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League Administration, Policies & Playing Rules




1-1       SCOPE 


1.     The purpose of the Program Guide is to inform participants of the league's      

        organization, objectives, rules and administrative functions.




1.    To provide adult softball to individuals 45 years (in 2016) or older with emphasis on a             program that offers fun, sportsmanship and physical fitness to those involved.

2.    To generate continued interest to eventually provide divisional softball in age groups

       45-55, 56 +.

3.    To provide a sense of sportsmanship and camaraderie throughout the league.

4.    To enhance parity among all teams through the league Executive Committee, in order to contribute to the pleasure and excitement of play.

5.    To provide and promote safety measures and principles to prevent accidents and injuries

       through rules, officiating, equipment, and the spirit of play.

6.    To promote opportunities to improve playing skills and physical fitness to enhance both

       the quality and pleasure of play.




1.    A player must be 50 years in 2016, and pay the established registration fee, to be

       eligible for play in this league. 45-year olds can play on Thursday.

2.    Proof of age: Maryland State Drivers' License and, upon request of the Committee, a valid birth certificate or other official document.

3.    Players desiring to play in sanctioned Senior tournaments for those 50 years and older must have a valid Senior World Series Identification Card. See the league tournament director for ID Card forms and procedures for obtaining this card. 

4.    The majority of the league's players will be Harford County residents. Some participants may reside outside of the county; the number of such players shall be determined by the Executive Committee.  Individuals who played in prior years are automatically approved for play this year, regardless of their residency.




1.    The registration fee for league players is $80.00 for both Tuesday and Thursday. 

       Non-playing coaches and managers are not subject to the fee.

2.   A $10.00 late fee will be assessed to all players who sign up after the official online registration deadline. Conversely, players who do not sign up online and submit a hard copy registration form instead, will be assessed an additional $10 handling fee resulting in a $90 registration fee. 

3.   All players must be officially registered through the Joppatowne Recreation Council before taking the field.



1-5       ROSTERS


1.    There will be a maximum of sixteen (16) ball players to a team.

2.    Team rosters will be submitted to the league secretary one week prior to the start of the current season.

3.    The manager of each team will exchange a "line up" card showing every player who shows up for that individual game.


1-6       GAMES


1.    Games will be played on Fields 12, 13 and 14 at Magnolia Middle School located on Fort Hoyle Road, Joppa, Maryland.

2.    Games [double headers], May through July, will be played to seven (7) innings, unless terminated sooner by the umpire, or in the event of a tie score.  In event of a tie score, the game will continue until a winner is decided or, if in the opinion of the umpire it would be unsafe to continue play due to darkness or field conditions.  In such an event, the official score will revert to the last complete inning. The same procedure applies in abbreviated games called by the umpire. The exception to the above will be the month of April, which will include one single game played for nine [9] innings.

3.    Games will begin at 6:00 each game day.  Forfeit time will be 6:15 PM.  Every attempt will be made to play the game, including the use of players from another team. First attempt will be for the team short a player(s) to obtain an extra player from a team other than its opponent.  If that is not possible, the opposing team can provide a player.

4.    If a game is canceled or postponed due to weather conditions, a message to this effect will be left on the league's "Rain and Heat Number" and on the website. It is the responsibility of each player to call this number or check the website to see if a scheduled game will be played. See schedule for each league. 




1.    See schedules.


1-8       UMPIRES


1.    One umpire will be assigned to each game, except for the championship game, where two umpires will be assigned.

2.    If the umpire does not show up for a scheduled game, one representative from each team will be used.  One will call "balls and strikes", while the second will call the bases.  After 4½ innings, they will switch positions.

3.    Umpires will be paid $30.00 per game.

4.    Umpires will be responsible for ending a game before seven (7) innings, in the event of inclement weather, darkness or an incident determined by him that warrants stopping the game.




1.     League President


A.     Oversees all functions of the League.

B.     Presides at all meetings, if possible.

C.     Calls meetings to order at appointed time.

D.     Announces the business according to the agenda.

E.     States all motions and puts to vote, etc.


2.     League Vice-President


A.    Assumes duties of the President in his absence.

B.    Receives notification of game cancellations and game scheduling.

C.    When appropriate, cancels all games due to inclement weather and, additionally,


        teams and umpires of such cancellation.


