Intramural Sports
Softball Rules

Governance


 Current ASA rules will govern play except for the following modifications.

General Eligibility


  1. Participation is limited to currently enrolled students and members of the faculty and staff of the University of North Florida. All areas of eligibility are covered in the Intramural handbook which are available online and through the Campus Recreation Office.
  2. In order to participate in an Intramural contest each player must present their validated Osprey1 Card. NO ID, NO PLAY. NO EXCEPTIONS!!!
  3. Game time is forfeit time. 1 forfeit will result in a team being ineligible for the playoffs. A second forfeit will result in the team being dropped from the league.
  4. All participants must register with IMLeagues to play any sport. Instructions on how to register is located on the Intramural Sports website. Captains must have the minimum number of players needed to play Softball before they are allowed to sign up for a time slot.
  5. Adding Players – Players must be added on their team’s roster using IMLeagues (players must register first, then request to join a team, or team captains can send invitations to players to join their team) prior to participating in an Intramural contest. Players can be added at the field/court, however they must register through IMLeagues and show up on the team’s roster before 3pm of their next week’s game, or they will not be allowed to participate in their next game. Players may be added up until the end of the regular season for that sport. Rosters will be locked at the end of the regular season.
  6. Current or former collegiate/professional baseball players – Current UNF baseball players are ineligible to compete. This includes: walk-ons, red shirts, and practice players. This also includes anyone who quits or is kicked off the team during this pre-season and season. Current players will be considered current for the entire 2011/2012 school year. Ex-Varsity baseball players are anyone who has competed at the collegiate level during the 2010/2011 season or before. Current professional baseball players are ineligible to compete. Former professional baseball players must wait one (1) year from the time they competed to participate in intramural softball. A team may not consist of more than TWO (2) of any combination of the following:
    • Ex-Varsity baseball player
    • Ex-Professional player


Team Composition


  1. Roster limit is 16 players. Players can compete on one men's/women's team, regardless of league classification. However, players can compete on a men’s/women’s team and a CoRec team. Suspended players may not be replaced. Roster additions can be made on the field before a game provided that player has not already played for another men’s/women’s team. If a player signs up and plays for another team after he/she has already played for their original team, the second team the player plays for will receive a forfeit and be ineligible for the playoffs. Team rosters are locked at the end of the regular season.
  2. A team consists of 10 players. A team may have an (11) extra player (or, in CoRec play, 2 extra players, male and female). A team may start and finish the game with a minimum of 8 players (called playing shorthanded), but outs will be recorded for the 9th and 10th spots in the batting order. If a team plays with 9 players, they will take an out in the 10th spot in the batting order.
  3. If a team is playing shorthanded and the 9th and/or 10th players arrive after the game has begun, may enter the game during a dead ball period after checking in with the umpire and scorekeeper, but must be placed in the 9th or 10th spot in the batting order. A team that starts a game shorthanded or with 10 players may not use an extra player at any point in the game.
  4. A team must have a pitcher and catcher. Both must occupy legal positions – the pitcher at the pitcher’s mound and the catcher in the catcher’s box. Other players may take positions anywhere in fair territory.


Equipment


Bats 

  1. The bat must be round and smooth and must have no large dents. It also shall not have exposed rivets, pins, or rough or sharp edges that would present a hazard.
  2. The bat must not be longer that 34 inches and must weigh no more than 38 ounces.
  3. Certified and approved bats must meet the current ASA bat performance standard. (A list of certified and approved bats can be found at www.asasoftball.com).
  4. UNF Intramurals will provide a bat for teams to use during the game for those that do not have an approved softball bat.

Balls 

  1. The ball must have a stamped core of 0.44 or less and a compression rating with a maximum of 375 pounds.
  2. The ball must be solid white or optic yellow.
  3. The ball must be 12 inches in diameter for all divisions.
  4. UNF Intramurals will provide the game balls, those are the only balls allowed for play. Teams may bring their own balls to warm up, but UNF Intramurals does not provide those.

Gloves 

  1. Gloves may be a single color or multicolored.
  2. All defensive players must wear gloves.
  3. UNF Intramurals does not provide gloves.

