VAL Softball Rules

NFHS Rules shall be followed with the following modifications:

1.     NO JEWELRY may be worn by any player

2.     BATTERS begin with a 1 ball and 1 strike count.

3.     60-foot base paths and a 40-foot pitching rubber (bases and rubber secured to the ground).

4.     Baselines and pitching circle (8’ Radius) will be marked in chalk.

5.     Game will use an ASA approved 12” leather ball.

6.     All-purpose shoes (rubber cleats) are recommended. No metal cleats.

7.     Catchers must be equipped with a facemask, chest protector, shin guards, a helmet and a throat guard. Face masks attached to batting helmets are suggested but not required.

8.     Ten starters on a team (may finish with 8).  Teams may bat a continuous line up with any 10 players on defense.  If a team uses a regular 10 line up, the re-entry rule will be enforced.

9.     Games shall be 6 innings, with no inning STARTING after 1 hour and 30 minutes of play.  THERE IS A CAP of 1 hour and 30 minutes for ALL games.

10.  A seven run per inning rule will be used, except for the last inning, which is unlimited runs.

11.  Three innings will count as a regulation game.  IF THE VISITING TEAM IS DOWN BY 15 RUNS AFTER 3 AND ½ INNINGS OR THE HOME TEAM IS DOWN BY 15 RUNS AT THE END OF 4 INNINGS,  THE GAME IS CALLED.  Once a game has started, the judgment to halt play will be at the umpire’s discretion (rain or darkness).  The home school prior to the start may call a rainout. Regular season games can end with a tie.

12. Each school will field a 7th Grade Team and an 8th Grade Team. 6th Graders may participate on the 7th Grade Team. 7th Graders may participate on the 8th Grade team if there are not enough 8th Graders to complete a team. If a school is unable to field an 8th Grade team or a 7th Grade team, they may allow 6th Graders and 7th Graders onto the 8th Grade team. 

13.  The strike zone is from the armpits to the bottom of the knee.

14.  A dropped third strike is an out.  The hitter may not try to advance to first base. Baserunners may advance, except toward home.

15.  If a play-off game is tied at the end of regulation, the international Tiebreaker will be used.  The final batter in the previous inning will start at second base with 0 outs.

16.  If a game is called in the middle of an inning, the score reverts back to the previous inning.

17.  Umpires judgment:

  1. If a player throws a bat, she is declared out.
  2. A runner turning into the field of play after touching first can be tagged out.
  3. A player may steal as soon as the ball leaves the pitcher's hand
  4. A sling shot pitch will be used-the ball must stop at the top of the head on the wind up (NO WINDMILL).

18. An illegal pitch will be ruled a dead ball, and called a ball on the batter, with no advancement of the runners.

19.        Sliding is allowed.

20.        Pitchers are not restricted on innings allowed to pitch.

21.        Games should be officiated by ASA qualified umpires. The Championship game should have two umpires.

22.        All bats must be official softball bats with "approved by ASA" markings.

23.       Runners MAY NOT advance home on a wild pitch or passed ball. A runner may advance home on an overthrow to the pitcher if the ball leaves the circle or a play at another base.

24.        A wild pitch, passed ball and wild throw back to the pitcher are all live situations.

25.        Helmets must be worn by base runners, batters, student base coaches, and on deck hitters.

26.       Please establish ground rules for your facilities and inform the umpire prior to the game of said ground rules. Both coaches and the umpire should meet prior to the game to exchange line up cards and cover ground rules for understanding.

27.        Coaches inform umpire and other coach/scorekeeper of substitutions

28.    Game time is 3:45pm, provided the visiting has at least a 10-minute warm-up.  The latest     a game should start is 4 pm with or without a 10-minute warm-up.         Please try to get to      away games by 3:30pm.