(Amended May 24, 2019)

  1. General Rules
  1. There is no “run” rule or “mercy” rule in the A & E Softball League.  That is, a game is never called on account of one team having a certain lead after a certain inning.
  2. There is no limit to the number of home runs any individuals or teams can hit in the A & E Softball League.
  3. The legal “pitching arc” for the A & E Softball League is six to twelve feet (6’ – 12’).
  4. One “grace” foul ball is allowed after the second strike.  The second foul ball after the second strike shall be a strikeout.
  5. The “Home” team will be pre-determined by the regular season schedule (not by a coin toss before the game).
  6. The scorebook of the home team is the official scorebook for the game.  Since only one score is the official scorebook, the umpire and both teams should all confirm the game at the end of each half inning.  If the home team does not have an “extra” player to keep score, the visiting team has the right of assuming the duty of keeping the official scorebook.
  7. Each team manager shall supply the opposing manager with a copy of the starting lineup before the scheduled game start time.
  8. In the event a game is suspended or terminated by the umpire, four innings shall constitute a complete game.  Three and one half innings shall constitute a complete game if the home team is leading at that time.  This means that if 3 and ½ innings are played and the home team is winning, the game is considered OFFICIAL. 
  9. Any game that is suspended prior to becoming a complete game (as defined above) will be rescheduled and started over from the beginning.
  10. Any game that has become an official game, and is then suspended with the score tied, will be completed at a later time.  Play will be resumed at the exact point of suspension.  Lineups will be unchanged, except that normal rules of substitution may be used to fill in for players absent when the game is resumed.  The home team scorebook shall be the official scorebook for determining game situations upon resumption of play.  As such, both managers and the umpire must sign the scorebook at the time of suspension to acknowledge the suspended game situation.
  11. All players may enter and re-enter the game freely.  However, a re-entering player must re-enter on defense and have been out for one complete offensive inning or turn at bat (i.e. 3 outs).  Exception: Any player on the bench may immediately replace an injured player.  If no substitute is available, the empty slot in the batting order is skipped (and not counted as an automatic out).  Refer to the rules regarding “Number of Players.” 
  12. Any team found using a player not listed on their approved roster will automatically forfeit all games in which the unlisted and /or un-approved player participated.
  13. 180’ Arc Rule: On fields where an arc line is present, this rule is in effect.  If the field does not have this demarcation, then his rule is NOT in effect.  When any player is batting, no outfielder may move closer than 180’ from the plate until the ball is batted. Cobb County Parks and Recreation will place a cone along the fence on the right field and let field lines. Players will adjust in the field of play as close as possible to the 180’ mark.
  1. Any batted If a batted ball hits a pitcher either directly from the bat or if the ball contacts the ground first, the batter will be called out. A dead ball will be declared and all runners must return to their previously occupied bases. This policy does not affect batted balls that are deflected off the pitcher’s glove to the pitcher’s body, or batted balls that hit a pitcher’s arm or leg as he/she reaches away from his/her body to stop a line drive. No determination as to the legality of the bat will be made unless necessary due to serious injury or obvious alterations to the bat. (Mandated by Cobb County Parks and Recreation and is non-negotiable)
  1. Gender Rules

Although the A & E Softball League is a “co-ed” league, the A & E Softball League plays by Men’s League rules.  As such, there is no requirement for a minimum or maximum number of players of either gender.  The only co-ed rules that apply for female players are as follows:

11” Ball: When a female player is batting, the manager of the batting team may put an 11” ball into play for the at-bat, but only with the approval of the team on defense.  The team on defense is not obligated to use the smaller ball for the female players.

  1. Equipment
  1. All game balls must have a core rating of .52, 300 compression; No .44. .47, or .50 COR balls will be accepted for game play.  Cobb County Parks and Recreation will provide one dozen game balls per team. Each team is responsible for purchasing any additional games balls.
  2. The A & E Softball League does not require uniforms.  However, the opposing manager of a team having players without matching uniforms has the right to require non-uniformed players to place temporary numbers on their shirts.  Such numbers may be placed using tape or other temporary materials to enable the opposing manager to track the batting order of the non-uniformed players.
  3. Steel cleats are not allowed in the A & E Softball League under any circumstances.
  4. Team coaches shall have the responsibility to ensure that all bats utilized by their players bear an ASA stamp. With the change to the .52 COR game balls any ASA approved bat may be used. Team coaches will inspect all bats prior to every game for compliance with league rules. The league will adhere to the ASA non-approved bat list, as amended from time to time. Any player caught using an illegal bat will be called out and ejected from the game. A second infraction during a game will result in the offending team forfeiting the game.
  1. Start Times, Time Limits, extra innings
  1. Games shall start at their scheduled time or as soon as the preceding game has been completed.  Under no circumstances may an umpire require a team to start a game before the scheduled start time.
  2. No grace period is allowed for game start times.  When the umpire declares that the game is ready to start (subject to the restrictions above), both teams are required to take the field with the available eligible players.
  3. 65-MINUTE RULE: No inning can start after 65 minutes (*-see exception below).  Once the 65-minute time limit has been reached, the umpire will alert the teams, and the inning in progress will be completed.  No new inning may start once the time limit has been reached.  An inning will be considered to have started immediately upon the final out of the previous inning.

*Exception – If a game has reached the time limit and at the conclusion of the inning, the score is tied, the teams will play ONE additional inning.  If at the end of that inning, the score is tied, the game ends in a tie.

  1. Any inning started will be played to completion, no matter the time limit.
  2. Under no circumstances can the visiting team win a game without the home team having the last complete at-bat.
  3. Select tournament games have no time limit.  The Architect’s Championship, Engineer’s Championship, and overall League Championship games will be seven inning games.  Home team in tournament games is determined by seeding.  In the Division Championship round, the Winner’s Bracket winner will be the home team in the first game; should a second game be required, home team is again determined by seeding.  A coin flip will determine home team in the A vs. E League Championship game. 
  4. Tie scores are possible.  (See above).
  5. Extra innings are allowed in certain circumstances (see above).  If the 65-minute time limit has not been reached, the teams are permitted to start additional innings until that time limit is reached.  All games that end in ties will be counted as ½ win and ½ loss for that team.
  1. Number of Players
  1. A team may start a game with a minimum of FIVE eligible players.  However, a team must have a minimum of eight eligible players at the start of the third inning to avoid a forfeit.  A team with less than five players at the start of the game or less than eight players at the start of the third inning automatically forfeits the game.  ** ASA rules require eight eligible players; the A & E Softball League modifications allow you to start a game with less then the minimum eight.  **
  2. Pick-up players are not permitted in the A & E Softball League.  If a team must forfeit a game due to lack of players, pick-up players may be used and the teams are permitted to play a scrimmage.  However, the umpire is not obligated to officiate the game.  The game will not count as the team lacking players has already forfeited the game.  The manager of the team with enough players does not have the authority to allow pick-up players- that team must accept the forfeit.  If both teams lack the minimum amount of players, the game will be declared a double forfeit and the game will count as a tie in the standings.
  3. If a team loses a player to injury and a substitute is not available, the injured player’s position in the batting line-up may be skipped without penalty to the injured player’s team (the injured player’s position in the batting order is not an automatic out).  If a player is injured in the middle of an at-bat and no substitute is available, that current at-bat is counted as an out, but not the rest of that player’s turns at bat.  If a player is injured while running the bases and no substitute is available, the last player on that team to make an out may be employed as a courtesy runner.  An injured player may have a courtesy runner only once per game.  The courtesy runner rule is not intended to allow a player incapable of running to keep batting after the injury, then have a substitute runner after each at-bat.  An injured player may only return to the game according to normal substitution rules.  If the injured player was not substituted for because no player was available, the injured player may return at any time, but must return in the same position in the batting lineup.
  4. If a team loses a player (including an extra hitter) to ejection and a substitute is not available, the ejected player’s position in the batting line-up is left vacant.  For the rest of the game, an automatic out is recorded when that position is “up.”
  5. If any player (including an extra hitter) leaves the game for any reason other than injury and a substitute is not available, the absent player’s position in the batting lineup is left vacant.  For the rest of the game, an automatic out is recorded when that position is “up”.  NOTE: THIS RULE SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY TEAM USING THE UNLIMITED LINEUP UNLESS THE ABSENT PLAYER LEAVES THE TEAM WITH FEWER THAN ELEVEN PLAYERS IN THE LINEUP. 
  6. Nothing in sections D and E above shall prohibit an ejected or absent player from being legally substituted at any time during the game if a legal substitute becomes available to the team, nor shall an absent player be prohibited from rejoining the game at any time.  The coach shall inform the opposing coach and the umpire when an ejected player or absent player is substituted by a late-arriving substitute player, or when an absent player rejoins the game.
  1. Batting Lineups
  1. A team may use a standard or unlimited batting lineup.  Each batting lineup type is defined as follows:
  1. Standard: The standard batting lineup consists of only players that are currently listed as defensive players, plus one optional “extra” hitter.  All players listed on the lineup on defense must be included in the batting lineup.  The extra hitter may only be included in the lineup before the start of the game.  The extra hitter may not be added after the start of the game.  If a team starts a game with less than ten players, players arriving late may be added to the end of the lineup until the maximum number of ten players is reached.  Normal substitution rules apply to a team using a standard batting lineup.
  2. Unlimited: The unlimited batting lineup consists of all players available at the start of the game.  There is no maximum number of players on the batting lineup, but all available players on the team must be included in the lineup.  The batting lineup may not be changed at any time after the start of the game, except every player that arrives after the start of the game must be added to the end of the lineup.  While the batting lineup may not be changed, defensive substitutions may be made at any time.
  1. A manager must inform the opposing coach before the start of the game if an unlimited lineup is to be used.  Otherwise, the standard lineup is assumed.
  2. Once the game starts, the lineup type may not be changed – a team starting the game with a standard lineup may not change to an unlimited lineup; a team starting the game with an unlimited lineup may not change to a standard lineup.
  1. Officials and game Conduct
  1. The umpire’s authority shall begin upon entering the playing field and shall end once he or she has left the playing field.
  2. Any player who pushes, strikes, shoves, abuses (verbally or physically) any umpire in any way before, during or after the game, or any player who uses profanity, obscene language or gestures, constant griping, bickering, misconduct, etc., shall be ejected from the game and will leave the playing area immediately at the request of the umpire.  Upon request by an umpire, the Board will determine the future eligibility of any player removed from a game for conduct or disciplinary reasons.
  3. Players found guilty of fighting are subject to be permanent disqualification from all current and future participation in the A & E Softball league.  Suspensions and Expulsions from the league will be at the sole discretion of the Board.
  4. If the umpire is not present at the scheduled game starting time, neither team is required to play the game.  If both teams agree to play the game, the batting team may furnish a player to act as umpire, or both teams may reach a mutually agreed upon alternative.  If both teams agree to start the game without the scheduled umpire, the game becomes official immediately (one team may not decide at a later time to stop the game because of alleged poor officiating).
  1. Rainouts
  1. The Board has designated that the officials at Cobb County Parks and Recreation (CCPAR) will make the official call for rainouts. CCPAR will set up a text messaging system to get rained out game s to league players and coaches. It will be the responsibility of the players to sign up for the text messages.   
  2. Unless a game has been officially declared a rainout, players are obligated to arrive at the field before the scheduled starting time.  If no official rainout has been declared, no-show teams will forfeit the game, regardless of weather conditions.
  3. The official at CCPAR will have authority as to whether the game will be played or rained out.  A game can be also canceled for any other conditions that may exist and are judged to be unsafe or un-playable.
  4. If the official at CCPAR declares that conditions are suitable for play, but both coaches agree that conditions are unsafe for softball, both coaches have the authority to declare a rainout.  Both coaches must agree before a rainout is declared over the objections of the official at CCPAR. If one coach does not agree to call a rainout, the other team must play or risk a forfeit.  It should be noted that not having enough players is not a valid reason for declaring a rainout.
  1. Forfeits
  1. The following conditions shall constitute a forfeited game, which will be declared by the umpire in favor of the team not at fault and recorded with a score of 7-0:
  1. If a team fails to appear on the field (or being on the field, refuses to begin the game) at the scheduled start time.
  2. If after the game has begun, one team refuses to continue to play, unless play was or has been suspended or terminated by the umpire.
  3. If after a warning by the umpire, any one of the rules in willfully and intentionally violated or disobeyed.
  4. If in the judgment of the umpire, a team employs tactics obviously designed to delay the game.
  5. If after an umpire’s request of the removal of a player(s) from the playing area (i.e., out of sight, out of sound), this is not obeyed in a timely manner, the umpire shall have the authority to forfeit the games in favor of the team not at fault.
  6. If a team does not have the minimum number of players to start or continue a game.
  7. If a team is found to have an ineligible player (if the game is protested and the protest is upheld).
  8. Any other case not specifically mentioned here and covered by the official ASA rulebook of tournament play.
  1. Protest
  1. The following shall constitute the accepted procedures for filing a protest:
  1. All protests must be made known to the umpire and opposing team at the time the incident occurs and prior to the next pitch being thrown to the next or current batter.  Both coaches and the umpire shall record inning, score, count, batter, etc., and all other pertinent information so as to have an accurate re-creation of the protested incident: Exception: A protest based on player eligibility is not required to be made during the game in question, but must be made within one business day of the game.
    1. All protest must be received in writing by the Board within two business days of the protest incident.
    1. The Protest must be clearly written and fully explained, with exact rule violations(s) cited and how the rule(s) was not applied or applied wrongly.
    1. All games under protest shall be played to completion; the Board will later rule if the protest is to be upheld (and the game resumed from the point on interruption), or disallow the protest entirely.
    1. Judgment calls by an umpire are never grounds for considering a protest.
  1. Rules

Not all game rules may be listed above.  Games are officiated under ASA Men’s Slow Pitch Softball rules, with special modifications for A & E Softball League play.  In case of any conflict, the umpire will enforce the rules with precedence to A & E Softball League guidelines. 

Excerpt from A & E Softball By-Laws for CCPAR Reference

6.   Tournament Seeds

The results from the regular season will be used to determine the seeds for the tournament.  To resolve ties, the following criteria will be used (in the order given):

  1. Overall record
  2. Head to head competition.
  3. Division record
  4. Run differential (runs scores minus runs allowed)
  5. Runs scored