NYC Softball League Rules

04 Apr 2014

NYC Softball League Rules  


PLAYER ELIGIBILITY AND ROSTER: The Team/Individual Registration Form must be properly filled out and Individual Waivers signed by all players and submitted prior to playing their first game. Any player who does not sign an Individual Waiver before their first (1st) game will be considered an illegal player. No one can play without signing an Individual Waiver Form. Final Team Roster: A team fee covers up to 16 players. There is no cap on rosters, but a huge roster will obviously cut into playing time.


INCLEMENT WEATHER: In the event of bad weather we will attempt to notify teams as soon as possible to delays or cancellations. However, we won’t make decisions on field conditions until we get word from the NYC Parks Dept. or have inspected the fields personally. Teams are required to be present at the playing fields and will be subject to forfeiture, regardless of the playing conditions at game starting time. In other words, assume games are on as scheduled until you hear otherwise from the league.


TEAM UNIFORMS: Team shirts/jerseys should be worn when available. Sneakers or any other rubber shoes must be worn, no metal spikes.


GAME BALLS STANDARD: The F12 clincher will be used in all league games. Home team is responsible for bringing a new game ball in designated leagues. At parks where homerun balls are lost it is the responsibility of the team that hit the homerun to replace to the ball. Replacement balls do not have to be new balls. Both teams should make sure they have several practice/used balls on hand for each game.


OFFICIAL BAT - All bats should read “Official softball bat,” metal only, no wood bats. Use of an illegal bat will be issued a warning on first use, after that illegal bat use will result in an automatic out, continued use could result in ejection from the game.


PROTESTS: All protests shall be submitted in writing to the league manager no later than 48 hours after the incident.  Protest can only be registered on a rule interpretation, not on a judgment call by an official. Protests must be announced at the start of the game, or at the point of rule infraction.


GAME LENGTH: Regulation games are 6 innings. No new inning can start after 50 minutes of play.




‘Ready for Play’ - A team has at least 8 players ready to take the field for IMMEDIATE start of play.


A forfeited game shall be declared by the Home Plate Umpire if a team is not ‘ready for play’ after fifteen (15) minutes of the posted start time. If teams know that they are going to forfeit in advance they should contact the league as soon as possible. 


FORFEIT PROCEDURE FOR TIME SENSITIVE LEAGUES - Teams must be ‘ready to play’ at the scheduled game time or no later than 5 minutes after the completion of the prior game. If a team is not ready for play 5 minutes after the scheduled game time (or 5 minutes after the completion of the prior game) the game will be shortened to 5 innings and the team that was ready for play has the option to take a 4-0 lead at the start of play. Forfeit time remains 15 minutes after start time. 


CONDUCT RULES: The League Office will not tolerate any abuse of a opposing players/umpires/other league staff. This includes verbal, physical or any other acts of intimidation. Anyone violating this rule in a gross manner as deemed by the umpire is subject to ejection and anyone deemed to be a major or repeat violator will be subject to suspension for multiple games or the entire season by the League Commissioner.


If a player is ejected from the game they must leave the field of play. Any player that fails to do so in a timely manner is subject to additional suspensions and the team is subject to forfeiture of the game.   


Any player who strikes at or spits on an umpire will be suspended for the balance of the season and permanently expelled from the league.


GROUND RULES: The umpire will determine the ground rules prior to the start of the game. Our league plays at multiple fields all over NYC. We will try to have grounds rules that are as uniform as possible, but each field is different and ground rules will be laid out for each playing field. Ground rules might also include HR limits at certain parks, those issues will be addressed in league emails prior to the season and by the umpire at the field.




A regulation pitch will be a slow pitch arc between 4-10 feet in height. The pitch must have a visible arc. Any pitch that has too flat an arc or is too fast will be declared a NO PITCH by the official and ruled a ball.


The strike zone is from the batters front shoulder to the back knee and can be up to a softball’s width on either side of home plate at the point the pitch crosses the plate.  




Each batter starts with a 1 and 1 count (1 ball and 1 strike).


Courteous Foul Rule - A batter with 2 strikes will be given 1 courteous foul, the next foul is an out.

