Reminder:  While at the field for softball related events, all Lutheran League players are asked to park west of the mailbox.  Please leave the spaces in the St. James Educational Center parking lot available for persons attending church building events.  Thanks.

Western Lutheran Sports League

Western Lutheran Sports League:  Softball Rules 2018

The League follows the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) rules.  Players can download a copy of the ASA rules on a mobile device from the ASA site (a fee may apply).

1.  Coaches: Please reemphasize Rule Number 1 to all of your players this year. Please remember that this is not Berliner; we are here to have fun! This league is designed for fun and fellowship. If your team is so serious about your ball playing that you are unable to enjoy these games, please find a league that is as serious as you are. Both before and after each game there will be a short prayer either behind the backstop by the road. Please remove all equipment from the bench and back stop area before the concluding prayer, so the other teams may prepare for the following game. All players should attend prayers.

2.  Please have your team roster submitted by SECOND WEEK OF JUNE. On the roster please include all members who you think will play throughout the year and please have it signed by the church pastor. If necessary, players may be added throughout the season. Team members may be church members, spouses of members, or others approved by the pastor of the church for which they play.  The league fee for 2018 will be $275.00. Please have this in no later than June 10, 2018. Checks may be made payable to the Luther League or to Bob Rapp. 

3.  Alcoholic beverages are not permitted in the or around the dugouts area, on the playing field, or in the bleacher area. Additionally, smoking is not permitted in the dugouts or on the playing field. The field is also used by youth baseball teams; it would not look good for them to see cigarette butts lying on the field.

4.  Metal Cleats are not permitted; this includes to metal sole and heel plates, the type of baseball shoes that the cleats that can be interchanges from metal to rubber because the metal screws can still cause injuries.

5.  Infield practice is not permitted before the first game or in between games.

6.  For safety reasons, please refrain from warming up in the area around the bleachers and the concession stand, when the stand is in use or where there is a group of people.

7.  Only the team manager/captain will be involved in disputes.  Protests will be settled by the umpire at the time of dispute. If necessary, a committee consisting of league chairperson(s) and team managers/captains will decide disputes and protests unable to be resolved at time of incident.  A $25.00 fee will be required to request an appeal.  The money will be refunded if the appeal is won. Please refer to rule #1.

8.  Please remember this is a church league; foul language and unsportsmanlike conduct do not set a good example for our children and others who are watching. Any player using profanity will be warned upon first offense. Second offenses or any undue conflict will result in immediate ejection from the game. Player(s) who are ejected must leave the playing field area but may watch from the other side of the road. If ejected player(s) continue to demonstrate unsportsmanlike conduct, they will be asked to leave the church property. In addition, the league may suspend the player(s) involved for additional game(s); the term of the penalty will be determined by the committee as defined in Rule #7. Any physical contact outside of normal game activity, or threat to umpire, league commissioner, or any other player will result in immediate ejection from the game. Offender will be asked to leave the church property immediately, and also banned from their team’s following game. A second infraction will result in ejection from the league. Please refer to rule 1.

9.  A grace period of 10 minutes is allowed from the scheduled start of the first game only, of that day only, this is for League and Tournament Games. Should a forfeit occur the next scheduled game may begin as early as 45 minutes after the forfeited game’s scheduled time! Team captains: Please info your teammates and have them ready to play fifteen (15) minutes prior to your scheduled game time.

10.  League games will be seven (7) innings long or one hour, whichever comes first. The umpire will not start any new innings after sixty (60) minutes of play have passed. Time will only be extended in the event of a tie or a time-consuming injury during the game. The amount of extra time will be comparable to the game time lost due to the injury. To ensure fairness, the time restrictions are also in force for the final game of the day. 

11.  All players must be or will be 15 years of age this summer. This is for everyone’s safety.  If a player will turn 15 during the season, please see chairperson(s).

12.  Each player must play at least 1 full inning in four (2) regular season games to be eligible for the post-season tournament. If your team is going to forfeit a game, as a courtesy to the other team and would save them a trip to the field for no reason, please notify the commissioner in the morning of the day of play. Each player on the non-forfeiting team will receive credit for participating in the forfeited game. The forfeiting team’s players will not receive game credit for that day.

