Softball Rules



Little League Softball Rules will be followed in all games with the exception of the following


  1. Regulation Game is 6 innings. Official game is 4 innings, 3 ½ if the home team is winning.  The 11-14 year old players are in BLUE DIVISION.


  1. THE FIELD:  
    1. Bases 60 feet apart.
    2. For Blue Division (11-14) pitching rubber 40 feet from the rear point of home plate. 


  1. TEAMS:
    1. Teams must have (SEVEN) 7 players in uniform available up to 15 minutes after the scheduled game time to avoid forfeit.  Minimum to start the game is EIGHT 8.
    2. All available players are in the batting order. Example: If 12 players are available, the batting order is 1-12 and 10 play in the field.  Free substitution in the field. 
    3. Ten (10) players in the field.  At no time will more than ten (10) players be allowed to play in the field.
    4. Each available player must play (THREE) 3 innings in the field. These need not be consecutive innings. However, if she comes late to the game, the manager may reduce the number of innings by the number of innings missed. If she comes in the second inning, she may be limited to two innings; if she comes in the 3rd inning, she may be limited to 1 inning. And if she comes in the 4th inning or later, at manager’s discretion that she plays during that game.
    5. Anyone reporting to the game after the game has begun will be added to the bottom of the batting line up accordingly.
    6. To be eligible for consideration for district/travel team, player must participate in 60% of regular season games. 
    7. No more than three coaches in the field/dugout.  These coaches must have completed Background Check form, attended coaches’ clinic and have TSBL lanyard ID as identification.
    8. There must be a player catcher.  For safety, prior to the ball being pitched, fielders must play behind an imaginary straight line drawn through the pitching rubber.



  1. RUNS:
    1. In the Blue Division, maximum of (FIVE) 5 runs per inning during innings 1 through 5.  There is no continuation unless the ball is hit over the fence.    
    2. The 6th inning and any extra inning(s) have no run limit.
    3. Mercy rule – 10 runs after (FOUR) 4 innings.





a.    May not leave the base until the ball crosses homeplate or is hit. If a runner leaves early, she is out. There is no warning.

b.    On overthrows that put the ball out of play, the runner will be awarded one extra base in addition to the base she was headed to.

c.    It shall be deemed an obstruction if a fielder, during a play, fakes a catch or tag that causes the runner to alter course of action.  The umpire shall award the runner one additional base in addition to the one she was headed to.

d.    The runner is not out if, after making contact with a base, the base is displaced and the runner is tagged; as long as the runner stays where the base was.  The runner shall remain in position until time is called, or may advance at own risk.  If the runner attempts to “follow” the displaced base or to progress to another base and is tagged, the runner is out.

e.    No head-first slides except when returning to a base.  A runner who otherwise slides head first is out.

f.     The “slide or avoid” rule is in effect.  If a play is being made, and the runner attempts to reach that base without sliding or avoiding the fielder the runner shall be out except where, in the opinion of the umpire no risk of injury or interference was incurred by the failure to slide or avoid.  After a play is over, runner may not lead from a base while the pitcher has the ball on the rubber. The runner may not leave the base until the ball is hit, or crosses home plate.

g.    After a play is over, runner may not lead from a base while the pitcher has the ball on the mound.

h.    Play stops when the pitcher has possession of the ball and is in the vicinity of the mound. (There is an imaginary radius of 8’ surrounding the pitching rubber.  Anywhere within that circle is considered in the vicinity of the mound).

i.      Stealing is permitted and unlimited.   You cannot leave until the ball crosses the plate.

j.      Tagging up is permitted.

k.    A courtesy runner may be inserted if a player is injured while batting or running the bases; or sustained an injury immediately before his at-bat. The pinch runner is the player who made the last batted out in the lineup. A pinch runner can only be inserted once for any given player in any given game. A pinch runner may also be inserted for the catcher when there are two outs.

l.      If a pitch goes over or under the backstop, the ball is dead; and runners get the base they are going to, plus one.

m.  If a coach touches a runner during play in a manner deemed to assist the runner, the runner will be called out.

n.    If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner is more than halfway to the next base before pitcher has stopped play, the runner shall be awarded that base.


