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CSL Softball Rules

CSL reserves the right to make rule changes.  In the event of a rule change they will be communicated by e-mail to all registered players.


CSL softball is played with a 12 inch regulation size softball.  All Bats must be NSA approved.




Team Composition


There is no maximum number of players on a team roster or batting lineup. Each team will have a minimum of 3 female and no more than 7 male players in the field. All rostered players playing in the game must bat. Teams may play with fewer women (but must have a minimum of 6 field players to start the game, 5 males and one female. Should teams play with fewer than 3 female field players, they must leave the missing player’s position unfilled (a team with a missing female cannot fill that position with a male). There is no required number of males/females in the infield or outfield. 


Batting Order


The batting order will be a minimum ratio of 1 female to 3 male (i.e. m, m, m, f, m, m, m, f), taking into account the end of the batting order.  No other variations of the batting order (of a less frequent female ratio) will be allowed.  Female players may rotate through the lineup, only if there are too few females to satisfy the male/female ratio requirement above. Female players must rotate in order when filling-in empty female positions in the batting lineup All female players must bat before a male player (or another female player) can bat a second time.  In the event there are too few females on the roster to bat and run the bases (e.g. 7 males and 2 females in the batting order). With all female players on base and a female due up to bat the batting team may elect to remove a player from the base closest to scoring (who will then come in to bat) or surrender an out for the female space in the batting order.


Pinch Runner/Batter


In the event of injury and/or emergency, which renders a player unable to bat/run or forces them to leave the game, the last player (of the same gender) making an at-bat out will fill in as the pinch runner or batter for the injured/absent player.




CSL Softball will be played on a typical softball sized field.    Please note that catchers must remain stationary until the batter has made contact with the ball. All other field players must not advance toward home any closer to home than an imaginary line drawn from first base to third base until the batter has made contact with the ball. The pitcher will not be allowed to advance toward home any further than the completion of their standard pitching motion until the batter has made contact with the ball. If it is determined that the illegal advancement of a defensive player results in a strike or out the pitch or play will be redone.


Safety Bases & Runner Safety


A ‘safety base’ will be placed beside and outside first base and home plate.  The runner must run to the safety base for any play at first.  If the runner runs toward the inner base, that runner will automatically be out, unless rounding the base due to no play happening at first.  Conversely, if the fielder encroaches on the safety base, the runner is automatically safe. Umpire Discretion will be used in final decision


Defensive players must leave an opening to base for runners to approach.  If a defensive player is blocking a base in a close play or when a a player is rounding a base, the umpire may rule the offensive player safe if the offensive player must slow down or move to avoid contact with the defensive player.  Offensive players must avoid contact when running bases.  Offensive players must mainain contact with ground while running bases (no hurdling, jumping, etc.).


Game Play


Games are scheduled for 6 innings, or one full hour.  Game play may extend past 6 innings, but teams may not play past the starting time of the next game.  Games may end in a tie during the regular season.


Extra Innings: In the interest of time, playoff games (or regular season games at both captains discretion) ending in a tie after 45 minutes of play or 6 innings will go into extra innings in the following format. The last batter for either team will begin the inning as a runner on second base. Beginning in the 8th and further innings, if the game is still tied each batting team will begin with the last batter as a runner on third base.


Players begin with a 1 ball, 1 strike count.


Bunting is not permitted.


The strike zone will be a strike plate placed directly behind home plate. The ball must land on home plate, on the strike plate, or be swung at to be called a strike.  Ball must travel over the batters head and go no higher than 10 feet to be a legal pitch.


Batter is out if a foul ball is hit with 2 strikes.


A foul ball that is hit above their head and caught is an out.  A foul tip that does not travel above their head and caught is a strike.


A foul ball occurs when:


a) An untouched ball passes either first or third base and is foul.  If the ball is in foul territory after it passes beyond first or third base, it is     foul.  If the ball touches either first or third base, it is fair regardless of where it ends up.  Balls may start fair then go foul, but only if no       player has touched it first. 

b )When a ball comes to a complete stop in foul territory, without a player touching it.

    If a player touches a ball in foul territory, it’s foul.  If a player is in fair territory, and reaches into foul territory, the ball is foul.  A ball that       is on the line is fair.

c) If the ball bounces off the catcher (in foul territory), the ball is foul.


A walk is awarded after three balls have been pitched (you start with 1 ball, 1 strike).  If a male player is walked and a female player immediately follows, she has the option to take the walk or bat, regardless of the number of players being on base.  The male player in this scenario regardless of the option of the female player will take second base.


When applicable no more than 2 home runs (over the fence) per game.  Any home run after this will result in an out.


When over-running first (safety) base, the runner must not appear to try and advance to second base otherwise they are eligible to be tagged out.  First base is the only base that may be over run.


If playing on a grass field during wet conditions, an overrun rule may be put into effect on all bases.


On an over throw of first or third base, the runner may earn up to one base.  However, the runner is still eligible to be thrown or tagged out.


Leading and stealing bases are not permitted.


The fielder must control the ball to complete an out.


An out occurs when:


a) The ball beats the runner to a base, and is controlled by the baseman.

b) A completed catch by the fielder before the ball touches the ground.

c) Batter hits a foul ball with 2 strikes.

d) Batter incurs a 3rd strike.


In force out situations, on the third out, no run counts.


When a fielder throws his glove at a batted ball, it is a violation. There is no penalty if the glove does not make contact with the ball but if the glove makes contact, all runners, including the batter are awarded three bases.


