Softball Rules

Sandwich Park District Girls Softball League (SPDGSL) Rules

The Sandwich Park District shall offer this Girls Softball League for the purpose of equal opportunities and fair play for girls residing in Sandwich and adjacent communities. The park district will assume all liability within its park district boundaries. The rules, procedures and operations will be governed by the park district Board of Commissioners, park district staff and employees hired to fulfill specific duties within this League.

The League Committee will be formed for the main purpose of having a “say” as to the rules, procedures and guidelines.  This committee will change annually if and when the coaches change from year to year with the registration of those teams.  Teams that have been accepted in the past within the “NIPL” format are “grandfathered” in for the year 2016.  Each year those teams that have registered in the SPDGSL will have first right of refusal as to entering the next year.   The Sandwich Park District Sports Coordinator will oversee the entire League.

  • SPDGSL League
    1. This league will consist of four age divisions: 8U, 10U, 12U and 14U
    2. The number of teams in each division is unlimited, but must consist of at least four teams.
  • Rule Book
    1. The National Federation of State High School Associations rulebook as used by the Illinois High School Association shall be used.
    2. This league shall use fast pitch rules only.
    3. No amendments of these rules shall be permitted without a majority vote of the league committee.
    4. If a rule is not listed in this document, the IHSA Rule Book for the current year shall be the rule, which will be enforced.
    5. A review of these rules shall be held annually by the league committee.
  • League CommitteeThe league’s committee shall consist of the following:
    1. Sandwich Park District Sports Coordinator
      • Manages the entire league
      • Liaison to the Sandwich Park District Director
      • Manages league budget
      • Purchases league supplies

2. SPDGSL Supervisor

  1. Hired by the Sports coordinator
  2. Liaison between Town Representatives, Team coaches and Sandwich Park District Sports Coordinator
  • Schedules and conducts League meetings
  1. Develops and maintains League Game schedules
  2. Manages umpire scheduling
  3. Develops and maintains League rules.
  1. Town Representative
    1. Attends all league meetings or assigns another person to attend in their absence.
    2. Organizes their respective towns teams including but not limited to:
      • insurance coverage (Section 8)
      • Submittal of Home Harmless Statement Form for Property
      • fields
      • coaches
      • assistant coaches
      • team rosters (Section 11)
      • players
      • equipment
    3. The SPDGSL Committee shall be responsible for enforcement of these rules and address any protests
  • Elections
    1. Election of League Supervisor for the following year shall be held the first League Committee meeting of the year
  • Voting
    1. One Town Representative equals one (1) vote.
    2. The SPDGSL Committee shall vote on all rule changes
  • Players Age
    1. 8U Division:
      1. A player who is 8 years or less on Sept. 1, 2016
    2. 10U Division:
      1. A player who is 10 years or less on Sept. 1, 2016
    3. 12U Division:
      1. A player who is 12 years or less on Sept. 1, 2016
    4. 14U Division:
      1. A player who is 14 years or less on Sept. 1, 2016
  • League Fees
    1. League fees per team shall be
      1. 8U – $60
      2. 10U – $325
  • 12U – $500
  1. 14U – $500
  • Insurance
    1. Each town shall carry liability insurance with a minimum of $1,000,000 to cover all players participating.
    2. Each town shall name the Sandwich Park District as additional insured with a limit of $5,000 medical pay per each occurrence.
    3. Policy number must be on the Town Information Form (Section 10).
    4. No team will be allowed to play until the Town Information Form (Section 10) and Team Rosters (Section 11) have been turned in.
    5. Practice sessions prior to being insured will be at your own risk.
  • Season
    1. The regular season shall start May 23, 2016
    2. The playing season shall end in July 16, 2016.
    3. Dates are subject to change.
    4. 8U and 12U shall be scheduled on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
    5. 10U and 14U shall be scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
  • Town Information Form
    1. Town Information form shall include the following information
      1. Number of teams for each division
      2. League Fees
  • proof of insurance (Section 8)
  1. conflict dates
  2. field availability
  3. Town Information Form shall be turned in to the League Supervisor by April 1, 2016
  • Team Rosters
    1. Minimum number of players for 10U, 12U and 14U shall be 9
    2. Maximum number of players for all divisions shall be 15
    3. Team Rosters shall include the following information
      1. Head Coaches Name
      2. Assistant Coaches Name
  • Assistant Coaches Phone Number
  1. Head Coaches phone number
  2. Head Coaches email address
  3. Each Player’s name
  • Each Players birth date
  • Age as of September 1, 2016
  1. Declaration whether a player also plays for a travel tournament team.
    • All travel tournament team players must be identified to ensure they meet the 50% minimum of games played in order to play in the post season tournament.
  2. No player(s) may be added or changed to a different Team Roster after the Team Roster due date (Section 11.k).
  3. Player(s) that move in after the roster due date may be added to that teams roster once all information required are turned in to the League Supervisor.
  4. No player(s) shall be listed on more than one team roster per division.
  5. Players may play up one division (10U can play on 12U etc.) but if the player is on a 12U roster that player may not play down a division, even if her age makes her eligible.
  6. A player shall only play for the team in their high school district or for the private school they attend.
  7. No all-star teams or tryout teams will be allowed.
  8. If a town does not have a team at a players age level, they may play for an adjacent town, with league committee approval.
  9. All team rosters shall be turned in the League Supervisor by April 15, 2016.
  • Coaches
    1. All coaches participating SPDGSL organized games shall sign and adhere to the Coach’s Code of Conduct.
    2. It is recommended that all coaches be submitted for background checks prior to participating in SPDGSL games.

