Rules of CCSA Softball

The following are the rules of CCSA League.

Should these rules be found to be in conflict with the rules plus addendum as stated by the Softball Canada Rule Book, these rules shall take precedence.

These rules can also be downloaded from our downloads section.

NOTE: There may be some repetition. Because of the unique nature of our league, certain behaviour and actions will not be tolerated and may, at the discretion of the umpires presiding over the game, result in an automatic ejection and/or suspension as described below. All such ejections or suspensions are reviewable by the Conduct Accountability Standards of Excellence (C.A.S.E.) Committee either:

  1. upon appeal by parties involved in the incident or
  2. at the discretion of the C.A.S.E. Committee

Upon review, the C.A.S.E Committee may impose further sanctions. Actions that result in automatic forfeiture of a game will automatically be reviewed by the C.A.S.E. Committee.

Table of Contents

Preface

Pre-Game

Game

Post-Game

Diamond Layout

Gestures


Preface

For the purposes of this section, "game" means all events and activities occurring between the time when the first player on the team arrives at the ballpark for a CCSA game and the time when the last player on the team leaves the ballpark.
  1. Umpires will not tolerate dangerous play. Players engaged in such activity will be warned to stop but if in the umpire's judgment it was deliberate and it caused injury, no warning will be given and the persons would be automatically ejected from the game.
  2. No smoking, alcoholic beverages, or illicit drugs are allowed at any games or activities related to the CCSA. If this is during a game, there will be an automatic ejection.
  3. Fighting, and any actions that can reasonably be expected to lead to fighting will not be tolerated. Players involved will be ejected from the game and be automatically given a 2 game suspension.
  4. Swearing, or anything said in spite, excessive anger, any language, any phrase used in vain, or any extreme unsportsmanlike behaviour which could be either interpreted as the intention to swear or as a threat to other players will result in an automatic ejection.
  5. Players who heckle other players will be given one warning and if the heckling continues, the player will be ejected. (e.g., on a fly ball to the outfield, someone shouts at the fielder to drop the ball). That type of behaviour is unsuitable for our league. We are here to build each other up and not to bring each other down.
  6. Governors and Coaches are responsible for the behaviour of their teams and their teams' spectators.
  7. Players are not allowed to make verbal calls of the plays (i.e. safe/out) prior to the umpires making the call. This is rude and can influence the umpire's decision. If any player is found doing so the team is given a warning and the next player on that team to do likewise will be ejected. Since the spectators are the responsibility of the team, any spectators found violating this rule will be warned and if the rule is violated again the team whom the spectator is associated will cause the team to lose sportsmanship points and forfeit their game. If you have any questions for the umpires please tell your coach or governor since only they may direct inquires to the umpires (other than normal appeals during a play).
  8. All ejected players (Exceptions: ejections due to unintentional infractions such as failing to remove jewelery) may no longer participate in any manner with the softball game, but may continue to be present at the game and participate in the post game activities. However, if players ejected pursuant to this subsection disrupt the game in any manner, the umpire may request the offender to leave the grounds. If, after giving ample warning, the offender fails to leave the grounds, the game may be stopped and forfeited to the opposing team regardless of score or inning. The final score will be 7-0 on the score sheet.
  9. Age limits
    • A player's CCSA age is determined as of December 31st of the current year.
    • For 2017 ONLY! The Junior division is restricted to those whose CCSA-age is between 14 to 19 years inclusive.
    • For 2018 and on: The Junior division is restricted to those whose CCSA-age is between 14 to 18 years inclusive.
    • The Varsity division is restricted to those whose CCSA-age is 14 years and older
    • The Senior division is restricted to those whose CCSA-age is 18 years and older. However a player may be as young as 14 provided that the special exemption form has been filled out.

