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YAC Girls Softball
 10 & Under Rules
 
Summary
 
The 10 & Under division provides equal and full participation of all team members, development of sportsmanship and the fun and challenge of competition.  In this division, girls learn techniques including base stealing and bunting to improve skills and increase enjoyment of the game.    
 
Scores of each game during the spring season only in this division are kept and reported so that standings may be kept.   Winning is one objective of play in this division but good sportsmanship and equal play remain paramount.   Girls are encouraged to improve through skill building, practice, discipline and teamwork.   Practicing at home is also strongly encouraged.
 
Games are mainly on Saturdays with an occasional weeknight game.  If a game is rained out on Saturday, weather permitting it will be played on Sunday. All games will be played at Downing Park Pavilion Field or Chelsea Field.
  
The 10 & Under Division information, including these rules, schedule and standings will be maintained on the web. ASA rules govern play with the exceptions contained herein.
 
 
        1.1         All players present at a game must play. Each player who consistently attends practice must play a minimum of 2 innings of each game in the infield.  Players cannot sit out 2 innings in a row or a second inning until all players have sat out one inning. The only exception to this would be a player that continually does not attend practice and in this case the Division Coordinator must be notified prior to the game.
1.2         Players will have opportunities in infield and outfield positions throughout the season.  Coaches have discretion over who plays each position - particularly first base, pitcher and catcher.  This is due to safety reasons (at first base and catcher), the need to provide a reasonably competitive playing experience while advancing the game at a reasonable pace (pitching and catching).  It is the coach’s duty to ensure that every girl has opportunities in the infield and outfield during the season.
1.3    The official ball of the 10u division will be a regular 11”, .44 core, 375 comp yellow ball.
2           Number of Players
2.1         10 fielders will play in the field if 10 girls are present.  A maximum of 4 players (excluding the pitcher and catcher) can only be in the infield prior to the ball crossing the plate.
2.2         A team must have 8 players to play an official game.  There is 15-minute grace period before a forfeit is called.   Games may be played with less than 8 players, but the game will be recorded as a 7-0 forfeit and at this point players can be borrowed from the other team in order to just play the game.  
2.3         Each team provides a written line-up to the opposing team and posts their own line-up for their players to review at least 10 minutes before the scheduled game time.  Players arriving after the lineups are shared or after the first pitch will be added to the last position in the lineup.
2.4         Teams with 8 players may request a defensive player from the opposing team to fill an outfield position. The player playing defense for the opposing team is the last batter due in up in the inning. That player continues to bat for her own team and will change each inning so there is different girls helping out the other team.

3           Batting
3.1         Roster batting is in effect. All girls are in the lineup and will bat whether or not they are playing the field.
3.2         Any player entering the game after the first pitch must be placed last in the batting order.
3.3         If in an inning, more than 5 runs are scored, the play will be completed, but the team will record only 5 runs.  In other words, if the batting team has scored 4 runs in the inning, has bases loaded and the batter hits a long double, the play should continue until its normal completion but only 5 runs will be recorded and the batting team will then take the field.  
3.4         In the last inning, 3 outs are required, regardless of the number of runs scored.   When the umpire declares that an inning is the last inning due to reaching the no-new inning time, there will be unlimited batters in that inning until 3 outs are made.  However, if the visiting team was limited to 5 runs (before the time limit call), then the home team will also be limited to 5 runs. 
3.5         For unlimited batters to be used in the ‘final inning,’ an announcement of the final inning must take place at the top of the inning.  Players may bat twice in that inning. 

3.6     The only players allowed to have bat in their hand will be the batter and the on-deck batter. In the case of the on-deck batter, she must remain in the fenced in on-deck area until her time at bat. There will be no tees or balls used in the on-deck area, just dry swings.
     
    4           Bunting
4.1         There is unlimited bunting.
4.2         There will be no slash bunting after faking a drop bunt.  In other words, if a batter shows a bunting position, she may only perform a traditional bunt (no swing) or take (do not attempt to bunt) the pitch.  Swinging at a pitch which the batter showed bunt will be called an out.
 
