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Softball Rules



                Teams must have at least 10 full time players paid on the team, including at least 3 girls.  Teams may have up to 15 full time players on a roster.  Any player arriving late to a game, must be at the field by the end of the 4th inning to be eligible to play.


                A team may use substitute players in any given week to help fill out a line up.  Each substitute must sign the waiver before playing.  Subs must play at least one week in the regular season to be eligible to play in the playoffs.

Shortage of Girls

                Each team must have at least 3 girls on their full time roster.  Each week, a team must have 3 girls playing and in the batting line up to field a complete team.  A team may play short girls, but must have at least two (2) girls each week to be eligible to play.  Any team playing with only two (2) girls for a game will start the game down 4-0.  The team will also play short 1 fielder until a 3rd girl arrives, if running late.  It does not matter what position the girls play in the field.

Game Setup


                The Bases are 70 feet apart.  The Pitching Mound is 50-55 feet from home plate.  Games may be played in inclement weather.  Field conditions will determine ability to play. 

Ground Rules

                Ground rules will be determined at each field before the games begin.

Home Run Rule

                The home run rule will be determined based on the field where the game is playing.  If the home run rule is in effect for that field, it will be the following.  Teams will be able to have two (2) home runs each per game.  After each team reaches their home run limit, it will become a one (1) and one (1) situation.  Each team will be allowed only one (1) home run until the other team hits a home run.  In all cases, if a team is out of home runs, each one hit will become an out. (Example - Both Team A and Team B have each hit two home runs.  Team A hits another home run.  Every home run hit by Team A from this point on will be an out until after Team B hits their next home run.)


                Lehigh Valley Sports Leagues will supply bases, pitching mound, and game balls for all games.  Players must have their own gloves. 


                Lehigh Valley Sports Leagues will supply at least one (1) approved bat.  Players may bring their own bats.  Bats must be ASA certified with the 2004 or 2013 stamp and not on the Non-Approved Bat list.  To view the list of Non-Approved Bats, you may go to the website using this address -  http://usa.asasoftball.com/e/build_batlist_one_page.asp

Game Play


                Each regular season game will be 7 innings or one (1) hour, whichever comes first.  Postseason games will be played the entire 7 innings.  It is the responsibility of all teams to arrive earlier than their scheduled game time and be warmed up and ready to play.  A game is official after five (5) innings, or 4 Ã???Ã??Ã?½ if the home team is winning.  A 15-run mercy rule will be in effect for all games after four (4) innings, or 3 Ã???Ã??Ã?½ if the home team is winning.  A regular season game may end in a tie, however, all postseason games will be played until a winner is determined.

Extra Innings

                In a playoff game where teams are tied after 7 innings and need to go into extra innings.  For the start of each inning from the 8th inning on, each team will start with the last batted out from the previous inning at 2nd base.

Start of Game

                A player from each team will play Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who the home team is and who the away team is. 


                Lehigh Valley Sports Leagues will supply an umpire for each game.  They will be responsible for all calls - balls, strikes, fouls, safe, out.  There are no arguing calls with the umpire.  The umpire will have full authority to eject any player for flagrant or intentional acts that are harmful to another player.



                The count will begin with one (1) ball and one (1) strike.  A pitch that lands on the plate, mat, or black edges of the plate is a strike.  If the pitch misses, it is a ball.  If the pitch is outside of the mandatory arc (6ft-12ft) it will be an illegal ball and count as a ball.  Any batter that swings at an illegal ball will be considered a live ball.  All foul balls will count as a strike.  Any pitch hit foul with two (2) strikes will result in a strikeout.  A hit ball that strikes a runner in foul territory will be called foul.


                There are only two (2) walks allowed per inning.  A pitcher may intentionally walk a batter by letting the umpire know of their intentions.  The batter will automatically be granted first base.  There are no intentional walks after the 2 walks have already been issued.  If a team walks a male player with a female player on deck, the female player will have choice to either bat or advance automatically to first base.  This will still apply even if the male walking is the second walk of an inning.


                Only female batters are allowed to bunt.  There are no fake bunts.  Once a player shows bunt, she must either bunt or take the pitch.


                Each team must have a line-up prepared before the game.  All players that play in the field must be in the lineup.  The batting lineup may not have more than 7 guys batting in a row.  A team may bat as many players as they wish.  Lehigh Valley Sports Leagues will supply a scorebook for all teams for the season.  Players arriving late will be moved to the bottom of the order if the batting order has already passed by their slot before they arrive.

**Players may not throw bats.  First occurrence will result in a team warning.  Each occurrence after will result in the batter being called out.


                All pitches must be underhand.  The arc of the pitch must be between 6ft-12ft.


                Runners starting from a base must not leave the base until the ball has been hit.  A team will receive one (1) warning, and then each occurrence after will result in an out.