  1. PITCHING:   Player Pitching

a.    A 12" softball shall is used in the BLUE DIVISION.

b.    Starting pitcher may have 8 (EIGHT) warmup pitches before the first inning, and 5 (FIVE) warm up pitches before each subsequent inning unless the umpire permits more.  Relief pitcher may have 8 warm ups unless the umpire permits more, and 5 in all subsequent innings.  In the event that a pitcher is removed for injury, the relief pitcher shall have as many warm ups as the umpire deems necessary but no less than 8.  Upon removal as pitcher, player may play any other position but may not return as pitcher in that game.  Exception:  If the game is suspended and resumed on a later date, a player removed from the pitcher position (but not from the game) may pitch in the resumed game in accordance with other applicable pitching rules

c.    Coach permitted 2 (TWO) mound visits per pitcher per inning. The 3rd visit requires removal of the pitcher.

d.    A player may pitch a maximum of 3 (THREE) innings in a game.  Once the pitcher is removed, there is no reentry during the game.

e.    The throwing of one pitch constitutes an inning. 

f.     All innings pitched must be consecutive. Example: A player pitcher is removed in the 3rd inning with 2 out. A relief pitcher throws 1 pitch and gets the 3rd out. The relief pitcher is deemed to have pitched one inning and may return to pitch two more innings.

g.    There is no weekly limitation to the number of innings pitched but it is encouraged to limit overuse of the same pitcher.

h.    If in the judgment of the umpire, a batter intentionally attempts to be hit by a pitch the batter will be out and the pitcher will not be charged with a “hit batter”. A pitch that bounces prior to hitting a batter is considered a hit batter. If a batter swings at a pitch that hits her; or if the batter is hit by a pitch in the strike zone, it is a strike the pitcher will not be charged with a hit batter.

i.      The pitcher may not wear a long sleeved shirt of a color similar to the softball used.

j.      Windmill Pitching” will be allowed.  


    1. BAT THROWINGUmpire shall issue a warning before the game. If someone throws a bat, the team will be issued a warning.  Thereafter, a batter caught throwing the bat on the warned team will be out. 
    2. 4 balls, 3 strikes during player pitching. 
    3. Batter must be in the batter's box when swinging. Except where the batter's swing carries the batter out of the batter's box, a strike will be assessed against the batter if the batter leaves the batter's box to swing at a pitch. If the batter leaves the batter's box to swing at a pitch and puts the ball in play, the fielding team shall have the option to accept the result of the play or the strike.
    4. If the batter is called out for throwing the bat, the ball is dead and no runners may advance.
    5. Dropped third strike rule is in effect.  If the third strike of an at-bat is not caught by the catcher, the batter becomes a runner and may advance to first base or further.  The catcher must either tag the batter or throw the ball to first to record a force out.  This only applies is first base is unoccupied OR if there are two outs.  If first base is occupied with fewer than two outs, there is no drop third strike. 
    6. There must be no attempt at distracting the pitcher once she has begun his motion. This includes, but is not limited to chanting or yelling by players.  Any yells or cheers must end as soon as he begins his windup.  Failure to comply results in that pitch being called a strike.
    7. No foul third strike, except when foul tip is caught and held by the catcher. Any foul exceeding the height of the batter shall be considered playable and if caught, the batter is out.
    8. Infield fly rule is in effect.
    9. Injured batter:  An injured batter may be replaced by the next player in the order, without penalty and without the injured player being prevented from returning.  The replacement batter assumes the count of the injured batter. 
    10. If a player has to leave, the managers agree NOT to accept out. 
    11. Bunting is allowed. 


