VGSA LEAGUE RULES (printable version revised 3/22/22)
2022 LEAGUE RULES
Except as approved and modified by these VGSA League Rules and USA Softball Official Rules will govern league play.
1. All teams will provide concession stand workers and trash pickup workers on the dates and times designated by the VGSA League Schedule. Failure to do so will result in a forfeit of the game scheduled for that day. Minimum age for concession stands workers will by established by the concession stand manager in compliance with County and State health regulations.
2. The managers and/or coaches from both teams are responsible for preparing their field for game play, including raking the field, chalking batter's boxes, foul lines, 8-foot radius around pitcher's plate, coaches' boxes, on deck circles and half-way marks (if required) twelve inches in length between 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and home. Games will start upon approval of field conditions by the umpire.
3. Both teams are responsible for cleaning in and around their dug-out and bleacher area after each game and/or practice. . Both managers and/or coaches are responsible to sweep out the dugouts after each game.
4. The Managers and/or coaches from both teams are responsible for putting away all bases, any other softball equipment and tools at their field following the last scheduled game of the day on that field. PLEASE DO NOT THROW THE EQUIPMENT IN THE SHEDS. PLEASE PLACE ALL EQUIPMENT AS MARKED ON THE SHELVES.
II. SAFETY RULES
1. For all league play youth players MUST wear an approved batting helmet while on the field of play.
2. Jewelry may be worn per USA Softball rules. MEDIC ALERT items may be worn, but must be taped firmly to the body, and medical information must be visible.
3. The double first base (safety base) will be used in all games.
4. Any youth warming up a pitcher within the Salmon Creek Sports Complex shall wear a catcher's mask.
5. All players shall wear their uniforms properly.
6. No child with an arm, wrist, hand, or leg cast will be allowed to play without a written verification from her physician that the child can play fastpitch softball. The cast must be sufficiently padded, per USA rules.
7. If a player throws a bat, they may be given a warning.
III. GAME RULES
1. Games shall begin promptly when scheduled. There will be a ten (10) minute grace period allowed for the purpose of fielding a team consisting of eight (8) players. At the end of the grace period, the team in default shall forfeit the game. The score shall be 7-0.
2. Games forfeited because of too few players may be played as practice games if the "shorthanded" team borrows player(s) from the opposing team. Each team must be able to field nine (9) players. The grace period will count as playing time.
3. A pregame conference will be held with the umpire(s) prior to the start of each game. The conference will be attended by managers, coaches and may include Team Captains.
4. TEAM COMPOSITION
a. For league play, Training League, 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U may field ten (10) players on defense.
b. For T-Ball a full team consists of all players present at the game on defense. The opposing team shall also field all players that are present on defense. The defense shall consist of seven (7) infielders, the remainder of the players are to be placed in the outfield.
5. TIME LIMITS
a. For 10U through 14U Leagues, seven (7) innings or one hour and forty (1:40) minutes shall constitute a regulation game. No new inning shall be started after the one hour forty (1:40) minute time limit. An inning in progress shall be completed unless the home team is at bat and is winning. If inclement weather, time limit, or other factors should shorten the game, then five (5) innings is considered an official game (four and one-half [4 1/2] innings if the home team is leading).
b. For 8U. The time limit will be 1:40 minutes. No new inning shall be started after the one hour thirty (1:30) minute time limit, with a hard stop at 1:40. An inning in progress shall be completed unless the home team is at bat and is winning. If inclement weather, time limit, or other factors should shorten the game, then five (5) innings is considered an official game (four and one-half [4 1/2] innings if the home team is leading).
c. For Training League, five (5) innings or one hour and forty (1:20) minutes shall constitute a regulation game. No new inning shall be started after the one hour and forty (1:40) minute time limit. An inning in progress shall be completed unless the home team is "at bat" and is winning. If inclement weather, time limit, or other factors should shorten the game, then three (3) innings is considered an official game (two and one-half [2 1/2] innings if home team is leading).
d. For T-Ball League, four (4) innings or one hour and fifteen (1:15) minutes shall constitute a regulation game. No new inning shall be started after the one hour and fifteen (1:15) minute time limit. An inning in progress shall be completed unless the home team is at bat and is winning. If inclement weather, time limit, or other factors should shorten the game, then three (3) innings is considered an official game (two and one-half [2 1/2] innings if the home team is leading).