 

  • Uniforms
    1. The uniform is to be of decent and proper attire for softball.
    2. No alcohol or tobacco logos or other references allowed.
    3. Shoes are to be tennis shoes or rubber spikes
    4. No steel spikes shall be permitted
    5. Optional sleeves (other than jersey sleeves) shall be allowed but only of a solid color and shall not be bright (safety) yellow.
    6. No Bracelets, necklaces or rings shall be worn.
    7. Piercings (if unable to be removed) shall be taped over. Removal is preferred.
  • Field of Play
    1. The home team Head Coach must provide a suitable playing field by game time as described in Section 14 of these rules.
    2. Base paths shall be marked along the first base and third base lines.
    3. All diamonds used for SPDGSL games shall use a safety base at first base.
      1. White portion of the safety base shall be used by the fielder.
      2. Orange/Red portion of the safety base shall be used by the runner.
    4. Field dimensions shall conform to the following
      1. 8U and 10U divisions
        • 35 feet from home plate to the pitchers mound
        • 60 feet from base to base
      2. 12U Division
        • 40 feet from home plate to the pitchers mound
        • 60 feet from base to base
  • 14U division
    • 43 feet from home plate to the pitchers mound
    • 60 feet from base to base
  1. Pitchers circle
  2. Batters boxes
  • Balls
    1. The SPDGSL shall provide one new ball for each game played.
    2. 8U and 10U divisions shall use an 11-inch ball
    3. 12U and 14U divisions shall use a 12-inch ball.
    4. No rubber or safety balls permitted
  • Umpires
    1. 8U division does not use umpires and game score shall not be kept.
    2. SPDGSL shall furnish one patched umpire for 12U and 14U divisions
    3. If a patched umpire scheduled by SPDGSL fails to attend the game, the teams shall agree upon a replacement umpire that shall be 21 years of age or older.
    4. Home team shall furnish one umpire for 10U and shall comply to the following
      1. Umpires shall be at least 16 years of age.
      2. Umpires are required to wear a face mask and tennis shoes at all times when behind Home Plate.
  • Base umpire must wear tennis shoes
  • Game Time
    1. Number of games to be scheduled per team (weather permitting)
      1. 8U and 10U: 10 Games
      2. 12U and 14U: 12 Games
    2. Each game shall be scheduled to start no later than 6:00 p.m.
    3. All divisions may have games scheduled to start no later than 8:00pm if a lighted field is available.
    4. No infield practice shall be allowed prior to game time.
    5. Team line-ups shall be prepared and given to the opposing team at least 10 minutes prior to game start time. Team line-ups shall contain the following information
      1. Players first and last name
      2. Players corresponding jersey number
    6. Behind the plate umpire shall announce the game start time and both teams shall record the start time in their scorebooks.
    7. If a game is cancelled or postponed due to inclement weather the home team Head Coach shall notify the visiting team Head Coach at least 2 hours before game time.
    8. If inclement weather occurs within 2 hours of game time the home team Head Coach shall notify the visiting team Head Coach immediately.
    9. Both team Head Coaches shall reschedule the postponed game within 48 hours and contact the League Supervisor with the new game time.
  • Extra Innings
    1. The team at bat shall place the player who made the last out from the previous inning on second base.
    2. There shall be two (2) outs
    3. The pitch count shall be 2 balls and 2 strikes.
    4. This shall continue in preceding innings until a winner is determined
  • Game Time Limit
    1. No new inning shall start after 8:00 pm, even in the event of a tie.
    2. In the case of an 8:00 p.m. start time, no new inning shall start after 10:00 p.m.
    3. A game shall be considered official after 4 innings or 2-hour time limit whichever comes first.
    4. No new inning shall be started after 1.5 hours of play for 8U division and 2 hours for all other divisions.
  • Final Scores
    1. The winning team Head Coach shall report game results to the league supervisor at the completion of each game.
    2. Any games not reported one (1) week after the completion of the game shall be marked as a loss for both teams.
  • Thunder/Lightning Policy
    1. At any point prior to or during a game that thunder or lightning is present the game shall be delayed 30 minutes.
    2. All coaches, players, umpires and spectators must exit the park to their vehicles if lightning or thunder occurs.
    3. Each time there is an occurrence of thunder/lightning the 30 minutes starts over.
    4. If lightning occurs prior to game time there shall be only (2) 30 minute attempts at starting the game.
    5. If lightning occurs during game play there shall be only (1) 30 minute attempt to restart the game.
    6. The umpire may suspend the game at any time based on incoming weather and/or field conditions.
