Rules

Recreation League Rules & Code of Conduct: Divisions T-Ball, 1-4

UPDATED: 4/22/2021

GOALS
The MGSA stands for healthy competition, fair play, good sportsmanship, respect for players, coaches, and parents, learning and improvement. The MGSA promotes the idea that the emotional and physical well-being of the players are more important than winning a game. We want our volunteer coaches to treat each player fairly but also as an individual. We promote player safety as paramount both during practice and games.

CONDUCT
Coaches, Players, their families and guests will support all players, coaches, and umpires. The plate umpire’s decision is final and binding. Physical or verbal abuse and/or profanity of any kind will not be tolerated. Verbal abuse includes repeated and consistent questioning of umpire calls. Appropriate action will be taken by the umpire, coach, or a board member up to, and including, forfeiture of the game or ejection of the offending person(s). If a parent or coach is ejected from a game, their child is also ejected.  If a coach is ejected, they will also be suspended for their next game.  (Their child will be allowed to play in the next game).  If a coach is ejected twice within one season, they will be suspended from coaching for the remainder of the season.

Coaches are strongly encouraged to take an active role in maintaining order during games. This includes their players, assistant coaches, and spectators. Questions and rule clarifications may be asked of umpires in a civil manner, during a time out or between innings, by uniformed coaches only. Parents will direct their questions and concerns to their coaches for action. Coaches are encouraged to bring to the attention of the Board any issues they may have with game officials promptly for our review and/or action.

Game Schedules & Field assignments
All Recreation League games and field assignments will be determined by the scheduler appointed by the Board of Directors. All games will be played as scheduled unless cancelled due to weather or field conditions by a designated representative of the Board, or the Umpire once the game has started.

  1. Home and Away Teams will be determined by the League Scheduler.
  2. There will be a 10 minute grace period for teams arriving late to a game.
  3. Games will be 7 innings long for Divisions 2, 3, and 4 except for the following:
  4. In the event of a suspension of play, if at least 5 complete innings have been played, regardless of the length of time played, the game will be considered official and the final score will be the score at the end of the last full inning completed.
    B. Any game reaching a duration of 2 hours shall be considered a complete game regardless of the number of innings played.
    C. No new inning will be started after 2 hours of play unless the score is tied. In the event the game can not be completed before darkness, the game will be considered official and the final score will be the score at the end of the last full inning completed.
    D. The start of an inning is immediately after the 3rd out of the home team in the previous inning.
    E. Games not started or lasting less than 2 hours with fewer than 5 innings played will be void and rescheduled by the League Scheduler.
    The only exception to the above are Tournament Games, which cannot end in a tie. If a tie game of 5 or more complete innings or 2 or more hours in duration must be suspended due to rain or darkness, play will resume the following day on the same field at 6:00 PM. Games scheduled on that field will be delayed until the tie game is completed with a winner. Home Teams during Tournament will be determined via coin flip during the umpire & coaches meeting prior to the start of the game. The 2 hour time limit applies to all Tournament Games except for the Championship Games, which are not time limited.

WEATHER
The MGSA will try to play as many games as possible, but will suspend or cancel games whenever we feel player safety is compromised. Once a determination has been made that conditions are unsuitable for play, we will post it on our website, www.medinafastpitch.com. Once play begins the determination of unsafe playing conditions is at the discretion of a league official or the Umpire.  At anytime you feel the weather is unsafe for your child to continue to play, you may remove your child from the game without penalty to the player or team.  The league will monitor weather conditions at the field using our lightning detector and mobile weather radar to ensure the safety of our players and families.

LIGHTNING/thunder– if either lightning or thunder is in the vicinity play will be suspended immediately and players will proceed to the nearest shelter. Our dugouts are properly grounded for player safety. At least 20-30 minutes without lightning in the vicinity must pass before play can resume. This is in the judgement of a league official or the UMP and coaches participating in the game.

If for any reason you disagree with the judgment of a league official, umpire or coach regarding weather conditions, you have the right and responsibility to remove your child from the field of play without penalty to your child or her team.

PLAYER ELIGIBILITY
Division is determined by age. Players may elect to play up one age division upon request.

T-ball. 3-5 years old.

Division 1: 6-8 years old  (Coach Pitch)

Division 2: 9-11 years old (Girl and Coach Pitch)

Division 3: 12-14 years old

Division 4: 15-18 years old.

Players will be selected for Recreation League Teams through a team selection.
All coaches in a division will be notified of the pre-draft player assignments prior to the start of the draft for their review. The Board of Directors will make every effort to ensure that no team is given an unfair advantage due to these pre-draft player assignments and have the right to refuse any assignment that the Board determines will result in such an advantage.

Players that register after the selection will be added to teams based on the following criteria:
1. Team with the fewest players
2. Team with the lowest aggregate experience except
A. Players with pitching experience will be assigned to the team with the lowest aggregate pitching experience
B. Players with catching experience will be assigned to the team with the lowest aggregate catching experience

Field of Play
Pitcher’s Mound:
1. Division 2: 30 ft. from back of home plate (nearest catcher) to front of the pitcher’s plate.

