A GRADE PLAYS TO SOFTBALL AUSTRALIA RULES UNLESS OTHERWISE AMENDED BY THE ANDREWS CUP ASSOCIATION
- Competition will be conducted in Open A (years 5 & 6).
1.1 Schools entering only one grade must enter the Open A competition
Each grade will be awarded a pennant and place ribbons to 1st, 2nd, 3rd teams in each division. The Andrews Cup A trophy and first place pennant will be awarded to the winning school. Ribbons will be awarded to the schools coming 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
2. The game shall be played for 40 minutes and at least 1 innings completed.
3. METHOD OF PLAY FOR A GRADE
3.1 The infield fly rule will be played in A Grade. It will not apply in Fast Track.
The infield fly rule applies when there are less than two out and 1st base and 2nd base are occupied by base runners. The batter hits a fly ball (not a line drive) into the infield and with ordinary effort, an infielder could have caught the ball, the batter will be called out. The batter is out whether the ball is caught or not.
3.2 An innings is completed when either 3 outs have been made or 5 runs have been scored, whichever happens / occurs first.
3.3 If there is a batter still in the box (at bat), they become the first batter of the following innings and they begin with a fresh ball/strike count.
3.4 Catcher on Base – in any innings where there are two (2) out the catcher of the batting team who is on base, must be replaced by another player listed on the line-up card. This replacement base runner cannot be one of the next 4 batters scheduled to bat. This replacement base runner is not deemed a substitute
3.5 Designated Runner for A Grade only
A “DESIGNATED RUNNER”, referred to as “DR”, may be used for any base runner once only in any offensive innings, provided it is made known prior to the start of the game & the player’s name is indicated on the line-up sheet for the coach or umpire.
- The “DR” may be used as a substitute for any fielder or batter during the game and/or
- The “DR” may be substituted at any time by a player who then becomes the “DR”. The substitute must be a player who has not been in the game. Note: This is a separate position and different from the runner for the catcher. The “DR” may run for the catcher but that will constitute her time in the offensive innings.
3.6 All round games are played for a duration of 40 minutes. Round games will be allocated a 40 minute timeslot. 10 minutes between games will be allocated.
3.7 Semi-finals and grand finals are played for a duration of 50 minutes. Finals games will be allocated a 60 minute timeslot.
3.8 For semi-finals and grand finals, when the hooter sounds at 50 minutes, if 2 innings have not been completed, the 2nd innings is to be completed.
3.9 The “Change over after 5 runs have been scored” rule applies to all games.
4. The softball competition is held on one day.
5. In 2016each of the competitions will play in zones, unless the number is low enough to play round robin.
5.1 There will be no semi-finals or finals in a round-robin.
5.2 The number of games each team will play will depend on the number of schools entering that grade.
5.3 Teams will be allocated:- 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss
5.4 There will be no extra time played
6. TIMES OF ROUNDS
To be confirmed
Presentation of pennants will be at the conclusion of the final.
7. DIAMOND DIMENSIONS
Open A Grade: – the distance between bases will be 18.29m (60’) and the pitching distance will be 10.67m (35’).
8. Umpires will be responsible for signing score sheets and the winning team is responsible for sending them to the recording area after each round. Coaches must also sign the scorecard. Score sheets must be given in within 20 minutes of finishing the game.
9. For each game a 5-minute warning will be sounded so that preliminaries may be completed by umpires and games begin on time. The umpire will time the match.
Please Note: Teams must ensure that they are lined up on the 5-minute warning, to prevent any delays.
10. Substitutions can be made at any time. If time wasting is evident, the umpire will take appropriate action.
11.1 The umpire convenor will be asked to provide “Blues” for A Grade.
11.2 Secondary school students, if suitably qualified, are acceptable if organised by the umpire convenor.
11.3 Umpires must familiarise themselves with and understand this method of play.
11.4 Umpires cannot change from base to plate or plate to base in the middle of an innings, unless injured. However, they can change at the end of a completed innings.
11.5 Both the plate and base umpires must sign the score sheet before it is given to the chief recorder.
Refer to By-Law 8: The umpire in charge plus the highest accredited umpire not involved in the game will be responsible for handling disputes
13.1 Schools must provide their own score sheets and one scorer per team.
13.2 Scorers must be familiar with the method of scoring.
13.3 Scorers from each school must check scores and prevent differences at the end of each innings.
13.4 When each team is batting, an adult from the team at bat, must oversee / supervise and be responsible for scoring. Where possible it is preferable for the adult to be the scorer.
