Gals – USA Softball Rules

CALDWELL GIRLS ATHLETIC LEAGUE SOFTBALL
G.A.L.S. – U.S.A. SOFTBALL FASTPITCH
OFFICIAL RULES
REVISED JANUARY, 2019

  1. ANY RULE NOT ADDRESSED IN THE FOLLOWING IS SUBJECT TO THE OFFICIAL SOFTBALL RULES BOOK BY USA SOFTBALL (U.S.A.), “AS INTERPRETED” BY THE PRESIDING UMPIRE.
  2. THE PRESIDING UMPIRES INTERPRETATION OF ANY RULE OF PLAY (UMPIRE TO FOLLOW OFFICIAL SOFTBALL RULE BOOK) WILL BE HONORED BY BOTH TEAMS (PLAYERS, PARENTS AND COACHES) AND ACCEPTED.
  3. PRESIDING UMPIRES CALL ON ANY “JUDGEMENT CALL OR ACTION” WILL BE ACCEPTED BY BOTH TEAMS (PLAYERS, COACHES, AND PARENTS).
  4. THE PRESIDING UMPIRES WILL HAVE COMPLETE AUTHORITY (WITH FULL BACKING OF GALS) TO EJECT ANY PLAYER(S), COACH(S), PARENT(S), OR SPECTATOR(S) FROM THE FIELD OR STAND; TO TERMINATE ANY GAME BECAUSE OF WEATHER OR ANY OTHER ACT OF GOD; TO DECLARE A GAME A FORFEIT BY ONE TEAM TO ANOTHER TEAM; OR TO TERMINATE A GAME FOR ANY REASON HE OR SHE DEEMS NECESSARY. (E.G. CONDITION OF PLAYING FIELD – AS PROVIDED IN USA RULES.)
  5. HIRING, APPOINTING, OR DISMISSAL OF UMPIRES WILL BE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GALS ASSOCIATION. UMPIRES WILL BE USA TRAINED AND CERTIFIED.
  6. NO PROTESTS OF ANY REGULAR SEASON GAME WILL BE ALLOWED BECAUSE OF ANY CALL OR ACTION OF A PRESIDING UMPIRE. A PROTEST COMMITTEE AND PROCESS WILL BE USED FOR TOURNAMENTS, IF DETERMINED APPROPRIATE BY THE GALS BOARD.
  7. CONDUCT AND SPORTSMANSHIP
    A. GOOD CONDUCT AND THE HIGHEST REGARD FOR SPORTSMANSHIP IS TO BE PRACTICED BY COACHES, PLAYERS, PARENTS, SPECTATORS, AND OFFICIALS. TOBACCO, DRUGS, ALCOHOL, AND FOUL LANGUAGE WILL NOT BE USED BY COACHES, PLAYERS, OR OFFICIALS DURING PRACTICES, GAMES, OR OTHER TEAM FUNCTIONS.
    B. CONDUCT AND SPORTSMANSHIP RULES SHALL BE ENFORCED AS FOLLOWS:
  8. IF A COACH OR PLAYER IS EJECTED FROM A GAME, THE EJECTED COACH MUST LEAVE THE COMPLEX FOR THE DURATION OF THAT DAYS SCHEULE; AN EJECTED PLAYER MUST LEAVE THE FIELD AND DUGOUT BUT REMAIN UNDER THE COACHES CONTROL UNTIL PICKED UP BY A PARENT. EJECTED COACHES AND PLAYERS SHALL BE SUSPENDED FROM COACHING/PLAYING IN THE TEAM’S NEXT SCHEDULED GAME.
  9. A SECOND EJECTION DURING THE SEASON SHALL RESULT IN A TWO GAME SUSPENSION.
  10. A THIRD EJECTION SHALL RESULT IN SUSPENSION FOR THE REMAINDER
    OF THE GALS REGULAR AND POST SEASON SCHEDULE. THE SUSPENDED
    COACH OR PLAYER SHALL REPORT TO THE GALS BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR HEARING ON REMOVAL AND/OR REINSTATEMENT.
  11. NO HECKLING OR HARASSMENT OF OPPOSING TEAM: THERE WILL BE NO HECKLING OR HARASSMENT OF OPPOSING TEAMS OR PLAYERS AT ANY TIME FROM THE DUGOUT. THE UMPIRE WILL ISSUE ONLY ONE WARNING FOR A VIOLATION OF THIS RULE. THEREAFTER AN OUT SHALL BE REGISTERED FOR EACH VIOLATION ON THE NEXT BATTING ROTATION FOR THE OFFENDING TEAM. THIS RULE APPLIES TO PLAYERS, SPECTATORS AND COACHES. CHANTS AND CHEERS DIRECTED AT THE OPPOSING PLAYERS IN A NEGATIVE FASHION ARE NOT PERMITTED.
  12. EQUIPMENT AND UNIFORMS

