Softball Rules

General Rules

Reminder: At all Kidsports games, each team will bat it’s entire roster present at the game.

    1. Practices/Sessions: Any game, meeting, or practice initiated and/or scheduled under the supervision of an adult, is a practice/session. 1 or more players’ meeting with a coach constitutes a practice/session.
    2. Weekend Practices: Other than scheduled games by Kidsports, weekend practices/sessions are discouraged. When practices/sessions are scheduled on holidays or when players are unable to attend for religious reasons, players will not be penalized.
    3. Supervision: Kidsports coaches must be in attendance for the entire practice. If a coach has to leave a practice/session, players shall be under the supervision of a responsible adult. Failure to properly supervise players may result in automatic cancellation of future practice sessions.
    4. Time Limits: Practice sessions must end promptly for:
      1. K – 4th Grade: 8:30 pm
      2. 5th – 8th Grade: 9:00 pm
    5. Weekly Limits: The number of sessions shall not exceed:
      1. K-3rd Grade: 1 Hr. 3 per week
      2. 4th – 8th Grade: 1.5 Hrs. 4 per week
  2. Games
    1. Game Schedule: A schedule of games for each Kidsports team will be drafted by the Kidsports Scheduler. Once schedules are published, the schedule will not be changed, altered, and/or modified except for situations deemed to be of an extraordinary nature. All schedule changes must be approved by a Sports Manager. If you are coaching more than one team, you must have an assistant coach prepared to take over the other team(s) in the event of a schedule conflict.
    2. Game Times: All Kidsports games can be started and played:
      1. Weekdays: Starting @ 5:00 pm
      2. Saturdays: Starting @ 9:00 am – 9:00 pm
      3. Sundays: Starting @ 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
      4. Unless unusual circumstances occur, games rained-out and/or cancelled, games will be rescheduled on Sunday immediately following the original date scheduled.
    3. Starting Times: Games must begin on the exact starting time according to the official Kidsports schedule. If a team cannot take the field within 15 minutes of the scheduled starting time, the game will be declared a forfeit. If a preceding game extends beyond the scheduled starting time, the game must begin within 20 minutes following completion of the preceding game. If either team is not ready to begin its infield practice at the above scheduled times, they shall have only the time remaining prior to the expiration of the 10-minute period.
  3. Game Changes
    1. Rainout Games: When poor weather exists, the Kidsports Program Staff has sole authority to cancel games. Decisions regarding cancellations will be determined at:
      1. Weekdays: @ 4:00 p.m.
      2. Saturday: @ 8:00 a.m.
      3. Sundays: @11:00 a.m.
    2. Player Notification: Each head coach is responsible for notifying team players of game cancellations.
  4. Re-Schedule / Makeup Games
    1. Call In: Information on re-scheduled games will be available the next working day after 12:00 noon. Head coaches are responsible for calling the Kidsports office for dates, times, and locations of make-up games. Failure to call KIDSPORTS for re-scheduled game information may result in forfeit.
    2. Rescheduling: Any league game, which must be replayed or continued at a later date due to weather or darkness, will be rescheduled by the Kidsports staff only.
    3. Make-up Games (Sunday Games): If possible, Kidsports will schedule make-up games on the first Sunday immediately following the original date scheduled.
  5. Pre-Game Procedures
    1. Team Arrival @ Game Site: At least one coach from each team or his/her appointed representative must be at the game site at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled starting time as listed on the official Kidsports schedule.
    2. Pre-game Field Preparation: Both teams are responsible for the preparation of the field for game play. Bases must be secured and properly placed no later than 30 minutes prior to the game. The home coach is responsible for putting down the bases. In grades K-3 the visiting coach will provide a second “first base”. As a time saver, it is suggested that coaches using the same base distances leave the bases installed for the following game and exchange bases with the next team’s coach.
    3. Team Bench: Players and substitutes shall sit on their team bench or in the dugout unless playing in the game. Only eligible players in uniform, coaches, and the scorekeeper shall occupy the bench or dugout during the game. Whenever a batter is retired, he or she must immediately return to the bench. The designated home team will sit on the third base bench.
    4. Infield Practice: If time permits, the home team begins its 10-minute infield practice 25 minutes prior to game time. The visiting team has 10-minutes for its infield practice starting fifteen minutes before game time.
    5. Official Scorekeeper: The home team is responsible for supplying the official score book and official scorekeeper. Visiting scorekeeper should sit next to and confer with the Home scorebook. Volunteer adults are recommended as scorekeepers. The official scorekeeper is required to record the following actions:
      1. correct batting order
      2. player substitutions
      3. outs
      4. runs scored
      5. game start/end time (in coordination w umpire)
      6. Scores/Standings are not kept for grades K – 5th grade. (Scorebooks are still issued at these levels to help train scorekeepers and keep the batting order organized.)
    6. Line-up Card Completion: Prior to each game, each head coach is required to fill out a KIDSPORTS line-up card. The line-up card shall include all players listed on the team roster filed with KIDSPORTS. Players who are not playing shall also be listed along with the reason(s):
      1. injury/illness
      2. vacation
      3. discipline
      4. quit the team
    7. Each team must deliver a copy of their team line-up to the plate umpire 5 minutes before the game. Coaches are required to give a line-up to the opposing coach. At this time, both home and visiting coaches will give the umpire a new game ball. The home team should also provide a good used ball as a back-up.
  6. Uniforms / Equipment
