The Ottawa Christian Softball League rules are listed below. You can get a PDF version of the rules by click on the following link: PDF copy of rules
- 01Enjoy the season and be sure to welcome newcomers.
- 02Always remember that the purpose of this league is to have fellowship with others and to exhibit good sportsmanship. When out on the field you are an ambassador for Christ and for your church. Be competitive! Strive to win! Do your best! Have fun!
- 03NSA rules apply except where otherwise stated (NSA Canada Rules)
- 04Any complaints or questions about the game or rules of the game should be brought to the attention of the league convener.
BASIC FIELD RULES
- 05Bases are to be measured out at 60 feet apart.
- 06Pitcher’s mound is to be measured from home plate (37-1/2 feet).
- 07All bases must be spiked down. First base is a safety bag with the white portion in fair territory and the orange portion in foul territory. Third base is in fair territory.
- 08An official home plate must be used during games.
- 09Home team must furnish the safety bag at first base.
- 10Home team is responsible to set up the diamond they are scheduled to play on.
- 11Home team is responsible for supplying and placing a series of at least two orange cones on the foul lines approximately 40 ft and 80 ft. from both first and third bases.
BASIC TEAM RULES
- 12TEAM UNIFORMS: Team sweaters (with numbers) are mandatory from the roster date on.
- 13UNIFORM DATE: Teams ordering new shirts will have until the roster date to do so.
- 14GAME RESULTS: Team reps or captains must report the outcome of their game to the league convener no later than the day after their game.
- 15PLAYER PARTICIPATION: The team rep. is responsible for ensuring that each rostered player that plays in the tournament must have played at least 33% of games.
BASIC GAME RULES
- 16THREE PITCH: This is a three pitch league
- 17GAME LENGTH: All games will consist of (7) seven innings. Six and a half (61/2) in the event the home team is ahead. Teams may play extra innings to settle a tie if conditions permit.
- 18COMPLETE GAME: In case of rain or darkness, five (5) innings completed will constitute a game.
- 19TOURNAMENT GAMES: Tournament games are limited to 1½ hours. Teams should not start another inning if there is less than 10 minutes available.
PLAY - GENERAL
- 20LAST BATTER FLIES OUT: With less than two out (0-1) and the last batter of the inning goes out on a caught fly ball, the base runners can score after the catch but before the ball is thrown home to make the final out.
- 21COMMITMENT LINE: Is drawn 1/3 of the way from home plate and 2/3 from third base. If the runner crosses over the commitment line, he must continue home. This is considered a force play at home. He may not go back to third, as in a run down situation. If the catcher has the ball in his/her possession, and touches home plate prior to the runner crossing the safe line drawn at home plate, then the runner is out. EXCEPTION: if the runner leaves third base on a hit ball and the ball is caught before hitting the ground (fly ball), and if the runner has already crossed the 3rd base commitment line, he/she must tag up at third with the risk of being put out (commitment line rule not in effect in this case).
- 22BALL HIT INTO ANOTHER FIELD: The ball will still be in play if it is hit into any other playing field. (This may vary depending on the field you are playing in. Check this rule out with every new umpire).
- 23GROUND RULES: Captains should address ground rules for the field before the start of the game. A ball that lands on the road is a home run. A ball that rolls out to the road is a ground rule double regardless where the runners are. A ball that hits a tree or light standard in play is still in play unless the ball kicks out into the road.
Ground Rules by diamond:
- - Medhurst East: no ground rules
- - Medhurst West: If ball rolls onto street: ground-rule double – if lands on street: Home Run
- - Centrepoint East: no ground rules – be cautious of slight ditch. There are trees that can interfere. So, captains can decide prior to the game if they wish to have a ground-rule double.
- - Centrepoint West: if the ball rolls into bushes – ground-rule double. If it goes into the trees in the air, it’s a home-run
- - Manordale: no ground rules
- - Craig Henry: no ground rules
- - General Burns: no ground rules
- 24PLAY BALL: All players should be ready to play ball when the umpire says, "play ball". All batters should be ready and waiting in the batters on-deck circle. No delays will be tolerated.
- 25PLAY START: Play does not officially start until the umpire says "Play ball"
PLAY - DEFENCE
- 26DISTANCE FROM BATTER: Until the ball is hit, all players must be on or behind the baselines, with the exception of the first base person – who can be up to 1 yard inside the baseline. It is at the umpire's discretion to decide if the defending team gained an advantage from the player's position. If he so decides, the batter is awarded first base.
- 27FIELDING POSITION GUIDELINE: Rovers must start 40 ft from baseline and outfielders 80 ft until the ball is hit.
- 28TAG AT HOME PLATE: if the catcher tags the runner coming home, the runner will be considered safe. There is to be no contact after the runner has crossed the commitment line between third and home.
- 29OVERTHROW: In the event of any overthrow, the runner will be awarded the base they were going to plus one. They may score on an overthrow.
- 30PITCHER INTERFERENCE: The pitcher may not interfere with the ball once it has been released. They may not in any way either by attempt or by motion, interfere with any play on the ball once they have pitched it. This would constitute an intentional interference and the batter will be called out and all runners who may have advanced at the time of the infraction must return to their base(s).
PLAY - OFFENCE
- 31NO LEAD OFF: Runners will be called out immediately.
- 32RUNNING & TAGGING UP: The runner must tag-up on a caught fly ball and then proceed at their own risk to the next base(s). Exception: see “Play - General 20”
- 33NO BUNTS ALLOWED: No bunts or chops downward are allowed. Play stops on a bunt and the ball is a dead ball counted as a strike against the batter. All runners will be returned to the last base legally occupied.
