Major Rules 2023
4.1 - CONDUCT
4.1.1 - Victor Central District is a smoke and alcohol free campus. Smoking and the possession of alcoholic beverages are not permitted on the Victor Central School District grounds or at any other facility being utilized by VCBS
4.1.2 - Coaches, players and fans shall not "ride" or make remarks to the opposing team or umpires at any time before, during or after a game. This includes catchers riding batters. Vocal demonstrations should be directed only to your own team. If, in the opinion of the umpire or a VCBS league official, the vocal demonstration is timed so as to effect or disturb the pitcher or batter, he/she will direct the coach to cease the demonstration immediately.
4.1.3 - Any coach, player or spectator not complying with Rules 4.1.1 or 4.1.2 can be ejected from the game and/or asked to leave the playing fields by the umpire or a VCBS league official. Failure to comply with these instructions will result in the forfeiture of the game and possible other sanctions deemed appropriate by the VCBS Board of Directors.
4.1.4 - If a player is bleeding, player must stop bleeding and uniform must be changed if saturated.
4.2 - PREGAME RESPONSIBILITIES
4.2.1 - Before the game begins, the coaches of both teams must agree on the fitness of the playing field. If they cannot agree, the umpire or a VCBS league official shall make the determination.
4.2.2 - In the event lightening is seen the umpires and/or coaches will immediately suspend play and all people should seek safety until the danger has passed. If one coach decides to pull his team from the playing field due to weather conditions, the game shall be suspended at that point in time.
4.2.3 – Home team is responsible for setting up the field for play. This includes liming the field before the start of the game. At the conclusion of the game, both teams are responsible for cleanup of the bench, playing, spectator areas and game end field prep.
4.2.4 - If no umpires are assigned, or none show up, each team is to provide 1 adult to help officiate the game.
4.2.5 - Each coach is to the supply the umpire with 1 new (unused) 12” Softball(s) prior to the beginning of each game and will hold a second good softball in reserve. The team at bat is responsible for promptly retrieving all foul balls.
4.2.6 - A minimum of 6 players must be present to constitute a legal game. In the event one team does not have six participants present, the umpire will wait a maximum of 15 minutes to start the game. At that point, the game will be forfeited if the short manned team does not have at least six rostered players present. At the discretion of the coaches, a scrimmage game may be played, but all pitching eligibility rules will apply.
4.2.7 - The home team will occupy the benches on the first base side of the field. The visiting team will occupy the benches on the third base side.
4.3 - EQUIPMENT
4.3.1 - Players should wear full uniforms. Shirts must be tucked in. Visors are optional.
4.3.2 - All players should be encouraged to wear fielding face mask/guard when playing an infield
position. Any player pitching or playing third base or first base is required to wear a fielding
face mask/guard. Girls not wearing a fielding mask/guard will be encouraged to wear mouthguards.
4.3.3 - No jewelry is allowed.
4.3.4 - No hard casts are allowed.
4.3.5 - The batter, on deck batter and all base runners must wear helmets. Anyone warming up a pitcher must wear a catcher's mask and helmet.
4.3.6 - First and third base coaches will be adults or players wearing batting helmets
4.3.7 - All catchers must wear a catcher's mask, helmet, throat protector, chest protector, shin guards.
4.3.8 - All equipment must be stored behind the bench or in the dugout area. Flagrant abuses of VCBS equipment by players or coaches will result in ejection from the game and/or possible suspension from the league.
4.4 - BASE RUNNING
4.4.1 - Base Running - Stealing of any base is allowed once a pitched ball has left the pitcher's hand. Runners may only advance one base beyond the base they occupy at the time of the pitch.
4.4.2 - Runners may advance to home on a play featuring a passed ball, wild pitch or a steal of another base (i.e.: runners on first & third, players steals second, runner on third can advance to home if a play is made to second base).
4.4.3 - On overthrows during play following a batted ball, runners may advance in accordance with the relevant sections of the Official Softball Rulebook.
Note: Fielders should be coached to react to all overthrown balls as ‘live’, regardless of the base running rules in effect
4.4.4 – Base running - Leading Off
· No leading off of bases until the ball leaves the pitcher's hand. If a player leaves base early, she is out and the ball is dead.
4.4.5 - Runners must return to their bases when the catcher returns the ball to the pitcher.
4.4.6 - No runner may advance on any throwback to the pitcher (delayed steal) – the ball is dead.
4.4.7 - A runner is out if the runner does not slide when attempting to pass through a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make a tag. A fielder not in possession of the ball, or in the act of fielding a ball, cannot impede the progress of a runner. This is deemed to be an obstruction and the umpire will award the runner the proper base he/she would have reached had the obstruction not taken place.
4.4.8 - Feet-first (only) sliding will be allowed at all bases and home plate.
4.5 - BATTING
4.5.1 - Continuous batting is in effect. The batting order will be set and listed at the start of the game. All players must bat. If a child shows up late for a game he/she is inserted into the batting order at the bottom of the line-up.
4.5.2 - The infield fly rule will be not be enforced.
