Softball Juniors Rules & Guidelines
- The Juniors/Seniors division is intended to provide a competitive field for softball.
- Game scores should be maintained and all official little league rules should be honored.
- Players will start to become specialized in their fielding positions, and will become more aware how their level of commitment and ability, relative to their peers, affects where and how much they play.
Game Scoring & Playoffs:
- Mercy Rule: If a team is losing by 10 runs or more after completing their fourth half-inning at-bat, the umpire will declare the game over.
- Run Limits: There is a 5-run limit per half inning, except for the 6th inning.
- Playoff seeding: Playoff seeding will be based on regular season won/loss records.
- All-Star team: Team managers and the Division Director meet at the end of the season to select an All-Star team.
Pitching & Catching:
- Juniors pitching distance is 43' with an 12" ball
- Both feet are not required to be in contact the pitcher's plate; the pivot foot must be in contact, the non-pivot foot must be in contct or behind the pitchers' plate -Sect 8.01, Official Softball Rulebook, 2015.
- No pitch/inning limit; a pticher may exit and re-enter a game.
- Players should be held out from pitching or catching until they can throw with control and catch/block the ball. However, coaches should attempt to cultivate these skills with all interested players to the point that they are prepared for game play.
- Each player on the team will be included in the batting order regardless of playing a field position (continuous batting order).
- Reasonably fixed batting orders can be used, but coaches should take every opportunity to move players up in the order as they do well in games or work hard in practices.
- To reduce the perception of favoritism, managers should allow assistant coaches the opportunity to set the batting lineup at least occasionally.
- The dropped 3rd strike rule is used.
- The ball is live until controlled by the pitcher on the rubber and the catcher is set behind the plate.
- Once the ball is inthe ptcher's circle, all runner's must hold unless they were already moving forward.
- Sliding is always okay, although runners can simply avoid the tag as well. If contact is made and the runner does not slide, the runner is automatically out.
- Head-first slides are not allowed, except when returning to a base.
- Runners who turn to their left after over-running first are not automatically eligible to be tagged. They must also make an attempt, in the umpire's judgement, to advance to second.
- Unlimited steals are permitted per inning, including steals of home.
- Runners cannot leave the base until the pitcher releases the ball.
- The ball is live on overthrows by the catcher.
Umpiring, balls & strikes:
- Only team managers are allowed to speak to the umpire. Coaches must relay their concerns through the manager.
- Managers should not contest judgment calls by the umpire. Umpires will make mistakes, but that's part of the game. It is critical for coaches to model the best possible sportsmanship for their players.
- A manager may approach an umpire if a rule has been overlooked. However, any interpretation of such rule must be left to the umpire.