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NEW CASTLE RECREATION AND PARKS COMMISSION
ADULT SLOWPITCH SOFTBALL
RULES AND REGULATIONS
- Teams shall be composed of residents of the Town of New Castle (the “Town”) and those who reside within the Chappaqua Central School District (the “School District”) who are either (a) 18 years of age or older, or (b) 17 years of age and graduated from High School. (“Resident” is defined as someone who lives in the Town or is a full-time employee of the Town or is a full-time employee of the Chappaqua Central School District or is the owner of a business in the Town or is a volunteer for the New Castle Fire Department or Ambulance Corps.) The following exceptions to this rule will be permitted:
- Non-resident employees of Town businesses who are listed on rosters from 2007 and 2008 and have remained on those same rosters without interruption will be permitted to play. Once they stop playing or are no longer employed within the Town, they are no longer eligible.
- Players who appear on their team’s 1986 roster and have remained thereon without interruption, regardless of where they live or work, will be considered eligible ball players on that team only. If that team disbands, they must be added to the roster of another team before the start of the immediately following season in order to retain eligibility.
iii. Players who appear on a team on the 2008 approved grandfathered list, regardless of where they live or work, will be considered eligible ball players on that team only. A player granted eligibility under this rule would no longer be able to play in the league under this rule once he stops playing for that team or that team disbands. Any such player is tied to that team; that is he cannot be eligible to play for another team under this rule in the future.
- Players who (a) either (i) have been in the league by appearing on any team roster as a non-grandfathered player for fifteen or more years, or (ii) are forty years of age or older; and (b) have continuously appeared on their current team’s roster as a non-grandfathered player for ten or more years, will be considered eligible ball players on that current team only. A player granted eligibility under this rule would no longer be able to play in the league under this rule once he stops playing for that team or that team disbands. Any such player is tied to that team; that is, the player cannot be eligible to play for another team under this rule in the future.
- A team will be considered to have been disbanded if less than a majority of the previous year’s players are listed on the proposed roster for the current season. A team that is disbanded will not be permitted to register for the current season.
- The entrance fee for the “Spring League” (covering both the league entry fee and the fee for the umpiring organization) will be set by the League Director each year and will be due upon registration by check made payable to the Town of New Castle. Only team registrations will be accepted; individual registrations are not accepted.
- Teams that have not handed in fees and rosters by the deadline set by the League Director (who will be designated by the Town Department of Parks and Recreation) are ineligible to play.
- Once fees are handed in, they are not refundable.
- Proof of eligibility is required to accompany each name on the roster.
- A player who will become eligible to play after the deadline for adding to the team roster (such as a 17-year old who will graduate from High School after the roster deadline) may be included on a team’s roster. Nevertheless, that player will not be eligible to play until all eligibility requirements (such as graduation from High School) are met and proof of same is provided to the League Director.
- Players on a roster who were eligible from the start of the season through June 1 of that season, but who become ineligible (e.g., by moving out of the Town or School District) after June 1, will be eligible to play for that entire season. A player’s continuing eligibility under this rule includes the playoffs for that season, provided that the player meets all other playoff-eligibility requirements.
- A team’s roster may contain no more than 25 players.
- A player may not play on more than one team. If a player’s name appears on two rosters, the first team that player plays on will be the team he plays with for the season.
- Rosters may be added to until June 1stof the season. After that time, no roster change will be permitted without a formal written request from the manager and the approval of the League Director. All changes must go through the League Director.
- The League Director shall distribute official rosters to team managers as soon as practicable after June 1. The official rosters shall note if a player is put on the roster in accordance with Rule I.G above. Upon application by a team manager to the League Director, the League Director shall revise and redistribute the official roster to reflect that such player has become eligible.
III. GAME PROCEDURES
- All New Castle Recreation and Parks Adult Slow-pitch Games will be governed by USSSA except where local league rules apply.
- The following local league rules shall apply to all games:
– Batters will not start off with a 1 and 1 count.
- All games will be 7 innings in length. If a game is tied after 7 innings, extra innings will be played consistent with these and USSSA rules. It is the umpire’s decision to call a game.