Shoes 

  1. All players must wear shoes.
  2. Shoes must be made of leather, canvas, or similar material.
  3. Shoes may have cleats made of soft or hard rubber, but metal cleats are not allowed.

Uniforms 

  1. All players on a team must wear uniforms of the same color and style.
  2. Numbers on the back of uniforms are not required, but strongly encouraged.
  3. Players or coaches may wear caps or visors.

Jewelry 

  1. Jewelry, casts, or any items deemed dangerous by the umpire MAY NOT BE WORN during the game. This jewelry consists of any visible rings (including wedding bands), watches, necklaces, earrings, studs, bracelets, and any other such similar jewelry. Only medical alert bracelets are permitted. Each team will receive only one warning without penalty. Following the warning, any player from a warned team in the game found to be wearing prohibited equipment (jewelry, etc) will be assessed an automatic out. Teams that are in the field will be assessed an automatic out during their next at bat.


Game Time & Length


  1. In each inning, the visiting team bats first and the home team bats last. The umpires meet with the captains of each team before the game to determine which team will be the visiting team and which team will be the home team. A coin toss will determine the home and visiting team.
  2. A regulation game consists of seven innings or 50 minutes, which ever comes first. If an inning has started before the time limit has expired, then the inning will be completed. Teams need not play seven full innings if:
    • The home team scores more runs in six and one half innings;
    • The home team scores more runs before the third out in the last half of the seventh inning; or
    • If a team is up 20 or more runs at the end of 3 innings,
    • If a team is up 15 or more runs at the end of 4 innings,
    • If a team is up 10 or more runs at the end of the 5th or 6th inning
    • Note: If the visiting team reaches the run-ahead limit in the top half of the inning, the home team still has the opportunity to reduce the deficit below the limit in the bottom half of the inning. If the home team reaches the run-ahead limit while at bat, the game ends and the home team is the winner.
     
  3. If the game is tied at the end of seven innings or after time expires, the teams continue to play until one team has scored more runs than the other team at the end of a complete inning or until the home team has scored more runs.
  4. The umpire may call the game at any time because of darkness, rain, fire, panic or any other cause that puts player or spectators in danger.
  5. Games that the umpire has stopped may or may not be rescheduled.

An umpire may declare a forfeited game in favor of the team not at fault in the following cases: 

  1. A team member or spectator physically or verbally attacks an umpire.
  2. A team does not appear on the field, or a team on the field refuses to begin a game at the scheduled time.
  3. If a team refuses to continue to play after the game has been started, unless the umpire has suspended or ended the game.
  4. Following a suspension of play, a team does not resume play after the umpire declares, “play ball”
  5. A team uses tactics noticeably intended to delay or speed up the game.
  6. A player, coach, or manager does not obey an order of ejection.
  7. A team does not have the required number of players to continue after an ejection.
  8. An ejected player is discovered participating.

Scoring of Runs: 

  1. A team scores one run each time a runner touches first base, second base, third base, and home plate in succession.
  2. A team does not score a run if the third out of the inning results from any of the following situations:
    • A force out.
    • A runner is put out by a tag or a live ball appeal before the lead runner touches home plate.
    • A preceding runner is declared out on an appeal play. NOTE: An appeal can be made after the third out and, if successful, can nullify a run.
     