13.  The league will be using YELLOW softballs. Eleven (11) inch softballs will be pitched to female batters only; male batters will be pitched a 12-inch softball. The third base coach will hold the unused ball and switch as necessary. If the wrong ball is pitched there will be a “No-Pitch” call, verbal or non-verbal, and runners will return to last base touched. The league has a catcher’s mask, vest, and shin guards available for the catcher to use if they would like.

14.  The ASA rules for score keeping will apply. The umpire will keep score on a 5”X8” card with the players’ lineup on it. Team captains will ensure that both starting and substitute players’ names are listed. Substitute players can be added after the start of game when said player enters the game. The score will be verified at the end of each half-inning. The game will be called if a team is leading by 15 runs or more, after the completion of five innings of play.  The team captains must sign the card at the conclusion of the game. 

15.  The coed requirement will be for three (3) women instead of five (5). The batting order must alternate through the first six (6) positions in the batting line-up. There are no exceptions to this rule and it applies throughout the entire game. ) You can have more than the 3 women in the batting order but you must maintain alternating batting (female-male) order.

16.  If a team does not meet the coed requirement for females per rule #15, an automatic out will be assessed for each missing female’s batting position as it comes up in the batting order. The missing female cannot be replaced by a male player in the field. There is no penalty for a missing male player, as long as the first six (6) positions are filled.

17.  A team must have at least eight (8) players to start or finish the game. If additional players arrive after the start of the game, they must be placed at the end of the batting order. If a female arrives after the start of the game and the team has not yet fulfilled the coed requirement, the female may be put into the lineup in place of the automatic out.

18. Two (2) extra hitters (EH) may be used provided that at least one of the EH is female. The extra hitter may be placed anywhere in the lineup, as long as Rule #15 is followed. A maximum of twelve (12) players may be in a team’s lineup at any time during the game. Of those twelve (12,) only eight (8) may be male you can play more than 4 females if you like. Only ten (10) players may be in the field at a time and at least three (3) must be female. The EH may be used in the field in place of another player in the lineup, as long as the coed requirement is being met. The batting order must remain the same. If you use Extra Hitter or hitters, you may either use one or two.

19.  Free substitution is permitted, as long as Rule #15 is followed. A sub or a starter may reenter the game as many times as necessary. However, they must stay in the same batting order and complete a full inning at a time. The only exception will be in the event of injury. If a player is injured such that he or she will not be returning to the game, and the team has two (2) players sharing one (1) position in the battering order, one (1) player may be moved to the injured persons place in the lineup. This will be by gender and must be cleared by the umpire/League chairperson. If the injured player’s position is within the first 6 position so as not to force an automatic out, a player can be move from lower position. League chair will make decision as to who moves.

20.  There is no coed rule regarding defensive positioning in the field, provided there are 3 female players in the field.

21.  The batter will come to the plate with a one (1) and one (1) count.  Only one (1) foul ball is allowed after a batter has two (2) strikes. On the second foul ball, the batter is out.

22.  The male base-on-balls rule is used in this league, with the following variation: (REMEMBERING RULE #21) the walk of a male batter must be on three (3) consecutive pitches with only one (1) strike that you came to the plate with. The male batter/runner will go directly to second base (without the need to touch first) and the female will bat unless there are two (2) outs, If the male batting in front of a female is walked with two (2) outs, the female batter has the option to bat or to walk to first base. If there is a runner on first, they will go straight to third (no need to touch second); if someone is on second they will go straight home (no need to touch third.) Teams may not walk any batter in order to get the automatic 3rd out. Teams must pitch to every batter; no intentional walks. If a batter in front of an automatic out is walked, the out is voided, the batter will go to their correct base and play will continue with the next batter in the line-up.

