CITY OF LARGO












SOFTBALL RULES AND REGULATIONS





CITY OF LARGO RECREATION, PARKS and ARTS DEPARTMENT

Athletics Division

PHONE: (727) 593-6166

RAIN OUT : Text @largosoft to the number 81010


MEN'S, WOMEN'S, AND COED ADULT SOFTBALL BYLAWS


The object of these leagues shall be: To develop character, skill, sportsmanship and good will among teams and individuals participating

I. AGE REQUIREMENTS:


A. Men's, Women's, & Coed Leagues: Players must be at least 16 years old.



II. PLAYER ROSTER ELIGIBILITY AND CONTRACTS:


A. Rosters are frozen at 16 people. If more than 16 people are needed please

call athletic director for approval at 727-593-6165. If player is injured or quits team please notify athletic director for removal from team roster.


B. The legality of all players is the responsibility of each manager.


C. During the regular season, each player can only be on one roster. If a team needs a player not on their 16 person roster, the opposing team will receive 4 runs for each additional player over the roster limit. This penalty will be initiated by the manager of the opposing team and then confirmed by the roster. A team cannot use more than 3 non roster players in one game.

Rosters are finalized after the third week of the season.

During the playoffs, there is absolutely no adding of players. Only players on your roster are allowed to play during playoffs. The scorekeeper will check this prior to game. The scorekeeper will only allow you to play with players on your roster. If a team can't fill a team (no less than 8 players) the game will result in a forfeit.


E. All players must COMPLETELY AND LEGIBLY sign their team's roster.


F. Teams are NOT required to have uniforms. However, they are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED and RECOMMENDED, as it makes for a more professinal look and feel to the league. It also helps scorekeepers and umpires in regards to keeping track of players, subs, etc.


DUTIES OF MANAGER


1. Register their team.
2. Make sure players are on roster.
3. Inform all players of schedule changes.
4. Read the USA Softball Rules and Regulations & Largo By-Laws.
5. Team Speaker to the Umpires.
6. Inform Commissioner of forfeited games.
7. Inform umpires and other team manager before game of using players not on roster (Regular Season Only)
4 runs per player used.
8. Responsible for your teams behaviors.

9. Responsible for playoff roster.



III. SCHEDULING OF GAMES:

A. Games will be played in accordance with the schedule produced by the Athletics Department with the diamonds and time of games distributed as equally as possible. Furthermore, all teams will be grouped together by skill level as evenly as possible by the Athletics Department. All department decisions regarding this are final.


B. The department reserves the right to arrange postponed games at its convenience in order to catch up with the schedule. The department also reserves the right to cancel games, if necessary, due to excessive rain or conditions beyond our control. In the event of any misunderstanding or error, managers are urged to contact the department.


C. If a team forfeits 2 games in succession or 3 games overall in a season for not having the required number of players, the team may be dropped for the from the league for the remainder of the season.


IV. STANDARD GAME PROCEDURE:


A. Starting time of games:

1. Game times are 6:45, 7:45, and 8:45pm, lasting 65 minutes in length. Games may start earlier if BOTH managers comply and agree that BOTH teams are ready to play; if both teams are not ready,the game will not start until the designated time on the schedule.

2. A 10 minute grace period will be in effect for the first scheduled game ONLY. Teams with not enough players will receive an automatic out their 1st time at bat. If both teams do not have enough players to begin the game, 1 out will be taken by both teams their 1st time at bat.

3. Lineups are due to the scorekeeper prior to the 1st pitch of the game. If one or both teams do not have their lineups in at this point, the game will be halted (with clock running) until the lineups are in. Lineups are finalized at 1st pitch and cannot be changed then. If a batter is not present and his spot comes up, he will be an automatic out. The coach may add the 10th player at any time of the game. The 11th player must be present at the start of the game in order to be in the lineup.


V. PLAYING RULES AND EQUIPMENT:


ALL GAMES WILL BE PLAYED UNDER USA/ASA RULES UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED ON LEAGUE SCHEDULE OR LISTED IN THESE BYLAWS.

A. The scorekeepers time is the official time. The managers will meet with the umpires prior to the start of the game to go over ground rules and procedures. Once the manager's meeting has concluded, the umpire will announce that the time will start, and the scorekeeper will then activate the clock. Major injuries will stop the clock (once 5 minutes has passed), otherwise, the clock will continue for the full 65 minutes. Sunday Co-ed will be 60 minutes.


