22. Added/Late Players

  1. Players can be added at anytime, up to ten players per team, and must be added to the end of the lineup as well as be declared to the umpire. The umpire will communicate the late arrival to the opposing team.
  2. After the first pitch of the third inning, the 11th player and beyond may only enter the game as a substitute.

23. Classification Definitions

  1. Elite (ELT), Gold
    Players are highly skilled in all aspects of softball play (e.g., hitting, fielding, and game/play execution). The level of play is competitive and consistent from inning to inning and from game to game.
  2. Advanced (ADV), Silver
    Players have above average skills in all aspects of softball play. The level of play is somewhat competitive and inconsistent from game to game. Players should be fundamentally solid with strategic approach to the game.
  3. Intermediate (INT), Bronze
    Players have average or below-average skills in all aspects of softball play. The level of play is middle-of-the-road, recreational, and inconsistent from game to game.
  4. Recreational (REC), Copper
    Players desire to engage in a beginner’s level of softball play. The main purpose is to exercise, socialize, and have fun.

24. Count

  1. Batter will start with a 0-0, and the batter will get 3 balls, 2 strikes, and 1 courtesy foul.

25. Courtesy Runners

  1. A courtesy runner is allowed for one player per team per game once the replaced runner reaches a base.
  2. In the first inning where no outs have been made, the courtesy runner will be the last batter in the lineup or the last player who scored. See Rule 45 for Seniors’ exception.
  3. Prior to the game starting, if a team needs more than one courtesy runner, the umpire will call both coaches to the home plate to discuss. If both teams agree, extra courtesy runners will be allowed. If extra courtesy runners are allowed, the same runner cannot run for more than one player in the same inning.
  4. Batters receiving a walk must touch the appropriate base or bases prior to allowing for a courtesy runner.

26. Eligibility

  1. All players must be registered prior to competition. Added players must complete an Official Team Roster and Add-On Form and pay the roster add-on fee. The fee will only be in effect after the roster deadline date.
  2. If a roster is checked by the City of Salem or a roster call is made by the opposing team, and the team being checked is in violation, the current game is forfeited by the team in violation. All roster checks are handled by the City and not the umpires. An illegal player can pay the add-on fee and play the second game if there is still one to be played that evening. Coaches for teams that have unregistered players will not be allowed to play or coach in the next game that night (or the next week’s first game if there are no remaining games the night of the infraction). If the team is found to have an unregistered player on any subsequent game in the season, a more severe penalty will be imposed on the coach and/or the team, pending review by the Softball Players’ Council. Umpires review the roster check rule at each game with both team captains.
  3. A player may be on one roster per night in each of the following programs:
    Men’s
    Women’s
    Coed
    Seniors’

Eligibility Exceptions

  1. A player that qualifies for Seniors’ play and is on a Seniors’ roster may also play for and be rostered on a Men’s team.
  2. A player that plays on a team sponsored by his/her work and is composed entirely of coworkers, may play on one other team in that division.
    1. A player can only play on one City of Salem league team per night. All exceptions are to be submitted to the Public Works Department office and approved by the Softball Coordinator or Softball Specialist two days prior to player being allowed to play an additional league on the same night.
    2. All players of work/church teams must meet one of the following eligibility criteria: (1) Be bona fide part-time employees of the work/church team at the start of the league. Work/church teams will be allowed three nonemployees/ non-members on their roster, after approval from the Softball Coordinator or Softball Specialist and/or the Softball Players’ Council; (2) Employees who may be on military duty shall be considered eligible to compete.
    3. Industrial sponsors such as corporations, businesses, government agencies, etc., that operate in more than one location within a state may be considered as one work team. A work/church team cannot combine with an out-of-state work team. Exceptions will have to be submitted to and approved by the Softball Coordinator or Softball Specialist two days prior to player being allowed to play.
    4. A church roster that appears questionable must be verified through the church pastor, minister, elder, or other church official.
    5. A work roster that appears questionable must be verified with a payroll stub or confirmed by a business supervisor.

c. For Men’s seams,
i. An Elite/Gold league classification is equal to a tournament level of C or higher, and may only have six players of tournament C level or higher.
ii. An Advanced/Silver league classification is equal to a tournament level of C/D, and may only have four players of tournament C level or higher.
iii. An Intermediate/Bronze league classification is equal to a tournament level of D/E, and may only have two tournament C level players. No players above a tournament level of C may play on a City of Salem Intermediate/Bronze team.
iv. A Recreational/Copper league classification is equal to a tournament level of E/ Recreational/Beginner, and may only have two tournament D level players. No players above a tournament level of D may play on a City of Salem Recreational/Copper team.
Exceptions: Seniors’ teams are excluded
from this rule. Team (coach and/or
player) may petition the City for an
exemption of an Advanced/Silver, Elite/
Gold, tournament D, or higher level
player from this rule. Exemption requests
must be submitted in writing and
approved by the Softball Coordinator
or Softball Specialist two days prior to
player being allowed to play in a game of
a lower classification level.

