1. A “strike mat” will be used to determine balls and strikes. If the softball touches any part of the mat on a legal pitch (6’-12’ arc), it will be considered a strike. Pitches touching any part of the plate WILL BE considered a strike as well (Because of the small size of the strike mat and the difficulty of pitching, the CSSC has increased the strike zone to include the plate to promote teams to swing more and give pitchers a larger target.) **IMPORTANT DISTINCTION** The strike mat is only used for calling balls and strikes.
*The strike mat is NOT home plate. Therefore, when a runner is trying to score, he or she must touch home plate in order to score. If he/she touches the strike mat and not home plate, and then is tagged, the runner will be called OUT.
2. All batters will start with a one ball, one strike count.
3. A batter with two strikes is allowed one foul ball. Two fouls with two strikes, the batter is out.
4. All games are seven innings or one hour (warm up time included); the last inning will start 10 - 15 minutes to the hour. The ump will enforce this rule and will make the call at the top of the final inning. If a game is tied at the end of 7 innings, extra innings will be played only if there is time. If there is not time (at least 10 minutes left in the hour), the game will end in a tie. Note: Due to differing circumstances in each and every game, some games will finish short on an hour in length, while others might run over the hour mark. Please respect your ump’s call in this matter. He/she must keep all games on time in fairness to teams playing later hours and due to facility permit restrictions.
5. 10 players in the field at all time. CSSC rules will allow a team to play with a minimum of 8 players. If a team has less than the minimum required number of players it is up to the opponent and/or umpire as to what is allowable.
6. Teams may bat more than ten players. Prior to game time, ask your ump for a scoresheet. Line-ups must be given to the ump for every game.
7. All players in the field must be listed in the batting order. There are no designated hitters allowed. Any attempt at doing so must be brought to the attention of the umpire prior to game time and can only be deemed allowable by the opposing captain.
8. Game mercy rule: 10 runs up after five complete innings (The home team will always get their final at bats).
9. Inning run limit rule: There will be a 7 run limit per inning during innings 1-4. (Exception: unlimited runs may be scored if one of the innings 1-4 is declared the final inning of the game.) Unlimited runs may be scored in innings 5,6,and 7 and in all extra innings.
10. No leadoffs or stealing, runners can leave the base once the ball crosses the plane of the plate or is hit by the batter. If a runner leaves early, the ball is dead and the runner is declared out. If this is the 3rd out of the inning the batter will be first up in the next inning.
11. Games start on time!!! Teams must be prepared to play.
Forfeit rule: 10 minutes after game time. If one team has less than the minimum number of players (8 total) at ten past the designated start time, the team that is short players will forfeit. If however, the opposing team wishes to allow the team to play with less than the minimum amount of required players, the game may be played as an official game. The umpire must be notified by the opposing team that they would like the game to be played as an official game.
12. Base runner to defensive player contact will be closely watched by the ump. Any excessive contact or collision will result in an “out” and/or ejection. This includes contact with the catcher. Sliding is allowed. Any sliding into a base to break up a double play, or any intentional (in the eyes of the monitor) interference with the defensive player, the runner and the batter will be called out.
13. NO METAL SPIKES ARE ALLOWED.
14. A foul ball above the batter’s head may be caught for an out.
15. All thrown balls are deemed out of play when:
· The ball is thrown over the fence
· The ball is thrown beyond the fence
· The ball is thrown beyond the imaginary line extending from the end of the backstop (if there is no fence).
· This imaginary line applies to overthrows and caught fly foul balls.
· If the ball is overthrown and hits the fence behind the 1st or 3rd base lines but does not travel out of play, this is NOT considered out of play and the runner may advance, BUT at his/her own risk.
· On overthrows out of play, the runner is granted the base he/she is going to (at the point of the throw) plus one more base. Note: in cases where a base runner runs past first base, he/she must make a clearly aggressive turn towards second base to be granted 2nd and 3rd in overthrow situations.
16. On an infield fly (any fly ball within the infield with significant arc and deemed an “easy catch”) with less than 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd or 1st, 2nd and 3rd, the batter is automatically out and runners can advance, BUT at their own risk
17. In certain facilities a home run rule may apply. (Consult CSSC official to determine if a rule is in effect at your particular league.)
18. If a game is called due to weather and less than 5 innings have been played, the game will resume from the exact point at which it was stopped. i.e. same count, same batter, same base running situation. If a game is called due to darkness and less than 5 innings have been played, the game will resume from the exact point at which it was stopped. i.e. same count, same batter, same base running situation
19. The Chicago Sport and Social Club reserves the right to change or modify these procedures on a case by case basis, if necessary.
During the regular season games are to be played within time allotted (warm up time is included).
