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Yeshiva Softball League

Rules

Updated: February 28, 2020

General Rules

The rules of Major League Baseball will apply to this league unless otherwise indicated herein.

Team Roster

A. Every team must submit a roster to the league, of at least 14 players.

B. The roster may be changed between games, submitted to the league in writing.

C. Once a player has been on a teams roster for the team’s third game or beyond, the player may not be included on the roster of any other team.

D. No person may participate in any league-related activity without full insurance coverage, and without signing and agreeing to the league roster/waiver form and all league rules and guidelines. Any person participating in any league-related activity assumes full responsibility and risk for all consequences of participation.

Line-Up, Fielding and Substitutions

Summary:

The line-ups and substitutions rules of the league allow all players to actually play (rather than “ride the bench”).

All players can be in the batting order, nine field at any time, and there are free defensive substitutions.    See below for details.

Batting

At least 9 players must be in the line-up at all times.

A maximum of 14 players may be in the line up.

A player may be added to the line-up, by informing the umpire, (e.g. if they arrived late, or for any reason). They are added at the bottom of the line-up (spot #10, 11, etc.).

A player may be removed from the line-up by informing the umpire - so long as at least 9 remain in the line-up.

Once a player is removed from the line-up, he may not return to the game, either as a batter or fielder. (However, as long as he remains in the line-up, he may either field or not, and there are free defensive substitutions - see below.)

Removing a player while at bat or while on base:

If a player is removed from the line-up while he is at bat (due to injury or any other reason), the batting order will proceed, with the next batter taking the place (and the balls+strikes count,) of the removed batter.

If a player on base is removed, due to injury or any other reason, the closest player above him in the lineup who is not on base will serve as a pinch runner for him. In such a case, the removed player is removed from the line-up (i.e. cannot return), but the rest of the line-up remains the same (i.e. the pinch runner remains in the same spot in the line-up).

Fielding 

9 players play in the field.

These 9 players must be among those in the current line-up.

There are free defensive substitutions between plays. The umpire will be informed prior to any such change.

(Note: if a player is added to the line-up, while the team is fielding, he is immediately eligible to come into the game to field.)

Duration of Game 

Teams must be ready to begin play precisely on time - see separate related rules below.

A. Games are 7 innings. If the game is tied after 7 innings, extra innings will commence.

B. The preceding notwithstanding, after one hour and five minutes of play, the inning underway will be completed and one more inning will be played, if seven innings have not yet been completed (or if the game is tied).

C. after an hour or more of play, besides in playoff games, the game will end if:

i. a team leads by 12 runs or more, and the opposing team has had their at-bats.

ii. a team leads by 15 runs or more, even if the opposing team has not had their at-bats.

D. ‘Delayed’ game: The umpire, at his own discretion, will decide if unusual circumstances warrant changing the game time duration.

E. ‘Postponed’ game: see below.

Field of Play and Ground Rules

A batted ball which goes behind or under any obstacle determined at the discretion of the umpire to be impeding the ball's retrieval, and which the nearest fielder signals that he declines to retrieve (by raising both arms in the air), is a double and all runners score.

Umpires will determine and specify if any field has a “short” field, etc., resulting in different ground rules.  

Equipment and Safety

Players must conduct themselves in a manner that is safe for themselves and for others, and are responsible to use appropriate protective equipment.

Metal cleats are not allowed.

Please read all rules carefully - many are there for your safety and the safety of others (e.g. bunting, ball out of play, “slide or avoid”, etc.).

Ball out of play

A. A fair ball touched or thrown by a fielder which goes out of play, or touched by a fielder after the fielder is already out of play, is a dead ball. Runners advance one base beyond the last base legally held at the time the ball goes out of play, with the following exceptions:

i. A batter who has not yet reached first base will advance to second base.

ii. Runners forced by the another runner’s advancement will, in turn, advance.

iii. A runner who touched a base but is returning toward the preceding base, will advance to the last base legally held.

B. A fly ball, touched by a fielder who is already out of play, is not an out.

C. A ball carried or intentionally thrown out of play by a fielder is a live ball.

 

Pitching

A. The entire pitching motion, from the set position until the release, must be carried out with one foot on the rubber.

B. “Windmill” (bringing the ball around) pitches are not allowed.

C. On an illegal pitch, the umpire will call "illegal". This call should be made as soon as possible, but like any call may be made at any point before the next legal pitch. 

D. An illegal pitch is a ball even if the batter swings, except if the batter and all forced runners safely reach the base to which they are forced, or further bases. In this case, the play will stand, regardless of the outcome.  

E. A fake pitch, with runners on base, is a balk - all runners advance one base.

Leading and Stealing

  1. There is no leading. Runners may only run after the ball has made contact with the bat. A runner who leads is out. The umpire should call him out as soon as practicable, but any pitch or play in progress is still live.

Application of Misc. MLB rules

Tagging up - Runners may tag up from any base.

Bunting - Bunting is not legal. Do not bunt. For safety reasons, a bunt as well as a fake bunt are a dead ball, and the batter is out.

(A check-swing or tip that results in a slow dribbler is not a bunt. A bunt is defined as intentionally placing the bat such that the ball meets it, or intentionally “levering” or swinging the bat such that the ball is not likely to leave the infield, rather than naturally swinging the bat. )

Infield Fly - The infield fly rule does not apply in this league. The ball is live, and all runners may advance at their own risk.

Dropped third strikes - A dropped third strike is an out.

Hit by pitch - A batter advances to first base for being “hit by pitch” only if, in the judgement of the umpire, he makes a complete effort to avoid being so hit.

Dislodged Base

If a base is clearly moved from its position during a play, a runner may occupy either the base or the point originally marked by the dislodged base.