- Games will be official after 4 1/2 innings, if the home team is winning, or 5 complete innings, regardless of who is winning.
iii. SUSPENDED PLAY
If a game is called (whether due to the weather, darkness or otherwise) prior to 4 ½ innings (if the home team is winning) or 5 complete innings, the game will resume where play ended (if deemed necessary by the recreation department).
- The home team will keep the official scorebook.
- The distance between bases will be set at 65 feet.
- All games will start at the officially scheduled game time with forfeit time being 15 minutes after game time. If, at start time, there are at least eight (8) players present for each team, the game will begin. Teams may start and finish with eight (8) players, and must be able to maintain a lineup of not fewer than eight (8) players throughout the game. If there is a delay in the starting time due to a prior game running over, the official starting time of the next game will be at the conclusion of the previous game. In games played at the Recreation Field, no new inning shall start after 11:30pm. A game called because of the time limit will be treated the same as a game called due to darkness.
vii. Any team is allowed to play with eight (8) players, in which case a catcher will be provided by the opposing team. The catcher so provided will be responsible only for catching pitched balls and returning the ball to the pitcher. The team with eight (8) players will be responsible for all plays in the field, including, but not limited to any plays at home plate. The catcher so provided shall not and cannot provide any defensive benefit to the team in the field, whether intentional or accidental. For the purposes of Rule III.B.xvii, the catcher provided under this rule shall be deemed an offensive player and subject to the rules on interference. If/when a ninth (9th) player is added pursuant to Rule III.B.xvi.a, the opposing team’s obligation to provide a catcher under this rule shall cease, and the team adding the ninth (9th) player shall provide its own catcher.
viii. If there is a question concerning cancellation of a game due to weather, team managers should sign up for the Recreation and Parks alerts from CodeRed Notification System (accessible through the Town’s website) or call the Recreation Department Sports and Fitness hotline at 238-2540.
- In the event the assigned umpires do not appear for a game, the managers of the opposing teams will select umpires at game time by mutual agreement. The managers must select at least one (1) umpire; and may agree to select more than one (1) umpire. The managers are not required to agree to select more than one (1) umpire, and the failure or refusal of the managers to agree to multiple umpires does not absolve the managers of their responsibility under this rule to select one (1) umpire. If more than one (1) umpire is selected, the managers may agree to have the umpires cover particular positions for the entire game or may have the umpires rotate or change positions. The umpire(s) selected shall be responsible for making all calls on the field. The selected umpire(s) shall be considered official and the results of the games will stand as played. If the managers cannot agree on umpires in accordance with this rule, then the game shall be a forfeit for each team.
- FORFEITED GAMES
Any team forfeiting two games during the season will be automatically dropped from the league, will forfeit their entry fee and may lose their right to join the league in the following year. Forfeiting a make-up game will not count towards being expelled from the league IF the League Director and opposing manager are notified by 9:00 p.m. on the day prior to the scheduled make-up game. These games will not be rescheduled and will be recorded in the teams’ respective win-loss records.
- If a team made up of primarily volunteer firefighters (in our case, the Chappaqua and/or Millwood Fire Departments) cannot begin or finish a particular game because of a fire or other departmental emergency call, that game will not be forfeited but will be treated as a suspended game. Such a game will be resumed from the time of suspension only if the game has a bearing on the league championship, if deemed necessary by the League Director.
xii. MOVEMENT BETWEEN LEAGUES
Moving up: If one team wins both the league and the tournament, that team will be required to move up to the next division of play. If two different teams win the league and the tournament, respectively, the one with the higher winning percentage (calculation to include all league and playoff games) will be required to move up to the next division of play.
Moving down: The team with the lowest winning percentage (calculation to include all league and playoff games) will be required to move down to the next division of play.
Volunteer movement: If the team designated for movement desires to stay in its current league and the next team in the standings desires to move (up or down), that team may take the original team’s place; however, the volunteer team must be either tied in total win percentage or the next rank, up or down, from the moving team.
