USHSL Season Rules

For tournament rules, see the Tournament \ Rules page.

I. League Rules

1. During U.S. House Softball League REGULAR SEASON games, teams are encouraged to use these as de facto game rules when an agreement on a divergence from the rules cannot be met between both coaches. Unless both teams decide otherwise, there are no umpires and no called balls and strikes in the regular season.

At the end of the day, teams just want to be able to play and we are out there to have fun. Coaches are encouraged to come to an arrangement to allow the games to proceed, even if that means agreeing not to report the results of the game.

2. Individuals participating in the U.S. House Softball League do so at their own risk. The league is not responsible for injuries or property damage incurred during participation. Coaches of each team are responsible for making all participants aware of this before they commit to play.

3. On Monday, April 1st, teams can begin scheduling games. The League will send out an e-mail to all coaches with e-mail addresses for every coach in the League. You can use these to ask other teams to schedule games. However, after initial scheduling and during the season, coaches are encouraged to use the Scheduling Message Board to ask for games during the week and not inundate everyone with daily mass emails. REMEMBER, TEAMS MUST RECORD RESULTS FROM AT LEAST 10 GAMES TO BE ELIGIBLE TO PLAY IN THE TOURNAMENT.

4. Rules for the regular season shall remain unchanged until the conclusion of each season unless otherwise agreed to by a majority of teams in the league. Any and all rule changes shall take place between the conclusion of one season and the opening day of the next season.

II. Team Responsibilities

1. Each team is responsible for providing its own playing field and equipment. The team that provides the playing field will be the "Home" team, unless otherwise agreed upon by the coaches.

The "Home" team is responsible for securing a "playable" field for game time. If the visiting team has a viable permitted field and the "Home" team has chosen not to play there and cannot find or secure a playable field by agreed to game time, the "Home" team will forfeit.

If the home team secures a field to which the visiting team is unable to get people to, the game will be removed from the schedule, and a forfeit will not be applied to either team.

2. Teams are permitted to use strike mats if agreed to by both coaches. These are the guidelines coaches should use if they choose to do so:

Strike Mat Dimensions

A. Each batter will start out with a one ball-one strike count. The calling of additional balls and strikes will be done by the home plate umpire (a member of the team at-bat) with the use of a pitching mat behind home plate. A strike will be any pitch, within a six-foot minimum and 12-foot maximum arc, which lands on any portion of the mat without hitting any portion of home plate.

Any pitch that 1) does not hit any portion of the mat, 2) hits any portion of home plate, or 3) does not have a 6-12-foot arc, will be called a ball by the home plate umpire. An illegal pitch is one that does not have a minimum of a 6-foot arc, and a maximum of a 12-foot arc.

Note : If a batter puts (or attempts to put) a ball in play that does not have the required 6-12-foot arc, the result of the batter's action will stand (strike, foul, home run, single, etc.).

B . Batters will be called out on strikes when the strike count reaches three. Batters will have one courtesy foul ball with two strikes and will be out on the next foul ball or strike. Walks will be issued to any batter attaining four balls. If with two (2) outs a male batter is walked, and the next batter in the batting order is female, the female batter has the option of either taking a walk or hitting. If the female chooses to hit instead of taking the intentional walk, the male batter only gets 1st base. A female batter may not automatically receive a walk if there are less than two outs.

If a player has two strikes but a courtesy foul remaining, and he/she tips a foul ball into the catcher's glove it is an out.

3. It is the responsibility of the winning team to record the results of a game through their team page on this site. Teams are prohibited from canceling on their scheduled opponent and playing another game the same night. Teams doing so will take a forfeit for their original game.

4. Each team is responsible for completing and reporting all games by midnight on Thursday, August 28th, 2013. This includes making up all rain outs and postponements. A game is considered a regulation game after the completion of four innings in case a game should be concluded due to weather or darkness.

III. Forfeit Policy

1. Coaches must have notified their opponents prior to 2pm on game day that there could be an issue fielding a team, and must notify that they are canceling no later than 4pm on game day. If your team does not give your opponent a heads up but cancels by 4pm, that will still be counted as a forfeit if they choose to enforce it.

