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  Rockland Coed Softball League Inc.

These rules will be updated with the 2010 version in the beginning of April. In the meantime, check your hardcopy of the League Rules. Sorry for the delay! The HARDCOPY of the rules constitutes the governing set of rules; if there is a conflict between the rules on this site and the hardcopy set of rules, the hardcopy set of rules governs play!
 2004 Rockland Coed Softball League Rules
1. The Fielding team:

We play with 5 women and 5 men in the field. There is free substitution of players in and out of the field. If a team does not have enough players, they may play with 8 or 9, but with no more than 5 men.  Less than 8 is a forfeit; however, in the event of a shortage of players on a team, on consent the other team can lend players to the team that's short so the game can be played; in the event of such a loan, the game DOES COUNT in the standings. It is the League’s position that teams should readily agree to lend players in order to avoid forfeits. (Please note that umpires will not stay for forfeited games).

In addition, teams may agree to allow play with 6 men and 4 women (or some other combination) to avoid a forfeit. (However, such an agreement should ONLY be done to avoid a forfeit).

2. Pitching:

We play with what we refer to as “modified slow pitch”: no arc is required, but if there is an  arc, the arc cannot be more than 6 and 1/2 feet. (This is NOT arc ball). A legal pitch has a dip (i.e., it dips by the time it reaches the catcher).  The pitcher must begin the delivery with at least one foot on the rubber, the pitching arm cannot go above the shoulder and the first step of the pitcher during the delivery must be towards home plate (i.e., forward). The back (i.e., pivot) foot of the pitcher must be on the rubber at the time the ball is released. The pitcher must begin his/her pitching motion (i.e., the backward swing of the pitching arm) with the palm of the pitching hand up (i.e., towards the sky).  Windmill and sidearm motions are prohibited; any other aspect of a motion is allowed so long as the pitch is of a legal speed (i.e., has a dip and/or is of a speed which would exist if the pitch had a dip -- in other words, a pitch may not have a dip and still be of an appropriate speed). Obviously there has to be some discretion on the part of the umpire as to the legality of the speed, but the guiding principle is that this is NOT a strikeout league and the pitching rules are designed to ensure that the average co-ed league player can consistently make contact with the ball. If problems continue to develop with the pitching, we may amend the rules during the season.  (Note: These rules are NOT designed to make this into a lob league or to require that the pitching be lethargic: the pitches CAN be straight (i.e., flat) and CAN have some zip to them. So a pitch can be 20 miles an hour or 45 miles an hour  — both are permitted).

  A pitch CANNOT be rising at the time it crosses the plate.

  Any pitch which is illegal (for any reason) will be called a ball.

If a pitcher consistently throws illegal pitches (i.e., throws more than three illegal pitches in an inning or more than five illegal pitches during a game, the pitcher will be removed from the game as a pitcher.

If a pitcher is removed from two games because of illegal pitching, the pitcher will be banned from pitching during the remainder of the season (including playoffs).

It is the captain’s responsibility to object to any pitching that he or she deems improper.  Raise your objection with the umpire and ask him/her to closely review the pitching. 

If a complaint about pitching is made, all parties are urged to try and resolve any problem in the spirit of good sportsmanship.

The propriety of the pitching is considered an issue of sportsmanship. (See the statement on league sportsmanship). Most pitchers and/or coaches know the difference between an illegal pitch and a legal pitch; please conduct yourself according to the basic spirit of the league. 

We play with a pitcher's mound, which is 40' from the plate. (If the field has a permanent mound that is 42'or 43', we use that mound).

3. Intentional Walks
If a male batter is walked with a  4 - 0 count (4 balls, 0 strikes), he automatically goes to second base.  If there are runners on base, they advance two bases.
4. Batting Order and Fielding Participation:

Alternates by gender (see attached example).  If a team fails to follow the established order or bat two players of the same gender in a row, the batter is declared out. Everyone on the team is to be in the batting order whether or not he or she plays the field in any particular inning. (There is no DH, no "substitutions" in the batting order and no pinch hitters; nor is it permissible to have an “A” team and a “B” team).  All players must play at least three innings in the field.

