Amended December 2013 for the Summer 2014 season by SJCC Coed Softball Committee, Chairman Adam Droker, Ron Pergamit, David Schiller, Steve Braverman, Marc Ovetz, Stan Sorcher, Howard Robboy, Mike Lipshulch, Bryan Levy, Adam Stein, Jerrie Bishop, Lindsay Walker, staff Tiger Budbill and Zach Duitch

Coed Softball League Rules


Article I.       League Rules

Section 1.01   Liability
The Stroum Jewish Community Center shall be responsible for the organization and administration of the League. The SJCC assumes no responsibility for any injury that may occur in the course of the softball league.

Section 1.02   Committee

The league shall be governed by the SJCC's Coed Softball Committee and its Chair and Vice-Chairs. The committee is comprised of SJCC members only. In addition, each team shall designate a captain, who will represent his/her team at the annual captains’ information meeting held prior to the start of each season. The committee shall meet immediately following each season's play to evaluate and plan for the following season, and meet as often as needed to complete their work in time for the annual spring captains’ meeting.

Section 1.03       Correspondence

All correspondence should be sent to Tiger Budbill, Softball Coordinator, Stroum Jewish Community Center, 3801 East Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA, 98040; telephone (206) 380-5164. Email to

Section 1.04       Team Rosters and Registration Fees

A deposit of $150 must be submitted by March 15. All players must be registered and paid in full, on or before April 24. Any new team, including a reorganized team per article I, section 1.05, must have 10 players, at least three of whom are women, registered by April 1. Any games played with any players who have not signed up and paid will result in game forfeits. Additionally, a captain or acting captain who intentionally uses an ineligible player will be suspended for 1 game. The $150 deposit may not be applied to your team’s total amount due and will only be refunded if all deadlines, meetings, and requirements are met. (If not, the $150 will be forfeited.) There is a 14-player minimum roster limit and no maximum roster limit. Replacement players (for injured players or a player moving out of town) may be placed on the roster, or new players may be added to the roster by contacting the softball coordinator. After June 27thth, no players may be added for any reason. (Replacement for injured player not permitted.)

Section 1.05   Team Eligibility

(a)        To remain in the league and be eligible for entry the next season, a team must avoid being penalized a total of 2 points from the following: missed deadlines = 1 point each; no show forfeited game = 1 point; forfeited game due to use of ineligible player = 1 point; forfeited game with 24 hours’ notice to the league and opposing captain or due to injury/ejection during the game = 1/2 point. In the case where a forfeited game is rained out, the game will be rescheduled, and no penalty points will be charged.

(b)       Any team receiving two penalty points (or more) during this current season may only return to play the next season if their roster contains at least 50% new players and a new captain.

Section 1.06   Player Eligibility

(a)        All players must be a minimum of 15 years of age.

(b)       Any new (first time) player will be added to existing or reconfigured teams as space permits. In accordance with the City of Mercer Island’s no-growth policy, new teams may join the league on a space-available basis.

(c)        A player may play on two teams, if the player has registered and paid for both teams. A player may not join two teams in the same division. However a team may have at most 4 players who also play in a higher division.

Section 1.07   Rules, Game Balls, Scorebooks, ASA Materials, Etc.

Each team must pick up their league materials for the season at the mandatory captains’ meeting prior to the beginning of the regular season. The league rules should be brought to every game by each team captain. It is the home team who supplies the "game balls" and the visitor supplies the back-up balls. The team supplying the game ball should keep it for practices after the game ends. In addition, the home team is responsible for being the official scorer for the game. 

Section 1.08   Rainouts

It is the responsibility of each captain to call the Softball Rainout Hot-Line (206) 232-7115, ext 438 for any possible game cancellations due to inclement weather. The decision to cancel will be made by 3 p.m. for that evening's game. Sunday rainouts will be decided one hour before the first scheduled games.

