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Softball Rules


Athletics Division

PHONE: (727) 518-3160


Softball Rules



Men’s, Women’s, & Coed Leagues: Players must be at least 16 years of age.

Rosters are frozen at 16 people. Rosters are due the day before the first game of the season, along with the league fee. If you do not turn in by the due date you will not be added to the schedule. If more than 16 people are needed, please call athletic director for approval at 727-518-3160. If player is injured or quits team, please notify the athletic director for removal from team roster. Players may be added or removed to the roster until week four of the season, at which point rosters will be locked.


Lineups must be presented to the scorekeeper/umpire before each game at least five minutes prior.

If there is no scorekeeper present the lineups will be given to the opposing coach before each game at the coaches meeting.


All players picked up must be put at the bottom of the lineup. Picked up players not enrolled in the league will be required to have signed a roster to be allowed to play. If illegal players are discovered during the game, by the opposing coach, they will be immediately removed, and the other team will have the option of taking a forfeit win, the game will continue with the illegal player(s) removed and an out taken whenever the player(s) place in the lineup comes up to bat.

All players must completely and legibly sign their team’s roster.

Substitute players are encouraged to match the color of the team they are playing on.

Teams may not use substitute players who are not on their roster if a team already has 10 players on their lineup.
 For example, substitute players do not need to be on the roster if they are the 8,9,10th player added to the lineup.


  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 Umpires
  6. Inform Athletics staff of forfeited games
  7. Inform umpires and other team manager before game of using players not on roster (Regular Season Only)
  8. Responsible for your teams’ behaviors
  9. Responsible for playoff roster


  • Games will be played in accordance with the schedule produced by the Athletics Department with the 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Game times are 6:45, 7:45, and 8:45pm, lasting 60 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.

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.

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.


All games will be played under USA/ASA rules unless otherwise stated on league schedule or listed in these bylaws.

The umpire’s 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 write the time down. Major injuries will stop the clock (once 5 minutes has passed), otherwise, the clock will continue for the full 60 minutes.

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 batter's box. Opposing team managers have 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.

Teams will be required to bring their own balls (.52 core and a 300 compression) to each game, teams will switch balls with the opposing team at the coaches meeting (So they may bat with their own balls). Balls are not supplied to any games.

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:

  • 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.
  • Pitcher can field ball after pitching-Please remember to use net for your safety.
  • Net must be placed in front of pitcher on visual edge of plate on either side of the plate.
  • 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, 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).
  • All batted balls that contact the net will be a foul ball unless batter has 2 strikes, they then will be called out.
  • Pitchers are not required to wear a helmet but can if they choose to.
  • 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.
  • Fielders cannot move the net in order to try 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.

Each team may play with 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 players with up to 10 players in the field.

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.

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.

Courtesy Runners: A courtesy runner may be used throughout the game. If a team opps to use a pinch runner the last player out on the official line-up is required to be used as the courtesy runner. A courtesy runner may be used once per inning. If a team has batted around in an inning and that same player that used a runner previously in the inning gets on base again, that player is allowed to receive another pinch runner.

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.

Home Run Limit – Hit and Sit

3 Home Runs and done.

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

Pitch height will be a 6-to-10-foot arc.

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.

Base runners advancing are consistent with ASA slow pitch rules.

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

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. PLAYERS MUST BE WEARING CLOSE TOED SHOWS OR THEY WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO PLAY.

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

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 umpire's judgment.


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 judgment 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.

Time Limit: 60 minutes 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.


No Smoking or Profanity

Players, coaches and managers will not be permitted to smoke on the coaching lines, dugouts or playing field.

Players ejected from any game will be required to serve a one or more game suspension pending league review, including any doubleheaders, and this is the call of Largo field staff. If ejected from a game, this means that this player is not allowed to participating in ANY games during that time of suspension. 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.

1st offense will result in suspension 2nd in season suspension and any further offenses may result in expulsion from the league.

Physical altercations will not be tolerated and may result in multi-game suspensions or ejection from the league altogether.

Verbal abuse of officials or players, fighting, foul language, disruptive behavior and continued rough play could result in suspensions regardless of if a player has been ejected.

The use of loud and obvious profanity will also not be tolerated. If a player at bat is heard yelling profanity, the team will automatically receive an out added to the inning (Dakota Rule). An umpire is empowered to eject any player that flagrantly ignores warnings about their use of offensive language. The umpire has complete discretion on which profanity words are deemed inappropriate based on each scenario.

All decisions made by any officials will be final, the league director has sole discretion to potentially extend any suspensions depending on the circumstances.


Managers will be held responsible for their teams (this includes anyone in the stands or connected to the team), 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.

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


Protest of rules must be decided before the next pitch. 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.

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

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

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


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.

The department and its personnel cannot assume the responsibility for notifying all managers as to the condition of the playing fields.

After 6:30 pm, the umpire will make the decision on whether 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 postponed 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.

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.

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.


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.

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.


Standings will be determined as follows if season results end in a tie:

  • Head-to-head competition from league play
  • Run differential from head-to-head competition in league play
  • Total runs against; among the tied teams

After playoffs winning teams will get to choose between the following:

  • 50$ discount for the next season
  • Team trophy for the season
  • Team plaque for team sponsor

Standings can be seen at


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

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).

Players defensive positions are not designated.

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.

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 than these ratios, but not more men.

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.

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.

EQUIPMENT: Teams are allowed two separate balls during play

men - “12inch .52 300.0

women - “11inch .52 300.0

Women are allowed to bat with whichever ball size they prefer (11" or 12"), men must use a 12" ball at all times.


USSSA bats will be allowed in this league.

“11 inch .52 300.0 balls will be used.