FAQs

http://Softball Policies and Procedures

Home Fields

Damascus Elementary School: 10201 Bethesda Church Rd, Damascus, MD 20872

Ridge Road Recreational Park, Field #2: 21155 Frederick Rd, Germantown, MD 20876

Clearspring Elementary School: 9930 Moyer Rd, Damascus, MD 20872

Damascus High School: 25921 Ridge Rd, Damascus, MD 20872

Recreation Softball - Fastpitch Rules

The recreation league follows National Federation of State High School Associations Rules for Fastpitch Softball with some modifications.  The modifications are intended to address the developmental aspects of the younger leagues, ensure player safety and facilitate the equitable participation of all players.

These rules will be used at all games. Please do not deviate from these rules and/or have any discussion and mutual agreement at the plate meeting before the game with the umpire.

  • The home team should provide 2 game balls for each game.

 

GENERAL INFORMATION

 

8U

10U

13U

Ages

Girls in

1st – 3rd Grade

Girls in

4th – 5th Grade

Girls in

6th – 8th Grade

Size of Ball

11”

11”

12”

Distance for Bases

55’

60’

60’

Distance to Pitcher

35’

35’

40’

Length of Game1

Complete 6 innings or 120 minutes

Complete 6 innings or 120 minutes

Complete 7 innings or 120 minutes

 

  1. Length of Game – All Divisions

    • The last inning is the inning whose top half begins 90 minutes after the scheduled start time of a game. All games will have a 120 minute maximum limit.  

    • If a batter is up at the time limit, the batter will get to finish her at bat.

    • If the last inning cannot be completed, the score will revert back to the end of the previous complete inning.

    • The time limit begins from the start time of the game declared by the umpire.  


 

*************************************************************************************************************

 

UMPIRES/GAME INFO

 

8U

10U

13U

Umpires2

Offensive and Defensive Coaches

Provided by home field

Provided by home field

Field Coaches

1st and 3rd base coaches, two defensive coaches positioned outside the lines in the outfield

1st and 3rd base coach

1st and 3rd base coach

 

  1. Umpires - 8U Division:

    • The 1st base coach makes all calls at 1st base and fair/foul balls on the 1st base side of the infield.

    • The 3rd base coach makes all calls at 3rd base and fair/foul balls on the 3rd base side of the infield.  

    • The Coach Pitcher makes all calls for plays at second base, at the plate, determining the 10 foot rule, strikeouts and determines when play stops on defensive plays.  The Coach Pitcher also makes the final call in plays where there are disputes.


 

*************************************************************************************************************

 

SCORING

 

8U

10U

13U

Runs allowed per inning

3 runs

Applies to ALL innings

3 runs

Does not apply to last inning

5 runs

Does not apply to last inning

Continuation3

No

Yes

Yes

 

  1. Continuation:

    • Play shall stop after the maximum run has scored in an inning unless additional runs are scored as a result of the natural progression of a play.

      • Example:  In 13U, four runs have scored and the bases are loaded.  The batter hits the ball to the outfield and two base runners cross home plate prior to the end of the play.  In this instance, both runs count.

 

*************************************************************************************************************

 

PITCHERS

 

8U

10U

13U

Pitcher4

Machine

Player and Coach

Player

Number of Batters a Pitcher Can Hit before She MUST Be Removed5

N/A

3

3

Hit by Pitch6

Yes

Yes

Yes

Intentional Walks

N/A

No

No

 

  1. Pitching Machine – 8U Division

  • The home team will provide the machine (and generator if applicable).

  • If using a slingshot pitching machine, the following settings should be used:

    • A (Micro Adjustment):  2 

    • B (Release Arm Block):  4

    • C (Power Pedal): 4

 

Coach/Pitcher – 10U Division

    • There are NO walks. Once a player pitcher has thrown ball 4, the offensive team's coach steps in and throws a maximum of 5 pitches.  

