Playing rules Spring League 2021
Section 1 – Slo-Pitch National
- Softball City Slo-Pitch Leagues will be affiliated with Slo-Pitch National for the purposes of obtaining all updated information on the sport of Slo-Pitch and to allow any of our teams to participate in the Divisional, Provincial and National Slo-Pitch tournaments.
- Slo-Pitch National Rule Book (latest edition) will be used by the League and will hold authority over all situations apart from Softball City League-specific “Game Rules”.
Section 2 – Player Eligibility
- To be eligible to play on a sanctioned team, a player must meet the following requirements:
- All players must be 18 years of age or older during the season. Government PHOTO ID must be produced upon request.
- Government PHOTO ID must be produced within 24 hours during the regular season and upon request during the playoffs. If no ID is produced within the specified time frame the team will forfeit the game.
- Teams can make a written request to Softball City for permission to have players that are 16 or 17 years old on their roster. It will be the final decision of Softball City to allow/disallow the request. Parent consent will be required if the player is allowed to play. For safety issues, no exceptions will be made for any player under the age of 16.
- Consequences: League and Round Robin games, teams may be penalized regardless of when played. If the player is found to be in contravention of the above, the game will be a forfeit.
- Teams may “borrow” up to two (2) players from another team in our League if they do not have enough players to field a team. Teams MUST play their entire bench BEFORE using a borrowed player (i.e., if there is a girl on the bench, a guy could not be borrowed). Teams can NOT borrow players for League Year-end playoffs.
- Borrowed players must have their named circled and their team identified on the Line Up card.
- Borrowed players must bat in the last available position on the line up (i.e., Guy/Girl = 9/10; Guy/Guy = 7/9, Girl/Girl = 8/10).
- Players not at the park for game time may be listed on the roster as substitutes and may participate in the game in that capacity. Any player arriving at the park must, at first opportunity, be substituted for a “borrowed” player.
- Consequences: League and Round Robin games, Teams may be penalized regardless of when played. If the player is found to be in contravention of the above, the game will be a forfeit. If teams are caught using illegal players during elimination play, the player will be asked to leave the field and coach will be ejected. If there is no substitution for the illegal player, the game will result in a forfeit for that team. Any player ejected from a game will also be suspended for the next two (2) regularly scheduled games [includes 2nd game of a double header].
Section 3 – Roster
- A team’s roster (copy of the SPN Online Registration Roster) must be completed and returned to Softball City by July 15th.
- A team may carry a maximum of forty (40) players plus a non-playing coach. A playing coach must be listed as a player. Players can only be listed on one (1) team’s roster.
- Each player MUST be named on the roster. Failure to do so shall constitute an incomplete roster.
- Inclusion of an individual’s name on the roster is an indication that the individual is aware of and will abide by Softball City rules, regulations, and intent.
- Failure to supply the required roster by the stated date will carry a fine of one hundred ($100) dollars to the team and forfeiture of all games played until the roster is submitted. After two (2) forfeitures, Softball City will determine the future of the offending team as pertaining to continued membership within the League.
- Individual players are eligible to spare for any team in the league, as long as their name appears on the roster of another team registered within the league and the team in question has insufficient players to field a team.
- Teams may add players if sufficient space exists on their SPN Roster Sheet. The deadline is August 31st. Teams may remove a player from their roster due to an injury to make room. To add or delete a player, Softball City must be informed in writing, as well the online roster must be updated.
- Players may transfer once during the season BEFORE August 31st from one team to another provided that the team the player wishes to transfer to has space on their SPN Roster Sheet. Softball City must be notified of this transfer. Failure to do so will nullify the transfer.
Section 4 – League Structure
- As teams choose the night, they play versus playing by a specific skill level, there will be teams of varying ability on each night. For league play, there will be no divisional separation. For playoffs, Softball City will review the standings from league play to determine whether there will be a single division or multiple divisions.
Section 5 – Scheduling
- Every effort will be made to meet the requirements of each team. The assignments of diamonds, dates and times will be as fair and as equitable as possible.