A. BATTING HELMETS AND CATCHER’S EQUIPMENT ARE MANDATORY DURING WARM-UPS, GAMES, AND PRACTICES. ALL BATTING HELMETS MUST HAVE THE FACE GUARD AND ALL BATTING HELMETS FOR 8U-12U TEAMS MUST HAVE CHIN STRAPS. CHIN STRAPS ARE OPTIONAL FOR 14U & 16U. ONLY THE BATTER AND THE BATTER-ON-DECK WILL HOLD A BAT. PLAYERS AND THEIR EQUIPMENT MUST STAY IN THE DUGOUT DURING THEIR TEAM’S AT BAT.

B. ONLY BALLS PROVIDED BY GALS (WHEN ACCESSIBLE) SHALL BE USED FOR GAMES AND TOURNAMENTS.

C. ANY TENNIS-TYPE SHOE MAY BE WORN WHILE PLAYING. BASEBALL
SHOES WITH PLASTIC OR RUBBER CLEATS MAY BE USED. PER USA NO STEEL CLEATS MAY BE WORN FOR THE 10U & 12U AGE GROUPS.
STEEL CLEATS ARE ALLOWED IN THE 14U/16U AGE GROUPS.

D. NO JEWELRY OF ANY TYPE IS TO BE WORN WHILE PLAYING. (UMPIRE
HAS THE DISCRETION AS TO WHAT CONSTITUTES AS JEWELRY. EXAMPLE: DANGLING OR HOOP EARRINGS, WATCHES, BRACELETS, NOSE AND/OR LIP RINGS, ETC.)

E. ANY MEDICAL ALERT TAG OR BRACELET MAY BE WORN, BUT MUST BE
HELD IN PLACE WITH APPROPRIATE ADHESIVE TAPE.

F. SUPPORT BRACES MAY BE WORN IF COVERED BY SOME FORM OF
PADDING, OR IF THE BRACE(S) CONSTITUTES NO SOURCE OF INJURY TO
THE OTHER PLAYERS. (UMPIRE DISCRETION.)

G. NO HARD CASTS MAY BE WORN WHILE PLAYING. UNDER USA RULE 3.6.E, ALL MEDICAL DEVICES SUCH AS CASTS AND BRACES WITH HARD SURFACES MUST BE PADDED TO BE WORN WHILE PLAYING.

  1. PLAYERS AND SUBSTITUTES

A. EVERY GIRL MUST PLAY AT LEAST TWO INNINGS AND BAT AT LEAST ONCE PER GAME IN THE REGULAR SEASON. USE OF THE DP/FLEX PLAYER RULE QUALIFIES AS GAME PLAY UNDER GALS RULES. IF A GIRL DOES NOT GET INTO A GAME BECAUSE IT HAS BEEN TERMINATED BY THE UMPIRE, THE GIRL MUST START IN THE NEXT GAME. EVERY GIRL MUST PLAY AT LEAST ONE INNING AND BAT AT LEAST ONCE IN GALS LEAGUE TOURNAMENT GAMES.

