MONTGOMERY COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION

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					                            MONTGOMERY COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION

                                      SLOW PITCH SOFTBALL LEAGUE RULES
                                                 Draft 12/13/11

PHILOSOPHY:

It is the philosophy of the Montgomery County Department of Recreation that the Softball League is
to provide the opportunity for every willing participant to join a team, be provided with solid
leadership, a proper learning environment, and an equal chance to play in the practices and games.
 The emphasis shall be on participation, good sportsmanship, and personal development, without
neglecting the value of the skill and benefit of competition.

PLAYING RULES AND REGULATIONS

Leagues:                 Pee Wee (Coach Pitch)       -   Grade 3
                         Rookie (Coach Pitch)        -   Grade 4
                         Midgets                     -   Grades 5-6 (may be separated by grades)
                         Juniors                     -   Grades 7-8 (may be separated by grades)
                         Seniors                     -   Grades 9-12

Teams must have a minimum of 11 registered players and a maximum of 18 registered players.
The League Director reserves the right to require a team to register beyond the maximum or to
place excess players on short-handed teams.

PLAYER ELIGIBILTY:
A player may play on one Montgomery County Recreation Department league team only.

        A.     Any youth who either resides or attends school in Montgomery County is eligible
for registration and will be assigned to a team in accordance with his/her grade level and school
district, pending sufficient registration to form a team and the recruitment of a volunteer coach. .
Non-County residents are eligible to register only if they are part of a private school team
playing in the league, or attend a Montgomery County public school. The non-resident fee
applies in both instances. Persons who attend a private school may participate either with that
school or with the public school area in which they reside.

          1. No more than 4 players from any non-Montgomery County Recreation Department
             league team (including school teams) may play together as a group on a recreational
             team.
                 a. Exception: 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade private school teams may also participate in a
             school sponsored league- the League Director must be notified of any other league
             participation prior to the start of the season. Such teams may be required to play in an
             intermediate division or play up in a grade older division. Failure to notify the League
             Director may result in forfeiture of all games played, or dismissal from the league, without
             refund.
          2. No player will be added to a team roster after the third game of the regular season. Any
             player added after this deadline must be approved by the League Director.
          3. If a youth is 2 or more years older than the grade he/she is enrolled in, he/she must
             move up to the next grade level in the league.
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          4. Players are assigned to an age group by the grade in which they are currently enrolled,
             not their date of birth. Players may not play up more than one grade level from their
             current school grade.
          5. Any player who participates under an assumed name will automatically be suspended
             from all Montgomery County Recreation Department activities for a period of one (1) year
             from the date of the incident. If a team uses a player under an assumed name, in grades
             3-6, that team shall forfeit all games in which the player participated and the coach shall
             be relieved from his duties. For grades 7 and up, that team shall automatically be
             suspended from the League for the remainder of the season and shall forfeit all games in
             which the player participated.

B.        Cutting or releasing players is prohibited. No eligible player will be “cut” or released unless,
          1. the coach feels a player’s safety is in jeopardy because he is physically incapable of
             competing, or;
          2. the player is causing disciplinary problems for the coach and team. The above will hold
             true if a player comes to a game and is not played by the coach. The coach must notify
             the League Director in writing in either case above.

C.        All players must submit a completed registration form, signed Spectator Guidelines form and
          have paid the registration fee BEFORE they can participate in league activities.

D.        Playing Time: Each player must play a minimum of two innings, from start to finish, in the
          field during every game by the end of the 4th inning. If the player does not bat and play in the
          field the required amount of time, the game is declared a forfeit. Coaches are strongly
          encouraged to provide more than the minimum playing requirement for members of their
          team.

E.        Substitution: A withdrawn player may re-enter the game unlimited times. Defensive
          substitutions do not effect the batting order. When a pitcher is removed during an inning,
          she may not pitch again until the next inning.
                 1. No individual pitcher may pitch more than 3 innings per game.

