For a complete copy of the 2021 ECRSA Operations Manual click here.
Quick Look: ECRSA LEAGUE RULES at a glance
The ECRSA rules document is a set of guidelines that indicates how games are to be played during ECRSA regular season and tournament play, as well as providing guidance on how administrative and disciplinary matters are to be dealt with. In an event where there is a matter not covered by these guidelines, the ECRSA shall defer, at the discretion of the supervising umpire, to SPN rules and regulations to determine the outcome of a play or disagreement.
This is a co-ed league; there are no gender specific rules.
Field of Play
- ECRSA is responsible for providing a safety bag, mat, and two (2) bases.
- If one of the base straps or spikes has been damaged and is not functional, the umpire and team captains shall confer and agree that there will be one play only at the base in question.
- The home team is determined by league-issued schedule.
- Each team member must wear league-provided team jerseys or, failing that, make effort to wear the same color as the rest of the team.
ECRSA generally endorses the ASA standard for softball bats (2004, 2008, and 2013), abides by the latest ASA banned bat listings, and also approves of the use of new thumbprint USSSA (u-trip) bats. However, the league recognizes the need to allow use of older bats which may not bear the ASA 2004 (or other date) stamp. The league also recognizes that, even on certified bats, an ASA stamp can (and eventually will) wear off. As such, teams are permitted to use ASA certified (stamped) bats and bats that are not stamped with the following understanding: if an umpire deems a bat to be doctored, damaged or otherwise suspect, at the request of a team captain or otherwise, the bat may be removed from play.
- Commitment line will be twenty (20) feet from home Once player crosses this line they may not return to third base. The safety line follows first base line to home plate to back stop, creating what is subsequently referred to as a safety zone.
- A line may be placed two bat lengths (apx. 6 ) Behind the pitcher’s rubber, measuring from the rubber, in a north-south direction. This is the maximum distance from home plate that a pitcher may begin his or her delivery.
Unless otherwise dictated and agreed to based on field dimensions:
- home to first 65 feet
- home to second 91 feet 10 inches
- home to third 65 feet
- All games are to be seven innings in length.
- All seven (7) inning games — max five (5) run rule per inning in effect until the seventh (7th) inning, which is an “open” inning. A 15-run mercy rule is in effect after five (5) complete innings.
- There is a maximum 10-minute grace period within which a game must Failure to do so will result in a forfeit for the team that is unable to start on time. This applies to all games throughout the year.
- The league executive will strive to make a call on weather-related cancellations prior to the start of play on game. If weather or daylight conditions change, the two captains playing against each other reserve, in consultation with the umpire, the right to decide if the game is to be played or not. Four (4) complete innings may constitute a completed game.
- Maximum of ten (10) players on field; positionally, a team is required only to have a pitcher and a catcher.
- The minimum number of players required to field a team is eight (8).
- Home run rule: +2. One team may not hit more than two home runs total greater than the other team’s total home runs. If a team hits a “third” home run ahead of the opposing team, it will result in the batter being called out. Runners do not advance.
- No metal ball cleats. Players caught using metal cleats will be automatically ejected from the game and, as that individual has been removed from the game and, thus, the batting order, each time that person is due to hit, it will be recorded as an out.
- Infield fly rule is in effect at the discretion of the umpire.
- If a pitched ball touches any part of the plate or the mat, it is a strike. The mat must be positioned flush to home plate.
- If there are any incidents involving a player displaying or behaving with unsportsmanlike or otherwise inappropriate behaviour reported to the league executive in writing by a team captain or an umpire, that individual may be called before the league captains to discuss the situation and face any and all disciplinary measures deemed appropriate without notice.
- The pitcher must make contact with the rubber during their delivery, and must begin delivery from the rubber up to two bat-lengths or six feet in a north-south direction behind the pitching rubber.
- Pitchers, catchers, other fielders and batters may choose whether or not they wear a mask/helmet while playing, however the ECRSA strongly encourages their use.
- Sliding is permitted at all bases except home plate and first. Any slides at home plate or first base will be an automatic out.
- A player running home must run across the safety line. Touching the plate or mat will result in an automatic out.
- On a play at home plate:
- the catcher must catch the ball and touch home plate, not the mat, to record an out.
- if the catcher has any part of their foot/body on the plate and the mat, the runner is out.
- the catcher may only tag a runner to make an out at home outside of the “safety zone” between the commitment line and the safety line at home. Inside that zone, a tagged runner is safely awarded home plate.
- If an injury occurs, the umpire in consultation with team captains will decide on if a player is removed from the lineup a team does not have to take an “out” when that player is due to hit, they will simply be scratched off the batting order.
- A team captain may twice per game appeal a play when a call is in dispute. If this occurs, the umpire will call both team captains to discuss the play, and to decide a ruling.
- There is no minimum number of innings that a player must play in the field in order to be eligible to play (as part of the batting order) during a game.
- An overthrow that goes out of bounds from any location on the field shall result in base runners being awarded the base they are going to plus one additional base.
- A player who is substituted for may not re-enter a game.
- A batter who has just become a runner may take a courtesy runner at any base. There is no limit to the number of courtesy runners that may be used during a game.
- Courtesy runners entering a game are to be last possible out in the line up.
- In the event there is a question over a game play ruling that is not made clear in the ECRSA’s house rules, the league shall default to the SPN ruling on the matter at the umpire’s discretion.
Alcohol / Drugs
- There is to be no alcohol or drugs consumed on or off the field of play, if any player is reported to the ECRSA executive for consumption of or in possession of clearly marked alcohol/drugs that player will receive a warning for a first offence; for a second offence, the player will be referred to the league executive for a hearing and may be subject to discipline/suspension; the third such offence may result in the player being banned for the season.
- Additionally, players are expected to abide by regulations set out by the landlords of the fields which the ECRSA uses. Any player reported violating these rules will be subject to the warning/meeting/banning process outlined above.
Physical abuse, excessive foul language and/or verbal abuse, or behaviour deemed to be otherwise inappropriate that is reported by the umpire or a team captain to the league executive will result in a hearing with any player(s) involved for consideration of supplemental discipline.
- Players must be 19 years of age in order to Playing with an underage player results in the forfeit of any games in which the underage individual has played. Note: players turning 19 during a season may be placed on a roster before turning 19, but are not eligible to play until they turn 19 years of age.
- A team caught with an ineligible player will forfeit all games up to the point where the infraction was noted.