GCSS Bylaws and Playing Rules for the 2014 Season


GCSS Playing Rules for the 2014 Season revised at the January 2014 League Meeting

Rule 1: General rules:

1A. All Greater Cleveland Senior Softball (GCSS) games will be played at Kennedy, Hufsey, or Forbes Fields in Brook Park, Ohio, behind the Brook Park City Hall at 6161 Engle Road, Brook Park, Ohio.

1B. The rainout number is 216-433-1547. It is updated after 8 A.M. on game days. If the rainout lines states that it will be a game-time decision, you must show up and be ready to play at 9:45 AM, so that the umpires can decide whether the games will be played or not. Teams not there at that time will forfeit the games if the umpire decides that the games should be played.

1C. Teams will be selected through a full public draft in late April. Registration and payment for the coming season are due at the February general meeting. All players who have submitted a registration form and paid their annual fee in full will be eligible for the draft.

1D. All GCSS games will be played in accordance with the 2014 SPA Rule Book unless specifically superseded by these GCSS league rules.

1E. Each game will consist of seven (7) innings. In the event of rain, a complete game will be declared if five (5) innings have been completed. The home team, if ahead in the bottom of the fifth, does not have to bat in the bottom of the fifth. Double headers will consist of two (2) seven (7) innings games.

1F. The home team will be listed second on the schedule.

1G. After the batter has registered two strikes, he will be out if he fouls off a pitch. There is no courtesy foul.

1H. The game must start within 10 minutes of its scheduled time or a forfeit will be called. The umpire may vary this by a few minutes for unusual circumstances.

1I. Both managers and the umpire will review ground rules before each game.

1J. Profanity and smoking are not allowed. The umpire will warn a player and the player’s manager only once. After a second incident, the player will be ejected.

1K. Additional rules may be adopted by the Commissioner during the season as needed.

Rule 2: The Field

Rule 2A. A pitcher’s screen must be placed in line with the middle of the pitching rubber and to the glove side of the pitcher. Left-handed pitchers may move the screen, but the screen must remain on the pitcher’s glove side at all times! Pitchers are STRONGLY URGED to move behind the screen after releasing each pitch; however, pitchers may field balls at their own risk.

Rule 2B. A batted ball hitting the screen will be called a strike by the umpire. A ball hitting the screen a second time during the same at bat is an out. The ball is dead; no runner may advance. Hitting the screen after 2 strikes is an out.

Rule 2C. Any thrown or deflected ball that strikes the screen will remain in play. Runners advance at their own risk.

Rule 2D. The commitment line between third and home will be 20 feet from home plate. After passing the commitment line, a runner may not return to third base.

Rule 2E. Runners must touch an auxiliary home plate located adjacent to and ten feet away from the conventional home plate. At first base, runners must touch the orange base unless the ball has proceeded into the outfield area.

Rule 3: Equipment

Rule 3A. The home team will supply two (2) balls; one a new, Trump-Stote 375/44 optic yellow softball and the other a used, Trump-Stote 375/44 optic yellow softball from a previous game marked with a “U” for used.

Rule 3B. Team shirts and caps are required unless a player has rejected a hat at registration.

Rule 3C. All legal bats are allowed.

Rule 3D. DO NOT USE ANY BAT CARRYING AN ORANGE STICKER without the bat owner’s permission.

Rule 4: Players

Rule 4A. Only team members may sit on the team bench during the game.

Rule 4B. Nine (9) roster players are required to begin a game, or the game will be forfeited.

Rule 4C. Teams may NOT “pick up” non-rostered players. If a team has nine, ten or eleven players present at game time, they may NOT add a substitute. The opposing team will be required to catch and make all normal plays from the catching position if a team only has nine men.
Rule 4D. Players age 55 or older are permitted in the league. Players age 50-54 may play with the approval of the Players Committee, Officers Board, and the Commissioner.

Rule 4E. All players present must bat unless a player is unable to play due to injury.

Rule 4F. No one may pinch hit.

Rule 4G. A team’s defense will consist of twelve (12) players placed anywhere on the field. However, none of the 5 outfielders can be positioned in the infield area. Likewise, none of the infielders can be positioned in the outfield area.

Rule 4H. A player, who cannot take his assigned turn at bat due to injury, absence, or ejection from the game, will NOT be declared out. The missing player will be skipped over in the lineup.

Rule 4I. Players entering the league after the season starts may be assigned to a team if an opening exists. The Players Committee will decide (supervised by the Officers Board and the Commissioner) where new players are placed.

Rule 5: Scoring

Rule 5A. A maximum of five (5) runs may be scored in each half inning. Unlimited runs may be scored in the last inning or any extra inning.

Rule 5B. After five (5) complete innings, the team that is ahead by 12 or more runs will be declared the winner.

Rule 5C. If the score is tied after seven (7) innings of play, each inning thereafter will start with the player who batted last on second base. This runner cannot be substituted for until he reaches third base.

Rule 6: Pitching

Rule 6A. Legal pitches must obtain the proper arc as stated in the SPA Rule Book, and they must strike the pitching mat. All pitching requirements are to be governed by the SPA Rule Book.

Rule 6B. The umpire will call pitches that are too high, flat, or other pitches, “Illegal!” Immediately in a loud, clear voice.

Rule 7: Runners

Rule 7A. Any substitute runner can run just 3 times a game. If extra innings occur, each player on a team may substitute run once more during extra innings play. A substitute runner may not run as a substitute more than once an inning.

Rule 7B. No collisions ARE ALLOWED! Avoid all fielders or you will be called out!

Rule 7C. A runner going into second or third base must “give himself up” or slide and allow the fielder to attempt a double play. Failure to vacate the area will result in the runner and the batter being called out.

Rule 7E. All batter/runners must touch the orange base at first base if the batted ball is in the infield.

Rule 7F. All outs at home plate are force outs. Fielders must have control of the ball while touching any portion of the home plate pitching mat before the runner touches the auxiliary home plate.

Rule 7G. All runners must touch the auxiliary home plate and NOT the conventional home plate. Any runner trying to score who touches the conventional home plate or the mat is out.

Rule 7H. Sliding is permitted into second and third base only. Any batter/runner sliding into first or home will be called out.

Rule 7I. On a homerun which goes over the fence, the batter need only touch first base. Any runners on base must advance only to the next base.

Rule 7J. No batter can be thrown out at first base if his batted ball is fielded by an outfielder. Infielders, including the middle fielder, may throw out any batter.

Any situation not specifically addressed in these GCSS rules or the SPA Rule Book will be referred to the Commissioner for a ruling as stated in the GCSS Bylaws.


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