Softball Rules


DC Social Sports Club Softball Rules 

Number of Players: 

·         A team consists of eight (8), nine (9), or ten (10) players in the field including a minimum of three (3) females.

·         Maximum number of defensive players is ten (10).

·         You can bat any number of players as long as you maintain a two (2) male to one (1) female ratio at all times (this includes going from the bottom of the lineup to the top of the lineup).

·         If you are short one female, the third girl's slot is an automatic out and you can only bat 9 and play 9 defensively.


·         Men always get two bases on a walk when followed by a female in the lineup. If a male batter is walked with two outs, he will advance to second base, the female has the option to hit or take the open base at first.

·         Each person will start with one (1) ball and one (1) strike count.

·         After two (2) strikes, the batter is allowed one courtesy foul ball, any foul ball after that is an out.

·         A pitch must be between 6 ft. and 12 ft. high in order to be considered a strike. The strike zone is from a batters front knee to their back shoulder depending on where there stance is located to home plate.

·         Any team caught using an illegal line-up will receive an automatic out. A second offense in the game will result in two automatic outs and loss of 2 runs

 Home Run Rules:

·         Advanced League: 5 home runs total for a single game, any home run after that is an out. Homeruns will reset if each team reaches 5 home runs.
Competitive League: 4 homeruns, anything after that is an out. Homeruns will reset if each team reaches four home runs.
Recreational: 4 Home Runs per game, anything after that is a single. Home Runs will reset if each team reaches three. 


·         Both teams are responsible for keeping the score had having your score book in proper order. The home team’s scorebook will be the book of record for the game.

·         The Mercy Rule will be declared when a team is down by 10 runs or more after 5 complete innings.

·         There is a 10 run limit per inning rule except for the last inning of play.

·         Leagues designated “Competitive” will not have a run per inning limit.

·         There is no run per inning limit during the playoffs for any league.



·         Teams may play with 8, 9 or 10 defensive players. A team may not play more than 10 players defensively.

·         Teams who are short a female can only play 9 defensive players in the field.

·         Pitchers must pitch from the deepest mound on the softball field.

·         Any player who is in the defensive line-up, must also be a batter in the line-up. A player can be substituted for at the plate but the umpire and opposing team must be notified before a pitch is thrown to him/her. 

·         Players in the outfield must be 30ft from the edge of the grass when a female batter is batting. Players in the outfield cannot approach the infield until contact has been made by the female batter    

  • Females cannot be thrown out at first base on a batted ball to the outfield. 
  • The ball must be relayed from the outfield to the infield and then to first base in order for the female runner to be considered out. 
  • If a ball is touched by a infielder,ie, ground ball or line drive, and proceeds to the outfield, the outfielders may throw to first base and make a play on the female runner at first.
  • Females may be thrown out a 2nd, 3rd or Home on any play in the field.

·         Infield Fly Rule: An infield fly is a fair ball, not including a line drive, which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort when 1st and 2nd OR 1st, 2nd, and 3rd bases are occupied with less than two (2) outs. Any fielder can catch an infield fly. When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an infield fly, the umpire shall immediately declare “Infield Fly – Batter is Out” to aid the runners. If the ball is near the foul lines, the umpire shall declare “Infield Fly – Batter is Out, If Fair”. The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or re-touch and advance after a fielder touches the ball. If the hit ball becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any other foul ball


Base Running:


·         When a force play is being made at first base, base runners MUST tag the orange safety base. If the base runner fails to tag the orange safety bag that runner is out.

·         No hard sliding, it will not be tolerated. If an umpire rules that a player slides with malicious intent, the umpire has the authority to call that runner out and may be subject to ejection from the game. 

·         Obstruction – Defensive fielder who is not in possession of the ball or in the act of fielding a batted ball shall not at any time flagrantly impede any runner and/or batter. If this happens, the runner is automatically safe at the base in which they were heading.

·         Interference – The act of an offensive player or team member that impedes, hinders, or confuses a defensive player reasonably attempting to execute a play. If this happens, the runner who interfered is automatically out.

·         Base Path – A base runner is out when he/she runs more than three feet from a direct line between that base and the next base in regular or reverse order to avoid being touched by the ball in the hand of a fielder. When a play, such as a rundown, is made on a runner who has “rounded” a base, and that runner is outside of a direct line between bases, the runner establishes his/her baseline as a direct line between him/her and the next base in regular or reverse order.

·         Courtesy Runners – A courtesy runner may be used once per inning. The courtesy runner must be the player who made the last out and of the same gender.

 Umpire Judgment:

·         There shall be no appeal of any decision of any umpire on the grounds that he/she was not correct in his/her decision that a batted ball was fair or foul, a base runner was out or safe, a pitched ball was a ball or a strike, or any other play involving accuracy of judgment.

·         Any argument is grounds for a player or coach to be ejected from the game.