23.  The league will use a double bag at first (half white and half orange).  If there is the possibility of a play at first base, the batter/runner must go to the orange part of the base and the fielder must use the white part of the base. Exceptions to this rule includes: if the fielder has to go into foul territory to field the ball, in this instance, the runner would be allowed to utilize the white bag in order to avoid a collision. Furthermore, the fielder cannot use the orange part of the bag to make the out; the fielder would have to tag the batter/runner to get the out. The second exception would be if the ball is hit to the outfield and there is no possibly of a play at first then the batter/runner could go to the white part of the base. For plays in which there is the potential for a collision at any of the bases, the base runner is responsible for avoiding the collision. In the event that the offensive player does not attempt to avoid the collision the umpire has the option of calling the base runner and/or the batter out. The base runner should slide or move out of the baseline to minimize any contact. If the base runner leaves the base path by more than three (3) feet, on either side, to avoid being tagged out then runner will be automatically out. If the umpire feels that a collision was intentional or flagrant, the umpire has the option of ejecting the player from the game (see Rule #8). Team captains: please remind players that if they are not making the play at a base or home plate, they are to either back up a teammate or get out of the way of the base path. REMEMBER RULE #1.

We will be using a two HOME PLATE system! The second plate will be an ORANGE, throw-down type base. The runner will run to the second home plate and the catcher will use the permanent plate. The second home plate will positioned half way between permanent plate and the back stop, and will be in a line with the permanent plate and first base foul line. All defensive PLAYS AT HOME PLATE MUST BE MADE BY THE CATCHER AT THE PERMANENT HOME PLATE and will be treated the same as a force-out play. ONE PLAYER MAY ASSIST AS A BACK-UP TO THE PLAY AT HOME. IF THE CATCHER CHASE A MISSED OR WILD THROW, THEN THE BACK-UP PLAYER MAY COVER THE PLATE. THE BACK-UP CAN NOT STAND IN FRONT OF, OR PUSH THE CATCHER OUT OF THE WAY TO MAKE THE PLAY. THE BACK-UP PERSON SHOULD NOT BE CLOSER THEN FIFTEEN FEET TO THE CATCHER. The runner will always have to run to the SECOND HOME plate. Once any part of the runner’s body has touched the ground passed the chalk line, CALLED THE COMMITMENT LINE or LINE OF NO RETURN, (THIRTY FEET from third base), then she/he has no choice but must continue on to the second Home Plate. In the event that the catcher has the ball and the runner stops or turns back, the runner will be automatically out. Once the runner has passed the chalk line and the play is to be made at the permanent plate, the defense must not chase after the runner. If the runner has not yet passed the chalk line then she/he can be tagged by the defense. REMEMBER RULE #1

24.  A base runner may not interfere with a fielder’s right to field a ball in play. It is the umpire’s discretion to call interference in these situations. Likewise, the fielder shall not interfere with the runner or stand in the base path unless she/he is in the act of fielding/ has possession of the ball. Penalties will be assessed according to ASA rules. Team captains: Please remind defensive players to keep their foot on the edge of the base rather than in the middle, as to avoid injury to them self or to the runner. This is in the interest of everyone’s safety.  REMEMBER RULE #1.

25.  If there is a tie for first place at the end of the season, there will be a play-off game between the two teams. The teams’ head-to-head record during the regular season will not be used to determine final standings.

26.  A designated runner can be used only after the batter safely reaches his/her base. A designated runner can only be used for an injured player. The designated runner will be the last person of the same gender on the batter’s team to have made an out. In the event this situation occurs in the first inning, then the runner will be T.B.D. If a designated runner is used for the same injured player more than once in a game, the injured player must leave the game and may not re-enter. An exception may be made if the injured player’s team does not have a replacement player available.

27.  All bats must have ASA logo on bat. This league uses the ASA (Amateur Softball Association) lists of legal and banned or illegal bats. All bats must have ASA logo on bat

28.  The season will end no later than the weekend after the Brat Festival.

29. Schedule: Play will occur on the following dates, with the finals of the tournament, this year will be on August 4 & 5

New dates:
June 3rd, 10th, 24th, July 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th make-up if needed.

We will not play the weekend before the 4th of July.

Tournament this year will be August 4 with Championship on 5th.

REMEMBER TO LET YOUR TEAMMATES KNOW THEY HAVE TO PARK WEST OF THE MAILBOX; DO NOT PARK IN EDUCATIONAL BUILDING LOT (FIRST LOT THAT YOU WILL SEE).