AGSL House League Rules
The following are the AGSL House League Rules. For games with umpires, the umpire is the ultimate arbitrator of the application of the rules. Good sportsmanship and fun is the foundation of our rules at AGSL.
Our general rules linked below apply to all levels. Each division's specific rules follow:
General AGSL Rules and Code of Conduct
AMHERST GIRLS SOFTBALL LEAGUE
2022 HOUSE RULES/CODE OF CONDUCT
We will follow the 2022 "Official Softball Rule Book" with the following exceptions:
- Game schedules will be posted on the website and at the concession stand.
- It is the coach's responsibility to check the website in the case of inclement weather. You may choose to contact your parents or direct them to the website for inclement weather cancellations. On weekdays the website will be updated by 5:00pm, on weekends please check for updates approximately one hour prior to game time. If no message is posted, assume your game is on.
- Games must start on time. A team can start play if missing players when players are expected by borrowing players from the opposing team to fill outfield positions until other players arrive. Any player coming after the start of the game should be added at the bottom of the line-up. Remember this is an instructional league and forfeits are not encouraged.
- The home team will use the field starting 30 minutes before the game start time for 15 minutes for pre-game warm-ups. The visiting team will use the field for the remaining 15 minutes. If your team arrives late, you may warm-up outside of your allotted times on the field only with agreement of the opposing team. In no case should a game start time be delayed for additional warm-up time.
- No inning for any game can start after 1 hour and 45 minutes after the scheduled start time unless the game is on a weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and there is no game following it on the same field. In this case, no inning can start after 2 hours after the scheduled start time. The only other exception is if a team playing has a double header. Teams playing a double header will not start another inning after 1 hour and 30 minutes after the scheduled start time. During fall ball, no inning can start after 1 hour and 30 minutes after the scheduled start time. There are no playoffs in fall ball.
- Darkness and/or weather may stop a game at any point as agreed to by the Coaches, Umpires and Director on Duty. Warning: If there is any sign of lightning and/or thunder, even in the distance, games should stop immediately. Teams should take shelter under concession stand picnic areas and not resume play unless lightning and/or thunder free for 30 minutes.
- No request to reschedule a game can be made less than 48 hours prior to the scheduled game. A failure to attend the game will result in a forfeit. All requests to reschedule a game must be done with the opposing coaches consent and a request to reschedule sent to the scheduler. There is no guarantee than a reschedule request will be granted as it is based upon field availability and availability of the opposing team. A forfeit counts towards the games played in a season.
Uniform and Equipment:
- No one will be allowed to play without a proper uniform. Each player must wear her individual team jersey to be eligible for play. Call ups wear the jersey of their official AGSL team.
- Players are required to wear standard baseball pants during games. All players must be wearing the same color. Exceptions will be made to players coming from school or travel games (they may wear the pants from that uniform but must wear the AGSL jersey).
- No metal spikes will be allowed. Any player wearing such will be removed from the game.
- All catchers must wear protective equipment including a catcher's helmet with face guard, including when warming up the pitcher.
- Only bats stating "Official Softball'' on the barrel of the bat are allowed.
- If hats are worn, they must be the team hat unless a team hat was not provided.
- Helmets must have a cage and a chin strap.
- Only team members and coaches will be allowed on the bench. When on offense, only baserunners, the batter, and the person on-deck (who must be wearing a batter's helmet) may be off the bench in the field of play. It's recommended that the girl on-deck stand at the end of the bench near either the first or third base coach.
- Any player warming up a pitcher on the sidelines or on the playing field must wear a facemask.
- It is recommended for pitchers to wear either a helmet or face mask while pitching.
- It is recommended that infielders wear a face mask and/or mouthguard.
- The umpire will warn the batter and her coach the first time a bat is thrown in such a manner as may result in injury. If a bat is thrown again by any member of the team, an out will be called and a no pitch will be the ruling.
- When an injury occurs, the umpire should call time out immediately. Runners (including the batter} who are between bases may proceed safely to the next base only. First Aid Kits are provided to each Manager at the beginning of the season. They must be present on the bench. Ice packs are to be used when necessary and can be replaced at the concession stand. Coaches are responsible for reporting any significant injury to the league.
- No jewelry is to be worn during a game. This includes all earrings, nose rings, bracelets of any kind, Fitbit, etc. NOTE: Medical alert bracelets or necklaces are not considered jewelry. If worn, they must be taped to the player’s body in a manner where the medical alert information remains visible.