  • Rescheduling
    1. The home team shall present the opposing Head Coach with two (2) options for rescheduling a game within 1 week of the original date.
    2. If the game is not rescheduled or played within this time frame, the team causing the delay shall forfeit
    3. Rescheduling shall only be done in the event of graduation ceremonies or inclement weather, unless both teams decide otherwise.
    4. In the event of a scheduling dispute, the SPDGSL Supervisor shall rule on forfeiture.
    5. The home team Head Coach shall notify the SPDGSL Supervisor of rescheduled games.
  • General Game Rules
    1. Players
      1. Each team shall have 9 players to start a game, but may continue with 8 if one is injured
      2. No negative chanting shall be allowed.
  • All chanting/cheering shall stop when the pitcher is on the rubber.
  1. Injuries
    1. If at any time during the game a player who is in the batting line-up at the start of the game is injured and must be removed from the game the following applies:
    2. When the injured players next time at bat occurs
      • The injured player shall be removed from the line up for the remainder of the game. No out shall be charged for at bats, but the injured player shall not return to the game
      • The Injured player shall forfeit her at bat for this round with the option of returning to the lineup at a later time. An out shall be charged for each time the injured player does not bat for the remainder of the game.
      • No division shall be charged an out for injured players not batting.
    3. Batters
      1. All divisions shall use a continuous batting order
    4. A helmet with a facemask shall be required for 10U, 12U and 14U divisions for the following players
      1. Player at bat
      2. Player on base
  • Player coaching bases
  1. Defense
    1. All players shall play a minimum of 2 defensive innings
  2. Pitchers (10U, 12U and 14U)
    1. All pitchers must wear a protective mask.
    2. Warm-up pitches
      • 5-7 pitches in the pitchers first inning
      • 3 total pitches for pitchers that pitched the preceding inning
      • 10 Maximum pitches for relief pitchers
      • Official(s) shall rule on the total number of pitches.
    3. No Slide Rule (10U, 12U and 14U only)
      1. Any runner approaching home plate shall slide if there is a play made at home plate.
    4. Slaughter Rule
      1. 15 runs after 4 complete innings for 10U.
      2. 12 runs after 4 complete innings, 10 runs after 5 complete innings for the 12U and 14U divisions.
    5. Designated hitters
      1. No designated hitters shall be allowed.
    6. Courtesy Runners
      1. Courtesy runners shall be allowed for pitcher or catcher only at any time.
      2. Courtesy runner shall only be the player who made the last out
  • Division Specific Rules (8U)
    1. Each batter shall have 7 pitches thrown by a coach, after 7 pitches the batter is out unless the last pitch is a foul ball.
    2. There shall be no base on balls
    3. There shall be no stolen bases
    4. There shall be no lead-offs
    5. There shall be no bunting
    6. All players shall bat in a continuous order
    7. The batting order must remain the same for the entire game
    8. Only 5 runs shall be allowed per team per inning
    9. No final score shall be kept
    10. If a player is not present at the start of the game but is on the line-up and does not show up, the player shall be counted as an out.
  • Division Specific Rules (10U)
    1. All pitching shall be done by the players at the beginning of each inning.
    2. After 5 walks by any combination of pitchers or 3 batters hit by pitch in an inning, the team at bat coach shall pitch for the remainder of that inning. The umpire shall continue calling balls and strikes, a player can strike out, but a player may not walk. The pitcher being relieved by the coach shall remain on the field in the normal pitching position. Only 5 runs shall be allowed per team per inning except for the last complete inning as determined by the umpire. (If a player hits a home run, etc. with runners on base, there shall still be only 5 total runs scored for that inning)
    3. Regular games consist of 6 innings.
    4. In the case of darkness, weather, etc., an official game shall consist of 4 innings or 3 1/2 if home team is winning.
    5. There shall be no stolen bases
    6. No dropped third strike
    7. May field 10 players, the tenth player shall play in the outfield and the catcher shall play in the catcher’s box.
    8. No infield fly rule
    9. All players shall bat (not just defensive players).
    10. The batting order must remain the same for the entire game
    11. Bunting shall be allowed.
    12. Substitutions shall be allowed at any position with no restrictions.
    13. A runner shall not leave the base until the pitch has left the pitchers hand.
    14. Runners shall take no more than 2 steps (lead off) of the base.