Section 1.09   Umpires

Both in-house umpires and Seattle Metro Softball Umpires Association umpires will be used for all divisions of play. The SJCC will make every effort to have games officiated by SMSUA umpires, in-house umpires, or another league official.

In the rare event of an umpire failing to show, the game must start within 10 minutes of its scheduled start time, as the players have made an effort to be there and want to play. The coaches have an obligation to play the game by working out an acceptable umpiring arrangement from the players or fans at the game. This will be an official game and count in the league standings.

Section 1.10   Protests/Grievances

Any protests shall be directed to the SJCC Softball League Coordinator by the end of the day following the game. If after discussing the protest with both captains, the coordinator feels that the protest needs further evaluation he/she will advise the protesting party to submit the protest in writing (email is acceptable) with a $25 check payable to the SJCC. The protest must be submitted within 24 hours of notice from the coordinator and contain all pertinent information of how the disputed situation affected the outcome of the game. The Chair and the coordinator will consult with the parties involved and SJCC staff, as necessary to reach a decision. The Chair may elect to call a special hearing. If the protest is successful, the $25 will be refunded. Grievances against any player for unsportsmanlike conduct, disruptive behavior, or being an illegal substitute, or any action, which appears not to be in the league's best interests, must be phoned within 48 hours after the game completion to the League Coordinator’s office. The $25 fee is not required.

Section 1.11   League Structure

There shall be an "A" League, a "B" League, a “C” League, and a “D” League (and possibility a 5th League) proportionately divided by the overall number of teams so that approximately 1/4 of the teams are in each league. Teams will be placed in the divisions by the softball chair and SJCC staff. All teams will play within their respective divisions. The regular season will consist of up to 16 games. If unbalanced scheduling is necessary, additional games within each division will be determined by pairing teams based upon the previous season standings.

Section 1.12   Awards

Individual trophies will be awarded to the champions in the playoffs for all divisions.

Article II.    Game Rules

Section 2.01   Code of conduct

(a)        Players are expected to show good sportsmanship at all times.

(b)       The team captain is responsible for the conduct of his/her players.

(c)        Only the team captain may address the umpires.

(d)       The following are a few examples of inappropriate behavior and conduct which will result in automatic suspensions:

                              i)          FOUL LANGUAGE: May receive a warning for first offense and will be automatically ejected for 2nd.

                             ii)          PHYSICAL CONTACT: Accidental contact may be warned the first time, and if it occurs again will result in immediate ejection. Purposeful contact will result in an immediate ejection plus an additional minimum one-game suspension.

                           iii)          VERBAL ABUSE: The league will not tolerate any verbal abuse of umpires, players, or fans. If a player is ejected by an umpire for verbal abuse, he/she will receive an additional minimum one-game suspension. If a softball committee member observes verbal misbehavior, even if the umpire has not ejected the player, this may result in a suspension.

                           iv)          OTHER INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR: Other actions which will not be tolerated include throwing the bat, ball field/park abuse, using a ball in an unsportsmanlike manner, and any other actions not in the best interest of the league may result in game suspensions.

                             v)          DELAY OF GAME: Such actions as, but not limited to, purposely slowing progress of the game for own team’s benefit and excessive switching of players’ field positions may result in immediate ejection and further suspensions.

                           vi)          USE OF A DISALLOWED BAT: Using a bat prohibited under Article II Section 2.04 is not only a sportsmanship issue but a safety issue. A player found with such a bat will be ejected, and the player and team captain will be suspended from the team’s next game.

Section 2.02   Length of Games and Time Limits and Forfeits

Games shall last a maximum of one hour, twenty-five minutes. No new inning will start after one hour, 15 minutes have expired from the scheduled start time, and the game will end no later than one hour, twenty-five minutes after the scheduled start time. If a player is batting when time expires or it becomes too dark to continue, the game does not end until completion of that at bat. Games ended with incomplete innings revert to the last completed full inning (unless the home team is batting and has tied or gone ahead). Games are a maximum seven innings long. The umpire's time shall be considered as official start and end time. The umpire shall strictly enforce game time limits. There is no automatic run rule to win a game.

