GradPro IM - Softball Rules

Default & Forfeit

Default – An un-played game that is recorded as a loss rather than a forfeit. This occurs when the defaulting team’s captain
notifies the coordinator and the opposing team’s captain at least 24 hours before the scheduled game time. The team who is defaulting will receive seven “points against” and the opposing team will receive the win with
seven “points for”.
Forfeit – An un-played game that is recorded as a forfeit because the team failed to show up for its scheduled game and did
not notify the coordinator and the opposing team’s captain at least 24 hours in advance.
  • The team who is forfeiting will receive seven “points against” and the opposing team will receive the win with seven “points for”.
  • Forfeit consequences:
    • 1 Forfeit – Team will receive the loss and 7 “points against”
    • 2 Forfeit – 2 “points for” will be subtracted from the team’s final season record points, in addition to receiving the loss with 7 “points against”.
    • 3 Forfeits – automatically disqualified from playoffs

Late Policy

  • Teams should begin games at the scheduled starting time. Teams are permitted a 15-minute grace period. If at any time during that period, the required minimum number of players are available then the game must begin.
  • If a team fails to field the required minimum number after the grace period and the game begins anytime within 30 minutes of the scheduled starting time, then the ready opponent is awarded three runs and the game is reduced by 2 innings.
  • After 30 minutes the game is forfeited.
  • If both teams are late, then the game is reduced by 2 innings with no runs awarded. If both teams fail to show up after 30 minutes, then both teams forfeit the game.

The Game

  • Each game is scheduled for a maximum of seven innings with a 1 hour 15-minute time limit. If there is a tie at the end of the seventh inning or the maximum time limit, then teams will follow the tie breaking procedure detailed in the rules. 
  • Games will not exceed the 1 hour 15-minute time limit.
  • No inning will start after the maximum time limit. However, the inning may be completed if an inning is in progress when the time limit is up. 
  • A game is considered official after four innings. If a game is stopped due to inclement weather, and the game is in the fourth inning that score will be counted. Example: The game is in the middle of the 5th inning and it begins to rain, the score reverts to end of the 4th inning.
  • A team is allowed three outs per inning. A batter cannot be called out on fouls unless the ball is legally caught. Players can stay at bat until they hit the ball or are out on a legally caught foul ball. Players can stay at bat until they hit the ball or are out on a legally caught foul ball.
  • Base stealing is not permitted – base runners must remain on base until a pitched ball is hit. Batter must reach each base safely before a substitute runner can be employed.
  • The batting team must supply umpires at first and third base to call plays in the field. If the umpires are unsure of the call or there is
  • an extreme delay in making the call then the batter is presumed out.
  • Protests are not accepted; therefore, all disputes must be resolved at the time of the incident by the captains on the field.

Mercy Rule

  • A mercy rule of 15 runs is in effect after three full innings of play.
  • If at the end of any inning, after three full innings of play, a team is up by 15 runs or more, then the mercy rule will go into effect. Should both teams agree, the game may be continued to be played as a scrimmage until the time limit is reached. Players may be traded among teams after the mercy rule is instated for a more balanced game. The final score will be recorded as it was when the mercy rule went into effect.

The Team

  • Each team consists of ten field and batting positions. All players must meet eligibility requirements and the roster is unlimited.
  • Team must have a minimum eight players to start the game.
  • If a team is short players then the hitting team may supply a catcher, as a non-defending player.

Tie-Breaking Procedure

In the regular season, if the game is tied at the end of the time limit or the end of the seventh inning, whichever comes first, the international tie breaker rule will be used for ONE EXTRA INNING. For playoffs, games are played until there is a winner, and the innings are played in the normal format.

International tie breaker rule:

  • The offensive team will begin its turn at bat with the player scheduled to bat LAST in that half inning being placed at 2nd base. For example, if the No. 5 batter is to lead off, the No. 4 batter in the batting order should be placed at 2nd base.

  • If a team is playing shorthanded then the last live batter will be used. If the score remains tied at the end of one extra inning, the game will be recorded as a tie.

  • For playoffs, games are played until there is a winner, and the innings are played in the normal format.