The Commission reserves the right to make exceptions to these rules if they feel it is in the best interest of keeping balanced play.
xiii. A 13-run rule will be in effect for the League. If a team is winning by 13 or more runs at the end of the fifth inning or at the end of any complete inning after the fifth, the game will be considered finished. This rule shall apply during the playoffs, except for the final round of the playoffs.
xiv. Courtesy runners will be granted upon request to the umpire at the managers’ meeting prior to the game. Any additional courtesy runner requested during the game must be approved by the opposing team manager. A courtesy runner is the last player to record an out.
- During the playoffs, the home team will be the team with the better standing. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the “first championship game” in the final round (i.e., the game between the team to advance out of the winners’ bracket and the team to advance out of the losers’ bracket), the home team shall be the team to advance out of the winners’ bracket. In the final round, if the “if” game is played, the home team will be determined by a flip of a coin.
In the event of ties in the standings, seeding of the tied teams shall be determined as follows:
- head to head competition
- run differential in head to head competition
- fewest runs allowed league wide during the whole season
- coin toss
xvi. For all three leagues: Use of a Continuous Batting Order. The manager will designate prior to the start of the game the number of batters to be used in the batting order.
- For teams that began play with ten (10) or more players, additions can be made to the end of the batting order until the first player in the original batting order bats for the second time. A team that began play with fewer than ten (10) players (as may be permitted under these rules) may add a ninth (9th) and/or tenth (10th) player, as the case may be, as follows: (i) a ninth (9th) player may be added at any time during the game; and (ii) a tenth (10th) player may be added until the fourth (4th) inning has been completed; even after the team has batted through its original batting order. The ninth (9th) and tenth (10th) player(s) added pursuant to this rule may enter the game immediately upon their arrival, but must be added to the end of the batting order regardless of when such player(s) enter the game. The ninth (9th) and tenth (10th) player(s) added pursuant to this rule shall be deemed “starters” for the purposes of Rule III.B.xvi.e below.
- For any team that began play with fewer than ten (10) players (as may be permitted under these rules), for so long as the ninth (9th) and/or tenth (10th) places in the batting order remain unfilled, such team will not be assessed an automatic out for the ninth (9th) and/or tenth (10th) places in the batting order.
- Players in a continuous batting order may be substituted freely in the field for any other player in the continuous batting order.
- If a player is injured and his team cannot replace him, the team will notbe assessed an out each time the spot in the batting order comes up. If a player leaves voluntarily or is ejected and a substitute is unavailable, his team will be given an out each time his spot comes up in the batting order.
- A starter (including pitcher) may be substituted for and re-enter the game once per game. When a player re-enters he must go back into his original batting position. All players used as subs may be withdrawn, but may not re-enter the game.
- Obstruction by the Defense:
Obstruction by the defense occurs when a fielder:
- not in possession of the ball, or
- not in the act of fielding a batted ball,
impedes (whether intentionally or unintentionally) the progress of a batter-runner or runner who is legally running the bases
If a defensive player is blocking the base or base path without the ball, this is impeding the progress of the runner and this is obstruction. Previously, coaches taught players to block the base, catch the ball and make the tag. Now it must be catch the ball first, then block the base and make the tag.
Whenever obstruction occurs, whether a play is being made on a runner or not, the umpire will declare obstruction and signal a delayed dead ball. The ball will remain live. If the obstructed runner is put out prior to reaching the base he would have reached had there not been obstruction, a dead ball is called and the obstructed runner, and each other runner affected by the obstruction, will be awarded the base(s) the runner would have reached, in the umpire’s judgment, had there not been obstruction. An obstructed runner could be called out between the two bases the runner was obstructed if the runner was properly appealed for missing a base or leaving a base before a fly ball was first touched. If the runner committed an act of interference after the obstruction, this too would overrule the obstruction.
- Interference by the Offense:
Interference by the offense occurs when a base runner who is clearly out impedes the defense’s ability to make or to attempt to make a further play.
A base runner who is out (i.e., due to being forced out or tagged out or who has struck out or flied/lined out (this list not intending to be exclusive)) must “give himself up” by running out of the base path or sliding so as to avoid interfering with the defense’s ability to make or to attempt to make a further play.
