Rules


CITY OF DOWNEY & MAJOR LEAGUE SOFTBALL SUPPLEMENTAL LEAGUE RULES

All league games in the Downey Adult Softball Program shall be played in accordance with the current S.C.M.A.F. Official Softball Rule Book except as noted herein.

 1.0 OBJECTIVE

To offer a wholesome competitive program that is primarily concerned with safety, fair play and sportsmanship and recognizes the various skill levels of participants.

2.0 ADMINISTRATION

The administrative duties and final authority shall be vested in Major League Softball, who's representatives will be responsible to set forth and maintain such rules and regulations as are necessary to govern competitive leagues.

All league games are governed by the current S.C.M.A.F. Rule book, except when superseded by these ancillary rules.

3.0 LIABILITY

1) As participants in the Adult Softball League, and in consideration of the value received as participants in the league, each participant agrees to exonerate, defend, indemnify, and hold harmless the City of Downey and its officers, agents, employees and game officials from all claims and actions, based upon or arising out of any damage or injury, to persons or property caused by or sustained in connection with their participation in the Adult Softball League.

2) All participants understand and accept the fact that neither Major League Softball, Inc. or the City of Downey and their respective agents, employees, contractors or insurers provide any form of medical or accident insurance for bodily injury or death sustained while participating in the Adult Softball League. All participants should thoroughly investigate the terms and conditions of their personal health insurance policies to verify that they will receive coverage for any claims arising out of or connected with their participation in this program. * MLS OFFICIALS WILL NOT PROVIDE ON FIELD FIRST AID.

3) Player's Medical Benefit Fund (PMBF) coverage is available through the Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation (S.C.M.A.F.). PMBF provides a maximum benefit of $500.00 per calendar year for each rostered player. The PMBF coverage is extended for one season only. It must be understood that the PMBF is NOT a health or accident insurance policy and must be purchased separately by writing a check in the amount of $42.00, made payable to SCMAF. Such payments may be submitted to Major League Softball, Inc. and MLS will forward the payment and PMBF registration paperwork to S.C.M.A.F. PMBF coverage will not be in effect until payment is received and processed. PMBF claims that occur prior to payment and processing will not be forwarded to S.C.M.A.F.

4) In the event that a team changes its manager at any time during the season, the new manager must notify the Major League Softball Customer Service Office immediately 714-289-1983 x2 or customerservice.oc@mlsoftball.com

4.0 TEAM ROSTER

1) Each team shall be allowed to roster a maximum of 20 players. All players must be at least 18 years of age.

2) No roster additions may be made to the roster after the fourth (4th) week of the season for WINTER or after the fifth (5th) week of the season for SPRING, SUMMER, FALL.

3) ROSTER ADDITIONS MAY BE MADE BY THE SCOREKEEPER ON THE FIELD UNTIL THE DEADLINE. After the deadline, no roster additions will be allowed without the express written consent of Major League Softball. Major League Softball reserves the right to deny any roster additions in the interest of keeping leagues competitive. Email or call Customer Service for approvals after the deadline.

5.0 PLAYER EJECTIONS

1) All grievances shall be conducted by the team manager ONLY. Any player who is ejected from a game will be automatically suspended for a minimum of one additional game (byes do not constitute a game). If a player is ejected twice during a season he/she will be suspended for the remainder of season, including playoff games. Ejected or suspended players will not be allowed at the park while serving his/her suspension

2) In the event that a player is ejected anytime after the conclusion of a game, he/she will be automatically suspended for the next two (2) games, including playoff games.

3) Any player or manager who physically abuses an official, a player or a park supervisor shall be banned from any and all MLS sponsored programs forever. In addition, any player or manager who is guilty of such abuse will be subject to criminal prosecution as per the State of California Penal Code.

4) In cases of spectator harassment the umpire will use the following course of action:

First Warning - the manager will be asked to take care of the problem spectator.

Second Warning
- spectator will be asked to leave the park. If the spectator refuses to heed the umpire's request, the manager will be subject to ejection from the game if the umpire determines that the spectator is associated with one of the two teams.


Fi
nal Solution - in the event that neither the spectator nor the manager leave the park within 60 seconds after the umpire's request the umpire will declare the game a forfeit.

