Rules

Purpose: The purpose of Ball 4 God Softball League is to have fun and fellowship with other Christians. We hope to strengthen our Christian community through coming together with believers and playing a simple game of softball.

Requirements to enter league:
1. The team must be sponsored by a church.

2. Each team member must regularly attend church. It is the responsibility of the coach/pastor of each team to monitor their team.

Rules:
1. Safety: All games should be played with safety in mind. The preference is no sliding. However, should the need arise; please keep in mind the safety of the person covering the base. NO METAL CLEATS.

2. Team Conduct: Have fun. Be respectful. No swearing, no use of tobacco products, and no drinking of alcohol. Enjoy yourself. WWJD.

3. Pitching: The game will be played slow pitch style. There will be no arc requirements. The pitcher’s mound will be 46 feet away.

4. Equipment: A 12″ softball will be provided by the league for each game. The league will also provide the mats, bases, etc. Each team is responsible for their own mitts and bats. Men must use legal, ASA certified bats. Women may use any softball bat they choose.

5. Strike Zone: It will be considered a strike if any part of the ball hits any part of the mat or home plate.

6. Starting Count: The beginning count will be one strike and one ball. A foul ball on the third strike is considered an out regardless of who is batting.

7. Players: A minimum of 8 players must be on the field at any given point with a minimum of three women. If 8 players cannot be met it will be considered a forfeit, unless the other team has extra players that wish to cross over. There will be the standard 10 fielding positions, no “rover” position allowed. (All fielders must either be considered infield or outfield with no more than 4 being in the outfield at any given point prior to playing a batted ball.) A maximum of twelve players will be allowed to bat in the line-up. Players may sub in and re-enter as needed. Line-ups are to be turned into the other team, and scores should be compared after every inning to avoid any confusion.

8. Batting: The first 6 batters must alternate either man/woman or woman/man. After that, fill in as necessary regardless of how many men or women remain. Men can bat natural handed. Should a man walk prior to a woman, the woman will have the option of taking an automatic walk.  However, there will only be one automatic walk allowed for each team per inning. No Bunting or chopping at the ball with the sole purpose to deaden it.  These are considered illegal swings.

9. Courtesy Runners: Should there be a need for a courtesy runner, it will be the person who committed the last out.

10. Limit of Play: Each game is limited to either 7 innings or 1 hour of play (whichever comes first). If the score is tied, then play resumes until one team has won. There will be no games that end in a tie. If after 5 innings a team is ahead by 10 runs, the game will be considered completed.

11. Umpires: Home team will provide the home plate umpire with the away team providing the field umpire.

12. Age of players: The minimum age requirement is 16. The person must be 16 or turning 16 within that calendar year. If any player is under the age of 18 and their parents will not be present during game time, they must have a signed permission slip indicating their parents gave them permission to play and may obtain medical treatment should an injury occur. This permission slip not only needs the parent’s signature but must also have a copy of their insurance card, and a contact number the hospitals can call.

13. Commit Line: The commit line will be 25 feet from home plate. Once a player crosses that line, they must proceed towards home. All plays at the plate will be a force out regardless of position of runners on the bases. When there is a play at home runners need to step on the mat when crossing home allowing the fielder to use home plate. If this does not happen each team will receive a warning, after that any other incidences will be considered an out. This will avoid undue injuries.

14. Swapping of players: As stated above, if there aren’t enough players to play on the field, players from the other team may cross over.

15. North Diamond: The North Diamond will have a limit of 2 over-the-fence homeruns per team per game. Anything after that will be considered an out. Should a fly ball be tipped by the fielder over the fence it will be a homerun but WILL NOT count against the homerun limit. If your team loses a ball in the pond, your team will be responsible for replacing it. It’s a fair trade, right?

16. Cones: There will be cones set up at 170 feet in the outfield, effectively marking off a line at which no outfielder may pass until the ball has been hit by the female batter. Once the ball has been hit, the fielder may move to any position on the field. Players may be at any depth in the outfield when the men are batting.

17. Seeding: A team’s seed will be determined by their win/loss percentage. The team with the highest percent will be awarded the top seed and so forth. If there is a tie in percentage, the seeding will be determined by head-to-head record. Should that be tied, it will come down to runs scored vs. runs scored against. The team with the best run record will be seeded higher. If it so happens that both teams have the same record, split head-to-head, and have exact same runs scored vs. runs scored against, the seeding will be determined by a flip of a coin.

18. Tournament Play: Tournament play proceeds as with all the other rules except for homefield advantage and time limit. Homefield advantage will always go to the highest seeded team. All tournament games will still have the one-hour time limit except the championship game. Play will continue as necessary until one team has won the championship.