If a base runner fails to give himself up in such fashion, or otherwise takes action to impede the defense’s ability to make or to attempt to make a further play, then this is interference by the offense. In such a case, the base runner is out (if not already out on the play) and the other base runner upon which the defense could have attempted a further play is also out. It is not necessary that the defense actually throw the ball in an attempt to make the further play.
xviii. Base runners must avoid excessive contact with defensive players. “Excessive contact” shall mean any contact other than incidental contact. In order to avoid excessive contact, the runner must do one of the following: slide, jump over the top of the defender holding the ball, go around the defender (if outside the three-foot lane, the runner would be called out), give him-/her-self up, or return to the previous base touched. If an act of excessive contact is determined to be flagrant (for example, lowering your shoulder and/or trying to run through or over the defensive player), the offender will be ejected.
xix. A third-strike rule will be in effect.
- Players should be prepared to show a picture ID at the field if requested. If a player cannot provide a picture ID upon request, he will not be permitted to play.
- PLAYOFF ELIGIBILITY
- In order to be eligible to participate in playoff games, a player must have played in/attended at least 7 regular-season games.
- In an eight-team league the top six teams in the division will enter the playoffs in the winners’ bracket. The top two teams will receive a 1st-round bye. The bottom two teams will start in the losers’ bracket. The playoffs will be played in a double-elimination format except for the teams starting in the losers’ bracket.
In a ten-team league, the top six teams in the division will enter the playoffs in the winners’ bracket. The top two teams will receive a 1st-round bye. The bottom four teams will play a “play in” game. Winners of “play in” games will start in the losers’ bracket. The playoffs will be played in a double-elimination format except for the teams starting in the losers’ bracket.
- Teams shall conduct themselves in a sportsmanlike manner at all times. The Recreation and Parks Commission reserves the right to exclude any player or team that does not conduct itself in a manner befitting the high standards of the Recreation and Parks Commission.
- ZERO-TOLERANCE POLICY
- Abusive language and/or unsportsmanlike behavior will not be tolerated and may result in a player’s expulsion from the game.
- Any player engaged in a fight will automatically be ejected from that game and the next scheduled game. If the incident occurs at the end of the season, the suspension will carry over to the next season. A second infraction will mean automatic expulsion for the remainder of the season and tournament play.
- Any person who in any way touches an umpire may be ejected from the game by the umpire. Such an ejected person may be subject to such further discipline as the League Director deems appropriate under the circumstances.
- Any umpire initiating physical contact will be subject to discipline as determined by the League Director and the umpiring organization.
Any player ejected from a game for any reason:
- must leave the field;
- will not be permitted to play in the next scheduled game, except at the discretion of the League Director upon submission of a written appeal by the ejected player to the League Director by 4:30pm on the first business day after the day of the game in which the player was ejected. If such an appeal is not timely made, the player will not play in the next scheduled game; and
- will be reported to the League Director for further possible disciplinary action.
- Absolutely no alcoholic beverages are allowed before, during, or after softball games on the fields and surrounding areas (which include, but are not limited to, the players’ benches, bleachers/stands, park areas, picnic areas, and parking lots). NO EXCEPTIONS.
- Enforcement of the alcohol rule will be handled as follows:
- The first violation of the alcohol rule by any individual or team will result in a written warning being issued to all teams. This will constitute the final warning to all participants.
- A second violation by any individual or team will result in the permanent expulsion of that individual or team from the league and forfeiture of the entry fee. Individuals so expelled will be barred from the league whether they are grandfathered or not.
- No metal spikes of any type may be worn. Either sneakers or single-molded rubber soles will be permitted as approved footwear.
- No work boots, bare feet, rugby shoes, hiking boots or detachable cleats may be worn.
- Only wood bats (must be made of all wood) may be used. Each wood bat must clearly be marked by the manufacturer to show it is a softball bat (such markings include, but are not limited to, “softball,” “official softball,” “USSSA approved,” and/or “USSSA certified”). The diameter of the barrel cannot be larger than 2 ¼ inches. Bats commonly used for the 16” softball leagues (Chicago style), may not to be used
- Any bat altered in any way is considered illegal and may not be used during the season.
