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Softball Rules Page    

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 8:50 PM

TWIN CREEKS SOFTBALL RULES

1.  Registration

Registration is on a first come/first served basis. Registration must be done at www.twin-creeks.com. An employee in the league office can help you with registration if need be. Your team may sign up for any available night in the division you request, but is subject to change to achieve parity in our leagues. Refunds will be given IF we are unable to fill a league. There is a no refund policy for teams who wish to drop out after the registration deadline passes. Leagues can be paid for in cash, credit card, or corporate check only. No personal checks will be accepted.

2.  Format

Generally, every team will play one game per week on their regular league night; although, circumstances may dictate a bye, double header, field change, time change or playing on a different night other than originally scheduled due to rain, tournaments, special events, or odd numbered teams in a league. We reserve the right to alter the league format at any time but will give at least 24 hours notice of game time changes except in emergency situations.

3.  Schedules

a.     Schedules will be posted at www.twin-creeks.com for the entire season about a week before the start of the season. Managers may obtain their league schedules, new incorporated rules, and the Twin Creeks Softball Manager’s Handbook consisting of Twin Creeks softball league rules, policies and league procedures, and Twin Creeks general information at www.twin-creeks.com. Managers are responsible for obtaining and reading the most current updated information from our Softball Manager’s Handbook via the internet prior to new league commencement.  All players will receive a welcome email with important information about a week before league play begins.

b.      "No conflict" requests are not guaranteed and should be made well in advance of the schedule being created. We will do our best.

 4.  Playoffs

a.     All teams from each division will make playoffs.

b.     Seeding will be based on final regular season standings.  Playoff schedules will be in a tournament single elimination format. Playoff game times will be available on the website at least 72 hours prior to your scheduled night.

c.     “No conflict” or special requests for playoffs and championships will not be accommodated due to limited game time availability.

d.     No substitutes are allowed in playoffs. Photo IDs may be checked for both teams prior to the start of the game at our discretion or upon request. There will be no team ID checks after the game begins. Remember that both teams must have their IDs present at the time of the check.

e.     The Home team for playoff games is the one that finished higher in the standings. In the championship game, the Home team is the highest seed remaining.

f.     To determine a tiebreaker for playoffs, go to the League Standings section.

g.    We may change the playoff format at our discretion.

 

5.  Game Times

The 5:30 league will always start games at 5:30pm.  The Monday-Thursday rotational league start times are 6:40pm, 7:50pm, 9:00pm, and 10:10pm. The Friday rotational league start times are 6:30pm, 7:40pm, 8:50pm and 10:00pm. The game clock will start, if possible, right at scheduled game time. If the previous game runs late, the clock will start as soon as those teams have cleared the dugouts for the incoming teams. In this case, both incoming teams must be warmed up and ready to take the field. A team must have a minimum of seven players to start a game. More players may be added after game start times. All players above 10 will count as substitutes. All games have an automatic 10-minute grace period from the scheduled start time to avoid forfeit. (This grace period is not from the end of the previous game.) Games will not be delayed due to players participating in other games.

6.  Rain-Out Policy

a.     In the case of questionable weather, call (408) 734-0888, option 3. This is the number for questionable weather and/or status of a possible rainout decision. It will be updated by 3:00pm on the day of league games or by 5:00am for tournaments on weekends. Only severe weather or lightning will constitute a rainout.

b.     A game called by the umpire during regular league play, which cannot be resumed within 30 minutes, may be a complete game only if four or more innings have been played or if the home team leads in the bottom of the fourth inning.

c.     In games that cannot be considered a complete game due to rain, the game will start over and be replayed at a later date.

7.  Make-Up Game Policy

All games canceled due to rain, inclement weather or circumstances beyond GSTC’s control will be made up at the end of the regular season.  Team managers are responsible for inquiring in the Sports Office or checking the website to find out this information.

8.  Rescheduling

Once the regular season schedule is posted, no rescheduling will be done unless deemed necessary by GSTC staff. Please do not ask to reschedule games after the schedule is posted.