COACHES SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR TEAM DISCIPLINE – IF A PLAYER DOES NOT PRACTICE ON A CONSISTENT BASIS, THIS RULE MAY BE WAIVED OR MODIFIED BY NOTICE TOTHE UMPIRE BEFORE THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME. PLAYERS MUST PRACTICE IN ORDER TO PLAY. THIS RULE DOES NOT APPLY TO INVITATIONAL, STATE, OR REGIONAL TOURNAMENT PLAY. COMPLAINTS TO A BOARD MEMBER IN REGARDS TO THIS RULE WILL RESULT IN THE FOLLOWING PENALTY.

VIOLATION OF THIS RULE BY THE COACHES:
1ST OFFENSE – FORFEIT OF THE GAME IN WHICH THE VIOLATION OCCURRED;
2ND OFFENSE – COACH/COACHES WILL APPEAR BEFORE THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS TO REVIEW THE VIOLATION AND DETERMINE ANY FURTHER ACTION TO BE TAKEN.

B. LINE-UP CARDS MUST BE TURNED IN BY THE COACHES TO THE UMPIRE PRIOR TO THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME. EVERY PLAYER ON THE ROSTER MUST BE ON THE LINE-UP CARD. THE COACH WILL MAKE NOTE OF ANY PLAYER(S) ABSENT DUE TO SICKNESS, NO-SHOW, OUT WITH AN INJURY, ETC. LINE-UP CARDS WILL BE TURNED IN BY THE UMPIRES TO THE GALS BOARD FOLLOWING GAMES.

C. FOR THE 12 U, 14 U AND 16 U AGE GROUPS THE BATTING ORDER SHALL FOLLOW USA RULE 7.2.

D. FOR THE 10 U AGE GROUP: 10 U TEAMS HAVE THE OPTION OF FIELDING EITHER 9 OR 10 PLAYERS. IF THE 10 PLAYER OPTION IS USED AND 10 OR MORE PLAYERS ARE PRESENT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME THE BATTING ORDER SHALL CONSIST OF 10 PLAYERS AND THE DEFENSE SHALL CONSIST OF 10 FIELDERS. OF THE 10 FIELDERS, 4 SHALL BE DESIGNATED AS OUTFIELDERS AND CAN NOT PLAY IN THE SKINNED AREA OF THE FIELD AT THE TIME OF THE PITCH. THE HOME PLATE UMPIRE MUST BE ADVISED BEFORE THE START OF THE GAME THAT THE 10 PLAYER OPTION IS BEING USED. IF ONLY 8 PLAYERS ARE PRESENT AT THE BEGINNING OF THE GAME, THE USA SHORT-HANDED RULE APPLIES AND THE 10 PLAYER OPTION IS NOT AVAILABLE. SEE USA RULE 4.1D

E. SHORT-HANDED RULE: A GAME MAY BEGIN OR FINISH WITH ONE LESS PLAYER THAN REQUIRED TO START. THE VACANT POSITION MUST BE LISTED LAST IN THE BATTING ORDER. AN OUT WILL BE TAKEN WHEN THE VACANT POSITION IN THE BATTING ORDER APPEARS.

