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«COMMONLY OCCURRING ASA SOFTBALL RULES AND POINTS OF EMPHASIS 1. APPEAL PLAYS An appeal play is a one which the umpire may not make a call until a ...»

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After all play is completed, the umpire shall award the obstructed runner and each other runner affected by the obstruction the bases they would have, in his/her opinion, reached had there been no obstruction. A warning should also be given to both teams. The next fake tag, by either team, shall result in the ejection of said player.

14. GLOVES A glove or mitt may be worn by any player, but shall not exceed the specifications of ASA rule 3-4. Multicolored gloves are acceptable for all players. The pitcher’s glove may be of one solid color or multicolored as long as the color(s) are not the color of the ball being used in the game being played.

15. INFIELD FLY An infield fly is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive or an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder, pitcher or catcher with ordinary effort when first and second or first, second and third bases are occupied with less than two outs. The pitcher, catcher or any outfielder who position themselves in the infield area on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule. The general rule of thumb to use in determining “ordinary effort” is: "Can the catch be made by a fielder without turning his/her back to the infield?" If the infield fly rule is called by an umpire and the ball is caught while fair or if the ball falls & settles in fair territory - - the batter is out, the ball is alive. Runners may advance at the risk of the being caught or may “tag-up” and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul ball.

16. INELIGIBLE PLAYER When it is determined that a team uses an ineligible player in the game, except violation of the re-entry rule, the game shall be forfeited to the offended team. Violation of the re-entry rule results in disqualification of the offending player(s) for the remainder of that game.

17. INTENTIONAL WALK (SLOW PITCH) Any time a pitcher desires to walk a batter intentionally, they may do so by notifying the plate umpire who should award the batter first base(In MSCR coed play, an intentional walk to a male batter results in the male batter advancing to 2nd base, refer to local rules). In fast pitch, all pitches must be thrown.

18. INTERFERENCE Interference is defined as the act of an OFFENSIVE player or team member which impedes, hinders or confuses a defensive player attempting to execute a play. Defensive players must be given the opportunity to field the ball ANYWHERE on the playing field. There are several different types of interference calls (i.e. batter, base runner, on-deck batter, and coach). When one of these types of interference occurs, the ball becomes dead, someone must be called out (usually the player interfering or being played on), and all base runners will return to the last base touched at the time of the interference. If the interference is done to prevent a double play, either the immediate succeeding runner or the runner closest to home plate will also be called out.

19. LOOK BACK RULE (FAST PITCH) Once the pitcher has the ball within an eight foot radius of the pitcher's plate and the batter-runner has touched first base or is called out, all runners must immediately return to the base left or advance to the next base. If they do not, they are out and the ball is dead. The obligation to return to a base is on the runner, not the pitcher. The pitcher does not need to look, fake or play the runner back. Anytime the ball leaves the eight-foot radius, runners can move off base. After ball four is called, the ball is alive and the batter-runner may continue to advance past first base (round the base) even though the ball has been returned to the eight foot circle by the catcher. However, after overrunning first base, if the ball is within the 8' circle, and the batter-runner commits back to the base, the batter-runner must then return non-stop to first base. (Committing to a base is the act of moving toward that base.)

20. PITCHING (FAST PITCH) - Same rules apply to both Men and Women's FP MSCR will use the Men’s ASA pitching rule for all levels of play.

A. Contact with the Pitcher's Plate - The pivot foot must be on the pitcher's plate and the non-pivot foot may be on or behind the pitcher’s plate. Both feet must be on the ground and within the 24" length of the pitcher's plate. The pitcher’s shoulders must be in line with first and third base.

(continued on next page... ) B. Signal - The pitcher must take or appear to be taking a signal with the hands clearly separated. It is legal for the pitcher to take a signal while standing behind and not in contact with the pitcher’s plate, however, the pitcher must step on the pitching plate with the hands separated and pause before pitching. The ball held in one hand may be held in front or behind the body. It is illegal to toss the ball back and forth between hands while taking the sign.

C. Preliminary to Wind-Up - The ball, after the signal is taken, must be taken in both hands and may not be held for longer than ten seconds. A stop may be made but is not necessary. The pitcher may immediately, without stopping their hands or body, go into the wind-up after the signal is taken.

D. Start of Pitch - The pitch begins when the pitcher takes one hand off the ball. If the pitcher decides to pitch with the non-pivot foot to the rear and off the pitching plate a backward step may be taken before, simultaneous with or after the hands are brought together.

E. Delivery - The delivery is limited to one revolution which is interpreted as not two. One and part of another is legal but two complete revolutions are illegal. The wrist may not be any further from the hip than the elbow.

The delivery may not have a stop or reversal of the forward motion.

F. Step and Release - A step (only 1) must be taken and it must be forward, toward the batter. Dragging the foot or pushing off with the pivot foot is legal. The pitcher is allowed to “leap”, provided the pitcher keeps the toes of his/her pivot foot pointing downward. Pushing off from a spot other than the pitcher's plate is considered a Crow Hop and is ILLEGAL. Release of the ball must be simultaneous with the step.

21. PITCHING (SLOW PITCH) A. The pivot foot must be on the pitcher's plate and the non-pivot foot may be on, behind, or off the side of the pitcher's plate. It is not required that the non-pivot foot be within the 24" length of the pitcher's plate. The pitcher must not make any motion to pitch while not in contact with the pitcher’s plate.