9.  Forfeits

Teams that forfeit a game without 24 hours notice must pay a $50.00 fee in the Sports Office before their next scheduled game can be played. As a courtesy to the other team, we ask that you notify the Sports Office as soon as possible of an upcoming forfeit. This will allow us to notify the opposing team of the canceled game. If a forfeit fee is not paid before the next scheduled game, a gold card will be given by the umpire on the field to the manager. The manager will then need to bring this card to the Sports Office and pay the forfeit fee before the game can begin. This will not delay the start of the game clock. We strongly encourage teams to avoid forfeits as a courtesy to their opponents and to avoid forfeit fees.

10.  League Standings and Tiebreakers

Updated standings will be posted on the League Information Board and on the web site every week. The Team Manager should check weekly to make sure the standings are correct. If there is a discrepancy, please notify the Sports Office immediately. If necessary, a tie in the league standings will be broken by the following process:

  1. Head-to-head. The team with the better record versus the other wins.
  2. Runs Allowed. The team with the lowest number of runs scored against them for the season wins.
  3. Runs Scored. The team with the highest number of runs scored for the season wins.
  4. Run Differential. Total runs scored minus the total number of runs allowed in all games played.
  5. Coin Flip.

11. Line-up/Score Cards

Please complete the blue cards on both front and back, complete with first and last names. It is the manager's responsibility to make sure that all substitutes are put on the card upon entering the game. At the end of the game each manager is expected to confirm the final score for accuracy. If there is a discrepancy, it should be corrected at this time. If an incorrect score is posted, please report it to the Sports Office immediately so it can be corrected as soon as possible.

MANAGER RESPONSIBILITIES 

The team manager is the principal link between GSTC and his/her team. It is the manager’s responsibility to obtain all information regarding league play.

 

  1. Manager or assistant manager must be the only team representative to handle protests, suggestions or complaints. All team members must go through the team manager to inform Twin Creeks Management.
  2. Managers should know all the rules and regulations and inform his or her players of them.
  3. Managers are responsible for all fees to be paid on pre-paid teams.
  4. Managers are responsible for each player's registration on roster at least 1 week prior to play (See Section Three).
  5. Managers are responsible for knowing the “Impact Player Policy”, which players can and cannot play on certain levels of league play.
  6. Managers are responsible for the conduct of their players and spectators. Good sportsmanship is expected of all managers, players, and spectators.
  7. Managers should receive the ground rules and turn in the line-up card prior to start of game.
  8. Managers must obtain all league paperwork pertaining to deadlines, schedules, tournaments, make-up schedules, first game times and any other pertinent information. Players can find this on the website.
  9. The Sports Office must be notified immediately of any address or telephone number changes.

PLAYER ELIGIBILITY

1. Age Requirements

League players must be at least 18 years of age. 

 2. Player Participation

A player may play on as many teams as he/she wishes in one season provided he/she does not play on more than one team in the same league. However, special schedule requests will not be guaranteed. All players must play at their ability level only. Players found to be violating these rules may be ineligible for the playoffs.

3. Team Roster and Line Up Cards

Each captain will invite all of their players to the online roster.  Players will need to accept the invites and register to be placed on the team’s roster.  Each captain will be given a blank blue line up card to fill out and turn in to the umpire at the start of each game of the season.  First and Last names are required as well as the managers signature at the bottom of the card. This will be your team’s official lineup for that game only.  The playoff roster is frozen after the first 3 played games of the season. To be playoff-eligible, a player must be on the official roster, to be completed no later than after the teams 3rd completed game. We will enforce this during a playoff roster check. Please Note: The blue line up cards will no longer be accepted as a team roster. The roster must be completed online, or the team must fill out a roster sheet before your teams 3rd game.

4. Illegal Players

A.   The following situations can make you an illegal player:

a.      Unable to provide a valid photo ID upon request.

b.      Not being on the official roster, to be completed and signed by all players after your 3rd game is played.

c.      Playing on two or more teams in the same league on the same night. 

d.      Violation of “The Impact Player Policy”

e.      Discretion of Global Sports Twin Creeks management.

5. Impact Player Policy

Twin Creeks reserves the right to move any team or player up in league level based on fair completion. Twin Creeks also reserves the right to determine if the league level is below the respective players ability level.