Anyone who bats must play at least three full innings in the field and anyone who fields must be in the lineup from the first inning they are present at the game. However, no player may be inserted into the game after the second inning of play, unless (I) that player is the ninth or tenth player (of a team playing with 8 players) OR (II) that player will take the place of a loaned player from the opposing team AND (III) the opposing team agrees to such a substitution. If a player comes late, he/she may be inserted as the first batter of the same gender in that inning. A violation of the three-inning rule or inserting a player improperly into a game will result in a forfeit by the violating team. It is suggested that each team request the opposing team to provide it with a line-up at the beginning of each game.

Alternating Line-Up Example:

If a team has an even number of men and women, an alternating batting order is easy to make and every individual in the order bats in consecutive order and the same order throughout the game.  However, if there is an uneven number of men and women, it can become confusing.  So, for example, if seven men and five women show up for the game, the batting order will look like this:

Man 1
Woman 1
Man 2
Woman 2
Man 3
Woman 3
Man 4
Woman 4
Man 5
Woman 5
Man 6
Woman 1 *
Man 7
Woman 2 *
Man 1
Woman 3
Man 2
Woman 4
Man 3
Woman 5
Man 4
Woman 1 etc.

In other words, because there were an uneven number of men and women, and there were fewer women than men, the women bat more often than the men.  So in the above example, after Man 6 bats for the first time, all of the women have already batted, so Woman 1 bats again (i.e., a second time) before Man 7 gets to bat the first time; and before the first person in the order (i.e., Man 1) gets to bat a second time, Woman 2 has already batted a second time as well.  (Thus, in the above example, the women have already batted TWICE even though only three of the seven men have batted a second time).  In addition, you should note that as a result of the uneven number, the batting order CHANGES each time around (i.e., although each man follows the same man in the order and each woman follows the same woman in the order, as the order progresses the same people DO NOT continue to follow each other in the order.  Because this can get confusing, it is suggested that each player note the player of the same gender that they follow in the order and NOT the actual player they follow in any inning (since the player they follow will change as the order changes).

5. Batting:
No bunting.  3 strikes, 4 balls. (If you don't know what this means, call Danny or your captain IMMEDIATELY!)
6. Base running:
Base runners can leave on the pitch (i.e., when the ball leaves the pitcher's hand), but must return to base before the next pitch (i.e., between pitches) if there is no advance by the hitter on that pitch.  A base runner that leaves the base before the pitch leaves the pitcher's hand is automatically OUT (i.e., a pickoff is NOT required).  If a base runner leaves the base legally, they CAN be picked off if the pitch is not hit: the fielder merely needs to touch the base which the runner left before the runner returns to the base - the runner does NOT have to be tagged (i.e., it is a "force" play).  If there is an overthrow on a pick-off play ("hello Matt, hello Margaret, hello Sam"), the runner CAN proceed to the next base, but only AFTER returning to (and tagging) the bag he/she is leaving.

There is no stealing.

Players MUST try to avoid collisions (but can do so by sliding, which is allowed).  If you fail to attempt to avoid a collision, you will be called OUT and may be thrown out of the game.  The umpires make the decision as to whether any contact was intentional.

**CLARIFICATION: The collision rule involves some discretion by the umpire.  The rule prohibits intentional collisions. Unintentional contact is evaluated by the Umpire based on various criteria, including, but not limited to, the attempt by the offensive player to avoid a collision, the likelihood and location of a play at the base (or place) of the contact, the conduct and positioning of the defensive player, and interference with the progress of the play by either or both the offensive and the defensive player.  Please note that both offensive and defensive players have an obligation to try and avoid collisions.

