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Commentary » Athletics


Fast Pitch Varsity Softball

Last Revised on March 04, 2019

1. Practice Schedule/Scrimmage Games

a. It is the responsibility of all coaches to ensure that “For the Sake of God’s Children” policies for the Diocese of Wilmington are being followed at practices and meets. This includes coaches wearing CYM IDs at all practices and matches.

b. Practices, scrimmages and matches are not to be held on Sundays before noon.

c. Three (3) practices and/or scrimmages are permitted per week.

d. Practices are to be no longer than two (2) hours in duration.

e. It is strongly recommended that teams have at least one individual certified in CPR and one individual certified in first aid present at all practices and meets. The individual may be a parent, coach or parish volunteer and the certification should be current and should have been completed by an accredited institution (i.e., Red Cross, American Heart Association).

2. General Rules

a. Length of games – Regular season games will consist of 6 innings.  Playoff games will consist of 7 innings.

b. Stopped games – A game that is stopped due to weather, darkness or permit expiration will be considered complete if 4 full innings were played, or if 3 ½ innings were played and the home team is ahead. If fewer innings were played, the game will be considered a suspended game and will be played at a later date from the point where the game was stopped. Coaches for both teams are to have the umpire sign their scorebooks noting the point and reason the game was stopped.

i. In the event of postponement due to weather, the home team coach is responsible for coordinating the make-up game.  Rescheduling is to be completed within 48 hours of the cancellation.  If the game has not been played prior to the beginning of seeding for playoffs, it will be considered “no contest.”  If the Softball coordinator has not heard from either coach with 48 hours of the originally scheduled day and time, the game will be scheduled on the next available date, including weekends.

c. Starting new innings – no game may begin a new inning later than 5:30 p.m., however, if there are no games scheduled for 5:45 p.m., the earlier game may continue.

d. Mercy rule – In the regular season, if a team has a 10 run lead at the completion of 4 innings, the game will be considered complete.  In playoff games, the number of innings is increased to 5.

3. Game Rules – If a rule is not specifically addressed herein, NFHS (“Federation”) rules apply.  In the event of a conflict between sets of rules, these rules control.

a. Number of Players – A team will consist of 10 players (10 in the field, 10 batting).  However, a team may begin a game with 9 players (but not fewer). If a 10th player appears later, she may enter the game but must bat in the 10th position.  If a team has fewer than 9 players 15 minutes after the scheduled start of the game, the game will be considered a forfeit.

b. Re-entry rule – A starting player may be withdrawn and then re-enter 1 time.  The player must occupy the same position in the batting order upon return.  The starting player and the substitute may not be in the game at the same time.  A substitute who is withdrawn may not re-enter the game, except in the case of injury.  A starting player, once withdrawn, may not re-enter  the game until a minimum of 6 outs are recorded. (3 for home team, 3 for away team Federation Rules govern removal of the starting pitcher if he is withdrawn while on the mound pitching. However, if the starting pitcher is replaced using a batter (DH) or base runner (Courtesy runner), he/she may re-enter the game immediately as the pitcher.

c. Pitching – The pitching distance is 40 feet.  Pitchers are limited to 3 warm-up pitches between innings.

d. Batting

i. A 3rd strike is not charged to a batter on a swinging foul ball that is not caught.

ii. A batter may run to first base if the batter strikes out and the catcher drops the ball.  See Federation rules for additional information on this rule.

iii. Bunting is permitted.  A foul ball on an attempted bunt with 2 strikes will result in the batter being called out.

iv. Continuous batting order is prohibited.

v. Batting limit – There is a limit of 10 batters per inning. This does not apply in the final inning or any extra innings, both in regular season and playoff games.

vi. Extra players under the EP rule are prohibited.

vii. Designated hitter – using a designated hitter is optional.  The designated hitter bats for a player in the field, which player does not bat.  The decision to use a designated hitter must be made prior to the start of the game; once the game starts, the designated hitter cannot be started.

viii. Once batting order is established, it does not change.

e. Running Bases

i. A base runner is out when the runner does not slide or attempt to get around a fielder who has the ball and is waiting to make the tag.  If the runner maliciously runs into the fielder, the runner will be ejected from the game.

ii. Stealing is permitted.  The runner cannot leave the base until the pitcher releases the ball.

iii. Courtesy runner for catcher – a substitute runner will be used for a catcher on base with 2 outs.  The substitute runner must come from a player on the bench who has not been in the game.  That player will not be charged with a game appearance.  If there are no bench players available, the substitute will be the player who made the last out.

4. Equipment

a. It is recommended, but not required, for any player wearing dental appliances or braces to wear a mouth guard.

b. The softball used for games will be a 12-inch ball that reads “COR .47” on the ball.  The color and stitching do not matter.  Each team will provide 1 game ball.

c. All bats must be ASA certified and not listed on the “banned” bat list.  The ASA certification mark must appear on the bat.  The website for “banned” bats is

d. All catchers must wear a mask with throat protector, chest protector, head protector, and shin guards.

e. Players warming up the pitcher between innings must wear a head protector and mask with throat protector.

f. Players who are batting, waiting on-deck, running the bases or coaching a base must wear batting helmets with NOCSEA approved face protector.  “Meets NOCSEA standard” must be permanently affixed to the face protector.  Chin straps are mandatory.

g. The home team must bring bases and pitching rubber to all games.  It is recommended that both teams bring all equipment.

h. Metal cleats are prohibited.

Related Policies:

All coaches (head and assistant) in the CYM program must become thoroughly familiar with the sport specific rules for the sports he/she coaches. It is CYM policy that all sport specific rules be followed for any CYM practice and/or game. 8266