6. TIED GAMES
a. T-Ball, Training, 8U, and 10U League games may end in a tie.
b. For 12U and 14U League, if a game is tied at the end of seven (7) innings or at the time limit, the INTERNATIONAL TIE BREAKER rule will be implemented at the top of the next inning. For double headers, the five (5:00) o'clock games that are tied after seven (7) innings or the time limit will continue under the INTERNATIONAL TIE BREAKER until a winner is determined or the subsequently scheduled seven (7:00) o'clock game is ready to start. Should an inning in progress need to be finished after 7:00 pm, the game will be suspended and rescheduled for completion.
7. At the end of five (5) innings if one team is ahead by an insurmountable number of runs, the game is considered unwinnable. Continuation of the game is at the sole discretion of the losing manager/coach.
8. Teams will be limited to the following number of runs per time at bat.
T-Ball- Teams bat their roster each inning.
Training- Teams but their roster each inning.
8U, 10U Teams but their roster each inning.
12U, 14U Coaches can either bat their roster or limit it to 9. Only five (5) runs will be scored per at bat.
9. The distance between bases and the distance from the apex of home plate to the front of the pitching plate shall be as follows:
LEAGUE BASES PITCHING
T-Ball, Training, and 8U Forty-five (45) feet Thirty-five (35) feet
Training and 8U Forty-five (45) feet Thirty-five (35) feet
10U Sixty (60) feet Thirty-five (35) feet
12U, 14U USA regulation distances.
10. The visiting team is assigned the first (1st) base dugout and the home team is assigned the third (3rd) base dugout. Teams participating in double headers may elect to remain in their originally assigned dugout for the second game regardless of their home or visiting team status.
11. Teams are allowed pregame practice only in the area outside the 1st & 2nd and the 2nd & 3rd base paths following the completion of field preparation.
12. Open substitution and re-entry will be allowed.
13. The "Designated Player Rule" is not allowed for league play.
14. 10U, 8U, Training, and T-Ball coaches must bat their entire roster. For all other age classes coaches may elect to bat their entire roster at game time during the pre-game conference.
15. During league play all eligible players must play in not less than two (2) full innings in a 4/5 inning game, or three (3) full innings in a 6/7 inning game. Managers and/or coaches not complying with this rule may be suspended at the discretion of the board.
16. All Formal Official Protests must reach a VGSA Executive Board member within twenty-four (24) hours of the game, accompanied by a signed letter of protest with a full explanation, and the scorebooks from both teams. The board's review and decision on the validity of the protest is final.
ADDITIONAL RULES FOR 10U PLAY
1. Offensive teams will bat their entire roster, including substitutes. If the third out is obtained before the five (5) run limit is achieved, the inning is ended, and the offensive team resumes the batting order where it left off, their next at bat.
2. Pitching is determined season by season: the following pitching rules apply. Pitching will occur in all games with the standard number of pitches per batter. Per USA rules, up to six pitches - 3 balls, 3 strikes; 4 balls, 2 strikes (more if fouled off).
a. three (3) strikes will be out.
b. In each half inning, a youth pitcher can only walk two batters. The next batter to receive ball four, the batter's coach will pitch a maximum of three (3) additional pitches from the pitching plate. Any strikes on the batter will carry over to the coach's pitches.
c. If the batter strikes out or fails to put the ball into fair play during the coach's three additional pitches, the batter is out.
d. Only those batters struck by a pitch from a youth player shall be awarded first base.
e. There will be no coaching from the pitcher's circle when the batter's coach pitches the additional three pitches.
ADDITIONAL RULES FOR 8U PLAY
- No new inning after one hour and thirty minutes (1:30) hard stop at 1:40
- Games may end in a tie
- Bases to be at 45 feet and the pitching mound at 35 feet. An 11-inch safety ball will be used during games.