There is free substitution of base runners. (Umpires do NOT need to be advised prior to the start of the game of substituted base runners; however, umpires must be notified of a substituted runner at the time of the substitution). Base-running substitutes must be of the same gender and must be the person of the same gender who made the last out (unless that player is injured and cannot or has not been running or is the next batter of the same gender; in that event, the last physically able player of the same gender who last made out is eligible to substitute as a base runner. No runner can be substituted for a second time during the same rotation around the bases unless the substitute runner is hurt and must leave the game.

On an overthrow into out-of-play territory, the base runner(s) get the base they are going to PLUS one base.

In the event of extra innings, we do NOT start with a runner at second base; all extra innings are played with the same rules and format as a regulation inning.

7. Catchers:
MUST wear a mask with a throat guard. (If you do not have a catcher's mask with a throat guard, the umpire will not allow the team to play!).
8. Equipment:

Teams are independently required to provide bases (including a home plate) and a catcher’s mask with a throat guard. The Home team supplies bases for the game. The bases must be at least 1½" thick! (The thinner bases cannot be seen by the umpires and are prohibited).

Metal cleats are strictly prohibited.  Plastic and rubber cleats are acceptable.  No baseball bats are allowed.  Bats must be softball bats.

ALL teams must have a COMPLETE set of bases (3 bases AND a home plate).  The home team must provide such; if the home team does not have a COMPLETE set of bases, and the visiting team does not have their bases with them, the umpire WILL declare a forfeit against the home team.  (While the visiting team is under no obligation to provide bases, it is suggested, in order to insure a game is played, that they bring their bases with them.  However, even if they do, they are under no obligation to provide them and have the option of taking the forfeit.  There appear to be a few teams that are trying to get away without buying bases: BEWARE - if that is determined to be the case, all your games will retroactively be deemed forfeited and lost, even if played due to the good graces of your opponents!)

9. Weather:
In the event of RAIN, SNOW, SLEET, HAIL, HURRICANES, TORNADOS, SNOW and/or various EL NINO and LA NINA phenomenon: go to the Leagues web-site (, call your captain or call Danny (845-664-8059) after 5:00PM to see if your game has been canceled. If the phone system has various message banks, please use the one indicated for softball or sports activities.  If there is no message, ASSUME THE GAME IS ON (even if you think that Danny is just nuts). Please note that the umpire has the last say as to whether a game is canceled and it is possible the umpire may not cancel a game until he or she inspects the field at game time!  Moral: go to the field if there is no message canceling the game. (You don't want to forfeit a game because you ASSUMED the game was cancelled due to the weather only to find out later that the field conditions were acceptable or, as often happens, the weather conditions at the field were different than those at your location when you called). WE TRY AS HARD AS POSSIBLE TO PLAY GAMES AS SCHEDULED. (There is no guarantee that we can re-schedule games, but we will TRY to do so and to do so as soon as possible.  Please let Danny know as soon as possible after the canceled game when your team is available and/or unavailable to make-up the game!  Your assistance in this matter will be greatly appreciated and will be to your benefit: otherwise a game will be re-scheduled without your input! (Please note that this will be the first year we will be using a website, so if there is inclement weather and there is no notice canceling games, it is suggested you ALSO call Danny to see if there is a cancellation message.)
10. Umpires:

Please don't harass the umpire. He/she has the authority to throw you out of the game; keep in mind that the umpire is schooled and doing the best he/she can. While they may be blind and drunk as a matter of course, they are a necessary    aspect of the game and in order for the games to be fun; you have to accept their errors just as your teammates will accept yours (C'mon, you know you stink up the house sometimes!).

If you have a real problem with an umpire, let your team   captain or Danny know and they will address it with that umpire or the commissioner of umpires.  We do expect the umpires to be professional while acting in the overall spirit of the league.  Please try and get the name of the umpire at the beginning of each game (It is hard to determine a pattern of improper conduct by any particular umpire if Danny does not know the umpires involved in the complaints made by the captains).