    • The strike count continues from where the player pitcher left off.  The batter will either get a hit, strike out, or be called out after the 5th pitch from the coach (if it is not a foul ball/tip).  In addition, players on base when a coach is pitching may not steal or advance on a passed ball.

    • Pitches should be thrown with as little arc as possible. The coach pitch ball should not go above the pitcher’s head.

    • The coach must pitch from the pitcher’s mound.

 

  1. Number of Hit Batters – 10U and 13U Divisions

    • No more than 3 above the knee during the game.  After the 3rd hit batter, pitcher MUST be removed and cannot pitch the remainder of the game.

 

  1. Hit by Pitch – 10U and 13U Divisions

    • Any ball that hits a batter inside the batter’s box is considered hit-by-pitch regardless if it touches the ground first.  In addition, the batter does not have to attempt to move out of the way from being struck by the pitch.

 

*************************************************************************************************************

 

BATTING

 

8U

10U

13U

Batting Lineup7

All players

All players

All players

Balls and strikes8

No
(6 pitches that cross the plate in the strike zone)

Yes

(but no walks)

Yes

Foul ball on last pitch

Player continues to bat

Player continues to bat

Player continues to bat

10 foot rule9

Yes
(line should be drawn before the game)

N/A

N/A

Dead Ball - batted ball hits pitching machine

Yes
Runners advance one base.

N/A

N/A

Thrown Bat

One warning for EACH team. Next thrown bat, ball is dead and batter is out

One warning for EACH team. Next thrown bat, ball is dead and batter is out

One warning for EACH team. Next thrown bat, ball is dead and batter is out

 

    1. Batting Lineups – All Divisions

    • Players who arrive after the first pitch of the game will be added to the end of the lineup.  If a player leaves the game and/or is unable to bat, her place in the lineup is skipped and an automatic out is NOT taken.

 

    1. Balls and Strikes – 10U Division

    • There are NO walks. Once a player pitcher has thrown ball 4, the offensive team's coach steps in and throws a maximum of 5 pitches.  The strike count continues from where the player pitcher left off.  The batter will either get a hit, strike out, or be called out after the 5th pitch from the coach (unless it’s a foul ball on the last pitch).

 

    1. 10 Foot Rule – 8U Divisions

    • A batted ball must go forward at least 10 feet on the ground in fair territory to be a fair ball.  Defensive players can make plays on all foul pops, including those hit behind the plate, that go over the batter’s head (i.e., if the ball is caught, the batter is out).

 

*************************************************************************************************************

 

BASERUNNING

 

8U

10U

13U

Stealing/ Advance on passed ball

No

Yes
(cannot steal Home)

Yes

Sliding

Yes
(feet first only)

Yes
(feet first only)

Yes

Dive Back to Base

N/A

Yes

Yes

Advance on overthrows - to 1st  Base10

No

Yes – at own risk but maximum of 1 base

Yes

Advance on overthrows - to 2nd & 3rd Base10

No

Yes -
except throws from catcher to 2nd/3rd on an attempted steal

Yes

Intentional Bunting

N/A

No

Yes

Courtesy Runner11

No

Yes

Yes

Advance on dropped third strike12

No

No

Yes

Infield Fly Rule13

No

No

Yes

Collision Rule

N/A

Called by umpire

Called by umpire

Stealing 2nd Base on a walk14

N/A

No

Yes

 

  1. Overthrows - 10U Division

    • A batter/base runner CAN advance to 2nd base on an overthrow at 1st base during a defensive play but cannot proceed any further.  This limitation applies only to the runner at 1st base.  All other runners on base at the time of the overthrow are not limited to one base.  If the ball is still in play on an overthrow to first, the defense can attempt to make a play on a runner going to second base after an overthrow without liability of giving up any additional bases to that runner (i.e., runner limited to one base).

    • A base runner on 1st base CAN advance to 2nd base on an overthrow as the result of a pickoff attempt of that base runner by the catcher.  

    • A base runner at third base CANNOT advance home on an overthrow during a defensive play made on a batted ball or on a pickoff attempt of that base runner by the catcher. A base runner stealing third base CANNOT advance past third base on an overthrow by the catcher.