New Home Plate Rule Starting 2019

Starting in 2019, there will be a commit line half way down the third base line with a safety bag off to the side of home plate.  All runners will run to the safety bag when coming home.  Once a runner passes the commit line any play at home automatically becomes a force out.  The defensive player must have possession of the ball and touch the plate.  Once a runner passes the commit line, the defender must go to home plate to make the play and may not tag the runner.  Conversely, the runner must go to the safety bag after crossing the commit line and may not go back to third base or go to home plate.  A runner doing either will be automatically out.


                Runners may slide into the bases, including home plate, if they wish.  They must slide into the base as safely as possible.  Any runner that chooses not to slide must get out of the fielder's way as soon as possible once it is clear they are out.  Any slide or collision that intentionally endangers a fielder will not be tolerated.  The first time a warning will be issued.  Any occurrence after will result in an out.

Pinch Running

                A team may use a pinch runner in case of an injury.  The pinch runner must be the last person out of the same gender.  All players that will need a pinch runner must be announced before the start of the game unless the injury occurs during the game.  All announced players before the start of the game that will use a pinch runner must stop at first base on a hit.  Any player asking for a pinch runner before the game that does not stop at first base will forfeit the ability for a pinch runner during that at bat.


Base Paths

                Fielders must stay out of the base paths unless actively fielding the ball or making a play.  Any fielder interfering with a runner on the base paths unless making a play, will result in the runner being automatically safe at the base.


                The fielder must never block the bases.  They may stand behind, straddle, or next to the base, but must give the runner a clear path to the base.  The catcher must stand in front of home plate and not block the path of the runner to home plate.  Any fielder (including the catcher) that is deemed blocking the base (plate) will result in a fielder interference call and the base runner will automatically be safe at that base (plate).

First Base

                There will be two (2) bases at first.  The outside bag is a safety bag.  On a hit ball with a play to first base, the runner must go to the outside bag.  The inside bag is for the fielder.  If the runner goes to the inside bag, they will automatically called out.  The first baseman may not cross the baseline unless the ball is obviously destined to cross over on a wild throw.  A hit ball going down the first base line will be fair if it crosses over the inside bag and foul if it crosses over the outside bag.

***NEW RULE***  A girl player that hits the ball into the outfield may not be thrown out by the outfielder while running to first base.

Infield Fly

                The infield fly rule will be in effect for all games.  An infield fly will be called whenever there are runners on first and second or bases loaded with less than two (2) outs.  If the ball travels foul after being called an infield fly, the infield fly rule will no longer apply.


                On any overthrow that lands out of play, the runner will get the base they are headed to plus one (1) base.  It will be based on where the runner was at the time of the release of the throw. (Example 1 - A runner is headed towards 2nd base when an outfielder throws the ball back to the field.  The runner rounds 2nd base and then the ball lands out of play.  The runner will be awarded 2nd and 3rd base since they were headed to second when the ball was released on the throw. Example 2 - A runner on 1st and a fly ball hit to the outfield.  After the catch is made, if a runner is heading back to or standing on 1st base at the time of the throw, they will only be awarded 2nd base if the thrown ball goes out of play).


                Players may only make one position substitution during an inning unless a pitching change occurs.

**Any rule not specifically stated above will follow general USA Softball Slow-pitch rules.

Sportsmanship -

                *Sportsmanship to be determined at the discretion of the league official or Lehigh Valley Sports Leagues Representative on site.

  1. All players on all teams MUST adhere to good sportsmanship.
  2. There will be escalating penalties for any player/team not using good sportsmanship.
    1. First offense - asked to sit out for a few plays
    2. Second (2) time being removed from a game, player will be finished for the game.
    3. Any player ejected from the game/match, will be ineligible to play the following week. (In days where more than (1) game is played by a team, player will have to sit for game immediately following ejection).
    4. Any player ejected twice (2) in a single season will be removed from the league and no longer eligible to play for the rest of the season.
    5. Any player ejected in multiple leagues may be ruled no longer welcome in Lehigh Valley Sports Leagues.
  3. Lehigh Valley Sports Leagues will keep a running log of any incident that occurs.

Forfeits -


Bar Tab Contest -

                Each season, Lehigh Valley Sports Leagues will run a bar tab contest for the teams (with agreement with sponsor).  The team that supports the Bar Sponsor the best will win a gift card to the Bar Sponsor at the end of the season.  The amount of the gift card will be %15 of their total receipts turned in through the first week of the playoffs.  The final percentage amount will be rounded up to the nearest $5. 

Alcohol/Miscellaneous -

                Lehigh Valley Sports Leagues supports and follows all rules at venues where games are played.  There are NO GLASS CONTAINERS allowed at any venue which allows for the consumption of alcohol.  Teams are expected to clean up after themselves each week and throw out any garbage.

Venues Locations -

                Lehigh Valley Sports Leagues will make every attempt to maintain dates, times, and locations of all games in a given league.  There may be events outside of Lehigh Valley Sports Leagues control that will affect the league scheduling and result in a change in date, time, location, and number of games played in a given week.

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