Division 3: 35 ft. from back of home plate (nearest catcher) to front of the pitcher’s plate.

Division 4: 40 ft. from back of home plate (nearest catcher) to front of the pitcher’s plate.

  1. First/Third Bases: 60 ft. from back of home plate to middle of first and third bases.
  2. Second Base: 84 ft. 10 in. from back of home plate to the center of second base. Second base will be 60 ft. from the outside corners of first and third bases.

Equipment & UNIFORMS

  1. No jewelry or hard plastic headbands. If ears were pierced and earrings cannot be taken out, the player will not be permitted to participate in the game. Metal cleats are NOT permitted at any age level in the Recreation League. 
  2. Ball Size

T-Ball: 9” Sof-Tee balls will be used. 

Division 1 + 2: Eleven (11) inch balls will be used.

Division 3+ 4: Twelve (12) inch balls will be used.

  1. Batting helmets will have league approved face masks. Chin straps are not required. Offensive players may not remove their helmets until they are off the playing field.
  2. Bats shall be marked OFFICIAL SOFTBALL or ASA if they are over 30 inches long.
  3. Throwing the bat is not allowed. 1st time– warning. 2nd time– player is out. 3rd time– ejected.
  4. Catcher must wear complete set of catcher’s equipment while on the field of play. This includes shin guards, chest protector, and helmet with throat guard.
  5. Mitts may be used at any position on the field.
  6. Fielder’s masks are required for infielders on Divisions 2, 3, and 4.  Fielder’s masks are recommended for outfielders, but not required by rule. 

RULES OF PLAY
Play by A.S.A. rules. The only exceptions are the following league stated changes.

  1. Play will stop upon injury, but only when the umpire calls time out.
  2. Look Back Rule
    A. Failure to immediately proceed to the next base or return to her base once the pitcher has the ball within the eight (8) foot radius of the pitcher’s plate shall result in the base runner being declared out.
    B. Once the runner returns to a base for any reason, she shall be declared out if she leaves said base, unless a play is made on her or another runner, (a fake throw is considered a play), the pitcher no longer has possession of the ball in the eight (8) foot radius, or the pitcher releases the ball by a pitch to the batter.
    C. A base on balls is treated the same as a batted ball. The batter/runner may continue past 1st base and is entitled to run toward 2nd base as long as she does not stop at 1st base. This is known as the “continuous walk.” If the player rounds first, she must proceed to second base. Otherwise, the runner is out. Continuous walks are ONLY permitted in Divisions 3 and 4. 
  3. A base runner in the process of proceeding to the next base may continue to do so when the pitcher enters the 8 foot radius of the pitcher’s plate as long as she complies with part (A) above.
  4. Dropped 3rd Strike (NA for T-Ball)

Division 1+2: Batters may NOT run on a dropped 3rd strike
Division 3+ 4: Batters may run on a dropped 3rd strike –
A. With less than 2 outs and 1st base unoccupied.
B. With 2 outs even if 1st base is occupied.
C. A ball hitting the ground (before it reaches the catcher) is not considered a catch and the batter may advance.
D. On a dropped third strike, the batter should run to the white 1st base and the fielder should move to the orange 1st base to receive the ball from the catcher to reduce the possibility of collisions.

  1. Stealing Bases

T-Ball and Division 1: No stealing bases

Division 2: Stealing 2nd and 3rd base is permitted.  Home may be stolen / attempted to be stolen once per half inning, whether successful or not.   (Attempting to steal home and then retreating to 3rd will still count as an attempt).
A. Base runner may leave base only when the ball is released by the pitcher.
B. Base runners who leave base before the pitcher releases the ball will be declared out.
C. Base runners may advance only to the next base when stealing.
D. Bases may not be stolen while a coach is pitching.

Division 3+4: Stealing bases (including first and home) is permitted
A. Base runners may not leave their base until the ball is released by the pitcher.
B. Base runners who leave their bases before the pitcher releases the ball will be declared out.
C. Base runners may continue to run as as long as they comply with the Look Back Rule (2) listed above.

  1. Advancing on Overthrows: 
  2. T-Ball & Division 1: Runners may NOT advance on fielding overthrows.  Runners may advance one base per batter, except the last batter of the inning.
    B. Division 2: Base runner may advance a total of only 1 base on any given play, regardless of numerous overthrows on the same play. For example, a fielded ball overthrown to 1st base and then to the Pitcher would still only allow base runners to advance one total base on that play rather than advancing multiple bases.
    C. Divisions 3 & 4: Base runners may advance multiple bases at their own risk and are not capped at advancing just one base. Once the ball returns to the pitcher in the pitching circle, base runners must comply with the Look Back Rule (2) listed above.  

Scoring

Division 2, 3 & 4

Team scorekeepers are to verify the score after each inning. The home scorebook will be considered official if scores are not verified and there is a discrepancy.

Twelve (12) run mercy rule will apply after 5 innings have been completed.(4 1/2 innings if home team is ahead by 12 runs).

