(updated with new information)
NOTE: Every effort is
made, when developing these Rules and Guidelines for the
League, to make the game of fastball playable and fun.
However, situations may arise that are not covered or
are ambiguous. If necessary, the Executive, and/or a
committee appointed by the President, will address these
situations and provide a decision that will be
Softball Canada playing rules will apply in all divisions.
The Softball Canada rules may be amended, deleted or added
to by the operating rules of the Community Softball
League. Any amendments, deletions or additions will be
found in the following rule amendments:
1.1. Games will be forfeited 15 minutes after the
scheduled start time found on the game schedule if the
team or teams are not ready to play. It would be wise to
have teams there at least 30 minutes prior to game time so
line-ups can be exchanged
NO inning will
start AFTER that time has elapsed. An inning started
is to be finished without time restriction. The umpire
will be the official timekeeper and will inform both
scorekeepers of the official start time early in the game
(first inning). The score at the end of the last
completed inning will count in the standings.
1.2. Games will have a time limit from the time of the first pitch of:
- 1 hour and 30 minutes at U11 (Mite), U13 (Squirt), and U15 (Novice) levels,
- 1 hour and 45 minutes at U17 (Bantam), U19 (Midget) and U21 (Junior) levels,
1.3. The umpire may start the game earlier than scheduled
if both teams are ready to start.
2 NUMBER OF INNINGS
A full game consists of:
Minimum number of innings:
U11 (Mite) level: 5 innings OR time limit
U13 (Squirt), U15 (Novice), U17 (Bantam), U19 (Midget) and U21 (Junior) levels: 7
innings OR time limit
The umpire may call the game earlier due to rain,
lightning and/or darkness that may create a safety
concern. If the minimum number of innings have been
played, the game will be considered complete. The score
from the last complete inning played will be the official
score and will count in the standings. Any game not
completing the necessary number of innings at the time the
game was suspended/called will be rescheduled and played
as a new game.
U11 (Mite) level: 3 complete innings OR time limit
U13 (Squirt), U15 (Novice), U17 (Bantam), U19 (Midget) and U21 (Junior) levels: 4
innings OR time limit
3 NUMBER OF PLAYERS
3.1. A game will be forfeited if either team cannot field
a team of at least 8 players, 15 minutes after the
scheduled game time or during the course of the game.
There will be no out counted for an absentee 9th
game forfeited at the diamond (for lack of players or
umpires) is to be declared an exhibition. Teams are encouraged to engage in friendly scrimmage or drills to take advantage of player and diamond time.
Substitute players may be borrowed from any CSL member
association team in the immediate division below, to
make a roster of a maximum of 11 players.
Exception: U11 (Mite) ONLY may borrow players from any
other U11 (Mite) team (NOT including the opposing team for that
All player call-ups are to be arranged through the
player's COACH not through the player directly and must
be reported to the Association Convenor. The coach is
responsible for notifying the convenor of their need for
call-ups at the earliest opportunity. If a call up
situation arises at game time, the coach may use one
available legal player, provided the Coach is notified
after the game. Every effort should be made to contact
the players' coach ahead of time.
A player may not serve as a call-up at any level when
her own team has a game to play.
Call-ups are to be reported WITH the scores, by BOTH
Borrowed players (including U11 (Mite) are not allowed to
One team may call up the same player from a lower
division (or other U11 (Mite) division) a maximum of five
times (see Eligibility 2).
Borrowed players will be a regular part of the batting
order and defensive positioning on the diamond.
3.6 U11 (Mite) ONLY - An extra "Rover" player may be
used in the outfield only. The Rover player may only be
inserted at the beginning of an inning or game.
3.7 Coaches must notify the opposition coach 24 hours
prior to the scheduled game time if they are unable to
field a team and reschedule the game.
**Teams are encouraged to borrow players rather than
reschedule or forfeit.**
4 RESCHEDULED GAME
4.1 Schedule changes are to be reported to CSL
scheduler/scorekeeper, within 7 days of the original game date, by the home team.
