First and most important is the understanding that this league is organized to give Christians an opportunity to fellowship and to play together in a way pleasing to the Lord. Winning, keeping score, and your league standing are all secondary concerns. Managers are responsible to pass this understanding on to their teams and to set an example of Christian sportsmanship.
Rules: (Please be reminded that these are NOT ASA rules. These are the rules of our church league.)
1). The home team is responsible for the bases, a new game ball, and a used game ball in good condition as a secondary ball. The home team is also responsible for a “strike zone” mat that will be placed the width of one game ball behind home plate. The home team is responsible to gather both teams for prayer prior to start of the game. The home team is the official scorekeeper, and is responsible to have an umpire for each game. The umpire fees are $25.00 per game. In case of rain, it is the home teams responsibility to decide if the game should be played and both teams are to agree on a make up date and inform the league President as soon as possible.
2). All games are 7 innings long. The 12 run rule applies after 5 full innings. If the visiting team attains a 12 run lead in the top of an inning the home team always must bat to complete the inning. If the home team attains a 12 run lead at any time after 5 innings the game is over.
3). Extra Hitters and Designated Fielders: Teams may, as an option, start with an unlimited number of Extra Hitters (EH's) and a Designated Fielders (DF's). What this means is that the batting order can consist of any number of players, 10 or greater, as long as the number of batters and order remain the same (see rule 5 for substitution details). Note: There must be 10 or more players in the batting order to use EH's and/or DF's. The fielding positions are interchangeable for those that are in the lineup and DF's.
4). A team with 8 or more players must start the game by 6:45 pm. A team may start the game with 8 players and may add up to the 10th player at anytime. (Additional) Extra Hitter(s) and/or Designated Fielder(s) may not be used after the lineup has gone one time through without it. A shorthanded team will either forfeit the game, or with discussion with the opposing team, make up the game at a later time. Please notify the league President of your decision.
5). Whatever number of players a team starts with in its batting order, they must use that number throughout the duration of the game. If a player must leave and no substitute or DF is available, his position in the batting order will be scored as an out each time through. EXCEPTION: If an injured player must leave the lineup, his batting spot will be passed over without penalty. NOTE:A player who leaves the lineup due to injury can only be a DF if lineup spot is substituted for; by substitue or DF. Each player can reenter the game one time at his position in the batting order.
6). The infield fly rule applies, if, with runners occupying first and second bases, or the bases loaded, and less than two outs, a batter hits a fair pop fly which, in the judgment of the umpire, may reasonably be caught by an infielder, the umpire shall call, “infield fly; batter’s out”. The batter is out, no matter whether the ball is caught. Upon hearing the infield fly called the runners must retreat to their base and then may advance at their own risk. NOTE: See end of document for ASA rule for more clarification.
7). A 6ft.-12ft. arc is the rule for pitchers. If a pitch is lower or higher the umpire shall call “Illegal!!” and the batter will be awarded a ball. If the batter swings at the “Illegal” pitch the resulting action stands. A foul ball with two strikes shall be ruled a strikeout. Any pitch landing on the “strike zone” mat shall be ruled a strike. No arguments. Any pitch landing within a game balls width of the “strike zone” mat (in front of it, on the side of it or behind it,) may be called a strike. A game balls width will be used to determine the distance from the plate to the mat. All calls are left to the umpire’s digression. Again…no arguments.
8). No metal spikes may be worn at any time.
9). ASA certified bats only. Any team may question the use of a bat with both managers present. If said bat does NOT have the ASA certification stamp on it, it may not be used for the rest of the season.
Bats that have the ASA stamp on them but are also
on the ASA Non-Approved Bat List with Certification Marks may not be used. Any team caught using
an illegal bat will be forced to forfeit the game.
Change for 2016) Running the Bases - Runners who leave a base before a pitched ball is hit will be declared out.
It is not necessary for the runner to slide into home on close plays. The following rule will be enforced at all bases:
It is the runner's responsibility to make an attempt to avoid contact with the fielder. At the discretion of the umpire, if no such attempt is made and the runner makes contact with the fielder, the runner should be declared out. However, if a throw takes the fielder into the path of the runner and contact is made, it should be ruled incidental and the runner should not be called out.
It is the fielder's responsibility to allow a clear path to the base for the runner. A fielder may not position themselves in a manner that blocks the runner from reaching the base unless the fielder has the ball in their possession.
11). A runner shall be declared out if he does the following:
Remains on his feet and crashers into a defensive player who has the ball or crashes into a fielder about to catch a thrown ball; if this act is flagrant the offender shall be ejected from the game. NOTE: If an errant throw draws the fielder into the path of the runner, there is no interference.
Interference with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball; or intentional interference
with a thrown ball. If this interference in the opinion of the umpire is an obvious attempt
to prevent a double play, and occurs before the runner is put out, the immediate
succeeding runner shall also be declared out.
12). A batter-runner is out if he runs outside the three foot lane along the first base line in foul territory and, in the judgment of the umpire, interferes with the fielder taking the throw at first base, (except to avoid a fielder playing a batted ball).
13). A runner shall be awarded an extra base when a fielder who neither has the ball nor is attempting to field a thrown or batted ball or who fakes a tag without the ball obstructs him.
Runners are always awarded two bases on overthrows which go out of play. Regardless of who made the throw, two bases are rewarded from the last base touched at the time the ball left the hand.
14). Please remember umpires are in control of the game. Only managers are to discuss plays or calls with the umpires. Managers are responsible for disciplining their players. The umpire may eject any player who uses foul language, chews tobacco, or becomes argumentative or abusive. Umpires or the home team manager will go over the ground rules before the game.
Change for 2016) All players must be at least 13 years of age. Every player that wishes to play in the end of the season tournament must play at least 4 games throughout the course of the season. Each team is allowed to have 5 non-member players outside of their church play for their team during the year. (Member = 2 weeks attendance per month.) If a team needs to have more than 5 non-member players in order to field a team, please notify the league president and a decision will be made.
16). Any team that forfeits or is a “no show” without notifying the umpire, league President, and opposing team at least one day prior to the game will be penalized $25.00 and credited with a loss.
17). Field Usage for practice on game nights is as follows:
The home team has the field from 6:00pm. - 6:20pm.
The visiting team has the field from 6:20pm. - 6:40pm.
18). On the honor system, as mentioned before, each player that wishes to play in the season ending tournament must play at least 4 games throughout the season, NOT counting the season opening one-pitch tourney. If any questions are raised about availability of a player please speak to the league President, and the opposing coach.
19). Please remember this is a Christian activity and should be treated as such. Players are to be treated fairly and equally in a way that will not distract from the game regardless of age, sex, or handicap.
Concerning Rule #6 – Infield Fly
ASA Rule Book, Under definitions: Infield Fly.
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 bases or first, second and third bases are occupied before two are out. Any defensive player who takes a position in the infield at the start of the pitch shall be considered an infielder for the purpose of this rule. The infield fly is ruled when the ball reaches the highest point based on the position of the closest infielder regardless who makes the play. When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an infield fly, the umpire shall immediately declare: "Infield Fly." The ball is live and runners may advance once the batted ball is touched (prior to catching), the same as on any fly ball. If a declared infield fly becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.
- A line drive is a ball that is batted sharply and directly into the playing field. A line
drive will never be considered an infield fly.
- For Umpires: Infield Fly. Body upright, eyes on the ball and right arm extended high
into the air with a closed fist. Make a verbal call of “Infield Fly”. If the batted ball is
near a foul line, call “Infield Fly if Fair.”