  2. Courtesy Runner – 10U, 13U and HSE divisions

    • A courtesy runner may be used for the player who starts the next inning in the catcher or pitcher position and may be inserted at any time after the player has safely reached base.

    • The courtesy runner should be the player who made the last out of the inning.  If there are no outs, then the courtesy runner is the last runner who scored a run. If there are no outs or no runs in the first inning, then the courtesy runner is the last batter in the batting order.

  3. Dropped third strike – 13U

    • When the catcher fails to catch the third strike before the ball touches the ground and there are fewer than two outs and first base is not occupied at the time of the pitch or any time there are two outs

  4. Infield Fly – 13U

    • An infield fly is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive or an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort.  The rule applies when 1st and 2nd bases (or when 1st, 2nd and 3rd bases) are occupied with less than 2 outs.

  1. Stealing 2nd Base on a walk – 13U

    • A runner who was walked can attempt a steal to 2nd base as long as it is a continuous motion and does not stop or pause after touching 1st base.

 

*************************************************************************************************************

 

DEFENSE

 

8U

10U

13U

Minimum Number of Players

8

7

7

Maximum Players in Field14

10

9

9

Initial Position of outfielders

4 outfielders- must be on the grass except deep/large infields

On outfield grass.

On outfield grass.

Minimum Playing Time (Defense)15

At least 3 innings

(1 in infield)

At least 3 innings

(1 in infield)

At least 3 innings

(1 in infield)

Maximum Playing Time16

3 innings maximum at any one position

3 innings maximum at any one position

3 innings maximum at any one position

Stopping Play (Defense)

Player in possession of ball within the base line as called by the Coach Pitcher

Time called by umpire

Time called by umpire

 

  1. Maximum Players in Field – 10U

    • Coaches have the option to play 10 players in the field (4 outfielders instead of 3) if they can mutually agree before the start of the game.

 

  1. Minimum Playing Time – All Divisions

    • Applies only to players that are present for the entire game.  Also catcher is considered an infield position in the 10U, 13U, and HSE divisions

 

  1. Maximum Playing Time – 10U, 13U and HSE divisions

    • Playing time limit does not apply to the catcher in the 10U, 13U, and HSE divisions.



 

Other Important Safety Rules

 

Suspending play for Lightning (from OBGC’s Lightning Policy)

  • If at any time lightning is seen or thunder is heard at the field, all play must be stopped immediately and all players, coaches, and fans need evacuate the area and seek shelter. Play cannot continue until there has been a 30-minute waiting period after the last lightning flash is seen. Even if weather conditions appear to have improved within the 30-minute window, you must wait the required time. Lightning can strike from as far as 10 miles away.

  • The onus of removing a team or individual from an athletic site in the event of lightning activity is on the coach supervising the activity. The safety of all team members rests with that coach.

 

Concussion Awareness (from OBGC’s Concussion Awareness Policy - new 2012)

  • If a player has a suspected concussion during a practice or game, that player is to be immediately removed from that activity and is not allowed to participate in a practice or game until they have a note from a doctor allowing them to play. Coaches should report these incidents to the appropriate point of contact at softball@obgc.com.

 

Warming up Pitchers

  • Anyone under the age of 18 who is warming up a pitcher prior to or during a game must wear a catcher’s mask.  This applies to both players and non-players.

 

Jewelry

  • All jewelry should be removed prior to the game.

 

Helmets

  • Batting helmets must be worn at all times when the batter/runner is in the field of play.

 

Batting warm-ups

  • Batting warm-ups must take place in an area that is out of play and away from spectators.  The on deck batter may warm-up in the batter’s circle but must be alone.  All warm-ups with toss, tees, hitting sticks, bat sleeves or any other equipment other than the player’s bat, must take place in an area out of play and away from spectators.

External links are provided for reference purposes. Damascus Sports Association is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites.

Copyright 2018 by My League.

Sports league management software by Sports Illustrated Play