General Rules


Pitching 

  1. The pitcher must begin with both feet firmly on the ground and with one foot or both feet touching the pitcher’s rubber. The pitcher’s pivot foot must stay in contact with the pitcher’s rubber throughout the delivery.
  2. The pitcher must come to a full stop with the ball in front of the body, and the front of the pitcher’s body must be facing the batter. The pitcher must hold this position for 1 second before starting the delivery.
  3. If the catcher is not in position to receive the pitch, the pitcher is not considered to be in the pitching position.
  4. The pitcher must not perform any motion to pitch while not touching the pitcher’s rubber. NOTE: If the pitcher violates any of these provisions, the umpire should signal a delayed dead ball, calls the pitch illegal, and issues a warning. If the pitcher repeats the action, the umpire may rule the pitcher illegal and remove him or her from the pitching position.
  5. Before the delivery, the pitcher may hold or grip the ball in any manner.
  6. After assuming the pitching position, the pitcher must hold the ball in front of the body with one or both hands for at least 1 second before initiating the pitching motion.
  7. The pitcher must use a definite underhand motion in delivering the pitch.
  8. The pitcher may release the ball in any type of manner using any type of motion.
  9. After the pitcher starts the delivery motion, the umpire should not call time unless an unusual event occurs.
  10. After receiving the ball or after the umpire declares, “Play Ball”, the pitcher must release the next pitch within 10 seconds. If the pitcher does not release the pitch within 10 seconds, the batter is awarded a ball.
  11. The pitcher cannot deliver the pitch from the glove.
  12. The pitcher may not quickly pitch the ball if the batter has not taken a position in the batter’s box or is off balance following the previous pitch. If the pitcher uses a quick pitch, the umpire awards the batter a ball.

The umpire declares no pitch in the following circumstances: 

  1. The pitcher delivers a pitch while play is suspended.
  2. A runner is called out for leaving a base before the pitched ball reaches home plate, touches the ground before reaching home plate, or is hit by the batter.
  3. The pitcher delivers the ball before a runner returns to base after the umpire has declared a foul ball and the ball is dead.
  4. The pitcher delivers the ball before a runner has retouched the base after legitimately being off the base.
  5. The ball slips from the pitcher’s hand during the backswing or delivery.
  6. While the ball is live and in play, no player, manager, or coach may call time, use any word or phrase, or commit any act obviously intended to make the pitcher commit an illegal pitch. The umpire shall warn the offending team and eject any member of the team who repeats this type of act.

Batting 

 

  1. The official score sheet must list the batting order of the team, including player’s first and last names. The captain must deliver the score sheet to the  scorekeeper before the start of the game.
  2. Players must bat in the order that they are listed on the score sheet unless a substitute enters the game. The substitute must appear in the batting order in the place of the player that he or she is replacing.
  3. The first player who bats in each inning shall be the player whose name follows the last player who has completed a turn at bat in the previous inning. When the 3rd out of an inning occurs before a batter has completed his or her turn at bat, that player will be the 1st batter in the next inning and will start with a count of one ball and one strike.
  4. Batting out of order is an appeal play. Only the defensive team may make the appeal.
  5. The batting order for CoRec leagues must list players in alternating order by gender.
  6. The batter starts with a one ball and one strike count.
  7. After a batter has two strikes he or she is allowed one free foul ball on the first foul ball. The second foul ball is strike 3, and the batter is out. For example, the batter swings and misses on the first pitch; the result is strike 2. The batter hits a foul ball on the second pitch; the result is a called foul, and the count remains one ball and two strikes. The batter hits a foul ball on the third pitch; the result is strike 3, and the batter is out.

The umpire calls a strike: 

  1. For a legally pitched ball that strikes any part of the plate or the strike zone mat behind the plate and is not swung at by the batter.
  2. For a legally pitched ball that the batter swings at and misses.
  3. For a foul ball not caught by a fielder when the batter has one strike.
  4. For a pitched ball that the batter swings at and misses and that touches the batter.
  5. When a batted ball hits any part of the batter when he or she is still in the batter’s box and has one strike.
  6. On any strike called by the umpire, the ball is dead and base runners return to their bases without liability to be out.

The umpire calls a ball: 

  1. For a pitched ball that does not hit any part of the plate or the strike zone mat behind the plate and is not swung at by the batter.
  2. For a pitched ball that hits the ground in front of, beside, or behind the plate and strike zone mat.
  3. For an illegally pitched ball not swung at by the batter.
  4. For a pitched ball that hits the batter when he or she is outside of the strike zone.
  5. When the catcher does not directly return the ball to the pitcher.
  6. When the pitcher does not pitch the ball within 10 seconds after the batter has taken a position in the batter’s box.
  7. When the umpire calls a ball, the ball is dead and base runners return to their bases without liability to be out.

