Rules

Last Updated: 4/4/2023

  1. All MSF rules apply except those adopted as league rules.
  2. A count of 3 balls and 2 strikes will be used in all games. One courtesy foul after one strike is granted, after which the next foul ball will result in an out.
  3. No steel spikes are to be worn at any time. If steel spikes are used at any time during a game, the player will be suspended for the season.
  4. Pitchers get 5 warm up pitches at the beginning of the game and 3 warm up pitches at the beginning of each inning. New pitchers get 5 warm up pitches.
  5. A pitch must have a 6ft minimum height. Once the ball is released from the pitcher’s hand, it must reach height of at least 6-feet from the ground. This is to eliminate “flat” pitches. This is determined at the umpire’s discretion. There is no maximum height limit on pitches.
  6. There is a 4 home run limit per game, per team. After 4 homeruns for the team it is
    considered an out. (This rule applies to outside the park home runs only.)
  7. All overthrows will result in two bases from the last base touched based on where the runner is when the ball leaves the fielders hand. Example: When running to first base if the infielder overthrows first base and the ball goes in to dead ball territory the runner would get second base. This is based on the fact that runner was on the way to first but had not touched first when the ball left the fielders hand. They are awarded two bases which are first and then second base.
  8. Boundaries on all fields must be clarified prior to each game to all players, coaches, managers and umpires by the home team.
  9. Pinch/courtesy runners must be the last out. Pinch runners are not gender specific.
  10. Foul tip height limit: No minimum height limit. A caught foul tip is an out but the catcher must move their glove to make the catch.
  11. Games will be played to a 15 run differential after 5 innings.
  12. Two women must be on the field and in the top ten of every teams batting order at all times. If you have only one woman, your team must play one fielder short. You may still bat all of your batters but you must have a female in your top 10 batters and take an out when the second woman’s spot comes up, this out must be taken in one of the first 10 batters of the lineup. If a team has no women, the game may still be played but the team with no women will play with only 8 players in be penalized 1 out PER inning.
  13. You may bat as many batters as you would like to start a game. If a player cannot bat when their turn comes, they may be removed from the lineup but cannot return for the rest of the game. This is intended for the manager/coach to play all of the players for the entire game. The league would expect no team to intentionally skip a batter to gain a strategic advantage.
  14. Players are encouraged to wear modest and appropriate clothing. Matching shirts is encouraged when possible. Beer and Bar branded clothing is discouraged.
  15. Foul language will not be tolerated. Please remind all players and coaches during pre-game field rules. Players will no longer be given a warning. If caught swearing the player shall be removed from the game. The offense must be verified by a coach or more than one witness. The issue will be brought to the Rules and Competition Committee for review. Another offense may result in the player being disqualified for the season. (This rule has changed 2 times in the last 2 seasons because the foul language has not stopped and if anything has gotten worse).
  16. No smoking or alcohol allowed on the field or bench.
  17. Players may not be intoxicated. Intoxication/sobriety to be determined by the coach, pastor and/or umpire. Players determined to be intoxicated will not be allowed to play.
  18. Unsportsman like conduct by coaches, umpires, players or fans will be reviewed on a case by case basis, and shall be discussed by the rules and competition committee and the witnesses of the event.
  19. Each team will receive a list of non-approved bats. Any bat that is not on the list is approved for use in the league. If an illegal bat is used during league play that team will get one warning (unless the offense is deemed to be on purpose to gain an unfair advantage, in this case no warning shall be given and it shall be brought to the rules and competition committee for review). If a second offense occurs the team will be suspended for the remainder of the season including the tournament. The accusation will be brought to the Rules and Competition Committee for review.
  20. If any illegal bat is used during the league tournament, that team will be suspended for the remainder of the tournament and from playing for the following season. During tournament play there are no warnings as there is a bat check prior to the start of the tournament.
  21. The basis of the league is Evangelism.
  22. We are to witness and encourage Christ, fellowship, Church attendance and church participation.
  23. Christ rules the league, not any one church.
  24. No one church is greater than the league.
  25. No one church shall dictate how another does evangelism.
  26. No individual church shall mandate, direct, and/or impose rules, policies or qualifications for players contrary to league rules or league policy.
  27. It is not necessary for players on teams to attend the church whose team they play on, or for players to attend church at all. (Exceptions would be when participating in MSF or ASA sanctioned events outside of our league). Examples: MSF Men’s Church State Tournament or other MSF/ASA Invitational tournaments.
  28. Churches are highly encouraged to invite un-churched individuals, individuals who smoke, troubled youth, etc., to participate but not for the purpose of winning games, but rather to introduce them to Jesus Christ. If you can ask someone (player, parent, child’s caregiver, etc.) to play softball, you can ask him or her to come to church.