    1. Catchers must wear full gear, including mask, chest protector, shin guards and catcher’s mitt.
    2. All players are required to use helmets with face masks.
    3. Non metal cleats are mandatory.
    4. Complete uniforms (consisting of shirt and pants) must be worn by all players.  Black nylon shorts in lieu of pants will be allowed when warm weather permits. 
    5. No jewelry or combs. Medic Alert bracelets are permissible. Players with casts, hard splints or braces on extremities may not play. Braces on the trunk are permissible with a note from the child’s physician other than a parent.
    6. Intentional throwing of equipment is prohibited and can mean ejection from the game.
    7. All team equipment must be kept in the dugout or in dead ball territory.


  1. BATS:

A softball bat must be used for softball. Maximum lengthy of bats shall not exceed 33 inches.  Maximum widths of bats (diameter) shall not exceed 2 ¼ inches.  There is no applicable            length/weight differential.  A player found with an illegal bat must change bats. 



Winning team’s manager or coach is responsible for notifying the Softball Director of the result of the game. BOTH teams are responsible for raking the field at the end of the game, and putting all equipment in the container.



No game can be canceled or rescheduled for the convenience of the teams without the prior approval of the Softball Director.  Failure to observe this rule will result in forfeiture of the game by both teams.  NO EXCEPTIONS.



No inning may commence after play has reached 2 hours. Innings already underway after the two-hour time limit shall be completed unless the umpire calls the game for darkness/weather, or 2 ¼ hours (two hours fifteen minutes) of play have expired. If a game is called because of darkness or rain, it will be continued from the exact point at which it was stopped, with the same lineups, at a time to be determined by the Softball Director in conjunction with the Scheduler. If the game is an official game as defined above, it is complete. The time limit is not in force during the playoffs.



a.    The umpire shall have the authority to call or suspend a game once the game has commenced.  Managers, coaches, parents, etc, shall have no say. An executive member of the Teaneck Southern Board who is not a manager, coach, or parent in the division may end or suspend the game if he/she feels there is a safety issue.

b.    NO UMPIRE:  If there is no umpire, the managers may agree to utilize anyone they deem suitable and the game will be official.  Please notify the Head Umpire if the umpire fails to show.



Verbal abuse of any umpire, player, manager or coach by any other player, manager or coach will not be tolerated and shall be deemed unsportsmanlike conduct.  The offender shall be subject to ejection at the discretion of the umpire or at the discretion of a Member of the Board who observes the abuse.  If the ejected party refuses to leave, the umpire may forfeit the game to the opposing team.


If the abuse is from a spectator, partisan to a team, the umpire shall direct the manager of that team to intervene to stop the abuse.  If the manager refuses to or is unsuccessful in stopping the abuse, the umpire, after a warning, may declare a forfeit to the other team.


If the abuse is from a spectator who is not a partisan of either team, the umpire may request the assistance of either or both managers to intervene.  If the intervention is unsuccessful, the umpire may suspend the game.


  1.  PROTESTS: Protests can be on a point of rule interpretation only, not on an umpire's judgment call.  There shall be no dissent.  If a coach or player is ejected they must also sit the following game.  If it happens a second time, they must come before the Board before they can be reinstated.
    1. Protesting manager must inform the umpire and opposing manager of the protest and the basis for it before the next pitch is thrown.
    2. The umpire must sign both managers' scorebooks at the point of protest and make a notation of the progress of the game (i.e. top of 3rd, 2nd batter, 1 out).
    3. The protested game must be completed.
    4. The protesting manager must submit in writing or email to the Division President the basis for the protest within 24 hours of the completion of the game. If needed, a hearing will be scheduled and the presence of the umpire and both managers (and their score books) shall be required.
    5. If the protest favors the protesting team, the game shall revert back to the time of the protest.
    6. All decisions are final.
    7. Failure to follow any of these rules shall result in a denial of your protest. NO EXCEPTIONS.

REVISED 3/16/15

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