Rules

Andover Girls Softball Tee Ball Division (Pre-K/K)
Adopted 3/20/2015

Suggested Tee Ball / Softball Rules

1. Age:

  • Players must have reached four years old on or before December 31 of the previous year.

2. Batting:

  • To start the season all batters will hit the ball from a batting tee. The tee should be adjusted to such a height that the batter will be able to swing level.  Do not position the girl on top of the tee or in front of the tee.  Give them room to extend their arms and make contact with the ball on the meat of the bat.
  • Coach pitch will be introduced fairly early in the season but only when girls are ready and comfortable.
  • Note: In the past, we have introduced coach pitch on the last at bat of the first game and most girls did well. This added some excitement to the game and the girls responded. We led off the next two games with the first at bat using the tee and then coach pitch for the remaining at bats. Many of the girls are anxious to move past the tee but some will certainly require it on a given at bat throughout the season. Even the best players at this age had off days and required the tee to be used late in the season.
  • Coaches should stay strict on an eight good pitch limit and then bring out tee to keep the game moving.
  • All rostered players present for the game shall bat in order, whether playing defensively or not.
  • There is no bunting.
  • An inning is over when all players have batted. The final batter of the inning, once reaching base safely, should continue to circle bases until she is either tagged out or scores, either of which will end the inning.
  • If the batter hits part of the ball and part of the rubber batting tee, it is a fair ball. If a batter hits none of the ball but hits the rubber tee, it is a foul ball.
  • Stealing is not permitted.

3. Fielding:

  • Ten (10) players are on the field at any one time including catcher.
  • Each player must play a minimum of two innings defensively. A typical game often goes four or five innings so plan accordingly.
  • A coach may be stationed beyond the infielders in order to provide instruction to all defensive players.

4. Game Length:

  • No new inning will take place one (1) hour and fifteen (15) minutes after start of game. Fiftteen minutes of catch and grounders prior to game.

The following is Suggested for Games

Adult placement

  • Coach behind Catcher
  • Coach behind Pitcher
  • Coach/Parent volunteer as 1st base coach
  • Coach/Parent volunteer as 3rd base coach

Player Fielding Positions

  • Pitcher, Catcher, 1st Base, 2nd Base, 3rd Base, Shortstop, short fielders
  • Girls should play same position for 1 inning then rotate
  • Continue rotation at following inning

Batting

  • Keep batting orders consistent
  • All players bat every inning

Suggested during play

  • Coach places ball on tee
  • Batter gets eight swings (then takes an out)

Minors Division Rules:

Age: Players in 1st & 2nd grades  

Batting:

  • All rostered players present for the game shall bat in order, whether playing defensively or not.
  • There is no bunting.
  • Pitcher should be in contact with the rubber. Pitching rubber is 25-30 feet from home plate;
  • Pitcher will throw 2 pitches and then coach will step in. Pitchers with good form and accuracy can have a 3rd pitch.
  • When the coach steps in to pitch, the pitcher will stand behind and to theside of the coach and field that position.
  • An inning is over when three outs are made or five runs have scored, whichever occurs first.
  • No walks.  Otherwise the normal rules of an at bat apply. A player is out after a third strike swing and miss.
  • Stealing is not permitted.
  • The runner may leave the base (i.e. take a lead) once the ball has crossed the plate.
  • The runner must immediately return to the base without liability of being put out once the ball is back in the pitchers circle.

Fielding:

  • Ten (10) players are on the field at any one time including catcher.
  • Game can be played with as little as 6 players. Coach as catcher in case of 6 players.
  • Each player must play a minimum of two innings defensively. Please remember a typical game often only goes four innings so plan accordingly.

Game Length:
No new inning will take place one (1) hour and (30) thirty minutes after start of game

Objective:
At this level the objective is to promote safe and active play for all players. We strive to provide ample playing
time, which increases their experience and confidence.  We want to promote a good understanding of the game of softball, including skill development in the areas of base running, hitting, and fielding.

The following is Suggested for Games

Adult placement

  • Parent or older sibling volunteer behind catcher
  • Coach steps in to coach pitch (pitcher still fields position)
  • Coach/Parent volunteer as 1st base coach
  • Coach/Parent volunteer as 3rd base coach
  • A coach may be stationed beyond the infielders in order to provide instruction to all defensive players.

Player Fielding Positions

  • Pitcher, Catcher, 1st Base, 2nd Base, 3rd Base, Shortstop, Outfielders (up to 4)
  • If you have 11 players play 9 or 11 (try not to leave 1 player on the bench alone)
  • Girls should play same position for 1 inning and then rotate
  • Continue rotation at following inning.

Base Running

  • Encourage lead-off after ball crosses plate.  Base running becomes an extremely important aspect of the game as early as 10U so let us prepare them early.
  • Drive home the point that once the ball is in the pitchers circle the girl must immediately return to the base.  Teach the girls that if they step off the base while the pitcher is in the pitching circle they will be called out at 10U level.  We will not however call them out.

Batting

  • Keep batting orders consistent during a game.
  • Rotation begins where prior inning left off.
  • Be mindful of changing the batting order game to game (or pick up where last out was made from prior game).
  • Batters should NOT be coached to 'wait out' the player pitches in favor of coach pitches.  Players should instead be taught how to be selective and only swing at strikes yet while being aggressive.  They should be encouraged and praised for swinging at player pitched strikes.  Some of our most exciting plays come from player pitch, batter hit and fielder make a play.
  • Player pitched strikes do not count against the batter's count.  This is to encourage players to swing at player pitches.

