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Softball - Men's
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        Men’s Softball Rules

(Revised 5/13/2021)


  1. BATS: Legal bats are as defined by ASA rules. Bats must have an ASA 2004 (or newer) stamp and not be on the banned bat list. Bats not following these rules may not be used for Club Sport play. This information can be found at More info can be found here too: Graphics/banned bats.pdf
  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 balls may be used for league play.
  2. GLOVES: Players may use any type of softball/baseball glove.  
  3. CLEATS: 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 cover half 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 must be behind the screen after releasing the ball until the ball is hit. Once the ball is hit, the pitcher may come from behind the screen to field the ball. IF the pitcher is not behind the screen until the ball is hit:
  1. The batter has the choice of the result of the play or taking first base.
  2. The pitcher will receive a warning.
  3. If it happens a second time, the pitcher is removed from that position for the remainder of the game. They may play any other position.
  1. 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.
  2. If the screen is hit with a thrown ball, it will be considered a live ball.
  3. The Halo Rule will not apply when a pitching screen is used.
  4. If a pitching screen is not available, the Halo Rule will be in effect, and a pitching mask will be mandatory (Not during COVID).

1.7        PITCHING MASKS: Pitching masks, face guards or pitching screens (when available) are highly suggested for all softball leagues.

 2.         PLAYER CONDUCT

2.1        APPEALED PLAYS:  In an appealed play, only the team captain may appeal the play and must notify the umpire       before the next pitch.

2.2        EJECTIONS:  Players ejected from any league may be required to serve a one game suspension pending league review (this may include a 2nd game of a night if a team has a doubleheader and is the call of TBCS field staff). Fighting, wrestling, or pushing will not be tolerated and may result in multi-game suspensions or ejection from the league altogether. Verbal abuse of officials or players, fighting, foul language, and continued rough play could result in player ejections.

2.3        FAKE TAGS AND VERBAL/PHYSICAL DISTRACTIONS: No 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.

2.4        THROWING BATS: Intentionally throwing the bat in anger or frustration after your turn up to bat will result in an automatic out for the batter and  the following batter and may result in player’s ejection, upon umpire's discretion.           2.5        PROFANITY: Profanity will not be tolerated and may be grounds for players being called out or ejected on the discretion of the umpire.

             2.6        CITY OF TAMPA does not allow amplified sound on its fields. This could lead to a warning or forfeiting of games.

3.          LINEUPS

3.1       BATTING LINEUPS: Lineups must be presented to the umpire before each game by game time.  Once the lineup cards have been submitted to the umpire, they become official and you may add players to the bottom only. All substitutions must be given to the umpire as being made. Women are allowed to play in men’s leagues.  No special coed rules will apply.

3.2        MINIMUM PLAYERS: A minimum of 6 players from the team's roster must be present at game time or the team will forfeit the game.  

3.3        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. Captains must notify umpire of any changes to line-up cards.

3.4        INJURED PLAYERS: If a player is injured during a game, captain must notify umpire to remove injured player from line-up card with no additional penalty.  An injured player that has been removed from line-up cannot return to the game.

3.5       PICKUP PLAYERS: Pickup players are NOT allowed during the playoffs. Any pickup players during the regular season must be signed on a TBCS roster for another team for that particular night/location.

3.51     Pickups must be brought to the attention of the umpire BEFORE the game or may be assessed a 4 run per pick-up player penalty.

3.5.2     Teams may pick up one player at no penalty in order to field up to 10 players. Any pickups in addition to this (still not going over 10 players) will result in a 2 run penalty per player. Pickup player penalty runs are added at the completion of the inning (teams may score 10 runs and THEN be awarded penalty runs).  

3.5.3      If more players from your team show up to allow subs, the free pickup player must be removed from the game. If you fail to report pickup players before they enter game and it is reported or caught before the end of the game it will become a 4 run penalty for EVERY PLAYER picked up (included what would have been a free one), so please remember to report your pickup players to the scoring umpire.

3.5.4     If illegal players are discovered during the game they will be immediately removed and the other team will have the option of taking a forfeit win, or collecting 4 runs per illegal player (players will still be removed from the game)

3.5.5        Players may not appear on more than 2 official rosters per league unless approved by the Club Sport office.

3.6       ROSTER CHECKS: Players have the right to ask for a roster check of the opposing team after the start of the game and before the end of the game.  These requests must be made with the coordinator during game play, and if it is found that the opposing team is playing with an “illegal player”  (i.e. not on that team’s roster or not signed) then staff reserves the right to remove the player and/or forfeit the game.  Club Sport staff decisions are final and roster checks may not be made by players once the game has finished.

3.7       FORFEITS: Forfeit time is game time. Coordinator along with umps calls game time. If a team forfeits twice within the season they may not be allowed to play in the playoffs. A forfeit will be counted as a 7-0 win.


4.1        3/2 SOFTBALL. We will be playing 3/2 softball, meaning each batter starts the count with 1 ball & 1 strike.

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

4.3        TIME LIMIT: Games are 55 minutes with a maximum of 7 innings. The inning in progress at the end of 55 minutes    will be the last inning and completed. (An inning starts once the third out of the previous inning is called.) NOTE: If the home team is batting with the lead, the score will be final at the time the game is called. The ump will enforce this rule and will keep teams informed of time remaining.  NOTE: due to differing circumstances in each and every game, some games will finish short on an hour in length, while others might run over the hour mark. Please respect your ump's call in this   matter, as they must keep all games on time in fairness to teams playing later hours and due to facility permit restrictions.                            4.4        Regular season games may end in a tie.

