RULES

 

           MENIFEE SENIOR SOFTBALL LEAGUE

                                                                   RULES

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Menifee Senior Softball League (MSSL) follows rules found in the most current year Official Senior Softball – USA Rulebook of the Independent Softball Association (ISA).   This document describes structure, policy, philosophy and added or changed rules that are specific to the MSSL.  All rules are subject to revision if the need is established.


MSSL MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the MSSL is to provide an organizational structure for Senior Men 55 years and older to participate in slow pitch softball.  All eligible seniors, regardless of ability, are welcome to participate.   Our goals, in order of priority, include player safety, equal opportunity, sportsmanship, fair competition and social interaction.  Some exceptions are supported to extend the playing careers of members 75 years of age and older.


MSSL IS A RECREATIONAL LEAGUE SUPPORTING FAIR COMPETITION.  WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

Have fun, play ball and have a fair chance to win.  Just prior to each season, all players are drafted onto teams by managers or committee to establish competitive team balance.  The number of teams and roster sizes are optimized to accommodate all players.  New or returning players are immediately eligible to play as substitute players and are placed on teams when appropriate openings exist or by the next team draft.  Scores are kept, umpires are used, standing are kept and a league champion is determined at the end of each season.  Team managers have the responsibility and authority to create a batting lineup, assign players to field positions and make all strategic decisions such as using courtesy runners.  Players are encouraged to discuss their desires and strategy with the manager but the manager's decision is final.


MSSL SAFTEY CONCERNS

Participating in or even watching any sporting event involves certain risks.  The MSSL recommends that all participants and spectators remain alert and aware of activities in games and warm up areas at all times.  Danger of injury exists from thrown and batted balls, swinging and thrown bats and running players.  It is recommended that all players wear athletic supporters with hard plastic cup inserts.  Pitchers, being the closest infielder to the batter and most susceptible from batted balls, are encouraged to wear added safety gear such as safety masks, shin guards and chest protection.  The MSSL is a non-contact league that allows run-thru without touching second or third bases and also provides separate bases for the runner and fielder at first base (orange side for runner) and home (scoring line).


ARTICLE  I    UMPIRE DISPUTES

  1. 1.Only the managers may challenge an umpire’s decision regarding League rules.

  2. 2.An umpire’s judgment call regarding balls or strikes, fair or foul, safe or out, legal pitch, interference, obstruction, infield fly, tagging up, missing a base and caught balls, CANNOT be protested.  Managers may, however, request responsible umpire to seek assistance from the other umpire.

  3. 3.Protests must be settled at the time a problem occurs.  A manager wanting to protest must notify the umpire before the next pitch or if at the end of the game before the umpire crew leaves the field.  The umpire crew must call time and allow the protesting manager to provide proof of the proper decision, usually by referring to the written rule in the SSUSA rule book or the MSSL Rules and Procedures and in a reasonable time, usually 5 minutes or less.  Other MSSL members not involved in the game, if present, may be consulted on the proper interpretation of the rule.  The intent is to fairly and properly apply all rules as intended.  The decision of the umpire crew, after hearing arguments, is final,  The game continues normally and not “under protest”.

  4. 4.The umpire’s decision shall be final.

  5. 5.DELETE THIS


ARTICLE  II    PLAYER SUBSTITUTIONS

  1. 1.Pickup players needed to complete the lineup must be rated at or below the player being replaced.

  2. 2.Non-roster players desiring to join the league can play in place of missing players once they are rated. They must be rated or below the player being replaced. (Player rating applies.)

  3. 3.The opposing manager must be notified of pickup players.

  4. 4.Unassigned (non-roster) players can request a re-evaluation of their rating


ARTICLE III   INJURED PLAYERS OR PLAYERS LEAVING GAME

  1. 1.If, for any reason a player is unable to continue during the game, his first time at bat after his departure will be called an out.  A player can be picked up and added to the same position in  the lineup to replace an injured player who leaves the game and his leaving causes the team to drop below 11 players, the substitute must have an equal or later rating number than the injured player.

  2. 2.Subsequent at-bats will not be counted as an out.


ARTICLE IV   INJURY / MEDICAL

  1. 1.Any player who leaves a team due to injury or health can return to the same team anytime before the next draft.

  2. 2.A manager must notify the Commissioner, in writing, when a player requests to return to his original team.


ARTICLE V   TEAM ROSTER

  1. 1.All players on the team at the beginning of the game must be placed in the batting order at the start of the game.

  2. 2.All players in the batting order at the beginning of a game must play a minimum of three innings in the field.  Players coming late but entering before the beginning of the fifth inning must play a minimum of two defensive innings.


ARTICLE VI   GENTLEMEN’S AGREEMENT

The manager of teams playing in a League Game shall have the authority to agree to change rules of play for the purpose of increasing players’ safety when environmental conditions warrant.  For example, wind, rain, wet playing surfaces, etc.  At no time, will the managers be allowed to change any of the rules of play for any other reason.  Both managers must agree to any rule change and inform the umpire of their decision


.ARTICLE VII   LEAGUE FEES

  1. 1.The Board of Directors, in conjunction with the league Commissioner and Treasurer will establish an annual fee per roster player.  In addition to the league fee, each player is required to purchase and wear an official MSSL uniform.