BATTING ORDER AND FIELD ASSIGNMENTS

T-Ball:

  1. All players in attendance will bat in a continuous rotation until the full lineup bats each half inning. There are no outs at this level; even in the event the fielding team records an out. The last player to hit each half inning will round the bases for a “home run.” Players arriving after the start of the game will be added to the bottom of the batting order. Players leaving the game for any reason will be skipped in the batting order without penalty. T-Ball games are not scored and should aim to keep games around 1 hour in length, which should be each team batting its full batting order at least two innings. If each team bats its full lineup twice and time allows a 3rd inning, a 3rd inning may be played as long as this will not impact any other scheduled game from starting on time.
  2. Each team may place all of their players in the field when on defense. No player minimums or maximums apply.

Division 1:

  1. All players in attendance will bat in a continuous rotation until the full lineup bats each half inning. In the event a batter has not hit the ball after eight (8) coach-pitch attempts, a batting tee should be used to keep the game moving. There are no outs at this level; even in the event the fielding team records an out. The last player to hit each half inning will round the bases for a “home run.” Players arriving after the start of the game will be added to the bottom of the batting order. Players leaving the game for any reason will be skipped in the batting order without penalty. Division 1 games are not scored, and games should not exceed 90 minutes. Games may be extended beyond 2 innings as long as this will not impact any other scheduled game from starting on time. 
  2. Each team may place all of their players in the field when on defense. No player minimums or maximums apply.

Divisions 2-4:

  1. All players in attendance will bat in a continuous rotation until three (3) outs have been made. Players arriving after the start of the game will be added to the bottom of the batting order. Players leaving the game for any reason will be skipped in the batting order without penalty.
  2. A team may score a maximum of 5 runs in their half inning. The inning is over as soon as the fifth run is scored or 3 outs have been attained. Divisions 2, 3 and 4: Starting at the fifth inning, the five run limit is no longer in effect. The innings are now over after 3 outs have been attained.

Each player must play a fielding position a minimum of three (3) innings. No player shall sit out two (2) consecutive innings.

No player, including the pitcher, may play the same position for more than four (4) innings or twelve (12) outs per game.

Division 2: Ten (10) defensive players may be used (4 outfielders; no extra infielders). A minimum of seven (7) players are required to play a game (start to finish). If a team has 7 players to start the game, the game should be scored and will count as an official game even if the team borrows players from the opposing team to add to their outfield. Each team must still bat their full lineups despite one team potentially having less players.

Divisions 3 & 4: Nine (9) defensive players will be used. A minimum of seven (7) players are required to play a game (start to finish). If a team has 7 players to start the game, the game should be scored and will count as an official game even if the team borrows players from the opposing team to add to their outfield. Each team must still bat their full lineups despite one team potentially having less players. 

Pitchers
1. The pitcher must present the ball with her pivot foot on the pitcher’s plate and the non-pivot foot either in contact with or behind the pitcher’s plate. Upon bringing her hands together, she may begin the wind up. She may step either forward or backward with the non-pivot foot while keeping the pivot foot in contact with the plate. The pivot foot must remain in contact with the ground until the ball is released. Leaping or crow hopping off the pitcher’s plate will constitute an illegal pitch.

  1. At all times during the pitching process, she must keep both feet within the width of the pitcher’s plate.
  2. Division 2: Pitchers will pitch until ball 4 is called unless the ball is batted or the batter strikes out. If ball 4 is called, the coach of the batting team will pitch to the batter, inheriting the strike count, until the batter either hits the ball or strikes out. The pitcher will remain in a defensive fielding position. In the event of a hit, the coach will remain in the circle and make every attempt to avoid interfering with the defensive team’s attempts to field the ball. If in the judgment of the umpire interference in making a play has occurred, the play will be declared “no pitch” and everyone will return to the same count and base running positions prior to the last pitch.

Base Runners and Fielders
1. Infield Fly Rule. T-ball and Divisions  1+2: Infield fly rule is NOT in effect. Divisions 3-4: Infield fly rule is in effect.

  1. Batter should run to the orange 1st base and the fielder should use the white 1st base except on the occasion of a dropped third strike as explained in the “Rules of Play” section.
  2. Feet first sliding is allowed.  Head first sliding is not allowed and will result in the runner being declared out.
  3. Runner is out when running more than three (3) feet from the base path.
  4. Runner is out when struck with a fair untouched batted ball while not in contact with a base.
  5. Runner is out when she interferes with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball.
  6. When a defensive player with the ball is between the runner and the base, including home plate, the runner is out if she remains on her feet and deliberately collides with the fielder. The runner’s options are to slide or run around the fielder (but must be within three (3) feet of base path). A late slide that results in unnecessary contact with the fielder, in the judgment of the umpire, will result in an out and possible ejection from the game (if there was malicious intent to injure or dislodge the ball), at the discretion of the umpire.
  7. A fielder, without the ball, blocking a runner’s path to a base is an “obstruction”. The runner is not out and awarded the next base.
  8. A runner is not out when running behind or in front of the fielder and outside the baseline in order to avoid interfering with the fielder attempting to field the ball in the base path.

ALL EQUIPMENT – (BATTERS AND CATCHERS) SHALL BE WORN AT ALL TIMES – PRACTICES, WARM-UPS AND GAMES

All rule changes will be posted to this site.