Within 7 days of the original game date, the home team
coach is responsible for making arrangements for playing
that game before the end of the regular season (of that
Season rainouts are to be played WITHIN the regular
5 GAME REPORTS
Games not played according to CSL
rules are to be declared and reported as exhibition
participation. Make full use of the facility and
playing time available to the players for their
5.1 BOTH teams are required to report the results of the
game within 48 hours of the completion of the game. Refer
to contact information package for website and/or contact
5.2 Any games that are tied at the curfew will be
considered complete and each team will be awarded 2
points. Exhibition games will count for 1 point.
5.3 Games will be scored as follows:
Win (including by forfeit): 3 points
Tie: 2 points
Loss: 1 point
Not played: 0 points
6 MERCY RULE
The game will be considered complete and the score will
become official if after 5 complete innings for the
visiting team and 4½ innings for the home team, there is
a 10 point difference or if either team is ahead by 15
runs after 3 complete innings.
U11 (Mite) ONLY:
7.0 Pitchers are not permitted to pitch in consecutive
innings, for the first 3 innings of each game.
U11 (Mite), SQUIRT, NOVICE AND BANTAM
7.1 A MINIMUM of 2 pitchers must be used in a regulation
7.2 A pitcher can pitch 2 consecutive innings for a total
of 4 innings in a regulation game (for U11 (Mite) it is 3 innings maximum WITH attention to 7.1
7.3 A single pitch to a batter is considered an inning
pitched. If a pitcher is replaced in an inning and returns
in the same inning, she will be charged with pitching 2
7.4 A pitcher who has pitched 2 consecutive innings cannot
pitch again until one complete inning has passed.
7.5 Coaches and/or team scorekeepers are responsible for
keeping track of the number of innings the opposing
pitcher has pitched. If a pitcher erroneously pitches in 3
consecutive innings, or for a 5th inning, the pitcher will
be immediately removed from the pitching position for the
remainder of the game but will be allowed to play in any
other fielding position. A warning to the coach will be
given and if this player returns to pitch, the coach will
7.6 At U11 (Mite) or U13 (Squirt) levels, an illegal pitch will
be ruled as a "No pitch".
MIDGET AND JUNIOR
7.7 Upon the coach's second visit to the mound in the same
inning, the pitcher must be removed for the remainder of
7.8 Adoption of Softball Canada ruling
requires ONE foot to be on the rubber, to start the pitch.
The ball is to be presented with hands apart. After
the pause, all motion with feet is to be forward and restricted to the width of
rubber. In delivering the ball, the pitcher is allowed a single
forward step along with release of the ball. No toe drag is required.
7.9 ANY pitcher who hits a batter with a pitch
three times in the same inning (ball in the air, not
rolling on the ground), will be replaced for the remainder
of the inning. At the umpire's discretion, this may be
waived, IF it is determined that the batters are
not attempting to avoid the hit. The pitcher may play any
other position in that inning. The pitcher may return to
the pitching position in another inning, based on the
number of innings already pitched.
7.10 NO intentional walks. A batter is
entitled to 4 pitches, not rolled or bounced to the plate.
8 BATTING ORDER
8.1 The batting order will consist of all
players present at the start of the game.
8.2 Late comers are to be added to the bottom
of the line-up upon arrival.
8.3 All players in the line-up are to play a
minimum of 2 innings in defensive positions (an exception
MAY rarely result in a game of less than 4 innings.)
8.4 Any player who must leave the game before
completion will be scratched from the line-up without any
penalty to his or her team (no out recorded for the
player's turn at bat). However, if the 8th player and
before the completion of the game, the game is forfeited.
8.5 The first time a bat is thrown in a game,
the umpire will issue a warning to the player. A second
occurrence will result in being "called out". No runner
9.1 Regulation approved batting helmets must
be worn by all batters, runners, on-deck batters and minor
age base coaches.
9.1.1 Cages are required on batting helmets at all
9.2 Deliberately removing the helmet on the
diamond while the ball is in play is an automatic out.
9.3 To ensure the safety of all the batters and base
runners, the batting helmet chinstraps must be done up at
all times, at all levels.
face protection for pitchers (ex. Rip-it) is
required in all divisions, as a safety precaution.
Requirement for other defensive players is according
to the expectation of your Local Association.
Face guards are to be made available for use by all
(as is the case for
9.5 NO METAL CLEATS allowed on
the diamond, at any division.
9.6 Softball bats only
Bats will be
required to pass a visual inspection.