STARTING THE GAME:

          Games are expected to begin promptly. (see Forfeits, B.1) Five (5) minutes before game
          time, coaches will meet with the umpires at home plate. At that time they will:

          1. Introduce each other.

          2. Review the ground rules (specifically out of bounds) and any other questionable rules
             and interpretations.

          3. The home team will supply bases.

          4. Each team will provide one new game ball.

          5. Reinforce the Spectator Guidelines and Coaches and Players behavior expectations.


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THE GAME:

A.        Rules of good sportsmanship will be followed at all times. (see Code of Ethics and
          Spectator Guidelines)

B.        The Official High School Federation Softball Rules shall govern the games of the League
          except rules specifically modified by the Montgomery County Recreation Department
          League.

C.        League structure -shall be decided after the teams are formed. The League Director will
          schedule all games. League structure will depend on the number of teams in each division.

D.        Team uniforms - consists of Montgomery County Recreation T-Shirts. All players must wear
          long pants. Athletic shoes or rubber cleated shoes only; metal spikes are not permitted. No
          jewelry may be worn. Catchers must wear a catcher’s mask, chest protector, leg guards, and
          a throat protector.

E.        Protests: interpretation of League Regulations or Playing Rules will be settled by the team
          managers and umpires at the time the protest occurs. Protests will be accepted only
          regarding player eligibility. Protests must be submitted to the League Director in writing
          within 48 hours after the completion of the game.

D.        Time limit - All regular season league games will be played with a one hour and 30 minute
          time limit, unless the game is completed before that time. When the time limit has been
          reached, the inning must be completed, or the half inning if the Home Team is ahead. After
          1 hour and fifteen minutes the umpire will announce to both coaches "last inning". No new
          inning will begin after this announcement.

E.        Regulation game - is seven (7) innings. A minimum regulation game consists of four (4)
          innings or three and one half (3½) innings if the Home team is ahead. Any game called after
          the minimum regulation number of innings has been played shall be considered a complete
          game.

F.        Run limit/inning - No more than five (5) runs may be scored by one team in a single inning.
          The sides change regardless of the number of outs at the time. This rule is NOT in effect
          during the last designated inning.

G.        Slaughter rule - If a team is ahead by 20 or more runs after the fourth inning, the game shall
          be considered a complete game and ended at that point if the losing coach agrees. If the
          losing coach disagrees, the game may be played to completion or to the time limit,
          whichever comes first.

H.        Tie games - should be continued until the tie is broken unless the game is called due to
          inclement weather or darkness. Tie games will be continued from the point of the tie, as
          rescheduled by the League Director at the earliest possible date, only if it has a bearing on
          the division championship.

I.        Forfeit Time - shall be ten (10) minutes after scheduled game time. A team must have at
          least 7 players present to start and complete a league game. (Forfeits, B.1) If a team forfeits
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          three (3) games during the regular season, it may be dropped from the schedule.

J.        Field Dimensions will be modified as follows:

          Coach Pitch: 30 foot pitching distance and 50 foot base distance.
          Midgets:         30 foot pitching distance and 60 foot base distance.
          Juniors:         40 foot pitching distance and 60 foot base distance.
          Seniors*:        45 foot pitching distance and 60 foot base distance.
          *when using a 12” softball; when using an 11” softball, bases are set at 50’ distance.

          Offense
K.        Teams will use a continuous batting order including all players present at that game. If any
          player (s) arrives after the batting order has been given to the umpire, their names are
          added to the bottom of the batting order. If a player is injured and is unable to keep playing,
          the player will be skipped in the batting order.

L.        Bunting - No bunting. Bunting attempts are an automatic out.

M.        Stealing - No stealing or leading. A runner cannot leave a base until the ball is hit. If a
          runner leaves before the ball is hit, the runner is out.

N.        Sliding – Coach Pitch, Midgets – No sliding.
          Juniors, Seniors – Sliding is permitted. No intentional roughness or "take-out plays." The
          runner must slide coming to home plate whenever there is the potential for a play to be
          made at the plate. If a player fails to slide to avoid a collision at any base, or when there is a
          potential play at home plate, the runner is called out and will be ejected.