2. Unless otherwise agreed to, official game times are considered to be 6:30pm. After a 15-minute grace period at 6:45pm, if teams have 7 men and 3 women present, the game must begin. At 7pm, a half hour after the scheduled game time, if a team does not have a minimum of 8 players present (3 being females), a forfeit is in order.

3. Weather conditions do not apply to this policy. When there is rain in the forecast, the coaches must make a decision on whether to continue or not - the notification policy does not apply here and no team shall be penalized for canceling a game due to adverse weather conditions regardless of any previous discussions leading up to the scheduled start time.

4. All protests must be registered with the league no later than 2 days after the game. Please keep a record and submit any contacts between the teams to the league at this time as verification that notification was made in a timely manner.

5. Forfeited games should be recorded as 7-0. For the purposes of tournament eligibility, the forfeiting team will receive a loss in the standings, but the loss does not count towards the 10 minimum games played requirement for the tournament.

IV. GAME FORMAT / PLAY

1. The team at bat will provide first and third base coaches. These coaches will serve as umpires, and their decisions are final. Any team that chooses not to field a first or third base coach at any point in the game gives the fielding team authority to call plays at 1st and 3rd.

2. Games will consist of 7 innings. The completion of 4 full innings is required for the game to be considered final. If the game is interrupted by darkness, rain, or any other event at any time after the completion of 4 full innings, the score will revert to the last full inning played

If a game is called for rain, darkness, or any other reason before the completion of 4 full innings, the game will be rescheduled and replayed from the beginning.

3. No Bunts

4. Sliding is allowed provided it is used only to avoid a tag and/or collision.

5. No metal cleats

6. Baseball bats are not allowed

7. Only ASA approved bats are allowed.

8. Base paths should be 65', and the pitcher's mound should be 45-50 feet.

V. PLAYERS and SUBSTITUTES

1. Each team will field a minimum of 8 players, and a maximum of 10 players. Of those 8 positions, one must be a pitcher and a catcher. A team playing with 9 or fewer players must designate one slot in the batting order as an empty one, and take an automatic out each time it comes up in the batting order.

At least 3 fielders must be women. Failure to field at least 3 women will result in a forfeit. If during the course of play a female player is injured and there is no female substitute, the game may continue with an out being given in that batting slot, and down 1 player on defense.

2. A regular batting lineup will consist of eleven players - 10 fielders and an extra hitter.

a. At no time during the game may a player change slots in the batting order.

b. The same 3 slots assigned to women in the order will remain female slots throughout the game. Any additional slots added for women will also remain the same if both teams agree to more than 11 batters as outlined below.

c. If both teams agree to bat more than eleven players, the male to female ratio must remain at least two males to one female when adding to the 8 males and 3 females. for each player after the 11th player (ex. 12 batters - 8 male, 4 female; 13 batters -9 male, 4 female; 14 batters -9 male, 5 female; 15 batters- 10 male, 5 female)

VI. LEAGUE DISPUTES

1. Any disputes should be reported to the League via e-mail (housesoftball@gmail.com) no later than 2 days after the game. Any unresolved situations will be discussed and voted on by the League Commissioners. All rulings are final.

VII. TOURNAMENT

1. The top 44 teams in the standings at midnight on August 29th will advance to the League Tournament on September 12th. The Tournament will be seeded based on those rankings. In the event of a tie, the team with the better winning percentage will be seeded higher.

2. If a tournament eligible team is unable to attend the tournament, the team to fill the empty spot will be the next tournament eligible team in the regular season rankings. The same rules and conditions of tournament eligibility will apply to this team. The tournament seeds of all teams will then be adjusted as necessary to account for teams unable to attend.

3. In order to be eligible for the playoffs, each team must have their rosters entered on their team pages (max. of 25) by July 31st. These rosters are final, and any players found on other tournament rosters will result in a forfeit by both teams.

4. Teams will be limited during tournament games to 3 homeruns per team. After the third home run, each additional home run will count as an out. Once both teams reach three homeruns, each team will be allowed an additional homerun until both teams have the same amount. Any homeruns in excess of that will continue to result in an out.

5. Teams must record 10 games to be eligible for tournament play (forfeits not included).

6. For full tournament rules, visit: http://www.housesoftball.com/Tournament/Rules

If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at housesoftball@gmail.com.