HUB SPORTS BOSTON – FLAG FOOTBALL RULES MEN’S (6v6 & 7v7) OUTDOORS/INDOORS
START OF GAME/GAME PLAY:
- A coin toss will determine starting possession. The winner of the toss will have the choice of offense or defense. The loser of the toss will choose the direction they will go in the first half. For indoor flag football the away team will start with the ball in the first half, the home team will start with the ball in the 2nd half.
- The dimensions of the field are 30 yards wide sideline to sideline x 80 yards long end line to end line. Exact indoor field dimensions may change based on the facility being used.
- The offensive team takes possession of the ball at its own 10-yard line and has four (4) plays to cross midfield for a first down. Offense will have another four (4) downs to cross the opponent’s 10-yard line. The offense then has three (3) plays to score a touchdown.
- If the offense fails to score, the ball changes possession. If the offensive team fails to cross midfield, the new offensive team takes over on downs at midfield. On 4th down the offensive team has the option to concede the possession to the defense which results in the other team gaining possession on the defenses 10 yard line. If the offensive team fails to score but crosses midfield, the new offensive team takes over at the spot of the ball.
5. Teams change sides after the first half.
TIME AND OVERTIME:
- Games are comprised of two 20 (twenty) minute halves. Tournaments play two 13 (thirteen) minute halves.
- The game clock will be kept by a HUB official.
- Halftime is 2 (two) minutes long. Tournaments have a 1 (one) minute halftime.
- Each team is allowed two 20-second timeouts per game.
- The offensive team has 30 seconds to snap the ball, once the ball has been spotted. The offensive play clock will automatically start 10 seconds after the previous play has ended.
- A two-minute warning is given in the second half and the clock will stop.
During the final 2 minutes of the game, the referee will stop the clock if:
An incomplete pass is thrown.
A player ends a play by going out of bounds.
Either team scores (the clock remains stopped until the opposing team snaps the ball after the PAT attempt; the clock does not run during extra points).
Change of possession, including a turnover on downs and the ball being placed at the 10 yard line.
A penalty which must be marked off occurs.
A team calls a timeout.
If a team is up by 14 points or more, the clock runs continuously during the last two minutes of play.
OVERTIME SCORING – REGULAR SEASON
- If a game is tied at the end of regulation play, a tiebreaker will be played to determine the winner. Captains will meet with the official for a coin toss to determine possession of ball.
- Both teams are given 2 plays, with no time outs, from the opponent’s 10 yard line
- If the first team is unsuccessful in scoring, the opposing team takes possession at the 10 yard line with 2 plays to score. If they score, they win.
- If the first team scores they are given an opportunity to score a 1 or 2 point PAT
- The opposing team is then given 2 plays to score and the opportunity to score a 1 or 2 point PAT to determine a winner
- If there is an interception during overtime the defense will take over on the opponent’s 10 yard line.
- In the regular season games can end in a tie.
- In the post-season the above scenario is repeated until a winner is determined.
Only the ball must be over the goal line in order for it to count as a touchdown or extra point. No diving over the line will be allowed.
- Touchdown: 6 points
- PAT (Point After Touchdown)
1 point try – the ball will be placed 5 yards from the goal line
2 point try – the ball will be placed 10 yards from the goal line. The clock does not stop during a PAT, except within the last two minutes of a game when applicable. A PAT is allowed if the touchdown was scored as time ran out to end either half. If a two point conversion is intercepted it may be run back for two points.
- Safety: (2 points) A safety occurs when the ball carrier is declared down in his/her own end zone. They can be called down when their flags are pulled by a defensive player, they step out of bounds, the ball is fumbled, or they hit the ground with their knee or arm. A safety also occurs when there is an offensive penalty in the end zone.
STARTING OF PLAY / HIKING THE BALL:
An eligible center will snap the ball to the Quarterback. The center can then leave the line of scrimmage as an eligible receiver. The center must be on or behind the line of scrimmage.
RUSHING THE QB:
The defense may not pursue the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage until completing a five-second count, at normal speaking cadence, as determined by the referee. After the five-second count is completed, any number of defensive players may rush behind the line of scrimmage. If the defense rushes prematurely, the offense may either play the down over or decline the penalty.