Under no circumstances can you punch, bite, kick, spit at, grab, pinch, kiss or otherwise have physical contact with the umpire. If you do, you should say farewell to your teammates since you will be thrown out of the league and banned! No kidding... this is NOT the NBA or major league baseball!  It is also noted that threats and/or cursing directed at the umpire could get you tossed. Bottom line: this is a recreational league, it is not your career (except for a few notable exceptions), and you should be having fun (and not be getting bent out of shape because you think an umpire blew a call).

11. Game Fees:
Umpires get paid $20 by each team at the field prior to the game.  
12. Forfeits:

Forfeits are annoying to everyone, particularly the other team.  There should be no reason to forfeit: Captains should check with all their players a few days before the next game to determine whether you will be short players; if you are going to be short, call The Commish and he will find substitutes for you!  Any team that forfeits will have to pay the league $50 for any game forfeited. This forfeit fee will have to be paid by the following Tuesday or the forfeiting team's next game will be canceled. If the forfeit fee is not paid within two days after the canceled game, the remainder of the team’s season will be deemed forfeited and all remaining games canceled.  There will be no refunds for any such cancellations.

If you know in advance that there is a week or a particular game that your team cannot play (for reasons such as a group vacation or a wedding) let Danny know IN ADVANCE and he will try to re-schedule the game.  However, we're talking advance notice here, not simply the day before a game!  (Thus, if you let Danny know at least three full days (i.e., 72 hours) prior to the scheduled game that your team cannot play, it will NOT be deemed a forfeit for penalty purposes and the game will be re-scheduled.

13. The Rules in General:

ASA rules apply unless changed by our rules (i.e., the above, any addendum or changes in the future).  If there is a dispute as to rules, the umpire will make the determination, although team captains can agree to the applicability or interpretation of a particular rule for that particular game, which agreement will overrule any rule interpretation by the umpire.  In the event that there is a rule problem or ambiguity, which arises during a game, please contact Danny so the rule can be clarified or changed for future games.

Suggestion 1: Read our rules

Suggestion 2: Bring our rules with you to the game

Keep in mind that the umpires are not schooled specifically in the unique rules of our league. This means they rely on ASA rules or their own rule interpretations if no one knows the rules or if there is a rule dispute.  It is your responsibility to know the rules (or at least have the rules with you at the games) and inform the umpires of such. The umpires are to follow our rules, regardless of any other understanding they have.

14. Uniforms:
Nothing particular is required at this time, but team members should at least wear the same color shirts so you can be identified as the enemy.
15. Problems:
If you have any problems, please feel free to discuss them with Danny. If you have a problem with Danny, just shoot yourself.
16. Innings:
We play 7 innings. Completion of 5 innings will be deemed a complete game if there is a rainout/dark out, etc.  Of course, tie games can go into "extra" innings as necessary. (Please note that we play each extra inning the same as every regulation inning: we do NOT use the ASA rule, which begins extra innings with a runner on second base).
17. Game Time:

Games will begin at 6:30PM. Please don't be late.  Remember the first week or two it gets dark early, so if you want to get in a full game you MUST start on time.

Umpires will give you a 15-minute grace period. If you need a few more minutes, ask the other captain; if there is consent to wait a few more minutes, the umpire should stay (he/she gets paid if they show up at the field, so if the captains agree to extend the waiting period, the umpire should stay.  If the umpire does not stay when the two captains agree to extend the grace period, please let the Commish know --- refusing to stay a few more minutes when the captains consent to such is considered inappropriate by the League and will be addressed with the head umpire).  We urge captains to agree to an extension if it appears likely that the other team will have enough to avoid a forfeit in a few more minutes.

18. Scores and Standings:

Since we have playoffs (as a result of public demand and resolutions by the US Congress and the UN General Assembly), it is necessary to keep track of wins and losses. As such, captains (or anyone designated by a captain) MUST report their game score and RESULT within two days after a game by calling or e-mailing Danny. BOTH teams (winner AND loser) must report the game results! 