- A player may lead off. No base stealing allowed advancement is only made on a hit ball.
- Three outs or a 5 run rule to be considered a complete inning.
- A batter will not be allowed to hit from a Tee.
- Bunting is allowed.
- Drag bunting or slap hitting will be allowed in the games.
- No extra bases allowed on an overthrow.
- No obstruction/interference calls will be made.
- If a player makes an attempt to avoid being hit by a pitched ball from a pitcher (not a coach) and is hit by the ball while in the batter’s box she may be awarded first base. The batter has the choice to either have the coach pitch the remainder of the count or take first base.
- Teams may use either a player or coach as a pitcher. There will be no walks. A player must put the ball into play, foul or strikeout. Should a player receive four (4) balls, she will then receive the appropriate number of pitches from her coach.
- If a coach is required to pitch to their players for 4 continuous batters than the coach will remain as a pitcher for that inning. The pitcher that was replaced by the coach may return as a pitcher for the new inning or be substituted by another player.
- The batter is not limited by the number of foul balls hit.
- When utilizing the coach as a pitcher, the coach is required to pitch from the rubber.
- The defensive pitcher must be within the pitcher’s circle when the coach pitches.
ADDITIONAL RULES FOR TRAINING LEAGUE AND T-BALL
1. Once the pitcher has control of the ball and is inside the pitcher's circle, the ball becomes dead, and all baserunners not over half the distance to the next base shall return to the last touched base. Base runners not over halfway will return to the previous base. The lead baserunner (if more than one runner is on base) is the controlling runner for determining the halfway mark.
2. An overthrow at 1st base becomes a dead ball and the runner is awarded one (1) base. The determination as to what constitutes an overthrow is the coach’s decision.
3. No base stealing is allowed, and base runners must stay in contact with the base until the ball is hit into play.
4. In T-Ball, no sliding allowed.
5. OFFENSIVE ATTEMPTS
a. For the Training League, each batter will receive four (4) attempts to hit the ball. The coach will pitch three pitches to each of his batters. If a batter fails to hit one of the three pitches, they may choose to either hit off the tee or receive one more pitched ball for their final attempt. Any pitch hit into fair territory is considered a ball in play. For a ball hit off the tee to be considered in play, the ball must be hit on or beyond the 10-foot arc. If the ball is not put into play on the fourth attempt the batter is out.
b. For T-Ball, each batter is allowed four (4) attempts at a ball on the Tee. If the ball is not put in play on the fourth attempt the batter is out. The ball must travel on or beyond the ten (10) foot arc to be considered in play.
6. The offensive team will bat the entire line up in each inning. Scorekeepers will count runs to the same number of batters. A team "At Bat" is over when the last batter in the lineup has batted and the catcher has touched home plate to end the inning.
7. A player must play two different positions per game. No player is to play one position for more than two complete innings. A complete inning is when every offensive player batted.) Once a girl has played one position, she may not re-enter that position unless there are no other players available to fill that position. The intention of this rule is for all girls be exposed to a variety of infield and outfield positions.
8. Coaching must be done from a team's assigned side of the field and dugout unless time is called to go onto the field. When a team is on the field, a coach, manager, or parent may not go over to the opposing teams fence line and coach from that position. There will be no base coaching from the pitcher's circle when the batter's coach pitches.
VI ADDITIONAL RULES For Recreational League Assignments:
1. Players will register by USA age group.
2. Teams organized under the Recreational League will:
a. For League play only, players will be assigned using the neighborhood or nearest school concept, as nearly as possible. Teams registered with our association must accept these players for league play.
3. Recreation team players will be allowed to be picked up by a tournament team for an invitational tournament.
4. UNIFORM REQUIREMENTS a. Team shirts/socks will be purchased for the TB, TL, and 8U age groups by VGSA. Girls will be allowed to keep their shirts/socks. Teams will be identified by team names printed on the shirt. Team colors will be approved by the League Director to ensure that teams are not fielded with like color schemes.