from left to right: Leon Correy, John Gregorio, Peter Hourihan, Tommy Connolly, Pat Pickup, Tommy McGrath, George Pratt, Jim McNiff, Rob Rogers, and Larry Lucas
1.01 Fair/Foul Territory - a fair ball must settle in fair territory between first and third bases or fall fair beyond 1st or 3rd on a fly ball. The ball is a live ball if it hits the wall that runs along the first base line on an overthrow. The same follows for the fence that runs along the third base line. However, if a ball enters either bench area it becomes a dead ball and all base runners are awarded one extra base.
1.02 Home Run Rule – any fair ball that is hit over the fence in left or center field is ruled a home run. Any ball that strikes above the painted yellow line on the light pole in left and center field is also ruled a home run.
1.03 Ground Rule Double – any ball that leaves the playing area either through the fence in center field or on a bounce is ruled a ground rule double. However, the batter will be awarded third base if he is past second base when the ball leaves the playing field (a rare occasion).
1.04 Trees – (UPDATED 5/1/2018) a batted ball that strikes the trees located in the outfield (LF/CF) above the chain link fence will be declared a home run if, in the umpire's judgement, ball would have left the playing field without the tree interference. If umpire calls "Live Ball", it is not a home run but is still a hit and subject to usual rules of play. In all instances, any ball that contacts those trees will not be an out.
1.05 Base Distance – 65' feet will mark the distance between each base (home to first, first to second, etc...).
2.01 Uniforms – all team members must wear like-color shirts by their fourth scheduled game unless the league grants prior permission to extend the date.
2.02 Rosters – Teams may have an unlimited number of players on their roster. Rosters will remain open throughout the season. After the second week of the season, players may not switch teams without the permission of the league.
2.03a Substitutions – Any member of a team's roster who is not listed as a starting player, or a starting player who re-enters the game. If not reported, the substitute will be considered in the game when a pitch has been thrown. There is no penalty for not reporting. If a substitute is illegal for any reason, the player will be subject to the penalty for that violation.
NOTES: In previous years an unreported substitute was a violation which resulted in the ejection of the unreported player when brought to the attention by the opposing team. This is no longer the case. There is no penalty for a player entering the game without reporting. He is considered in the game when one pitch has been thrown. "Illegal Players" have now been inserted into the rules to cover the violations and penalties for those infractions.
2.04 Forfeit Rule – any team that forfeits two games in a season will be removed from the league and may not be allowed to return for the following season. A forfeit is awarded when a team does not have eight players by game time. Any type of forfeit results in a loss of game.
2.05 Re-Scheduling Games – teams will be given at least two days notice. Teams are not allowed to change the date or time of a game once the schedule has been handed out. If your team can not make a game, please notify the league ASAP for cancellation. Your team will receive the loss but the game will not count as a forfeit against your club if you give the league proper notice.
2.06 Time Limit (regular season) – due to light restrictions, the umpires have been instructed to call a game at 7:25pm, 8:55pm, and 10:40pm regardless of the game situation. If a game is in the middle of an inning when called, then the score of the last completed inning will be recorded as the official result. Any game that is called due to the time limit is an official game and the score will stand including games that are tied. Playoff games must be played in full unless the 12-run rule is in effect.
2.06a Lights Out – On August 2, 1999, the league adopted a ruling on games that were incomplete when the lights went out by timer or by an act of nature. By ASA rule, the game will be continued from the point at which it left off. If a play was in progress when the lights went out the game will pick up from the point prior to this play. If possible, the same lineups will be used to complete the suspended game. Teams can make player substitutions as necessary.
2.06b Grace Period – teams will be given a 10 minute grace period to field at least eight players. After ten minutes have passed the umpire will start the game with the shorthanded team batting first. If the team cannot complete their at bats or take the field with at least eight players then the game will be declared a forfeit (also read 2.04). The league directors adopted this rule on 4/23/2008.
2.07 Inclement Weather – the umpire has the right to call off or delay a game in which he feels the playing conditions are unsafe. Any sign of lightning, the umpire has been instructed to immediately call for a delay. Any game that was called after 4 innings of play or 3 ½ innings of play if the home team is ahead will be declared an official league game. Any game that was disrupted prior to this must be resumed at the exact point where it was stopped. If the game was called at the top of an inning (say the sixth) then the official score will reflect the score at the end of the last completed inning.

Example: Team A leads 3-2 after five complete innings. Team B bats in the top of the sixth inning and pulls ahead 8-3 when rain falls. The umpire delays the game then decides after a few minutes that the field/and or conditions become unplayable. The result would be Team A wins the game 3-2. This game would not be made up or continued/started over,'s an official game and the score after five innings stands, 3-2.