- Managers/coaches are responsible for the conduct of themselves, their players, parents and fans at all times on the field and on the bench. NO heckling of the opposition will be tolerated. Players/teams must also refrain from statements (including certain types of cheers) or language demeaning to their opponents. There shall be no swearing, screaming, heckling or other behavior that would be deemed as insulting or disruptive to the game. Any person that acts in a manner that is unsportsmanlike will be asked to immediately discontinue such conduct. Further, the results of such action shall be the expulsion of that person from the game if a player or coach or removal from the complex/area of play. If he/she refuses to leave or such action is continued, that person's team will forfeit the game. All such incidences of misconduct should be reported to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors reserves the right to take further action including, but not limited to, expulsion from the league and/or a complete ban from entry into the complex. Remember that this is an organization promoting girls’ youth softball. AGSL promotes a healthy, positive and encouraging atmosphere for all players, coaches, families and spectators.
- Smoking or drinking of alcoholic beverages will not be tolerated in the area of play or in the complex. This includes players, coaches, and spectators. Forfeiture may be the result.
- Only the designated coaches can actively run or coach a team during a game. First or third base may be coached by an assistant coach or another person 15 years or older (15 years - 17 years must wear a helmet). Under no circumstances (except injury) is any spectator allowed onto the playing field.
- No one may stand behind the backstop, in line with the pitcher and the catcher. A coach or adult assisting with getting the ball back to the pitcher during play can stand behind the catcher.
- AAA and Major Divisions: If you cannot provide a minimum of 6 players for a game utilize the call up list and do your best to field a full team (N/A for fall ball). The call up list will be put together by the Division Coordinator by contacting players parents of the girls in the grade just out of their division and getting parent permission to play-up when needed and available. A player cannot miss their scheduled house game to play up. Call-up players are expected to play a minimum of three innings but are not required to play in the infield. Call-up players are NOT allowed to be pitchers or catchers. Again, coaches are expected to work together and provide players, if possible, when needed.
- Each team will bat its entire order. If, for example, fourteen girls are present, all fourteen will bat in order. If an injury occurs, the girl is removed from the line-up. An out is not recorded in that batter's slot.
- Coaches may use a courtesy runner for a girl that will start the next inning in the catcher position. The girl making the last out must be the pinch runner. You may not courtesy run any other player.
- At the completion of each game, the winning coach must update the AGSL web page with the score within 48 hours.
- Protests are strongly discouraged. Any protest must be submitted in writing to the House League President within 24 hours. For a protest to be valid, your scorebook must be complete to the point where the protest was made. At the point of protest, the opposing coach and umpire must be made aware of the protest and your scorebook signed. Home team’s scorebook is the official record of the game.
A Level Rules
We will follow the 2022 “Official Softball Rule Book” and the House League Rules with the following exceptions:
Skills / Game Times
Each time slot will consist of about 45 minutes of skills / drills, a break to get the girls ready for the game on their respective benches, followed by an approximate 1 hour game (typically 2-3 innings). A team can start with 5 or 6 players. Any player coming after the game starts should be added at the bottom of the line-up. Borrowing players from the opposing team can also be utilized but no player should miss a turn at bat if playing for the other team. Remember this is an instructional league. Once the one hour is up, the game ends. As the season progresses, the coaches can agree to decrease the skills to 30 minutes and increase the game to 1 hour and 15 minutes.
All players from each team participate in the skills / drills together. The players will stretch, play catch and then work on throwing, fielding, pop flies, hitting and running bases. The coaches and assistant coaches will divide up the girls and conduct drills in stations and will rotate stations.
Uniform and Equipment
The teams will use safety type 10 inch balls provided by the league to make it easier for the girls to field, throw and catch. The home team supplies both game balls to the umpire.
In the A (Instructional) Level, coaches will serve as umpires to determine safe and out on the bases.
- All players may take the field.
- All outfielders must be on the grass
- 6 infielders: First base, short second, second base, shortstop, third base and there will be 1 player at to act as pitcher, who will stand to the right of the coach. There will be a catcher used, provided that enough players are present. All extras are put in the outfield.
- All players should rotate positions and no player should play in the outfield or the same position for the entire game. Players are allowed to enter the game at any time. Please make every effort to give players the opportunity to try different positions in the field. If possible, please rotate positions ever batter or every other batter.
- The infield fly rule is NOT in effect
All bases are 60 feet apart. It is the responsibility of the home team to provide two game balls. Playable territory, in which the ball will be considered “LIVE” is defined as the region within two imaginary lines extending from the ends of the backstop, and parallel to the first and third base lines. The backstop bounds the playable territory behind home plate.