Batting out of Turn

The defensive team may appeal "batting out of turn" at any time during an at-bat, and the umpire will instruct the batting team to have the proper batter (i.e. according to the line-up) finish the at-bat. Should the proper batter not then finish the at-bat, the umpire will call the proper batter out, and the line-up will continue with the player listed following the proper batter.

Note: As always, the batting team's actions may include making a legal substitution.

Interference

A. Runners must "slide or avoid". On a force play they need not slide, but so long as they have a direct unobstructed route available to the base, they must utilize it, and they they may not take any action whatsoever (whether in choosing a route to the base, or in the way they position their body) which causes or exacerbates contact with the fielder.

B. Defensive players are allowed to move/position themselves only such that any contact which they cause, and any full or partial obstruction of the base, is inherent to their attempt to field the ball or make a play.

C. The above notwithstanding, it is interference/obstruction when:

- a base coach physically assists a runner, or stands near a base thereby hindering or confusing the fielders.

 - a base runner deliberately interferes with a batted ball or with a fielder, with the obvious intent to break up a double play.

 - a player fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball, or intentionally makes contact with a thrown ball, or intentionally obstructs the path of a potential throw, or interferes (whether or not intentionally) with a throw or potential throw by running in fair territory from home to first base.

D. In any case of interference, the play will be ruled dead, and the outcome of the play ruled as it could worst reasonably and foreseeably have resulted for the offending team.  

Time Out

Players may request Time Out - the umpire will grant Time Out solely at his discretion, either by saying “Time”, raising his hand, turning his back to the play, or otherwise thus signalling.

“Home” and “Visiting” Teams

The team winning a coin toss will decide whether to bat last (“Home”) or first (“Away”), except in the playoffs, when the higher seeded team will decide.

Should the 'home' team (the team that batted last) trail by 7 runs or more at the end of any inning, they shall bat first in all ensuing innings.

Appeals and Protests

A. Any appeal to the umpire must be made before the next legal pitch.

B. Should an appeal be accepted, the umpire will decide how it should be implemented, including determining the baserunners’ positions, runs, outs, etc., which would most likely have been expected to result from the play.

C. Upon being informed of the umpire's decision, the appellant must resume play immediately. Further deliberation of the decision, prior to resuming play, is undertaken solely at the discretion of the umpire, and the umpire is the final arbiter of all decisions, with the exception of disciplinary matters.

Game Time

A. Teams must be prepared to begin the game precisely on time. A team that is not prepared to begin playing precisely on time will lose their half of the first inning (and the official game time will begin). A team that is not prepared to begin playing within 15 minutes of game time will forfeit the game.

B. The umpire may assess penalties for unnecessary delay of game or unsportsmanlike behavior, including strikes, balls, outs, bases on balls, fines, ejection, or forfeit.  

C. A team may begin playing even with fewer than 9 players, but must list 9 players in their lineup. See also "Batting out of Turn" - in other words, when they reach the “missing” player(s) in the line-up, they will be assessed outs. It is highly recommended that teams come with more than 9 players.

‘Postponed’ game

If a game is begun and then postponed, (i.e. the umpire announces that no further play is possible without re-scheduling the game - as opposed to only temporarily delayed), then:

i. if at least four full innings have been played, or if the top of the fourth has been completed and the Home team leads (i.e. they lead despite not having had their ‘last licks’), or if at least one hour of game time has elapsed, the game will be officially over. The score will revert to the end of the last completed inning, unless the top of an inning has been completed and the Home team leads, in which case the score will remain unchanged.

However, in the case of playoff games, the League Commissioner will endeavor, where practicable and deemed to be for the good of the game, to re-schedule the remainder of the game, and may schedule it to include at least 3 innings.

ii. if the fourth inning has not been completed (or the top of the fourth has been completed but the Home team does not lead), the game will not be over, and will be resumed from the point where they were postponed, including game situation (inning, score, bases occupied, outs, balls, strikes, etc.), and game time remaining. However, the League Commissioner will endeavor, where practicable and deemed to be for the good of the game, to re-schedule the remainder of the game to include at least 3 innings.

Rosters and line-ups, including specific identity of fielders, batter and baserunners, need not be resumed in postponed games.

STANDINGS TIE-BREAKERS:

For teams tied in the standings, seedings are determined as follows. Note: If at any point in the tie-breaker process a team or several teams are separated from others by virtue of a tie-breaking step, return the remaining group(s) of tied teams to step 1 in the process.

1. Head to head record, only if any team or group of teams have defeated, or been defeated by, all other tied teams.

2. Aggregate record of opponents defeated.

3. Aggregate record of all opponents.

4. Random method of choosing.

Conduct, Discipline and Procedure

A. The players of the Yeshiva Softball League are bnei Torah. Competition is spirited, and sportsmanlike - and the league rarely if ever has had to enforce punishments.

Should it be necessary, the league will enforce rules to promote appropriate behavior. Any unsportsmanlike conduct will subject the offender to possible ejection from the game, and regardless of whether and how the umpire ruled during the game, will subject the offending player and/or his team, individually and/or collectively, to disciplinary action, including but not limited to fine, suspension, expulsion, and forfeit of past, current, or future games, as deemed appropriate by the league commissioner’s office.

Should the umpire feel that a lesser punishment than ejection or forfeit is appropriate, he may instead enforce an out, strike, ball, base or run (on a specific player - whether on base, at bat, or for his next at bat - or on the team).

B. Procedural and logistical MLB rules, which have a clearly and regularly established differing precedent in this league, do not apply.

C. Where deemed appropriate, the Commissioner will make final decisions as regards situations which warrant other action for the good of the game or league.