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Softball - Tournament
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Softball Tournament Rules

(Revised 1/10/2024)

 (Items highlighted in yellow will go in effect in the new season of each league past this date)


  1. BATS: Legal bats are as defined by USA Softball. Bats must have an ASA or USA 2004 or 2013 stamp and not be on the banned bat list. Bats not following these rules may not be used for Club Sport play. NO Fast Pitch or Senior bats allowed in slow-pitch league. This information can be found at
  1. The first time a team comes to the plate with an illegal bat, the batter is considered out. The second time the team uses an illegal bat, the batter is out and ejected with possible league suspension.  
  2. Each individual is responsible for using legal bats.
  3. TBCS and the umpires reserve the right to disallow a bat should it be thought the bat may have been doctored.  If a bat is used and proven to be doctored (i.e. painted over, "corked", shaved, etc) this will result in the immediate ejection of the person using the bat and the owner of the bat, and the owner/user may possibly be suspended for the remainder of the season or longer, as this is a safety issue.
  1. BALLS: Only league provided softballs may be used for game play.
  2. GLOVES: Players may use any type of softball/baseball glove.  
  3. ATTIRE: Shirts and closed toed shoes/cleats must be worn at all times while playing. No metal spikes are allowed. Wearing metal cleats is an ejectable offense.
  4. JEWELRY: No jewelry can be worn during the games, for the safety of all players.
  5. PITCHING SCREENS: When pitching screens are available, they are considered mandatory.
  1. The screen may not be more than 3 feet in front of the pitching rubber and must be within the width of the pitching rubber.
  2. The screen can only be moved between half innings, after it has been dislodged, or when a pitching change has been made.
  3. The pitcher may release the ball from either side of the screen, but must have at least one foot in contact with the pitching rubber.
  4. The pitcher is NOT required to get behind the screen after releasing the ball but IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
  5. If a batter hits the screen, it is a foul ball the first time (courtesy foul rules apply), and an out the second time per at bat.
  6. If the screen is hit with a thrown ball, it will be considered a live ball.
  7. The Halo Rule will not apply when a pitching screen is used.
  8. If a pitching screen is not available, the Halo Rule will be in effect, and a pitching mask will be encouraged.

1.8        PITCHER PROTECTION: Pitching masks, face guards and/or pitching screens (when available) are highly suggested for all softball leagues.


2.1        Players ejected from any game may be ejected from the tournament altogether pending league review. Fighting,      wrestling, or pushing will not be tolerated and will result in an ejection from the tournament altogether. Verbal abuse of officials or players, fighting, foul language, and continued rough play could result in player ejections.

2.2        Any player or fan is encouraged to root for their own team but rooting against teams or use of disparaging language is discouraged and could result in penalties of players or dismissals of fans. Any fans of teams may be asked         to leave by Club Sport staff. Refusal to leave could result in forfeiture of games.


3.1        Players must sign the WAIVER/ROSTER to become eligible to play in any game and must be listed on a team roster by the start of that team's second game and signed in by the start of the team's 3rd game (If playing five pool games, players must sign the WAIVER/ROSTER to become eligible to play in any game and must be listed on a team roster by the start of that team's 3rd game and signed in by the start of the team's 4th game).  Playing with ineligible players may result in a forfeit. This call will be made by Club Sport staff.  It is the responsibility of the team captains to make sure all players in their lineup card are eligible players for all games.

3.2        Batting lineup cards must be presented to the umpire by game time. All substitutions must be given to the umpire as being made. It is the responsibility of the team captains to make sure all players in their lineup card are eligible players for all games.

3.3        Batting order can be random with no specific sex order as long as you follow your overall ratio. When batting 4 women you may bat up to 7 men, when batting 5 women you may bat up to 8 men, when batting 6 women you may bat up to 10 men.  You may always bat more women then these ratios, but not more men.  To allow "extra" men to bat you are allowed to put a "phantom" woman (or more) in your batting lineup to allow the ratio to include these extra male batters. These "phantom" women will be counted as automatic outs when they are scheduled to bat.

3.4        Keep in mind there must be a  minimum of 4 women in the batting line-up (this may include "phantom" women if a team has less than 4 women at their game).

3.5        The pitcher may not intentionally walk a player to get to an automatic 3rd out (also includes if the umpire feels a walk with intentionally unhittable pitches was thrown)  then the automatic out is waived.

