finalized and no changes are allowed after the 2nd week of play.
  • No player who is not on your roster and signed a waiver form may play in the league.
  • Only rostered players will be eligible for playoffs.
PLAYERS
  • A team consists of 10 players (4 females minimum).
    • A team can consist of all females but not all men.
  • A team can start play with a minimum of 8 players (3 female minimum).
    • A team must have a minimum of 9 players (3 female minimum) by the start of the 2nd inning or they forfeit the game.
  • A team may pick up a maximum of 2 players from another PSL team in the league to avoid forfeit.
    • If rostered players arrive late, they must be immediately inserted into lineup for the substitute players.
    • You cannot pick up substitute players for playoffs.
GAME SCHEDULE
START TIME
  • Game will start at its scheduled time.
  • If a team does not have enough players to start the match by 10 minutes after the scheduled start time, they will forfeit the first game.
  • If enough players to start a game arrive between 10 and 15 minutes after the scheduled start time, the game will be officiated and played as a scrimmage but will still be recorded as a forfeit.
  • Once 15 minutes after the scheduled start time has passed, the game is recorded as a forfeit and the teams are allowed to use the remaining time to practice or organize a pickup game. Officials are not required to stay and officiate.
  • Teams forfeiting 2 or more times during the regular season will be ineligible for playoffs.
GAME LENGTH
  • Regulation games are 7 innings.
  • A game that is called off by the umpire after 5 full innings of play shall be considered a regulation game and will not be made up. The score at the end of the last full inning shall determine the winner.
  • A game that is called before 5 full innings of play shall not be considered a regulation game and shall be rescheduled and restarted from the beginning.
  • A new inning shall not be started if there are 5 or fewer minutes remaining before the next game is supposed to start
    • For example, if the time is 7:40pm the current game shall be called final and the teams playing at 7:45pm may take the field.
  • A 10-run rule will take effect after 5 innings, also known as the Mercy Rule.
    • If during the 7th inning, the visiting team goes up by 10 or more runs, the home team still bats in the bottom of the inning.  If the home team goes up by 10 runs during the 6th or 7th inning, the game is over.
    • During playoffs, the Mercy Rule is extended to 15 runs.
    • When the Mercy Rule comes into effect, teams may choose to continue the game as a scrimmage, noting that the umpire will no longer keep score. Teams may use the field to scrimmage until 5 minutes prior to the next game time.
EXTRA INNINGS
    • Regular season games can end in a tie.
    • During the regular season, if a game is tied after 7 innings AND there are at least 10 minutes before the next game's scheduled start time, an 8th inning will be played.  If the game is still tied after 8 innings, the game will end in a tie. If a game is still in progress when the next game is set to start, the game will be called and the game score at the end of the last full inning shall stand.
    • During the post season, additional innings will be played until a winner is determined, however there will be no warm-ups between half innings.

RULES

PLAYING FIELD
    • The bases are set 60 feet apart.
    • The pitcher's mound is approximately 45 feet from home plate.
      • Pitchers may pitch from either 45 or 50 feet, as long as they are in line between home plate and 2nd base and no more than 3ft to the left or right of 2nd base.
    • PSL uses a strike mat behind home plate. Any legal pitch that lands on the strike mat and/or home plate will be called a strike.
    • Runners and fielders must touch home plate for their run or out to count. Touching the strike mat does not count.
    • PSL uses a safety first base. Please click here for ASA rules regarding the safety 1st base.
    Many of our fields have additional ground rules; please click here to go to our rules page to see them.

LINEUP

    • A lineup must be submitted to the umpire before the game begins and all teams must bat in the written order.
      • Teams must specify whether they will be using a rotating lineup or a flex lineup.
      • Teams may not deviate from their chosen lineup after the game has started.
    • All players must have a spot in the batting order.
    • Teams may not remove a player from the game with the intention of inserting a substitute player for the remainder of the game.
    • A team may not bat 3 men in a row.
    • If a team has several more men than women at a game, they may create a lineup for men, and a lineup for women. This will be known as a rotating lineup.
      • The women will rotate through the order to keep the lineup so that no more than 2 men bat in a row.
      • Men must always bat in the written order.
      • Teams must have a minimum of 4 women to use a rotating lineup.
      • Teams may not use a rotating lineup unless it's necessary.
        • If the ratio of men to women readily permits a team to use a "normal" batting order where the women do not need to rotate, a team may not use a rotating lineup.
    • Teams are permitted to flex their men in the lineup. This will be known as a flex lineup.
      • Teams are not permitted to flex women in a flex lineup.
      • All women must bat once before the first batter comes up for their second at bat.
      • Teams must have a minimum of 3 women to use a flex lineup.
    • A player arriving late to the game may be added to the end of the lineup only if it doesn't cause 3 men to bat in a row. If it causes 3 men to bat in a row, insert the player into the last spot on the lineup that works with our lineup rules.
    • If a player is injured or becomes ill and cannot continue participating in the game, the lineup will remain in the same formation unless minor adjustments are needed to maintain the proper gender rules. The injured and/or sick player will not incur an out when their spot in the lineup is reached.
    • If a player is ejected from a game, the lineup will remain in the same formation unless minor adjustments are needed to maintain the proper gender rules. The ejected player will incur an out when their spot in the lineup is reached.
    • Offside rule will apply.
ILLEGAL LINEUP/ILLEGAL BAT
  • These rules will only be enforced if the offending team has scored any runs prior to the illegal lineup or bat being caught.  If no runs have been scored the illegal bat is removed or the illegal lineup corrected and play will resume without restarting the game.
  • If an illegal bat or lineup is caught before the 2nd inning of a game, the game will be started over and the bat removed or lineup corrected.
  • If an illegal bat or lineup is caught between the 2nd and 4th inning of a game, the bat will be removed or the lineup corrected and the game will be started over and played as a 5 inning game. If time permits, 7 innings may be played.
  • If an illegal bat or lineup is caught after the 4th inning of a game, the bat will be pulled or lineup corrected and teams will finish the game, however the game will be recorded as a forfeit for the offending team.
  • Any team caught using an illegal lineup or bat will be contacted by PSL staff and further discipline will be instituted for any future occurrences.