If the ball changes possession in the backfield (i.e. lateraled) the defense may rush in immediately. If the offense fakes a change of possession and the defense advances behind the line of scrimmage, no foul will be called if the defense returns to in front of the line of scrimmage immediately, and continues the five-second count.
A Quarterback is not eligible to run the ball downfield.
A Quarterback can’t throw a forward pass to himself. It has to be at least touched by a player on the offense or defense (with some intent of doing so).
A Quarterback cannot bounce the pass off a defender and run with it as a completed pass. Both of these calls will result in an incomplete pass and are at the discretion of the officials.
A Quarterback can lateral or hand off the ball and become an eligible receiver once he crosses the line of scrimmage.
Forward passes behind the line of scrimmage are illegal.
BLOCKING – THIS IS A NO BLOCKING LEAGUE:
Blocking is considered the movement, whether deliberate or unintentional, that impedes a defensive player’s pursuit of the ball carrier, unless movement is to avoid personal injury (as interpreted by the referee). This also includes the deliberate or unintentional movement of limbs by a stationary player. More leeway may be given to players moving at the time of a reception, but this is up to the referee’s discretion.
A violation of this rule will result in the play being called dead and the ball is spotted at the point of the infraction, or the ball carrier’s position at the time of the infraction, whichever is in favor of the defensive team. If the referee considers the blocking incident excessively aggressive, a 15-yard penalty will be assessed from the spot of the ball (or to the one-yard line if the offense is under 15 yards from their own goal line). Depending on the severity of the infraction, the offending player may be ejected from the game and/or league.
LATERALS & RUSHING:
A lateral is an underhand pitch of the ball to a fellow team member next to you or behind you. Laterals are legal only behind the line of scrimmage. A dropped lateral is a fumble and the ball is spotted at the point of the fumble and the offense retains possession. If the lateral is picked off, the defensive team has the ability to advance the ball.
The offense may rush the ball an unlimited amount of times per possession. The quarterback may not rush the ball, they must hand the ball off or lateral to be considered an eligible rush attempt. Once the ball is handed off or lateraled any and all defensive players may cross the line of scrimmage in an attempt to “tackle” the ball carrier.
Running backs are permitted in the backfield but must line up parallel with the QB. A running back can never take a direct snap from the center. The QB will be considered the one calling the cadence.
For a pass to be legal the receiver must have one foot in bounds at the time control is achieved. No part of the body may be touching an area out of bounds.
Teams must have a minimum of 4 players on the line of scrimmage. The Quarterback must be off the line of scrimmage. Teams may not overload one side of the ball. Receivers can go in motion but cannot cross the center-line. Motion can also only be lateral on the line of scrimmage. Teams can never overload to one side of the center, one player must line up on the other side of the QB.
A player is “tackled” by pulling at least one flag from the ball carrier’s belt.
- A legal flag pull takes place when the ball carrier is in full possession of the ball.
- If a flag is removed by a defensive player, prior to full possession (as determined by the referee), the offense is not considered tackled and play continues with no infraction charged.
- It is illegal to attempt to strip or pull the ball or pull from the ball carrier’s possession at any time.
- If a player’s flag inadvertently falls off during the play, the defense must touch the player with one hand and then he is considered down and the play will be whistled dead.
- A defensive player may not intentionally pull the flags off of a player who is not in possession of the ball.
- Flag guarding is not allowed
An offensive player may not avoid a tackle by guarding his/her flag. Flag guarding consists of the following:
- Pushing an opponent’s hand away from the flag.
- Pushing an opponent or stiff arming.
- Lowering an arm to shield the flag.
- Dipping the shoulder.
- No jump stopping.
If a player is called for flag guarding, the play is dead at the point of the infraction.
Spinning to avoid a tackle is legal, as long as none of the above listed events occur simultaneously.
Each team may earn only two first downs during each drive. A first down may be achieved by:
(a) advancing the ball to or past the 50 yd line cone and then to or past the 30 yd line cone.
No diving over the line will be allowed.
A ball spotted on the line shall be considered a first down.
A first down may also be awarded due to a defensive foul (i.e. interference). A defensive foul is the only way that a team may be awarded more than two first-downs.