NOTE: The Infield Fly rule states, "An infield fly is a
fair ball (not including a line drive or an attempted
bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary
effort, when first and second bases are occupied, before 2
are out. The ball is alive and runners may advance
at the risk that the ball will be caught or they may
retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same
as on any fly ball." -Softball Canada Official Guide and
The infield fly rule will NOT apply to the U11 (Mite) and U13 (Squirt) divisions.
11 THIRD STRIKE
The dropped third strike rule will NOT apply to the U11 (Mite)
and U13 (Squirt) divisions.
12 BASE STEALING
12 Bases will be awarded to all base runners on
overthrows out of bounds as per Softball Canada rules
(except U11 (Mite) and U13 (Squirt) from 3rd to home).
12.1 U15 (Novice), U17 (Bantam), U19 (Midget) and U21 (Junior)
Players may steal a base after the ball leaves the
Players may steal a base after the pitch has crossed
NO base stealing.
12.2 U13 (Squirt) only
Runners may NOT steal from 3rd to home. One steal per
pitch, per player is allowed (i.e. If catcher throws to
second and the runner has stolen from 1st to 2nd, that
runner may not continue to 3rd).
12.2.1 After a pitch and all play has stopped and the
catcher is throwing the ball back to the pitcher, the
ball will be dead. Anyone stealing on the pitch will be
allowed the base, except from 3rd base to home.
13 RUN RULES
13.1 U11 (Mite) only: The inning is over when 3 outs
are made or when 5 runs have scored. (No "open" inning.)
13.2 U13 (Squirt) only: The inning is over when 3 outs are
made or when 6 runs have scored. (No "open" inning.)
13. 3 U15 (Novice) only: The inning is over when
3 outs are made or when 7 runs have scored. (No "open"
13.4 U17 (Bantam), U19 (Midget), and U21 (Junior): The inning is over when
3 outs are made or when 8 runs have scored. (No "open"
14 JEWELLERY RULE
There is no exception for new piercings...it is a safety
ALL jewellery, except for Medic Alert bracelets/necklaces,
MUST be removed (not taped over). Jewellery includes, but
is NOT LIMITED TO, earrings, any types of piercing,
watches, and bracelets (of any material), etc. This is a
safety issue that must not be ignored. Medic alert
bracelets and medallions should be worn if required and
should not be taped. There is no penalty for medic alert
15.1 Players are required to wear association uniforms.
Long baseball pants must be worn during games at the U11
(Mite), U13 (Squirt) and U15 (Novice) levels. BASEBALL uniform shorts
worn by individuals at the U17 (Bantam), U19 (Midget) and
level. No other shorts are to be allowed. Shirttails may
be required, by the umpire, to be tucked in.
15.2 Only baseball style hats/visors may be worn. "Same
team" baseball hats are not mandatory and will be the
decision of the team coach. Any baseball hat (including
visors) worn, must be in good taste and worn in the proper
manner (peak forward and down).
16.1 The home team will supply: two (2) umpires (a
minimum of an age division older), one new ball, one good
ball and diamond preparation, bases and pegs. A safety bag
is required at 1st base.
- The defensive player (typically the
first baseman) must use only the white/fair portion of
the base. (see Exception below)
- The offensive player must use only
the orange/foul portion of the base on the player's
first attempt at first base when a play is being made
on the player. This includes when the batter/runner
runs on a dropped third strike. (see Exception below)
- On a ball hit to the outfield with
no play being made at first base, the offensive player
may touch either portion of the base on the player's
first attempt at first base.
- Once an offensive player has
touched the orange/foul portion of the base on the
first attempt at first base, the runner must then use
the white/fair portion of the base:
- On any live ball play made from
first base foul territory, the batter-runner and
the defensive player may use either base. When the
defensive player uses the foul portion of the
double base, the batter-runner can run in fair
territory and if hit by a throw from the foul side
of first base, it would not be interference
(unless it is an intentional act like throwing up
their arms, etc.)
- It should be clear the runner
or the fielder can use either base on a ball
fielded on the foul side of first base. Both the
runner and fielder could be touching the same
base. If the fielder uses the orange base in this
situation and the runner makes contact with the
fielder it is interference on the runner. If both
players use the white portion and the fielder
causes the runner to hold up or change direction,
it is obstruction on the fielder.
