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NJ Play Sports Sunday Softball League Rules

10 v 10 Co-Ed Softball Rules


NJ Play Sports Softball League Rules

  • 10 players on the field minimum of (3) male plays and minimum of (3) female player

    8 players, including 1 of each gender required at game time to avoid a forfeit

  • Modified arc pitching rules: arc must be between 6' and 12'
  • Any dangerous hits up the middle of the field will result in an out! (Umpire's Discretion)

  • All players present on each team are required to bat
  • No Bunting!
  • No Metal Cleats allowed
  • No more than 3 of each gender may bat in a row in the batting order

    Each non-roster sub must pay a $10 sub fee and sign the waiver prior to the start of the game (Subs will wear own t-shirt closely matching team colors)
  • No Subs allowed during playoffs
  • Game will consist of 7 innings or the league specified time limit whichever comes first
    • The last inning will always be completed
    • One inning will be played if the game is tied after 7 innings and time permits
    • Tie games at game completion with result in a tie for each team
  • Games called after 3 innings will be considered a complete game
  • There is a 7 run limit per inning except in last inning
  • All players must arrive on-time to avoid forfeiture of game(Game time is forfeit time)
  • All Softball games are RAIN or SHINE (unless hazardous conditions)
  • No mercy rule. Teams play until time limit
  • Any unsportsmanlike conduct will result in that player/team being suspended/removed from participating in future NJ Play activities, at the discretion of NJ Play officials.

Forfeits - Required Players

NJ Play stresses that you do not forfeit. Your teammates and opponents count on you to have a full team and competitive game. At check-in, inform NJ Play official if you a) know that your team will be short players for your game or b) expect to field a full team, but are currently short players. Officials will help make sure that a game is played, whether official or scrimmage, on every field.

  • Must have at least 8 players, including 1 of each gender required at game time to avoid a forfeit
  • Game time is forfeit time. There is no grace period
  • No one may play without signing the waiver

Forfeit Penalties and Notification

  • First Offense: Loss of game
  • Second Offense: Loss of game and removal from the playoffs
  • Third Offense: Removal from the rest of the schedule
  • If you know in advance that your team is going to forfeit a game, you MUST contact us at at least 2 hours prior to your game time. If your decision is not made until after, you should still try to contact NJ Play Sports, and we will make efforts to contact the other team. If we can reach them in time to keep them from showing up, no extra penalty. If you do not do this, your team will be eliminated from the rest of the schedule.
  • There is no additional penalty if you show up short-handed (and need to add other NJ Play players to field a full team) and have to forfeit the game, since you did make an effort to get a team to play.
  • Once NJ Play is notified you are forfeiting, it is official, and the other team will be notified.

Questions for the referee: only the team captain is allowed to ask the head referee for rule clarification. If it is a judgment call, the referees can confer with each other and the team captains for discussion, but players and/or captains are not allowed to question judgment calls.

Game Cancelations

  • Softball Leagues may be cancelled due to dangerous weather conditions, facility constraints or other unforeseeable reasons. NJ Play will not cancel games unless absolutely necessary, so you should always assume games are on unless you receive notification. If the games are cancelled, NJ Play Sports will notify all players via email.

Start of Game

  • Referee will have two captains shoot rock/paper/scissors, odds/evens, or coin flip.
  • Winning captain selects if they would like to take the field first or bat first (home or away team)
  • Each Team must present a Line-up at this time
  • Each Softball Captain should inquire about Home Runs and Ground Rule Doubles

Clock Time

  • A Softball game will consist of 7 innings or the league specified time limit whichever comes first
  • One inning will be played if the game is tied after 7 innings and time permits
  • The last inning will always be completed
  • If the game is called after three complete innings it will be considered a completed game
  • To keep the game moving there are no warm-up pitches between innings, teams should hustle on and off the field.  A pitcher will be allowed three warm-up pitches during their first inning taking the pitcher's mound
  • Please give yourself plenty of time to warm up prior to the start of your game

Mercy Rule

  • No mercy rule. Teams will play until the time limit


  • Each non-roster sub must pay a $10 sub fee and sign the waiver prior to the start of the game (Subs will wear own t-shirt closely matching team colors)
  • No Subs allowed during playoffs
  • Maximum total number of Subs is four


  • NJ Play Sports will supply Softballs, Bases, and Safety Bases, the strike mat, and the catcher's mask
    • Catchers are strongly encouraged to wear a mask at all times while behind home plate
  • PLAYERS MUST supply their own Gloves and Bats
    • Softball Bats outlawed by the ASA are not allowed. Please refer to for list of all bats that are not approved. 
    • Gloves must be worn at all times while playing the field
  • Optional equipment includes:
    • Cleats (no metal spikes)
    • Batting Gloves
    • Batting Helmets

Softball Rules

  • NJ Play Sports follows the ASA Rules of Softball with the exceptions list below
  • Only captains can discuss a rule with the umpire and no judgment calls will be discussed. Players will be ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct towards an umpire

Number of Players in the Field

  • 8 players, including 1 of each gender required at game time to avoid a forfeit

  • Teams cannot have more than 6 players in the infield (including the pitcher and catcher)
  • Outfielders must start at least 10 yards behind the infield and remain there until the ball is hit
  • A player arriving late may be added to the bottom of the line-up
  • Free substitution will be allowed during each half inning
  • No Fake Tags (This is considered unsportsmanlike conduct)

Number of Players in the Batting Order/Line-up

  • All players present on each team are required to bat
  • No more than 3 of each gender may bat in a row in the batting order

           -Either gender may need to bat more than once through the batting order (this must be noted on line up)
  • A player in the batting order does not have to play the field but a play in the field must be in the batting order
  • No players can be dropped from the batting order without extenuating circumstances or injury.