(a)        DELAY OF GAME: If the team leading in score causes the game to be delayed, the umpire may start calling balls or strikes, as appropriate, to keep the game moving. No more than one 30-second defensive conference is allowed per inning.

(b)       FORFEITS: If you have 8 players (of whom at least 2 are women), you have a "team" and will not have to forfeit. You have 10 minutes from scheduled start time to field your minimum 8 players; if not, a forfeit will occur. If after 5 minutes you have 8 players (and presumably still expect at least 1 or 2 more players to show up) you must start the game with the 8 players that you have.

(c)        SUBSTITUTE PLAYERS: If a captain is concerned about the possibility of his/her team being short players for an upcoming game, he may borrow a player from any other team in the SJCC league. All substitutes must be legally registered players on a SJCC softball team. A captain or acting captain who intentionally uses an ineligible player will be suspended for 1 game. If it turns out that enough regular players show up for that game, the substitutes are permitted to play anyway. 

(d)        MERCY RULE: : If a team is ahead by 20 or more runs after 5 complete innings the game is over. There will be no more playing for the two teams on the field at that time. The same is to be said after 6 innings.  

Section 2.03   Ground Rules at South Mercer Fields

(a)        Field #1. Any fair batted ball which goes over or under the metal outfield fence is a dead ball and an automatic ground rule double. Each team is allowed five fly ball ground rule doubles per game; all subsequent are outs. Any player who hits a fair or foul fly ball which clears the upper wood fence in right field will be immediately called out and ejected from this game and the next game. If the same player does it again in a subsequent game in the same season, he will be banned for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. 

(b)       Field #2. Any fly ball which goes over the fence and lands in the bushes is a ground rule double. Each team is allowed two fly ball ground rule doubles per game —all subsequent are outs. Any player who hits a fair or foul fly ball which clears the upper wood fence will be immediately called out and ejected from this game and the next game. If the same player does it again in a subsequent game in the same season, he will be banned for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs. Any ground ball which rolls into the bushes beyond the fence is a ground rule triple. A fly ball which lands in the bushes to the right of the fence is a home run.

(c)        Field#3. In right field, a fly ball which goes over the fence on the right field side of the white home run pole, is an automatic ground rule double. Each team is allowed two fly ball ground rule doubles per game — all subsequent are outs. In right-center field, any fly ball which goes over the fence on the center field side of the home run pole is an automatic home run —there is no limit. In left-center field, any ground ball which rolls into the bushes beyond the fence is a ground rule triple. If a ball is hit to the right of the home run pole, in fair play and strikes a branch from a tree that is overhanging the filed, the play is called dead and a ground rule double shall be awarded unless the team already has their allowed 2 ground rule doubles then it will be called an out.

(d)       Field #4. The trench that runs from the first base side of the fence will be considered the extension of the fence for out-of-play and catch-and-carry. If a ball is hit in fair play and strikes a branch from a tree that is overhanging the field, the play is called dead and a ground rule double shall be awarded.

(e)       HOMESTEAD NORTH. . In right field, a fly ball which goes into the trees in the air on the right field side of the white home run pole is an automatic ground rule double. Each team is allowed two fly ball ground rule doubles per game — all subsequent are outs. There is no progressive double allowance in this league. If a ball rolls into the bushes to the right of the homerun pole then it is a ground rule double. There is no limit on ground rule doubles that roll into the bushes. In right-center field, any fly ball which goes into the trees in the air on the center field side of the home run pole is an automatic home run —there is no limit. In Any ground ball which rolls into the bushes to the left of the homerun pole is a ground rule triple. If a ball is hit to the right of the homerun pole, in fair play and strikes a branch from a tree that is overhanging the field, the play is called dead and a ground rule double shall be awarded, unless the team already has they’re allowed 2 ground rule doubles then it will be called an out.

