LEAGUE RULES AND BY-LAWS
REVISED December 1, 2011
1) Name and Purpose
This organization shall be known as the INTER-CHURCH SLOW PITCH SOFTBALL LEAGUE. The Inter-Church Slow Pitch Softball League shall be sanctioned with the National Softball Association through its local area. The league is for Protestant churches of like faith to have fun and fellowship among their members and to be used as a ministry to reach out to others. Because of this, a Christian and sober behavior will be in effect at all times. Any infractions will be brought to the Executive Committee for further action, including possible expulsion from the league. A coach should keep a copy of these by-laws with them at the field.
The management of the league shall be invested in the Commissioner, the League Director and the Executive Committee. The Commissioner and League Director will choose an Executive Committee of five members. The Commissioner and League Director are ex-officio members of the Executive Committee, with the Commissioner only voting to break a tie. The Executive Committee will help assist the Commissioner and League Director in the running of the league. Committee members will serve for a term of two years with three members being replaced one year and two members the next year etc. A member can serve for a third year if no one can be found who is willing to serve.
3) League Funds
An account shall be opened in the name of the league, in which the forfeit fees from each team will be deposited. The forfeit fee is $44.00, the cost of two umpires. This fee will be returned if a team drops from the league and it has not been used to pay for a forfeit.
Schedules will be handed out two weeks before the start of the season. The team captains are responsible for making sure that their team is at the right diamond at the right time. All scheduled games will start promptly. There is a fifteen-minute grace period for the first game only. If you don’t have a legal line-up by the required time, you will forfeit the game. Forfeit time for the second game is the starting time. No grace period.
More then two weeks of inclement weather will result in games not being rescheduled.
Team captains are responsible for checking the league website on a regular basis for any schedule changes. Fields and dates may change on a week to week basis due to field availability. Team captains may give an e-mail address to the scheduler and will receive an e-mail notification concerning any schedule changes. The scheduler’s e-mail address is email@example.com
5) League Membership
Eligible players must either be at least 14 years old in calendar year or have attended high school in calendar year. There shall be no restriction gender. Each team member must have attended church twice that calendar year.
Rosters shall be submitted to the league director no later than two weeks before the start of the season. There is no limit to the number of players on a roster. No player may be on more than one roster. Players may be added to rosters throughout the season. Additional players are eligible to play 24 hours after submission. If a game is scheduled with less than one week's notice, a player not on a roster may play in the game assuming the player is properly added to the roster within 48 hours from the completion of the game. Additionall players added to roster can be sent via e-mail to David Henry (firstname.lastname@example.org) provided the e-mail comes from the pastor of the church.
6) The Game
The winning team has the responsibility of notifying the Commissioner of their win by 10 P.M. of the date the game is played. Failure to do so will result in a forfeiture of that game. Both teams will call in case of a tie. Notification can be made by phone or e-mail (email@example.com)
A game will consist of seven innings. Five innings constitutes a legal game unless one hour has been played at which point the game is legal. Also, a fifteen run mercy rule is in effect after five innings of play.
A team shall consist of a maximum of ten fielders and a minimum of nine fielders. If a team has only eight players, the other team shall provide a catcher. The catcher's duties shall be limited to returning pitches to the pitcher and the catcher shall not be involved in play once the ball is batted.
A legal lineup consists of a maximum of sixteen batters and a minimum of nine batters. If a team has less than nine players present at the start of the game, the vacant players shall bat at the end of the order such that the lineup consists of nine players. Vacant players may be replaced by late arriving players. Vacant players shall be recorded as outs when it is their turn to bat.
The home team will provide a new regulation ASA approved 44 core, 375 compression slow pitch softball and the visitors will provide a good clean usable ball.
Each team is provided with a scorebook at the beginning of the season and should maintain it to the best of their ability.
The pitcher will use a six to twelve foot arc from the ground.
The wearing of a catcher’s mask and plastic spikes is optional. Metal cleats are banned.
The fifteen run mercy rule will be used after a legal game and one hour of play in regular season play only.
The ASA substitution rule will be used.
