3rd-4th Grade Softball Rules

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Modified Player Pitch

Teams are formed by school area and by skill into Gold, Silver and Bronze division when possible.

KIDSPORTS follows National Federation High School Softball rules except as modified below.

  1. Section 4-I: FIELD DIMENSIONS
    1. Base Distance: Measurements are:
      1. 60′ baseline
      2. 84′ 10″ from home plate – 2nd base.
    2. Pitching Distance: 32′ pitching rubber – measured from the front edge of the pitching plate to the rear tip of home plate.
  2. SECTION 4-II: GAME EQUIPMENT
    1. Ball Size/Style: 11″ softball will be used for all game and practice sessions. Only softballs furnished by KIDSPORTS can be used in scheduled KIDSPORTS games. Each team should provide at least one new ball as well as a slightly used ball.
  3. SECTION 4-III: PLAYER REQUIREMENTS/LINE-UPS
    1. Starting Line-Up: games are played with 9 defensive players on the field.
    2. Short Lineups: Teams may start and finish the game with 7 players. If an 8th or 9th player shows up after the line-up card is turned in, she must be placed in the 8th or 9th spot in the line-up. She can enter the game only at the beginning of a half-inning. Whenever the vacant 8th or 9th spot in the line-up is due to bat, the position will be skipped (no out will be recorded).

      This same rule will apply in the case of a team playing with 7 or 8 players due to injury or ejection. Any team reduced to less than 7 players due to injury, illness, ejection, etc. will be required to forfeit. A team with 7 or fewer players may choose to forfeit the game – and then borrow players from the opposing team to play the game. This game will not be rescheduled.
    3. Playing Requirements: At the beginning of every defensive inning, players who did not play in the previous inning on defense must be inserted into the defensive line-up. The intention of this rule is to ensure that all players play in the field at least half of the defensive outs.
    4. Substitution Violations: If a team violates the substitution rule, the opposing coach should call “time-out” and ask the coach to make appropriate changes. If the coach refuses, the game is played and the opposing coach should contact his/her Sports Manager at KIDSPORTS.
    5. Eligible Batters: All players present at the game will be in the batting order for the entire game.
    6. Late Arrival: A player arriving after the game has started may be allowed to play and must then be inserted at the end of the batting order for the remainder of the game. A player who arrives so late to a game that he/she would be unable to complete her 6 defensive outs in the allotted time or standard number of innings will be ineligible to play that game.
    7. Injured Player: If a player is injured and cannot attempt their turn at-bat, their at-bat will be skipped in the order and no out will be recorded. If a player is injured while on the base paths, the player who recorded the last out will enter into the game for the injured runner. If a player is injured on defense, a substitute may replace the player until she is able to return.
  4. SECTION 4-IV: THE GAME
    1. Regulation Games: Consists of 5 innings unless shortened because of time limit or bad weather.
      1. There is no minimum number of innings required to constitute a completed game.
      2. If play is called when the teams have not had an equal number of completed turns at bat, the score shall be the same as it was at the end of the last completed inning; except that if the home team in its half of the incomplete inning scores a run (or runs) which equals or exceeds the opponent’s score the final score shall be as recorded when the game is called.
    2. Inning Termination: 5-Run Rule An inning is over when the 5 runs have been scored or 3 outs have been made except in the 5th inning where there will be no limit to the amount of runs either team can score.
    3. Time Limit: Games shall be governed by a time limit in which no new inning may begin after the time limit has elapsed. When a lighted field is used no new inning may begin, but the inning being played can be finished.

      Time Limit: 1 hr. – 30 minutes (No new inning will start after 1 hr. – 30 minutes).
    4. Tie Games: If the score is tied at the end of a regulation game, the game will end in a tie. No extra innings will be played.
    5. Forfeited Games: Teams may start and finish the game with 7 players. Failure to have 7 players at the scheduled starting time will result in a win by forfeit to the team ready to play. If both teams are in violation the game will be declared a “no contest” and each team will be charged with a loss. A team with 7 or fewer players may forfeit the game and then borrow players from the opposing team for a practice game. This game will not be rescheduled.
    6. Game Termination: 10-Run Rule: Whenever a team leads an opponent by 10 or more runs at the end of any completed inning, provided the minimum of 4 innings have been played, the game will be considered a complete game.
  5. SECTION 4-V: PITCHING RULES
    1. Pitching Rules:
      1. A single pitch thrown constitutes one full inning pitched.
      2. A player may not pitch more than 7 innings in any day.
      3. A player may not pitch more than 12 innings in a week. A week is defined as: Monday-Sunday.
      4. 3 walks and/or hit batters in a single inning (scattered or consecutive) shall require the hitting team’s coach to coach-pitch. Player-pitcher may return for the next inning.
      5. Umpires call balls/strikes for player-pitch.
      6. 5-run rule per inning or 3 outs per inning.
    2. Pitching Days of Rest:
      Innings Pitched per Day: Calender Days of Rest:
      1-3 : 0
      4 or more: 1
    3. Coach-Pitch Rules (see #3!!):
      1. When a coach is pitching, he/she is allowed 4 pitches and shall pitch from a minimum of 25′.
      2. Coach-pitchers are not required to stand on the pitchers rubber. Coaches, while pitching from the mound, are allowed to instruct only the batter.
      3. Coaches will pitch to their own team and will pitch a maximum of 4 pitches. The batter is not ruled out after 3 swings. However, if after 4 pitches the batter fails to hit a fair ball – the batter is ruled out.
      4. If the pitching coach in any way touches the batted ball or interferes with a defensive player trying to field a batted ball, the play becomes dead, the pitch is considered a “no pitch”, and all base runners return to their base.
    4. Warm-up Pitches: When a pitcher takes her position at the beginning of the game or when she replaces another pitcher, she shall be permitted up to 5 preparatory pitches or use a 60-second time limit. Following the initial warm-up, she shall be allowed 60 seconds to warm-up between innings.
    5. Removing the Pitcher: Whenever a pitcher is removed from the mound, she is allowed to return to the mound only once per inning.
    6. Third Strike: A batter is declared automatically out after 3 strikes even if the catcher fails to legally hold the ball after the 3rd strike (when player-pitch rule is in effect).
    7. Pitching Violations: A report of all suspected violations of the pitching requirements must be filed at the KIDSPORTS office the following business day after the scheduled game. If a violation is substantiated, a forfeit may result.
  6. SECTION 4-V: BASERUNNING / STEALING
    1. Base runners cannot lead off.
    2. Stealing is permitted once the pitched ball reaches the plate.
    3. Stealing is not allowed when coach-pitch is in effect.
    4. There is no infield fly rule in 3rd-4th grade games.
    5. Jockey Rule: When a runner is legitimately off a base and the pitcher has possession of the ball within the pitching circle – the runner must then immediately return to their base or advance to the next base at their own risk. (This is NOT a modification of HS Rules, just an explanation).