All players that play in the Colorado Senior Softball Travel League abide by the rules as set forth by Senior Softball-USA “SSUSA”. Here is a link to the Official Softball-USA Rulebook:
However, there are other “House” rules that the CSSTL board of directors have approved for play. We have included the House Rules for CSSTL and have also highlighted some of the more commonly misunderstood rules from the Official Softball-USA Rulebook for you here.
Revised June 19, 2018
Due to the expense, we do not use official umpires for league or tournament play. The games will be umpired as follows:
A) The catcher will call all balls and strikes, illegal pitches, and fair and foul balls.
B) First base coaches will make all safe or out calls at home plate and first base, while third base coaches will make all safe or out calls at second base and third base.
LENGTH OF GAMES
All regulation games will be 7 inning games, with the 7th inning being the open inning, except when we need more than 4 time slots per field to schedule the games (any 4 field complex). In those instances all regulation games will be 6 inning games with the 6th inning being the open inning. 7 inning games will be scheduled every 90 minutes and 6 inning games shall be scheduled every 75 minutes. There is no time limit or time clock. However, coaches and players are strongly encouraged to get games started on time and keep them on time. Coaches may, upon mutual agreement by both coaches, shorten the number of innings played in order to shorten the game.
In tournament play, all games will be played to a conclusion. However, in league play, if the game is tied after regulation play, the teams will play 1 extra inning. The extra inning will start with the last out on second base and will be a maximum 5 run inning, not an open inning. The inning will also be a “one pitch” inning. As such, the pitch will either be:
A) Taken for a ball which will result in a walk,
B) Taken for a strike which will result in a strikeout,
C) Fouled off which will result in a strikeout, or
D) Put in play.
If the game still remains tied after 1 extra inning, the game will end in a tie.
If a team does not have enough players to start or finish a game, they may “borrow” 1 or more players in order to complete the game. It does not matter if the replacement player(s) are from another team, pulled out of the stands, etc. However, the opposing coach has the right to approve the addition of any substitute player for any reason. The league views this as a better alternative than a forfeit.
If a team has less than 10 players, their opponent shall provide a courtesy catcher. The courtesy catcher will make every effort to make plays just as if he were a member of the opposing team. The courtesy catcher will not bat for the opposing team.
The home team will provide one new ball and one good used ball for each game. The visiting team will provide two good used balls for each game. All balls must be Trump Stote 44/375. The league will provide each team with a limited supply of new balls prior to the start of the season. If a team runs out of new balls prior to the end of the season, they will be responsible to buy more at their own expense.
Pitchers are required to wear a mask. Pitchers are encouraged to wear shin guards or other protective gear. Other players (especially third and first basemen) are also encouraged to wear a mask or other protective gear.
The home team is responsible to provide the enlarged strike mat.
Teams can have a maximum of 6 Major or Major Plus players, under the age of 60, as rated by Senior Softball-USA (SSUSA), in the lineup at any one time.
The run rule is mandatory. If a team is ahead by 15 or more runs after the completion of the 5th inning, the game will end.
HOME RUN RULE
There is no limit to the number of home runs that one team can hit. However, no team can hit more than 1 more home run than their opponent. If a team does hit a home run and they are already “1 up”, the home run will be considered a walk (note a walk is different than a single. For example, if the team batting has a runner on third when a 1-up home run is hit, the runner does not score unless forced to do so). Also, the home team cannot go 1 up with a home run in the bottom of the open inning. If hit, it will be ruled a walk and runners will advance as described above. “Inside the park” home runs are excluded from this rule.
Each team will be responsible to report their game scores to the league within 24 hours of completion of play by emailing their game scores to the webmaster.
Commonly Misunderstood Rules From the 2019-2020 SSUSA Rulebook:
1.21 • EQUALIZER
When teams of a single unequal age or skill rating play, the older or lower-rated team receives an equalizer, at its election, of five runs (allocated at one run per inning played for innings two through six) OR an 11 defensive player. If the th teams are two or more age or ratings levels unequal, the older or lower rated team will receive both the five-run equalizer and the 11 defensive player.
1.22 • FAIR BALL
A batted ball shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, including the foul pole, and not matter as to whether the fielder is on fair or foul territory at the time he touches the ball.
1.29 • FOUL TIP
A foul tip is a batted ball that goes directly from the bat, not higher than the batter's head, to the catcher's hand(s) or glove and is legally caught by the catcher. NOTE: Any batted ball that goes directly from the bat, not higher than the batter's head to any part of the catcher's body or equipment other than the hand(s) or glove is a foul ball and a dead ball. EFFECT: The ball is dead on all foul tips and the batter is out if it is the third strike.