O.        There is no warning for "throwing", "dropping", or "slinging" the bat. It is an automatic out.
          Base runner(s) must return to their original base.

P.        Walks – Coach Pitch only: swinging strikes (a swing and a miss) only are called. Each batter
          receives up to eight (8) pitches to hit a fair ball. The batter is not out on the third foul ball
          unless the ball is caught. Batter receives one additional pitch if the last pitch is not in the
          strike zone. If the eighth pitch is fouled off, the batter is out. A tipped ball is a foul ball.

        Defense
        Ten (10) players on the playing field at one time. At least four (4) players must play in the
outfield, 15 ft. beyond the baselines and bases in fair territory. Once the ball is hit they may assume
any position in the field. No infielder can play closer to home plate than the pitcher. Outfielders
can not make the initial put out at a base.

Q.        Infield Fly rule - Coach Pitch, Midgets – No infield fly rule.
          Juniors, Seniors – Infield fly rule applies.

R.        The dropped third-strike rule - shall not apply at any time (if ball lands foul with 2 strikes, ball
          not out).

S.        Time shall be called and the ball will become dead when it reaches the 8-foot radius of the
          pitcher's rubber (pitcher's mound) and is held by a defensive player.* If runners are
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          proceeding to another base at the time the ball reaches the pitcher's mound they must be
          more than halfway to advance to the next base. Otherwise, they must go back to the
          previous base.
          * The defensive player can be anyone on the field. A team does not have to designate a
          player to be the pitcher.

          Pitching
          The league uses an 11” softball in all divisions except Seniors who use a 12” softball.

T.        A coach is allowed only one trip per inning, per pitcher, to the mound. On the second trip,
          the coach must replace the pitcher. The coach cannot go to the mound a second time while
          the same batter is still at the plate.

U.        The pitcher - shall start each pitch with one foot on the pitcher’s plate. The umpire can
          designate the position of the pitcher’s plate if one is not available. (See Rule 6 of the High
          School Rule Book.) The pitcher may take one step towards home plate; one foot must
          remain in contact with the pitcher's rubber at the time of the pitch.

V.        The Pitch –
          1. Must be delivered with an arc, minimum of six (6) feet and a maximum of ten (10) feet.
          2. Flat pitches will be called balls unless swung at by the batter. Batters are encouraged to
             swing. Pitches are not subject to appeal by coaches.
          3. The ball must be delivered at a slow pitch speed. Speed shall be determined by the
             home plate umpire and shall not be disputed.
          4. Fast pitches are illegal pitches and will be called balls unless swung at by the batter.

W.        Ejections/Suspensions –

          1. Any player, coach, or spectator who is ejected from a game is automatically banned from
             participation in the following played game. Any player, coach, or spectator who is
             ejected from a second game is automatically banned from participation for the remaining
             games of the season and must schedule and attend a meeting with the League Director
             before being reinstated to Montgomery County Recreation Department activities. (see
             Disciplinary Policy, F.1-2.)

          2. A spectator who is ejected from a game by an official, or who approaches an official in a
             negative manner after the conclusion of a league game, shall be suspended for at least
             two (2) additional games (the next league games played by that team). (see Disciplinary
             Policy, F.1-2.)

          3. If the head coach present at the game where a spectator has been ejected was warned
             by the official(s) about the individual’s behavior, that coach shall be suspended for at
             least one (1) game (the next league game played by that team). When such action is
             taken, the coach is also required to schedule and attend a meeting with the league
             director before he/she can be return to any Montgomery County Recreation Department
             activities. (see Disciplinary Policy, F.1-2.)

FORFEITS:

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A.        Use of ineligible players - A team that used in a game or games of this League, a player
          who, by these league rules and regulations, is ineligible for competition, shall forfeit each
          game in which the ineligible player was used.