16.2 No smoking and/or liquor and/or drugs shall be
allowed on or near the benches or playing and practice
areas by either players or coaches (Please also see Rule
16.3 Charged conference game limit is waived.
16.4 Sliding is NOT required
at any base.
Keep in mind, while practising and
playing, that you are participating in a house league
situation and any problems that arise should be
resolved in a friendly and diplomatic fashion.
17.1 Only Softball Canada and CSL playing rules can be
17.2 Protests must be identified to the home plate umpire
at the time of the infraction and the umpire must take
note of it and notify the other team of the protest being
made. The coach requesting the protest will also notify
their convenor and the CSL president within 48 hours of
the protested game.
17.3 A non-refundable fee of $25.00, payable to the
Community Softball League, is due at the time of the
A protest will be heard by a committee of 3 people,
consisting of the CSL president (or appointed by the
president) and 2 neutral members of the CSL. The decision
will be final.
18.1.1 IF time is remaining at the last out of an inning,
play continues to the next inning (unless waived by
agreement of both coaches) without time restrictions.
18.2 For safety reasons, the umpire may call the game due
to rain, lightning and/or darkness that may create a
concern. (see "Number of Innings" for outcomes).
18.3 The umpires will identify out of bounds to both teams
during the pre-game rules meeting.
18.4 Umpires are required to be an age division older than
the team players.
18.5 Only under extreme circumstance and agreement of both
teams, should the umpire be related to a participant in
18.6 Reports of player removal, coach ejections, etc., at
a game are to be submitted to the association convenor and
the league president.
19 COURTESY RUNNERS
Injured Player: A courtesy runner may take the place of an
injured base runner or batter. Please let the umpire and
the opposing team know, at either the beginning of the
game or at the time of the injury, that you will need to
use a courtesy runner. Both the courtesy runner and the
original runner are eligible for further participation in
the game. The last out prior to the player being
substituted for, will be the courtesy runner. The injured
runner/batter may advance to 1st base ONLY (if the hit is
a double, triple or home run, the runner must stop at 1st
Catcher: With 2 outs and the catcher on base, the catcher
MAY be substituted with a courtesy runner (the available
player who was the last out) to allow the catcher to dress
for the next inning.
20 WARMING UP A
Any person that is warming up a pitcher in a crouching
position, either on or off the playing field, must wear a
catcher's mask with throat guard.
All participants (coaches, parents, players, and umpires)
need to understand and respect the role of the umpire in
exercising judgment and applying the rules set by the
league. Only the interpretation of a rule may be subjected
to question by the coach.
Request for clarification may be carried out by either the
coach or the umpire if done in a cordial manner
(non-demeaning or challenging manner). RESPECT IS
It is our responsibility to set a good example and be a
positive role model for our players. As such, the umpire
will warn/eject any coach, parent and/or player who fails
to comply with this conduct. The umpire may stop the game
if necessary. Foul language, unsportsmanlike behaviour of
any kind and/or any conduct deemed detrimental to the CSL
will not be tolerated. Any situation of such
behaviour should be reported to your convenor and/or the
No inebriated or inappropriate spectator, coach or player
will be tolerated. Coaches should take the initiative to
speak to any spectator conducting themselves in an
inappropriate manner. The umpires have the authority to
eject spectators, parents, coaches and/or players, if
necessary. The umpires have the authority to call a
forfeit to the offending team, if necessary. The police
should and will be called in extreme situations. The CSL
will remove a team from the league if it is deemed
Coaches are responsible for their players, coaches, and
fans. No disrespect and/or unsportsmanlike conduct toward
the umpires/players/coaches/league will be
In order to keep the integrity of this league, to create a
positive and fun experience for our children, there will
be a Zero Tolerance Policy in effect.
The CSL reserves the right to suspend or expel any team,
coach, or player for disrespect and unsportsmanlike
conduct or conduct deemed detrimental to the CSL. When a
team is suspended, the scheduled games will be forfeited
to the opposing teams. Teams using suspended coaches or
players shall automatically forfeit the games in which the
suspended persons participated. Such teams/players will
NOT be eligible for a refund.
Teams disregarding CSL policies and decisions are at risk
of game forfeits and team disqualifications.
21 CONCUSSION PROTOCOL
Associations are responsible to make sure
that all registered athletes, as well as their parent
(for athletes under 18), provide confirmation that they
have reviewed Concussion Awareness Resources.