CHANGE OF POSSESSION:
A team has 2 opportunities to make a first down. If a team fails to make their first 1st down the defensive team takes over at midfield unless the offensive team on 4th down chooses to concede their possession. If a team concedes position before making their first 1st down then the opposing team will take over possession at midfield. If a team fails to make their second 1st down past midfield the defensive team takes over at the spot of the ball. If a team fails to score after making their 2nd first down the defensive team takes over at the 10-yard line.
If a player fumbles the ball, the play is blown dead at the spot where the player lost possession. The offensive team remains in possession of the ball unless it is 4th down and they would have lost the ball on downs. If a player on either team takes possession of the ball, prior to the ball hitting the ground, possession goes to that team and that player may attempt to advance the ball towards his own end zone. There is no stripping of the ball.
Interceptions of forward passes may be advanced. If a defensive and an offensive player appear to both have possession or are struggling for possession, the reception is granted to the offense.
- Offsides: 5 yards & replay the down.
- Delay of Game: 5 yards & replay the down.
- Offensive Holding / Illegal Block: 5 yards & replay of down.
- Quarterback crossing the line of scrimmage prior to pass: 5 yards & loss of down.
- Offensive pass interference: 5 yards & replay of the down.
- Flag guarding: 5 yard penalty from spot of infraction & loss of down. 1st down yardage prior to penalty results in 1st down. Flag guarding can be called even if the flag is pulled.
- Unsportsmanlike conduct: 10 yard personal foul from end of play (the down counts). First unsportsmanlike penalty will result in the player sitting out a possession. Second offense, the player will be suspended for the rest of the game. NOTE: Loss of down penalties on a PAT attempt nullify the try (whether successful or not).
- Impeding the rusher: The offensive receivers must avoid the rushers beyond the line of scrimmage. Contact or not, getting in the pass rusher’s way is impeding the rusher. The penalty is 5 yards and loss of down. This does not apply to the ineligible offensive linemen.
- Holding ball carrier / Illegal flag pull: 5-yards added to end of run.
- Stripping: 5-yards from the spot of the foul.
- Roughing the passer: 5 yards & automatic 1st down.
- Illegal rush (not 5 seconds): 5 yards & replay the down or result of the play (offense may decline).
- Illegal contact (the ball has the not left the qb’s hand): 5 yards & replay the down.
- Pass interference: Automatic 1st down at the spot of the foul.
- Pass interference in the end zone: 1st & goal at the one-yard line
- Unsportsmanlike conduct: 10 yard personal foul (automatic 1st down).
- Forceout by defender will result in a spot foul and automatic first down.
- First personal foul: Player will be suspended for 1 possession (offense or defense). Second personal foul: Player is ejected from the game.
- Fighting: Player is ejected from the game, potentially suspended, expelled from The HUB.
- Official clock: The clock will not stop if the losing team commits a penalty.
- Zero tolerance for any verbal or physical abuse by any player or fan towards any HUB official (referee, Field Manager, owner, etc). Violation of this rule could result in an automatic ejection for the game and will be subject to further discipline by HUB management.
- The league provides each player with flag belts and “pop flags”, they are to be returned at the end of the night.
- No metal cleats are allowed. Players may wear sneakers, turf shoes or molded plastic cleats.
- Players may tape their forearms, hands and fingers. Players may wear gloves, elbow pads, and kneepads. Braces with exposed metals are not allowed.
- Players must remove all watches, earrings and any other jewelry that the officials deem hazardous.
- Players’ jerseys must be tucked in at all times, jerseys must be tucked into belts.
- Pants or shorts with belt loops or not permitted.
- Each team is allowed up to 12 players on their roster.
- Players must be at least 18 years of age
- All Players must create a HUB Sports Boston account to be linked to their team roster
- Players cannot be rostered on two teams in the same league at once.
- Players may use fill-in players only to meet the format minimum
CODE OF CONDUCT:
This a no-blocking recreational league and as such the following codes of conduct are expected to be adhered to at all times:
- All players shall respect the calls of the officials. Players may not physically or verbally abuse any opponent or official. Only team captains may discuss calls with an official.