(f)       HOMESTEAD SOUTH. If a ball is hit in fair play and strikes a branch from a tree that is overhanging the field, the play is called dead and a ground rule double shall be awarded.

(g)       All fields will have bases that are 65’ apart.


Section 2.04       Exceptions to ASA Coed Slow Pitch Rules
The league shall follow Official ASA Coed Slow Pitch rules with specific exceptions and/or points of emphasis which are covered in the following:

(a)        Pitching

                              i)          Regular ASA rules will apply. When a woman is batting, she may choose the official women's ball, or may use the men’s ball for her turn at bat. When the play is ended, the men’s ball will be put back in the game. If the wrong size ball is used, a "do over" shall occur if the batting team so desires and if the error is corrected prior to the next pitch. 

                             ii)          INTENTIONAL WALKS:  If a male batter is pitched four straight balls without any strikes and a woman’s slot is the next in the batting order, the man will automatically walk to 2nd base and the woman/captain will have the option to hit or take an automatic walk to 1st base. Any base runners will automatically advance two bases even if not forced. If a man is intentionally walked and the next batting slot is an automatic out for a missing woman slot, the out is recorded after any and all base runners have been awarded their bases. Any walk to a male batter on more than four pitches or with a male batter on deck will result in a one-base award; runners advance only if forced.

                           iii)          WARM-UPS:  Any new pitcher (or in the first inning of a game) shall be allowed a maximum of five warm-up tosses. After that, no warm-ups are permitted between innings.

                           iv)          NO COURTESY FOUL:  If after two strikes a foul is hit, the batter is out.

                             v)          DISTANCE: Pitchers must use the 50 foot pitching rubber. On fields 1, 2, and 3, it is the furthest pitching rubber from home plate. On Field 4 it is the 2nd of 4 from home plate.

                           vi)          STARTING COUNT: Each batter will start with a zero-ball, zero-strike count

(b)       Batting/Batting Order

                              i)          No bunting.

                             ii)          Wearing of batting helmets is recommended but not required.

                           iii)          All bats used must be listed as approved bats on the ASA website If they do not have an ASA stamp, captains are responsible for providing proof they are legal (such as a printed copy of the relevant webpage listing the bat as legal). Using a non-approved bat will result in ejection of the player and a minimum one-game suspension for the player and team captain. 

                           iv)          BATTING ORDERS:  Batting orders must be exchanged by each team, at home plate, during the pre-game ground rules meeting. At this time the line-ups become official. (The only exceptions shall be a pinch hitter who then replaces the player pinch hit for in the same spot in the line-up or a player who arrives late as described below. A woman may fill a vacant slot at any time when the team is shorthanded).

Batting orders must be constructed so that not more than two men can bat in succession (except from the end of the order to the first two batters and then no more than 4 men bat in a row). Late arriving players may be added to the end of the batting order after the start of the game. The current men-to-women ratio still applies, however, and the opposing captain must be notified. If adding a late arriving male player to the end of the batting order would cause more than 4 men to bat in a row, the later arriving player may instead be added as a platoon in any male batting slot. If fielding 10 players, then 10 batting slots must be filled. (A platoon is considered to be one slot) Batting orders will consist of the following men to women ratios:

Example of a batting order:

8 players

2 women

9 to 11 players

3 women

12 to 14 players

4 women

15 to 17 players

5 women

18 to 20 players

6 women


1. Man 2. Man 3. Woman 4. Man 5. Man 6. Woman 7. Man 8. Man 9. Woman 10. Man 11. Man

If a male or female player already in the batting line-up gets injured during the game and can’t continue or has to leave before the game ends, and no subs are available, it is permissible to simply “skip” his/her batting slot and have the next batter in the line-up bat with no automatic out recorded, provided that the male to female batting order ratios are still maintained. If skipping the spot would result in three men batting in a row, other than from the bottom of the order to the top of the order, an automatic out must be taken for the injured batter.