Associations must also not allow coaches,
team trainers and officials to serve as a coach, team
trainer or official unless they have provided
confirmation that they have reviewed one of the
Concussion Awareness Resources, every year.
COVID-19 RETURN TO PLAY
EACH of the participating associations has
Covid-19 Return to Play protocols in place, for 2021,
that must be respected by all those in attendance.
NOTE: Every effort is made, when
developing these Rules and Guidelines for the League, to
make the game of softball playable and fun. However,
situations may arise that are not covered or are
ambiguous. If necessary, the Executive, and/or a
committee appointed by the President, will address these
situations. The decision will be final.
- BE sure to always check the
schedule for location, time, etc. of all home and away
games. You may have a week with no games or a week
with two games. The location of a team's game could be
different from game to game.
- Inclusion into the Community
Softball League means CSL games and finals take
priority over others. Rescheduling within the
regular season will be accepted but should not
interfere with the completion of the season.
2. MID-SEASON TOURNAMENT
Provided, this year, by B.O.M.B.A and S.L.B.A. for CSL teams
- all CSL registered teams
- double knock-out format (adjusted
as required for number of teams, diamonds and time
- June 10th to 12th: U13 (Squirt), U17 (Bantam), Mid/Jr. divisions
- June 17th to 19th: U11 (Mite), U15 (Novice) divisions
NOTE: Dates are based on accommodations.
association is required to provide umpires and on-site assistance during
- Teams not meeting eligibility
expectations will be excluded from playoffs.
Final Standings will be available after all scores have
been received and tabulated.
All scores are to be received by:
Tiebreakers (by need and approval only): following these dates
- Aug. 5th (U13 (Squirt), U17 (Bantam), U21 (Junior) divisions)
- Aug. 12th (U11 (Mite), U15 (Novice) divisions)
It may be necessary to run some first rounds of playoffs
throughout the week before playoffs.
2022 Playoff Weekend(s):
- Aug. 12th to 14th (U13 (Squirt), U17 (Bantam), U21 (Junior) divisions)
- Aug. 19th to 21st ( U11 (Mite), U135 (U15 (Novice) divisions)
ENJOY A HEALTHY, HAPPY, AND SAFE
turn from first.
A runner forfeits his/her exemption from liability to be put
out if, after overrunning first base, he/she makes an
attempt to run to second base.
The key to this rule is to continue to second base. There
must be at least an attempt towards second base. It does
not matter which direction the batter-runner turns after
reaching first base if they are coming back to first base
without attempting to advance to second base.
If it is the plate umpire’s judgement that the batter
made an attempt to swing at the ball (but not a full
swing), the plate umpire shall call the pitched ball a
strike. This call is NOT to be appealed to the base umpire
- use the guiding principle that the plate umpire does not
call it a strike unless he/she saw the attempted swing -
therefore no need for an appeal of what the plate umpire
However, if the batter attempted to swing at the ball but
the plate umpire did not see the attempt (perhaps blocked
out by the catcher) then a ball shall be called. With this
call, the plate umpire does have the opportunity to check
with his/her base umpire(s) with or without a request from
the defensive team. The plate umpire may make the
request on their own or may choose to make the request
when requested to do so by the defensive team. The key to
the base umpire is that they shall only answer a check
swing request made by the plate umpire - they do not
respond to a request made directly to them by a defensive
Should the base umpire see the attempt that the plate
umpire did not see, they shall respond by calling “yes”
and the call shall be changed from ball to strike.
of bases on overthrow.
The common misconception with this rule is the old
rule of “one plus one,” a rule that was changed long ago.
The correct ruling is that when a thrown ball goes out of
play (beyond the established boundary lines of the playing
- all runners, including the batter-runner shall be
awarded two bases from the last base legally touched
based on their position at the time that the thrown ball
left the fielder’s hand
- if there are two runners between the same bases, the
award is based on the position of the lead runner
Keys to remember with this rule:
- the award is based on their position at the time the
throw was made, not at the time that the ball went out
of play - watch for that very long overthrow from the
- the award is two bases from the last base legally
touched - if a runner is returning to first base to tag
up on a fly ball, they will still be awarded two bases
which is second base and third base as the last base
that they had legally touched was first base
- The proper mechanics for this situation are to call
“Dead Ball” as soon as the ball goes out of play then
award the bases accordingly. Your award should be swift
- With multiple runners or a long overthrow, if you have
any doubt consult with your fellow Umpire(s) immediately
before the award and get it right the first time.