6.0 TEAM ELIGIBILITY

1) Teams must be in good standing to join, or return, to a league. Teams may lose their good standing should any of the following occur:

Failure to register online, submit a current roster & update contact info for each season.
Failure to pay the Registration Fee on time.
Repeated player ejections or bad sportsmanship.
Repeated game forfeitures.

2) The roster of teams not in good standing may be evaluated, and each individual player that participated to any extent on said team will be in jeopardy of being banned from all Major League Softball, Inc. leagues and tournament events. All decisions regarding team eligibility will be the sole discretion of Major League Softball, Inc.

7.0 COED LEAGUE RULES

1) A standard defensive configuration shall consist of five (5) females and five (5) males. However, a game may be played with a minimum of four (4) males & four (4) females in the batting order at all times without forfeit. The following defensive configurations are allowed in COED play:

five (5) men and five (5) women - STANDARD
five (5) men and four (4) women
five (5) women and four (4) men
six (6) women and four (4) men*

* You may never play with six (6) men and four (4) women - or fewer than 4 and 4.

2) Batting Order: Two separate batting line-ups will be used, one for females and the other for males. The manager shall indicate which sex will lead off the game and the sexes shall alternate from that point. Two players of the same sex may never bat in consecutive order unless a rule violation or automatic out is being enforced.

3) A male that is walked on a count of three (3) balls and no strikes shall be awarded second base. (See S.C.M.A.F. rule book.)

4) A minimum of three (3) outfielders must remain behind the outfield restriction line (180 feet from home plate) until the batter hits the pitch - with four outfielders your rover can come in front of the line (rover may be male or female). If this rule is violated, the batter will be awarded first base unless his/her batted ball results in their safe advance past first base. (See S.C.M.A.F. rule book.)

7.1 WOMEN'S RULES

In the interest of safety, common sense and fair play, male players may not "fill in" or participate in a Women's League game. In the event that a team attempts to field a team that contains a male player(s), the game will be immediately forfeited.

7-RUN SCORING RULE:  For the time of (55) Minutes a MAXIMUM of seven (7) runs per inning will be allowed. After the seventh (7) run is scored, the opposing team shall come to bat, regardless of the number of outs in the inning. At the (55) Minute mark, time will be announced and you will finish that inning and play One (1) more OPEN INNING. During the open inning a team at bat is NOT LIMITED in the number of runs it may score. No matter what the 7th inning is OPEN inning.

8.0 EQUIPMENT RULES

1) SHOES: Metal cleats and open toed shoes are never allowed in adult softball.

2) JEWELRY: any lose or large items should be removed before play.  At any time any MLS official may request you to remove any such items if they feel they are distracting or pose a safety issue.

3) BATS:  Any question regarding the legality of a bat should be addressed before the game begins with either the league director or umpire. 

MLS POLICY CONCERNING USE OF "HIGH-END" BATS:

♦ MEN MAY NOT SWING FAST-PITCH COMPOSITES (in coed play only)
♦ MEN MAY NOT SWING WOMEN'S BATS EVER (in both coed and mens play)

FIRST: all bats must have a legible ASA stamp to be deemed "legal". NO STAMP - NO PLAY. Before purchasing a new bat please look for one of these ASA stamps:

 

SECOND: The ASA periodically, and randomly, tests samples of bat models bearing the ASA approved certification mark to verify compliance with the ASA bat performance standards. This means that occasionally even a stamped bat may be deemed ILLEGAL. To verify the legality of a bat, please refer to the ASA Website's LIST OF APPROVED BATS.

THIRD: All bats must comply with the S.C.M.A.F. rule book, Rule 1, Sec. 27. If a make or model cannot be determined due to wear & tear OR if the Umpire or League Director suspects modification of any kind (shaving, rolling, corking, etc.) he/she can remove it from play. NO BASEBALL, YOUTH or LITTLE LEAGUE BATS ALLOWED

ILLEGAL BAT PENALTIES(as of SUMMER 2011):

First Offense: Any player who walks up to home plate with an illegal bat in their hands, will be ejected from the game along with the Team Manager. The offending player and Team Manager will be eligible to play in the team’s next game.  *Each Manager is responsible for inspecting their players’ bats*

Second Offense: If a team has a second incident where a player walks up to home plate with an illegal bat during the same season, the game will be declared a forfeit upon the second offense and the offending player and the Team Manager shall be suspended for the following game.