13.5 Coaches must sign the scorecard before the start of play
13.6 Scorers must check that the Andrews Cup scorecards are signed by umpires and the coach from both teams after the match and be handed in to the recording area.
14. TEAM EQUIPMENT
14.1 When necessary, softball diamonds must be set up at least 15 minutes before the first match is due to start. First base must be an official SAFETY BASE. School coaches should liaise with the blue to ensure that the base and pitching distances are as required for that game.
14.2 Each A and B team must provide an 11 inch leather ball in good condition. C Grade and Year 5 use an 11 inch “Incrediball”.
14.3 All catchers must wear a chest protector, helmet, mask, wrap around knee leggings and throat protector and these must all be in good order.
14.4 A batting helmet with chinstrap done up is compulsory.
14.5 Each school must provide and take care of their own bats, balls, gloves, tees and catchers’ equipment.
15. A responsible person must be in charge of, and remain with, their team during matches.
16. INJURY TIME
There is no injury time in softball. An injured player is to be removed from the game where possible and play is to continue. If time runs out & the player cannot be moved the match becomes a draw.
Adult coaches or senior school coaches are permitted to coach from coaching boxes.
All coaches under 19 years must wear a batter’s helmet and appropriate clothing when in the coach’s box.
18. If backstops are not available at the venue, the batting team shall provide a student to act as a backstop behind the dead ball line to retrieve passed balls. This ball, once retrieved will be held until called for by the umpire.
19. Coaches may approach umpires during a game if umpires are not correctly enforcing the specific Andrews Cup Association Rules. Coaches may approach umpires to ask for clarification on certain rules during play, but judgement decisions must not be queried. Coaches, who are umpiring in C Grade and Year 5, must be conversant with the current rules.
20. All equipment must be maintained. No metal cleats, only rubber
FAST TRACK SOFTBALL FOR B & C GRADES
RULES – The normal rules of Andrews Cup Fast Track Softball apply except as specified in these rules
1. THE GAME
The choice of first or last bat shall be decided by the toss of a coin.
2.1 A team may have a maximum of 12 players
2.2 A maximum of 9 players are permitted on the field at any one time but all members appear on the batting order and all players bat.
2.3 A designated hitter or runner shall not be used. Once the batting order has been established for a game and listed on the scorecard, girls must bat in that order regardless of whether they are substituted or there is a change of position when fielding.
2.4 Outfielders need to be rotated into the infield and vice versa for each game.
2.5 All players shall bat and field in every game.
3.1 Ball – B & C Grades will use an 11 inch Incrediball
3.2 Glove – each fielding player must wear a fielding glove
3.3 Bat – A regulation bat with non-slip grip covering the handle. The length/weight of the bat should be suitable for the size (height/strength) of the players
3.4 Batting Helmets – helmets must fit properly and be worn by batters and base runners during the game. Batting helmets are to have chinstraps done up.
3.5 Catchers Gear – All catchers are to wear a chest protector, catcher’s helmet, facemask with throat protector, leg guards and glove.
3.6 Powder to be used to denote foul lines off the tee.
4. GAME TIMES
A game lasts for 40 minutes.
5. PLAYING FIELD
5.1 The base paths shall be 50 feet apart
5.2 The pitching distance shall be 30 feet
(This should be a comfortable distance for the player to pitch)
5.3 The Backstop should be 5m/15ft behind home plate.
(This can be a temporary barrier e.g. bags and is to eliminate time wasted due to the pitched ball passing the catcher & going into the back net). If a ball goes beyond the backstop it is a Dead Ball and no further play is permitted.
6.1 Official umpires will ‘manage’ the games within the philosophy of the game.
6.2 The normal rules of Fast Track Softball apply except as specified in these rules
6.3 The official dropped third strike rule does not apply however, a dropped third strike results in the batter being out and no runners can advance.
6.4 The “Infield Fly” Rule does not apply in Fast Track. It does however apply in A Grade.
6.5 The ‘Hit by a Pitched Ball’ rule does not apply. (No pitch is called – this results in a ball being awarded to the batter)
6.6 Any illegal pitch becomes a ‘no pitch’. No advancing from the base runners.
7.1 Coaches are permitted to verbally assist players in defence
7.2 Coaches are permitted to coach/advise players from a coach’s box during batting and from the sideline during fielding, taking into account the Andrews Cup and any other Coaches Codes of Conduct.