The batter is out in the following circumstances: 

  1. When the ball touches the batter while he or she is trying hit a third strike.
  2. When the batter enters the batter’s box with an altered or illegal bat or is found using an altered or illegal bat. If the batter hits the ball with an altered or illegal bat, the batter is out and base runners return to the bases that they occupied before the batter hit the ball. Alternatively, the defense may accept the results of the play. In either case, the batter is disqualified from the game.
  3. When the batter bunts or chops at the ball.
  4. When the batter’s entire foot touches the ground completely outside the batter’s box when the batter hits the ball.
  5. When the batter hits the ball and any part of his or her foot is touching home plate.
  6. When the batter steps in front of the catcher to the opposite batter’s box when the pitcher is in position to pitch or any time before the delivery of the pitch.
  7. When a member of the team at bat interferes with a defensive player who is attempting to field a batted ball.
  8. When the batter hits a fair ball with the bat a second time in fair territory.
  9. When the batter’s own batted ball hits him or her outside the batter’s box in fair territory.
  10. When a fielder intentionally drops a fly ball or line drive that he or she could have caught with ordinary effort, at least one base is occupied, and none or one is out.

Baserunning
A base runner can advance or return only by touching the bases in legal order, from first base, to second base, to third base, to home plate. A base runner advances to the next base by touching it before being put out. The player may hold a base until he or she legally touches the next base or until the batter becomes a base runner and forces the player to leave the base.

 
The batter-runner is called out in the following circumstances: 

  1. When the batter-runner’s own batted ball hits him or her when the batter-runner is in fair territory and out of the batter’s box.
  2. When the batter-runner drops the bat in fair territory and the bat makes contact with a fair ball.
  3. When the fielder catches a fly ball with his or her feet within the boundaries of the field.
  4. When after the batter hits a fair ball, a fielder holds the ball on first base before the batter-runner touches first base.
  5. When after reaching first base, the batter-runner attempts to go to second base and is tagged or put out.
  6. When the batter-runner runs out of the 3 foot running lane and interferes with a fielder taking a throw or attempting to make a play.

A base runner is called out in the following circumstances: 

  1. When a base runner leaves the base before a pitched ball contacts the bat.
  2. When the base runner interferes with a thrown ball or interferes with a fielder who is attempting to field a batter ball, catch a ball, or throw a ball.
  3. When a fair batted ball hits a base runner or a base runner intentionally interferes with a ball.
  4. When a base runner intentionally kicks a ball that is in play.
  5. When a coach intentionally interferes with a live ball
  6. When a base runner is attempting to score and the next batter or another teammate interferes with the play.
  7. When a fielder touches a base runner with the ball when the base runner is not on a base and the ball is in play.
  8. When a fielder tags or holds a ball on a base to which the base runner is forced to advance before the base runner reaches that base (force play).
  9. When the base runner runs more than 3 feet outside the path between the bases to avoid being tagged.
  10. When a base runner passes the base runner ahead of him or her before that runner is put out.
  11. When a base runner does not return to a base after a suspension in play caused by a dead ball situation.
  12. If a base runner leave a base before a caught fly ball and a fielder holds the ball on the base and correctly appeals the play, or if a fielder tags a base runner before he or she returns to the base.
  13. If a base runner fails to touch a base and a fielder tags or holds the ball on the base before the base runner returns to the base.
  14. If a base runner intentionally and forcefully makes contact with a defensive player who is clearly holding the ball. The base runner is called out. The ball becomes dead, the base runner is ejected, and other base runners return to the last bases that they occupied at the time of the collision.

A base runner is entitled to advance with liability to be put out in the following circumstances: 

  1. When a live ball is in play.
  2. When a defensive player throws the ball over or past a teammate into fair or foul territory.
  3. When a defensive player catches a foul ball.
  4. When a thrown ball hits a player, coach, or umpire.
  5. When a base runner fails to touch a base.

A base runner is entitled to advance without liability to be put out in the following circumstances: 

  1. When a fair batted ball bounces or rolls over, under, or through a fence into the stands, base runners are awarded two bases from their positions at the time of the pitch.
  2. When forced to advance because they are walked.
  3. When a fielder obstructs the base runner when the base runner is rounded the bases, unless the fielder is making a play on the ball. The obstructed runner is awarded the base that he or she last legally touched before the obstruction occurred. The umpire also awards all bases that the base runner would have attained had the obstruction not occurred.

