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Geneva Softball League

CERN Softball Club

Softball Rules Particular to Childers Field

The following are a few rules pertaining to particularities of Childers Field in scenic Bellevue. Rules not specific to the field are also applicable for play at Higgs Field in sunny Prévessin. These rules have been decided by majority vote of the Geneva Slow-Pitch Softball League Captains and are considered to be in addition or substition to the official rules (ASA). Suggested additions and/or modifications are welcome any time except during a game.

  1. Definitions
    1. The Grass: All of the playing field mowed periodically, up to, but not including the ditch in front of the plowed field.
    2. The Wheat: The land plowed and planted by the farmer, including its surrounding drainage ditch. Sometimes corn, sometimes peas,...
    3. The Matt: The green matt attached to the back of home plate for determining balls and strikes.
    4. The Plate Dirt: The dirt in front of home plate inside the baselines but before the grass.
    5. The Triple Marker: A marker in right centerfield at the Wheat/Grass boundary. In the absence of such a marker, an imaginary extension of the second-third baseline.
    6. The Hedge: The row of silly little bushes along the first baseline in foul territory.
    7. The Chair Hill: The raised surface in foul territory along the third baseline on which the chairs have been placed.
    8. The Barbed Wire: The barbed wire surrounding the house and approaching the third base foul line.
  2. The Playing Field
    1. First Baseline Boundary: goes from the backstop to the hedge and from the hedge on a line to the beginning of the fence under the tree delimiting the Wheat from the Grass.
    2. Third Baseline Boundary: goes from the backstop to the front of the chair hill and from the chair hill to the barbed wire. Any ball under, in, on, or on the exterior side of the barbed wire is out of play.
    3. Foul Trees: If a batted ball hits a tree in foul territory, it is out of play. The batter cannot be called out even if the ball is caught before touching the ground. All runners return to the bases they occupied before the pitch and the pitch is counted as a strike.
    4. Fair Trees: The big chestnut tree in left field and the shrubs in left-center are fair. If a batted ball hits one of these trees, it is in play, but cannot be caught for an out. The runners and batter-runner advance at their own risk.
    5. The Wheat: is out of play. If a ball enters the Wheat for any reason, play is declared dead.
      1. If a batted ball enters the Wheat in fair territory the batter and all runners shall be rewarded
        1. four bases if the ball is hit on the fly or is caught by a fielder who is either already touching part of the Wheat or does not touch the grass before passing with the ball from the grass into the Wheat;
        2. three bases if the ball bounces or rolls into the Wheat to the left of the Triple Marker;
        3. two bases if the ball bounces or rolls into the Wheat to the right of the Triple Marker.
        NB: The bases are counted from where the runners were when the pitch was thrown and are awarded whether or not the ball is touched by a fielder.
      2. If a thrown ball enters the Wheat, play is dead and the batter-runner and the baserunners advance one base from the last base touched;
    6. The Plate Dirt: is foul terrirory. A batted ball which does not make it past the dirt onto the grass is considered a foul ball. This rule does not hold for the infield fly rule.
  3. Judgment Calls
    1. If an umpire is present, she/he makes all calls and the calls are final.
    2. If there is no umpire present, the team coaches are asked to use their best judgment and goodwill. It is suggested that the batting team provide first and third base coaches to make the calls in the field and for catchers to make the calls on balls and strikes. In the absence of base coaches, or if there is another players with an undeniable better view of the play, that player is asked to make the call.
    3. The rules here are in place mainly to address games where no umpire is present. An umpire reserves the right to modify or extend these rules, as long as the changes are made clear to both teams before the game.
  4. The Bases
    1. When there are two first bases. The left base is in fair territory and the right base in foul territory. A fielder commits interference by impeding the batter-runner's access to the right base or to either base if there is no play to be made. The appropriate rules for interference apply in this case. A batter-runner commits interference by impeding the fielder's access to the left bag. The batter-runner shall be called out in this case. After a runner has been declared safe at first, only the left base is recognised as being in play.
    2. There is a matt attached to the back of home plate. A fielder commits interference by impeding a runner's access to the matt or to either the plate or the matt if there is no play to be made. The appropriate rules for interference apply in this case. A runner commits interference by impeding the fielder's access to the plate. The runner shall be called out in this case.
    3. A commitment line is drawn half way between third base and home plate. Once a runner has past this line there is a force play at home plate.
  5. Strikes and Balls
    1. A legal delivery shall be defined by usual underhand rules (foot on rubber, etc.) and the requirement that the ball travel in an arc no less than 6 feet and no more than 12 feet in height.
    2. A ball will be called if the batter does not swing at the pitch, the ball does not touch the bat and
      1. the pitcher has not made a legal delivery or
      2. the ball does not land on any part of the matt.
    3. A strike will be called if
      1. the batter swings and misses the ball;
      2. the batter hits the ball in foul territory (regardless of how many strikes are previously counted);
      3. the pitcher has made a legal delivery and the ball lands on any part of the matt; or
      4. the batter requests a strike (normally to prevent an embarassing walk).
    4. A walk will be issued to the batter after four balls have been called. The batter and runners advance according to usual rules.
    5. A strikeout will be issued after three strikes have been called. The batter is out and the runners may not advance.
  6. Batter/Runner Hit By Thrown Ball
    1. If a batter/runner is hit decisively (not grazed) by a thrown ball, play is dead and all runners advance to the bases they were running to.
  7. Pinch Runner
    1. A pinch-runner can only be substituted for an injured batter-runner provided:
      1. the batter-runner has reached base on her/his own power and the opposing team agrees to the substitution or
      2. the batter-runner declared their injury before the game to the opposing team and that team agreed a substitute could be provided from home plate. In this case, the last player on the batting team to make an out will be the substitute runner. In case this occurs before an out has been made, the opposing team can choose the (non-injured) runner.
    2. A pinch-runner starting from home plate is out if she/he
      1. lines up in front of a designated starting position to be determined by the teams before the game (typically behind the 3rd base - home plate line);
      2. begins running before the batter finishes her/his swing.
  8. Team Composition
    1. Each team must have at least one woman on its batting line-up and playing in the field for each game. A team without a woman sacrifices the game, unless:
      1. it fields no more than nine players;
      2. every 10th batter, starting with batter 10, is counted as an out.
  9. Player Eligibility
    1. All players are required to complete the GSL Security Form before entering Childers Field and are ineligible for league play until they have done so.

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Last modified: Tue May 11 18:30:57 CEST 2010