"Fast – Track"
Junior Games Pathway Fast – Track Playing Rules Diamond Fast - Track Ball Softball Tee 3-Pitch Ball Softball Produced by Queensland Softball Association Inc – 2002 FAST-TRACK SOFTBALL RULES Fast-Track Softball is the fourth of the four junior games in the softball development pathway. Fast Track Softball is a modified version of softball for boys and girls 10 to 13 years of age. However, age is NOT the determining factor when deciding on the game each person will play. Fast-Track Softball provides young people with the opportunity to refine skills learned in Tee Ball and Three Pitch Softball. It introduces new skills in a modified game situation suited to the needs, size and abilities of children who are beginning to play softball. Fast-Track Softball is not intended for players who have developed these skills and who can competently participate in Under 14 Fastpitch Softball or Representative level competitions. District Associations should be flexible in applying the competition rules and work within the ‘intent’ of the junior softball games which is to encourage maximum participation within a flexible environment for the enjoyment of all players. Therefore there will be NO forfeits, teams will be permitted to play with fewer players or borrow without restriction from other teams/clubs. The main consideration is to determine the most suitable game for each individual player and to play them in the game that best meets their level of competence. Whilst always adhering to the duty of care owed to young people, opportunities should be provided for self improvement and a pathway through the various games. Rules - The normal rules of Fast Pitch Softball apply except as specified in these rules The Game • The choice of first or last bat shall be decided by the toss of a coin. Teams • A team consists of eight (8) registered players • A team may use six (6) to nine (9) registered players. A maximum of 9 players are permitted on the field at any one time • Teams may borrow players from the opposition or other teams to equal playing numbers • A designated hitter or player shall not be used. • All players shall bat and field in every game. Equipment • Low impact or Incrediball – Size 11” • Introduce a size 12’ softball in training • Glove – each fielding player must wear a fielding glove • Bat – A regulation bat with non-slip grip covering the handle. The length/weight of the bat should be suitable for the size (height/strength) of the players • Batting Helmets – helmets must fit properly and be worn by batters and base runners during the game. It is preferable for batting helmets to have chin straps • Catchers Gear – All catchers are to wear a chest protector, catchers helmet, face mask with throat protector, leg guards and glove. Game Times • A game lasts for 60 minutes • Each team bats for ten (10) minutes per inning – regardless of the number of outs • The game consists of three (3) complete innings (ie each team bats and fields 3 times per game) Note: District Associations need to allow one hour 15 minutes per game to give the players time to change each half inning. Late Start/Injury Time: Coaches agree to equal allocated time for the duration of the game where possible. 2 Playing Field • The base paths shall be 16.78m/55ft apart • The pitching distance shall be 30ft – 35 ft (10.67m approx) (This should be a comfortable distance for the player to pitch) • The Backstop should be 5m/15ft behind home plate. (This can be a temporary barrier eg bags and is to eliminate time wasted due to the pitched ball passing the catcher & going into the back net) Umpiring • Official umpires will ‘manage’ the games within the philosophy of the game • The normal rules of Fast Pitch Softball apply except as specified in these rules • The dropped third strike rule does not apply. • The Infield Rule does not apply • The ‘Hit by a Pitched Ball’ rule does not apply. (No pitch is called) Coaches • Up to two (2) coaches are permitted on the field but are only allowed to be positioned behind the infield area when their team is fielding for the first half of the season only • Coaches are permitted on the field to verbally assist players in defence • Coaches in the field may not interfere with the ball in play, nor physically assist their players in the act of fielding • Coaches must wear the club uniform shirt and be neatly attired at all times • No open faced shoes such as thongs or sandals are permitted Pitching • The pitcher pitches to a maximum count of 3 strikes and 3 balls on each batter • The coach comes in to pitch when the batter has 3 balls. The count reverts to nil. • The coach may pitch a maximum of 2 pitches to any one batter • There are NO walks in Fast-Track Softball Batting Order • All players names are to appear on the scorecard. This is the batting line-up • The same batting order must be followed throughout the game. • A team continues to bat for 10 minutes regardless of the number of outs. • All players participating in the game bat each inning within the 10min time. • All players rotate through the batting line-up each week to ensure that each player bats in a different part of the batting line-up each week. 3 Batting • After 3 balls on the batter, the count returns to nil and the batter receives two balls pitched by their own coach. If the batter fails to hit one of these pitches they retire but may bat again in that innings if time permits. • If a batter bunts foul after two strikes there shall be no penalty. “foul ball” shall be called by the umpire and the batter told not to bunt again. Strike • Strike Zone. Any ball delivered by the pitcher that passes over the plate between the batters shoulders and higher than the batters knees, within easy reach of the bat. • Strike. It is a strike if the ball passes through the strike zone or the batter swings at the pitch and misses the ball. Fielding • Players are permitted to pitch or catch (but NOT both) in any one game • A pitcher and catcher may pitch or catch no more than one innings per game. • Pitchers and catchers must rotate to the outfield after their pitching or catching inning • Fielders rotate defensive positions per game. Players are permitted to play in the outfield for a maximum of one inning per game • Players rotate anti-clockwise two (2) playing positions each inning (ie they can’t play the same position twice in the one game) Outs In addition to the normal rules of softball, The batter is out when:- • The batter has three strikes. The third strike does not have to be caught and held by the catcher. • After three balls and the batter has failed to hit one of the two balls pitched by the coach into fair territory. Baserunning Baserunners may not advance:- • Batters / baserunners may only run one base on a ball hit from the coach’s pitching. (This is to reward and encourage players to hit the ball pitched by the opposition player and not by the ‘one down the middle’ from their own coach) • From third base on a pitched ball not stopped by the catcher. (This is to eliminate contact at home plate and to encourage teams to bat their runners in) • When a ball is in play and is overthrown into foul territory. Runners are awarded one base after the ball has passed into foul territory Scoring • Score 1 point for each run scored • The result of the game shall be decided by the number of runs scored by each team Competition • Weekly game winner • No grand finals or season winners • No competition progressive points tally Gold, Silver, Bronze Award or participation certificates for ALL players based on the results of the Softball Skill Achievement Award Program 4