A base runner forfeits his or her exemption from liability to be put out in the following circumstances: 

  1. When a base runner does not touch the bases I the correct order.
  2. When the momentum of a batter-runner carries him past first base and the batter-runner attempts to go toward second base without returning to first base. To avoid the risk of being put out, the runner must not a move toward second base.

Base runners must return to their bases in the following circumstances: 

  1. When a foul ball is not legally caught.
  2. When an illegally batter ball is hit.
  3. When a proper batter is called out on appeal.
  4. When a player on the team at bat is called out for interference.
  5. When an umpire calls time-out.

No base runner may steal a base. 

  1. A base runner must stay in contact with a base until the ball crosses the plate or the batter hits the ball.
  2. A pitch that the batter does not hit is dead. Base runners must return to their bases. They cannot leave again until the ball crosses the plate or the batter hits the ball.

Base runners are not out in the following circumstances: 

  1. When a batter-runner overruns or over-slides first base and immediately returns to the base.
  2. When a base runner is required to return to a base but as insufficient time to do so.
  3. When a fielder who does not have complete control of the ball tags a runner.
  4. When the pitcher throws a pitch before the defensive team appeals a play.
  5. When a base runner, to avoid interfering with a fielder who is fielding a batted ball, runs outside the base path and in front of or behind the fielder.
  6. When a base runner stays on a base on a fly ball.
  7. When a ball that has passed a fielder other than the pitcher hits a base runner.
  8. When a base runner slides into a base and dislodges it. If the base is dislodged several feet from its correct position, other base runners should go to the original position of the base.
  9. When a batted ball hits a base runner who is touching a base, the runner is safe unless the umpire judges that the runner intentionally placed himself or herself in the path of the ball. In that case, the base runner is called out.

Courtesy runners 

  1. A courtesy runner may run for any player who is injured during the play and is unable to run the bases safely.
  2. When no eligible substitutes are available, the courtesy runner must be the player who made the last out of the previous inning.
  3. The umpire must be notified before a courtesy runner replaces a teammate. This replacement can occur only during a dead ball and before the first pitch to the next batter.


Players and Substitutes


A player or substitute is officially in the game when he or she is entered onto the official score sheet. A substitute may take the place of any player in the batting order of the team. The following regulations apply to the substitution of players:

  1. The manager of the team making the substitution must immediately notify the umpire.
  2. If the manager does not notify the umpire of a substitution and the change is not announced, the substitute will be considered in the game in the following cases:
    • If the substitute is a batter, when he or she steps into the batter’s box.
    • If the substitute is a fielder, when he or she takes a teammate’s place in the field.
    • If the substitute is a runner, when he or she occupies a base previously occupied by a teammate.
    • If the substitute is a pitcher, when he or she occupies the pitcher’s place and delivers a practice pitch.
     
  3. When a substitute is announced or not, after the substitutes enters the game, any play that the substitute makes is legal. Ann unannounced substitution carries no penalty.
  4. A substitute may take the place of any other player during a dead ball situation.
  5. If an ejected player participates, the offending team forfeits the game. 

Re-entry Rule 

  1. All players may withdraw and reenter a game once, but they must occupy the same batting position in the lineup.
  2. The opposing team handles improper reentry with a protest. An improper reentry becomes a violation after a pitch is made.
  3. If a player has reentered improperly and the defensive team discovers the violation when that player is playing offensively, the following penalties are applied:
    • If reentry is discovered while the player is batting, the player is ejected and a proper substitute assumes the accumulated balls and strikes.
    • If reentry is discovered after the at bat is complete and before a pitch to the next batter, the batter is called out and ejected. Base runners who have advanced return to the previous base occupied.
    • If the improper reentry is not discovered until after a pitch has been made to the next batter, or if the player who reenters improperly is a substitute runner, the player is ejected, but all play that has occurred with the improper reentry stands.
     