B. The pitcher must come to a stop with the ball held in one or both hands, in front of their body for at least one (1) second. After receiving the ball or after the umpire calls "play ball", the pitcher has ten (10) seconds to release the next pitch.

C. The pitch starts when the pitcher makes any motion with the ball, which is part of the delivery, after the required stop.

D. There may be no stop or reversal of the forward motion. A wind mill delivery may be used. The delivery must be continuous but cannot continue after the ball is released. The ball must be released on the first forward swing of the arm past the hip. It cannot be released behind the back or through the legs.

E. MSCR Local Rule - The pitch must have an arc of between six (6) and twelve (12) feet from the ground.

The MSCR pitching height rule was adopted based on manager, player & staff feedback.

F. If a step is taken, it may be forward, backward or to the side, provided the pivot foot is in contact with the pitcher's plate and the step is simultaneous with the release of the ball.

–  –  –

  23”  32” 

23. OBSTRUCTION Obstruction is the act of a fielder, who neither has nor is attempting to field a batted ball, which impedes the progress of a runner. Blocking a base, when not in possession of the ball, is a form of obstruction. Whenever obstruction occurs (including a rundown), the umpire will call "obstruction" & signal delayed dead ball. The ball remains alive.

When an obstructed runner is put out prior to reaching the base they would have reached had there not been obstruction, a dead ball is called (at the time of the putout) and all runners are awarded the base they would have gotten if obstruction had not occurred.

(continued on next page... ) When obstruction occurs during a "rundown" a delayed dead ball is called. If the runner is tagged after being obstructed, time is called and the runner awarded the base they would have made. If the ball is overthrown after the obstruction, the runner can advance the ball remains alive. If the obstructed runner is put out after passing the base they would have reached had there not been obstruction, the obstructed runner will be called out.

24. OVERRUNNING A BASE The batter-runner is not out if they overrun first base and turn either way unless they make an attempt to advance to second base and are touched with the ball while off base. All other runners are out if they overrun a base and are tagged with the ball while off the base.

25. OVERTHROWS Runners are always awarded two bases on overthrows that enter dead ball area or are blocked. All base awards are governed by the position of the runners when the ball left the fielder's hand. Direction of runners has no bearing, i.e., when an overthrow by an outfielder is made on a runner returning to first base and the ball leaves the outfielder's hand before the runner gets back to first, the runner would be awarded third base. (FP only: Pitched balls going out of play are limited to a one base award from the last base occupied at the time of the pitch.)


The catcher must return the ball directly to the pitcher after each pitch except after a strikeout or a putout made by the catcher. This also includes a new ball handed to the catcher. The penalty of an additional ball is called by the umpire. (Exception: This does not apply to fast pitch when there are runners on base or where the batter becomes a base runner.) Also, there is no penalty if any fielder fields a batted ball close to the foul line and throws to a base.

After a putout or a strikeout, the ball does not have to be thrown directly back to the pitcher.

27. SOFTBALLS – Optic Yellow Balls will be used in all levels and divisions of MSCR play.

The home team for each game must furnish two approved game balls, which are issued and marked “MSCR”.

A 12" ball is used for all players in Coed, as well as, Men’s Slow Pitch, Men’s Fast Pitch, and Women’s Fast Pitch.

An 11" ball is used in the Women’s Slow Pitch program.

Optic yellow balls will be used in all MSCR play. If neither team is able to supply an optic yellow ball, a previously issued MSCR white ball, in good condition is permitted(determined by the umpire), so the game can be played.

28. "TIME" (SLOW PITCH) When the ball is held in the infield after a hit and in the judgement of the umpire, all plays are apparently completed, the umpire shall call TIME. Runners do not have to be on their base nor does the ball have to be within the 8' radius circle around the pitcher's plate. As long as runners are not attempting to advance and no play is being made on them, TIME SHOULD BE CALLED.

Stealing is not allowed in MSCR slow pitch softball. MSCR has not adopted the ASA stealing rule for Slow Pitch softball (Rule 8-4 F. #3 & #4).

Players must realize, however, that while TIME should be called by the umpire, the ball is live until the umpire calls TIME. Any play or advance prior to the umpire granting "Time" is legal.

29. THIRD STRIKE RULE (FAST PITCH) The batter may run if the catcher fails to catch the third strike before the ball touches the ground when there are less than two outs and first base is unoccupied or any time there are two outs.

30. THREE FOOT LINE A batter-runner must stay within the three foot line (which is the last half of the distance between home plate and first base and three feet from the foul line) to avoid being called out for interference with a thrown ball. If the runner is outside the line and, in the judgement of the umpire, interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base, or if any part of the runner's body is hit with a thrown ball on the fair side of the foul line, interference will be called. The runner is out, the ball is dead and all other runners must return to the last base touched at the time of the pitch.

31. UMPIRES An umpire, although he/she sees a play from what he/she believes was a better vantage point, may not overrule another umpire's decision as long as the play was in the second umpire's jurisdiction. They may discuss it but if a call is to be reversed, it must be done by the umpire who originally called the play. Both umpires may declare an "illegal" pitch or call a runner out for leading off base.

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