Diamond League RulesUpdated Friday March 9, 2018 by Kris Marceca.
AGSA Diamond League Rules
1. GOVERNING BODY FOR AGSA FASTPITCH SOFTBALL
AGSA play is governed by the rules set forth by the Amateur Softball Association of America or “USA Softball” (ASA Rules) with the following modifications.
2. AGSA LEAGUE COMMISSIONER AUTHORITY
The AGSA Diamond League Commissioner (Commissioner) shall have final authority over all interpretations, questions, and disputes regarding these rules.
3. RULES SUMMARY FOR UMPIRES
The following list summarizes the AGSA Diamond League Rules most likely to be discussed in pre-game conferences among umpires and head coaches. In cases of conflicts between this summary and the rules themselves, the rules govern.
4. GAME SCHEDULING
The Commissioner shall have final authority over the scheduling and rescheduling of all games. The game schedule posted by the Commissioner or the Assistant Commissioner on the AGSA website shall be the official schedule. The home team shall be listed second for all games.
5. STANDINGS AND PLAYOFFS
6. EQUIPMENT AND JEWELRY
The following rules concerning equipment and jewelry apply to all games and practices.
7. PRE- AND POST-GAME RESPONSIBILITIES
The home team shall use the 3rd base dugout for all games except those at Greenbrier #1, where the home team shall use the 1st base dugout. The home team shall line the field before the game, but the visiting team shall assist if requested. The home team shall provide the game balls. Both teams shall clean their dugouts and perform any necessary field maintenance after the game. The winning team shall report the final score of the game to the Commissioner, or enter it on the AGSA website or app, within 24 hours after the game ends.
8. NUMBER OF PLAYERS
For all official games, a team must have a minimum of 6 players to begin or continue playing. A maximum of 10 players may play defense in the field for a team at a given time. A team may use a maximum of 4 outfielders and a maximum of 6 infielders (including the pitcher and catcher) in the field at a given time. Until the pitcher releases the ball on a pitch, outfielders must remain on the grass and infielders must remain on the dirt.
9. GAME START
Games shall begin immediately at the designated start time. However, at the request of either team’s head coach, the umpire shall delay the start of a game for up to 15 minutes to await the arrival of additional players to satisfy the minimum-player requirement. Minutes used in this grace period shall count against the time allotted for the game.
A team shall forfeit if it lacks the minimum number of 6 players in the game at any time after the start of a game. The official final score of a forfeited game shall be 7-0 in favor of the non-forfeiting team. A game forfeited by both teams is void and shall not count for purposes of regular-season standings or playoff-game results. In the event of a forfeited game, the head coaches may agree to play an unofficial game with the players present. Results of unofficial games shall not count for purposes of regular-season standings or playoff-game results.
11. RUN LIMIT
A team may score no more than 5 runs per inning. A half inning ends following the conclusion of the play during which the 5th run was scored, regardless of the number of outs. This rule applies to all innings, including the last inning of the game.
12. GAME LENGTH – REGULAR SEASON
A regular-season game shall end with an official final score after 7 innings of play (or 6 1⁄2 innings if the home team is ahead). Ties are allowed. However, the following exceptions apply.
13. GAME LENGTH – PLAYOFFS
A post-season playoff game is also governed by Rule 12, except that if the game ends in a tie, then the umpire may allow one or more extra innings of play. Any extra innings shall be played using the ASA tiebreaker procedure (that is, at the start of each half inning, the player who made the last out for the team at bat shall be placed as a runner on 2nd base). If the score remains tied after all extra innings permitted by the umpire, then the game is void and shall be rescheduled by the Commissioner.
14. SUSPENSION OR TERMINATION OF PLAY
After a game has begun, the umpire shall decide whether and for how long to suspend play, or whether to end a game entirely, due to inclement weather or poor field conditions.
15. BATTING ORDER
Batters shall bat in a continuous (“snake”) batting order. All present and uninjured players must bat regardless of whether they are playing defense in the field in a given inning. Players arriving after the start of the game shall be inserted at the end of the batting order.
16. DEFENSIVE SUBSTITUTIONS AND COACHING
When the ball is dead or between innings, a head coach may substitute players between defensive positions or between the bench and a defensive position, except as limited by Rule 18(d). When the ball is live, coaches for the team playing defense must remain in the dugout unless they are requesting a timeout. Those coaches may stand in the dugout doorway, but they may not stand outside of the dugout fence.
17. INJURED PLAYERS
A player who sustains an injury during a game may leave the game to recuperate and later return to the game in the same batting position. Missing an at-bat due to injury does not result in an out. However, if an injured player leaving a game causes a team to lack the minimum number of 6 players, then that team forfeits the game. If a fielder is injured and leaves the game, then the head coach may substitute any other player on that team for the injured fielder. If a runner is injured and leaves the game, or if a batter is injured by being hit by a pitch and leaves the game, then the head coach must substitute the uninjured player who made the last out on that team for the injured runner or batter.
Bunting is allowed and is governed by the ASA Rules. When there are 2 strikes on the batter, any attempted bunt that results in a foul ball is an out.
Sliding into bases, including home plate, is allowed and is governed by the ASA Rules.
Stealing bases, including home plate, is allowed and is governed by the ASA Rules. If the pitcher has possession of the ball inside of the pitching circle and a runner is stopped at a base, then the runner may not leave that base until the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand on the next pitch.
22. LOOK-BACK RULE
The “look-back” rule is in effect as under the ASA Rules. When the pitcher has possession of a live ball inside of the pitching circle after the batter has touched 1st base or been called out, then all runners in motion may continue without stopping, or may stop once between bases but then must immediately attempt to advance to the next base or return to the last base touched. If a runner instead stands motionless between bases, or stops a second time between bases, or stops at a base and then leaves that base, then the runner is out. (The name for this rule is a misnomer – the pitcher need not look at a runner for the runner to be called out.) However, if the pitcher leaves the pitching circle, drops the ball, fakes a throw, or throws the ball, then all runners may advance at their own risk.
23. DROPPED-THIRD-STRIKE RULE
The “dropped-third-strike” rule is in effect as under the ASA Rules. A pitch that bounces off the ground before being caught by the catcher is considered “dropped” or “not caught.”
24. INFIELD-FLY RULE
The “infield-fly” rule is in effect as under the ASA Rules.
25. COURTESY RUNNERS
When a team on offense has 2 outs, its head coach may insert a courtesy runner for a runner who will play at the pitcher or catcher position at the beginning of the following half inning. Courtesy runners may be used for both the pitcher and the catcher in the same half inning. From among a team’s uninjured players who have not already served as courtesy runners in that inning, the courtesy runner must be the player who made the last out for that team.
26. INTERFERENCE AND OBSTRUCTION
The ASA Rules govern interference by batters and runners and obstruction by fielders. Common mistakes resulting in offensive interference include: a batter making no effort to leave the area when a runner is stealing home plate; a runner moving more than 3 feet outside of the base path to avoid a tag; and a runner making contact with an infielder who is fielding a batted ball. Common mistakes resulting in defensive obstruction include: a catcher making contact with the batter’s bat during a swing; an infielder blocking a runner from reaching a base while waiting for a throw to be made; and an infielder blocking a runner’s base path when not possessing the ball, fielding a batted ball, or catching a thrown ball.
Updated – March 7, 2018
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