Starting Count on the batters will be 1-1. Batters will begin their turn at bat with 1 strike and 1 ball automatically. The purpose of this is to speed up play and allow for more innings to be played within the time limit.
A foul ball hit as a third strike will be called “no strike” as a courtesy. A fourth is an out.
If you have to start the game with nine players and the tenth player shows up late, that player can go into the game even if you have gone through the lineup, but he must go into the tenth spot in the order.
In each game you are only allowed two intentional walks per player and four intentional walks per team.
In the event of an injury, a courtesy runner may be used. The courtesy runner shall be the player on the bench who was most recently recorded as an out. If no out has been recorded in that inning, then the courtesy runner is the last out of the previous inning. If the courtesy runner is still on base when it is the runner's turn to bat, they shall be replaced on the base path by the player on bench who was most recently recorded as an out.
A coach shall notify an opposing coach of the need for courtesy runners before the game starts. An exemption is allowed when an injury arises from a game situation.
The runner is out when he is struck with a fair untouched batted ball while not in contact with a base.
You can have up to six EPs (extra players) in your lineup.
Protests must be made in writing and e-mailed to the League Director within two days of the game.
(For the C division only) The three outfielder position players must stand a minimum of 100 feet behind the infield dirt until the batter makes contact with the ball. The tenth player in the field (rover) may still play anywhere he wants and is not bound by the minimum distance rule. It is the responsibility of the home team to provide three small cones or markers in the outfield to designate the distance needed. Two markers will be on the foul lines behind first and third base and the third marker will be placed in center field collinear with 2nd base, home plate and the pitcher’s mound. If a fielder is inside the 100 ft. boundary before the ball is hit, then the batter will be awarded first base and any runners on base will be advanced one base.
A runner who fails to make a reasonable attempt to avoid a collision with a defensive player shall be called out. Any other runner advancing on the play shall be required to return to the last base visited. In the event that an umpire determines that a collision was flagrant (i.e., attempting to bowl over the catcher when it is clear that he has the ball and is waiting to apply the tag...), he has the authority to eject the offending player from the game.
The runner must avoid contact, even if the fielder is improperly blocking the base path. Because the runner can see the path in front of him and the fielder must concentrate on the ball, the runner bears greater responsibility to avoid contact.
Inversely fielders may not block a base unless they are immediately making a play on a batted or thrown ball in that area. Catchers should station themselves in the cutout in front of the plate, not down the third base line. The runner has the right to the base path, unless a fielder is in the process of making a play. A runner whose path to the base is illegally blocked, shall be awarded that base. A fielder who initiates contact by illegally blocking the base path or applies an excessively violent tag, may be ejected, just like the runner.
7) Position Standings
Wins and losses will determine position. In the event of a tie, the wins and losses among the teams involved will determine the positions. If a tie still exists, a coin flip will determine position. If, however, the tie determines playoff eligibility then a third game will be played among the teams. Tied games will count as a half point in the standings.
A team member must play one third of the scheduled games to participate in the play-offs. Each team will keep a scorebook and retain each games line-up in case the League Director requires them.
All playoff games will go seven innings regardless of the score. The game will be continued where it left off if it is called for darkness or rain.
Good sportsmanship will be in practice at all times.
There will be no swearing on or around the ball field. Anyone caught doing so will be ejected from the game. There will be no warnings. Coaches are expected to set a clear example for their teams in this regard. If a coach is found to be insubordinate or disorderly then the coach will meet with the executive committee and will face disciplinary action.
There is no drinking of alcohol or smoking of tobacco products on or near the fields.
Only TEAM COACH will bring up any disagreements to the umpire. All other players are expected to accept umpires’ call as is. A team captain should only question a call for clarity purposes.
All infractions must be brought to the League Directors attention within forty-eight hours of the infraction. The Executive Committee will then meet (possibly by e-mail) to take immediate action if necessary.
For example but not limited to:
POOR SPORTSMANSHIP – suspension for the next two games for the offending player.
ILLEGAL PLAYER – forfeiture of any and all games in which the illegal player played.