- Play-off schedules will be handled in the same manner.
- If any Team has conflicts that Softball City should be aware of, that Team must make this known in writing by July 3rd (or sooner). Softball City cannot guarantee that all conflicts will be dealt with to the satisfaction of the Team.
Section 6 – Game Length
- Game length is a maximum of seven (7) innings, time permitting. At 60 minutes the umpire will call time and notify both teams that the next inning is open. If the home team is ahead, the bottom of the last inning will not be played; no last bats to improve run differential. Tie games remain a tie after seven complete innings or if time expires.
- If due to rain, darkness, time limit, or other reasons as determined by the umpire(s), the game is called before seven (7) innings, but after 4.5/5 innings of play, the score at the end of the last complete inning will be used. If the home team is ahead after the visiting team bats in the 5th inning and time has expired, the game will be deemed complete.
- Games called before the end of five (5) innings are ruled incomplete and will be rescheduled.
Section 7 – Game Commencement
- There will be no grace period at the start of the game. If a team is shorthanded, automatic outs are in effect. Under no circumstances can automatic outs be waived, even if both teams are short players. This applies to both female and male players.
- A game forfeiture due to lack of players will result in a Fifty ($50) dollar fine, unless prior notice by 5:00pm TWO DAYS PRIOR to the scheduled game was given to Softball City (by email). Continued failure to supply sufficient players as required may result in additional fines and the team’s suspension or expulsion.
Section 8 – Game Cancellation
- Teams will be informed as to canceled games by 4pm game day. Cancellations will be posted on the Softball City website. If possible, emails will also be sent to the team contacts. If nothing is posted, it must be assumed that there is still the possibility of play and everyone should show up ready to play. If, at game time or during the game, the umpire(s) feels play is unsafe, the game will be canceled.
- All efforts will be made to reschedule the game in an available time slot on the registered league night. Should there be no available time slots on the registered league night, the rescheduled game will be scheduled on a different weeknight or on the weekend. Teams that are unable to play on the rescheduled night will either forfeit the game or can speak with the opposing team about scoring a 7-7 tie.
Section 9 – Official Score
- In all games, each team is required to supply the opposing team AND the umpire(s) a copy of the final batting order, complete with the full names of all the players.
- The umpires will keep score of the games and submit the final scores to Softball City. Teams are strongly encouraged to keep scores themselves and verify scores during and after the game with the umpire(s) by agreeing on the score and both teams initialling the umpire’s scoresheet. In the event of discrepancies which cannot be resolved at the game site, the Home Team’s score sheet shall be considered official.
Section 10 – Standings
- Standings will be recorded as games won, games lost, games tied, Runs for, and Runs against.
Section 11 – Playoff Eligibility
- Any player listed on a team’s roster will be allowed to participate in league playoffs if they have shown a commitment to the League by playing in a minimum four (6) games of their team’s games through the League schedule. Each game played as a member of a team’s roster will count towards the minimum games required.
- Teams who forfeit one game during the play-offs will have to reapply the following season.
- A player who spares for a team on which they are not listed may not count that game towards play-off eligibility.
- A player who transfers to another team during the regular season may count their games played with the previous team towards playoff eligibility.
Section 12 – Playoff Structure
- Playoffs will be a double knockout format. Standings from league play will determine seeding for playoffs.
Section 13 – Ties for Positioning
- In case of a tie for positioning at the end of league play, the following will be considered, in order listed, to break the tie and determine final standings:
- Win/loss/tie record (2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, 0 for a loss)
- Most games won
- Fewest games lost
- The record of play between the tied teams (head-to-head)
- Most runs scored
- Least runs against
- A coin toss
NOTE: if three (3) or more teams are tied, the tiebreakers will be looked at in order of listing above until the top team’s placement is determined, then the tiebreakers begin at point 1a) to determine placement for the remaining teams.
- For league playoffs, ties will be played out by an additional inning. If tied after seven (7) innings of play, the SPN International Tiebreaker will be in effect.
Section 14 – Umpires
- All Softball City umpires will be SPN carded.