d. For Coed teams, no more than two female players of tournament C level or higher and no more than two male players of tournament C level or higher may play on City of Salem softball league team that is ranked Intermediate. No more than two female or male players of tournament D level may play on City of Salem softball league team that is ranked Recreational.
Exceptions: Team (coach and/or player)
may petition the City to exempt an
Advanced/Silver-level or Elite/Goldlevel
player or tournament player from
this rule. Exemption requests must be
submitted in writing and approved
by the Softball Coordinator or Softball
Specialist two days prior to player being
allowed to play in a game of a lower
classification level.

e. For Women’s teams, no more than four female players of tournament C level or higher may play on a City of Salem softball league team that is below the classification of Advanced.
Exceptions: Team (coach or player) may
petition the City to exempt a player
of tournament C level or higher from
this rule. Exemption requests must be
submitted in writing and approved
by the Softball Coordinator or Softball
Specialist two days prior to the player
being allowed to play in a game of lower
classification level.

      1. A player will be considered ineligible and potentially banned from play for the remainder of the season or a full calendar year if they do any of the following:
        a. Roster on two or more of the above mentioned programs per night.
        b. Play prior to completing and filing a signed liability waiver/roster form.
        c. Play under an assumed name.
        d. Falsify his/her eligibility status.
        Note: Any of the above infractions may
        result in a manager or coach ejection from the
        dugout as well as team forfeitures.
      2. A City of Salem representative may check rosters and government-issued photo ID at any time, for any reason, for any league. If a player fails to provide proper ID, the player cannot return to play until proper ID is provided. If a player fails to provide proper ID on any subsequent games in the season with that team, they will not be allowed to play the remainder of games that night and are suspended for one week of play with that team.
      3. Refunds shall not be considered or granted to any player or team who is suspended and/or ejected from play or from the complex.
      4. City of Salem reserves the right to review team rosters with regard to the level of play. If a team’s roster is deemed to be above the level of play on the night the team plays, the City of Salem reserves the right to ask the said team to:
        a. First, play with the Equalizer Rule. See Rule 27.
        b. Second, move to a night with more competitive play.
        c. Third, drop team from league and refund team a prorated amount of league fees.

27. Equalizer Rule

      1. Any team that is playing below the league level can be asked, at the City’s discretion, to use the Equalizer Rule. This rule can be rejected by the lower level team. If used, the upper-level team will be the home team and will be limited to scoring only 5 runs per inning or 5 runs more than the visitor’s team game total.
      2. The Equalizer Rule will be implemented when teams have a .500 difference, or it can be added at the umpire’s or City’s discretion at any point in the game.

28. Equipment

      1. Softballs,
        a. Softball sizes for the divisions are as follows:
        i. Women’s Slow Pitch—11-inch ball
        ii. Men’s Slow Pitch—12-inch ball
        iii. Coed Slow Pitch—one 12-inch and one 11-inch ball
        iv. Seniors’—12-inch ball
      2. One new and one used league-approved game ball will be allocated for each game. Game officials will ensure the game starts with one new and one used league-approved ball. It is the responsibility of the batting team to retrieve or replace game balls as they leave the field of play.
      3. Additional softballs may be purchased at the complex.
      4. Bats
        a. Use of titanium bats is prohibited in the complex. See the USSSA and banned bat list on our website, www.softballcity.com, for nonapproved bats.
        b. Use of any modified bats is prohibited in the complex. Upon observing any modified bats, City staff and/ or umpires will remove the bat from the field of play. Upon discretion of the City of Salem, a bat may be sent to a certified tester for verification of compliance, following USA and USSSA procedures.
        c. Wood bats must be marked with either USSSA or USA stamps and be on the approved bat list of either organization. Refer to USSSA Rule Book, Rule 2, Section 2D; and USA Rule Book, Rule 3, Section 1.
      5. Bat Testing
        a. All bats on premises are subject to bat testing at any time, and any bat on premises is considered in use. All bats are required to have the current year’s City of Salem softball league sticker on the bat at all times.
        b. First failure of a bat test will result in a warning. Bat must be removed from the park immediately. Bat will be logged by City of Salem staff.
        c. Second bat test failure of a bat in use on the premises of Wallace Marine Softball Park, not voluntarily tested, will result in a one-week suspension from all league play.
        d. Third bat test failure of a bat in use on the premises of Wallace Marine Softball Park, not voluntarily tested, will result in a one-year suspension from all league play from the time of the incident.
        e. It is the responsibility of the owner of a bat having failed the bat test to have the bat retested prior to it being put into play again. If a bat fails three consecutive tests the bat can no longer be used during league play.
        f. The bat tester will be available for volunteer testing with City of Salem staff.
      6. The attempted use of a modified bat may result in a suspension and/or ejection from the complex as well as the possibility of a more serious penalty. Refer to 2017 USSSA Rule Book, Rule 2: Equipment Sec.2.

29. Flip-Flop Rule

      1. If the home team is down by 10 or more after the 4th inning, the team will flip-flop. Refer to 2017 USSSA Rule Book, Rule 4: The Game Sec.3F.
      2. Exception: Senior Flip-Flop refer to Rule 50.4 Run Limit.