TO CONTINUE A GAME ONCE STARTED WITH A FULL TEAM LISTED ON THE BATTING ORDER: IF A TEAM BEGINS PLAY WITH THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF PLAYERS LISTED, THAT TEAM MAY CONTINUE A GAME WITH ONE LESS PLAYER THAN IS CURRENTLY IN THE LINE-UP WHENEVER A PLAYER LEAVES THE GAME FOR ANY REASON OTHER THAN EJECTION. IF PLAYING SHORT- HANDED, AND A SUBSTITUTE ARRIVES, SHE MUST BE INSERTED IMMEDIATELY INTO THE VACANT SPOT. IF SHE REFUSES TO ENTER FOR ANY REASON, THAT PLAYER BECOMES INELIGIBLE THE REMAINDER OF THE GAME. IF THE PLAYER LEAVING THE GAME IS A RUNNER OR BATTER, THE RUNNER OR BATTER SHALL BE DECLARED OUT. WHEN THE PLAYER WHO HAS LEFTTHE GAME IS SCHEDULED TO BAT AN OUT SHALL BE DELARED FOR EACH TURN AT BAT. NOTE:AN INNING OR GAME CAN END WITH AN AUTOMATIC OUT. THE PLAYER WHO HAS LEFT THE GAME CANNOT RETURN TO THE LINE-UP. EXCEPTION: A PLAYER WHO HAS LEFT THE GAME UNDER THE BLOOD RULE MAY RETURN EVEN AFTER MISSING A TURN AT BAT.

EFFECT: FAILURE TO HAVE THE REQUIRED NUMBER OF ELIGIBLE PLAYERS TO START OR CONTINUE A GAME WILL RESULT IN A FORFEITURE.

F. ANY OF THE STARTING PLAYERS MAY BE SUBSTITUTED FOR AND RE-ENTERED
ONCE PROVIDED PLAYERS OCCUPY THE SAME BATTING POSITIONS WHENEVER IN THE LINE-UP. THE STARTING PLAYER AND THE SUBSTITUTE(S) MAY NOT BE IN THE LINE-UP AT THE SAME TIME, UNLESS NECESSARY DUE TO INJURY TO ANOTHER PLAYER TO CONTINUE WITH A FULL OFFENSIVE TEAM.

11 A. REGULATION REGULAR SERASON GAME –
OFFICIAL START TIME BEGINS WITH THE FIRST PITCH.
GAME TIMES: 6:00 P.M. AND 7:45 P.M.

NO NEW INNING WILL BEGIN AFTER 1 HR. 20 MIN. INNINGS THAT BEGIN BEFORE THE 1 HR. 20 MIN. TIME WILL CONTINUE PLAY UNTIL THE TIME LIMIT OF 1 HR. 40 MIN. IS REACHED. AT THE EXPIRATION OF THE TIME LIMIT, IF THE INNING HAS NOT BEEN COMPLETED, THE GAME WILL BE CALLED AND THE FINAL SCORE WILL REVERT BACK TO THE SCORE AT THE END OF THE LAST FULL INNING PLAYED AS THE FINAL SCORE. THE UMPIRE’S JUDGEMENT WILL ALSO BE USED TO DECIDE TO CALL A GAME DUE TO WEATHER, DARKNESS, FIELD CONDITION, ETC. IN REGULAR SEASON GAMES, A TIE IS A WIN FOR BOTH TEAMS, OTHERWISE THE FINAL SCORE SHALL BE DECIDED BY REFERENCE BACK TO THE SCORE AFTER THE LAST FULL INNING PLAYED. NO MAKE UP GAMES WILL BE PLAYED. USA TIE BREAKER RULES SHALL APPLY TO ALL TOURNAMENT PLAY. IF A TOURNAMENT GAME IS CALLED FOR DARKNESS AND THE SCORE IS TIED, THE GAME WILL CONTINUE AT THE NEXT INNING THE FIRST THING THE FOLLOWING GAME DAY.

10 U, 12 U, 14U AND 16 U TOURNAMENT TIME LIMIT – The USA Softball time limit in Rule 5, Section 10 will be in effect for league tournament play: the time limit will be 1 Hour and 20 minutes and finish the inning and then play one more complete inning, or half inning if the home team is ahead. At the end of that inning, if the score is still tied, international tiebreaker rules will be in effect.