Section 15 – Team Responsibilities Before/During/After Games
- One (1) NEW and one (1) USED game ball (of each size) must be supplied by the home team and must be the type supplied by the league.
- If a ball is hit foul or a homerun is hit over the fence, the team that hit the ball is responsible for retrieving the ball and bringing it back to the umpire. If the ball cannot be found, the team that hit the ball is responsible for providing a replacement ball.
- Teams should remove all garbage from the diamond and dugout areas. If players are chewing sunflower seeds, it is kindly requested that the shells are spit into a cup/bottle or in the garbage to assist in keeping the park clean.
- Failure to fulfill any team responsibilities will result in a fifty ($50) dollar fine for each infraction.
Section 16 – Protests
- This is a no protest league. All umpire decisions are final.
Section 17 – Unacceptable Behaviour
- A physical strike by any member of the Softball City League as a result of League activities shall result in the suspension of that member for a period of three (3) to five (5) years from the date of the incident. Following the suspension, re-admission may only be granted through a written letter to the Softball City management.
- Any member, who threatens to strike someone as a result of League activities, will be suspended for the balance of the season including the Year End Tournament. Following suspension, re-admission may only be granted by the Softball City management.
- Verbal abuse or general threat will result in a penalty ranging from a warning to a one-year suspension, depending on the extent, the severity, and the nature of the abuse.
- Drunken players, at the discretion of the umpire, shall be ejected from the game and/or park.
- Any team member consuming alcoholic beverages at a League sanctioned event which were NOT purchased from the Softball City restaurant or concession, will have the team fined fifty ($50) dollars. Multiple infractions by a team may result in expulsion from the league.
- Any team member smoking (this includes vaping) in a non-designated area at a League sanctioned event will have the team fined fifty ($50) dollars. Multiple infractions by a team may result in expulsion from the league.
- Any team member smoking marijuana in ANY area of a league sanctioned event will have the team fined fifty ($50) dollars. Multiple infractions by a team may result in expulsion from the league.
- Managers/coaches are expected to promote sportsmanlike behavior within our leagues and slo-pitch in general. Failure to do so may result in the Manager/coach and entire team placed on probation or expelled from the league.
Section 18 – Suspensions/Fines
- The Softball City management reserves the right to withdraw the registration of any team or individual who is determined to be acting contrary to the best interests of the game of slo-pitch and/or the Softball City League.
- Upon request, the Softball City management will consider enforcing suspensions imposed by other sporting organizations and all such suspensions shall be dealt with through the Softball City management.
- Below is a listing of Fines, along with a short description of the infraction leading to the fine. The complete description of the infraction is within the referenced section.
- Failure to submit SPN Roster Sheet (by July 15th) $100 (Section 3)
- Forfeiture of a game $50 (Section 7)
- Failure to complete Team Responsibilities Before/During/After Game $100 (Section 15)
- Any drinking or smoking offence $50 (Section 17)
- General NSF cheques $50
Section 19 – League-Specific Rules
- Run Limit: six (6) runs per team per inning with the last inning open.
- Mercy Rule: The mercy rule (12 runs) is in effect after five (5) or more complete innings (or 4.5 innings if the home team has scored the 12 runs to mercy). The mercy rule applies after 4.5, 5, 5.5, 6, etc. innings. The home team must have as many opportunities to bat (to tie or win the game) as the visiting team.
- Approved Bat Rule: 2021 Official SPN bat rule to be followed. NO Exceptions.
- Courtesy Runners: COED – Allowed from any base at any time. All male players listed on the lineup card are allowed to run in place of another runner once per game. Female players may run unlimited. Women’s – Allowed from any base at any time. All Female players listed on the lineup card are allowed to run in place of another runner once per game. Men’s – Allowed from any base at any time. All male players listed on the lineup card are allowed to run in place of another runner once per game.
- Progressive Homerun Rule: a team may hit a maximum of two (2) homeruns more than their opponent at any time during the game. If a team hits a third homerun more than their opponent, the batter is automatically out. Runners cannot advance on automatic out homeruns. The home team cannot surpass the visiting team.