Coaches are to exchange line-ups at the beginning of the game. The coaches are the umpires and are responsible for calling safe and out.
1. Each team will bat its entire order. Players arriving late should be inserted at the bottom of the order.
2. A batter will receive a warning the first time a bat is thrown in such a manner as may result in injury. If a bat is thrown again, by any member of the team, an out will be called, and a no pitch will be the ruling.
3. All games are coach pitched. If a batter fails to hit the ball after 5 pitches the batter will then use a tee, unless the last pitch is hit in foul territory, then the batter will get a sixth pitch. Coaches pitch to their own teams and provide someone to stand near the batter to help instruct the batter, assist with setting up the tee as necessary, and assist the catcher as needed.
4. There are no lead-offs and no stealing of bases. Players must wear helmets when running the bases, and if necessary, opposing coaches must share all available helmets for this purpose.
5. Base runners will be called out if they run outside the base paths (approximately 3 feet on either side of a direct line between bases) to avoid tags, but they are not penalized for trying to avoid a fielder in the base path who is not in possession of the ball. A runner is out if they run with great force into a fielder securely possessing the ball in an attempt to jar it loose. The ruling of interference situations between runners and fielders in the base path depends on whether the fielder involved is in the process of fielding a batted ball. The fielder has the right of way and any contact by the runner will result in the runner being called out. If the fielder is not playing the ball, the runner has the right of way and any obstruction by the fielder will result in the runner being awarded the next base.
6. After a ball has been hit in fair territory, base runners are allowed to attempt one base at a time. If a batted ball reaches the outfield in the air 2 bases may be taken. The exception to the one base rule is the last batter. After the last batter has batted, all base runners will advance to home plate to end the half inning. Defensive fielders should stay on the field until all runners have crossed home plate.
7. Bunting is NOT allowed.
8. Base runners thrown out at a base will return to the team dug out.
9. Sliding is NOT allowed at this level. Sliding for “the fun of it” creates a DANGEROUS situation for all involved.
10. Base runners may NOT advance on an overthrow.
AA Level Rules
We will follow the ASA "Official Softball Rule Book" and the House Generic Rules with the following exceptions:
1. No inning in any game can start after 1 hour and 30 minutes after the scheduled start time.
2. A game consists of four (4) full innings, except when called due to bad weather, darkness, or lateness. Then, three (3) complete innings shall constitute an official game. Additional innings may be played if time allows and both coaches agree.
3. Each half inning ends when either there are three outs or five runs, whichever occurs first. No team may score more than five (5) runs in any one inning, even if the scoring play produces additional runs. A scorebook must be used to keep record of the games.
Uniform and Equipment:
The teams will use safety type 11 inch balls provided by the league to make it easier for the girls to field, throw and catch. The home team supplies both game balls for the game.
The AA (Instructional) Level, coaches will serve as umpires to determine safe or out on the bases and balls and strikes from behind the pitcher.
1. The pitching rubber is 35 feet from the back point of home plate. Note: Most fields have the pitching rubber at 40 feet. Equipment is available in the garage if the rubber is wrong. Ask the Director on Duty for assistance.
2. From the start of the season until halfway through the season (after game 5 or game 4 if fall ball), the coach will pitch five (5) pitches. The tee will be placed after five pitches.
3. After game 5 (game 4 if fall ball) through the end of the season, the pitcher will throw three (3) pitches. If the ball is not hit, then the coach will pitch four (4) pitches. If still not hit, a tee will be placed. The coach is encouraged to call balls and strikes for all pitches. This will assist pitchers and batters to learn the strike zon
4. When a pitched ball hits a batter, the batter should be encouraged to continue to bat as long as there is no injury.
5. There are no strikeouts
6. Bunting is NOT allowed
- A maximum of 10 fielders can be on the playing field at one time. 3 outfielders: they must be on the grass evenly spread (unless the outfield is not playable or otherwise unsafe). In the event that a team has 11 players, the remaining player can be placed in the outfield.
- 7 infielders: First base, short second/pitcher, second base, shortstop, short shortstop, third base, and a catcher (a parent can be used behind the catcher to help move the game along, but they may not be involved in any play of the game).
3. Each team may have 2 coaches on the field behind the infielders. They may not be involved in the play. They are merely there to instruct.