 

All protests will be handled on the spot. The team manager must follow the protest procedures properly. Protests after both teams have left the field will not be allowed. The team manager must protest to the umpire and state the cause of the protest. The umpire will stop the clock and call for the Sports Director/Umpire-In-Chief if it is a situation that may be legally protested. The protest will be decided by the Sports Director on duty before the game can continue.  

 

1. Illegal Player Protest

Playoffs only: No non-rostered players are allowed in the playoffs. For a starting player, the opposing manager must protest before the start of the game. For a legal substitute the player must be protested upon entry before a pitch is thrown. The Sports Director will check the player's photo ID against the official roster. The team with illegal players will remove the illegal player(s), and take an out every time that player comes up in the lineup.  If the players removed leave the team with less than 8 players the game will be forfeited (only if they do not have a legal substitute to take the illegal players place) and may be subject to further penalty. If it is during playoffs, the team will forfeit all awards. The illegal player and the team manager may be subject to a thirty-day suspension from all league play.

 2. Rule Interpretation Protest

No protests are allowed on a judgment call, such as balls and strikes or out and safe. A protest on a rule interpretation must be made immediately before the next pitch.

LEAGUE PLAY RULES

The following rules govern teams and players participating in Legacy Twin Creeks Leagues. We use a combination of our own local rules and USSSA rules. All rules not explained in this handbook are covered in the USSSA rule book. Please check for additional rules for each league. Global Sports Twin Creeks makes final decisions on rules and may revise any rules as they deem necessary.

 Rule 1. - The Playing Field

  1. On fields where the fence does not run completely across the outfield, an imaginary line exists which will be used as the out-of-play line and all appropriate base(s) will be awarded.
  2. It is MANDATORY that players warm up in designated areas only. Warm-ups are not allowed in the main entry grass area or on the cemented walkways for the safety of others.
  3. Please keep all walkways and access areas clear. Hitting into the dugout or backstop screens is not allowed. Bats must only be swung on a field or in the Batting Cages.
  4. Only one on-deck batter and two base coaches are allowed out of the dugout. All others are to remain in the dugout or behind the out-of-play fence. The on-deck area is 6 to 10 feet outside the dugout door, NOT near home plate. Teams with excessive players out of the dugout will be warned once and charged with a "Dead-ball Out” for successive violations.

Rule 2. - Equipment

  1. All bats that are USSSA or ASA-certified will be legal in all levels and leagues pending an evaluation of certain bats that may be made illegal in certain levels of play.
  2. GSTC will furnish 1 new game ball and 1 back-up ball per game only. Teams are responsible for shagging softballs that go out of play including home runs or foul balls hit on protective netting areas. Umpires have the right to stop a game if home run or foul balls are not being returned.  Umpires may also ask the team(s) to throw one of their own balls in to restart play. All Men's leagues use a 12" softball. All Coed leagues use the 12" softball for male batters and the 11" softball for female batters. (female batters may use the 12” softball if they request it)
  3. Jewelry that is deemed unsafe by the umpires must be removed or secured before a game can continue (i.e., hoop earrings, watches, dangling chains, etc.) This is at the umpire's discretion.
  4. Metal spikes are not allowed. Plastic spikes worn through to metal showing are not allowed. All rubber cleats are allowed on all fields.
  5. GSTC reserves the right to allow or disallow any piece of equipment that it deems unsafe.