3.6        6 men and 4 women is the standard line up. You may never have more than 6 men on the field. NOTE: A minimum of 6 players from the team's roster must be present or the team will forfeit the game.


4.1        Time Limit is 45 minutes with a maximum of 7 innings.          The inning in progress at the end of 45 minutes will be the last inning and completed. (An inning starts once the third out of the previous inning is called.) The ump will enforce this rule and will keep teams informed of time remaining. DIVISION games MAY end in a tie.

4.2        HOME AND AWAY: Will be determined by a coin flip (in playoff games higher seed gets choice).

4.3        3/2 SOFTBALL. We will be playing 3/2 softball, meaning each batter starts the count with 1 ball & 1 strike.

4.4        Walks. If a guy is walked and the next scheduled batter is a girl, she must bat unless the team has two outs - in which case she will have the option of hitting or taking a walk. Regardless of the number of outs, the guy will advance to second if walked with a girl as the next scheduled batter. If the next batter is a "missing" girl and the team is forced to take an out, the guy automatically advances to second base (with all other runners advancing accordingly) before the automatic out is recorded.  No limit on runs walked in.

4.5        COURTESY RUNNERS: Players requesting a courtesy runner must do so BEFORE their at bat.  A player needing a courtesy runner will not be allowed to advance past first base, save for an over the fence home run or a walk (where a male is awarded two bases with a female behind him in the line-up.)

4.5.1      If a courtesy runner is requested and the batter is walked the batter does NOT need to touch 1st base. They may walk straight to the dugout and the courtesy runner can take 1st base.

4.5.2     Umpires and/or TBCS staff can overrule courtesy runners to ensure fair play. Runners will be the same sex/last out (or furthest in lineup card if no out).

4.6        There is a 8 run inning rule. When a team brings in the 8th run, it is counted and is also the 3rd out. The 8 run rule does not apply in the last         5 minutes of the game (unless the team scoring is up 20+ runs) . This DOES NOT apply during championship game).

4.7        Mercy Rule. There is a 15 run rule after 5 innings for all games.

4.8        Late Players: Any players arriving after the first pitch of the game (not already placed on the line-up card) must be placed at the end of the batting order. If the player bats in any other spot, it is considered an automatic out. If a girl shows up late, they may go into the automatic out spots on the line-up card. Captains must notify umpire of any changes to line-up cards.

4.9        Injured Players: If a player is injured during a game, captain must notify umpire to remove injured player from lineup card with no additional penalty (unless the injured player is a female and her removal falls behind the required ratio -- then becomes an automatic out). An injured player that has been removed from lineup cannot return to the game.

4.10        WALKS: If a guy is walked and the next scheduled batter is a woman, she must bat unless the team has two outs - in which case she will have the option of hitting or taking a walk. Regardless of the number of outs, the guy will advance to second if walked with a woman as the next scheduled batter. The Women has until the 1st pitch is thrown to make this decision.

4.10.1     If the next batter is a "missing" woman and the team is forced to take an out, the guy automatically advances to second base (with all other runners advancing accordingly) before the automatic out is recorded.  There is no limit on runs walked in.

4.10.2     To allow for more play time, runners awarded a base for any reason (walk, overthrow, home run, 4-base award, etc.) can go directly to the awarded base without touching any previous bases after being directed by an umpire. If home plate is awarded, the batter/runner may go directly to the dugout.

4.11        Batting & Fouls: A foul ball will be called a strike at your first swing at bat. If you hit a foul at your first swing, you can hit another foul and not be called out. After you have obtained your second strike (remember you started your count with one) you may still hit one foul ball and not be called out. The next foul ball will be considered an out. Foul Tip: Catchers may attempt to make the catch on a foul tip. If the catch is made, the batter is out and the ball is live. The height of the ball over the batter’s head no longer applies.

4.12        Runners: No stealing bases. SLIDING IS PERMITTED.  Charging defensive players is not allowed and may result in an out and/or ejection.

NO RETOUCH at 1st or 3rd base. The runner must stay in contact with the base at all times.

4.13        Positioning of outfielders: When a female is batting, all outfielders must stay outside of the outfield line until the ball is hit. If this rule is violated, the following procedure will take place: If the player hits the ball, the ball remains alive until the umpire calls time out. The umpire will then decide which is more advantageous to the batting team, the hit ball or an automatic pass to first base. If the ball is not hit, an automatic pass to first base is given.