4.5        In the case of rain or other event, the league has the right to call a game as official if more than 30 minutes has elapsed. In this instance, the final score will be counted at the end of the last completed inning. Exception: if the home team ties or takes the lead in the bottom of an inning when a game is called, that incomplete inning WILL count.

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

4.7       NO DESIGNATED FIELDERS: Any player playing the field must bat at some point during the game and must be on the batting lineup card while in the field (may share a spot). 2 players sharing a spot in the batting line up MAY play the field at the same time regardless of who is in the batting line up at the time.

4.8       INTENTIONAL WALKS: Only one intentional walk may be given per game. No pitches have to be thrown. Attempts to walk a player by "intentionally" throwing unhittable pitches (as judged by umpire) will result in a walk with the next batter being given the option to hit or walk.

4.9       10 RUN RULE:. When a team brings in the 10th run of the inning, it is counted and is also the 3rd out. The 10 run rule is not in effect in the last 10 minutes of the game unless the team batting is up 20 or more runs. (This DOES NOT apply during playoffs, see below).

4.10      FOUL BALLS: Once the batter has 2 strikes, they are allowed one courtesy foul. 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.

4.11     RUNNERS: Stealing bases and "leading" is not allowed (will result in an out).

4.11.1     SLIDING IS PERMITTED.  If the ball beats a runner to a forced out base in time to peel off, the runner must do so or both runners may be called out.

4.12      HOME RUNS. Each team may hit a total of 3 out of the park home runs, every home run after that will be an out (including any homeruns that would result in a team going over 10 runs/inning). If both teams reach the 3 home run limit, each team will be allowed to hit 2 more, beginning with the visiting team's next batter.  Each team is responsible for retrieving their home run balls (and foul balls), umpires are given the right to call balls and strikes on the offending teams if balls are not brought back into play on a timely manner causing a delay in the game.

. On an over the fence home run,  base runners and batter do not need to advance any bases.

4.13      ORANGE BAG: While running to first base if there is a possible play at first (e.g. ball is still in the infield) the runner must touch the orange (outside bag) or will be called out by the umpire (defense must touch only the white bag). Once the runner has touched the orange bag the entire bag is considered ONE bag for both offense and defense and can be used for the runner to stand on or tag up, as well as the defense to tag the bag on runners returning to first base.

4.14     HALO RULE: If a pitching screen is not available, halo rule will be used in order to provide a safer environment to players. If a batter hits a ball sharply through the pitching “halo”) the umpire will signal a dead ball out (pitchers may not attempt to convert a double play as it is an immediate dead ball out). 

4.14.1 The halo is designated by a chalk line, or if lines do not exist, then extending 2 feet beyond the pitching rubber on both sides, and one foot above the pitcher’s head, regardless if the pitcher is in this area).

4.14.2  If the same batter hits through the “halo” later in the game they may be subject to ejection (and possible suspension).  

4.14.3  Arguing of this rule by either side will not be tolerated as this is a judgment call by the umpire and excessive arguing is grounds for player ejection.

4.15     POSITION OF FIELDERS: A defensive player may not impede a runner’s progress by standing in the baseline, unless the defensive player is fielding a batted ball. In this instance the defensive player has the right to field it and the runner must avoid contact with the fielder.  A defensive player may not block a base unless they have possession of the ball. Defensive players must catch the ball, block the base, then make the tag- in this order. Blocking of the bag without the ball shall result in an obstruction call, a warning to the offending player, and the runner will be awarded the base. In games where an orange "extra base" is being used at first base players must step on the orange 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.


5.1       SEEDING: Tournament seeding will be based on the following criteria (based on won-lost percentage where applicable): 1) winning percentage, 2) head-to-head play with two teams tied (if 3 or more teams are tied then it will go to the next tiebreaker), 3)  overall run differential 4) most runs scored  5) coin flip

5.2       EXTRA INNINGS: There will be extra innings during tournament games 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).

5.3        UNLIMITED RUNS: There is no 10 run per inning rule.  A team may score an unlimited number of runs per inning.

5.4        MERCY RULE: There is a 10 run mercy rule after 5 innings.

5.5        TIMED GAMES: All games (including Finals) will be 55 minutes in length (or 7 innings).  Games are still subject to rainout rule.

5.6        ELIGIBLE PLAYERS: All players, including added players, must sign the roster waiver BEFORE the final game of the season in order to be eligible to play in the tournament. If a player is not signed in on the roster by then, they are not eligible for the tournament. Playing with ineligible players may result in a forfeit. This call will be made by TBCS staff.  It is the responsibility of the team captains to make sure all players in their line-up card are eligible players for all games.


6.1      If you have NOT paid the team price, Club Sport has the right to add to your team until you reach the advertised maximum number of players. If you wish to have less you may buy extra roster spots. If you wish to have more you may as long as players have not been added. If you have made a team payment, you can have up to 14 players on your team roster. Any additions above this number must pay $10 BEFORE playing or the team may forfeit their game. Teams registering individually will pay a prorated amount depending on when the player signs on. Players that have already signed the roster may not be replaced: once they have signed, they are locked into that roster spot for the entire season.  Any team that has registered as individuals must get permission from TBCS office staff to add more than the roster maximum..

6.2     REFUNDS: TBCS is not responsible for any refunds at any time during the season. Only players that have not signed the roster may be replaced and it is the responsibility of the player to make compensation arrangements with the team or player if replaced after the start of the season.


If you are having difficulty interpreting the rules, please ASK!

If a rule is not stated above, please refer to USA Softball Rules.