- No intentional tackling, elbowing, cheap shots, blocking, or any unsportsmanlike act which will cause the game to be stopped and the player maybe be ejected from the game. The decision is made at the referee’s discretion. No appeals! FOUL PLAY WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
- Offensive or confrontational language is illegal. Officials have the right to determine offensive language. If offensive or confrontational language occurs, the referee will give one warning. If it continues, the player or players will be ejected from the game.
- Any player involved in fighting will be immediately ejected from the game and subject to further suspension at the discretion of the league. Games may be “double-forfeited” due to fights. Teams instigating fights will be expelled from the league. League fees will not be refunded for team expulsion due to fighting.
- Ball carriers MUST make an effort to avoid defenders with an established position.
- Defenders are not allowed to run through the ball carrier when pulling flags.
- No Alcohol at or near the field or in the parking lot. Teams may not bring coolers onto the sidelines. Game play will be stopped if alcohol is brought to the field.
- No seeds, gum or food may be brought on to the turf. Water and sports beverages are the only liquids allowed. Please clean up your sideline after the game
PLAYOFF ELIGIBILITY AND TIE BREAKERS:
- Players must have a completed player waiver form on file by the 3rd game of the season in order to be eligible to play in the playoffs
- Players must play in at least 3 regular season games to be eligible to play in the playoffs
The following tiebreakers will be used to determine playoff eligibility and seeding:
In the case of two teams ending the season with identical records.
- Head to Head record
- Overall points against
- Overall points differential
If three or more teams end the season with identical records:
- Head to Head record among the tied teams
- Followed by overall points against.
- Followed by overall point differential
- Followed by a coin flip
- Any team with a forfeit is automatically seeded lower.
Mercy Rules –
8 minutes or less – 40 point lead, the game is over
5 minutes or less – 30 point lead, the game is over
2 minutes or less – 20 point lead, the game is over
Forfeits and Forfeit Fees –
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 you need to forfeit your game you must email the league at email@example.com use this email ONLY. In addition you can call 617 8630 9300 EXT 3. However if you call this number you must actually speak to a HUB staffer and not leave a message. If a team contacts the office after the set deadlines the game will be forfeited and the forfeiting team will be required to pay the following:
Before 2 PM of the game day = no fee
After 2 PM of the game day = $60
1 hour or less before game time = $110
NUMBER OF PLAYERS 5 v 5 Games – The total number of players on the field at once include: 4 field players and a goalkeeper. For coed 2 of the players must be female. The minimum number of rostered players required to start a game is 4 ( of which 1 player is a female). A game is terminated once it has started if a team has fewer than 4 players due to injury or penalties. If you have only 1 female show up you must play short. A male cannot take the place of the missing female to field 5 players.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS 7 v 7 Games – The total number of players on the field at once include: 6 field players and a goalkeeper. For coed 2 of the players must be female. The minimum number of rostered players required to start a game is 4 (3 field players and a goalie of which 1 player is a female). A game is terminated once it has started if a team has fewer than 5 players due to injury or penalties. If you have only 1 female show up you must play short. A male cannot take the place of the missing female to field 7 players.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS 8 v 8 Games – The total number of players on the field at once include: 7 field players and a goalkeeper. For coed 2 of the players must be female. The minimum number of rostered players required to start a game is 5 (4 field players and a goalie of which 1 player is a female). A game is terminated once it has started if a team has fewer than 6 players due to injury or penalties. If you have only 1 female show up you must play short. A male cannot take the place of the missing female to field 8 players.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS 11 v 11 Games – The total number of players on the field at once include: 10 field players and a goalkeeper. For coed 3 of the players must be female. The minimum number of rostered players required to start a game is 7 (6 field players and a goalie of which 1 player is a female). A game is terminated once it has started if a team has fewer than 8 players due to injury or penalties. If you have only 1 female show up you must play short. A male cannot take the place of the missing female to field 11 players.
ROSTERS – Team rosters will be frozen after the last game of the 4th week of the season. Players may be added to the team’s roster until the fourth week of the session. Only players who sign a player waiver form are considered rostered. Player waiver forms [click here] 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. After the 4th week, rosters will then be frozen for the remainder of the session, no additions allowed. If a team does not have their roster turned in to the league by the fourth week, they will be ineligible for playoffs. Any player NOT on your roster by the fourth week will be ineligible to play for your team in playoffs, even if they played for you all season. Any team using an ineligible player in playoffs forfeits their playoff game.