 5           Base Running
5.1         Base runners cannot leave the base (lead) until the ball is released. Base runners must return to their base when the catcher has returned the ball to the pitcher, and no play is made.
5.2         Players may not advance an extra base if the ball is overthrown during a steal attempt.       No stealing of home.
5.3         Base runners leaving the base early may be called out.  This is a judgment call by the umpire.  There is no requirement for a warning.
5.4         If the catcher drops the ball on the 3rd strike, the batter cannot advance, but runners can. If the catcher catches the ball on the 3rd strike, it is still live and base runners may steal (except home).
5.5         Players running to first base, and running through the base attempting to beat a throw, must use the orange part of the base.  The white part of the base *may* be used if the first base player occupied the orange part of the base in an effort to catch an arrantly thrown ball.
5.6         Runners must slide at home plate when the catcher has the ball or is about to receive the ball at home plate.  Runners advancing to any other base should avoid contact (usually by sliding) with any player in possession of the ball.  The umpire may call out any player who does not slide or avoid contact (this is a judgment call by the umpire).

In summary:  Runners must avoid contact (in most cases by sliding) when approaching any base where a fielder has the ball. 
5.7         Fielders without the ball may not obstruct runners or block any base. 
5.8     Batters and runners may only advance extra bases on balls hit to the outfield, and cannot advance once the ball is returned to the pitcher in the circle.
 
         5.9     A runner on third base cannot steal home and must be hit or walked in. If a catcher makes a
         throw down to try to pick off the runner, the runner must return to third base. If a ball is overthrown
         and goes out of bounds, the ball is dead and all runners will advance two bases.
 
 6           Pitching
6.1         A pitcher may pitch a maximum of FOUR innings per game; however, no more than two consecutive innings per game and the fourth must be the 6th inning. 
 
Following are some sample scenarios for the innings in which one pitcher may pitch. 
There may be other scenarios, these are for illustration purposes only.
 
 
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Scenario A
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Scenario B
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Scenario C
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Scenario D
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6.2         One pitched ball is considered an inning pitched
6.3         Extra innings are treated as a new game.  That is, the innings pitched for each pitcher reverts to zero after the sixth inning. 
6.4         A coach is allowed 1 trip per inning to the mound without a pitcher substitution.  Each subsequent visit (the second, third, fourth visit and on) will require a change in pitcher. (ASA rule)
6.5         The pitching distance is 35 feet.
6.6         All ASA pitching rules apply including: starting with 2 feet touching the pitching rubber; the pitcher may only step toward the catcher; the pitcher may not ‘practice throws’ with a batter in the batter’s box, without releasing the ball while standing on the mound.
6.7         The strike zone will be called at the umpire’s discretion.  Arguing balls and strikes is a violation of the Code of Conduct and is grounds for ejection from the game.
6.8      Pitchers will be allowed 5 warm up pitches between innings or when a new pitcher is brought into the game.
7           Fielding
7.1         The first base player must use the white base.  The orange base should not be used to make a putout at first base on a routine play; however, the umpire may allow the use of the orange part of the base in certain cases of errant throws.
7.2         Fielders may not block any base if they do not have possession of the ball.  If a player is standing in the base path without the ball, the umpire may call obstruction declaring that the fielder interfered with the base runner and award the base to the runner and any additional bases the umpire believes the player would have reached if the obstruction did not occur.

In summary: fielders without the ball may not obstruct runners or block any base.  Runners must avoid contact – in most cases by sliding - when approaching any base where a fielder has the ball. 
  

8           Safety
8.1         All YAC girls must wear batting helmets with a strap and faceguard (both stamped with the NOCSAE label) while batting, running the bases, in the on-deck circle, in coaches’ box or anywhere in-bounds. If a fielder wishes to wear a helmet she is permitted to do so.  
8.2         Any player catching for a pitcher – including practice off the field - must wear a mask with throat protector and proper catchers gear.
8.3     All YAC fielders must wear a mouth guard.  If a girl does not have a mouth guard at a game, she will not be allowed to play the field and will only bat.  NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE. 
8.3         A team will receive one warning with regard to batters throwing bats. The second time the batter will be out, and base runners must return to the bases occupied before the call was made.  This is a team warning and not an individual warning.
8.4     All YAC players particpating in any practices or game are required to wear the heart guard shirt.New Content
8.5         Players are strongly encouraged to wear sliding shorts and a sliding pad.
8.6         The on-deck area is the fenced in box within the dugout areas. This is the only place an on-deck batter may swing and only one person is allowed in this area at a time.  No tees or balls should be hit in this area during a game.
8.7     Players may not play up from a lower division. The only exception to this rule will be where it is felt that the player playing at her level may be a safety issue. With this exception, the player’s parent will contact in writing the Softball Commissioner who will in turn make a decision on a case by case basis using an appropriately knowledgeable committee. This decision will also be final.
 