12 A. ALL LINE-UP CARDS, INCLUDING SUBSTITUTIONS MUST BE TURNED IN TO THE HOMEPLATE UMPIRE AND THE OFFICIAL SCORE-KEEPER PRIOR TO GAME TIME. HOME TEAM IS DETERMINED BY A COIN TOSS. (HOME TEAM FURNISHES THE OFFICIAL SCORE-KEEPER AND SCOREBOOK.) NO BATTING ORDER CAN BE CHANGED AFTER THE FIRST PITCH. BATTING ORDER MUST POSTED IN THE DUGOUT.

B. RUNS PER INNING

  1. 10 U AND 12 U – MAXIMUM OF 5 RUNS PER INNING IF THE BATTING TEAM HAS SCORED FOUR RUNS, HAS TWO OR FEWER OUTS IN THEINNING, AND HAS RUNNERS ON BASE, THE RULE IS AS FOLLOWS:

PLAYERS ON BASE ARE ALLOWED TO ADVANCE TO HOME UNTIL PLAY CEASES ON A ‘TIME’ CALL BY THE UMPIRE. ONLY THE FIFTH RUN OF THE INNING SCORES NO MATTER HOW MANY RUNNERS CROSS HOME PLATE. THERE IS A MAXIMUM OF 5 RUNS PER INNING. ONCE TIME IS DECLARED (BY THE UMPIRE) AFTER THE FIFTH RUN HAS SCORED, PLAY IS STOPPED, AS IF A THIRD OUT HAS BEEN CALLED BY THE UMPIRE. THE BATTING TEAM BECOMES THE FIELDING TEAM, THE FIELDING TEAM BECOMES THE BATTING TEAM AND PLAY RESUMES.

IN 10 U, THIS RULE MAY NOT BE WAIVED. IT IS IN EFFECT DURING ALL GALS REGULAR SEASON AND LEAGUE TOURNAMENT GAMES.

REGULAR SEASON AND LEAGUE TOURNAMENT GAMES.

IN 12 U, THIS RULE IS IN EFFECT UNLESS WAIVED BY CONSENT OF THE COACHES FROM BOTH TEAMS, WITH THE HOME PLATE UMPIRE BEING ADVISED BEFORE THE START OF THE GAME. IN SUCH A SITUATION USA RULE 5.9 SHALL APPLY. THIS RULE MAY BE WAIVED FOR GALS REGULAR SEASON OR LEAGUE TOURNAMENT GAMES.

  1. 14 U AND 16 U – REFER TO USA RULE 5.9.
  2. RUNS AHEAD RULE: ALL AGE GROUPS REFER TO USA RULE 5.9.

C. IF THE BATTER THROWS THE BAT, THE PLAYER IS OUT. (UMPIRE DISCRETION.)

D. BASE COACHES MAY NOT PHYSICALLY TOUCH, HELP, OR HOLD BASE
RUNNER(S). PENALTY: RUNNER IS OUT.

E. 3RD STRIKE FOUL RULE DOES NOT APPLY. USA RULE 7.4 E.

F. INFIELD FLY RULE DOES NOT APPLY TO 10 U AGE GROUP.

G. INFIELD FLY RULE DOES APPLY TO 12 U, 14 U AND 16 U AGE GROUPS.

  1. SAFETY
    A. THE 10 U AGE GROUP WILL BE ALLOWED TO USE THE SLINGSHOT PITCH AND/OR THE WINDMILL PITCH DURING GAMES; HOWEVER, COACHES ARE ASKED TO STRIVE FOR ACCURACY OVER SPEED. UMPIRES WILL HAVE THE POWER AND THE RIGHT TO REMOVE ANY PITCHER FROM PLAY IF THEY BELIEVE THE PITCHING HAS BECOME TOO UNCONTROLLED CAUSING A SAFETY ISSUE.

12U, 14U, 16U: REFER TO USA RULE 8.4.

B. BASE STEALING: RUNNERS ARE ENTITLED TO ADVANCE WITH LIABILITY TO BE PUT OUT ONCE THE BALL LEAVES THE PITCHER’S HAND ON THE DELIVERY.