  2. 2.League fees will be used for items such as, but not limited to, new balls for each game, batting line-up clipboards, game/field scoreboards, home plate mat, field preparation marking, and the picnic at the end of the league play.

  3. 3.New players to the league will be assessed a full year league fee and be required to buy a uniform.  The new player will be permitted to play for a team as soon as he is rated and the league fee and uniform payment is paid in full.  The new player will be permitted to play out of uniform if all fees have been paid but the uniforms has not been delivered.  Once the uniform is delivered it must be worn in games or the player will not be legal.   (Also see “league Fees” in procedures.) 

  4. 4.All league fees must be paid by players drafted in the fall draft by the end of a their team’s fourth game at the start of the fall season in September.  Any player not paid, in full, after this time is defined an illegal player.  Any team using an illegal player will forfeit all games that the player participated in.

  5. 5.In addition to league fees, in the above points 1 through 4, a uniform fee could be assessed also to be paid in full by their fourth league game


.ARTICLE VIII   EXCEPTIONS FOR PLAYERS AGE 75 AND OVER

  1. 1.The outfield 160 foot player limit line will be enforced.


ARTICLE IX   MANAGERS DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. 1.Should the Board of Directors approve a draft by managers, the managers shall notify all selected team players.

  2. 2.Provide a list to the Chief Umpire of team members that are umpires.

  3. 3.DELETE

  4. 4.Communicate with players about game schedules, MSSL rules, manage player’s grievances, assign game lineup and defensive positions, manage player’s physical and verbal conduct, enforce team courtesy between innings on and off the field in timely manner, select substitute runners and provide a batter lineup.

  5. 5.The team manager is responsible for the conduct of his players.

  6. 6.A manager must accept and/or play a newly ranked/assigned player.

  7. 7.The manager must instruct his players to not get involved with other players or the umpire on matters that are the manager’s responsibility.

  8. 8.Only the manager will discuss issues on the field with the umpire.

  9. 9.If a team does not have a permanent manager, then prior to the beginning of each game, the umpire must be notified which players will assume the duties of manager for that game.

  10. 10.Managers neglecting their duties will be subject up to and including removal.  The Board of Directors shall be the judge of the neglection.


ARTICLE X   PLAYER RULES OF CONDUCT

  1. 1.At no time shall any player lay a hand, push, shove, strike, or threaten to strike a fellow player, opponent or umpire.

  2. 2.Players shall not exhibit anger by throwing his glove, bat or any other items.

  3. 3.Continued arguing and / or heaping personal abuse upon an umpire, an opposing player or any other league affiliate, ON or OFF the field will not be tolerated.

  4. 4.Players shall not use any form of rough tactics upon an opposing player by making physical contact or unnecessary obstruction of a runner or interference of a fielder.

  5. 5.Players shall not use profanity, or abusive language.

  6. 6.There shall be no use of alcoholic beverages at any time during the game by the players in the game or by players as spectators at the game.

  7. 7.Only team members and scorekeepers will be allowed in the dugout while game is in process.

  8. 8.Players shall not smoke on the field or in the dugout.

  9. 9.The term PLAYER as used on all of the above shall apply to all team personnel such as managers, coaches, bat boys, scorekeepers, sponsors and spectators.


ARTICLE XI   BREACH OF RULES OF CONDUCT ON THE FIELD

  1. 1.Breach of these Rules of Conduct during a game will be dealt with in one of  the following ways:

  2. Warning

  3. Ejection from game.  He will not be eligible to play in any league game until after his team’s next scheduled game and a report filed with the Judicial Committee in case further action is required.

  4. Ejection from park for a flagrant violation and a report filed with the Judicial Committee for disciplinary action.

  5. 2.The ejection and penalty shall be the umpire’s judgment call.

  6. 3.The decision of the Judicial Committee will be presented to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors may adjust the Judicial Committee’s term of punishment.


ARTICLE XII   GENERAL RULES

  1. 1.The current season roster limit is 12.

  2. 2.Teams will field a maximum of 11 players.

  3. 3. Teams that only have elven players on the current roster can only pick-up a 12th rated player

  4. 4.Teams will bat all players attending the game.  EXCEPTION: players attending as, sick, or injured players.

  5. 5.Each player present at the beginning of the game must play a minimum of three innings in the field.  If a roster player shows up late but before the beginning of the fifth inning, he must replace his substitute in the batting order.  Players entering the game late must play a maximum of two defensive innings. The penalty for breaking the player time requirement is game forfeit.

  6. 6.An outfielder may not participate in recording a force out at first base.  A rover is a roving infielder, can play anywhere, and can participate in a force out at first base.  If it is not obvious, the defensive team must inform the umpires who the outfielders are. A runner shall be called safe at first if the umpire rules outfielder participated in the force out attempted at first base.

