Unless otherwise indicated in the gameplay rules for a sport, there is no maximum number of players allowed on a team’s roster provided all players have signed the Team Roster and Waiver Form. It is the responsibility of all team captains to ensure players are in compliance with this policy. Teams have up until the third week of the season to make changes to their roster. After the third week, rosters will be frozen. Roster changes that require additional T-Shirts will be subject to availability. All roster changes must be communicated to and approved by the league office.
To be eligible to participate in any SSL league, tournament, or social event, each player must be confirmed on his or her team’s roster and have agreed to the waiver. Team captains are responsible for ensuring that all members of their team have read and accepted the terms of the waiver policy. The waiver is included in the online registration process, including for those players invited to a team by a captain. The waiver can also be found by visiting your dashboard.
All SSL participants must be 21 years of age or older prior to their first scheduled game.
Players may only be on one roster for any given sport on a given night, regardless of if multiple divisions are offered. Violation of this rule may result in game forfeiture by both teams.
The SSL reserves the right to request a photo ID from any player at any time for any reason.
Teams that wish to challenge the eligibility of a player on their opponent’s roster must make that request with an SSL Official as early as possible. Only individual players may be challenged. Entire teams may not be challenged.
Playoff team players will automatically have their roster spots verified by an SSL Official.
SSL T-Shirts are your team’s uniforms. All players must wear the appropriate color uniform with the current SSL front logo to participate. Past season’s uniforms are not permitted, even if they are the correct color. Any player not wearing the appropriate uniform will be sidelined for that game.
The SSL T-Shirt must be worn on the outside of any clothing worn during play with all logos and designs in tact and clearly visible.
Players are permitted to modify their uniforms in any way provided they do not cover up or obscure any of the logos printed on the shirts and the resulting garment does not pose a threat to player safety.
Whenever possible, the SSL will separate programs into divisions based on playing experience, ability, and competitiveness. In the event multiple divisions are not possible, all players will be placed into a single division.
Division placement for all teams will be at the sole discretion of the SSL.
Any player, or team based on the majority of their players, that is determined to be in the incorrect division may, at any point during the season, be switched to the appropriate division at the discretion of the SSL.
Drones, model planes, and any other unmanned aircraft are not permitted at any SSL activity.
FINALE WEEK FOR LEAGUES:
In the final week of league play, the top teams will compete in a single-elimination playoff to determine the league champion. The playoff may be held on a day or at a venue other than the normal day and venue used for regular season games.
All other eligible teams in good standing with the league will be scheduled for a final game against a team similarly ranked in the final standings.
Championship and other participation prizes will be distributed at SSL discretion and include, but are not limited to, gift cards/vouchers to SSL partner establishments, league sponsor promotional items, and/or credits toward future SSL programs.
Prior to the start of the game, players and spectators should regularly check the SSL Rainoutline for venue status updates. Players and spectators can also sign up for automatic updates via email and/or text message. Details are available on the SSL website.
Once the game has started, gameday coordinators will work with facilities coordinators and SSL Operations personnel to monitor weather and playing conditions in order to determine if play will need to be suspended and/or games postponed.
In the event of inclement weather or any other event that causes games to be postponed, the SSL will make every effort to reschedule. In the event of multiple cancellations, the SSL reserves the option to shorten the regular season and/or the playoff schedule. Makeup games may be scheduled on weekdays other than those regularly scheduled. Makeup games may be scheduled at venues other than those regularly scheduled. Neither refunds nor pro-rated refunds will be given if the season is shortened due to inclement weather or due to actions taken by the venue.
If a team is short the minimum number of players to play a regulation game, the game will be ruled a forfeit.
In the case of an injured player, at the sole discretion of an SSL Official, a game may be continued if a team does not have the minimum number of players for a regulation game provided the team has a chance to win.
Teams forfeiting multiple games in a season are subject to removal from the league.
If the forfeiting team is short the minimum number of players to play an exhibition game, a $50 forfeit fine will be assessed.
This fine will be converted into either a gift card/voucher redeemable at a current SSL partner or a credit that can be used toward a future SSL program and distributed to the appropriate players of the offended team who showed up with no game to play.
The offended team, provided they are in good standing and do not owe any outstanding dues or fines to the league, can collect the forfeit fine gift card, voucher, or future credit from an SSL Coordinator during the final week of the season. If the fineable forfeit occurs in the last week of the season, the offended team will receive a credit for participation in a future SSL program.
Teams must participate in the final week of the season in order to collect any forfeit fine gift cards, vouchers, or future credits they are owed. If a team does not participate in the final week, any forfeit fine gift cards, vouchers, or future credits owed are forfeited.