No bunting or stealing will be permitted.


Base runnings can lead off on the release of the pitch. Base runner leaving before the release will be given a reminder, repeat offenders will be called out.


After a ball is put in play by a batter, the play is stopped when the ball is in possession of a defensive player in the infield, unless baserunners are already in motion to the next base before the ball has reached the infield. The runners advances at their own risk and can still be tagged out. If the fielder holds the ball and doesn’t attempt a throw, the base runner in motion may only advance to the next base, at which point the umpire will call time, stopping the play.


Infield fly rule is in effect if there are less than 2 outs and runners are on first and second.


Pick off attempts can only come from the catcher. No tag on a runner is required on a pickoff attempt, it is a force out. In the event of an over throw on a pickoff attempt, the runner may advance at his/her own risk. However, he/she must first re-tag original base.


If a player is injured after the start of a game and if, in the judgment of the umpire, the injured player is unable to continue and there is no available replacement for the injured player, team may continue to play without player. No automatic out will be declared during his/her succeeding turns at bat. However, once removed, the injured player cannot return to the game.


THREE (3) WOMEN ARE TO BE IN GAME AND BATTING ROTATION AT ALL TIMES (Co-Ed Leagues Only). This requirement is two women for weeknight coed leagues. 


You must bat at least one woman within the first 4 batters in your lineup. There are no other regulation on where women are placed in the lineup.


If a man batting in front of a woman draws a 3 pitch walk (3 straight balls, as each batter starts with a 1 ball count) that batter is awarded 2nd base. 


A team may elect to play with three (3) outfielders and five (5) infielders. A team that has been playing with four (4) outfielders, or three (3) outfielders and a “short-fielder” may not move any of these players within 10 feet of the infield when a woman comes up to bat.  Violation of the letter and spirit of this rule shall result in the woman batter being awarded first base or result of the play.


Any player arriving after the start of play must be placed behind any batter that has already taken an at bat. If the entire line up has already batted, the player must be placed at the end of the line up.




You can have up to 10 players in the field at one time. All players bat. Each batter must play at least 1 inning in the field.




1. All Players present must be in the batting order and bat in that order each time through the lineup.


2. If you don't have three women present, this is our policy:


0 Women - You take TWO automatic outs, one at the end of the line up, the second out can be placed at the end or anywhere in the line up but must stay in the same order throughout the game. You may play SEVEN in the field and one male player is required to play catcher. You must still have 8 players to start. 


1 Woman - You take TWO automatic outs, one at the end of the line up, the second out can be placed at the end or anywhere in the line up but must stay in the same order throughout the game. You may play EIGHT in the field and one male player is required to play catcher.


2 Women - You take ONE automatic outs at the end of your lineup. You may play NINE in the field and one male player is required to play catcher


For weeknight coed leagues - 


1 Woman - You take ONE automatic outs at the end of your lineup. You may play NINE in the field and one male player is required to play catcher


0 Women - You take TWO automatic outs, one at the end of the line up, the second out can be placed at the end or anywhere in the line up but must stay in the same order throughout the game. You may play EIGHT in the field and one male player is required to play catcher. 





TAGGING UP: After lead, if the ball beats the runner to the base, you are out. Base runners may advance at their own risk from any base, provided they tag up first.


THROWN/HIT BALLS OUT OF PLAY: Balls hit or thrown out of play according to ground rules are dead balls. On dead balls runners will advance one additional base past the last base possessed.


CHOPPING: Not Allowed. If ruled intentional by the umpire the batter will be ruled out.


MERCY RULE: If a team is winning by 15 or more runs at the end of the 4th inning, the game ends. The same happens if a team is winning by 10 or more runs by the end of the 5th inning.


BATTERS may not attempt to reach 1st on a dropped third strike


PINCH RUNNERS are not allowed except in case of injury.


NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES OR DRUGS: No warning - Player or players ejected from game.


OFFICIAL GAME:  A game is deemed official after 3-1/2 innings or four (4) if the home team is behind.


FORFEIT SCORE (5-0). This is if a team does not have at least 8 players by the start of the first half inning that they take the field.


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