Rules and Regulations


  • Field, Players, and Equipment
  • The Field – The baselines will be 65 feet. The distance from pitcher’s mound to home plate will be 50 feet.
  • The Players – A team must have 9 players to start or to continue a game with the maximum of 10 players (not including an EP – SEE LAST RULE UNDER BATTING).
  • Substitutes – A player is officially in the game when his/her name has been entered on the official score sheet. Once a player leaves the line-up, he/she may re-enter the game. FREE SUBSTITUTION/All teams must turn in batting order. No pinch runners…only in case of injury and that player cannot return to the game.
  • The captain is the only player who may address the officials during the game, but only on matters of rules interpretation.
  • Equipment – No metal screws or screw-in cleats are allowed. Rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets are advised not to be worn. Bats must be official softball bats.
  • Add-ons must be made to a roster prior to the SECOND game of Intramural softball season.

Starting the Game

  • The pre-game conference will consist of each captain meeting with the umpire before the game to go over ground rules.
  • Scoresheets must be filled out before the game.
  • Pitching Regulations
  • The pitcher must take a position with both feet firmly on the ground and with one or both feet in contact with the pitcher’s plate.
  • The pitch starts when the pitcher makes any motion that is part of his/her wind up. His/Her arm must come to a rest holding the ball in front of his/her body, with a pivot foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate. This position shall be held for at least 1 second and not more than 10 seconds. He/She must deliver the ball on the first forward swing to the pitching arm past the hip. There must be no reserve stopping of the forward motion.
  • The pitcher shall not deliberately stop, roll, or bounce the ball while in the pitching position in order to prevent the batter from striking it.
  • The pitcher shall not at any time during the game be allowed to use tape or other substances upon the ball, the pitching hand, or fingers. Under supervision of the umpire, powder resin may be use to dry the hands.
  • The pitch must be delivered with an arc between six and ten feet.
  • “NO PITCH” shall be declared when: 1) The pitcher pitches during a suspension of play, 2) The runner is called out for leaving the base too soon, 3) The pitcher makes a quick return pitch, 4) The ball slips from the pitcher’s hand during the windup or backswing, or 5) The pitching arc is lower than 6 feet or higher than 10 feet.
  • At the beginning of the game or when a pitcher relieves another, no more than 5 pitches may be used as a warm up. Only 3 pitches will be allowed between innings. Play shall be suspended at this time.
  • Intentional walks may be made by informing the plate umpire, no pitches are necessary.


  • Each player of the side at bat shall become a batter in order in which his/her name appears on the scoresheet.
  • The batter shall not hinder the catcher from fielding or throwing the ball by stepping out of the batter’s box, or intentionally hindering the catcher while standing within the batter’s box.
  • Members of a team at bat shall not interfere with a player attempting to field a foul fly ball.
  • A strike is called by the umpire for each legally pitched ball hitting the strike zone mat and the batter does not swing, and for each pitched ball swung at and missed by the batter. This includes pitches the umpire has already declared “NO PITCH”.
  • A ball is called by the umpire for each pitched ball which does not hit the strike zone mat or touches the ground before reaching home plate and is not swung at by the batter, and for each illegally pitched ball.
  • A foul tip is a batted ball which goes directly from the bat to the catcher’s mitt or hand and is legally caught by the catcher. The batter is not out unless the ball goes above the batter’s head before being caught or it is the third strike.
  • The batter gives up all rights if he swings at an illegal pitch.
  • If an Extra Player (EP) is used, all 11 on the starting line-up must bat and any 10 of those 11 may play defense.
  • Only ASA approved slow pitch softball bats are allowed in league and tournament play.  Baseball bats are illegal, and if a team is found using one the player(s) found using the bat will be ejected.


  • Protests shall not be received or considered if they are based solely on a decision involving the accuracy of judgement on the part of an umpire.
  • The Supervisor on duty must be notified at the time of the protest.
  • A formal protest must be written and turned into the Intramural Office within 24 hours after the game, but no sooner than 6 hours after the contest. See Intramural Recreational Sports Handbook for more details.

Balls and Strikes

  • 4 balls constitute a walk.
  • 3 strikes constitutes an out (strike out).
  • If the batter has a foul after receiving the second strike, the batter is out.
  • Each batter will start with a 1 ball/1 strike count.

Player Conduct

  • Anyone involved in a fight will be suspended for the remainder of the softball season and possible further disciplinary action, if necessary.
  • Any player ejected from 2 games in the season is suspended for the remainder of the season and possible further disciplinary action, if necessary.
  • Any player pushing, shoving, disrespecting, etc. an umpire will be ejected from the game. Refer to the Intramural Recreational Sports Handbook for further penalties.


  • Appeal Play – A play upon which an umpire cannot make a decision until requested by a player. The appeal must be made before the next ball is delivered to the batter.
  • Base Path – An imaginary line three feet to either side or direct line between the bases.
  • Batter’s Box – An area to which the batter is restricted while in position with the intention of helping his/her team to obtain runs.
  • Batter/Baserunner – A player who has finished his/her turn at bat, but has not yet been put out or touched first base.
  • Bunt – An ILLEGALLY tapped ball not swung at, but intentionally met with the bat and tapped slowly within the infield.
  • Catcher’s Box – An area which the catcher must stand while and until the pitcher delivers a pitched ball.
  • Dead Ball – Ball is not in play and is not considered in play again until the pitcher is within 8 feet of the pitcher’s mound and the umpires has called “Play Ball”.
  • Fair Ball – Any batted ball which settles on fair territory between home and first base or home and third base; or that is on or over fair territory including any part of first and third base when traveling to the outfield; or that touches any of the bases; or if it touches any person (player or umpire); or that passes out of the playing field beyond the outfield fence.
  • Foul Tip – A foul ball which goes directly from the bat, not higher than the batter’s head, to the catcher’s hand and is legally caught.
  • Illegally Caught Ball – Occurs when a fielder catches a batted or thrown ball with his/her cap, glove, or any part of his/her uniform while it is detached from his/her proper place.
  • In Jeopardy – A term indicating that a ball is in play and an offensive player may be put out.
  • Infield Fly Rule – A fair, hit ball, other than a line drive, that is caught or in the opinion of the umpire could be easily handled by an infielder. Players must be on first and second base (or bases loaded) with less than 2 outs.
  • Interference – The act of a defensive player which hinders or prevents a batter from striking or hitting a pitched ball, or the act of an offensive player, which impedes, hinders, or confuses a defensive player while attempting to execute a play.
  • Obstruction – The act of a fielder, while not in possession of the ball or in the act of fielding a batted ball, which impedes the progress of a base runner who is legally running bases.
  • Out of Play – A ball that has gone past the out of play boundary lines.
  • Pivot Foot – The foot which the pitcher must keep in contact with the pitcher’s plate until the ball is delivered.
  • Play Ball – The term used by the umpire to indicate that play shall begin or resume.
  • Sacrifice Fly – A fair fly ball which enables any runner to advance or enables a runner to score, but which results in the batter/runner to be out.
  • Turn at Bat – Begins when a player first enters the batter’s box and continues until he is out or becomes a baserunner.
  • Time – Term used by the umpire to order the suspension of play.