GUEST PLAYERS – Guest players will be allowed under the following conditions: 1) You have the minimum number of your team to play (5 players), 2) the guest players are rostered with a team in an HUB league and 3) the maximum number of players that you can field using guest players is 9 . Once the game has started with guest players, as team members arrive guest players must leave if there are more than 9 people playing for that team. If the minimum number of rostered players are not present then the team will forfeit the game. There will be NO guest players for the playoffs. Only rostered team members are eligible to play in playoffs.
MANDATORY – shin guards fully covered by socks, uniform shirt, shorts, footwear.
EXCLUDED – hats, hard cast (even if padded), braces of any kind that are deemed dangerous by the referee and any other equipment that the referee deems dangerous. If a player is wearing a hard knee brace, they must wrap any buckles or sharp edges. Players will not be allowed on the field with any equipment the referee deems dangerous. THE FINAL DECISION AS TO WHETHER SOMETHING IS DANGEROUS OR NOT LIES STRICTLY WITH THE REFEREE.
DURATION OF THE GAME:
GAMES ON THE HOUR -During the regular season games will consist of two (2) 24-minute “RUNNING TIME” halves, 11v11 leagues play two (2) 25-minute halves. The clock will stop only if, in the opinion of the referee, moving an injured player while waiting for medical attention would be hazardous to the injured player. Get the injured player off the field as quickly and safely as possible, as the clock is ticking.
GRACE PERIOD – There is no grace period for the start of the game. After five minutes from the scheduled game time the clock will start. At the 10-minute mark, if a team does not have the minimum number of players to start, that team will forfeit the game. If the game is to be played, the clock will continue to run for the balance of the 25 minutes. The second half will be the normal 25 minutes.
PLAYOFFS – Tie Breakers – 1) 5 minute golden goal period. 2) Penalty Kicks will be a round of 5 players with at least 2 females shooting. If there is still a tie after the 5 kicks, there will be a one on one situation until the tie is broken. Any player on the team can take the kicks. They do not have to be on the court at the end of the game. Each team member must shoot once before a player can shoot again
START OF PLAY – The kick off is a direct free kick and may be played in any direction.
BALL OUT OF PLAY – The ball is out of play when: It leaves the field of play – completely over the boards in Revere or touches the netting surrounding the playing area in Revere or touches the ceiling/nets hanging from the ceiling in Southie or Woburn The restart will be an indirect free kick from the spot where the ball either hit the netting or leaves the field of play. If the ball went out by hitting the net it will be placed either 1) 1 yard from the boards, 2) goal kick or 3) corner kick. When the ball hits the ceiling or any obstacle above the playing area an indirect free kick will be taken from the spot where the ball hit the obstacle. Exception, if the ball is kicked from within the penalty area and hits the ceiling or an obstacle above the penalty area, the ball will be placed along the front penalty line.
FOULS AND MISCONDUCT
A) DIRECT FREE KICKS – governed by FIFA Laws of the Game with the following additions:
1. Sliding of any kind from players or goal keepers outside the penalty area is not allowed.. Goalkeepers may slide tackle as long as they are doing so within their penalty area and not in a dangerous manner. Players may not:
- Tackle from behind
- Check an opponent against the boards (Revere)
- Slide to play the ball in the penalty area whether or not offensively or defensively. If defensively, a penalty kick will be awarded.
B) INDIRECT FREE KICKS – governed by FIFA Laws of the Game.
Any indirect kick taken by the attacking team for a foul inside the penalty area, the ball will be placed at the top of the penalty area in the center. No playing the ball while on the ground.
C) BLUE, YELLOW & RED CARDS – All cards are a time served penalty. The time served begins when the players exit the field and the ball is put back into play, NOT when the penalty was called. Get off the field quickly, the game clock is still ticking (exception: the ref stops the game clock for red cards)
BLUE CARD = 2-MINUTE PENALTY – The player receiving this card will serve a 2-minute penalty. If the goalkeeper receives a 2-minute penalty another player may serve the penalty. The player penalized is released in the following manner: 1) the 2 minutes have been served or 2) the non-penalized team scores a goal before the 2 minutes have expired. (Similar to hockey). MANDATORY 2-MINUTE PENALTIES – Any foul initiated from behind the fouled player deemed dangerous by the referee.
