LEAGUE  RULES

For information regarding rainouts, scheduling or problems at your field contact the Softball Program manager at: Tel: 617.863.8300

Alcohol and drugs are not permitted on the fields of play before, during or after games. Violators may be expelled from the league without refund. Team are required to clean their bench area after the completion of their game.

The HUB softball follows ASA rules in all cases except as noted below. In certain cases, where rules differ The HUB rules will take precedence.

Rules are subject to change without notice.

GAME PLAY

Field of Play – The following dimensions will be in effect. Bases will be marked off at 70′ (whenever possible) and the mound will be marked off at 50′.  Directions to The HUB fields are located on the league website in the Locations drop down menu.

Game and Start of PlayCaptains or team representative will meet with the umpire 5 minutes before scheduled start time to review ground rules, pay umpire fees and provide game balls and bases. 1st pitch will be at game time. There is no grace period at the start of the game. Games are scheduled for either 7 innings/55 minutes or 7 innings/1hr 15 min depending on your league choice. Check your league page for details.. If time permits extra innings will be played to prevent a tie. No new inning will start 5 minutes before the official start time of the next game unless the ground rules at a particular field allow it. To ensure a full game is played it is critical to show up on time, hustle on and off field, and know your team assignments.

Fill in players –  Teams are allowed to use fill in players if they are otherwise in jeopardy of forfeiting their game. Teams can use The HUB SUBS Facebook group [click here] to post requests for fill in players. You may not add fill in players to go above 10 players. Fill in players are not allowed to be used during the playoffs.

Players arriving lateA player arriving after the batting order has turned over must be placed at the bottom of the order. Unless the late arriving player is a missing women and then she is placed in the female spot in the order. Late arriving players must be announced to the umpire and the opposing team.

Players leaving early A male player who cannot bat (injury, or has left the premises) in their designated spot is not penalized. That spot in the order is simply skipped. If a female player leaves early, her spot in the order is considered a Ghost out. Players who have been ejected from the game will be considered an out in the batting order. A forfeit will be declared if a team is left with less than 7 players.

Official game A regular season game will be considered official after 4 full innings of play, or 3 ½ innings if the home team is ahead. Playoff games are only considered official after seven full innings or if the mercy rule is triggered.

Run Limit for 55 min leagues only. – For innings 1 through 5, teams will be limited to scoring no more than 6 runs per turn at bat.  Once a team has scored 6 runs their turn at bat will be considered over. For innings 6 and 7 teams will have no limit on the amount of runs they can score.

Mercy RuleIf one team leads by 20 or more runs after the 4th inning (3 1/2 if the home team is ahead), 15 runs or more after the 5th inning (4 1/2 if the home team is ahead) or 12 runs or more after the 6th inning (5 1/2 if the home team is ahead) the game will be considered over. The mercy rule is in effect during playoff games.

Shortened Games – If a game cannot be completed due to darkness, weather or unexpected event, the score reverts back to the last completed inning and a winner is declared (unless game is in bottom of the inning and home team is now ahead).  A winner is declared if the game meets the requirements for an official game (see above). Regular season games that are stopped before becoming an official game are replayed from the beginning. Playoff games must be played to completion and are continued from the point of stoppage if they are stopped early for any reason. See Game Length Rule under PLAYOFFS for more details.

Game Balls New game balls provided with team registration. For playoffs every attempt will be made to provide new game balls but used balls are acceptable for game play

Roster Protests – Playoffs only. If your team chooses to protest an opponent’s roster after questioning a certain player’s eligibility, it is your duty to discontinue play and alert the umpire that you would like to protest your opponent’s roster.  The captain and umpire should then pull up each team’s roster to see who is entered on the roster online.  Any players not listed on the roster going into that playoff game are ineligible to play, and must be removed from the field of play immediately.  If you do not protest an opponent’s roster at the time of your game, please note that final outcomes will remain as is. Protests made once the game is complete will not be upheld.

BATTING

CountAll batters start with a 1-1 count.

Fouling outA batter is considered out if he fouls off two balls after his second strike.

No bunting, stealing, leading off base, take-out slides or blocking a base.

Batting order for COED leagues – There must be at least 3 females in the batting order.  A team may not bat more than two males between each female in the order until all three women have batted. Once the mandatory minimum number of women have batted a team is allowed to bat up to a maximum of four men at the bottom of the order. A typical batting order would look like: MMFMMFMMFMMMM.  (The maximum number of males who could bat in a row would be six – four at the bottom of the order and then if a team had batted 2 males at the top of the order they potentially could be the 5th and 6th male batter in a row from bottom to top.)   There is no maximum number of batters in the order, but the total number possible will be dictated by the number of women, a team batting the minimum three women could only bat a maximum of ten men.

Batting order for Men’s leagues – There is no maximum number of batters in the order. The minimum number of batters allowed for a legal game is 7. If a team has only 7 players a ghost out will be recorded every time the 8th and  9th batter’s place in the line-up is reached.

Penalty for missing women – All 3 women’s spots must appear in the order from the start of the game. If less than 3 women are not present at the start of the game, then a “ghost out” will be accessed each time a missing woman’s spot is reached in the order. At least 1 woman is required to play the game.