2.08 Alcohol – is forbidden on the field and in the bench area. This is a city wide rule that is clearly written on our permit. Any team found in violation of this rule will be given a warning. A second offense will result in a forfeit. A third offense will result in the offending team being removed from the league. The league directors adopted these penalties on 4/23/2008.
COMMENTS: the M Street Softball League prides itself on competitive/safe play and asks that you please save the beers for after the game.
2.09 Playoffs – the format varies from year to year as it depends on the number of teams. Since the 2008 season, the league has used a playoff format that seems fair and rewarding for all of our M Street League teams. Updated 5/1/2018: each division will qualify 8 teams for the playoffs. Separate championships will be contended within each division. First round will be best of three, with 1 vs 8, 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5. Semi-finals are best of five seeded from remaining teams, and finals best of five.

The quarter final round will be a best of 3 series (highest seed vs lowest seed). The winners will advance to the semi finals and play another best of three series. The finals will consist of a best of five series.

12-Run Rule - is IN effect during playoff games.

RAIN - playoff games that are suspended by rain or lights going out will resume from the point when they were called. In other words, the game must go the full seven innings to be an official game (providing the 12-run rule doesn't apply).

Playoff Tie-Breaker (two teams) - teams tied with identical records in the final standings will use the following tie-breakers for playoff position:
  • Head-to-Head record
  • * Coin flip
    * Note - if the coin flip would eliminate one of the two tied teams from the playoffs (ie, last playoff position), then a full seven inning game would be used instead of a coin flip.
Playoff Tie-Breaker (three or more teams) - UPDATED 4/29/2010 teams tied with identical records in the final standings will use the following tie-breakers for playoff position:
  • Total Head-to-Head record against the tied teams
    This should produce a team with a better record than the others or a team with a worse record than the others. Either way, remove that team from the equation and continue on with the tie-breaking rules until all of the ties are broken. Seed the teams accordingly.
  • Division Record
  • * Coin flip
    * Note - if the coin flip would eliminate one of the tied teams from the playoffs (ie, last playoff position), then a full seven inning game would be used instead of a coin flip.
2.10 Playoff Eligibility – (7/1/2015) - players must have at least 27 plate appearances (AB + BB + HB)) or have pitched 30 innings to be eligible for the playoffs. Player statistics are recorded by the league score keeper and posted on the league web site. Players who do not reach the minimum requirements may apply for a league waiver due to injury, illness, etc...
2.11 League Awards – The league champions will receive clothing (jackets) or the equivalent in cash.
New for 2013 season - cash awards will be given to the player with the highest batting average (min 30 plate appearances), most homeruns, runs scored, lowest ERA (min 40 innings pitched), and the most strikeouts.
2.13 - Regulation Game - shall consist of seven (7) innings: A regulation game officially begins when the defensive team has taken the field and the umpire indicates (verbally or physically) play ball. A full seven (7) innings need not be played if the home team (the team second at bat) is ahead by 12 runs in the fifth or sixth inning (read 12 Run Rule) or if the game was called due to inclement weather (read inclement weather).

The umpire shall forfeit a game in favor of a team not at fault in the following cases:

  1. If a team fails to appear on the field, or being on the field refuses to begin a game at the time the team is scheduled to play, or within a time set for forfeitures (10 minute grace period).
  2. If after the game has started, one team refuses to continue play unless the game has been suspended or terminated by the umpire.
  3. If after the umpire has suspended the game, one side fails to resume playing within two minutes after the umpire has called “play ball”.
  4. If a team uses tactics to delay or to hasten the game.
  5. If a team refuses to pay the umpire game fee.
  6. If, after being warned by the umpire, any one of the rules is willfully violated.
  7. If the order for the removal of a player or manager/coach, from the game, is not obeyed within one minute.
  8. If because of the removal of a player by the umpire, or for any reason other than injury, there are less than 9 players on the team.
  9. The score of a forfeited game will be 7-0 to the winning team.
2.13a - 12 Run Rule - Game is called when home team is ahead by twelve or more runs in or after the fifth inning (rule also applies in the playoffs).
2.14 - Umpire Fees - each team is responsible for paying the umpire a $25 game fee. The game fee must be paid before the game begins. Teams are also responsible for paying the official league scorekeeper $5 per game.
3.00 Designated Hitter - can only take at bats and may not take the field. However, in the event of an injury the DH can take the field, but only if no other player is available.
3.01 Pitching Rules – updated 5/29/2015 - the league changed the rules from "open style" to a more modified/straight/bowling style of pitching. Unless grandfathered (Gregorio, McNiff, & McGrath - all have 25+ years of service) in, sling is no longer accepted and will be ruled an illegal pitch. Illegal pitches are called a ball and any base runners are awarded one base. Three illegally thrown pitches results in removal from the game. The interpretation of the Pitching Rules have always been a hot topic for leagues nation wide. Because of this, the M Street Softball League reserves the right to change its position as it see's necessary.
3.01a Illegal Pitchers – pitchers who appear on the Men’s 9-Man Major Modified Pitcher's list will be deemed "illegal" to pitch in the M Street Softball League. The criteria for this list includes any foreign pitchers, any pitchers who appear on the ISC list in the Major Fast Pitch program, Men’s 9-Man Major Modified pitchers who won games at ASA National Championships, and any individual pitcher in a Class A National Championship Final who has won two games or more. Appeals regarding this list can be through the ASA Modified Pitch Sub-committee.
ASA Major Pitch List

COMMENTS: the M Street Softball League has the right to "grandfather" any active league pitcher who finds himself on the banned pitcher's list.