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Pre-Game

  1. ALL games begin with prayer. All players must be present for the Opening Prayer. Penalty: players who miss the Opening Prayer cannot play. If a player who misses the opening prayer and participates in the game will be considered an illegal player and will result in their team forfeiting the game.
  2. Only certified umpires are allowed to be the head umpire for a game. Their assistants may be non-certified, however should be knowledgeable of the rules prior to the game.
    1. Home plate must be umpired by a certified umpire.
    2. An umpiring team must provide a minimum of two certified umpires to each game that they are responsible for. If two certified umpires are unavailable, the umpiring team must provide one certified umpire, and at least two knowledgeable assistants.
    3. Umpires are responsible to umpire the games they are scheduled for, or, if you are unable to umpire a game, it is your responsibility to find suitable replacements for the game (not the league's responsibility). In the case of a rained out or rescheduled game, the umpires are still responsible for the rescheduled game, though it is the scheduled team's responsibility to sufficiently notify the umpires of the rescheduled date. Umpires may use the umpire's directory to contact other umpiring teams.
  3. Minimum number of players to begin a game shall be 9, 3 of which must be female.
    1. Female to male Ratios will be strictly enforced.
      Min # of Women# in Batting Order
      39-12
      413-16
      517-20
      621-24
      725-28
    2. If a team has more than 9 players but does not have the minimum 3 women, the team will not be allowed to play and the game will be forfeited to the other team providing they have the proper ratio.
    3. No more than 3 males may bat consecutively.
    4. Alternating batters are allowed. If, for example, a team has 17 players but only 3 women, the team will be allowed to put a maximum of 12 players on the team line-up list, leaving 5 men on the bench. If the team so desires, these 5 men may be slotted into a batting spot with another male player already active in the line-up. The two players sharing the batting spot must alternate at-bats. Teams must notify umpires and teams of alternating batters prior to the start of the game, no player can be slotted in for being late. Two batters who alternate turns may also take the field in the same inning. No alternating batter may bat two consecutive at-bats. If the other batter is running late, and is not there for their turn to bat, then an out is recorded.
      NOTE: Only male batters may be alternated.
    5. Substitute runners for injured batters are allowed only after the batter has made it to first base and the play is over. The substitute must be the last out of the same sex. Other injured runners may also be substituted for once the play is over. A maximum of three such substitutions per team per game are allowed. Such injured players need not necessarily be removed from the game (as this is not strictly considered a substitution).
    6. You may not field less than 9 players (with a minimum of 3 females) at any time. Should this occur (even in the case of injury) the game will be forfeited to the other team.
  4. All teams must have uniforms by the date set at the beginning of the season by the CCSA. One run for every player without a full uniform will be deducted automatically from the team's score at the start of the game.
    A full uniform shall consist of:
    • A jersey which is the same for each player (or if jerseys from different years are used, must be as similar as possible to not confuse either team) denoting:
      • The team name,
      • A legible number (different whole Arabic number for each player),
      • The church name (or acronym),
      • A CCSA patch in a visible location. Patches must be glued or sewn on and must remain visible (not taped or clipped with any kind of a metallic object, e.g., safety pin).
    • Sleeves, whether as part of the jersey or a shirt worn underneath.
    Penalty: one run for every player without a complete uniform will be deducted automatically from the team's score at the start of the game.
  5. Players will not be allowed to play unless all jewelry is removed. If rings or other jewelry cannot be removed they must be bandaged or taped up properly. Jewelry includes watches, rings, necklaces, earrings, pins, bracelets and all hair accessories that are not made of cloth or elastic. Non-jewelry items such as medical bracelets or other medical devices which have any metal in it will be okay as long as they are taped down, or such as possible to remove threat from protrusions, sharp edges, etc. More stipulations may be necessary due to insurance regulations.
    All: 1st infraction is not an ejection. Any subsequent infractions will result in an ejection.
    Offence: If the batter/runner is wearing jewelry, first penalty is an out
    Defence: If the defensive player is found to be wearing jewelry, obstruction will be called and the current batter and runners will be awarded 1 base. The defensive player will be required to remove the jewelry at that time.
  6. A home team failing to supply the proper full equipment (i.e. 3 bases, 6 or 8 spikes, and 2 pylons) in good condition at the beginning of the game will lose home team status and be deducted one (1) bonus equipment point. If the visiting team is able to substitute or supply the full equipment set, then they will be awarded a bonus equipment point (i.e., if the home team has no spikes available and the visiting team only has one set of spikes, the visiting team will not be rewarded with the bonus equipment point). Even if the visiting team supplies the full equipment set, the original home team still loses home team status and one (1) bonus equipment point. This offence must be noted on the score sheets. If the bases/spikes become loose or damaged during the course of the game, there will be no deduction of bonus equipment points. If a complete set of equipment can not be found at the start of the game, the game will result in forfeiture by the original home team. The scheduled home team will still be required to lead devotions.
    1. Failure of the home team to provide a new game ball (supplied by CCSA) at the beginning of the game will result in the loss of home team status and the deduction of one (1) bonus equipment point. As a replacement, the best available ball (as judged by the umpires) will be designated as the game ball. The scheduled home team will still be required to lead devotions. This offence must be noted on the score sheets. If the game ball becomes lost during the course of the game, there will be no deduction of bonus equipment points.
      NOTE: Bonus equipment points are tabulated at the end of the season along with bonus points awarded for properly filled in score sheets. Any team can earn up to a maximum of four (4) bonus points by the end of the season, and can not receive less than zero (0) bonus points.
    2. Both second base and third base are to be secured with two spikes each. The two spikes are to be fastened at each end of the strap. The strap for second base should run parallel to the base path between second base and third base. The strap for third base should run parallel to the base path between third base and home plate. It is recommended that two-part spikes be used (not the one piece T-spikes). If the safety base at first base has one strap that runs parallel to the length (long side) of the base, then it is sufficient to secure the base with two spikes, one at each end of the strap. However, if the base has two parallel straps that run parallel to the width (short side) of the base, then it is necessary to secure the base with four spikes, two for each strap.
  7. The Home Plate Umpire has the final say on positioning of bases and lines as well as the defining of ground rules pertinent to the playing field. General criteria to be followed for ground rules: Dead Ball area shall be the area beyond the imaginary extensions of the fences, or where other objects could become an obstruction. Objects such as light poles and trees which are close to the playing field should have fair guidelines to avoid potentially dangerous attempts to field the ball near them while the ball is in flight. Any ball, which hits an object, shall usually be deemed in play and treated as if it has hit the ground.
  8. Teams that do not have the proper equipment or minimum number of players to start a game will be given a 15-minute grace period from the scheduled start time. Teams that still are not ready will forfeit the game to the opposing team provided they have the right number of players and equipment (if Home Team). The final score of a forfeited game will be 7-0, which must be entered on the score sheets and signed by the Umpires and scorekeepers). If both teams are not ready to play after the 15 minute grace period, the Umpire will not be required to stay any longer and therefore consider the game to be cancelled with no score recorded and no points awarded. The game may or may not be rescheduled depending on the reasons for lack of attendance and the availability of playing Straps Spikes fields. Final decision will be rendered by CCSA. If games are delayed (i.e., previous teams still playing on the field) the Umpire will begin the 15- minute grace period from the time the field becomes available.
    NOTE: It is the responsibility of the Umpire to enforce these rules to ensure the game starts and finishes within the allotted playing time (1:45 after the scheduled start, finish 15 minutes prior to next scheduled game)
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Game