Rule 3. - The Game

  1. The game clock is 65 minutes for all leagues. It begins at the scheduled game time or, if games are running late, as soon as the prior game finishes and the teams have cleared the dugouts. The teams have 10 minutes to take the field and present the line-up card to the umpire. If a team fails to do so by this time, the offending team will forfeit the game. Games may start early if both teams are ready and agree to start. A regulation game shall end after 7 innings or when the time clock runs out. No new inning will start after the clock expires, but the existing inning will finish.
  2. A regular season game that is tied after 7 innings or the time limit expires and the last inning is completed will end in a tie. This will help adhere to our time schedule.
  3. Batters begin with a 1 and 1 count. Batters will not receive a “free foul” ball after two strikes.
  4. Any batted ball that strikes a pitcher who is in a defense-less position after pitching the ball will result in an automatic out.  The ball is considered dead and all base runners will return to the base they previously held.  The pitcher must be within the pitching lane of the rubber, which consists of 2 feet from the center of the pitching rubber on each side and 8 feet from behind the pitching rubber.  The rule applies even if the ball hits the ground. The pitcher is considered defense-less if they are deemed unable to protect themselves. This will be a judgement call by the umpire and is not subject to protest. If a batter repeats the act a second time in the same game they may be ejected from that game if it is deemed intentional by the umpire.
  5. A 10-run rule is in effect after the 5th inning (or after 4 ½ innings if the home team is ahead) in all games including playoffs and championships, and all games will officially end at that time.
  6. The “Travesty Rule” may be enforced against teams that intentionally use errors and misplays to yield runs for the purpose of avoiding the 10-run rule. If, in the umpire's judgement, a team is making a "travesty" out of the game, the violating team will be subject to a 7-0 forfeit loss, regardless of the score at the time in question.
  7. In a forfeit situation, the team being awarded the forfeit has the option of taking a score of 7-0 or the score of the game at the time of the forfeit.
  8. The flip-flop rule is in effect if the home team is losing by 12 or more runs after completing 4 innings.  The home team will remain at bat clearing the bases and then become the visiting team, at the top of the fifth inning.  If the new visiting team does not score enough runs to reduce the run difference below the 10 run rule, the game is over.  If they reduce the run difference to below the run rule, the new home team will bat in the bottom of the fifth inning.  If they score enough runs to meet the 10 run rule, the game is over, if not the game continues in this format. 

Rule 4. - The Players and Substitutions

  1. All players must be able to produce a valid photo ID upon request.
  2. The minimum number of players to start or finish a game is seven. Any number less than eight, at any time, is a forfeit. Teams may add players after the game starts.
  3. Co-Ed division teams may bat up to sixteen batters (six additional hitters). No additional hitters may be added once the game begins. Co-Ed teams must bat 3 women in first 10 spots of the lineup.
  4. Men’s division teams may bat up to 12 batters.      
  5. If a team loses a player(s) for any reason, that position in the order becomes an out every time the batter is supposed to bat, if no legal substitute is available. A substitute may take his/her defensive position, but must bat in the original order. 
  6. Any team that has two ejections in the same game will lose by forfeit.
  7. The umpires need not give advanced warnings. This is your team's first and last warning. The following actions may warrant a player's ejection/removal from a game:
    1. Fake tags on bats or similar unsportsmanlike conduct. 
    2. Aggressive contact with other players, not limited to fighting.
    3. Obscene gestures and/or verbal abuse towards an umpire, opponent, spectator, or GSTC employee. “Trash Talk” will be an ejectable offense.
    4. Intentional throwing of the bat.
    5. Being under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any other substance that could cause a risk to the player or others.
    6. Flagrant rule violations.
    7. Repeated profanity. Any action deemed by GSTC as not being conducive to the park's atmosphere.
    8. Any player caught smoking on the property
    9. Any use of the "F"-word or other excessive profanity will result in an automatic out. There is no advance warning. If the violation is committed by the offensive team following the third out, they will begin their next turn at-bat with one out. If it is violated by the defensive team, they will start their next inning with an out. If it is violated three times in one inning by the defense, they will lose one offensive inning. The cursing rule will not be enforced to get the out(s) to go to the next inning. (i.e., when time is running out on the game clock and the home team needs to make an out to get to the next inning. This scenario could be considered a travesty of the game at the umpire’s discretion.)
    10. If a player or manager is ejected from a game he/she may lose playing privileges for that night as well as the next week’s game(s). This means the ejected player will not be eligible to play in any league that he/she participates in, not just the league in which the ejection took place. Depending on the seriousness of the infraction, an ejected player may be asked to leave the facility by the umpire and/or GSTC staff members. A final decision will be made by the Sports Office regarding the suspension, pending review of the incident. If a player is ejected multiple times during a season, that player may be suspended indefinitely by GSTC management.
    11. If a player uses force in any way, threatens and/or abuses an umpire or a GSTC employee before, during, or after a game, he/she may be suspended from the park indefinitely. If the above occurs with another player or spectator, that person will be suspended for a minimum of thirty days, pending the results of the investigation by the park staff. Further legal action may also be taken.
    12. Fighting at Global Sports Twin Creeks is unacceptable.  As a result of a suspension, a team or individual player will not receive any refunds from Global Sports Twin Creeks.