YELLOW CARD = 5-MINUTE PENALTY – If a player receives a yellow card then that player MUST serve the full 5 minutes no matter how many goals are scored by the non-penalized team. If the goalkeeper receives a yellow card then he must serve the 5 minutes and a replacement keeper will enter the playing area and a field player will be removed.
RED CARD AND 5-MINUTE PENALTY – Ref stops the game clock, the player who was issued the red card has 2 minutes to leave the building (not just leave the field) before the game is restarted. If the player refuses to leave, the game is declared a forfeit for the penalized team. The player penalized may not participate in the next scheduled game. A member of the penalized team will serve the 5-minute time penalty in their place once the game clock is restarted.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS – A team may not have less than 4 players on the playing area while penalties are being served. If a team has more than 2 players serving penalties only the first 2 penalties are running. As one penalty is over, then the 3rd begins and then the 4th begins, etc.
DISTANCE FROM KICKS – All defending players must be at least 3 yards from the ball.
DOUBLE TOUCH – The player taking the free kick cannot be the first person to touch the ball after the ball has been kicked. Another player (not the boards) must touch the ball before the player can kick the ball again.
SUBSTITUTIONS – Substitutions may be made at anytime while the game is in process provided that the player being substituted is within 3 yards of the team door before the substitute enters the playing area. If this distance is not met, the referee may issue a 2-minute bench penalty for too many players on the court. Goal keepers may be substituted either by 1) on the fly as above 2) after a goal is scored before the kick off 3) at a stoppage in play when the keeper’s team is in position of the ball and 4) when play is stopped for an injury. In all cases, the goalie must notify the referee when substituting with another player.
GOAL KICKS/KEEPER THROWS – May be taken from anywhere within the penalty area. The ball may not travel beyond the halfway line in the air. The penalty is an indirect free kick from the half way line for the attacking team.
PENALTY KICKS – Penalty kicks are to be taken from the top of the penalty area in the center. All players, other than the one taking the kick, must remain behind the mid line until the kick is taken.
GOALKEEPER RESTRICTIONS – Once keeper is in possession of the ball, the keeper may throw the ball back into play. Keeper’s may not punt or drop kick the ball into play. Penalty for kicking the ball will be an indirect free kick from the top of the penalty area. The keeper may release the ball on the ground and play it as a field player with the same restrictions as a field player. The keeper may not go outside the penalty area and dribble the ball back into to the penalty area and pick the ball up. Keepers will be restricted to the pass back rule and must release the ball within 6 seconds.
PLAYER LINE RESTRICTIONS – There are no line restrictions except those for goalkeepers as mentioned, except for 11v11 leagues. Offsides will be enforced in all full field 11v11 leagues.
NO BICYCLE KICKS!! – too dangerous for everyone around you, and the ground is concrete under the turf. Do not do it.
INTENTIONAL DELAY OF GAME – The referee will warn a team for the first intentional delay of game. After the first warning, any reoccurrence will result in a 2-minute penalty
PLAYOFFS – Players must play in at least three (3) games during the session in order to play in the playoffs. If teams are tied in the standings heading into playoffs, tiebreakers are as follows:
* the team with NO FORFEITS is ranked higher
* if neither had a forfeit, then head to head record
* if neither had forfeits and they tied each other or they didn’t play each other, the team that let in the least amount of goals is ranked higher
*if both had forfeits, the team that had less forfeits is ranked higher. If both had the same amount of forfeits, the team that let in the least amount of goals is ranked higher
FORFEITS – 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 referee 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 referee fees and a $50 penalty. If a team shows up with fewer than 4 players and cannot field a team the game will be forfeited and the forfeiting team will be required to pay both teams referee fees. A 3rd forfeit and the team will be removed from the league.
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.
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 Play – Captains 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 late – A 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 Rule – If 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.
Count – All batters start with a 1-1 count.
Fouling out – A 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 injury – A 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
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.
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-ups – No 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 you need to forfeit your game you must email the league at firstname.lastname@example.org use this email ONLY. In addition you can call 617 8630 9300 EXT 3. However if you call this number you must actually speak to a HUB staffer and not leave a message. 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!
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 Lights – If 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.