Third Offense: If a team has a third incident where a player walks up to home plate with illegal bats during a season, the game will be declared a forfeit and the team will be expelled from the League for a period of one (1) year.

9.0 PROTESTS

1) All protests must be handled in strict accordance with Rule No. 9 of the S.C.M.A.F. rule book.

2) Any manager filing a protest must notify the umpire at the time of the dispute, before the next pitch is made. A protest form and a $40 CASH protest fee must be submitted to Major league Softball within 48 hours after the game. The protest fee will be refunded if the protest is upheld. You may fax forms in to the office at 714-744-5902.

10.0 PLAYER ELIGIBILITY

1) Each player is required to personally sign the official line-up form before they are eligible to play in any MLS Adult Softball League game. Managers may not sign for their players. Everyone must sign for himself or herself. PLAYERS THAT HAVE NOT YET ARRIVED SHOULD NOT BE PLACED ON THE LINE-UP CARD.

2) Late arrivals must visit the scorekeeper’s station to check in and they will be added to the bottom of the lineup.

3) If a player's name is listed on two (2) rosters, whichever team that player actually plays on first will be their legal team.  You may not be on 2 rosters within the same league division, on the same night.

4) If you play illegally under an assumed name you may not play for your "rostered" team later that day/night.

PICKUP PLAYER RULE (as of SPRING 2010)
This rule is to minimize or prevent on-field forfeits.

1) With the Opposing Manager’s consent, a team may utilize up to four (4) pickups to bring the total number of players to ten (10). The total # of pickup players allowed is also at the Opposing Manager’s discretion – he/she can limit you to playing with ONLY the minimum needed of eight (8). 

2) WITHOUT OPPOSING MANAGER CONSENT PENALTIES WILL BE APPLIED.

3) ILLEGAL PLAYER PENALTIES: If, at any point during a game, an “ILLEGAL” player is discovered by any MLS Official and/or Opposing Manager, the Opposing Manager will be consulted as to whether they wish to:

(A) remove the ILLEGAL player from the game (may result in a forfeit if minimum # required to play is lost)
(B) continue playing using the PICKUP PLAYER RULE
(C) receive automatic win by forfeit

4) If a rostered team member(s) arrives late, the corresponding number of pickups must leave the game.

pickups may only play the following defensive positions: CATCHER OR RIGHT FIELD (RIGHT-CENTER AND LEFT-CENTER FIELD allowed if more than 2 pickups are used).

pickups must bat at the BOTTOM of a lineup.

pickups may never be used during Playoff and/or Championship games.

pickups must be 18 or older & must sign the lineup card.

pickups may be anyone, from anywhere, as long as all above rules are followed.

5) LINEUP CARD REQUIREMENTS: Managers, you MUST make it clear to the Scorekeeper when using pickups.

List on the lineup card as PICKUP PLAYER or put a P in front of their name CLEARLY.
pickups must sign the lineup card using their REAL names.
pickups may not be placed onto a lineup under a rostered player’s name – this is ILLEGAL

NOTE: If the opposing manager consents to the “PICKUP PLAYER RULE” they have waived any win by forfeit they may have received and the game will be played as normal. The game will be considered a LEGAL game.  ** No protests related to player eligibility will be accepted after a game is played. **

11.0 GAME TIME, FORFEIT, ID CHECKS AND LEAGUE RULES

1) A game shall consist of seven (7) innings or one (1) hour and ten (10) minutes. The official scorer shall be responsible for keeping the game time. All questions related to time remaining or time elapsed should be addressed to the official scorer, not the umpire.

2) No new inning will begin after the one (1) hour and ten (10) minute time limit has elapsed. Games tied after seven (7) innings will only be continued if 5 or more minutes remain on the scorekeeper's clock. Games that end in a “Tie” will be counted as a Tie in the League Standings ½ Win and ½ Loss.

3) A team that does not submit its line up card AND Official’s Fees to the official scorer at least five (5) minutes before game time will be subject to forfeiting the game.

4) A team may start and finish a game with eight (8) players ... in coed you must have four (4) males and four (4) females. If at any time you fall below the required minimum of eight (8) the game will be declared a FORFEIT.