Forfeit fines must be paid online within 72 hours. Unpaid forfeit fines may result in additional forfeits and/or suspension from the league. Teams with outstanding fines from past seasons will be barred from future registration in any SSL sport or event until they are paid in full.
Game forfeiture notice must be submitted via the SSL website by 5:00 PM on the preceding day (Friday for weekend games) in order to avoid the forfeit fine.
The minimum number of players required to play an officiated exhibition game is noted in the “Roster” section of each sport’s respective rules document.
We are all adults, and the SSL expects all participants and spectators to act like it. Unsportsmanlike behavior may result in disqualification. At the request of an SSL Official, disqualified players or spectators must leave the playing area.
Repeated or egregious unsportsmanlike behavior, including refusal to leave the playing area, will result in an extended suspension term.
Suspended players are not permitted to attend any current or future SSL leagues, tournaments, races, and social events until after having received written approval from SSL Player Services. Violation of this policy may result in a team forfeit and additional suspension.
LET’S KEEP IT SOCIAL:
You may hear this from an SSL Official if someone is on the verge of committing an act not in accordance with the spirit of our programs. It is simply a reminder for everyone to calm down, play the game, and keep it social!
TAKE A BREAK:
If a player is exhibiting overly aggressive or unsportsmanlike behavior or is otherwise posing an unnecessary risk to themselves or others, he or she may be directed to “take a break” by an SSL Official. This is designed to prevent a more serious violation of SSL policies that would result in disqualification.
OVERLY COMPETITIVE PLAYERS:
All SSL sports are intended to be recreational. Any player or team who is deemed to be excessively competitive and/or overly aggressive may be removed from competition at the discretion of any SSL Official or gameday coordinator.
Overly competitive actions include, but are not necessarily limited to:
- Running up the score
- Refusing to include teammates in gameplay
- Repeatedly targeting weaker players
- Aggressive shouting (even if it is to yourself or a teammate)
- Being too Physical
- Arguing with, or directing negative comments toward, other players
- Arguing with, or directing negative comments toward, SSL Officials
- Attempting to deceive SSL Officials
DYNASTIES AND COMPETITION:
Everyone loves a little competition, but one team dominating a league season after season can spoil the fun for everybody.
If a group of players has dominated multiple seasons, the SSL will have the option to, in its sole discretion, request those players to form two or more separate teams to promote parity in the league or withdraw their registration entirely. All subsequent registrations must then be approved by the SSL prior to registering.
The SSL will provide Umpires for all games. Arguing with Umpires will not be tolerated.
The umpire will be the official keeper of time and score in the game.
The SSL will provide all bases and playable balls for each game. Bats, gloves, and protective equipment are not provided.
When a male is at-bat, the ball in play will be 12” and .52 COR/300 LB compression.
When a female is at-bat, the ball in play will be 11” and either .52 COR/300 LB compression or .44 COR/375 LB compression.
All bats must have the approved ASA 2000, ASA 2004, ASA 2013, or USA Softball certification mark and must not be listed on the ASA or USA Softball non-approved list. If the bat has been manufactured before 2000 or its certification marks have been worn or faded, it will be left to the sole discretion of the umpire as to whether the bat may be used in for SSL play.
Players that are caught using an illegal bat will be called out. If the discovery is made after a batted ball, all runners will return to their original base. The legality of any bat used in SSL games shall be at the sole discretion of the umpire.
It is recommended, though not required, that catchers wear protective masks while behind home plate.
Shoes are required for all players. Shoes with metal or ceramic cleats are not permitted.
The maximum number of players on the field is ten. The minimum number of players on the field is eight. The maximum number of males on the field is six. The minimum number of females on the field is two.
If a team is short the minimum number of players by game time, the game will start as scheduled with that team automatically becoming the visitor and batting first. If the minimum number of players does not show up upon completion of the first half of the first inning, the game will be considered a forfeit.
The minimum number of players to play an officiated exhibition game, and avoid the forfeit fine, is five.
Teams lose the ability to challenge a player’s eligibility after the third inning, except in the case of a late-arriving player.
There are no substitutions in the batting line-up.
If a team plays with fewer than four females, they must play short in the field and will receive an automatic out when that position is reached in the batting order.
All late arriving players may be inserted at any time. Late arrivals must be inserted into the bottom of the batting order, or as close to the bottom to ensure gender rules apply. If a team has their fourth female show up during the game, they will no longer be forced to take an automatic out.
Completed line-up cards must be handed to the umpire before the game begins. Cards must be filled out with each player’s first name and gender. The umpire’s card will be the official card. All changes to your line-up must be reported to the umpire.