PINCH RUNNERS

  • Players needing a pinch runner must let the umpire know before their first at bat.
  • Players may not use a pinch runner if they advance past first base on a fairly batted ball.
    • The exception to this is if a runner injures themselves running to a base; in this case a pinch runner may be awarded at the umpireÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?¢??s discretion.
  • Once a player uses a pinch runner, that player must use a pinch runner for the remainder of the game.
  • The last player of the same gender who has been called out shall be the pinch runner.
    • If no player has been called out, the player of the same gender farthest away from the player needing a pinch runner in the batting order will be used as the pinch runner.
      • For example, if the first male batter in the batting order needs a pinch runner, the male batting last would be his pinch runner.
    • Pinch runners will likely change inning to inning based on the last player to be called out.

GAME PLAY

  • Only captains may discuss or clarify calls with the umpire.
  • An outfield fence is in play. In most cases a ball hit over the fence is a homerun; however your umpire will go over the ground rules of the field before each game.
  • Any ball that goes under an outfield fence will be ruled a dead ball and considered a ground rule double.
  • Bunting, stealing, and/or advancing a base on a wild pitch is not permitted.
  • Base runners may not leave their base until the ball is hit. Leaving the base before the batter makes contact with the ball is an out.
  • Pitchers must pitch underhand, with an arc between 6-12 feet from the ground.
  • The infield fly rule is in effect. For more information on the infield fly rule, click here.
  • Each batter starts with a 1-1 count and gets one free foul. If the batter has two strikes against and hits a foul ball, that foul will not be counted as strike three. If the batter hits a second foul ball, that foul will be counted as strike three.
  • If a batter throws a bat on a follow through of their swing, he/she will receive a warning from the umpire. The second time it occurs, the batter will be out.
  • If a team chooses to intentionally walk a batter, the pitcher may waive the pitches and the batter may advance directly to first base.
  • A runner may not slide beyond the base to break up a double play.
    • Runners who slide to break up a play will be called out. Should the runner at the prior base reach the base safely due to the double play being broken up, he/she will also be called out.
  • No fielder may block a base or baseline, including home plate, unless he/she has possession of the ball or is in the act of fielding the ball.
      • Fielders who block a base or baseline without possession of the ball, or being in the act of fielding the ball, will be called for obstruction.
    • Runners must slide or surrender when a fielder has the ball and is waiting at the base to make the tag. Runners who don't slide or surrender will be called out.
      • Surrender will be defined as slowing down to the point where the runner can hold the base without contacting the fielder covering the base.
    • No outfielder may step into the infield when a female is up to bat until she makes contact with the ball.
      • If an outfielder encroaches into the infield before contact is made, but after the first pitch, the ball is immediately dead and the batter is awarded first base.
      • Runners on base only advance if they are forced.
  • A player is called out when:
    • Their batted fair or foul fly ball is caught by a fielder in the field of play.
    • The umpire calls a third strike on a batter.
    • A batter hits a foul ball after using their courtesy foul.
    • An infield fly is declared.
    • A fairly hit ball touches the batter before touching a fielder.
    • A runner or base is tagged before the runner reaches the base they are advancing to.
    • A runner does not slide or surrender.
    • A runner goes outside of the baseline by more than three (3) feet.
      • Exception: runners may go outside of the baseline to round a base when attempting to advance to another base.
    • A batter is found to be batting out of turn after the first pitch has been thrown.
EQUIPMENT
  • Softballs and bases will be provided by the PSL.
  • Teams must bring their own bats and gloves.
  • Metal spikes/cleats are not permitted.
PLAYOFFS
SEEDINGS
    • Playoffs are based on win/loss record.
    • The number of teams to qualify for playoffs will vary from season to season based on the number of teams registered.
      • To find out what time each seed will play, please check out our FAQ's page.
TIEBREAKERS
  • All teams tied in the standings will use the following tiebreakers, in order, to determine seeding:
    • Most regular season wins.
    • Head to head.
    • Least runs allowed.
    • Most points scored.
    • Least points given up vs highest ranked common opponent.
      • If teams play a common opponent an uneven amount of times, the next highest common opponent is used.
      • If teams have same runs/points given up vs common opponent, the next highest common opponent is used.
    • Coin toss.

3-way tiebreakers:  When 3 or more teams are tied; all teams will be ranked on the same criteria as opposed to knocking a team out then returning to the top of the tiebreaker list.  Tiebreakers will be applied until all teams that are tied can be ranked using the same criteria.  If the teams did not play one another in an even amount of games then "head to head" will be skipped.


CITY OF PITTSBURGH FIELD RULES:  

http://pittsburghpa.gov/dpw/field-permit

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