- 34NO SLIDING: Runners will be called out immediately. Umpire discretion.
- 35HOME PLATE: if the runner coming home crosses or touches home plate, he/she will be called out automatically for interference. The runner has to follow the runners' lane and cross the safe line at home plate. A runner scores when they break the plane of the safe line, their foot does not have to touch the ground on the other side.
- 36IN-FIELD FLY RULE: A fly ball (not a line drive) that can be caught with considerable ease by an infielder while runners are on 1st and 2nd, or 1st, 2nd and 3rd bases with less than two out. Once called the ball is ‘dead’, the batter is out (whether the ball is caught or not) and base runners do not advance.
- 37PITCHER TEAM: The pitcher pitches the ball to his own team.
- 38PITCHER HIT BY BALL: If the pitcher is hit by a batted ball, the ball will be considered dead, the batter assumes the count before the ball was hit, and any advance on the base(s) as a result of the play will be called back. This is considered an unintentional interference. No penalty.
- 39BATTING HELMETS: C.A.S.A. rules are in effect unless otherwise stated by the league. All teams are encouraged to wear batting helmets.
- 40RUNNER HIT BY BALL. If a batted ball hits a runner who is not on the base, the runner is out. If the runner is on the base, the ball is a dead ball and all runners are safe. The play may be re-played at the umpire's discretion.
- 41EQUIPMENT: Each team must have its own equipment. All equipment must be considered safe to use or will be deemed unsuitable by the umpire. Helmets must be intact and not cracked or broken; bats must have safety grips, not dented (if metal) and must be regulation softball bats...not baseball bats. Catchers are encouraged to wear a catcher's mask for their safety.
- 42PLAYER AGE: All team players must be a minimum of 18 years age. Exception: If a parent is in attendance (either spectating or playing), the minimum age is lowered to 16 years.
- 43PLAYER ELIGIBLITY: All players must be registered to the church roster they represent and/or be part of that church's outreach opportunity in order to play all league and tournament games. EXCEPTION: Any player wishing to use the league for outreach purposes must first report to the umpire in charge at center field and register their 'casual guest' before the game begins. (This exception does not apply to tournament games).
- 44TEAM MAKEUP: Each team must field a minimum of seven (7) players. If the team does not have any female players, it will be considered an automatic forfeiture but can be played for fun.
- 45NUMBER OF PLAYERS: Each team may field a maximum of ten (10) players.
- 46FEMALE PLAYERS: Teams must field a minimum of three (3) women. If a team has only two (2) women playing, they will be penalized by having an AUTOMATIC OUT at the beginning of the first inning and after every 10 batters from then on If two women are missing, the penalty will be TWO OUTS at the beginning of the first inning and after every 9 batters from then on . Also, for every woman missing, the same number of positions on the field must be left open. In the event that a team cannot field a single woman, the team at fault will forfeit the game but may play for fun.
- 47NUMBER OF BATTERS: Once around the batting order: If a team has only seven (7) players show up for a game, only seven (7) players can go up to bat and then that 1/2 of the inning is over. A minimum of seven (7) and a maximum of ten (10) batters an inning. You may only bat the number of players on the team to a maximum of ten.
- 48BATTING LINE-UP: The batting order must never have more than three consecutive male batters Also, at least three women batters must be in the first 10 batters. From 44 above, with one woman missing, the beginning of the batting order must at least have female batters included as follows (O = Automatic out) OMMMFMMMFM and so on. If two women are missing, the order would be as follows: OMMMOMMMFM and so on. The missing women are treated as "ghost" players and are out every time that "ghost" player is scheduled to bat.
- 49ROSTER & CUTOFF DATE: Teams are not allowed to add new players to their roster after this date. Any team may bring casual guests to play league games for the purpose of OUTREACH. These guests must first be registered at center field with the umpires and team reps. Refer to rule # 11 (casual guest).
- 50STEEL CLEATS: NO STEEL CLEATS are to be worn for games.
- 51TEAM NO-SHOWS: Two "no shows" (unless there is a Church sanctioned activity planned on the night of the game) will constitute a team being asked to meet with the executive to determine their status within the league. Team reps must notify the league convenor if there is a problem fielding their team for any given night.
- 52INTENT TO INJURE: Any player trying to injure another player shall be subject to ejection by the umpire. Note: this can include throwing the bat.
- 53GAME SPEED: Coaches should keep the game moving and players organized and ready to play at any given notice.
- 54GAME TIME: Games will begin at 6:30 p.m. sharp. A 15 min grace period will be given. However, if both teams have enough players to start a game, the game must start and the stragglers can be added to the bottom of the batting order as they come. So be sure you always have enough women to begin play at 6:30 p.m.!
- 55PRE-GAME PRAYER: Before all games, all members of the teams must meet at center field to pray and get any last minute instructions.
- 56MERCY RULE: If one team is in the lead by more than 15 runs after the fourth inning, the other team can ask the umpire that the game be called and considered complete.
- 57COACH INTERFERENCE: First and third base coaches may not interfere with the play. Any call will be at the umpire's discretion.
- 58DESIGNATED RUNNER: A designated runner may be used for any player. The designated runner must be the person of the same sex who made the last out. If running for the batter, the designated runner must stand further back than the batter’s box at a spot mutually agreed to by the team captains.
- 59BLOOD RULE: Any participant (player, coach or umpire) who is bleeding or has blood on his uniform from bleeding may not participate until the bleeding is controlled.