4.14        HOME RUNS. Each team may hit a total of 5 out of the park home runs, every home run after that will be an inning ending (i.e.) out (including any homeruns that would result in a team going over 10 runs/inning)

  1. Women can hit unlimited home runs.
  2. If an over the fence home run puts a team at the 10 run rule limit, the home run will count towards the team total of home runs (max of 5) and only the 10th run will count.

4.15        Disputes and protests: In a disputed play, only the team captain may discuss the play with the umpire. If a protest is made by the team captain, the captain must notify the umpire and opposing team captain before the start of the next inning.

4.16        No jewelry can be worn during the games, for the safety of all players (umpires discretion)

4.17        FAKE TAGS AND VERBAL/PHYSICAL DISTRACTIONS: Fake tag outs or yelling at a defensive player as they are making a play will not be allowed. Doing so MAY result in the runner being called safe (fake tags) or out (verbal distraction) and possible ejection of the offending player. Both sides should abide by this.

4.18        Players must step on the orange (safety) base when overrunning first base, or when there is a legitimate play at first base (ball still in the infield).  Players stepping on the white base in these instances may be called out.  Balls that have gotten past the infielders and have reached the outfield will allow the runner to touch the white base in an attempt to advance to second base.  When in doubt runners should touch the orange base to avoid being called out.  Defensive player must step on white base only.  If defensive player steps on the orange base (causing the runner to slow down to avoid contact) the runner may be called safe.

4.19        Intentionally throwing the bat in anger or frustration after your turn up to bat will result in an automatic out, upon umpire's discretion.

4.20        HALO RULE: If a pitching screen is not available, halo rule will be used in order to provide a safer environment to players.

4.21        FORFEITS: Forfeit time is game time. Umpire and/or staff calls game time. A forfeit win will be counted as a 7-0 win. If a team forfeits any pool play games after their first game, ALL games that team was scheduled for (including games previously played), will be recorded as a 7-0 loss.

4.22        RAINOUTS: If all teams have completed two pool play games at the time of a rainout (three games if playing five pool play games), the champion will be determined by record and run differential.  Should less than two games be completed by all teams (three games if playing five pool play games), a makeup date may be scheduled to replay or finish the tournament.

4.23        ONE PITCH TOURNAMENT:  Each batter gets only one pitch to put the ball into play. If the pitch is a strike and the player does not swing or misses, they are out. If the pitch is a ball and the player does not swing, They walk. If the player hits a foul ball they are out. Games will be 35 minutes. Home team may finish the inning for run differential.  

All other rules will remain the same.        



Pitching mat:


Pitching- “strike mat” will be used to determine balls and strikes. If the softball touches any part of the mat on a legal pitch (6’-10’ arc), it will be considered a strike.


During play- A second home plate(SHP) will be added. The SHP will be adjacent to the 3rd base side of the original home plate.


ALL plays at home will be considered a force play.


Defensive players can only touch the original home plate/ mat (the whole mat will count).

Runners must touch the SHP.

If a runner touches the original home plate, they will be deemed out. If the defender tags the runner instead of stepping on the mat the runner will be deemed safe.


Running to home

A commitment line between 3rd and home (~20 feet from home) once a runner passes the line, they must continue to the SHP if they turn around they will be called out (unless runner is returning to tag up). Runners may not slide into the second home plate. If they slide, they will be called out.

5.        PLAYOFFS

        5.1        See Tournament Details Sheet

5.2        Playoff time: There will be extra innings during tournament playoff games (NOT pool play) where play ends in a tie. Extra innings will start with a runner on second base (base runner is the one who made the last out in the previous inning). CHAMPIONSHIP GAME will be 50 minutes with a maximum of 7 innings (same as all tournament games).

5.3        Players eligible to play in PLAYOFF games must have signed the team roster and played in at least one pool play game.

5.4        Playoffs are single elimination with seeding based on division standings.

5.5        PLAYOFF SEEDING will be determined by (1) winning percentage, (2) run differential, (3) most runs scored (4) coin flip


No jewelry can be worn during the games (for safety of all players)

No alcohol is allowed on the fields or in the dugouts

All teams are responsible for their own trash

Club Sport reserves the right to adjust and/or insert rules due to game day time restrictions or to ensure fair play.

Most importantly, HAVE FUN!

If you are having difficulty interpreting the rules, please ASK! If a rule is not stated above, please refer to USA Softball Rules.