  1. A complete game consists of 8 innings. In the event that a game is stopped due to hazardous playing conditions (e.g., rain, lighting, darkness, high winds, hail storm, earthquake, flooding, etc.), 5 completed innings will be considered a complete game (or 4-1/2 in the event that the home team is winning). The Home Plate Umpire has every right to stop a game regardless of score or inning if in the Umpire's judgment the safety of participants (i.e., players and spectators) is in jeopardy. In the event a game is stopped before 5 innings are completed the game will not be considered complete and a rescheduled game, if possible, will be arranged. If playing conditions improve after a stoppage in play, the Umpire may allow play to resume if in the Umpire's judgment, safety will not be jeopardized and the next game on the schedule will not be delayed (i.e., Umpires will stop the game before the next scheduled game begins regardless of score or inning). If a game is stopped (after 5 innings are complete) during an inning and there is no resuming play the final score will be that of the last completed inning. For example, if 6-1/2 innings are played and then stopped, the score of the game will be taken from the last complete inning which would be the 6th inning unless the team 2nd at bat has scored more runs in their half of the 7th inning.
  2. Two rovers will be allowed to field, bringing the total number of defensive players to ten (10) (e.g., 6 men and 4 women) on the field. They may be male or female but if a team uses both rover positions, there must be at least 4 women playing on the field. If a team only has 3 women on the field, only one rover can be used (i.e., 6 men and 3 women, total 9 players).
    1. Infield Line: This line distinguishes the infield and the outfield. Rovers and outfielders cannot be positioned in the infield (e.g., on second base) at the start of play. They must be in the outfield, behind the infield line. They may only come into the infield after the pitched ball is hit. See "Official Dimensions for CCSA Softball Diamonds".
    2. Player's Line: This line is drawn from 1st base to 3rd base and no fielder with the exception of the pitcher and catcher may be in front of this line until the pitched ball is hit. See "Official Dimensions for CCSA Softball Diamonds."
    3. 150 Line: This line is an imaginary line (marked off by pylons), located 150 feet from the back corner of home plate, arcing from one foul line to another. This is not a straight line going from one pylon to another. Rovers and outfielders cannot be positioned in front of the 150 line at the start of play. They may only pass the 150 line after the pitched ball is hit. This line is ONLY used for outfielders/rovers starting positions, as it does NOT function as the line to throw the ball to the pitcher. To throw the ball to the pitcher, you must still be standing in the infield (within the infield line).
    4. If the defensive team violates i, ii, or iii, obstruction will be called and a delayed dead ball will be signaled.
    5. All fielders must start each play in the same designated spot relative to the other fielders that they started the inning in (i.e., third baseman must be closer to third than the shortstop, left fielder must be more in left field than the centre fielder, etc.)
  3. Each team is responsible for pitching to themselves. The pitcher must keep one foot on or behind the pitcher's line, which is drawn by the umpire, at all times (minimum distance 40 feet). The pitcher must be within 1 meter either side of the imaginary line from home plate to second. Any batted ball which hits the pitcher before any fielder has had a chance to play shall be declared an out. The pitcher must also make a concerted effort to avoid interfering with the play else interference could be called.
    1. All Divisions (Junior, Varsity and Senior): 3 pitches for women and 3 for men.
    2. Each team may have as many pitchers as they wish, as long as the substitution of pitchers is quick. A maximum of one warm up pitch is allowed, with the exception of the beginning of each inning where it will be to the umpire's discretion. If a pitcher has left the field during the play, the ball returned to the infield with all play sufficiently stopped will warrant a stoppage of play.
  4. No bunting or chopped balls will be allowed. A bunt is any contact between the bat and the ball, which doesn't involve a full swing. A chopped ball is a ball that is hit directly down onto the ground with a full downward swing in order to make the ball act like a bunted ball, or bounce high into the air. The motion of the bat determines if the ball is being chopped. It is not the motion of the ball that determines the chopping. If in the judgment of the Umpire a player takes a full swing and it is not a deliberately chopped or bunted ball though it acts like one, the umpire will let the play continue and runners may advance. Players who bunt or chop a ball will be called out and the ball is dead. Runners may not advance.
