Texas Hill Country Senior Softball League
Summary of Senior Softball USA Playing Rules – April, 2016
Teams are limited to (5) runs per inning, except for the final inning of the game in which each team may score an unlimited number. The umpire must announce the last inning unless it is the seventh inning.
- A Strike Zone Mat will be used. Legal pitches striking any portion of the Mat will be strikes. Height of a legal pitch will be from (6) six to (12) twelve feet above the playing surface.
- The pitcher must take a position with at least one foot in contact with the Pitcher’s Box and come to a full and complete stop with the ball for at least one second before starting the pitch. The foot must remain in contact with the pitching box until the ball is released. The Pitcher’s box is 2 feet wide by 10 feet long beginning 50 feet from the tip of home plate/
- All bats marked “1.21 BPF or below, SSUSA approved bats, or bats having an ASA 2000 or 2004 stamp are approved for use. Any new bats introduced by bat manufacturers after 2013 must be clearly and permanently marked “Approved for SSUSA Use” or simile by permanent sticker, etching or imprint.
- A courtesy runner may be used for a base runner at any time, but the same courtesy runner may not be used more than once per inning. Any courtesy runner found running more than once per inning will be called out.
- Any player on a Team Roster may be a courtesy runner. A runner who is replaced with a courtesy runner may not be used as a courtesy runner for the remainder of the inning.
- A courtesy runner may not be replaced by another courtesy runner except for injury causing removal of the original courtesy runner permanently from the game.
- A courtesy runner on base when it is his turn to bat will be declared out. The runner will be removed from the base and a second courtesy runner cannot be substituted. Substitution for the original player will not prevent this out. The courtesy runner called out does not lose his turn at bat. EFFECT: The out occurs at the base the courtesy runner abandoned to take his turn at bat.
- A courtesy runner must report to and be acknowledged by the umpire. A courtesy runner is in the game when he touches the base.
- A runner must make every effort to avoid colliding with opposing players while running the bases. If a runner misses a base to avoid a collision, the runner will not be called out. (Umpires Judgment)
- If in the judgment of the umpire, the runner fails to avoid a collision with a defensive player involved in a play, the ball will be declared dead and that runner called out. All base runners except the batter will be will be returned to their previous base unless forced to advance. If in the judgment of the umpire, the runners collision with the defensive player in the play negates a double play, the umpire awards a second out.
- Sliding or diving into first base or the scoring plate (or line) is permitted only to avoid a collision with a defensive player.
PLAYS AT HOME PLATE
- Once a runner’s foot touches the ground on or past the Commitment Line, the runner is committed to advancing to the Scoring Plate (or line) and may no longer be tagged out. Tag of the runner by a defensive player is allowed; the runner will be called safe and is not required to touch the Scoring Plate (or line), and the ball remains live.
- If a player re-crosses the Commitment Line in an attempt to return to third base, he will be declared out and the ball remains alive.
- A base runner is retired at Home Plate if a defensive player has possesion of the ball while touching any portion of the Strike Mat after the runner has passed the Commitment Line, but does not yet have a foot down on or across the Scoring Plate (or line).
- The runner shall also be called out if he touches or crosses over any portion of either Home Plate or the Strike Mat.
DOUBLE FIRST BASE
- Whenever a play is being made on the batter/runner, the defense must use the white portion of the bag and the batter/runner must use the orange portion. The defending player has only the white base, in fair territory, to make the putout; his touch of only the bag in foul territory (orange base) will NOT result in an out.
- If the ball is over thrown the batter/runner may use the white portion of the bag to avoid contact or collision. On extra base hits or balls hit into the outfield when there is no play being made at the double base, the runner may touch the white or orange portion. Should the batter/runner round the base on a hit to the outfield or infield, he must return to the white portion. When tagging up on a fly ball, the white portion must be used. After the batter becomes a base runner, a defensive player may use any portion of the double base to record an out.
- If there is a play on the batter/runner going to first base, the batter/runner must touch some portion of the Double Bag extending into foul territory. He will be called out if he fails to do so, except, in the umpire’s judgement, the batter/runner is avoiding a collision. This is not an appeal play.
PLAYER’S SAFETY EQUIPMENT
- Pitchers are required to wear a protective face mask while pitching. ALL players, including pitchers, are encouraged to wear additional recommended protective safety equipment, comprised of head gear (NOCSAE-approved). heart/chest protection and shin guards. Players are NOT required to wear the recommended safety equipment.
OVER THE FENCE HOMERUNS
- The home run batter and all other runners may return directly to the dugout.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES OR MARIJUANA
- The consumption of alcoholic beverages or marijuana is prohibited in the dugouts and the confines of the playing field. The penalty shall be the ejection of the player(s) for the remainder of the games for that day. NOTE: City ordinance also restricts consumption of alcohol within Singing Wind Park.