Special Note:  If only two women are in the line-up, seven men may play in the field, and eight men may be in the batting order. However, the first woman's slot is an automatic out regardless of the number of batters in your line-up. Also, a late arriving woman may fill that vacant slot at any time.

Women in Batting Order:

Question: Is it legal to bat a woman in the first or second slot in the line-up?

Answer: Yes. If a woman is the first batter in the batting order, the last 4 batters may be men. If a woman is the second batter in the batting order, the last three batters plus the leadoff batter may be men.

                            v)          Platooning Batters

Coaches have the option of placing two batters (who have already arrived at the field) of the same sex in the same batting slot in the original line-up exchanged at home plate. These two batters must be designated as "platooning", which means that they will alternate turns batting each time the assigned line-up batting slot comes up during the game. The coach must declare which platooning batter will hit the first time around. Once declared, the platooning batters must alternate in that order. In other words, the same platooning batter may not bat twice in a row. Once a particular line-up slot has been designated as "platooning," it must remain so for the entire game. An exception would be if a platooning batter was injured during the game and could not continue to play or had to leave before the game ended, the spot would be filled by the other platooning player, if a bench player was not available, to avoid having to take an automatic out. A platooning batter may be removed for a pinch hitter of the same sex. However, the pinch hitter must be a player who has not previously batted and was not in the original starting line-up.  A late arriving player may be added to a platoon, if adding him to the end of the order would create more than four male batters in a row. If a player not part of a platoon is injured during the game and cannot continue to play or has to leave before the game ends, a team may break a platoon to fill the vacated batting spot. Special Note:  The ASA re-entry rule does not apply to our league.

                           vi)          Ejected Player

If a player is ejected from the game, he/she may not be replaced in the batting line and an automatic out shall be recorded during the ejected player’s turn to bat. In addition, the ejected player will be suspended from his/her next game(s) by the League Chairs. (If the player requests a special hearing, the suspension(s) will be enforced after the hearing.) If a player is platooning, an out must be taken when that player’s half of the platoon is scheduled to bat. The other half of the platoon is allowed to bat. An ejected player may not be skipped in the order.

(c)        "Courtesy Runner"

The intent of the courtesy runner rule is to allow a player with physical problems, but who can bat and run to first base, to be able to play in spite of temporary or permanent physical problems. Each team is allowed three players who may use a courtesy runner (male or female for a total of three) per game designated at any time during the game. Once a player uses a courtesy runner, that designation may not be transferred to another player. The courtesy runner, each time, shall be the last batter or runner out at the time the courtesy runner is needed of the same gender.  If the courtesy runner becomes the on-deck batter while on base, he/she will be replaced on base by the person of the same gender who made the last out, at the time of the replacement. The designated player must first reach base safely. All other runners requiring base running assistance will be removed from the batting line-up if they use a pinch runner (see pinch runner). If a team bats around, and the proper replacement runner is on base, the next previous out of the appropriate sex is chosen. If a platooning batter requires a courtesy runner, the runner is specifically a courtesy runner for that batter, not for the platooning batting slot.

Section 2.05   Field Positions

(a)        A maximum of 10 players, of which at least three must be women, can occupy the field at one time. A legal minimum of eight players must be present, of which at least two must be women. If there are nine players, at least two must be women.

(b)       Free field substitution is allowed at all times. Players may be placed into the batting order even though they do not play the field. A player may play the field without batting in the lineup.

(c)        ENCROACHMENT: There is no encroachment rule in this league. Equal opportunity fielding is in play.

(d)       Women and men may play any legal position with no limits on the number of male or female infielders or outfielders, subject to the restrictions in rule (a) above.

Section 2.06   Safety Rules

(a)        No metal spiked shoes are permitted.

(b)        ASA rules regarding proper uniforms are extended to include the option of women wearing long, loose skirts or other garments reflecting modesty in dress. ASA rules that require players to wear matching shirts and numbers do not apply.

(c)        Catchers are encouraged to wear a mask. It is each team's responsibility to provide the mask.

(d)       It is advised that coaches ask their players to acquire medical insurance.