    1. A batter's feet must remain within the imaginary batter's box when the ball is hit fair or foul. (i.e., a batter stepping on or in front of home plate at the time of a hit will be immediately called out, and the play is dead).
  5. A batted ball in foul territory behind the batter will be considered a fly ball and an out if it is legally caught, no matter the height it reaches.
  6. If the umpire judges that the batter has no control of the bat when it leaves his/her hands, the batter is called OUT for the first infraction, and the play is dead. The umpire will then warn both teams that the next player or players who throw their bats will be called out and ejected from the game for dangerous play.
  7. Leadoff rule: Runners may only depart from their respective bases at the moment a pitched ball has made contact with a fully swung bat (e.g., a runner anticipates the batter to hit the ball and takes his foot off the base, but the batter fails to make contact). The runner will be immediately called out. The ball is dead, and NO PITCH is declared.
  8. Runners may slide into any base except for and around home plate.
    EXCEPTION: On playing fields where back fences are in close approximation to home plate, umpires may allow runners to slide over the safe line for purposes only to slow down and/or to avoid collision with the fence or back catcher.
    1. Runners may slide head first or feet first. However, in the case of a feet first slide, the runner must keep his/her feet as close to the ground as possible in order to prevent injury to any other players. If in the view of the umpire, the slide was intended to injure another player or to break-up a possible double play, the runner will be ejected from the game.
  9. 1st Base Safety Bag: Batter-runner must touch the ORANGE (or Red) side of the First Base on ANY infield hit. If the batter runner touches the WHITE side of First Base on an infield hit, INTERFERENCE will be called.
  10. Play is considered to over when:
    1. Umpire calls TIME, FOUL BALL, or DEAD BALL.
    2. Runners have stopped advancing and the ball is in the infield in the control of a defensive player and then Time is requested.
    3. Runners have stopped advancing and the pitcher is given the ball by a defensive player in the INFIELD. (Pitchers do not have to catch a ball that is thrown to them from the OUTFIELD.) If a pitcher has left the field during the play, the ball returned to the infield with all play sufficiently stopped will warrant the stoppage of play.
  11. There will be a 5 run mercy rule enforced in the first 7 innings of every game. Each team will only be allowed to score a maximum of 5 runs per inning regardless of the number of outs.
    EXCEPTION: Should a home run or ground rule double result in more than 5 runs scoring in an inning in which the mercy rule is enforced, only 5 runs will be scored and recorded for that inning. The batter and runners are awarded teh maximum number of bases such that no more than runs score in the inning.
    Both teams will be allowed to score as many runs as possible in the last inning of the game (i.e., if the game drags on too long, an umpire may declare the next inning (e.g., 6th inning) the last inning and extra innings if necessary.
  12. Game Mercy Rule: once the game is official (After 5 innings, or 4.5 if home team is leading), if there is a difference of 14 or more runs, the losing team has the OPTION to end the game.
  13. At diamonds where there is a home run fence, the first fair batted ball over the fence for each team will be declared a home run. Either team may only may hit Over-the-Fence Home Run more than the opposing team. Subsequent Over-the-Fence hits will count as an OUT until the opposing team hits an Over-the-Fence Home Run. This will be referred to as "Match+1"
  14. Outfield Throws to 1B: An outfielder or rover CANNOT throw a ball directly to 1B to get the (BR) Batter Runner out. When the BR has safely reached first-base an outfielder or rover may throw the ball directly to 1B for a “tag” out.
    If an outfielder or rover does throw a ball from to 1B in an attempt to get the (BR) Batter Runner out, the umpire shall signal OBSTRUCTION. Both teams shall receive a WARNING. Any subsequent OUTFIELDERS violating the rule will be automatically EJECTED from the game.
    Note: This rule is applied on the THROW from an outfielder or rover to 1B. The fielder at or near 1B need not make a play for the obstruction to occur.
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Post-Game