Batted ball hitting home plate, first base, second base or
- A batted ball remains alive and in play when it
strikes home plate: This is a common misconception -
many, many years ago when a batted ball struck home
plate it was declared a dead ball.
- In the event that a batted ball comes to rest on home
plate, it shall be ruled a fair ball and the plate
umpire shall signal accordingly.
- Remember, the fair/foul lines come to the back point
of home plate so the plate is completely in fair
First or Third Base
- When properly installed, first and third base are
positioned on the diamond completely in fair territory.
A smart Umpire looks around between pitches to ensure
this is always true.
- Once a batted ball strikes first or third base without
having been first touched by a player, the batted ball
shall be ruled a fair ball regardless of where the ball
- Once the ball touches first of third base it does not
have to pass the base, touching the base is all that is
required to make it a fair ball.
- The plate umpire should signal fair ball immediately
once the batted ball strikes the base
- Once a batted ball strikes second base without having
been first touched by a player, the batted ball shall be
ruled a fair ball.
Batter stepping on home plate or mat or directly in front
of home plate or mat.
Stepping on Home Plate or Mat
- the batter is out if any part of their foot is
touching home plate or touching the mat when the bat
contacts the ball
- the ball is dead and runners may not advance on the
Stepping directly in front of Home Plate or Mat
- The batter is out if their foot is completely outside
the lines of the batter’s box and touching the ground
when the bat contacts the ball - therefore if the
batter’s foot is completely in front of home plate their
foot is obviously completely outside the lines of the
- The batter is out if their foot is completely in front
or behind the mat touching the ground when the bat
contacts the ball.
- The ball is dead and runners may not advance on the
Points of Emphasis:
- There is no penalty unless the batter makes contact
with the ball.
- The position of the foot must be judged at the time
the bat makes contact with the ball - if the foot is in
the air and then comes down on the ground after the ball
is hit, there is no penalty.
- With the exception of the foot touching home plate or
touching the mat, the foot must be completely outside
the lines of the batter’s box - touching any part of the
lines is acceptable as the lines are part of the box
- The same penalty applies whether the batted ball is
fair or foul - “Dead Ball” is called as soon as the
batter makes contact with the ball.
Fair ball bouncing out of play or off a defensive player.
When a fair ball bounces out of play, including if
it deflects off a defensive player, the umpire shall
declare “Dead Ball” as soon as the ball goes out of play.
- All runners shall be awarded two bases.
- The award is based on their position at the time of
the pitch - not at the time that the ball went out of
- The award is the same regardless of where the ball
actually goes out of play.
- Be prepared that this rule could actually end up
bringing runners backwards.
- A long rolling ground ball goes out of play and the
batter is already past second base - the batter goes
back to second base.
- Same play, runner starting at first base is already
past third base and on their way to score when the
batted ball goes out of play, the runner is returned to
7. Infield Fly.
Requirements for an Infield Fly:
- Runners on first and second base OR first, second and
- Less than 2 out.
- Not a bunt.
- Not a line drive.
- Can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort
this includes the, pitcher, catcher or any outfielder
positioned in the infield.
What should the umpire do?
- In an infield fly situation, prior to the first pitch
of the at bat, the umpires should give the infield fly
signal to each other. When it becomes apparent that a
batted ball is an infield fly (typically when the ball
reaches its’ highest point and is just on its’ way down)
the plate umpire shall declare “INFIELD FLY, IF FAIR -
THE BATTER IS OUT”
Once an Infield Fly is declared:
- if the hit becomes a foul ball, no penalty, treat like
any other foul ball
- if the hit remains a fair ball
- the batter is out regardless of whether the ball is
caught or not
- the ball remains alive
- the runners may advance at their own risk
- if the fly ball is caught, they must tag up
- if the fly ball is not caught, they can choose to
advance but as the batter has already been declared out
there is no force play
Lead-off (Pitcher’s Circle) - Fast Pitch only.