3.02 Hit Batsman Rule – updated 5/29/2015 - batters are no longer awarded a base when struck by a pitched ball unless they are hit by one of the grandfathered pitchers (Gregorio, McNiff, McGrath). The umpire still has the authority to remove a pitcher from the mound for wildness/hitting multiple batters.
3.03 Re-Entry Rule – the coach must report to the umpire and the scorekeeper when a substitution or re-entry is made. The player that is re-entered for is now out of the game. In the event of an illegal re-entry, the coach and the illegal player will be ejected from the game.
3.04 Extra Player Rule – teams may wish to use an extra player in the lineup (10 positional players + 1 DH + 1 EH = 12 players). Extra players can hit and enter the field for any player in the lineup.
3.05 Official/Altered Bats – (per league vote on March 20th, 2011) the rules committee voted to ban the use of composite bats. Accepted bats must be standard aluminum bats, must be approved by the ASA (OFFICIAL Certified SOFTBALL BAT stamp visible), AND must not appear on the ASA Non Approved Bat List (Illegal Bats). Examples of altering a bat are, but not limited to, the following: painting a bat, replacing the handle of a metal bat with a wooden or other type handle, or inserting material inside the bat. Any bat that does not have an ASA stamp visible is considered an altered/illegal bat.
EFFECT: The ball is dead, the batter is out and base runners may not advance. The batter in question is ejected for using an altered/illegal bat. A second violation of this rule will result in a suspension.

Note: for now, the league will allow the use of aluminum bats that have a composite handle.

3.06 Softballs – ASA approved softballs will be provided by the league. The Dudley .44 COR SB12 ASA 12 Inch Cork leather ball with red stitching has been the official ball over the past several years.
3.07 Game Protests – will not be received or considered if they are solely based on a decision involving the accuracy of judgement of an umpire. Protest can be made for the following reasons:
  • Misinterpretation of a playing rule – must be made before the next pitch.
  • Illegal substitution or re-entry.
  • Ineligible player.
If a protest is determined to be valid, the decision will be corrected and the game shall be played from the point at which the incorrect decision was made.
3.08 Player Suspensions – On July 28, 1999, league board members (Ahearn, Senna, Scott, Gurley, Malone, Duffley & Rosemond) voted on a 2-game suspension for any player who throws a punch in an on-field fight. This is a league rule that is not subject to an appeal. The suspension starts immediately after the game in which the incident occurred. The board also voted on and decided that repeat offenders (two fights in the same season) would be suspended for the remainder of the year.
Note: the league realizes that a player may have instigated a fight and therefore may be subject to further disciplinary actions (more games). The league also has the right to suspend a player for any verbal-aggressive language towards the league, players, fans, and or an umpire.
3.09 Conduct – Any player who starts a physical fight with the umpire and/or other player(s), that player will be ejected from game.
- Any threatening behaviors towards other players and/or umpires will not be tolerated. Threatening behaviors may result in an immediate ejection of the player and possible suspension of that player. Repeat offenders may be suspended for the rest of the season and may not be allowed back into the league. This will be in judgement of the umpire or designated league official.
- Players or members of the opposing team's bench are not allowed to enter the field of play to argue with opposing players or umpires during play unless this player is the team captain/manager and time out has been called. This may result in an immediate ejection of that player.
- Players will in no way verbally threaten, swear or come into physical contact with an umpire or league official. Any threatening language, gesture, or physical contact may result in the automatic ejection and suspension of said player. Suspensions will be decided by league officials.
-Excessive swearing or cursing will not be tolerated. A warning will be given by the umpire or acting league representative for any swearing deemed excessive. 2nd offenses in the same game may result in the ejection of that player.

Purposely running into Catcher or other Fielder, will result in, based on a judgement call by the umpire, an ejection from the game. Ejected players must leave playing field area. Team will forfeit game, if ejected player does not comply.

3.10 Flagrant Player Obstruction – A defensive fielder shall not at anytime flagrantly, and with excessive force, impede the batter/runner or runner.

This rule also applies to a base runner who remains upright (doesn't slide) and crashes into a defensive player.
PENALTY: Immediate ejection of the defensive player.
Important Note: when the ball, runner, and fielder arrive at the same time and place, and contact is made, the umpire should not invoke the "Flagrant Player" rule, interference, or obstruction. This is merely incidental contact, or what some call "a wreck."

3.11 Courtesy Runner – a team can select one player per game who they will replace with a courtesy runner if that player reaches base during the game. The team must declare the player who they will run for BEFORE the start of the game. Failure to do so will result in that team losing the right to a courtesy runner for the game.
3.12 Fake Tag – a fake tag occurs when a fielder without the ball deceives the runner by impeding their progress; for example, causing a runner to slide, slow down, or stop running. Obstruction should be called and base runners will be allowed the base they would have reached in the umpires judgement. A warning should be given to the defensive player who is also subject to ejection if the umpire feels his act was flagrant.

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