  1. All persons who participate in the softball game must also attend the post-game devotions (unless pre-game devotion is planned). Any pardons from devotions MADE DURING THE GAME must be addressed to both team's coaches and governors, and to the umpires. Teams that do not abide by this will lose their sportsmanship points, forfeit their game, and any further action will be at the discretion of the C.A.S.E Committee. All such decisions will automatically be reviewed by the C.A.S.E. Committee to determine if there were any extenuating circumstances.
  2. Please completely fill out score sheets, (i.e., game code, park, time, teams played, umpires, final scores, sportsmanship points, equipment points, incidents, umpiring evaluation).
    1. The score sheets will be considered complete if the place, teams, scores, game code, time of start and finish, the head umpire's name, code, team and signature are filled out. Umpires should fill out the sportsmanship and equipment portions (assumed good if left blank). Governors and coaches should fill out the umpire's feedback portion after the umpires have signed and/or left (assumed excellent if left blank).
    2. Points are awarded for wins, ties, losses, forfeits, sportsmanship, equipment, and umpiring.
    3. In addition to points awarded for being present to umpire scheduled games, points may be deducted for the poor quality of umpiring, based on both team's evaluation.
  3. The head umpire of the game must report the score at www.ccsasoftball.net by the Monday night after the game. The umpire will need to log in to the website, and report the game code, place, time, teams played, final score, sportsmanship and equipment points awarded. Any extraneous circumstances, incidents, or ejected players are also reported. Report scores by e-mail (schedule@ccsasoftball.net) if the web is unavailable.
    1. If no scheduled umpires were present at the game, the winning team is required to phone in the score and who ended up umpiring the game.
  4. Both sets of score sheets should be mailed to the CCSA address in the provided envelopes. Should the winning team fail to send in the score sheets postmarked no later than one week after the game, the game will be considered a tie.
  5. A double forfeit will result in a 0-0 score with no points awarded. If no umpires phone in this result, the game will be considered a tie.
  6. In consideration for the environment and to the Parks & Recreation Department, please dispose of all of your garbage and help keep the parks clean.
  7. If you have any questions, or would like to help out on the committee, feel free to send an e-mail to umpiring@ccsasoftball.net
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Diamond Layout

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Gestures

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Amended March 4, 2017