- Each team must have a manager who shall be so designated at the time the team is registered to play.
- The manager must be an eligible player under these rules and must be a registered player on the team.
- The manager is responsible for ensuring that their contact information (including email addresses) is current with the League. Contacts from the league to a manager shall be made via the email address(es) provided by the manager.
- All managers will be given game balls and softball score books. Home team managers are responsible for entering the score of the game in League Lobster upon completion of the game. Scores entered will automatically update league standings.
- Each team manager is responsible for ensuring that his team does not permit an illegal or ineligible player to play in any game.
- The manager of any team that permits an ineligible ballplayer to play will be suspended from the league for 12 months from the latter of (a) the discovery of the infraction, or (b) the determination of a timely appeal under these rules. The game during which the infraction occurred will be forfeited, and any other games the ineligible player played will be forfeited. In the event of a second infraction, the team will be ejected from the league for the remainder of the season and also for the following season.
- Protests of any game on rule interpretation or a player’s eligibility must be made to the umpires at the time of the infraction. The umpire will then inform the other team of the protest. A written account of the game situation (how many outs, who is on base, who is at bat, etc.) is to go into the official score book and is to be signed by both managers and the umpire. If the home team has failed to keep the official score book in accordance with these rules, then the written account required by this rule may be written in the visiting team’s scorebook or on the back of the umpire’s scorecard. The failure of the non-protesting manager to sign the score book shall not invalidate the protest.
- The protesting team must submit a written protest to the League Director, with a copy sent to the opposing team’s manager, by 4:30 pm on the first business day after the day of the game being protested. No protest will be considered without a timely written submission. The team protested against then has until 4:30 pm on the next business day to submit a written response to the written protest (if necessary).
If the protested game occurs on a Saturday or Sunday on which multiple playoff games are being played, then the League Director must be contacted immediately and where practicable, the League Director will make every effort to adjudicate the protest so that games may proceed. In the event an immediate determination on the protest cannot be made, then the protesting team shall file the written protest by the following business day at 9:30 am, with a copy sent to the opposing team’s manager. The opposing team’s manager shall submit his response by 12:30 pm on that same business day.
- There will be no protests on judgment calls made by an umpire.
- In the event that the League Director becomes aware of any infraction of these rules (including that an ineligible player was used in any game), then the League Director and/or the Recreation and Parks Department may conduct an investigation into the situation at any time, even if no formal protest has been made, and take appropriate action under these rules.
- In the event of a protest concerning a player’s eligibility, that player will be required to provide proof of eligibility to the satisfaction of the Recreation and Parks Department. The Recreation and Parks Department may ask to see any or all of the following.
- current driver’s license;
- voter registration card;
- original telephone, Con Edison and/or tax bill; and/or
- any other evidence the Recreation and Parks Department feels is necessary in order to make a ruling.
If the player is employed in town, then an original current payroll stub and/or paycheck must be provided.
ADULT SOFTBALL GROUND RULES
Any hit over the fence is a home run.
Left Field Out of Play: The corner of the backstop to the near end of the players’-bench fence.
Right Field Out of Play: The corner of the backstop to the near end of the players’-bench fence. From the far end of the players’-bench fence to the right-field light pole to the fence along Greeley Avenue.
A, B & C League
Any ball hit over the right-field and right-center-field fence (from the start of the double fence to the foul pole) will be declared an out rather than a home run.
Left Field Out of Play:
The corner of the backstop to the near end of the players’ bench fence; and from the far end of the players’-bench fence to the fence along the hill.
Right Field Overhanging Trees:
Any batted ball that hits a tree branch along the right field line is a dead ball and is subject to the special ground rules indicated below.
Left Field Overhanging Trees:
Any batted ball that hits a tree branch along the left field line is a dead ball and is subject to the special ground rules indicated below.
SPECIAL GROUND RULES REGARDING TREE BRANCHES
If a batted ball hits a tree branch in foul territory, the ball shall be declared a foul ball. If a batted ball hits the tree branch in fair territory, it shall be declared “no pitch” and the pitch shall be redone.