4.5.3 - A batter who accidentally throws the bat will be warned. On the next offense the player will be registered with an automatic out and all base runners go back to original base. A batter who intentionally throws the bat will be removed from the game without warning.
4:5.4 - Batters cannot advance on a dropped 3rd strike.
4.5.5 - Batting – Run Limits. Each half inning is limited to 5 runs except in the case where the completion of play on a batted ball may score more than 5.
4.5.6 - A "12 run rule" will be in effect. If, after 4 complete innings, one team is behind by 12 or more runs, the game is automatically deemed completed. This is not optional. The playing teams will continue on playing in a "scrimmage" capacity for the remainder of the game.
4.6 - PITCHING Note:
To ensure the health of players pitching at this age, careful monitoring of the number of pitches thrown is a responsibility shared by VCBS and the coaches of the teams he/she is a part of. It is always critical to err on the side of caution when managing players who pitch.
· Windmill fast pitch is encouraged.
4.6.1 - Pitchers are allowed a maximum of 5 warm-up pitches between innings. However, under no circumstances should the time taken between innings exceed 2 minutes.
4.6.2 - Pitching will be from a 35’ or 40’ distance from a secured rubber. Distance is from point of home plate to front of rubber. It will be the pitching/defense team’s responsibility to move the rubber accordingly.
- 35' for 10 year olds
- 40' for 11+ year olds
- Coaches to agree on pitching distance for scheduled pitchers prior to start of game & inform umpire if there is an exception to these distances needed.
4.6.3 - Pitchers cannot pitch more than 3 innings in each game
4.6.4 - Pitcher who hit three batters in one inning must be removed for an inning but may return later in the game. Pitchers who hit five batters in one game must be removed for the game. Coaches should use prudence in removing pitchers who are "putting batters in danger" with wild and hard pitching.
4.7 - DEFENSIVE POSITIONING AND SUBSTITUTIONS
4.7.1 - Coaches should prepare a player rotation schedule before the game. It should be shared with players in advance of position changes to minimize “lost time selecting or lobbying for positions.
4.7.2 - Ten players can be played in the field, with four outfielders positioned at equal depth in the outfield grass or not within 15’ of any base. No rover positions allowed.
4.7.3 - Every player must have one full rotation of three innings playing an infield position during the game. Every player should not play more than 3 innings in the outfield per game.
4.7.4 - A player may not sit on the bench for more than 2 innings
4.7.5 - Players may leave and re-enter the game at any time
4.7.6 - For player safety reasons, exceptions to this policy may be made with the agreement of the player’s parents – all exceptions must be communicated to the league President.
4.8 - GAME TIME AND PLAYING LIMITS
4.8.1 - Only the following persons are to be on the field or player benches: Players in Uniform, Coaches and Scorekeeper, VCBS League Officials.
4.8.2 - Only the batter, on deck batter and two team coaches should be on the playing field. All other team members should remain on the bench.
4.8.3 - Adults, other than coaches, should stay near the bench at all times. Scorekeepers should exchange information between innings or go around the outside of the playing field to avoid delays.
4.8.4 - The head coach may request a time out, but he/she must remain off the playing field until the umpires approves the request. Only the umpire may call time out.
4.8.5 - "Time Out" may be awarded to the fielder once the ball is carried or thrown into the infield and runners are either stalled or not attempting to move between bases.
4.8.6 - No children or spectators are allowed immediately behind the backstop during play. The umpire will remove all individuals from this area.
4.8.7 - Games will consist of 6 innings. A legal game will be 3 ½ inning with the home team ahead or 4 completed innings when the visiting team is ahead. If the game is tied after 4 innings and halted due to weather or darkness, the game will be ruled a tie.
4.8.8 - Tied games after 6 completed innings are ruled a tie.
4.8.9 - No new innings will be started 1:40 minutes after the first pitch. The inning in progress will be finished. After 1:25 minutes, begin discussing the last at bats/final innings. Once the game is at the two hour mark, the inning will be completed and the game is final, regardless if the unlimited run inning has been played.
4.8.9 - For all evening games, last inning should not start after 8:00PM for games in April and May. The last inning should not start after 8:10PM after June 1st.
4.8.10 - If, in the judgment of the umpire or an observing VCBS official, a team engages in tactics that delay or artificially accelerate the pace of the game in order to achieve a victory, the coach of the offending team will be warned. After a warning, the continuation of such tactics will result in a forfeit.
4.8.11 - The coach of the winning team or home team (if game ends in a tie) is responsible for recording the score of the game online (app or website) within 24 hours of the completion of the game.
PROTESTS AND RULE INTERPRETATION
- NO PROTESTS ARE ALLOWED. PLEASE HAVE YOUR RULEBOOKS HANDY AND REACH A QUIET MUTUAL RESOLUTION TO RULE INTERPRETATION, AT THE GAME.
- If a specific situation is not covered by a specific VCBS rule the Official ASA Fastpitch Softball Rules will be used to settle the situation.
- If conflicting rules are stated, specific VCBS League rules take precedence.