3.     Secretary


A.     Keeps records of minutes for all meetings.

B.     Maintains an up-to-date list of League members.

C.     Records members present at each meeting.


4.     Treasurer


A.    Collects and deposits all money.

B.    Pays League bills and gives financial reports at League meetings.


5.     Communications & Marketing Committee


A.    Is responsible for contacts with local media, radio and television regarding league


B.    Provides weekly league game scores to the Aegis Sports Director for publication.

C.    Is responsible for the initiation of media releases when applicable.

D.    Is responsible for design and content management of the League website.


6.     Tournament Committee


        This committee is responsible for matters pertaining to tournaments that are of  

        interest to the League.


7.     Executive Board


A.   Has all governing power of the League.

B.   Consists of the League President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Advisors [4].

C.   Approves or disapproves League expenditures, registration fees, etc.

D.   Reviews all League criteria and budgets, outlines proposals for each year, and submits

      for approval at League meetings.


                                                      LEAGUE POLICIES




1.    Alcoholic beverages and/or controlled dangerous substances are prohibited on

       Harford County property.

2.    Any player in possession of alcoholic beverages or controlled dangerous substances will automatically be suspended.  The player's status for continued participation in league play will be determined by the Executive Committee.

3.    Smoking on the school grounds is also prohibited.  The league has received a letter from the Department of Parks and Recreation which orders compliance with Title 13A.02.04 of the State Board of Education Code of Maryland Regulations.  In essence, it declares all school grounds and buildings "smoke free" zones.  Violators will be removed from the property and/or prosecuted under civil and/or criminal law.  This includes family members and other spectators attending our games. Players violating the rule will be given a one game suspension.  Your compliance is mandatory.

4.    Any player suspended or expelled from the league forfeits all unused registration fees.




1.    Team uniforms (shirts, shorts, and caps) will be provided by the league. Jerseys will

       display the name of the team sponsor on the front, with the player's number on the back.

2.    Shoes with metal cleats are prohibited.  A player using metal spikes or cleats will be ejected from that particular game.

3.    Each team will be equipped with a first aid kit and ice packs.

4.    See Section III - Playing Rules - for additional equipment rules.




1.      Umpire decisions are final. NO PROTESTS.         




1.    Games may be canceled because of inclement weather or unsafe field conditions.          

2.    Cancellation of the entire game schedule on a particular day will be the responsibility of the League President/Vice-President.  Every attempt will be made to announce game cancellations as early as possible on the league website, but usually not before 4:00 PM of the scheduled day.  See schedules.

3.    In event of cancellations, the League President/Vice-President will notify the chief umpire, at least two hours before game time.  The above number will also be available to the chief umpire, as a "back-up" notification.

4.    Calling a game once it starts:  Once a game is officially started, it will be the sole responsibility of the game umpire to call an end to it before the full seven (7) are completed. Games may be called due to weather conditions, darkness, or an incident determined serious enough by the umpire.  In such an event, a game played less than five innings will be played over in its entirety at a later date.  If a game is played to five or more innings, it will be declared a complete game.  The team that is leading at the end of the last complete inning will be the game winner.




1.     Each player will refrain from offensive comments to players, coaches or officials. Penalty:  After a warning, a player will be suspended for 3 weeks of play.  The next event can cause that player to be removed from the league.  This rule will carry over from year to year.




3.   Players are advised they are to notify their manager in advance, if unable to attend a game. The League has established a policy effective immediately that any player who misses two consecutive games without notifying their manager in advance, will be removed from the League's active roster and placed on the stand-by roster. The player could be returned to active play for any team in need of a player during the season.




1.     Evaluations are only required of new players entering the league. Veteran players are            exempt.

2.     New players and those veterans requesting a change of team will be entered

        in the draft. The league will determine drafting policies and procedures.


                                                      PLAYING RULES  


 3-1       ASA PLAYING RULES                                 


1.     The current ASA Guide and Playing Rules will apply in this league, combined with      

        approved Senior Softball World Series and Harford County Senior Softball League

        rules.  ASA rules will govern league play except where they conflict with those the      

        League Executive Committee approves.





1.     Selected Senior Softball World Series Official Playing Rules have been adopted by   the Executive Committee for this league.  Other SSWS Rules have been modified

        for our use.  Players who enter SSWS Tournaments (AA County, Maryland Senior  Olympics) are advised they must play by the full Official Guide and Playing Rules  established by NASCS.  Your manager has a copy of the complete SSWS Guide  and Playing Rules Pamphlet.


2.       The following SSWS Rules and modifications have been approved for play in this  





A.        Commitment Line


  1. A three-foot commitment line shall be marked across and placed 20 feet from home plate.  The line shall be perpendicular to the foul line.  Once a runner's foot touches the ground on or past this line, the runner may NOT re-cross it in the direction of third base, i.e., the runner must continue on toward the scoring plate.  Violations will result in an out. If the runner is tagged by a fielder, he shall be called safe as all plays at home plate are force outs.