  29. In case of rain the home team will contact the visiting team by 5:30pm if the game is to be cancelled. Coaches are responsible for rescheduling make up games. Rescheduled games shall be made up before the last regular season game.
  30. Age limits are as follows: Adult players must be 16 years of age prior to the star of the season. If age 15, the coaches from both teams must approve before the start of the game. If a 15 year old has played in at least 4 games during the season they do not need approval from opposing coaches in the end of season tournament. Youth players cannot be older than 15 years old and cannot turn 16 within the youth season.
  31. Prior to the start of each game – grace, honor, glory and thanks shall be given to God and Jesus Christ by both teams as well as the coaches and umpires at home plate. The home team is to lead and no hats are permitted on heads during this time.
  32. All home teams must supply a mat for the game. Mat regulation is 22 inches wide by 36 inches long.
  33. The league recommends each home team supply a two-piece first base for safer plays.
  34. Coaches are responsible for providing one or two knowledgeable umpires at their home games.
  35. Bathrooms must be provided by the home teams unless using a community field at which point this is out of your control.
  36. All complaints must be forwarded to the league through each team’s coaches.
  37. If there are players who are on multiple teams from the same church, they may move to a different team one time within the season. If they choose to move to a different team, they must stay with that team for the remainder of the season.
  38. The league will provide 1 adult 12 inch .52 cor 300# ball for each team for each home game. The league will also provide 3-4 11 inch balls, approximately one per every other home game. The 11 inch balls will be used for female batters only.
  39. Players must have played in at least 4 full regular season games to play in the tournament. (full game is 7 full innings or 5 innings if run rule applies to the game)
  40. If a team allows a player to play during the tournament that has not played in 4 regular season games will forfeit the current game. The team can continue playing if they are still in the bracket with the players that have played a minimum of 4 regular season games.
  41. Teams that have 4 forfeitures or more during the course of the regular season will disqualify themselves from the league tournament.
  42. It is considered a strike when the ball hits the mat. (New 2014) There should be a 1 inch space between the edge of the plate and the strike mat. This space is meant to separate and simplify the strike zone. If the ball hits any white portion of home plate it shall be called a ball. If the ball hits the black edge of home plate and the strike mat at the same time it shall be a strike. Also if the ball hits the dirt around the edge of the mat and any portion of the mat on the way down it is considered a strike.
  43. The distance between bases is 65ft. The distance to the pitchers rubber is 50ft. The distance for 1st base, third base and the pitchers rubber will be measured from the back corner of home plate.
  44. MSF has adopted a new rule in 2013 for the safety of pitchers. A pitcher may stand up to 6 feet behind the pitchers plate when starting a pitch. The rule is extensive so please review the exact rule in the MSF rule book. We want all coaches and players to be familiar of this rule to avoid confusion during game play.
  45. Tournament Seeding rule: the home team shall be the team that has the higher tournament seeding (given to each team before the tournament), until the team loses a game and therefore loses their “seed”. Once teams lose their seed and are in the play back or losers bracket, the home team shall be settled by coin flip. If a team is undefeated and meets a team from the losers bracket the undefeated team shall be the home team regardless of the seeding given at the beginning of the tournament. In a must beat twice championship situation, if the team coming from the losers bracket beats the team in the first game who was undefeated, the second game’s home team shall be decided by a coin flip since both teams have now lost their seed.
  46. Courtesy Runner Rule: All batter/runners must get to first base before a courtesy runner can come in. The courtesy runner must be the last person to be called out prior to the runner reaching base, this is not gender specific. If a courtesy runner is on base and his/her turn at bat comes up they shall be called out at the base they are on, vacate the base and shall take their turn at bat. There is no limit to the number of courtesy runners or the times used in a game but they MUST fit the following guidelines for a needed runner. “Courtesy runners may be used for players that have an injury, for a disabled player, or for a player who has legitimate trouble running more than just to first base”. ALL courtesy runners MUST be declared to the others teams coach before the game starts. The only exception would be during the game a player is injured and fits the previous guidelines. We would expect that no team, coach or players not use this rule to gain a strategic advantage.
  47. On a walk to a male batter with a female batter following (intentional or not) the male batter will advance to 2nd base and the female batter will bat for herself. All base runner will advance to the next base forced to. If a male batter is walked and there are 2 outs, the female will be given the option of hitting or receiving an automatic walk. (This rule does not apply to youth)
  48. 180 Foot Rule: When a female is up to bat teams must have 4 outfielders behind the 180′ line and no rovers are allowed (even if the rover is female), and no 5 person infield can be played while a female batter is up.
  49. Time Limit for Shared Fields: If you are playing on a lit field and there is a 2nd game scheduled after you, the time limit is 90 minutes (7:00 PM to 8:30 PM). This limit must be followed to accommodate both games.