AGSL follows the rules of the USA/ASA and Middlesex Travel League.

The information below includes AGSL rule addenda, and general comments to help out Coaches.

The current rules of the USA/ASA are in effect with the following notes, exceptions and highlights:

Eligibility: Girls in 3rd & 4th grades that live in or attend school in Andover, MA

Time limit:  Games are 6 innings.  No new inning may begin after 1:30 hours from 1st pitch.  If the game is tied, the game will go into extra innings until the time limit has expired.

Batting Order: All players bat in order, regardless of whether on field or bench during inning.

Substitutions: Use of a continuous batting order allows for free substitutions of players in the field.  One restriction, if a pitcher is removed during an inning, they may not return to pitch in the same inning, but may pitch in any other inning.

Defensive Innings: Each player MUST play three (3) defensive innings.  Consider that games will not go the entire six innings {In other words, don’t wait until the 4th inning to put a player in the game}. Players must be rotated between the infield and the outfield. No player can sit on the bench for two consecutive innings.  Each player must sit once before any player can sit for a second time.

Field Positioning: The Majors Division will play with ten (10) fielders.  That tenth player must be positioned on the outfield grass and may not make a primary play in the infield.

Mercy Rules: An inning will end early if a team scores five (5) runs before they are put out three times or after the 10th batter.  The play on which the fifth run scores will end at its normal conclusion. {Effect, if more than 5 runs score in the inning they all count.}  The five run rule is lifted in the 6th inning.  {Clarification… if the game is likely to end before the 6th, because of darkness or other circumstance, the five run rule is still in effect… It’s only lifted in the 6th.}

Pitching: Players pitch from 35 feet and use an 11-inch softball. If having difficulty at this distance and with the consent of both coaches, a girl may move in 2-3 feet to pitch in order to make the game flow along more smoothly. A player can pitch a maximum of 3 innings per game (1 pitch = 1 inning). If a pitcher hits 3 batters in an inning, that pitcher must be removed from the mound and is not allowed to pitch any more innings in that game.

Stealing: Base runners may steal from second to third. They must wait until the pitched ball reaches home plate (you’re out for leaving early).  Runners may come off other bases, but may not steal. If a catcher attempts to pick off a runner and overthrows the ball, runners may not advance.

Bunting and Sliding are allowed.  

Base coaches: may be either adults or players (players must wear a helmet).

Fielding Coaches: One (1) Coach is allowed in outfield to help instruct girls on the plays to be made.

The Following are NOT allowed or in place for Juniors:

  • Slash hitting is not allowed.
  • Dropped Third Strike rule: DOES NOT APPLY.  If a batter strikes out she must return immediately to the bench.
  • Infield File Rule: DOES NOT APPLY

Quad-Town Softball Rules
Andover, Haverhill, Lawrence, North Andover

12U – Grades 5 and 6

Games:

  • Game days are Thursdays, Saturdays (NA only), and Sundays.
  • Weekday games start at 6pm.  Weekend game times are 4p or 6p.
  • Ties will count.

Innings:

  • A half inning will last for the traditional three outs or a maximum of five runs, except in 6thinning.
  • There is no continuation (scoring stops at 5 runs per inning).
  • There is no mercy rule.
  • Games will go up to six innings. The sixth inning is the only inning that is not capped scoring-wise. It does not matter if both teams predetermine an earlier inning to be the “last” inning.
  • Three innings will count as a complete game.
  • The time limit for games is 1:45. The inning starts when the previous inning ends, not when the first pitch of the next inning is thrown.

Baserunning:

  • Runners may advance on an overthrow generated by a hit ball, per ASA rules. On a walk, the runner must stop at 1b.
  • Overthrows are live, and it counts as a steal if baserunners advance (except on a ball that goes out of bounds).
  • There are 5 successful steals maximum per inning, only two of which may be successful steals of home. (No limit on attempts)
  • Delayed steals are permitted.

Hitting:

  • No slash hitting
  • Bunting is permitted

Pitching:

  • A pitcher can pitch for three innings maximum per game.
  • A pitcher can be removed and re-enter the game as pitcher once per game.
  • 3 outs or 5 runs constitutes an inning. If a P comes in for even one batter, it counts as an inning.

Fielding

  • A maximum of 10 girls will play the field at a time. There is no minimum or penalty for fewer than 9 girls on the field. If a team has only 8 players, the 9th spot in the batting order is notan out.
  • OFs may not make putouts at bases, but may assist (e.g., OF cannot cover a base and receive a throw for a putout, but the OF may throw to the IF covering the base).
  • Each girl must play at least 2 innings in the infield. Plan accordingly as not all games will go six innings. Do not leave it up to the last two innings to get girls into the IF.
  • No girl should sit for a 2ndinning until everyone on the team has sat.

Outs

  • Three outs or five runs will end an inning.
  • There is no dropped third strike rule.
  • There is no infield fly rule.

Click here for the Senior Division rules

Here is a summary of some of most important rules:

Spring Seniors Division (7th, 8th and age eligible 9th grade girls - aka 14U)

-no new inning after 1:45 minutes from game start time

-batter can run on dropped 3rd strike

-infield fly rule is in effect

-5 steals per inning, 2 for home

-runners can attempt steals on the release of a pitch

-6 run mercy rule per inning, but continuation of play is allowed

-a pitcher can pitch for three innings maximum per game.

-a pitcher can be removed and re-enter the game as pitcher once per game