B. The home team will supply 2 softballs (either both NEW or 1 NEW & 1 gently used) , with a .52 core and a 300 compression. Balls must be certified ASA. Any sanction other than ASA is not allowed. Softballs will be available and sold at the complex for $5.


C. All players are required to have ASA legal equipment/bats. All coaches and players must follow the ASA sanctioned non-approved bat list. The coaches will receive the 1st warning at the coaches meeting for any use of an illegal bat. From this point on, it will be automatic ejection for any player that brings an illegal bat into the batters box. The umpire has the jurisdiction to check any bat at random. If caught during a random check, the bat will be taken out of game, but player can remain in game.



D. All games will be played using a hitting net. The hitting net will be 7' tall and 4' wide. The net will be placed directly in front of the first rubber. The following rules will govern the game play effects of the hitting net:

1. The City of Largo will provide the hitting nets used in play. Largo staff or umpires will set up and take down the hitting nets.

2. Pitcher can field ball after pitching-Please remeber to use net for your safety.

3. Net must be placed in front of pitcher on visual edge of plate on either side of plate.

4. At the beginning of each half-inning and when a new pitcher starts pitching, the pitcher may adjust the net to their liking for their pitching. This can include sliding it forward, to the left or right. Once the half inning has started, the net cannot be adjusted unless a new pitcher comes in or the inning ends. If the pitcher moves the net after a pitch has been thrown, the they will be warned the first time and then removed from pitching on the second offense (they can stay in the game, just will not be allowed to pitch).

5. All batted balls that make contact with the net will be a foul ball unless batter has 2 strikes, they then will be called out.

6. Pitchers are not required to wear a helmet, but can if they choose to.

7. After the batter has made contact and the ball has passed the hitting net, the hitting net will become part of the playing field. If the ball hits the net after it has been thrown, it will be a live ball.

8. Fielders cannot move the net in order to make an attempt on a ball in play. If a player moves the net during a live ball scenario, a dead ball will be called and the batter will be awarded first base. All runners on base will be awarded the next base.


E. Teams may start with 8 players.

If a team has an ejected player or a player who leaves the game and they do not have a substitute they must take an out for that player in lineup. Only time you can condense is when a player gets injured on the field.

Once a team falls to 7 players it is a forfeit.


F. Home Run Limit – Progressive Home Run Rule: Hit and Sit

3 Home Runs and Progressive (ALL Leagues). Once reaching the limit, home runs will be an out or can increase on a progression. For example, if both teams reach their three home run limit, they are each permitted another home run. Each team will be allowed one more whenever their opponent has matched the number they have hit. Example: If your team has hit 4, and your opponent has hit 3, your team will not be allowed another home run until your opponent hits their 4th. After a home run is hit, the player returns to the bench, without touching the bases. (Hit and Sit Rule). The team that hit the home run must put a new/gently used ball in play or retrieve the home run ball. Scenario: If a team is batting and their opponent has hit four home runs while they have hit three, the team that is batting is permitted to hit two home runs that inning. Any additional home runs will be an out.

NOTE: On a four base error, USA Rules state that the runner must touch first base. In the interest of saving time, the batter is allowed to hit and sit in the event of a four base error.


G. In the last inning, whether the 7th or an earlier inning ending due to time or extra innings, the home team WILL NOT be allowed to go one up if it came into the inning either (1) below the home run limit or (2) 1 home run behind the visitor. Example: If the visitor has 2 more home runs and the home team has 0 going into the last inning of play, the home team can hit its 2 home runs but can not hit a 3rd as the visiting team was not given the same opportunity. Similarly, if the visiting team has 3 home runs and the home team has 2 going into the last inning of play, the home team can hit its 3rd home run but can not hit a 4th as the visiting team was not given the same opportunity. If both the visiting and the home team have the same number of home runs going into the last inning of play, the home team will be allowed to hit 1 additional home run as the visiting team was given the same opportunity.


H. There will be open substitution by defense; any 10 players may play defense at any time. The EP (extra player) may also play the field; he is not restricted to batting only. A substitution only occurs when there is a change in the batting line-up.

I. Courtesty Runners: A courtesy runner may be used throughout the game. The runner may be any legally rostered player. Any eligible player on the official line-up including available substitutes may be used as a courtesy runner. A courtesy runner may be used once per inning.
NOTE: Any Courtesy Runner used in Coed must be gender specific.
Only one courtesy runner per inning is allowed in Coed. 1 for male & 1 for female

ALL WOMEN'S LEAGUE: One consecutive Courtesy Runner an inning.