1.37 • INTENTIONALLY DROPPED FLY BALL
If a fielder intentionally drops, or lets drop, a fair fly ball, including a line drive, that can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort with first base only, or first base and any other base(s), with less than two outs, only one recorded out may be made on the play. This is an umpire's judgment call.
2.4 • BASE DISTANCE
Bases shall be set 70’ (21.34 m) apart for all age groups and divisions. NOTE: For men’s 75+, and older and women’s senior divisions (50+ and older), bases may be set at 65' (19.81 m) if, in the tournament director’s sole discretion, such an adjustment is feasible.
3.4(3) • APPROVED BATS
All bats manufactured prior to 2014 marked "1.21 BPF" (Bat Performance Factor) or less, SSUSA approved bats, or bats having an ASA 2000 or 2004 stamp are approved for use. Any bat displaying the label "Exceeds 1.21 BPF" is not approved.
4.3(3) • EXTRA PLAYERS AND EPS
A. Teams have unlimited batters, but cannot drop below the number on the starting batting order. All players must be listed on the lineup sheet before the game begins.
B. Should an offensive player become injured, causing the team to drop below the original batting lineup, the team will not be forced to forfeit the game, and an out will be declared only the first time that position comes to bat.
C. If a player is ejected, an out will be recorded each time his position comes up to bat.
5.5(2) • FLIP-FLOP RULE
The flip-flop rule will be invoked in any game when there is a 10-run differential in favor of the visiting team at the start of the "open inning." If the visiting team is ahead by ten or more runs, the home team will remain at bat and start a new at-bat (beginning their seventh or last inning at-bats), meaning all runners then on base will return to the dugout. It will be an open inning. If the home team fails to tie or go ahead of the visiting team, the game ends and the visiting team wins. If the home team ties or goes ahead, the visiting team takes its turn at bat.
6.17 • PITCHER'S MANDATED MINIMUM SAFETY EQUIPMENT
Pitchers must wear a protective face mask that covers, at a minimum, the area of the face from above the eyes to the lower part of the chin while pitching. All pitchers must wear the mask consistent with the manufacturer's intended usage of their product.
8.5(1) • USING COURTESY RUNNERS
Any player on the roster and present may be a courtesy runner if listed on the official lineup. A courtesy runner may be used for a base runner at any time, but the same courtesy runner may not be used more than once per inning. Any courtesy runner found running more than once per inning will be called out. Any player on the team roster may be a courtesy runner; he does not have to be playing defense or in the batting order.
8.5(2) • USING A RUNNER ON BASE
A runner who is replaced with a courtesy runner may not be used as a courtesy runner for the remainder of the inning.
8.5(3) • COURTESY RUNNER REPLACEMENT
A courtesy runner may not be replaced by another courtesy runner except for injury causing removal of the courtesy runner permanently from the game.
8.5(4) • COURTESY RUNNER COMING TO BAT WHILE ON BASE
A courtesy runner on base when it is his turn to bat will be declared out. The runner will be removed from the base and a second courtesy runner cannot be substituted. Substitution for the original player will not prevent this out. The courtesy runner called out does not lose his turn at bat. EFFECT: The out occurs at the base the courtesy runner abandons to take his required turn at bat, unless it is the third out.
8.8 • COMMITMENT LINE
A commitment line thirty feet from the scoring line or scoring plate will be used. Once a runner's foot touches the ground on or past this line, the runner is committed to advancing to the scoring line or scoring plate and may no longer be tagged out. EFFECT: Tag of the runner by a defensive player will not be allowed. The runner will be called safe, the ball remains live and the runner is not required to touch the scoring plate or cross the scoring line. NOTE: If a runner re-crosses the commitment line for any reason in an attempt to return to third base, he will be declared out and the ball remains live.
8.9(1) • NON-FORCE SITUATION A base runner may be retired at the strike mat in a non-force situation. The defensive player must have possession of the ball while touching any portion of the strike mat after the runner has passed the commitment line, but does not yet have a foot down on or down past the scoring line or down on the scoring plate.
8.9(2) • CROSSING OR TOUCHING STRIKE MAT OR BATTER’S BOX The runner shall also be called out if he touches or crosses over any portion of the strike mat or the batter’s box. The ball remains live.