The Pitcher’s Circle is the area within an 8’ radius of
the pitcher’s plate - the lines are considered within the
The common misconception is that if the ball is thrown
back to the pitcher and he/she has it in his/her position
in the pitcher’s circle before the batter-runner reaches
first base that the batter-runner must stop at first base.
Even though the ball may be in the pitcher’s possession
in the pitcher’s circle, the batter-runner may:
- continue past first base.
- is entitled to run toward second base, as long as
he/she does not stop at first base.
- once the runner makes a stop, he/she must immediately
proceed to the next base or return to his/her base
UNLESS the pitcher makes a play (including a fake throw)
on the runner or another runner.
If the runner stops and simply stands there off the base
while the pitcher has possession of the ball in the
pitcher’s circle and no play is made - “DEAD BALL - RUNNER
IS OUT - LEAD-OFF” If the runner stops and then makes a
move in more than one direction immediately after the stop
while the pitcher has possession of the ball in the
pitcher’s circle and no play is made “DEAD BALL - RUNNER
IS OUT - LEAD-OFF”
Points of Emphasis:
- The pitcher cannot force the first stop by a runner
merely by having possession of the ball in the pitcher’s
circle. Put another way - the runner is allowed one stop
- as soon as he/she stops he/she must make a decision
immediately to either advance or return.
- A play on the runner (including a fake throw)
nullifies any penalty - put another way, every fake
throw allows the runner one more stop.
- Typically an act by an offensive player.
- Also possible to have umpire interference and
- Results in “Dead Ball” being called (exception -
- Results in an out if by an offensive player.
- Common misconception - catcher’s interference is
actually catcher’s obstruction.
- Is an act by a defensive player.
- Results in a delayed dead ball.
- Award is determined at the end of the play (exception
- if the obstructed runner is called out)
- An obstruction call does not entitle the obstructed
runner to keep attempting to advance until played upon.
These two rules require:
- an immediate call when either interference or
obstruction occurs - do not hesitate, these are not the
type of calls to be made after the fact.
- A decisive call
Contact does not always mean interference or obstruction
occurred. There is such a thing as incidental contact - 2
players both unsure of where to go and contact is made.
Rule 8.10(c) states that the runner is not out when more
than one fielder attempts to field a batted ball and the
runner comes in contact with the one who, in the umpire’s
judgment, was not entitled to field the ball.
TIP - when contact occurs and in the umpire’s judgment
that neither interference nor obstruction occurred, make a
“SAFE” signal with no verbal call - shows that you saw it
and you made your decision that no call was necessary.
10. Double Base.
The Double Base is used at first base with the orange
portion in foul territory and the white portion in fair
territory. Referring to 4. above - a batted ball striking
the white/fair portion is declared a fair ball, a batted
ball striking the orange/foul portion is declared a foul
ball - a batted ball striking the centre of the double
base is declared a fair ball as it therefore hits a
portion of the white/fair portion of the base.
The defensive player (typically the first baseman) must
use only the white/fair portion of the base at all times.
(see Exception below)
The offensive player must use only the orange/foul
portion of the base on his/her first attempt at first base
when a play is being made on him/her. This includes when
the batter-runner runs on a dropped third strike. (see
On a ball hit to the outfield with no play being made at
first base, the offensive player may touch either portion
of the base on his/her first attempt at first base.
Once an offensive player has touched the orange/foul
portion of the base on his/her first attempt at first
base, he/she must then use the white/fair portion of the
- when returning to the base after overrunning first
- when taking his/her position prior to the next pitch
- when tagging up on a fly ball
Points of Emphasis:
- the defensive player - when he/she is required to use
the white/fair portion, provided any portion of his/her
foot is touching any portion of the white/fair portion
of the base, he/she is considered to be in contact with
- the offensive player - when he/she is required to use
the orange/foul portion, provided any portion of his/her
foot is touching any portion of the orange/foul portion
of the base, he/she is considered to be in contact with
- once the offensive player has made his/her first
attempt at first base, for simplicity sake the
orange/foul portion of the base no longer exists for
- On any live ball play made from first base foul
territory, the batter-runner and the defensive player
may use either base. When the defensive player uses the
foul portion of the double base, the batter-runner can
run in fair territory and if hit by a throw from the
foul side of first base, it would not be interference
(unless it is an intentional act like throwing up their