- Co-ed 7/3:
- there must be at least three females in the batting order throughout the entire game. An out will be declared if either the female player is not available for her at bat or if she is injured and there are no female substitutes. Teams cannot play with less than nine players. If a team is short a female, she cannot be replaced by a male. If a team is short a male player, he can be replaced by a female. The batting order cannot have two (2) females in a row and no more than three (3) male batters in a row. Should a team choose to play 6/4 or 5/5, the batting order cannot have more than two (2) male batters in a row.
- COED – if a player is injured during game play and you do not have a spare for that player, you can finish the game with 9 using an automatic out in that spot in the lineup. If a player is ejected from a game and there is no spare to take their place, the game will end in a forfeit. Men’s/Women’s – if a player is injured during game play and you do not have a spare for that player, you can finish the game with 9, the automatic out does not apply in same gender play. If a player is ejected from a game and there is no spare to take their place, the game will end in a forfeit.
- If teams wish to bat an extra male, they must also bat an extra female. Both those players must finish the game or be replaced by a legal substitute. If they cannot finish the game and there are no legal substitutes, then automatic outs will be in effect.
- Outfielders are not allowed to throw females out at first base. Relays are permitted.
- Third strike foul is an out.
- No bunting.
- Lead-off rule: runners may leave their base when the ball crosses the front of the plate or hits the ground in front of the plate.
- SPN Walk Rule: any walk to a male batter with a female batter on deck will result in two (2) bases being awarded to the male batter and the female must bat.
- Home Plate:
- The 20-foot commitment line along third base is in effect. Runners who cross or step on this line cannot return to third base.
- Sliding into, touching, crossing over, and running in front of home plate is not allowed and will result in an automatic out.
- Co-ed Big Ball/Small Ball:
- Females can opt to hit the big ball if they choose.
- Pre-Game Conference: Lineups must be submitted to the umpire prior to the game with first and last names of the players and their jersey numbers (if they have them). If the names are illegible or do not include last names, they may be recorded incorrectly, and the player may not be eligible for playoffs.
- No metal cleats.
- A pitching helmet is mandatory for all pitchers in ALL the Softball City leagues, no exceptions. If your pitcher does not have one, you will forfeit your games until they do. The full face plus temporal region must be completely covered. Accepted are pitching helmet with mask, lacrosse or hockey helmet with mask, batting helmet with facemask. If a pitcher is only using a face mask, please check with Softball City staff to ensure mask has proper coverage (Adult Mizuno and Champro masks acceptable, Rip-it mask not acceptable).
- Masks are strongly recommended for infield positions (specifically 1st and 3rd). Batting helmets are strongly recommended for all batters.
- Strike Mat: Our leagues will be using a strike mat. A strike is a legally pitched ball that lands entirely or partially, on any part of the strike mat.
Section 20 – Men’s League Specific Rules
- Pitching Arc 6-12 feet
- Run limit: 6 runs per team per inning, apart from the last inning being open.
- A pitching line will be placed at 50 feet and a line will be drawn at 60 feet. The pitcher can start anywhere in the chute as long as they are stopped, and the foot is planted.
- Bases will be at 70 feet.
- You will start with a one & one count with no courtesy foul ball.
- Both teams will be allowed 7 homeruns each – Total. When a home run is hit, the batter and any runners on base at the time of the hit, do not need to run around the bases. Once 7 homeruns (per team) are reached, any further homeruns will result in an out.
- Runners – 3 per game, and a person can only run once. Allowed from any base at any time.
Due to the current climate in British Columbia possibility of rain on any given day, if teams can complete twelve (12) games (between league and playoffs) then Softball City is said to have substantially fulfilled their commitment to teams to play a certain number of pre-scheduled games. Every effort will be made to reschedule any games that cannot be played on the specified game night but if that night is not available, scheduling on other nights or the weekend will occur. If teams play less than twelve (12) games, they will receive a refund as outlined below:
Play eleven (11) games – Receive $150 as a refund.
Play ten (10) games – Receive $200 as a refund.