B.        Forfeits declared by Umpire - The Umpire-in-Chief shall declare a game forfeited by a team
          that:
          1. Does not field a team of seven (7) players within ten (10) minutes after the scheduled
             starting time of a game.
          2. Commits repeated, serious or flagrant violations of the playing rules, League rules and
             regulations.

AWARDS:

A.        The MCRD team with the best won/lost record at the end of regular league play will receive
          the following:
          3rd-4th Grades:  Individual Participation Patches
          5th-6th Grades:  Division Winner Patches
          7th-12th Grades: Division Winner Trophies or Plaques

B.        In the case of teams ending the season with a tied record, the team that won during regular
          league play in head-to-head competition will be declared the winner. If the teams are still
          tied, the team with the higher run differential in the game(s) between the tied teams will be
          declared the winner.

C.        There will be no post season playoffs for Montgomery County Department of Recreation
          teams.

CANCELLATIONS:

A.        In the event of inclement weather on the day of a practice or game, coaches, officials,
          players and staff should call 240/777-6889. A recorded message will announce practice
          and/or game cancellations. The recording will be available after 3:00 p.m. weekdays and
          after 7:30 a.m. on weekends. If the recording has no announcement by your scheduled
          practice or game time, you should report to the field at the scheduled time. The coach and
          umpire may determine whether the field is playable. Standing water on the field renders a
          field unplayable.

B.        Games cancelled due to inclement weather or field conditions will be re-scheduled as time
          and available fields allow. The League Director will determine when rain-out games are to be
          played. Failure to comply may result in forfeiture by one or both teams.

C.        A rained-out game in progress will be re-scheduled providing it did not complete the
          minimum regulation number of innings. The game resumes at the point where it left off when
          called by the umpire.

TEAM MANAGER RESPONSIBILITIES:
There shall be on record with the Department League Director, the name of at least one adult team
coach. No adult shall represent more than one team in a division. The team coach shall:

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A.        Be responsible for the accuracy of all records submitted to the League Director.

B.        Accept joint responsibility with players and parent/guardian for the eligibility of each player.

C.        It is the responsibility of the team managers to control their players and spectators before,
          during, and after the game. It is suggested that the team manager request parental
          assistance when necessary. (see The Game, W.1-3)

D.        Have his or her starting line-up prepared for the opposing coach prior to the start of the
          game and have a designated official scorer if home team.

E.        The Home Team is responsible for keeping the Official scorebook. Scorebooks must be kept
          accurately. Opposing coaches, umpires, or the League Director have the right to inspect
          score sheets at any time.
                 Official scorekeeper will:
                 notify scorekeeper on opposing team of all substitutions;
                 confirm the game score with opponent’s scorekeeper after each half (1/2) inning.

F.        The Recreation Department will provide at least 1½ hours at a practice facility per week.
          The team manager may practice his team a maximum of two (2) days per week, unless
          given specific permission by the League Director.

G.        Reporting scores - Umpires report the scores in all age groups except:
          3rd & 4th grade only- Winning team coaches are responsible for reporting the score of the
          games within 48 hours to the League Director.

H.        Be present at all games and practices or have a designated qualified adult present.

I.        There will be no use of tobacco products or profane language at the game or practice site by
          the team manager(s), coaches or players on the bench, playing area, or in the coach’s box.

DISCIPLINARY POLICY

A.        Alcohol - is not permitted at any practice or game site by coaches, players, or spectators. If
          alcohol is present, umpires are directed to have it removed from the site immediately.
          Failure to comply with this rule will result in forfeiture to the opposing team.

B.        Intentional Roughness - there shall be no intentional roughness on the part of any player
          during the course of a game. Penalty: If minor infraction, and first offense - a warning shall
          be issued by the umpire to the offending player’s manager. If major infraction, or second
          offense of a minor infraction - immediate ejection of the offender from the game.