Ghost out – If a team has less than the minimum number of female batters a ghost out will be assessed every time that female spot comes up in the order. The spot is still considered a female spot and all other rules regarding female spots in the order are in effect. If a team has only 7 players a ghost out will be recorded every time the 8th and  9th batter’s place in the line-up is reached.

Walk to a male batter with a female batting next – When a male batter is walked and a female spot (whether present or not) follows in the batting order, the male batter automatically advances to 2nd base. Base runners advance only to the base they are forced to move to (i.e. a sole runner on second would only move to third if forced by the approaching walked batter).

Eligible Bats – The HUB uses the ASA banned bat list [click here] as a guide for allowable bats. Eligible bats must bear the ASA seal. ASA stamped Fast Pitch bats are legal for play in The HUB. Rolled, shaved, loaded or otherwise altered bats are not allowed. If you are found to be using an altered or ineligible bat your team will be assessed a 2 run penalty and the player using the bat and the bat itself will be removed from the game. If the offending player leaves your team with only 6 players the game is forfeit. DO NOT USE ILLEGAL BATS. If there is a question about a bat’s eligibility the captain of the questioning team must bring his question to the umpire who will check the bat. All wooden bats that are marked ‘Official Softball’ or otherwise meet ASA bat requirements are legal for play in the HUB.  An umpire may remove a bat from a game at his or her discretion even though it meets all ASA requirements. The umpire’s decision is final.

Courtesy runners and injuryA batter may ask for courtesy runner BEFORE his or her time at bat and the umpire will announce it to the opposing team. The batter may not advance beyond first base on a batted ball, except when automatic advancement would be awarded for a ball out of play (i.e., overthrow, automatic double or HR) or for a base on balls when batting before a female. Once a courtesy runner has been asked for it is automatic for the rest of the game. A replacement runner is the last player to have completed their turn at bat, and is not currently a base runner – a man for a man, and a woman for a woman. If a player is injured while running to a base, it is the umpire’s discretion whether to award a courtesy runner

PITCHING

Count – All batters start with a 1-1 count.

Warm-ups – Pitcher is allowed 3 warm up pitches between innings.

Height – Pitching arc is 6′ to 12′ from the ground.

Position – Pitchers may stand and release the ball from up to 6′ behind the rubber to one step in front of the rubber. Pitchers are not required to make contact with the rubber during the pitch.

DEFENSE

Fielders – Each team may have a maximum of 10 fielders and a minimum of 7. For Coed leagues teams must have 3 women in the field at all times. If you have less than 3 female players in the field you may not replace them with male players you must play short in the field. Minimum number of players required for a legal game is 7. For a coed game at least one of them must be female.  No women present will result in a forfeit. At the beginning of the game if one team has less than the minimum number of players they are automatically the visiting team and must bat first. If less than 7 players are present by the end of that team’s turn at bat, then that team will forfeit the game.

Warm-upsNo infield/outfield warm-ups after the 2nd inning.

Non-defensive catcher – In cases where one team has either 7 or 8 players present the opposing team will supply a non-defensive catcher for the duration of the game or until a 9th player arrives.

Courtesy Belt for COED leagues – When a female player is at bat, outfielders will not be permitted to be positioned closer than 140’ from home plate, and may not move inside that belt until the ball is hit. Teams will not be allowed to play with a 5th infielder for female batters.  In the event of a violation of the courtesy belt rule, the batter will have the option to take the results of the play or replay the pitch.

GENERAL LEAGUE INFORMATION

Team Roster and eligibility Maximum roster size is 25. All players must be over the age of 18. Only rostered players will be eligible to play. Only players who sign a player waiver form are considered rostered. Player waiver forms must be filled out online prior to the 1st game of the season. Players may not be rostered on two teams in the same Division.

Season Season is 6 – 10 games long plus playoffs for qualifying teams depending on the division, league and season. Playoffs will be single elimination, double elimination or best of 3 series depending on the division, league and season.

Uniforms and Equipment All players are required to wear matching team shirts which are provided with The HUB registration. If teams provide their own shirts, they must be clearly identifiable as a team shirt with either a team name or logo on the shirt. Teams will not be allowed to simply wear shirts of the same color. The HUB does allow metal cleats in men’s league play. Players may wear protective gear.

Rain-outs and weather related events – Every attempt will be made to play the game. Games will be cancelled by 5pm on weeknights or one hour prior to game time on Sundays. Teams should contact the Cancellation Hotline to see if their game has been cancelled at 617.863.8300 EXT 4.  If rain is light or begins during the game, it is the umpire’s discretion to call the game. The umpire will make every attempt to play the game but if he feels starting play or continuing play presents a risk to either players or field conditions he will call the game. Please do not argue with the umpire over this. Most rain-outs will be made up on Fridays or later in the season. When possible at least 5 days’ notice will be given for make-ups. During playoffs only one-day notice may be given. If a game is rained out a league wide email will sent as well as a text message if players have opted in.