10U: RUNNERS STARTING AT FIRST OR SECOND BASE ARE ENTITLED TO ADVANCE OR STEAL ONE BASE ONLY PER PITCH WITH LIABILITY TO BE PUT OUT. RUNNERS STARTING AT THIRD BASE MAY STEAL OR ADVANCE HOME BUT ARE LIABLE TO BE PUT OUT.

1) A RUNNER, ATTEMPTING TO ADVANCE BEYOND THE ONE BASE THEY ARE ENTITLED TO ADVANCE OR STEAL, MAY BE PUT OUT WHILE BETWEEN BASES. A RUNNER CANNOT BE PUT OUT WHILE IN SOLE CONTACT WITH A BASE.

2) AFTER ALL PLAY CEASES, AND THE BALL BECOMES DEAD, IF A RUNNER OCCUPIES A BASE BEYOND THE ONE THE RUNNER WAS ENTITLED TO ADVANCE OR STEAL, THE RUNNER WILL BE RETURNED TO THE CORRECT BASE WITHOUT LIABILITY TO BE PUT OUT.

3) IF A BATTER STRIKES OUT AND THE BALL IS DROPPED, THE BATTER IS OUT AND CANNOT ADVANCE TO FIRST BASE, BUT THE BALL REMAINS LIVE FOR THE PURPOSE OF THROWING THE ADVANCING RUNNER OUT.

4) A BATTER, WHO RECEIVES A BASE ON BALLS, CANNOT ADVANCE PAST FIRST BASE. IF THE BATTER-RUNNER ADVANCES FURTHER ONCE THE BALL BECOMES DEAD, RETURN THE BATTER RUNNER TO FIRST BASE.

5) AWARDED BASES WILL APPLY TO ALL RUNNERS.

C. ALL AGE GROUPS – THE KNOCKING DOWN OF A FIELDER THAT IS WAITING TO ATTEMPT A PUT OUT – IN ORDER TO PREVENT INJURY AND PROTECT THE DEFENSIVE PLAYER ATTEMPTING TO MAKE A PLAY ON A RUNNER, THE RUNNER MUST BE CALLED OUT. IF THE RUNNER REMAINS ON HER FEET AND DELIBERATELY AND WITH GREAT FORCE (UMPIRE DISCRETION) CRASHES INTO A DEFENSIVE PLAYER HOLDING THE BALL AND WAITING TO APPLY A TAG, THE RUNNER MUST BE CALLED OUT.

D. ALL AGE GROUPS – THE OBSTRUCTION OF THE BASE RUNNER(S) – WHEN A RUNNER, WHILE ADVANCING OR RETURNING TO A BASE, IS OBSTRUCTED BY A FIELDER WHO NEITHER HAS THE BALL NOR IS ATTEMPTING TO FIELD A BATTED OR THROWN BALL, OR A FIELDER MAKES A FAKE TAG, THE OBSTRUCTED RUNNER AND EACH RUNNER EFFECTED BY THE OBSTRUCTION WILL BE AWARDED THE BASE OR BASES SHE WOULD HAVE REACHED IN THE UMPIRE’S JUDGEMENT. A PLAYER MAKING A FAKE TAG MAY BE EJECTED FROM THE GAME.

USA OBSTRUCTION AND INTERFERENCE RULES WILL BE IN EFFECT.

WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO IS – DON’T LET YOUR PLAYERS BLOCK THE BASE PATH, PUSH A BASE RUNNER, OR INTENTIONALLY IMPEDE A RUNNERS PROGRESS. ON THE OTHER HAND, THE BASE RUNNERS SHOULD AVOID UNNECESSARY CONTACT. WE KNOW IT CAN BE FRUSTRATING SOMETIMES, BUT A SOFTBALL GAME IS NOT WORTH AN INJURY TO A PLAYER. SAFETY IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE.