THE GOLD GRAND MASTERS LEAGUE RULES AND REGULATIONS WILL BE GOVERNED BY MSA AND ASA RULES. ACCORDING TO THE MSA BYLAW 37.1 “Rules and regulations governing Grand Masters League play will be the result of collaboration between the participating teams and the Softball Commissioner. The Commissioner will have the final authority there on.”
The defensive line-up may consist of 11 players.
A team must start and finish with a minimum of 9 players. Players may be borrowed from another team. (A minimum of 8 players must be from the team who is short players.) Penalty - forfeit.
Games are to be of 7 innings. No new inning shall start after an elapsed time of one hour and fifteen minutes from the starting time of the game. All slow pitch games will continue without interruption until the completion of the next inning in which the tie is broken.
Forfeit time is game time.
Relaxed step (reflex action) - if a runner leaves base unintentionally, and in the umpire's judgment, without evidence of proceeding to the next base, the runner will not be called out.
The run ahead rule for all games will be 12 runs after 5 innings (4 ½ if the home team is ahead). Additionally, managers have the option of playing 65 minutes. (Revised 2010)
If a player is injured, that player can be removed from the batting order without it becoming a automatic out. The injured player will be ineligible to play for the rest of the day. (Rev. 2011)
There will be no time limit in tournament play. (Rev 2015)
Batters will start with 1 strike and 1 ball for a count. (Rev 2016)
175' line is an arc 175' from home plate that runs from foul line to foul line. When a player is at bat, no outfielder may be within that arc until the ball is hit. Infielders must play normal depth and only five infielders in addition to the pitcher and catcher are allowed. The 11th player can still play anywhere on the field. (Rev 2016)
A strike zone mat will be used. The mat will be seventeen (17) inches wide and twenty-four (24) inches long measuring from the end of the mat to the tip of each side that abuts to the back side of home plate. The end of the mat that abuts to the home plate shall have “V” shaped notch that will conform to the outline of the backside of the plate. (Rev. 2006)
Legal pitching: the ball striking any portion of the mat or home plate will be a strike.
Height of a legal pitch: Must be six (6) feet high to twelve (12) feet high from the playing surface.
PITCHING SCREEN RULES
Use of the pitching screen is mandatory for the pitcher and will be provided by the league unless the pitcher decides to use protective gear which consists of a mask, shin guards and an optional chest protector. (Rev. 2016) The pitcher must use a screen as directed by using the following rules:
The pitching screen must be parallel and will be place 3 feet in front of the middle of the pitching rubber. (Pitching screen will be placed the opposite of the pitching hand). (Rev. 2015)
When a pitcher is using the screen he can no longer field the ball. If the ball touches the pitcher the ball is dead and the batter is awarded first base. (Rev. 2016)
Each time the batted ball hits the screen, it is a strike and runners do not advance. On the third strike, a dead ball will be declared. A batter cannot strike out by hitting the screen. (Rev. 2015)
Any ball that hits the screen will remain live as long as a fielder has touched the ball first. (Rev. 2014)
When not in use, the pitching screen will be moved into foul territory against a fence, but the screen will remain in play. (Rev. 2015)
BASE RUNNING RULE
Bases will be 65’. (Rev. 2014)
There will be no running through on second and third base. Sliding is optional. (Rev. 2011)
A base runner advancing home: all plays at home on a base runner advancing home will be a force play.
NO FORFEIT RULE
There will be no forfeit if a team fields a minimum of nine (9) players. Eight players must be rostered players of that team.
When a team cannot field nine (9) of from its own team, they may borrow players from the other teams in the Gold Grand Masters League to make up to eleven (11) players. (95) (League play only).
If a player of the borrowing team arrives, the borrowed player must relinquish his position to the borrowing team’s player immediately.
A player who is, or will attain the required age of 60 by December 31st of the current year may play in any game of the current year. A player must play in a regular season game, in order to be eligible for playoff games.
Max roster is 18 players (Rev 2016)
NUMBER OF PLAYERS ALLOWED TO PLAY RULE
Maximum number of players allowed on a defensive team is eleven (11).
Minimum number of players allowed on a defensive team is nine (9).
Maximum number of players allowed on an offensive team is UNLIMITED. a. If a team starts with eleven or more, the number of offensive players shall not exceed the number of players listed on the line up card at the beginning of the game. All players not listed on the line up card may be used as substitutes. b. If a team starts with less then eleven, players may be inserted into the line up but shall total no more then eleven. All others may join the game as substitutes.
Minimum number of players allowed on an offensive team is nine (9), less than nine (9) players constitute a forfeit.
WHAT CONSTITUTES A HALF INNING RULE
For the first (1st) thru fifth (5th) innings a half inning will terminate when the offensive team either makes three (3) outs, scores five runs, or scores enough runs to catch up or tie. Ex. Top of 3rd, visitors losing by 10 – visitors can score 10 to catch up.
For the sixth (6th) and seventh (7th) innings a half inning will terminate when the offensive team makes three (3) outs, no maximum limit on runs, two (2) exceptions to this rule would be if the home team scores enough runs to apply the mercy rule (12 runs) or enough runs to win the game in the seventh (7th) inning.
COURTESY RUNNER RULE
May be any player on the team, but he may only run once per inning as a courtesy runner.
Cannot run for the "batter". Batter must reach first base on his own.
May replace a runner at any base for any reason. A runner replaced by a courtesy runner may remain in the game.
DOUBLE FIRST BASE RULE
A double bag may be used at first base. The INSIDE bag shall be for the use of the defensive fielder. Any use of the OUTSIDE bag by a defensive fielder shall not be considered. The OUTSIDE bag shall be for the use of the base runner coming from home plate. The runner from home plate MAY use the INSIDE bag only if a play at first base IS NOT IMMINENT, i.e., an extra-base hit to the outfield. The OUTSIDE bag shall be painted fluorescent orange.
COMMITMENT LINE RULE
A COMMITMENT LINE: A three-foot long, three inch wide commitment line shall be marked perpendicular to the foul line and place 32’-6” from third base. Once a runners foot touches the ground on or past the commitment line, the runner may not return to third base, the runner must continue toward the scoring plate. Violations will result in an out.
A base runner that has not advanced past the commitment line between third base and home plate may return to third base at his own risk of being tagged out by a defensive player.
A runner that has crossed the commitment line but not reached the scoring plate shall be declared OUT if: A defensive player in possession of the ball touches home plate.
SCORING PLATE RULE
A SCORING PLATE: A scoring plate shall be placed eight feet from the back tip of home plate on an extended line from first base. A line shall be drawn from third base to the scoring plate. The scoring plate is for use by the offensive player only.
All plays at the plate shall be force plays. A defender shall record an out at the plate by having possession of the ball and tagged home plate prior to the runner touching the scoring plate. If a defender attempts to tag an offensive player the runner shall be called safe. A runner who attempts to score by touching other than the scoring plate shall be called out.