Obviously, reporting games is CRITICAL to the playoff format and it's unfair to Danny and all the other teams if you fail to report scores and results. You will NOT be chased for this! Instead, if a team fails to report a score by the following Tuesday: (I) the winner will NOT be given credit for a victory in relation to the playoffs and will be given a "penalty de-merit"; the losing team will be given a "penalty de-merit" as well. Penalty demerits work against you in the event of a tie in the standings. This rule will be strictly enforced.

19. Absences and Tardiness:
Please, please let your captain AND Danny know as soon as you know you will be late or unable to attend a game.  The worst thing is when a team forfeits: it is unfair not only to your teammates but to the members of the opposing team as well. Letting your captain AND Danny know will allow your team to try and arrange for a substitute if necessary. The League may have "floaters" available to fill in for players who will be late or absent, so if you let your captain and Danny know early they may be able to arrange for a substitute to avoid a forfeit by your team. If a team requests a substitute, they must be treated as an equal with all your other players (i.e., you cannot discard them simply because a player on your team eventually shows up!); if you treat a requested substitute differently than a regular player, the League will not act on any further requests from your team to help find a substitute.
20. Insurance:

Although the League has insurance, each player should have their own health and medical insurance since there are deductibles ($500), limits of liability, supplemental provisions, and exemptions, which affect coverage for players.

The insurance is supplemental for those with insurance and primary for those who do not have insurance. 

Remember, you assume the basic risks of playing!  (Also, note that any injury, which is incurred or caused by a player who has consumed alcohol, is NOT covered by the insurance --- such an occurrence is specifically exempted in the policy!  Again, every field owner, both public and private, prohibits alcohol and they will pull the League's permits if there is alcohol consumption at the fields.  Do NOT jeopardize everyone's season by drinking at the fields!)

21. Playoffs:

The Playoff format will be issued a little later into the season. It will resemble that of past years, but the particular standards of qualification may vary slightly depending on how things develop during the season.

Please note, however, that during the playoffs, the league playing rules are strictly enforced and not subject to consent amendment.

Teams will be required to submit rosters by the third week of the season in relation to the playoffs.  The details on this will be forthcoming.

22. Additional Playing Time:
If you are interested and available to sub for another team on a day when your team is not playing, let Danny know.  After the first few weeks subs are needed on a regular basis.
23. League Practices:
If you're interested in practices on weekends, let Danny know.
24. Schedules:
We tried to accommodate teams to as great extent as possible with regard to specific scheduling problems.  If a scheduling problem exists, please let Danny know and we'll try to accommodate you. (However, do NOT wait until the last minute to ask for a schedule change!.
25. Suggestions:
If you have any suggestions, don't be shy: tell Danny.
26. Distribution:
Captains: Please make copies of the rules and distribute it to your players so they are familiar with the rules, procedures, notification requirements, etc.  Also, please inform your players about the league website, as we are planning on utilizing it as much as possible for informational purposes.  The site address is
27. Substitute Players:
A team cannot use substitutes from other teams within their division.
28. Sunday League:
There is a possibility we could have a Sunday afternoon league at minimal cost.  If you are interested and available, call Danny.
29. The Fall League:
Remember, we have a limited number of fields available in the fall because of our need to have lights.  As a result, we also have a limited amount of space for teams.  So if you are planning to play in the fall, sign up EARLY to avoid losing a spot!
30. Salutations:

Good luck, Have Fun and

                                PLAY BALL!

                                       With Love,

                                       The Commish

Some of our fields present physical characteristics, which have resulted in the application of different ground rules by different umpires. This is a clarification:

Any ball hit over ANY part of the fence in on a fly is a home run (so long as it is in fair territory).  (Some leagues play that the left field portion of the fence is a double; we do NOT play that way).


Any ball hit into the woods in right field on a fly is a home run.

Any ball that rolls or bounces into the woods is a ground rule double. Any ball hit onto ANY part of the roof of the building is a home run.

Any ball that hits any portion of the building to the left of the doorway on a fly is in play.  Any ball that hits any of the portions of the building from the doorway to the right of the doorway on a fly is a home run.  Any ground ball that hits the building is in play.