C.        Unsportsmanlike conduct – there shall be no unsportsmanlike behavior, including but not
          limited to, gestures, talk, language, taunting, baiting or profanity. Penalty: If minor
          infraction, and first offense during a game - a warning shall be issued by the umpire to the
          manager of the offending team. If major infraction, or second minor infraction - immediate
          ejection of the offender from the game.
                  There shall be no bickering or complaining about an umpire’s decision. Penalty:
          Warning, then if continued, ejection of the offender from the game. If the violation is of a
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          team nature, after appropriate warning from the umpire, the game shall be forfeited to the
          opposing team. Specific concerns about the umpire’s professionalism (attire, timeliness,
          attitude) or knowledge of the game should be reported to the League Director.

D.        Spectator Behavior -it shall be the manager’s duty to control the spectators supporting his
          team. If such spectators cannot be controlled, and act so as to defeat the purpose of the
          league, or interfere with the proper conduct of the game, the umpire shall first warn the
          manager, and, if the situation is not corrected, the umpire shall declare the game a forfeit to
          the opposing team. (see The Game, W.3)

E.        Adult Supervision -there shall be at all times during any scheduled team practice or game,
          one adult 21 years or older present with the team. This adult shall be responsible for the
          management and conduct of each team participating. If the ejection from a game of an
          adult or adults shall cause a violation of this requirement, the game shall be declared a
          forfeit to the opposing team.

F.        Ejections/Suspensions –
          1. The umpire shall submit a written report concerning any and all ejection of players,
             managers, coaches, or spectators to the League Director within twenty-four (24) hours.
             A second such ejection of any one individual in any one season shall require that
             individual to miss any remaining games. (see The Game, W.1-3.)

          2. A manager, coach, player, or spectator who is ejected from a game, or who has been
             suspended by action of the League Director, shall, before, during and immediately
             following the game remain at least 100 yards from the playing area during the term of
             his/her suspension. (see The Game, W.1-3.)

APPEAL PROCESS:

     A. Any protest decision on rules interpretation by the League Director may be appealed by
        either team manager. This appeal shall be submitted in writing and shall be in the
        possession of the League Director or postmarked within 72 hours of the protest decision.

     B. Any request for appeal of Disciplinary action must be submitted in writing to the League
        Director within 72 hours of notification of the disciplinary action. A separate policy covers the
        Appeal Process, a copy of which may be obtained from the League Director. The appeal
        shall be acted upon by a three member APPEALS COMMITTEE.




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                                                        8
                                   Montgomery County Department of Recreation

                                                Coaches Code of Ethics



It shall be the duty of each Coach to:

1.        Read, sign, and return Coaches Code of Ethics to the League Director.

2.    Comply with the philosophy, policies and procedures of Montgomery County Department of
Recreation. Respect all employees and volunteers involved in the program. Remember that each
coach is a representative of the Recreation Department.

3.     Remember to encourage and compliment players when they show improvement, play with
extra effort, or simply need kind words. Do not unduly criticize players in front of spectators or other
players. Criticism should be constructive in nature.

4.        Abide by a doctor's decision in all matters of players health, injuries, and ability to play.

5.     Not allow a player to enter or re-enter a game if there is any doubt as to the seriousness of
an injury.

6.        Not use tobacco related products while in the presence of players.

7.    Refrain from using profanity and abusive language while acting on behalf of the Recreation
Department as a volunteer coach.

8.     Never use any physical means against spectators, players, officials, or other coaches.
Refrain from criticizing any of the above verbally or by gesture.

9.     Accept decisions of officials as being fair and performed to the best of their ability. A coach
will never go onto the court while the game is in progress to dispute a call. Any questions or rule
interpretations should be handled during time-outs/between quarters in a proper manner.

10.       Not consume alcoholic beverages and/or appear under the influence of same.

11.  Be responsible for ensuring that players on his/her team and team spectators are aware of
number 7, 8, 9 and 10 above.

12.       If a coach is ejected, he/she must sit out the following game.

13.   Remember that one of our primary goals is to teach our players good sportsmanship.
_______________________________________              ____________________________________
Signature                                            Date

_____________________________________                       ____________________________________
PRINT NAME                                                  TEAM NAME/GRADE

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