    1. Uniforms: Only Kidsports issued uniform shirts shall be worn by K-8 teams during games and tournament play. Uniform shirts must be tucked in at all times during the game. Uniforms shall not be altered in any way, i.e. printing of business or team names, cutting off sleeves, changing color etc. Kidsports will supply the hats. Uniforms must meet all Kidsports uniform specifications. Kidsports does not require specific attire for coaches.
    2. Illegal Equipment: Pitchers may not wear any items on the hands, wrists or arms that could be distracting to the batter.
    3. Hats/Headwear: All hats must be worn correctly, with the bill facing forward. Bandannas are prohibited.
    4. Batting Helmets: Each team is required to have a minimum of 4 regulation protective battling helmets on their bench prior to starting a game or practice session.
    5. Gloves/Catcher’s Mask: Players are allowed to use any type of glove or mitt. Catchers are required to use protective headgear.
    6. Shoes: Shoes with metal cleats or polyurethane soles cannot be worn (except they are allowed for 7th-8th grade). Players are not required to wear cleats and soft-soled athletic shoes are acceptable.
    7. Bats: Any high school restriction on weight-to-length-of-bat will be disregarded. Both wood and metal bats with safety grips are legal. Bats finished with enamel paint are prohibited. Exception-approved bats with factory enamel finish are legal. Baseball bats are prohibited.
    8. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are permitted (plastic only). However, the pitcher and the batter are not allowed to wear anything reflective (including mirrored sunglasses). Prescription glasses are allowed. Eye black is preferred and suggested.
  7. Equipment Violations
    1. Batting Helmets: The umpire shall issue a warning to both teams on a first violation (by either team) if a player removes her helmet on the playing field during live play. For additional violations:
      1. K – 2nd Grade: For each additional violation, 1out will be charged to the offending team.
      2. 3rd – 8th Grade: A second violation will result in 1 out charged to the offending team. A third or succeeding offense by a team will result in an ejection of the offending player.
  8. Sliding / No Contact Rule (All Grades)
    1. When a defensive player is in possession of the ball at a base (except 1st base), the base runner must avoid contact, slide, or give herself up for an out. Failure to avoid contact shall be an out and the player may be ejected from the game. The base runner may not leap over a player to avoid a tag. When a defensive player is in possession of the ball, the base runner is obligated to avoid contact. If there is contact between a base runner and a defensive player, and the defensive player does not have possession of the ball, the defensive player will be called for obstruction and the runner is awarded the base. Until the defensive player has possession of the ball, any defensive player must allow runners to advance to any base (including home plate) without obstructing them in any way.
  9. Conduct
    1. Chewing tobacco, Smoking, Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages, and Use of Controlled Substances: Chewing tobacco, smoking, consumption of alcoholic beverages, and/or the use of controlled substances on or near the playing field by any player, coach, team personnel, or spectators is strictly prohibited. The umpire has the authority to eject individuals found in violation of this policy.
    2. Conduct: Kidsports encourages our coaches, players, scorekeepers, and spectators to display appropriate and supportive behavior during games. We also encourage good sportsmanship and respect for umpires, opposing coaches, and players. Inappropriate action(s) and behavior deemed unacceptable by the umpire will result in a verbal warning to the individual (player, coach, parent, or spectator). If the action and/or behavior continues, the umpire shall caution the individual. If the individual does not control their behavior and/or refuses to attempt to control the offending behavior of his players or team spectators, the umpire may eject the individual or call the game.
    3. Disciplinary Action: If a coach or scorekeeper is removed from the game via disciplinary action from the umpire, the ejected individual must leave the field. He/she may not sit on the team bench or in the stands. Ejected players must sit on the team bench or may leave the game site with a parent or guardian.
    4. Any player or coach ejected from a game will be suspended from the next scheduled game. Further ejections will result in further suspensions or termination from the Kidsports program.
  10. Umpiring
    1. Umpires working Kidsports games are often in their first or second year of officiating. Just like the young players on your team, they are still learning and will make mistakes. Please be patient and understand that each umpire is striving to improve.
    2. Protests: All decisions by umpires are final. Kidsports does not recognize protests by coaches.
    3. T-Ball: T-Ball games are umpired by volunteers. The offensive team provides the umpire behind the plate. The defensive team provides the umpire in the field. The two umpires may confer to discuss the call. However, the offensive team’s umpire has the final say on all calls.
    4. K – 3rd Grade: These games are played under a non-competitive atmosphere where no scores/standings will be kept. Each team is expected to provide a volunteer umpire.
    5. 4th – 8th Grade: Umpires for all KIDSPORTS scheduled games are assigned by a commissioner. Umpires will not be provided for practice games scheduled by coaches. Each KIDSPORTS game is assigned an umpire. Unfortunately, situations arise when, due to last minute cancellations and/or unforeseen incidents, an umpire may not be available for your game.
    6. No-Show Umpires: If your game has no umpire, please call Adam Wilgus @ (541) 556-9042 – if possible we will try to get an umpire to arrive late. However, please start the game on time using a volunteer-umpire. No-show umpire games will not be rescheduled.
    7. Speed-up Rule – 2nd through 8th Grades: As an option, when there are two outs and the catcher is either on base or gets on base, the coach can designate a pinch-runner for that catcher, provided the pinch runner is the player who made the last out.