Rule 5. - Home Runs

Home run limits are used to aid in the classification of teams. Home runs beyond the limit will result in outs. These limits apply to untouched, over-the-fence home runs. The home run limits are:

Men’s D

5 Home Runs

Men’s 1

3 Home Runs

Men’s 2

2 Home Runs

Men’s 3-5

1 Home Run

Men’s 5:30

2 Home Runs

All Coed

1 Home Run per Gender

Note: All subsequent homeruns are outs plus 1 run for the opposing team. The next offense is an out plus 2 runs, then 3 runs, with a cap at 3 runs.

 

Rule 6. - Base Running (New Rule Added)

Courtesy runners may be used in all games, but only once per inning per gender and a courtesy runner can only run once per game. Men may not run for women.

Exception:  In Coed (7m/3w), a male can only courtesy run once per game for a male, but due to the shortage of women in this league, a female can be a courtesy runner for another female more than once per game.

In order to prevent unnecessary injury, Twin Creeks recommends that when at all possible, base runners make an attempt to get out of the way  (this does not include ducking), give themselves up, or slide into the base or home plate.  Runners who initiate collisions will automatically be called out and potentially be ejected depending on the umpire’s judgment. Fielders are not allowed to block bases with any part of their bodies. If they do, runner will automatically be called safe. Umpire may eject fielders for causing a collision, depending on severity of impact and intent. Fielders may not make fake tags in the attempt to “deke” a runner into sliding. Doing so will result in automatic ejection. The umpire need not give advanced warning. Orange safety bags will be used at 1st base.

Rule 7. - Seven-Run Rule

Men’s D

Unlimited Runs Scored per Inning

Men’s 1

Unlimited Runs Scored per Inning

Men’s 2

7 Runs Scored per Inning for Innings 1-4, Unlimited Runs Scored Innings 5-7

Men’s 3

7 Runs Scored per Inning for Innings 1-4, Unlimited Runs Scored Innings 5-7

Men’s 5:30

7 Runs Scored per Inning for Innings 1-4, Unlimited Runs Scored Innings 5-7

All Coed

7 Runs Scored per Inning for Innings 1-4, Unlimited Runs Scored Innings 5-7

 

Exception: If a team is behind by more than seven runs, it can score as many runs as it takes to tie the game.

Notes:

  1. The 7th run does not end play until the ball is dead and the defense has had the opportunity to make any appeals.
  2. Runs awarded from illegal home run rule will not count against the 7-run limit.

Rule 8. - Rules for All Coed

  1. When a female is batting, all outfielders must play on the outfield grass. They may only make a play on infield surface after the batted ball has been touched by an infielder on their team. Defensive team may play a maximum of six infielders with a female at bat (P, C, 3B, SS, 2B, 1B)
  2. Penalty:  2 bases to all runners at time of illegal touch.
  3. When a male batter receives a base-on-balls or intentional walk in front of a female batter, he will be awarded first and second base. The following female batter does not have the option to walk automatically.
  4. minimum of seven players constitutes a legal team. A minimum of 3 females must be playing at all times. At the beginning of each game, the teams will designate the three permanent positions in the first 10 positions of the batting order, which will always contain female batters. Under no circumstances can a male batter ever be substituted into the three designated positions. If a team is using more than three females at the same time, the rest of the lineup can be made at manager discretion. If a team cannot field three females, the team will take an automatic out every time the spot designated for the 3rd female player comes up to bat.  Teams may now start the game with 2 females.  Teams may add the 3rd female at any point in the game, however she may only bat in the spot designated for her at the beginning of the game.  If a team is unable to field 2 two females, the game will be forfeited.
  5. A team can bat a maximum of 16 batters in rotation and must enter all names on the scorecard prior to the start of the game. It is important that the batting order consists of a minimum of 3 females in the first 10 spots.
  6. Courtesy runners may be used in all games, but only once per inning per gender. It must be for the same gender, either a male for male or female for female. A male can only courtesy run once per game for a male, but due to the shortage of women in this league, a female can be a courtesy runner for another female more than once per game.
  7. When a male receives a base-on-balls or intentional walk with a female batting next, he will be awarded 1st and 2nd base. This female batter must bat.