8. No open faced shoes such as thongs or sandals are permitted
9.1 The pitcher pitches to a maximum count of 3 strikes and 3 balls on each batter
9.2 A Batting tee is introduced when there are three balls pitched to the batter. They take their ball/stroke count to the tee. (see Tee ball rules for description of a strike)
9.3 There are NO walks in Fast-Track Softball
9.4 When the tee is introduced, the pitcher may take two steps backwards [in line with the pitching plate] to a distance of 35ft.
10. BATTING ORDER
All players’ names are to appear on the scorecard. This is the batting line-up. The same batting order must be followed throughout the game.
11.1 After 3 balls on the batter, a tee is introduced and the batter takes the ball/strike count to the tee. The batting tee should be placed in front of home plate (not on home plate).
11.2 A batter may not have a practice swing when batting off the tee. However, the batter may line up the bat and the ball when they enter the ‘Batters’ Box’ and before each subsequent swing.
11.3 A strike occurs when the batter swings and misses the ball on the tee.
11.4 It is a foul if the ball does not pass a 4.5m safety zone/arc
11.5 If the batter hits the tee and the ball passes the 4.5m arc, the ball is a fair ball and is in play.
12.1 Strike Zone. Any ball delivered by the pitcher that passes over the plate between the batter’s shoulders and higher than the batters knees, within easy reach of the bat.
12.2 Strike. It is a strike if the ball passes through the strike zone or the batter swings at the pitch and misses the ball.
12.3 A foul ball is a strike
12.4 The Tee. It is a strike if the batter swings and misses the ball on the tee.
13.1 Players are permitted to pitch or catch (but NOT both) in any one game.
13.2 Pitchers must be rotated after two innings.
13.3 All fielding positions [in particular, catcher] must be regularly rotated throughout the day. This is a heat requirement.
As this method of play is developmental, The Andrews Cup Association strongly recommends that player positions be rotated regularly with players experiencing as many different playing positions throughout the day as possible.
14.1 In addition to the normal rules of softball, the batter is out when:
14.2 The batter has three strikes. The third strike does not have to be caught and held by the catcher.
14.3 After three balls and by the third strike the batter has failed to hit a fair ball from the tee into the fair territory.
15. BASE RUNNING
Base runners may not advance:
15.1 Batters / base runners may only run one base on a ball hit from the tee
(This is to reward and encourage players to hit the ball pitched by the opposition player and not the easy one from the tee)
15.2 From third base on a pitched ball not stopped by the catcher.
(This is to eliminate contact at home plate and to encourage teams to bat their runners in)
15.3 When a ball is in play and is overthrown into foul territory. Runners are awarded one base after the ball has passed into foul territory
15.4 Players may take a lead and steal from 1st – 2nd – 3rd, on a pitched ball but may not steal home. A runner may only come home from a fair ball that is hit or from an overthrow. You cannot run home on a passed ball. However, when using a tee, the runner may only advance one base, and this means the runner on third may come home, on ball hit from a tee.
An innings is complete when either 3 outs have been made or 5 runs have been scored, whichever happens / occurs first.
17. METHOD OF PLAY FOR ALL GRADES
17.1 An innings is completed when either 3 outs have been made or 5 runs have been scored, whichever happens / occurs first.
17.2 If there is a batter still in the box (at bat), they become the first batter of the following innings and they begin with a fresh ball/strike count.
17.3 The maximum number of runs to be scored in any one batting innings is 5 runs. Even if the 5th run is scored as a result of a good hit which may actually score more runs (e.g. a runner on second scores the 5th run as a result of a home run hit, so 6 runs have crossed the plate) only the 5 runs are counted.
17.4 All round games are played for a duration of 40 minutes. Round games will be allocated a 40 minute timeslot. 10 minutes between games will be allocated.
17.5 Semi-finals and grand finals are played for a duration of 50 minutes. Finals games will be allocated a 60 minute timeslot.
17.6 For semi-finals and grand finals, when the hooter sounds at 50 minutes, if 2 innings have not been completed, the 2nd innings is to be completed.
17.7 The “Change over after 5 runs have been scored” rule applies to all games.