4. Every player, present at the game, must play a minimum of three (3) innings unless the game is called before the completion of four (4) innings due to time limitations. Coaches should rotate which players sit out an inning from game to game, so that it is not the same players always sitting out. All players are required to play at least 2 innings of infield. The batting order includes every player (present at the game). All players bat in order, regardless of being in the field in any given inning. Players arriving late should be inserted at the bottom of the order (to avoid being skipped in the batting order). Please make every effort to give players the opportunity to try different positions in the field.
5. The infield fly rule is NOT in effect
6. Base stealing and sliding are not allowed.
7. Base runners may NOT advance on an overthrow.
8. After a ball has been hit in fair territory, base runners are allowed to attempt one (1) base at a time. If a batted ball reaches the outfield in the air two (2) bases may be taken.
We will follow the ASA "Official Softball Rule Book" and the House Generic Rules with the following exceptions:
1. A game consists of seven (7) full innings, except when called due to bad weather, darkness, or lateness. Then, five (5) complete innings shall constitute an official game.
2. If the game is tied after the final inning both teams will be awarded with a tie. Except during playoffs where play will continue until there is a winner.
The teams will use 12 inch balls provided by the league. The home team supplies both game balls for the game.
1. In the Majors Level, paid umpires are used. Prior to the start of the game, both coaches should meet with the umpire to discuss division specific rules. The umpire’s rulings are considered final. There will be no tolerance of arguing with an umpire by anyone. If a problem arises, ask the Director on Duty for assistance.
2. If an umpire does not show, please have an agreement between both teams for an adult to umpire the game. If the umpire comes late, he/she will replace the adult. An umpire not being present is not grounds for postponement. If there are any issues, please see the Director on Duty.
3. The home team is responsible for paying the umpire fee. They have two types of checks. The full amount, and 1/2 the full amount. The umpire is compensated for 1/2 pay if they show up, and the game is cancelled. The umpire is compensated with full pay if the game starts and is then cancelled.
1. Each pitcher is limited to four (4) innings per game, consecutive or non-consecutive. During playoffs, extra innings do not count as accumulated innings. One pitch in any inning will be considered an inning pitched.
2. Exception to the four (4) inning pitching limit is as follows: Travel players are limited to pitching two (2) innings in a game regardless as to whether there are extra innings.
3. The pitching rubber is 40 feet from the back point of home plate. Note: Most fields have the pitching rubber at 40 feet. Equipment is available in the garage if the rubber is wrong. Ask the Director on Duty for assistance.
1. Each team cannot score more than five runs in an inning even if the hit produces additional runs. For team statistics, all players involved in scoring the excess runs
get credit for their contributions (hits, runs, RBIs) but only five (5) runs will be recorded. The five (5) run limit does not apply in the seventh inning or the inning agreed upon to be the final inning of the game due to time contraints or darkness. The umpire is to advise of the last inning. Coaches may also agree upon the last inning and advise the umpire. A scorebook must be used to keep record of the games.
2. When a pitched ball hits a batter, it is the umpire's judgment as to whether a concerted effort was made to get out of the way or not. If it is determined that an effort was indeed made, thebatter will be awar ded first base (hit by pitch is not a walk). If no effort was made, a ball or strike will be called and the batter will stay for their remaining pitches.
5. Dropped third strike rule is NOT in effect. The batter is out on a dropped third strike.
6. Bunting is allowed.
1. A maximum of 10 fielders can be on the playing field at one time.
a. 4 Outfielders: they must be on the grass evenly spread
b. 6 Infielders: First base, second base, shortstop, third base, pitcher and a catcher.
2. Every player, present at the game, must play a minimum of three (3) innings. Coaches should rotate which players sit out an inning from game to game, so that it is not the same players always sitting out. All players are required to play at least 2 innings of infield. The batting order includes every player present at the game. All players bat in order, regardless of being in the field in any given inning. Players arriving late should be inserted at the bottom of the order (to avoid being skipped in the batting order). Please make every effort to give players the opportunity to try different positions in the field.
3. The infield fly rule is in effect.
4. 2nd and 3rd base stealing is allowed. Base runners may leave their base after the ball has left the pitcher’s hand. Stealing of home plate is not allowed. A runner can only score on a batted ball.
5. Base runners may advance on an overthrow to every base except home plate.
6. After a ball has been hit in fair territory, base runners are allowed to attempt as many bases at their own risk until the ball is dead. The ball is considered dead at the time when the pitcher has control of it within the “Pitching Circle”. If a runner is at least half way to a base, when the pitcher maintains control within the circle, they may continue to that base. If the runner is less than half way they must return to the previous base.