J. Run Rule: A 15 run rule will be in effect after 4 innings. A 10 run rule will be in effect after 5 innings.


K. Pitch height will be a 6 to 12 foot arc.


L. The pitcher is given up to 6 feet to stand behind the rubber and pitch from that spot. There is now a 2nd pitching rubber at the 6 feet mark. The pitcher must be behind the rubber at the time of the pitch; this will allow for more reaction time due to a line drive.

N. Base runners advancing are consistent with ASA slow pitch rules.

O. Time Limit: 65 minutes SUNDAY(60 minute) time limit for all leagues/games. Must start a new inning if any time is left. Any inning started must be completed. No new inning will be started after the time limit. Extra innings can be played if the game is tied with the following restrictions: The last batter from the previous inning will be placed on second base to start the extra inning. Also, there is a 1 extra inning limit. If the game remains tied after 1 extra inning, the game will be a tie. Must finish all playoff games.

P. There is 1 minute allowed in between innings. This is to move the game in order to try to get more innings played.


Q. Shoes: Metal spikes will NOT be allowed in any adult league. Only shoes with rubber soles or plastic molded soles will be allowed. NO FOOTBALL CLEATS WILL BE ALLOWED or CLEATS WITH ANY KIND OF METAL.

R. One and One Count: Each batter will have a 1-1 count upon entering the batter's box.

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S. Double Base at First: A white base with an orange base attached will be used at first for all games. Whenever a play is being made on the batter-runner the defense must use the white portion and the batter-runner the orange portion. The batter-runner is out when there is a play being made at first base and the batter-runner touches only the white portion (No longer an appeal play before runner comes back and touches white base). The only exception is when a force out attempt from the foul side of first base or an errant throw pulls the defense off the base into foul ground. In this instance, the defense and batter- runner can use either the white or orange portion. On extra base hits or balls hit to the outfield when there is no play being made at first, the batter-runner may touch the white or orange portion. The double base is used as a "SAFETY BASE" and is strictly the umpires judgement.


VI. REGULATION GAMES:


It will be a regulation game when 7 innings have been played and the game is not tied or time limit has elapsed. Once an inning has started, it must be completed.


A game will also be regulation if it is called by the umpire on account of darkness, rain, or other causes within the umpire's judgement interferes with further play, provided 5 or more innings have been played. 4 1/2 innings will constitute a regulation game if the home team is ahead at that point in the game. Games will be picked up where suspended if the game has reached past the first inning and there is a score, and prior to the 5th inning. Any game suspended in the first inning, without a score will be STARTED OVER.




VII. PLAYER/TEAM CONDUCT:


NO SMOKING OR PROFANITY

Players, coaches and managers will not be permitted to smoke on the coaching lines, dugouts or playing field. The use of loud and obvious profanity will also not be tolerated. If a player at bat is heard yelling profanity, the on deck batter will be declared out (Dakota Rule). An umpire is empowered to eject any player that flagrantly ignores warnings about their use of offensive language. In coed league play the next male batter will be the declared out. The umpire has complete discretion on which profanity words are deemed inappropriate based on each scenario.

NO DRINKING OF ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ON OR AROUND THE DIAMOND BEFORE, DURING OR AFTER A GAME. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE PROHIBITED BY LAW ON ALL CITY PROPERTY. (City ordinance #75733 includes team's spectators)


Managers will be held responsible for their teams, so please notify all members of your teams and their followers of this rule. Please keep our diamonds and parks free of cans and bottles and keep smoke away from fields.

A. Violations will result in a 1 game team forfeiture and 1 game suspension of individuals.


B. Repeated violations will result in the team's expulsion from the league.


VIII. UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT:


A. Any player or coach ejected from the game by an official will be suspended by the league director. The league director has sole discretion to determine the length of the suspension. Please note that umpires or staff have the right to eject a player up until the time that the umpires or staff leave the facility (the game does not need to be in progress for an ejection to take place). In the event a player or coach deviates from this ruling, it will constitute a forfeit and the team not at fault will receive credit for a win.


B. Any player(s) or coaches ejected from the game by an official for fighting will automatically be suspended. In the event of a player or coach deviating from this ruling, it will constitute a forfeit and the team not at fault will receive credit for a win.


      1. If ejected from a game, this means that this player is not allowed to participate in ANY games during that time of suspension.

D. A player who is suspended is not allowed on ANY City property during the time of suspension. A player may be suspended for a longer period of time by the Athletics Director if this behavior is considered serious.