  7. 7.A team using substitutes may not exceed the current season roster limit of players in it's lineup. When substitutes are used they must be of the same round selection or later round selection than the missing player.

  8. 8.Uniform numbers are not necessary.

  9. 9.Forfeit:  There must be a minimum of eight players ready to play within ten minutes of scheduled game start time.  Games will be delayed to wait for players who are playing in an earlier game.  A team failing to field a team to play a scheduled game will suffer a forfeit (loss) and the opposing team will be credited with a win.  Such games will be so reflected in the league standings.

  10. 10.Canceled games:  Games canceled because of factors such as but not limited to rain, MSSL management decisions, Menifee Parks and Recreation decisions or other factors beyond the control of the teams will be considered non-games.  Regular league games are not made up when missed.

  11. 11.Should there be tournament games see PROCEDURES Article XIX,

  12. 12.A batter fouling one pitch after two strikes will be called out.

  13. 13.A posted lineup must be present on the clip board in the dugout.

  14. 14.Current league approved jerseys must be worn during all league play.  Violators will not be allowed to play.    Proper uniform not required during the summer season. 


.ARTICLE XIII   BASE RUNNING

  1. 1.A base runner that, in the umpire’s opinion, makes a commitment to a base may be “tagged” out by the fielder by either touching the runner with the hand holding the ball or by touching the base while holding the ball.  This is not necessarily a force play.

  2. 2.Sliding to a base is not allowed.  The runner is out, ball is dead and no runners may advance.  This is a safety rule.  Players accidentally falling down and crawling back or reaching back to touch the base with their hand in a non-aggressive way shall not be called out for sliding

  3. 3.To avoid being hit by the batted ball, a runner on first or third base has the option to stand in foul territory prior to the ball being pitched, but must return to the base to advance.

  4. 4.If the defensive player obstructs the runner’s ability to pass on either side of the base the runner will be deemed safe.

  5. 5.Runners must run on either side of the base when the defensive player occupies the base.  Runners should run to the opposite side of any base from the direction of a thrown ball to avoid interference with the defensive player.  If the runner runs on the side of the base the throw is coming from, the umpire will make a judgment call weather the runner should be called out for physical or visual interference.

6      When there is a scoring plate, the runner must touch the scoring plate.

        The runner must avoid a collision with the fielder on all plays made at all bases.  While attempting                              to avoid a collision with the first baseman, the runner may run in foul territory as far off the path as necessary and not touch either base but not to avoid a tag.  To be safe at first, the runner must pass the line of the base before the first baseman, with the ball, touches first base. The umpire will judge the runner has reached any base or scoring line when the runner’s foot touches the base, or touches the ground next to or past the base, or touches the ground on or past the scoring line. 


  1. 6.Runners may overrun (running wide of all) bases to avoid collisions, but not to avoid a tag.  Base runners are encouraged to run thru to avoid contact with the defensive player.

  2. 7.A runner touching a base on a run-thru will be live to be putout by a “tag”.   A runner not touching a base in a run-thru must return to the base to advance to the next base.  If the runner continues to the next base without touching a base after the overrun, the umpire, on appeal, can call the runner out.

  3. 8.Any runner returning to a base may, whenever possible, may overrun the base if necessary to avoid a collision or interference with the defensive player as described above.  In this case, he may touch the bag.


ARTICLE XIV    MAXIMUM RUNS PER INNING

  1. 1.The maximum number of runs allowed in each inning is five.  After the team at bat has scored five runs they must take the field.

  2. 2.Exception to the rule:

  3. DELETE    (“Catch-Up Rule”).

  4. Inning 7 is an open inning for unlimited scoring for both teams with the following provisions: 

  5. If the visiting team is ahead by 10 or more runs, the maximum number of runs it will be allowed is 5.

  6. If the visiting team is limited by the 5 run rule, the home team can only tie the game.  Hence, the game will go into extra innings.  If the run limit rule does not apply to the visiting team (meaning the visiting team made less than 5 runs with 3 outs), the home team, may win the game.

  7. 3.All extra innings will be open innings.


ARTICLE XV     PITCHING SCREEN 

Use of the pitching screen is mandatory for the pitcher.  The pitcher must use the screen as directed by the league using the following rules:

  1. 1.The pitching screen must be placed not more than 2 feet in front of the pitching rubber and that it shall overlap by a minimum of ¼ or the maximum of ½ of the length of the pitching rubber.

  2. 2.The net must face the batter and must be placed upright anywhere within the pitching screen box.  

  3. 3.At any one at bat, a batted ball hitting the screen creates a dead ball and counts as a strike.  Runners cannot advance.

  4. 4.Defensive players may not move or knock over the pitching screen during a live ball situation.  Penalty for illegally moving the pitching screen – all batter/runner(s) are awarded the base they are trying to attain, plus two additional bases.  A defensive player may adjust the pitching screen position, within its legally defined limits, during a dead ball or time out situation.

  5. 5.If a thrown ball hits or embeds in the pitching screen, the ball remains live and in play.