Play may continue until all base runners are stationary on bases or the lead most runner has been force back towards their base, or the umpire calls ‘Time’.  After the umpire calls time, the next batter is up, and the pitcher should prepare to pitch.


An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule.

When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare "Infield Fly" for the benefit of the runners. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare Infield Fly, if Fair.

The ball is live and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. If the hit becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul.

If a declared Infield Fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball. If a declared Infield Fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an Infield Fly.

(Infield Fly) Comment: On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether the ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infielder, not by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the base lines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpires judgment, the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder. The infield fly is in no sense to be considered an appeal play. The umpires judgment must govern, and the decision should be made immediately.  When an infield fly rule is called, runners may advance at their own risk.


Sliding must be feet first.  Head first slides will be considered an out unless diving back to a base.  (Umpire discretion)


In the event of a slide at home plate the runner must hit the white plate to be considered safe. However the runner may use the orange base when they choose not to slide and there is a play at the plate.


Umpires are instructed to talk only with CSL staff and team captains.  Casual chatting with the ump is allowed, but any player yelling at the ump will be ejected from the game, and the player will be asked to leave the facility.  The umpire has wide latitude to handle unruly teams as he/she sees fit.


Intentional yelling at the opposing team’s players during an active play can result in an automatic call decided by the umpire.  The umpire has the option to award player being safe at base, or automatic run if warranted.


No metal spikes or cleats.  Only rubber spikes are allowed.


A team that does not have enough players to start after 10 minutes from the scheduled start time will forfeit 5 runs and 2 innings.  After 20 minutes the game is considered a forfeit loss and the present team will be given a 10-0 win.  If a team shows up 20 minutes after scheduled start time, the two teams may play for the remaining time; however the forfeit will have already taken place.


Teams must have line ups submitted and be ready to take the field within 5 minutes after the preceding game has ended.


A game may be called complete after 5 full innings have been played.


Mercy rule:  If a team is losing by 20 or more runs at the bottom of the 3rd inning, 15 or more runs at the bottom of the 4th inning, or 10 or more runs at the bottom of the 5th inning, the umpire will consult the captain of the losing team.  If the losing team would like to continue to play, play will resume with no further runs counting, provided play doesn’t extend past the one-hour time limit.


Run Rule – 9 runs per inning


The referee decision is final. 






CSL will provide a staff member on-site to assist players with any problems or questions they may have.


If your team forfeits a match during the season, the following rules apply:


First Offense: Loss of game.


Second Offense: Loss of game and staff reserves the right to remove team from playoffs.


Third Offense: Removal from the league.


Any team that forfeits more than once also forfeits any guarantee or right to a certain number of guaranteed games.

If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, we encourage you to email the league manager so as to help us schedule your opponent a game.


Teams may play more than one match per day, and/or play matches on days/nights other than your regularly scheduled league day/night.  
CSL reserves the right to schedule playoff games on days other than your regularly scheduled league night.


Any questions regarding rules, policies, or eligibility must be addressed before the start of the game. 




The updated standings will be posted weekly, displaying each teams rank within its skill level.




Playoffs are single-elimination. Playoffs may take up to two weeks for completion.




In order to participate in the league, each participant must sign the team waiver. Waivers are provided and must be completed and handed in no later than the first night of play. Players not present the first week of play will still be required to sign a waiver with our staff before participating. These waivers will also serve as your final roster.




Any protest made during a game or after a game will NOT be considered a formal protest.  A formal protest may be filed before a game if an opposing player’s eligibility is in question. The player in question will be required to provide his/her player information (ID) in person to a CSL staff member prior to the start of the game. This qualifies as an official protest and only applies to the playoffs. The game will then be played in its entirety as scheduled. Teams will be notified of all rulings on the identified eligibility discrepancy by the following business day – decisions will not be made on site. If the protest is proven to be legitimate, it will result in the forfeiture of the game in question. Games subsequent to the protested game may be rescheduled.
The above procedure will also apply for any other “logged” protests. All protest need to happen prior to any match/game starting, otherwise the match/game will stand as a legal match. All rulings by CSL staff are considered final. Substitutes are allowed during the regular season, but only paid rostered players are allowed for the playoffs.  Any player(s) who has a season ending medical condition, moves away, or has another circumstance deem able for a substitute player must be approved by sending a formal email to sports@playcsl.com.




The idea of CSL is to have fun. We hope that all participants keep that in mind when becoming involved. Although the games may become intense, you still can be competitive while maintaining good sportsmanship. With this said, any behavior deemed unacceptable by staff may result in suspension and/or ejection from a game or the league.


To coordinate and run the league, our refs and/or staff will be available at all times to help the league run as smoothly as possible. If you have questions regarding schedules, policies, rule interpretations, directions to the bar, etc. please ask or call our office.




Leagues may be cancelled due to existing weather conditions, dangerous or unplayable field conditions, facility constraints, scheduling conflicts, etc. CSL staff makes every effort to play all scheduled games, thus we will not cancel games unless absolutely necessary. Therefore, if you are calling concerning a decision on a cancellation, remember we will not have an answer until close to the start of the league.


If the league is cancelled, CSL staff will post all notices on social media sites (Facebook/Twitter).  CSL will then email/text all of the captains if possible. If a league is cancelled on site, CSL staff will attempt to contact those teams still scheduled to play the remainder of the league day/night. Depending on the time of cancellation, some teams will have to be notified on site. In extreme circumstances, CSL reserves the right to run a shortened season without a refund or schedule matches on days and/or locations other than our regularly scheduled league day/night/location.