8.8       Thunder/Lightning Policy:  Thunder and lightning necessitates that contests be
suspended. The occurrence of thunder and/or lightning is not subject to interpretation or discussion
That is thunder is thunder, lightning is lightning. When thunder is heard and/or when lightning is
seen, the following procedures will be adhered to:
a.)   Suspend play and direct participants to go to shelter, a building
                                   normally occupied by the public or if a building is unavailable, participants should
                                   go inside a vehicle with a solid metal top (e.g. bus, van, car).;
b.)   Do not permit people to stand under or near a tree; and have all stay away from
 poles, antennas, towers and underground watering systems.;
c.)   After thunder and/or lightning have left the area, you MUST wait 30 minutesafter
the last boom is heard or strike is seen before resuming play.
 
 9           Time Limit – Length of Game
9.1         Teams MUST be on the field and ready to start play 5 minutes before game time. Failure to be ready takes away from the girls playing time.   
9.2         The game is 6 innings. A new inning cannot start after one hour and forty minutes (1:40) after the scheduled game time.   Note this is from the scheduled game time and not from the actual starting time. The only exception here is if the start time was delayed due to factors outside of the coaches’ control (previous game went overtime, etc) In this case, any new ‘no-new inning’ time must be announced and agreed to by both coaches and the umpire.
9.3         The batting team must have their catcher ready to play with catcher’s gear on when there are two outs.  If the catcher is on base with two outs, a courtesy runner MUST enter for the catcher. The courtesy runner is the last batted out.
9.4         Pitchers will take only 5 warm-up pitches between innings. Additional warm-up pitches should be taken off the field of play before the need for the relief pitcher is anticipated. Catcher’s who are on base with 2 outs, must have a courtesy runner continue to run for them. This is so the catcher can get the gear on and not slow the play of the game down.
9.5         All teams will make their best effort to ensure a complete game is played. Intentional delays will result in a forfeit.
9.6         If 6 innings are completed before one hour and forty minutes and the game is tied, an extra inning will begin. If the game is tied at the end of an inning after one hour forty minutes, the game will end in a tie.   In summary, no new innings after 1:40 applies to extra innings as well.
9.7    If the last inning continues past an 1:40, it will end after and additional 20 minutes regardless who is up or who has not been up (Drop Dead).  If the home team is trailing and has not had an opportunity to have or to complete their last at bat, the score will revert back to the last completed inning. The only exception to this is the Division Championship game where a full 6 innings will be played and with no time limit.
9.8     An official game will be after 45 minutes or the completion of 3 innings (unless the home team is winning after 2 ½ innings).
 Other items 
     
10     Infield fly rule is in effect.
 
11     Out of play will be marked. If the ball goes out of play on an overthrow, the base runner(s) will be awarded 2 bases from where they were at the time of the release of the throw. A ball that goes into foul territory is still in play and runners can advance at their own risk.
 
12     Reporting Scores: Each team is required to email the 10U Coordinator with the score of their game including of mentioning of player’s performance. Every effort should be made to submit different names each week.
 
13   Due to roster batting, if a batter is injured or has left the field (ex. bathroom), she will be skipped
           over in the batting order. No out will be charged. If the player returns, she will be inserted back
           into the spot she had previously held in the batting order. Any attempt to purposely hide a player   
           will result in the batting team to be given three outs with no runs scoring regardless of what may
           have taken place.
 
14     All players, coaches, parents and spectators must adhere to the YAC Code of Conduct. Failure to do so may result in that individual (s) told to leave the field. If the violation is serous in nature, this matter will be brought to the YAC Board and may result in the individual (s) suspended from attending any future YAC events.
 
15     The home team shall sit in the first base dugout.
 
16     The only adults allowed in the dugout with the team shall be the Coach and designated Assistant Coach(es). We do welcome all help offered by parents, but must limit those in the dugout with the girls. It is confusing when adults other than the coaches or siblings are telling the girls what they should or should not have done.
 
17     Positive cheering and chants are encouraged and acceptable. It is not however, acceptable to chant derogatory chants at the opposing team especially those directed toward the opposing pitcher.
 
18A schedule will be made to determine field duties. Each team will be assigned at least 1 day
          of field duty. This responsibility includes raking and pumping the field (if needed due to
          weather), lining the batter’s box and foul lines as well as the pitching circle.