5) There will be a ten (10) minute grace period for ALL games. Any time used for the grace period will be subtracted from the official game clock.

6) OFFICIAL'S FEES: Teams are required to pay a $22.00 Officials' Fee before the start of every game (this includes playoff and championship games). Fee increased as of Fall 2012.  Please bring exact change - official's are NOT required to carry change. MLS is not responsible to "owe you at a later date" and change does not "roll over to the next week" - please plan accordingly.

7) FORFEIT FEES:  A team will be responsible for paying both team's game fees every time they forfeit, due to insufficient number of legal players at game time. The forfeit fee must be paid on the field at the time of forfeit, if not paid at that time the fee will be $60.00 due before the team's next scheduled game. If the forfeit fee is not paid as defined above the team will forfeit its next game as well & be suspended from the league or dropped.

8) The forfeit fine will not be imposed if a team has enough players to start a game, yet forfeits during the course of the game. Games that have begun, yet due to circumstances cannot be completed due to forfeiture, will have all of the players' statistics recorded. Any team that forfeits more than two (2) games may be dropped from the league.

9) The forfeit fee will be waived* if the forfeiting team notifies Major League Softball, Inc. by 3:00 p.m. on or before the day of the game. (*middle game forfeits & forfeits bringing schedule down to one (1) game do not qualify for waived fees as our officials are still required to be present to officiate the games before & after and must be compensated for their time.)

10) UMPIRES & SCOREKEEPERS WILL NOT WORK FORFEITED GAMES.

11) No infield practice or batting practice will be allowed prior to game time. No infield warm-ups are permitted between innings. Pitchers are allowed three (3) warm-up pitches at the beginning a game and one (1) warm-up pitch between innings. (S.C.M.A.F. Rule 4., Section 7.)

12) COURTESY RUNNERS (as of WINTER 2011):  A manager can use a courtesy runner for any batter/runner in an inning.  A courtesy runner may only be used after a batter/runner has reached his/her base and the play is dead.  There is NO limit to the number of courtesy runners that may be used every inning, but a player may only run ONCE per inning.  If a runner is on base when it is his/her turn at bat, an out will be called for failure to bat.  A pinch runner cannot be requested for a courtesy runner.

13) MERCY RULE:  20 runs or more after 3 ½ innings if the home team is ahead or 4 complete innings if the visiting team is ahead OR 15 runs or more after 4 ½ innings if the home team is ahead or 5 complete innings if the visiting team is ahead.

14) ID CHECKS & PROCEDURES (as of Winter 2010):

All players must be able to produce positive PHOTO identification at each game in the event a manager OR any MLS Official wants to protest a game because he/she believes the opposing team is fielding a player(s) that is not legally rostered. Both the opposing Manager AND any MLS Officials may request an Identification Check at any point during a game.

The opposing manager and/or MLS Official must clearly specify which players’ I.D. he/she would like to have checked. There is no limit to the number of I.D.’s that may be checked.The Scorekeeper/League Director will conduct the I.D. check for each player in question to determine if the player or players are on the roster. Players who cannot produce a positive picture I.D., or whose names are not on the computer roster, will be disqualified from play and penalties will be enforced.

ILLEGAL PLAYER PENALTIES: If, at any point during a game, an “ILLEGAL” player is discovered by any MLS Official and/or Opposing Manager, the Opposing Manager will be consulted as to whether they wish to (A) remove the ILLEGAL player from the game (may result in a team forfeiting if it no longer have the minimum number required to play), or (B) receive automatic WIN by FORFEIT due to cheating – NO EXCEPTIONS / NO DISCUSSIONS.

PLAYOFF & CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES WILL HAVE MANDATORY ID CHECKS ENFORCED FOR ALL TEAMS / PLAYERS INVOLVED. No player will be allowed to participate without a valid Photo ID.

NOTE:The purpose and intent of this procedure is to ensure that all protests involving player eligibility are resolved on the field. No protests related to player eligibility will be accepted after a game is played. Failure to follow the above procedures will make any protests related to a player's roster status null and void.

15) Pitcher’s box, a box is drawn extending back from the pitchers plate along the width of the pitcher’s plate for six (6) feet. The dimensions of the pitcher’s box are twenty four (24) inches wide by six (6) feet long with the front line fifty (50) feet from the outside corner of home plate and the rear line fifty (56) feet from the outside corner of home plate. The pitcher may deliver the pitch from any point inside the pitchers box and for the purpose of rule enforcement, the pitchers box is treated the same as the pitchers plate.

16) ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ARE NOT ALLOWED IN ANY CITY PARK. In the event that any program participant (or any spectator who is associated with a team) is discovered to be in possession of an alcoholic beverage(s) either on or around the park facilities, the follow action will result:

♦ The team whose players(s) and/or spectator(s) is/are found to be in violation of this rule will automatically forfeit the game that is scheduled on the day of the infraction.
♦ The team whose player(s) and/or spectator(s) is/are found to be in violation of this rule will automatically forfeit its next scheduled game as well.
♦ Be aware that violations may be discovered by either City Staff or MLS game officials (including the score keepers and league director). There will be no exceptions granted for any failure to comply with this rule.

17) Pitch height: Standard top of the head to 16' S.C.M.A.F. rules apply (effective Winter 2011)

18) Each batter will start their plate appearance with a 1 Ball / 1 Strike count. The four (4) strike rule is in effect for all leagues (see S.C.M.A.F. rule book).

19) The Flip-Flop rule is NOT allowed.

20) There will be NO ENTRY FEE REFUNDS after the first scheduled league game.

21) SMOKING IS NOT ALLOWED IN ANY CITY PARK.

12.0 MAKE-UPS / CANCELLATIONS / SUSPENSIONS

1) It is our intention to play all scheduled games. Every effort will be made to reschedule games that are missed due to inclement weather, field unavailability, or any other issues that arise. Make up schedules will not be issued until the regular schedule is nearly exhausted. Major League Softball reserves the right to reschedule games in any order that we determine optimal.

2) Any game that ends before the time limit or seven (7) innings that is called for any reason shall be a Regulation Game as defined by S.C.M.A.F. Rule 1, Sections 7, 8, 9 and 10. Rule 1, Section 13. of the S.C.M.A.F. Rule Book WILL NOT APPLY to any game where the losing team has batted four (4) complete innings or more.

3) In case of inclement weather, the decision to play will be made by 4:30 p.m. whenever possible. If weather conditions change or worsen after 4:30p.m. the decision to play will become a “Game Time” decision. For rain information, check the website at www.mlsoftball.com , or call the Field Condition Hotline at 714-289-1983 x270.

13.0 REGISTRATION POLICIES  

Failure to follow the Registration Fee Payment Policies may result in being dropped from your league.

1) Registration fees must be paid in FULL no later than the 3rd week of play (for 10-game seasons) and no later than the 2nd week of play (for 8-game seasons) via PayPal, CASH, Money Order or Personal Check. If fees are not received you will be assessed a $50.00 late-fee and your team suspended until balance cleared up. MLS WILL NOT HONOR POST DATED CHECKS! LATE PAYMENTS will only be accepted via CASH, PayPal or MONEY ORDER.

2) All NEW teams must pay a $35 one-time NON-REFUNDABLE "New Team Fee" (NTF).

3) Teams that do not have a valid $100 GOOD FAITH DEPOSIT (GFD) on record by the Registration Deadline will not be accepted into a league or placed onto a schedule!

4) Returned Checks will be subject to a $50 Returned Check Fee (NSF) and no further personal checks will be accepted!

14.0 PLAYERS CODE OF CONDUCT - FROM THE S.C.M.A.F. RULE BOOK, Rule #9.

The umpire's jurisdiction to enforce the Player's Code of Conduct shall extend from the umpire's arrival to his/her departure.

Sec. 1. NO PLAYER SHALL: At any time lay a hand upon, push, shove, strike, or threaten to strike an official.

Sec. 2. NO PLAYER SHALL: Refuse to abide by official's decision.

Sec. 3. NO PLAYER SHALL: Be guilty of objectionable demonstrations by throwing gloves, bats, or any other forceful action.

Sec. 4. NO PLAYER SHALL: Be guilty of heaping personal, verbal abuse upon any official for any real or imaginary wrong decision or judgment.

Sec. 5. NO PLAYER SHALL: Discuss with an official in any manner the decision reached by such official except the manager or captain.