(e)       Avoidable physical contact between players will be strictly enforced with the possibility of a game ejection and suspension. Any committee member who observes a dangerous act during a game as a spectator (not player) has the authority to take the necessary action to handle the situation. This will usually require notifying the league chairman as soon as possible and reporting the incident.

(f)         The following infractions will result in an automatic minimum one game suspension:

                      (i)     Any fake or bluff tag trying to slow a base runner or forcing him/her to slide unnecessarily.

                    (ii)     Purposely running into a fielder at any time:  i.e., trying to knock over a fielder at a base to dislodge the ball; and i.e., "accidentally" on purpose running into a fielder trying to catch a batted or thrown ball.

(g)        Who has the "right of way?"

                      (i)     When fielding a live ball: The fielder, when trying to make a play on a live ball, has the right-of-way. The base runner must, at all times, avoid contact.

                    (ii)     When covering a base: (a) If no action is imminent at the base a fielder is covering, the runner has the right-of- way and the fielder must not impede the runner's path; (b) If the fielder is in the process of catching a thrown ball (getting ready for a tag on a sliding runner), he/she should straddle the base from the opposite side the runner is approaching. The fielder must not block the base and the runner should not run into the fielder.

(h)       Slide or get out of the waY: We are a non-contact league. Runner must avoid contact even if the fielder is in the wrong place and the play results in the runner being called out. Umpires should call a runner safe who avoids contact with a fielder in the interest of safety.



Article III.  Playoff Rules

All teams in the league make the playoffs and teams will be seeded according to their regular season records. The playoffs are double elimination. The playoffs will usually conclude by the Sunday after Seafair (no games on Seafair Sunday).

Section 3.01   Regular Season Team Standings

Team Standings will be calculated as 2 points for a win, 1 point for a tie, and 0 points for a loss. Standings will be in order of points per game played.

Section 3.02   Breaking a Two-way Tie in Standings

(a)        1st Criteria:  Better record against each other during season.

(b)        2nd Criteria:  Who has better record against the first place team.  If still tied, who has better record against the next best team, etc. If still tied, a coin toss will determine seeding.

Section 3.03   Breaking a Tie in Standings Between Three or More Teams:

(a)        1st Criteria:  If one team is undefeated including ties against the others (or one team has not beaten any of the others including ties), seed that team first (last) among the teams, then restart with the two team or multi-team tie breaker as appropriate.

(b)        2ND Criteria:  Better record against highest finishing team not involved in the tie.  If tied, better record against next highest finishing team not involved in the tie.

(c)        3RD Criteria:  If multiple teams have the same record against every other team, conduct a multi-team coin flip to seed the teams.

The higher seeded team is the home team in the playoffs until potential championship games. The team that reaches the championship via the winners’ bracket will be the home team in the first championship game. If a second championship game is required, the team that won the first championship game will be home team. 


Section 3.04   Playoff Rosters:

No substitutes or replacement players are permitted to play in the playoffs.

Section 3.05   Time Limits:

No new inning will start after one hour, fifteen minutes have expired from the scheduled start time or the end of the previous game, whichever is later. The final inning shall be played to completion. All playoff games will have time limits, unless specifically stated in the brackets. 

Section 3.06   Playoff Time Limit Tie Breaker: 

Since playoff games cannot end in a tie, if the game is tied and clock time has expired, the next inning will begin with the last male in the batting order going to 2nd base (if a platoon exists it is the Captain’s choice of which player goes to 2nd base), and the top of the batting order bats with two outs.  If still tied after both teams have batted, the next inning starts with the last out (male or female) on 2nd base, two outs, and the batting order continuing from the first tie-breaker inning. Tie breakers do not apply to games with no time limits.

Section 3.07   Determining The Winner of a Playoff Tie Game Ended By Darkness

(a)        1st Criteria: Team leading at the end of the last completed inning with one team ahead.

(b)       2nd Criteria: Higher Seed (home team) advances.