Batting Out of Order

  • If the error is discovered while the incorrect batter is hitting, then the correct batter will assume the ball/strike count of the incorrect batter
  • If the error is discovered when the batter reaches base safely and the error is discovered, the correct batter will be called out and all runners will return to their original bases
  • The opposing team must make the umpire aware of player batting out of order before a pitch is made to the next batter. If not, the incorrect batter stays on base.

Pitch Arc

  • The arc on pitches must be between six feet and twelve feet above the ground
  • An "illegal pitch" will be called if the ball is not pitched with in these limits
  • An "illegal pitch" will result in a ball, unless a batter swings
  • If a batter swings anyway the outcome of the swing will be used

The Count

  • All Players Start with a 1-1 Count

Strike zone

  • A strike mat will be used to determine the strike zone.
  • The mat is placed touching home plate closest to the catcher
  • If any part of the ball touches home plate or the softball strike mat, on a fly, it will be considered a strike (must be a legal pitch)

Foul Ball

  • Foul balls will count as strikes regardless of the pitch count
  • A foul ball with two strikes will result in the batter being out

Hits up the middle (Player Safety) 

An imaginary line will be drawn approximately 2 feet from the side of the mound on either side.

Any dangerous hits up the middle between these lines will result in an out! (Umpire's Discretion) If a ball is hit above the pitcher's head (considered to be beyond arm's reach when the pitcher is flat footed), the play may be allowed. Determination of height is at the discretion of the umpire.


Base Running

  • A courtesy runner may be used in the case of an injury. The last player of the same sex must be used to replace the injured runner
  • No Leading or Stealing, both of these infractions will result in the base runner being called out
  • Base Runners must use safety softball bases (non-white bases) at first and home plate.
    • Failure to use the safety bases will result in an automatic out
  • A runner who moves more than two steps out of the base path is considered out
  • Runners must avoid fielders attempting to field a hit
  • A runner who is hit with a ball in fair territory will be ruled out (runners interference)
  • If a fielder is blocking a base waiting to receive a throw the runner will be ruled safe (fielders interference)
  • A Ball thrown out of play will result in the runner being awarded the base they are advancing towards plus an additional base
  • It is the runners responsibility to avoid collision as much as possible (Malicious intent will be considered unsportsmanlike conduct)


  • Sliding is allowed when arriving at any base; first base safety base, second, third or home safety base 

Commit Rule

  • A commit line exists halfway between third base and home plate. The boundary will be marked by a colored cone.
  • As the runner approaches home plate, if he or she crosses the commit line, then he or she cannot return to third base.
  • If there is a fly ball and a runner crosses the commit line before the ball is played by the fielder, he or she will be called out if the ball is caught because he or she cannot tag up at third base

Infield Fly Rule

  • Any fly ball within the infield with significant height and deemed an easy catch with less than two outs and runners on 1stand 2ndor bases loaded
    • The runner is called out and the play is dead


  • NJ Play's ultimate goal is for you to have fun. Please keep this in mind while participating. While games may become intense, please maintain sportsmanship. Any behavior or abusive language to another player or referee, and is considered unacceptable by the referee, may result in suspension or ejection from a game or the league

Throwing Softball Bats

  • A warning will be issued to players who throw their bat after hitting the ball
  • Following occurrences will result in the batter being called out


  • Ranking Points (Win: 3, Tie:1, Loss: 0)
  • Win Percentage 
  • Head to Head
  • Points Against
  • Power Index (Strength of Schedule Metric)
  • If none of the above tie breakers resolve seeding issues there will a coin toss to break the tie


Player Protests 

In the event that a team feels that the referee or site management does not acknowledge or incorrectly assumes a written rule in the NJ Play Rule Book the captain can protest said rule. The captain is protesting the fact that the rule exists or is different from what the referee is applying to the game. They are NOT protesting the interpretation of said rule or protesting any judgment calls on the field.

When a team protests a rule they must declare they are officially protesting the rule, the game will pause while the site manager and/or team captain confirm the rule exists or that the rule is being read correctly. If the rule exists or was being read incorrectly this is considered a successful protest (see below). If the rule does not exist or was being read and applied correctly on the field, this is considered a failed protest (see below).


Successful Protests:

Protest must take place on site before the next play begins, no alterations to the game can take place after the next play begins.

Play will continue using the accurate rule

Failed Protests:

Softball/Kickball: An out will be recorded at the teams next at bat