Due to safety concerns, the Chicago Sport and Social Club has implemented a bat policy for 12” softball only. Participants are still allowed to use any softball bat for 16” softball leagues. All bats for 12” softball must contain the ASA Certification stamp. Bats that do not contain this stamp are ineligible for use in the CSSC 12” softball leagues. In addition to that there are some additional bats that have certification marks but are not approved for use in our leagues. An online guide to these bats is located at:
Below is a link of approved ASA bats (but not limited to). Please consult CSSC office with any questions or concerns:
IT IS NOT THE UMPIRES RESPONSIBILITY TO EXAMINE BATS BUT UPON REQUEST THEY WILL DETERMINE THE ELIGIBILITY OF THE BAT. IT IS THE OPPOSING TEAMS RESPONSIBILITY TO BRING ANY DISPUTES TO THE UMPIRES ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY. IF THE BAT IS DEEMED ILLEGAL BY THE UMPIRE, THE BAT WILL BE PUT OUT OF PLAY BUT ALL PREVIOUS RESULTS WILL STAND (EXCEPTION: IF A BAT IS DECLARED ILLEGAL IMMEDIATELY AFTER IT WAS USED IN AN AT-BAT, THE BATTER WILL BE DECLARED OUT AND ALL RUNNERS (IF THERE ARE RUNNERS) MUST RETURN TO THEIR ORIGINAL BASE).
An umpire will be provided by the Sport & Social Clubs to supervise the game. It will be the umpire’s responsibility to coordinate and run the games, which include the following tasks:
· Starting games on time.
· Calling balls/strikes and keeping the count
· Calling outs, making final calls on any disputed balls or strikes.
· Settling all disputes or disputed calls.
It is understood that umps will assist in the tracking of the score (i.e. Announcing it between innings) and assist in any discrepancies with regards to the coed line-up ratios. However, it is the responsibility of both teams to maintain their respective line-ups and scores each inning.
If your team forfeits a game during the season, the following rules apply:
First Offense: Loss of game and warning issued.
Second Offense: Loss of game and staff reserves the right to remove team from playoffs.
Third Offense: Removal from the league.
If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, we encourage you to call our office so as to help us schedule your opponent a game.
Teams have until ten minutes past the designated start time to field a full squad (minimum numbers of players required to play according to the rules). Refer to rules regarding guy/girl batting ratio. Anything less then the minimum must be approved by the staff and opposing team.
The updated standings will be posted weekly, displaying each teams rank within its skill level. Rank is based on winning percentage.
All eligible teams make the playoffs (teams that have not abused any policies are eligible).
In certain situations teams at or near the bottom of the standings may not advance to the playoffs. Check with CSSC league coordinator to see if this applies to your league.
Playoffs are single elimination.
Seeding: Teams are seeded according to winning percentage, In the event of a tie we also evaluate head to head, point differential, strength of schedule and various other criteria.
Teams may be dropped from their regular season level based on the above criteria. Teams may be moved to a higher division during the playoffs only if permission is granted.
Skill levels may be divided into separate divisions based upon size of level.
Teams may play more than one game per day.
Any questions regarding rules, policies, or eligibility must be addressed before the start of the game.
CSSC reserves the right to schedule playoff games on days other than your regularly scheduled league night.
In order to participate in the league, each participant must sign the team waiver. Waivers are provided and must be completed and handed in no later than the first night of play. Players not present the first week of play will still be required to sign a waiver with our staff before participating.
Any protest made during a game or after a game will NOT be considered a formal protest. A formal protest may be filed before a game if an opposing player’s eligibility is in question. The player in question will be required to provide his player information (name, address, phone #, signature) in writing to a CSSC staff member prior to the start of the game. This qualifies as an official protest. The game will then be played in its entirety as scheduled. Teams will be notified of all rulings on the identified eligibility discrepancy by the following business day – decisions will not be made on site. If the protest is proven to be legitimate, it will result in the forfeiture of the game in question. Games subsequent to the protested game may be rescheduled.
The above procedure will also apply for any other “logged” protests. All rulings by CSSC staff are considered final.
The idea of CSSC is to have fun. We hope that all participants keep that in mind when becoming involved. Although the games may become intense, you still can be competitive while maintaining good sportsmanship. With this said, any behavior deemed unacceptable by staff may result in suspension and/or ejection from a game or the league.
To coordinate and run the league, our refs and/or staff will be available at all times to help the league run as smoothly as possible. If you have questions regarding schedules, policies, rule interpretations, directions to the bar, etc. please ask.
Leagues may be canceled due to existing weather conditions, dangerous or unplayable field conditions, facility constraints, etc. CSSC staff makes every effort to play all scheduled games, thus we will not cancel games until absolutely necessary. Therefore, if you are calling concerning a decision on a cancellation, remember we will not have an answer until close to the start of the league.
If the league is canceled, CSSC staff will change the voicemail immediately. CSSC will then call all of the captains. If a league is canceled on site, CSSC staff will attempt to contact those teams still scheduled to play the remainder of the league day/night. Depending on the time of cancellation, some teams will have to be notified on site. If we do cancel, follow next week’s schedule (ex. If April 13 is canceled teams should follow the April 20 schedule for their next game). The games that are canceled will be made up at the end of the season if time allows. In extreme circumstances, CSSC reserves the right to run a shortened season without a refund of schedule matches on days other than our regularly scheduled league day/night.
The top teams in each division will receive a prize of great emotional, spiritual, and most importantly, social value.
These policies are designed to make the league run as smoothly and safely as possible, and provide continuity for its participants. Each player in the league is responsible for this information: please advise your team of these rules and thanks for playing.