Rule 9. - Commit Line, Scoring Line & Mat Strike Zone

Men’s D

No Lines

No Mat

Men’s 1

No Lines

No Mat

Men’s 2

No Lines

Mat

Men’s 3

No Lines

Mat

Men’s 5:30

No Lines

No Mat

All Coed

Lines

Mat

 

  1. In all Coed leagues, a "scoring line/cone” shall be placed in foul territory directly in line with home plate. Runners crossing beyond the scoring line shall be, in effect, touching home plate. A runner shall be called out if he/she touches or crosses over home plate, or runs through the batter’s box. At no time may the defensive player tag the runner or the runner will be safe. A catcher can be standing on the plate or the mat to make the force play. A "commitment line" shall be marked in foul territory half way between home and third and all plays at home are considered forced plays. Once the runner is past this line, they cannot return to third and they can be put out by a defensive player touching home plate while holding the ball, hence, a “force play”. Sliding across the “scoring line” is permitted.
  2. All Men’s Leagues will no longer use a “scoring line”.
  3. The pitched ball must have an arc of at least 3 feet from release, and no higher than 10 feet from the ground. If the ball lands on the plate or the mat behind the plate and is within the height requirements, it will be called a strike. If it misses the plate or mat, it will be called a ball. 

TWIN CREEKS GENERAL POLICIES

1. Gate Fee

The gate fee has been removed during league nights and has been built into the cost per team or per player. GSTC may change the gate fee at any time for charity events, promotions, special events, and on weekends.

2. Food and Beverage

GSTC does not allow food, beverage, sunflower seeds, or nuts in shells into the facility. GSTC does not allow tail-gating, drinking, or barbecuing in the parking lot. Security personnel have the right to confiscate ice chests, glass containers, cans, sunflower seeds, and nuts in shells. Exception: Each customer may bring in sealed plastic water bottles up to a total of 64 ounces.  Players caught drinking in the parking lot may be suspended indefinitely at the discretion of GSTC staff. In addition, players caught drinking in the parking lot will be asked to leave. If players refuse to leave, Sunnyvale Police will be called to remove them and issue citations.

3. Smoking

Twin Creeks does not allow smoking of any type within the gates of the complex. Anyone caught smoking will be removed from the complex immediately.

4. First Aid

Twin Creeks has very limited first aid supplies. These are located in the Sports Office. Paramedics, fire, police and ambulatory services are within minutes of the facility. In case of injury or security, Twin Creeks will need permission from the victim or a family member before assistance is called. Under no circumstances will a GSTC employee or umpire administer first aid.

5. Lost and Found

"Lost and Found" is located in the Sports Office. To retrieve an item, you must be able to describe it in detail.

We strongly recommend labeling all equipment. Twin Creeks is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

Articles are kept for a short period of time and then given to charity.

6.  Pets

No pets are allowed, except service animals.

7. Batting Cages

The batting cages are currently temporarily inoperable.

8. Practice Fields

Fields may be available for rent when not in use for league or tournament play. Reservations can be made through the Sports Office.

9. Sluggers Restaurant and Pitchers Sports Bar

All hard liquor must be consumed inside the upstairs bar only. Any person participating or intending to participate in a game shall refrain from consuming alcohol before or during the game. Any individual involved in a confrontation in Pitchers Sports Bar or in the Clubhouse, will be subject to the same penalties as if it took place on the field.

10. Parental and Guardian Responsibility

All children ages 12 and under, must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times.

11. Picnics, Corporate Events, and Special Events

If any team or company has interest in scheduling a picnic, corporate outing, party, or even just a pizza bash, contact (408) 734-0888.

 

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