    15. Runners shall return to the base when the pitcher is in the pitchers circle
    16. No “pick-off” attempts shall be made at a runner returning to their base
    17. If a player is not present at the start of the game and is on the line-up, but does not show up, she will be counted as an out.
  • Division Specific Rules (12U)
    1. All pitching shall be done by the players
    2. Batter may run if the 3rd Strike is dropped by the catcher.
    3. Infield fly rule shall apply
    4. Only 5 runs shall be allowed per team per inning except for the last complete inning as determined by the umpire. (If a player hits a home run, etc. with runners on base, there shall still be only 5 total runs scored for that inning)
    5. Regular games consist of 7 innings.
    6. In the case of darkness, weather, etc., an official game shall consist of 4 innings or 3 1/2 if home team is winning.
    7. Substitutions shall be allowed at any position with no restrictions.
    8. All players shall bat (not just defensive players).
    9. The batting order must remain the same for the entire game
    10. Lead offs shall be allowed when the ball leaves the pitchers hand.
    11. Stealing shall be allowed during all innings and from any base when the ball leaves the pitchers hand.
      1. Each team shall be given one warning about leaving a base early before the umpire begins to call the runner out.
    12. Bunting shall be allowed
    13. If a player is not present at the start of the game and is on the line-up, but does not show up, she will be counted as an out.
  • Division Specific Rules (14U)
    1. All pitching shall be done by the players
    2. Regular games consist of 7 innings.
    3. Substitutions shall be allowed at any position with no restrictions.
    4. Lead offs shall be allowed when the ball leaves the pitchers hand.
    5. Stealing shall be allowed during all innings and from any base when the ball leaves the pitchers hand.
      1. Each team shall be given one warning about leaving a base early before the umpire begins to call the runner out.
    6. Bunting shall be allowed
    7. Batter may run if the 3rd Strike is dropped by the catcher.
    8. Infield Fly Rule shall apply
    9. All players shall bat (not just defensive players).
    10. The batting order shall remain the same for the entire game.
    11. If a player is not present at the start of the game and is on the line-up, but does not show up, she will be counted as an out.
    12. In the case of darkness, weather, etc., an official game shall consist of 4 innings or 3 1/2 if home team is winning.
  • Divisional Ties
    1. In the event of a tie in standings, the following shall be considered in the order listed below
      1. division record
      2. head to head score
  • point difference in head to head score
  1. one game playoff on a neutral diamond with neutral umpires and a coin toss to determine home team
  • All Star Game
    1. All-Star games will be held for the 10U, 12U and 14U Divisions
    2. All Games will be held in Sandwich.
    3. Players shall be selected based on the MVP elections they received throughout the season.
    4. 3 MVPs of each team shall be selected by the head coach of the opposing team
    5. MVPs full name shall be on the Game Report form and turned in to the League Supervisor within 24 hours of completion of the game.
    6. All games shall have a 2 hour time limit.
    7. Head Coaches whose teams finish first and second in the post-season tournament shall be the head coaches of the All-Star teams.
  • Post Season tournament
    1. The location for the post season tournament shall change each year as shown in the Post Season Tournament Hosting Schedule
    2. Format for the post-season tournaments shall be determined as follows
      1. overall record
      2. head to head
  • point difference in head to head
  1. runs against (defense)
  1. Forfeits will be recorded as 7-0
  2. If game is not played, both teams shall be recorded as a loss with a score of 7-7
  3. The League Committee shall act as the seeding committee for all postseason tournaments
  • Awards
    1. Individual medals shall be awarded to all division champions.
    2. Individual medals shall be awarded to the league champions as a result of the Post Season Tournament.
  • Protesting a Game
    1. The Head Coach shall make the protest known at the time of the infraction or event causing the protest.
    2. The Head Coach shall notify the opposing coach and the officials they wish to play the game under protest.
    3. The Head Coach shall notify the League Supervisor within 24 hours following the game of the infraction or event causing the protest.
    4. The League Supervisor shall contact the opposing teams Head Coach to obtain their interpretation of the infraction.
    5. The League Supervisor shall present all information to the League Committee for review and a decision.
    6. The League Supervisor shall contact both coaches with the decision made.
    7. All decisions are final and are not up for review.