B.        Scoring Line


  1. A scoring plate will be placed 8 feet perpendicular from home plate.
  2. A foot down on the scoring plate shall be the same as a foot down on the home plate for purposes of scoring a run.
  3. To score, a base runner must have a foot down on the scoring plate before a defensive player in possession of the ball touches home plate.
  4. The runner shall also be called out if he touches or crosses over any portion of home




C.       Double Bag 1st Base


  1. A double bag or mat of equal size shall be used at 1st base, the double portion of the bag or mat being in foul territory abutting 1st base.


D.       Runner's Line


  1. A runner's line (three foot line) measuring three feet wide and thirty feet long shall be marked parallel to the first base foul line in foul territory, extending from 1st base back towards home plate.


E.       Playing Field


  1. A commitment line, a scoring line, a 1st base double bag/mat and a runner’s line as set forth above are definitions of equipment and striping that shall be added to the playing field.

      2.  Bases shall be set at 70 feet.


      3. The pitching area must be properly designated with a pitching rubber located 50 feet

          from home plate.  The playing field must not have a pitching mound.


F.        Equipment


  1. Metal cleats will not be permitted.  Players found wearing metal cleats in a game will be ejected from the game, and if on base, a "dead ball out" will be called; any player on base at the time the ejected player came to bat must return to the base occupied at that time if there are fewer than three outs.
  1. Players must wear visible numbers, a minimum of six inches high, on the uniforms, with no two identical numbers on a team.
  1. Only restricted flight softballs, 44 COR, 375 compression, will be used. No glazed covers will be used.
  1. It will be the responsibility of each player to use the proper ASA approved bat for each league. All ASA approved bats are not legal for all of our leagues. The league has the right to deem any bat illegal if it out performs most bats. Umpires along with league officials will inspect bats after a team warning. Players will be ejected and bats will be held for league officials. Continued bat violations will result in players being banned from our league. See the list of ASA banned bats on the previous page.


G.        Re-entry and Extra Player


  1. ASA rules for re-entry and extra players will apply.  Extra players may play defense at any time provided the total number of defensive players on the field at one time does not exceed eleven.
  1. Ten defensive players shall constitute a team.  A team must have a minimum of nine players at the start and finish of a game.  Failure to do so will result in a forfeit.


  1. Extra players may be added as they show up for play, however, at this point they must be listed at the end of the batting order.


H.        Game Time


  1. A team must be ready to play at game time or suffer a possible forfeit. Game time for all league scheduled games is 6:00.


I.        Home Team


  1. See schedules.


J.        Mercy Rule for 7 Inning Games


  1. A 10-run mercy rule will be in effect after five innings (4½ innings if home team is ahead) of a seven inning contest, thus ending the game. This rule shall NOT apply to championship games.


K.        Length of Game


  1. The length of a game will be seven innings, unless officially ended sooner by the umpire.


L.        Tie Games


  1. Tie games after seven innings will continue until one team is ahead after the completion of the next inning. The universal rule will be used in that inning. If a tie game is called due to darkness, inclement weather, etc., it will revert back to the last full inning which one team was ahead.


M.        Forfeits


  1. Forfeits will be avoided if at all possible.  Teams having insufficient number of players to start a game should make the opposing manager aware of this at "line-up" exchange time.  The manager that is short a player(s) should first attempt to borrow a player(s) from a team other than his opponent.  Should this not be feasible, the opposing team manager may provide an additional player(s), if able.  Should this plan fail, forfeiture time will be 6:15 PM.


N.        Pitching Regulations


  1. Strike zone mats will be used in this league. The plate and mat will be a strike.
  1. A legal pitch is one whose height is 6 feet from release and 12 feet maximum height from the ground.
  1. Position of Pivot Foot:  To deliver a legal pitch, the pitcher's pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitching rubber until the pitch leaves his hand.  A forward, backward, or side step may be taken with the other foot, provided the step is simultaneous with the release of the ball towards the batter. The pitcher may step back 6 feet beyond the rubber, but must stay within the length of the pitching rubber.
  1. Pitching Screens will be used in all leagues.
  1. The distance from the pitching rubber to the rear point of home plate is 50 feet.