Sec. 6. NO PLAYER SHALL: Be guilty of using unnecessarily rough tactics in the play of the game against the body and person of any opposing player.

Sec. 7. NO PLAYER SHALL: Be guilty of physical attack as an aggressor, upon any player, official, or spectator.

Sec. 8. NO PLAYER SHALL: Be guilty of abusive verbal attack upon any player, official, or spectator.

Sec. 9. NO PLAYER SHALL: Use profane, obscene, or vulgar language in any manner, or at any time.

Sec. 10. NO PLAYER SHALL: Appear on the field of play at any time in an intoxicated condition.

Sec. 11. NO PLAYER SHALL: Be guilty of gambling upon any play or the outcome of the game with any spectator, player or opponent.

Sec. 12. NO PLAYER SHALL: Smoke while going on or coming off the field of play, or while on the field of play.

Sec. 13. NO PLAYER SHALL: Be guilty of discussing publicly with the spectators in a derogatory or abusive manner any play, decision, or personal opinion of other players, during the game.

Sec. 14. NO PLAYER SHALL: Permit any one to remain in the dugout or on the player's bench during the game who is not a playing member of the team.

Sec. 15. NO PLAYER SHALL: Mingle with or fraternize with spectators during the course of the game, but shall remain on the player's bench or on the field of play.

Sec. 16. NO PLAYER SHALL: Be guilty of using a bat that has been altered in any way. Altering includes, but is not limited to: sanding, filing, shaving, lengthening, shortening, weight-altering, heating and cooling. PENALTY: Officials are required to immediately remove player from the game. Such player shall remain suspended until his/her case has been considered by the League Administering Authority.

NOTE: The term PLAYER as used in Rule 9 shall apply to all team personnel, such as manager, coaches, batkeeper, scorekeepers, sponsors, etc.

15.0 PLAYOFFS

1) Playoff games will be scheduled the week following the conclusion of the regular league games. All teams involved in playoffs must be ready at the time and location decided by Major League Softball, Inc. NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE GRANTED.   If a team goes undefeated & untied there will be NO PLAYOFFS (except in HYBRID leagues, see below).  2nd Place will be determined by win/loss records using tie breaking policy as needed.

2) Due to constraints on field usage, playoffs/championships will only be played if time/field space allows.

3) Playoffs will be assigned as follows:

4 TEAM LEAGUES – NO PLAYOFFS
(unless top teams are tied – then there will be one (1) Championship Game played)

5 - 6 TEAM LEAGUES – TOP 3 TEAMS MAKE PLAYOFFS
#2 seed vs #3 seed
#1 seed vs winner

7 - 8 TEAM LEAGUES – TOP 4 TEAMS MAKE PLAYOFFS
#1 seed vs #4 seed
  #2 seed vs #3 seed
(winner) vs (winner)

9 or MORE TEAM LEAGUES – For 10 week seasons, all teams will play 8 games & then go into a double elimination playoff format. NOTE: Winter season only top 4 will make playoffs.

HYBRID LEAGUES - in a 10 game season, all teams will play 9 games and the 10th game will be played in a playoff format.  (#2 seed vs. #3 seed & #1 seed vs. winner.)  Hybrids are typically made up of two, 3 team leagues, with inter league play (some variations may occur).  If you are the #1 seed and are undefeated going into playoffs & you lose the "championship" game there will be an IF game played directly after, in other words if your team must be defeated TWICE to lose.

4) Tie Breaking Policy:

In the event of a 2 or 3-way tie, MLS will break the tie as follows:

♦ head to head win-loss records between the teams tied
♦ run differential in the games played between the teams tied
♦ total runs allowed

In the event of a 4 to 7-way tie, MLS will break the tie as follows:

♦ run differential in the games played between the teams tied
♦ overall run differential between the teams that are still tied
♦ blind draw

5) Playoff & Championship games will have the regular time limit. Mercy rule will be in effect for all Playoff and Championship games.

6) Players MUST HAVE a minimum of nine (9) plate appearances(PA) during the regular season to participate in the Playoff/Championship games (7 PA in an 8 game season).  The number of Plate Appearance for each player is calculated by adding At Bats (AB), Base on Balls (BB) and Sacrifice Flyouts (SAF). PA numbers will be determined solely by the official MLS “Dugout Dirt” publication and cannot be contested on the field.