  4. If a player has reentered improperly and the offensive team discovers the violation when that player is playing defensively, the following penalties are applied:
    • The player who reentered improperly is disqualified from further participation in that game.
    • If reentry is discovered after the player make a defensive play on a fair ball (catch or throw) or on a foul fly ball, before the next pitch, the offensive team has the option to:
      • Take the result of the play, or
      • Have the batter return to the batter’s box and assume the ball and strike count that he or she had before discovery of the illegal player. All runners return to the bases that they occupied before the play.
       
    • If the offensive team discovers the improper reentry after a pitch that did not result in a batted ball or that the improper player did not make a play on, the player who reentered improperly is ejected.
     

CoRec Differences 

  1. A CoRec team consists of 5 males and 5 females in the field.
  2. If a team is playing shorthanded with 9 players, they can play with 5 males and 4 females, or 5 females and 4 males. One out will be recorded in the 10th spot in the lineup.
  3. If a team is playing shorthanded with 8 players, the team must play with 4 males and 4 females. Two outs will be recorded in the 9th and 10th spots in the lineup.
  4. The batter order must alternate male/female or female/male.
  5. If a team chooses to have an Extra Hitter (EH), they must have a male and female EH and bat 12 players.
  6. During female at bats, outfielders must stand behind the blue CoRec Line (165 ft.) until the ball has been struck.
  7. One male and one female must occupy the pitcher and catcher positions.
  8. When there are less than two outs and a male walks, the female batter may choose to bat or take a walk. When there are two outs and a male walks, the female batter must bat with no option to take a walk.


Sportsmanship


  1. The purpose of Intramural Sports is to provide a recreational environment for the University community which is safe and enjoyable. While the game atmosphere is often competitive, ensuring participant safety, providing a fun, social atmosphere, and promoting sportsmanlike behavior among participants, spectators, and team followers are our primary concerns. The game atmosphere should remain good-natured at all times. Participants shall maintain good sportsmanship throughout their participation in all facets of the intramural program.
  2. The Sportsmanship Rating System is intended to be an objective scale by which teams' attitude and behavior is assessed throughout the intramural sports league and playoff seasons. Behavior before, during, and after an intramural sports contest is included in the rating. The team captain is responsible for educating and informing all players and spectators affiliated with his/her team about the system.
  3. A team is responsible for the actions of the individual team members and spectators related to it. Additionally, UNF Intramural Sports does not recognize the use of coaches. Only the team captain shall speak to the officials regarding administrative matters (protests, ejections, disqualifications, etc). Furthermore, the team captain's efforts in assisting officials/staff to calm difficult situations and to restrain troubled teammates are important to controlling team conduct.
  4. Sportsmanship is vital to the conduct of every Intramural contest. In order to encourage proper conduct during games, officials, administrative personnel, and supervisors shall make decisions on whether to warn, penalize or eject players or teams for poor sportsmanship. These decisions are final. The Intramural Sports administrative staff will rule on further penalties as a result of unsportsmanlike conduct.
  5. Each participant should choose his or her team members carefully, as all team members will suffer the consequences of any disciplinary action taken by the Intramural Sports staff against that team for violation of the intramural rules and sportsmanship guidelines. Protests or appeals of sportsmanship ratings will not be recognized. The Intramural Sports administrative staff reserves the right to review any rating given to a team.
  6. Teams are graded by the officials on a scale of 1-4, 4 being the highest, each game. Teams must maintain a 2.5 sportsmanship rating throughout the season to be eligible for the playoffs. The maximum sportsmanship grade a team with an unsportsmanlike can receive is a 2.5 for that game.


Playoffs


  1. All teams will make the playoffs, provided they have no forfeits and have at least a 2.85 sportsmanship rating. If there are a lot of teams in one league, then the league will be split into a “Blue” playoff bracket, with teams that have a .500 winning percentage and above, and a “Grey” playoff bracket, with teams that have below a .500 winning percentage.
  2. The playoff schedule will be determined by the number of teams playing and the court space/time available. There are no guaranteed times once the playoffs start, teams must do what they can to make their games.