30. Half inning Switch

      1. Teams have 70 seconds to transfer from offense to defense; pitcher must be on the mound to pitch, and batter must be in the batting box. If a pitcher is delaying a game, it will be a ball on the batter. If a batter is delaying the game, it is called a strike. Refer to Rule 33 Minimum Number of Players.

31. Halo Rule

      1. Under the Halo Rule, a dead ball out is when a batted ball is a line-drive hit directly at the halo zone.
      2. The halo zone is an imaginary box measuring 1 foot on each side of the pitching rubber and from the ground to 1 foot above the pitcher’s head.
      3. 31.3. If the ball hits the ground prior to the pitching rubber, it is a ground ball regardless if pitcher is in the halo zone.
      4. If it is a line-drive through the halo zone, it is a dead ball out.
      5. Pitcher is not protected if the ball is hit outside of the halo zone.
      6. If a ball is caught by the pitcher in the halo zone, then it is not a dead ball out and play is live.
      7. Exception: For Seniors’ League, see Rule 49 Pitching Rule.

32. Home Run Limit

      1. Home run hitters do not need to touch first base as home runs will be considered a walk-off.
      2. Only untouched, over-the-fence home runs are considered in the home run limits.
      3. Limits for all Coed, all Women’s, and Men’s Recreational/Copper teams will be 1 home run, then “straight progressive.” Home runs by men and women are figured separately in coed games.
      4. Limits for all Seniors’ and Men’s Intermediate/Bronze teams will be 2 home runs, then “straight progressive.”
      5. Limits for Men’s Advanced/Silver and Men’s Elite/Gold teams will be 3 home runs, then “straight progressive.”
      6. Home runs beyond these limits will be a dead ball out. The “straight progressive” limit will be in effect for the entire game.

33. Minimum Number of Players

      1. Teams may start or finish a game with as few as 8 players.
      2. The only exception is the 6:20 p.m. league game, in which a team may start and end with 7 players.

34. Score Book and lineup

      1. Score books will be kept by both teams.
      2. Each team shall exchange lineups, as soon as possible, prior to the beginning of the game.
      3. The home team shall designate a scorekeeper who will keep the official book. If the home team does not provide a scorekeeper, the visiting team may designate one.
      4. If neither team has a scorekeeper, the umpire will be declared the official scorekeeper. Should this occur, teams will not be allowed to protest the end game score.

35. Substitutions

      1. Substitutions shall be reported to the umpire prior to the player entering the game.
      2. The umpire shall report any substitutions to the opposing team.
      3. Substitute players must occupy the same batting position in the lineup as the player they are replacing.
      4. Starters may be substituted for and may re-enter the game once only.
      5. Substitute players may not re-enter once substituted out.

36. Team Reclassification

      1. At mid-season and end-of-season, City of Salem staff and members of the Softball Players’ Council will re-examine the classification of all teams. Teams will be evaluated as a team and/or individuals to possibly be moved up or down leagues, which can include being moved to a different night or being split into two or more teams. Teams will be examined that meet one or more of the following:
        a. Teams with a winning percentage of .750 or higher, in which the majority of those wins are by 6 runs or more.
        b. Teams with a winning percentage of .250 or less, in which the majority of those losses are by 6 runs or more.
        c. Teams’ past seasons’ records will be examined.
        d. Team’s past seasons’ rosters will be examined.

37. Ten-Run Rule

      1. If either team is ahead by 10 or more runs after a completed inning beyond the fifth inning, the game will end.

38. Tied Games

      1. There will be no tied games.
      2. In the event of a tie after the time limit or the 7-inning limit, play will default to the International Tie Breaker for one inning to identify the winning team. Under the International Tie Breaker Rule, the last batter of the prior inning will be the runner starting at second base.
      3. If after the International Tie Breaker inning is complete the game is still tied, the game score will revert back to the last inning in which there was a clear winner, and that score will determine winner of the game.

39. Time Limit

      1. League play will maintain a 60-minute running game clock controlled by the umpire.
      2. The official scorekeeper and the umpire will coordinate to set the game clock.
      3. No new inning after 60 minutes for all leagues.
      4. At the end of the 60-minute game clock, the game will end after the home team’s at bat for the inning (if necessary).
      5. Refer to Rule 38 Tied Games for tie games after the 60-minute running game clock.

40. Warm-Ups

      1. When time allows, teams may warm up on their assigned field with the exception of batting practice or infield practice. No batting or infield practice is allowed at any time.
      2. When authorized, teams may warm up inside the fenced fields but only in the outfield grass areas, sidelines by the dugouts, or past third or first base on the dirt.
      3. Batting against the fences is not allowed.
        a. The first time batting against the fences is observed, a verbal warning will be issued.
        b. Upon the second incident, the player will be ejected. See Rule 9 Ejections/ Suspension.
        c. Should the incidents continue and the coach does not gain control of his/her team, the team will forfeit the game.
      4. Warming up in the parking lot or on any paved areas within the complex is prohibited. This includes throwing or catching balls and swinging bats.
      5. Only rostered players are allowed on the field or in the dugout areas.