Each game consists of seven innings or as many as can be played in the time allotted, whichever is fewer. No new inning shall begin after 48 minutes. The inning in play when the umpire declares time has expired shall be completed to determine a winner. Regular season games may end in a tie.
The game clock will start when the umpire concludes the team pregame meeting.
The home team will be determined with a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Games will be considered complete after seven innings or time has expired, whichever occurs first. In the case of inclement weather or lighting failure, games may be considered complete after 30 minutes or 4 ½ innings provided the home team is leading. Games that have not reached this point will resume from the point of interruption at a later date.
No new innings will start after the umpire has declared time expired. After the game is completed, teams are required to quickly clear the dugout for the next game.
The maximum number of infielders is 6 (including the Pitcher and Catcher). Outfielders must stay in the grass until contact is made. If an outfielder comes onto the infield dirt before contact is made and is in any way involved in that play, all runners will be ruled safe.
Warm-up pitching between innings is not allowed, and teams should hustle on and off the field.
Fielding positions can be changed between players on the field while on defense, however new players may not substitute in except for a pitching change, the team is short fielders, or due to an injury. The batting order must always stay the same despite any changes in field position.
Fielders may occupy any defensive position, regardless of gender, provided overall roster and field requirements have been satisfied.
Batters will start with a one-ball/one-strike count. With two strikes, the batter has one courtesy foul. The second foul with two strikes will be called strike three and the batter will be ruled out.
All pitches must be underhand, slow, and travel in an arc between six and twelve feet. The pitcher must be stationary with at least one foot on the rubber prior to delivering the pitch. A pitch not meeting these requirements will be declared illegal with a visual and audible signal from the umpire. The batter, however, still has the option to hit the ball. All action will stand if the batter elects to swing at the pitch.
The strike zone, established by the batter’s normal batting stance, is the area over the leading edge of home plate between the batter’s back shoulder and knees.
A pitch that contacts the plate is an automatic ball.
Some fields will utilize a “Strike Mat” to determine balls and strikes. On these fields, a pitch that hits home plate or the strike mat extension and satisfies all other requirements shall be called a strike.
If a field utilizes a strike mat and does not utilize a safety scoring/commitment line system, the entirety of home plate and the strike mat extension may be used by the runner and/or catcher for plays at home.
The “Halo” area extends to one foot on either side of the pitching rubber and one foot above the pitcher’s head. A sharply batted ball traveling through this area will result in an immediate dead ball and the batter being called out.
Runners may not advance and additional outs may not be recorded.
Subsequent Halo violations may result in disqualification.
Halo violations are at the sole discretion of the umpire. Arguing is not permitted.
All players may bat, however no more than two males may bat in a row. Females can re-hit if necessary. (For example, if a team has nine males and four females, one female would be designated in the line-up to bat twice to ensure proper ratios).
Male players may not bat again in the order until all female players have had an opportunity to bat.
There is no bunting or slapping. Doing so will result in the batter being called out.
BATTING OUT OF ORDER:
If the error is discovered while the incorrect batter is hitting, then the correct batter will assume the ball/strike count of the incorrect batter. If the error is discovered after the incorrect batter has safely reached base, the incorrect batter will be called out, and all runners will return to their original base. The opposing team must make the umpire aware of “batting out of order” before a pitch is thrown to the next batter. If it is not, then the incorrect batter will stay on base with the batting order continuing thereafter in the proper order.
Less than two outs – All walks are one base awards.
Two outs – If there are two outs and a male batter is walked with a female batter up next, the male runner walks as normal (stops at first). The female batter will then have the option to walk or bat.
If the pitcher desires to walk a batter intentionally, he may do so by notifying the home plate umpire who shall award the batter first base. No pitches are required in order to award an intentional walk.
Runners must stay within established base paths.
There is no leading off or stealing of bases. Doing so will result in the runner being called out.
Every field has an extra first base bag, known as the “safety” base, located outside the baseline. This is the bag that the runners must touch when running through first base. The inside bag is for the fielders.
SSL Softball is intended to be non-contact and all players must avoid unnecessary contact at all times. Runners must give themselves up, get out of the way, or slide.
Runners may tag on all fair and foul balls. In a tagging situation, the runner may leave base as soon as the ball is FIRST touched by a member of the fielding team.
On an overthrow, all players may continue to advance provided the ball is still in play. The ball is dead if it touches sideline players, spectators, equipment, or goes out of bounds.
When two runners are on the same base at the same time, the fielder has the choice of tagging either runner with the ball.
The runner who is tagged is out and the other runner is safe and may stay on the base.
The umpire will call time once the ball has been returned to the infield area and all action by runners has stopped.
Injured batters may receive a courtesy runner once they have safely reached base, all action resulting from their hit has stopped, and time has been called by the umpire.
