THCSSL Rules for 2017

Texas Hill Country Senior Softball League

February 12, 2017

The Texas Hill Country Senior Softball League will use the 2017-2018 Officiap Senior Softball – USA Rulebook with the following exceptions:

  1. A 12-inch ball with a COR of .52 and a compression Rating of no more than 275 psi shall be used.
  2. Players are encouraged to wear the numbered jersey furnished by the league, but there is no penalty for not doing so.
  3. Ten (10) players constitute a team. However, a team may start or continue a game with no fewer than nine (9) players. No out will be declared when the tenth position comes to bat. If a team is batting more than 10 players, and a player leaves the batting order, no out will be declared when that position comes to bat.
  4. Any player on the team’s roster may be substituted into the game without penalty, whether listed as a sub or not. Any late arriving players must be added at the end of the batting order (unless they are replacing a fill in player).
  5. All players on a team’s roster in attendance and able to play must be in the batting order and must play at least two (2) defensive innings.
  6. A team must have a minimum of six (6) roster players for an official game. A team must draw players from registered league players until they reach the number of players constituting a team. Fill in players will be selected by a drawing and must bat in the order selected at the end on the batting order. If both teams are short roster players, the team with the fewest roster players draws first, of if both teams need an equal number of players , the home team draws first. The teams alternate drawing until both teams have a full team of ten (10) players. If more players are needed by a team than are available to fill in, and the opposing team has more players than needed for a full team, players from the opposing team may volunteer to play with the shorthanded team. If a team picked up fill in player(s), any roster player arriving late must replace the last fill in player selected that is still in the game.
  7. Fill in players will be limited to advancing to first base during their at bat, unless they make an out. There is no limit on advancement of baserunners (which includes fill in players already on base). The ball remains live with all runners in jeopardy to be put out until the umpire calls time. This rule does not apply to new league players who are playing as PREFERRED fill-ins until placed on a team’s roster.
  8. A forfeit will be declared if a team does not have a legal team (minimum 6 roster players) ready to play at the scheduled game time or is unable to maintain a legal team (minimum 6 roster players) during the game.
  9. If a player leaves for any reason other than ejection, and it causes the team to drop below ten (10) players in the batting order, a fill in player must be selected for replacement (if fill ins are available) by drawing.
  10. The scoring plate is an additional base identical in dimensions to home plate, located in foul territory eight (8) feet from the point of home plate and in line with the first base line.
  11. The game time begins when the umpire declares “play ball” prior to the first pitch.
  12. The regulation time limit shall be fifty-five (55) minutes, plus the open inning.
  13. Home team will be designated y the schedule.
  14. Games tied after seven (7) innings or time limit plus open inning, will continue with the International Tie-Breaker Rule and “One-Pitch”, until one team is ahead after the completion of any subsequent inning.
  15. Fair territory includes only the image of home plate on the strike mat.
  16. There is a limit of two (2) “over the fence” home runs for each team. Each home run over the limit is considered a walk and baserunners advance only if  forced by the batter being awarded the walk.
  17. Protests will be considered by a committee appointed by the League President.
  18. All players must be registered through the Texas Hill Country Senior Softball League (THCSSL) before participating in a game.
  19. The Strike Zone Mat shall be twenty-one (21) inches by thirty-five (35) inches.
  20. A base runner shall be called out if the runner touches or crosses over any portion of the Batter’s Box Mat.
  21. Texas Hill Country Senior Softball League (THCSSL) Board of Directors will have the same authority vested in the SSUSA board to consider penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct.
  22. Postponements prior to the start of an evening’s play shall be the responsibility of the League President. Once play has begun, the umpire-in-chief shall have the responsibility to suspend the game in progress and postpone any remaining game(s) on that nights schedule. The THCSSL Board of Directors will determine the make-up schedule for postponed or suspended games. Any suspended game that is not considered regulation shall be replayed from the beginning.

Players and Teams

  1. PLAYER ELIGIBILITY– All men (50+) and women (45+) are eligible to play provided they attain the minimum age any time during the calendar year of the current season.  When required, proof of age must be furnished (Driver’s License, Passport, or other recognized picture ID). Former players which have been suspended in any previous season, for any reason, must request reinstatement from the THCSSL Board of Directors, in writing. All players must complete applicable registration forms prior to participating in any THCSSL activity.
  2. ANNUAL TEAM FORMATION (DRAFT)- Teams will be formed each season via a drafting protocol in the attempt to promote competitive equality. The draft will be held on a date to be determined each year using the previous season ratings for returning players and after the scheduled skill assessment session for new players. The drafting protocol will be determined each season by the number of teams to be formed. Once selected, each player must play the current season for the drafting team, unless officially released by the team manager and approved by the THCSSL Board of Directors. The released player may not join another team during the current season unless approved by the THCSSL Board of Directors.
  3. TEAM ROSTERS/PARTICIPATION – Maximum active team rosters will be 12 players. Should active team rosters reach a cumulative total of twelve (12) or more players before mid-season, the THCSSL reserves the right to form an additional team and adjust the playing schedule accordingly for the remainder of the season.
  4. IN SEASON PLAYER ADDITIONS – New layers registering after the team formation draft must complete a skill assessment protocol prior to permanent team assignment as determined by the Player Placement Committee (PPC) on non-manager players appointed by the THCSSL Board of Directors, based on team roster needs and competitive balance. If a new player first joins at a regular season game, he/she may play for a team needing players for one or two games, after which time the Player Placement Committee (PPC) will rate the player for the purpose of team placement. The skill assessment protocol will be determined by the Player Placement Committee (PPC) and may include observation of the new player in practice, in games and a skill assessment session as described in paragraph 6 below.
  5. INJURED/INACTIVE PLAYERS – In order to be placed on “Injured/Inactive” status, both player and manager must sign the appropriate paperwork and submit same to the THCSSL Board of Directors for approval. Only after the necessary paperwork is completed shall the “injured/inactive” player’s team be eligible to replace subject player. If subject player wishes to be reinstated during the current season, he/she may request reinstatement, in writing to the THCSSL Board of Directors for approval. If reinstated, subject player will be assigned by the Player Placement Committee (PPC), based on team roster needs and competitive balance. Team managers who return from the injured/inactive status may return to their original team.
  6. PLAYER SKILL ASSESSMENT – Players joining the league for the first time must complete a skill assessment prior to the annual draft, or prior to team assignment if joining during a season – at the discretion of the Player Placement Committee (PPC). The skill assessment will consist of batting (5 swings), fielding & throwing (5 chances at position of player’s choice), and base running. Each skill will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, by team managers and Board of Directors members present at the session.
  7. END-of-SEASON PLAYER RATINGS – At the end of each season, team managers will rate all players on all teams in his/her division. These ratings will be submitted to the THCSSL Board of Directors President, who will compile average ratings for use in the next season’s draft.
  8. PLAYER FEES – Player fees for each playing season shall be based on anticipated costs (caps, jerseys, playing & practice field rental, umpire & scorekeeper fees, administrative & operating expenditures, etc.). Individual player fees will be due & payable on/before the first scheduled league game. Team managers will not issue teams cap & jersey until fee is paid. Non-payment of the fee by the third game of each season will result in suspension of the player until paid. If player opts to withdraw BEFORE the first game of the season, a full refund will be given. Thereafter, a player refund will be given only in the event of a season ending injury, according to the following schedule: if/when the cap & jersey are returned in usable condition: 100% before game two, 50% before game 5, 0% after game 5.