·         No decision of an umpire shall be reversed, except when he/she is convinced it is in violation of a rule. If the manager or captain of either team does not seek reversal of a decision based solely on a point of rules, the umpire whose decision is in question, shall, if in doubt, confer with his/her associate before taking any action. But under no circumstances shall any player or person, other than the manager or captain of either team, have any legal right to protest any decision and seek its reversal on a claim that it is in conflict with these rules. Under no circumstances should any umpire seek to reverse a decision made by his/her associates, nor shall any umpire criticize or interfere with the duties of his/her associates, unless asked to do so. 

·         Only the captain or co-captain can directly question an umpire’s call on the field. Asking the umpire to explain why he or she made the call is encouraged and will be explained to you by the umpire and why the call was made. This should be done in a respectful manner. If done in any other way can result in an ejection. 

·         If an ejection occurs, it will be up to the umpire as to allow the player to remain with the team inside the dugout (i.e., to keep score or to cheer on their fellow team mates). If the player is told by the umpire to leave the field or complex they must do so or a suspension can occur for that player.

·         We are in the public eye every time we step on the softball field, therefore we will not tolerate any fighting or physical contact made in a way that endangers the players on the field and people off the field. Fighting will result in suspension which will be directed by the program manager.

·         If an altercation occurs on the field of play, the players are asked to remain at their respected positions while the umpire sorts out the problem on the field. Base runners should also remain on their respected bases. If a player on the team who is not involved in the play enters the field of play and does not return to their position or dugout, they will be asked to return once; if this player does not comply you will be ejected from the game.


Tiebreaker/Extra Innings (if time allows):

·         International Tie Breaker: If the 55-minute time limit has expired and the game is tied, or if the game is tied at the conclusion of the seventh inning, the International Tie Breaker rule will go into effect at the start of the eighth inning. The player to make the last out in the previous inning will be placed on second base and the batting order will continue from the previous inning. Each batter will begin with two balls and two strikes count and will not receive a courtesy foul. During regular season games, the international tie breaker rule will only apply to the eighth inning. In the event, neither team scores in the eighth inning, the game will end in a tie.                                                                    

·         One Pitch Format:  Depending on the time remaining in the game, a one pitch format can be used as well as the international tie breaker rule, it will be up to the umpire’s discretion on which rule to use. One pitch consists of each batter getting one pitch, a ball equals a walk, a strike or foul equals an out, and this is used until the opposing team records three outs.

General Gameplay:

·         Equipment: The AASL will provide all bases and a new ball for each game. No equipment shall be left lying on the field, either in foul or fair territory. Any equipment left in the field of play, and results in obstruction during “live play” the umpire will impose a penalty on the offense or defense depending on which teams equipment was left in play. An automatic out will be given to the team and base runners will return to their original base.

·         Bats: Bats will NOT be provided by DC Social Sports Club and teams are responsible for bringing their own. All bats must have a certified ASA stamp, visible to the umpire, on them in order to be used. Our umpires reserve the right to reject any bat deemed unsafe for league play regardless of ASA approval.

·         Shoes: All players, coaches, and participants must wear shoes. Metal cleats or any type of shoe that has exposed metal on the sole, other than a rivet, may NOT be worn. Any player found wearing metal cleats will immediately be ejected from the game.

·         Forfeits: If a team does not have the minimum number of players by game time, a ten (10) minute grace period will be granted. There will be no grace period granted for start times after the first game of the day. After the grace period is up and a team still does not have the minimum number of players it will be up to the opposing team’s captain to determine between a forfeit, a regulation game with borrowed players, or scrimmage with borrowed players. As a courtesy, please give 24-hour notice if your team will be forfeiting.  Forfeiting more than once game during the regular season can result in your team not qualifying for any playoff tournament.

·         Game Clock: A regulation game will consist of either seven (7) innings or 55-minute time limit, whichever comes first. All play will stop 55 minutes from the time your game begins by completing the inning the game is currently in. The umpire will give a warning of what will be the last inning. The umpire’s clock is the game clock and will inform both teams when the game has started. There is no minimum number of innings for a complete game if the time limit has been satisfied. After your game is completed, please leave the field area as soon as possible. Championship games will not have a time limit and will complete the full seven (7) innings unless the Mercy Rule applies.

·         Rain DelaysIf a rainout occurs while a game is in progress, three (3) innings must be completed for the game to count. 

·         Arlington PRCR Inclement Weather Hotline: (703)228-4715
Alexandria City Inclement Weather Lines:
Co-Ed: 703-746-5595


·         Managers, captains, and co-captains are expected to keep your team informed of these rules and regulations. Any and all rule changes will be passed down from the league to the captains

·         You and your team can significantly impact the pace of the game and the number of innings played within the 55-minute time limit. Informing your team of these rules and regulations as well as encouraging your team to hustle on and off the field between innings will significantly increase the opportunity to play a full seven (7) inning game. 

  •  Please arrive at least fifteen to twenty minutes prior to your game time to warm up and prepare yourself to take the field at your scheduled game time.
  •  Teams are encouraged to contact DC Social Sports Club Softball Program Director at any time with questions or concerns.

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