Forfeits –  A forfeit is defined as a team unable to field a minimum legal roster for a scheduled game or failure to show up for a scheduled game. All teams are required to notify the league if they are unable to field a team as far in advance as possible. No later than 2pm the day of a weeknight game. No later than Friday by 5pm for a Sunday game. If a team contacts the office after the set deadlines the game will be forfeited and the forfeiting team will be required to pay both teams umpire fees. If a team fails to show up for a game without contacting the league office the game will be forfeited and the forfeiting team will be required to pay both teams umpire fees and a $50 penalty. If a team shows up with fewer than 7 players and cannot field a team the game will be forfeited and the forfeiting team will be required to pay both teams umpire fees. A 3rd forfeit and the team will be removed from the league.

Forfeit and penalty fee’s must be paid to the league prior to the team’s next scheduled game. Failure to pay the forfeit and/or penalty fee will result in expulsion from the league. Forfeit fees can be paid online [click here

Reschedules Once the season schedule is released it is considered final. We can help you find substitute players and fill ins through our network of players, but if you cannot field a team your game is forfeited. There is a box on the registration form for you to indicate days that your team cannot play and we will attempt to block those days out prior to releasing the season schedule.

Score reporting and Website Each team will have a team page on the league website once teams have submitted their player liability form. Teams are required to post their scores within 48hrs of the completion of their game via their team website. Winning or losing teams can post scores. Standings will update automatically upon entering of the scores.

Umpires Umpires are certified ASA umpires.  Harassment of the umpires, either physical or verbal may result in an ejection from the game and a warning from the league. A second offense will result in expulsion from the league. Do not harass the umpires!

PLAYOFFS

Playoff eligibility –  All teams are required to sign the HUB Sports player waiver. This will act as your public team roster. Only players on this roster who have played in at least 3 of their team’s games are eligible to play in the playoffs. Teams are not allowed to use fill in players during the playoffs. If a team is found using a player not on the team’s public website the following penalties are enforced: If the illegal (Fill-in) player is identified prior to the illegal player’s at bat the player is removed from the field with no further penalty. If the illegal player is identified after the player’s at bat the player is removed from the line-up, a ghost out is recorded in their spot and the team will receive a 2 run penalty. If removing illegal players from a lineup results in a team having 6 or less rostered players and/or no female rostered players than the infringing team must forfeit.

Qualifying Teams – Teams with 2 or more forfeits are not eligible to make the playoffs. Top teams in each division will qualify for the playoffs. The number of qualify in teams depends on the size of the division. Usually between 50 and 65% of teams qualify for the playoffs. Once the final number of teams in the division has been determined an announcement will be made as to how many teams will qualify in that division

Game Length – Playoff games must be played to completion and are continued from the point of stoppage if they are stopped early for any reason. For Standard leagues a complete game is considered 7 innings or win by mercy rule. For leagues with a 55 minute game time a complete game is considered 55 minutes or win by mercy rule.

Tie-breakers  – The following tie-breakers will be used to determine playoff eligibility and seeding: In the case of two teams ending the season with identical records the first tiebreaker is head to head record, followed by overall runs against, followed by overall run differential. In the case of two teams ending the season with identical records but have not played each other the first tie-breaker is overall runs against, followed by overall run differential. Any team with a forfeit is automatically seeded lower.

If three or more teams end the season with identical records the first tiebreaker is head to head record among the tied teams, followed by overall runs against, followed by overall run differential. Any team with a forfeit is automatically seeded lower.

Tie breakers are not always calculated automatically by your website and may require a HUB official to manually override the final displayed standings. You will receive an email with the final standings and playoff seeding if necessary.

Substitutes – Teams may not use substitute players in the playoffs. Teams risk having their playoffs forfeited if they use substitute players.

GAME DAY ISSUES

No Umpire Occasionally events occur outside of our control and we make every attempt to respond quickly and effectively to outside disruptions. If an umpire has not arrived by game time, please call the league office and we will contact the ASA to determine the cause of the umpire’s absence. Usually a replacement umpire can be sent to the field quickly. Teams should begin the game without an umpire and call balls and strikes themselves until the umpire arrives. In these cases, balls & strikes will be determined by the team who is batting.

No LightsIf you arrive at the field and no lights are on by game time please call the league office and we will attempt to get someone to the field to turn on the lights. In some cases, the lights are controlled by a 3rd party like the Boston Parks and Recreation Dept. and they are either on timers or turned on by an agent of the office. If we are unable to reach someone to turn on the lights, we will make an attempt to move your game to nearby field if it can be done with minimum disruption. If we are unable to either have the lights turned on or move your game, your game will be re-scheduled. If you have already paid the umpire, you will not be required to pay the umpire for your rescheduled game.

Field Occupied If you arrive at the field and it is occupied by another group please call the league office and we will speak directly with the other party. Do not attempt to throw someone off the field as usually this can be resolved easily. If we are unable to resolve the issue either by moving the other party or moving our game to another field, we will reschedule your game. Rest assured that we have the permits for all the fields and times we use but sometimes town’s double book a field and fail to notify us or people utilize the field without the permit. If you have already paid the umpire, you will not be required to pay the umpire for your rescheduled game.

ALL RULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

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