E. Striking an official in the State of Florida is considered a felony.



IX. PROTEST PROCEDURE:

Protest of rules must be decided before the next pitch. Protest of illegal players must follow the following steps:


A. Protest concerning rule interpretations must be handled in the following manner:

1. Protest the game to the scorekeeper and home plate umpire BEFORE the next pitch and make sure he/she notes on the scorecard the protest. The umpire is to notify the other team of the protest.

2. An appointment must be made with the Athletics Supervisor within 24 hours by the manager. Call and leave a message for the reason of your call if the Athletics Supervisor is out of the office.


3. A fee of $20.00 cash is due at the appointment. If the protest is awarded, the cash is returned, if the protest is denied, the cash is forfeited.



5. Protests – complaints will be handled by the team manager only.

6. Protest based on a decision, which involves the accuracy and judgement on the part of the umpire shall not be considered.


7. Not following correct procedure will result in a denied protest.



X. RAIN-OUTS:


A. In the event of rain during the day, the Athletic Department personnel will check the condition of the diamonds, whenever possible, prior to 5:00 pm. The decision as to the condition of the diamonds will be final.


B. The department and its personnel cannot assume the responsibility for notifying all managers as to the condition of the playing fields. Rain-Out line: text the message @largosoft to the number 81010. You will get alerted about rain- outs. GAMES WILL NOT BE CALLED BECAUSE OF THREATENING WEATHER.


C. After 6:30 pm, the umpire will make the decision on whether or not the fields are playable. The decision of the umpire will be final and managers and teams will accept his/her decision without question. If one game is postponesd on one field, then all fields will be postponed. If a game is called off, please keep off the diamond as it must be protected for play the next night.


D. If the first game is called off because of field conditions all games on that field are automatically called off and will be made up at a later date. This applies also if the first game is in progress and is halted by rain. It is the manager's responsibility to find out when rain out make up games are scheduled. The athletics office will make a reasonable effort to inform managers of the re- scheduled games. Make up games may not be on the same field or at the same time as the original games. Also, double-headers may be scheduled. Please read the make up schedule carefully.

E. Once a game is started, the condition of the diamond and weather conditions will be determined by the umpire and his/her decision will be final. In the event the game is halted, the teams will not leave the immediate area for a period of 15 minutes. After this period, the umpire will make a definite decision as to whether the game will continue or be called off.



XI. INSURANCE/IMPORTANT INFORMATION:


A. Players participating in the league should have accident insurance coverage. This is your responsibility. The department does not provide insurance in case of injuries for the players or coaches.


B. It is to be understood that the Recreation Department will not be held liable for injuries sustained by any person, or group participating in our program while they are playing, practicing or traveling to and from games or practice.



XII. AWARDS AND STANDINGS:


A. If there is a tie at the end of a season, the tie-breaker system will go as follows:

1. Head to head competition from league play.

2. Run differential from head to head competition in league play.

3. Total runs against among tied teams.


B. Standings can be seen at www.largosports.com

C. Divisional awards will be given as follows:

1. First Place Tournament – Choice of T-Shirts*, Team Trophy, Team Plaque, $40 discount on league entry fee, eight softballs.



COED SOFTBALL:

All Men's league rules will apply as stated before, unless noted below:


A. Each team may play with 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 players. FIELDING PLAYERS/RATIOS: Teams may not have more than 6 men in the field defensively.  A full defense of ten players would be 6 men and 4 women (or more women with less men).


B. Players defensive positions are not designated.


C. Outfielders must remain at or behind the dotted line painted in the outfield when a female player is up to bat until the batter makes contact with the ball. If the defense is found to be above the line while a female player is up to bat, the player may either take a base hit or take the result of the play.


D. BATTING RATIOS: batting order can be random with no specific sex order as long as you follow your overall ratio. If you want to bat an additional male you must have an additional female (5 females, 7 males) for a max of 12 in lineup batting order. You may always bat more women then these ratios, but not more men.


E. WALKS: If a guy is walked and the next scheduled batter is a woman, she must bat unless the team has two outs - in which case she will have the option of hitting or taking a walk. Regardless of the number of outs, the guy will advance to second if walked with a woman as the next scheduled batter.

    If the next batter is a "missing" woman and the team is forced to take an out, the guy automatically advances to second base (with all other runners advancing accordingly) before the automatic out is recorded.  There is no limit on runs walked in.


F. Coed leagues will use a double home plate with all ASA senior play rules in effect. Defensive players can only touch the original home plate and runners can only touch the second home plate. Runners tagged by the defensive team will not be out. If the runner touches the original home plate, the runner will be out and the ball will remain live. Once a player crosses, or touches the commit line, they must continue to home and may not return to 3rd base.




REVISED 10/8/21