If a female batter is injured, the last female out becomes the courtesy runner.
If a male batter is injured, the last player out will become the courtesy runner, regardless of gender.
HEAD FIRST SLIDE:
Runners may not engage in a “head first” slide when approaching any base on the field. If a runner’s momentum has caused them to overrun a base, they may “dive back” in a head first manner to regain possession of that base.
A runner may not slide head first when racing back in a missed base or tag-up situation.
OBSTRUCTION, INTERFERENCE, AND AVOIDING COLLISIONS:
No fielder may block the base path (obstruct) without possession of the ball. If obstructed, the umpire will award the runner a minimum of one base and any additional bases that, in the umpire’s judgment, would negate the obstruction.
No runner may impede, hinder, or confuse a defensive player attempting to execute a play. If called for interference, the runner will be ruled out and other runners returned to their previously occupied bases.
Note: If a fielder is standing on a base without possession of the ball, the runner may run around the fielder (ie not touch the base) and will not be at liability of being put out. Runners should never initiate contact with a fielder simply for standing in the basepath.
Contact is not required for obstruction or interference. Obstruction and interference will be ruled at the sole discretion of the umpire.
Excessive or unsportsmanlike contact will result in an immediate ejection. At the discretion of the SSL, an ejected player may face further suspension.
INFIELD FLY RULE:
An infield fly is a fly ball in fair territory which, at the sole discretion of the umpire, can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied with less than two outs. In this situation, the umpire will declare “Infield Fly”. The ball remains live and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught. If the ball becomes foul, it will be treated the same as any foul.
SAFETY HOME SCORING:
Some fields will utilize Scoring and Commitment Lines for plays at home. On these fields, all plays at home are “Force Outs”. Fields without these lines will use traditional rules for plays at home.
A “Scoring Line” will be drawn as an extension of the first baseline a minimum of eight feet into foul territory from the back point of home p
late. A run is scored when the runner touches the scoring line or the ground beyond the scoring line prior to a defensive player touching home plate with possession of the ball.
A “Commitment Line” will be drawn perpendicular to the third baseline approximately 22 feet from the back point of home plate. After touching the ground on or past the commitment line, a runner may not return to third base, must continue to the scoring line, and may not be tagged out. If the runner returns to third after crossing the commitment line, the runner will be ruled out. If the runner touches or crosses over home plate, the runner is out.
If the runner crosses the commitment line before a batted ball is caught in flight, the runner is automatically out.
If a defensive player attempts to tag the runner after the runner has crossed the commitment line, the runner will be ruled safe and a run scored.
HOME RUNS AND GROUND RULE DOUBLES:
For venues with an outfield fence, the first fair batted ball hit over the fence in flight for each team will be ruled a home run. Any subsequent fair batted ball hit over the fence in flight for the same team will be ruled an automatic out.
For venues without an outfield fence, an outfield boundary will be marked with cones and/or painted lines. Any fair batted ball hit past the outfield boundary line will be ruled a ground rule double. Whether or not a fair batted ball crosses the outfield boundary line in flight is at the sole discretion of the umpire. When in doubt, a ground rule double will be called.
Note: All balls hit over the fence must be retrieved by the team at-bat unless otherwise directed by an SSL Official.
The maximum number of runs allowed per inning is seven. After the seventh run crosses home plate, play will stop regardless of the number of outs.
The only exception to the seven-run rule shall be in the final inning as announced by the umpire. The away team shall have the opportunity to score seven runs or as many runs needed in order to gain a maximum three run advantage, whichever is greater. If multiple runs are scored on the final play that gives that team a three-run advantage, all runs shall count and that half inning will be over. The home team shall have the opportunity to score as many runs needed in order to gain a run advantage and win the game.
The run rule will be put into effect and the game called if one team is ahead by 12 runs or more upon completion of the fifth inning (top of the fifth if the home team is ahead), or ahead by 15 runs or more upon completion of the fourth inning (top of the fourth if the home team is ahead).
No new inning shall begin after 45 minutes. Preliminary round games may end in a tie.
If extra innings are required in a playoff game, both teams will have the opportunity to bat. The player who was at-bat the previous inning when the third out was recorded will start at second base with no outs. The batter will start with a 3-2 count and no courtesy foul (1-pitch format). This format will continue for all extra innings until a winning team is established.
Teams earn three points for a win, one point for a tie, and zero points for a loss. Teams are ranked in order based on the following criteria:
- Total Standings Points
- Head to Head
- Total Runs Allowed
- Total Run Differential
No new inning shall begin after 45 minutes
Preliminary round games may end in a tie.
Any rules not specifically mentioned here follow those set forth by USA Softball governing adult co-ed slow pitch play.