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Change Team: 
Norfolk Softball Minor League

 
Objective: Provide review of the fundamentals of softball while beginning to develop a more advanced understanding of the rules and strategy of the game.
Ages:  
Must be registered third or fourth grade for the school year in which the season takes place.
Time Commitment:
Two or three times per week, typically 1 game and 1 practice during the week and one game on Saturday.
Setting:  
Girls play actual games, including pitching.   All girls play offense and defense. All reasonable efforts are made to make sure every girl gets a chance at each defensive position (with consideration to safety). Girls do strike out. Each half inning is over when the batting order goes through once, three runs score or three outs are made, whichever occurs first.
Competitive Level:  
This is a marginally competitive league. Scorebooks are kept and there is a championship game at the end of the season, but the focus is still on instruction (all teams make the playoffs).
Player Experience:  
None required although players must be confident enough to stand at home plate with live pitching.
Coaching Experience:  
None required although coaches should have a solid understanding of the rules of softball. All coaches must participate in and pass a CORI criminal background check.
 
Rules

 
General
 
 
  • Games are 6 innings max (limited by time and/or daylight)
  • Scorebook is kept
  • 11 inch hard softball is used
  • There is a continuous batting order with free substitution
  • Coaches CAN go on the field
  • Inning ends whenever one of the following happens:
    • 3 defensive outs
    • Three runs are scored in an inning (this is waived in the last inning – go through entire batting order)
    • The offensive team has gone through its entire batting order – NOTE: the team with the most players determines the length of the batting order.  For example, if Team A has 8 players and Team B has 6 players, then both teams will be able to bat a maximum of 8 players per inning
  • All Players play the field
    • If 10 players in attendance, play four outfield positions
    • If 9 players in attendance, play three outfield positions
    • If 8 players in attendance, play left & right field
    • If 7 players in attendance, play center field
    • If 6 players in attendance – no out field
    • Less than six players will result in a forfeit
    • Teams needing players can recruit from the stands, provided those players are currently signed up for Norfolk Girls Softball and are participating in Minors or Instructional league.
  • Outfielders can play on edge of grass (no 10ft requirement – adjust as needed)
  • No dropped third strike
  • No infield fly rule
ALL GAMES MUST START ON TIME
 
Pitching
 
 
  • Pitching mound is 35 feet from the plate
  • If the pitcher is struggling with a full wind up, then encourage the pitchers to throw from the ‘set’ position with a full windmill arm motion or half circle if necessary.  Once player is successful here, then incorporate the step – then full wind up.
  • This should be based on the pitchers skill level and encouraged by the coach.
  • One pitcher cannot pitch more than 2 innings in a row or exceed three innings per game.  One pitch in any inning counts as an inning.  In the event of an extra inning game, each pitcher may pitch an extra inning for every two that are played, starting with the first extra inning (or the 7th inning).
  • If a pitcher hits three batters in one inning, she will be taken out for the rest of that inning.  The pitcher can return to pitch during the game.
  • If a pitcher hits 5 batters in a game, she is taken out for the game.
  • A pitch that bounces and hits the batter will result in the batter going to first base, but will NOT count against the pitchers “hit batter count”.
  • Pitching Process:
    • The pitcher will pitch to the batter until the batter hits the ball, strikes out, or four balls are thrown.  The batter can strike out or hit the ball – they CANNOT WALK
    • Since the batter cannot walk, if four pitches are called balls, the coach will enter to pitch and the count will be reset for the batter.  The pitcher remains on the field next to the coach to play defense.
    • Once the batter hits the ball into the field of play or strikes out the pitcher will resume live pitching to the next hitter
    • This will be re-evaluated week of May 20 to see how the girls are doing
    • For inter town games we will use their rules for the walks and coaches pitching - four balls result in a walk and the coach does not pitch
  • Expanded Strike Zone
    • The umpires will use an expanded strike zone that will go from shins to the chin and a full ball width on either side of the plate.  (This is to encourage aggressiveness at the plate).
    • There will be NO discussions with the umpires on called balls or strikes
 Batting/Base running
 
  • Batters must attempt to avoid being hit by a pitch.  If in the umpire’s judgment the batter did not attempt to avoid the pitch, then first base will not be awarded to the batter.
  • Baselines are 60 feet
  • There is no stealing of home.  There is no scoring on a passed ball.  A player can only score if she is driven in.
  • Only one base is awarded on an overthrow
  • Player can not advance to home on an overthrow
  • Player can not advance to a second base if an overthrow occurs while stealing
  • Stealing Bases
  • Base runner can’t steal until the ball crosses the plate
  • Player can only steal one base at a time
  • Teams can only steal a total of three bases per inning
  • Players must slide to avoid contact
  •  
    Equipment
     
    • Facemasks must be worn by the pitcher and third baseman
    • Mouthpieces must be worn
    • Gray pants