Rules & Definitions

Rules and Definitions Follow ASA Rules in addition to the explanations & modifications listed below.
  • Ball: A pitch which is not swung at and is not in the strike zone.
  • Base: One of four points that must be touched by a runner in order to score. Runners must maintain their order while progressing from base to base. If a trail runner passes the lead runner or both occupy the same base when a tag is made, then the trail runner is retired.
  • Base path: An imaginary path that the runner must maintain while the play is being made. The base path is a direct line between bases approximately three feet wide.
  • Base on balls: A base on balls permits a batter who does not hit a fair ball to gain first base without liability after three pitches are judged to be out of the strike zone.
  • Bat: Follow ASA guidelines for certified/legal bats (
  • Batter’s box: The imaginary zone that restricts the position of the batter. This box is located on either side of, but not touching home plate and is approximately 7 feet long and 3 feet wide.
  • Bunt: A bunt is an illegally batted ball not swung at but intentionally met with the bat and tapped within the infield. Bunts and attempted bunts are considered fouls. *Chopping/Slapping is considered a type of bunt. Therefore, a chopping/slapping bunt and attempted chopping/slapping bunts are considered fouls.
  • Catch: A legally caught ball held in the hand or glove. If the ball is merely held in the fielder’s arm or prevented from dropping to the ground by some part of the body or clothing it is a trap, not a catch. If a player drops a caught ball in the act of throwing, it remains a valid catch. It is not a catch if a fielder touches a fly ball which then hits a runner or an umpire and then is caught by another defensive player.
  • Deliberately dropped ball: When an infielder deliberately drops a fly ball or line drive while a runner is on base, with the intent of gaining the advantage of a force out. It results in the umpire calling the batter out, the ball dead and the runners back to their original bases.
  • Fair ball: A batted ball that settles inside or on the first and third base lines or touches any base or bounces at least once inside or on the outfield foul lines. A fair fly ball shall be judged according to the relative position of the ball and the foul line, not as to whether the fielder is on fair or foul territory.
  • Foul ball: A batted ball that settles outside the base lines or if it hits the bat then the batter inside the box.
  • Foul tip: A batted ball that goes directly from the bat, no higher than the batter’s head, to the catcher. A legally caught foul tip on the second strike completes the out. Note: A caught foul ball by the catcher is only out if the ball is higher than the batter’s head. Illegally caught ball: When a fielder catches a ball with his/her cap, mask, glove or any part of the uniform while it is detached from its proper place. It results in the batter being awarded the base he/she was running toward and all runners advance in relation to the batter.
  • Infield fly: A fair fly ball (not a line drive) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second or all bases are occupied, before two outs. Once the umpire declares “Infield Fly” the batter is automatically out, the ball is considered alive, and runners may advance at their own risk.
  • Extra base: If the batter hits a popup in the infield with runners on 1st and 2nd, or with bases loaded, and less than two outs and the base runner(s) is advancing to the next base then they will be awarded the next base. If the runner is at least halfway to the base they will be awarded the next base.
  • Interference: The act of a defensive player which hinders or prevents a batter from striking the ball, and, results in awarding the batter a free base. Or, the act of an offensive player, which hinders or confuses a defensive player while attempting to execute a play, and, results in the runner being retired. When a fielder is in the base path and waiting for a batted ball the runner must proceed behind the fielder.
  • Obstruction: The act of a fielder, while not in possession of the ball or in the act of fielding a batted ball, which impedes the progress of a runner.
  • Legal touch: When a runner who is not touching a base is touched by the ball while it is securely held by the fielder. It is sufficient for the runner to be touched with the hand or glove in which the ball is held. The ball is not considered securely held if it is juggled or dropped after the touch unless the runner deliberately knocks the ball from the grasp of the fielder with his/her hand.
  • Out: One of three required retirements of the team at bat. A putout is the act of a fielder in retiring a batter or runner.
    • A tag out is the retiring of a runner who is not touching a base.
    • A force out is when a runner fails to reach the next base before a fielder tags him/her or the base after the runner is forced to advance because the batter became a runner. A legally caught fly ball is an out.
  • Over slide: If a base is dislodged and moved from its position after a runner slides. If in the judgment of the umpire the runner and/or succeeding runners in the same play remain within reach of the base’s original position he/she is safe; or, if the runner is outside the reach of the base’s original position and is touched legally, he/she is retired.
  • Overthrow: When the ball is thrown to a fielder to retire a runner who is off base and it goes into foul territory beyond the boundary of the playing fields. All runners are automatically awarded one additional base.
  • Pitch: From approximately 45’ from home plate and in the center of the infield the pitcher must face the batter with at least one foot in ncontact with the pitching rubber and his/her shoulders in line with first and third bases. The pitch starts when the pitcher makes any motion that is part of the wind-up. The ball must be pitched underhand at moderate speed and at delivery: a) the wind-up allows no more than one revolution of the arm; b) the pitcher shall not take more than one step which must be forward, toward home plate before releasing the ball, then, after the release of the ball the pitcher may follow through with another step while losing contact with the pitching rubber; c) at release the hand is below the hip, and the wrist not farther from the body than the elbow; d) the follow through of the hand and wrist must be forward past the line of the pitcher toward home plate, and, e) the ball must be delivered with a slight arc (minimum of 3’- maximum of 10’ above the ground) from the point of release.
  • The Pitcher: The pitcher is a designated player from the batting team who will pitch to their own teammates. The pitcher cannot field the ball, the in-field team will supply a position player to field any ball in play. If the pitcher intereferes with the ball in play, the play is dead. The batter will be awarded first-base and any current base runners will be awarded the next base. 
  • Sliding/Close plays: On close plays at any base or at home plate the fielder may not use any part of his/her body other than the glove hand to block the path to the base/plate, and, the runner should slide feet first into the base/plate and avoid bodily contact with the fielder. If the fielder obstructs the runner, then the runner is awarded the base and the play stopped (any other base runners behind the runner advance, if possible, one base beyond the base they reached safely). If the runner obstructs the fielder, then the runner is declared out and the play stopped (no other runners may advance beyond the base they reached safely). Note: Head first sliding is not permitted.
  • Strike: A pitch which is swung at and missed, or not swung at but is in the strike zone. A foul ball is a strike, but it cannot be the second strike.
  • Strike out: The result of the pitcher getting a second strike charged to a batter. The batter is retired and runners cannot advance regardless of the status of the ball.
  • Strike zone: The space over any part of home plate which is between the batter’s highest shoulder and the top of the knees when the batter assumes his/her natural stance.