O.        Reaching First Base


  1. Each batter must reach first base on his own or pinch runner from the plate.
  1. A double bag or mat of equal size shall be used at 1st base, the double portion of the bag or mat being in foul territory abutting 1st base.
  1. If there is a play on a batter going to 1st base, the batter must touch the portion of the double bag or mat extending into foul territory.  The batter shall be called out for failing to do so. However, if a defensive player has to move onto the bag in foul territory to make the play, the runner may touch either bag if, in the judgment of the umpire, the runner touched the inside bag to avoid a collision.
  1. Unlimited courtesy runners may be used each inning and may be any player on the roster.  Each player on the roster may be a courtesy runner only once per inning. Any courtesy runner found running more than once per inning will be called out.
  1. A courtesy runner may not be replaced by another courtesy runner except for injury causing removal of the original courtesy runner permanently from the game.  A courtesy runner on base when it is his turn to bat will be declared out.


P.        Retiring Runner at Home


  1. A base runner may be retired at home plate in a non-force situation without a tag.  The defensive player must have possession of the ball while touching home plate and or the mat after the runner has passed the commitment line but does not yet have a foot down on the scoring plate.  A base runner can slide at home.
  1. The runner shall also be called out if he touches or crosses over any portion of home plate.
  1. Runners shall not be called out for contact with a defensive player NOT in contact with home plate unless, in the umpire's judgment, the runner deliberately hit or could reasonably have been expected to minimize or avoid contact under the circumstances and failed to do so.
  1. Tag of the runner by a defensive player will NOT be allowed after a runner passes the commitment line.


Q.        Runner Hit by Fair Ball


  1. A runner is not out when he is hit with a fair, untouched ball that has passed an infielder, excluding the pitcher, and in the judgment of the umpire, no other infielder had a chance to make an out.




       The following League Rules have been approved by the Executive Committee for play          in this League:


1.    Players must use their own bats, provided they meet league specifications and ASA bat specifications.  No fast pitch bats. Bats cannot weigh less than 26 ounces.  

2.    All players who show up for a game must be in the playing line- up for three innings, and must bat at least once. If a player cannot bat after starting the game for any reason, he will be taken out of batting order for the rest of the game.  No out will be charged.       

3.    Managers/coaches may play as long as they meet the age requirement and have paid their registration fees.  Non-playing managers/coaches are not subject to registration fees.

4.    All leagues will use a one and one count with a foul to waste. A four-run limit will also be used.

5.    There will be free and unlimited substitutions for all players, including the pitcher.

6.    A base runner must hold his base until the ball is hit. If the batter swings and misses, the runner is not out for leaving the base.

7.    The home team will provide one new softball per game.  Each team will ensure the field is ready for play.  Note: The league has paid field attendants who are responsible for lining fields and setting the bases.

8.    Each manager will have readily available a complete lineup of his players. At the request of any manager, the opposing manager is required to produce a lineup to confirm a player's legal status each game.

9.     A 4 run limit except for last inning of game.

10.   Unlimited players may volunteer to be a D.H.  The D.H. will not have to play the field. Each time the D.H. reaches base he can have a runner. 

11.   ASA RULES will now be used.

12.   A team down by 10 or more runs may score enough runs to avoid being “10- runned”. This applies to seven inning games on Tuesday nights only.

13.   Base runners going back to a base cannot overrun the bases. This is a tag play.

14.   Once a substitute runner touches the base he is considered in the game.

15.   A player who has been pinch run for cannot run again that inning.

16.   Any player may substitute run even if not in the batting order.

17.   To play in the end of year Tournament a player must be on the League’s roster unless  both managers agree.

18.   A batted ball that hits the pitching screen is a foul ball the first time it is hit during an at bat. If it is hit during the "must be a fair ball" or “between the lines” pitch, whether it is the first time or not, it is ruled an out.

19.   Also, the pitcher in any given inning may move the screen to one side or the other of the rubber. Once he moves it for his ½ inning, he is committed to pitching from that side of the rubber for the remainder of his pitching duties for that inning.

20.   A defensive player can now put a runner out at home by touching the plate or the mat, which is now 1-piece.

21.   Flip-Flop Rule: If the home team is behind by more than 5 runs in the sixth inning, the visiting can elect to stay in the field and let the home team bat twice.

22.   A player or players may be asked to change teams from year to year in order to maintain league parity.

23.   A thrown ball that hits the pitching screen is a live ball.

24.   A runner at home for the batter cannot advance past 1st base, unless the umpire rules a dead ball out of play.  The runner will be awarded 2nd base.

25.   A batted ball that hits any runner while off a base becomes a dead ball and the runner is out.

26.   Any batted ball hit in the air that the umpire thinks the infield fly rule should be called will do so even if no attempt is made to catch the ball.

27.  It will be mandatory for all pitchers to wear face masks at all times while on the mound

       during games. Pitchers' face masks will be supplied by the league.


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