Our dual mission is to provide a fun, instructional and safe league for girls to learn and enjoy the awesome sport of softball, and to serve as a feeder program that will help create and maintain a consistently strong high school softball program.

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Our dual mission is to provide a fun, instructional and safe league for Middle School girls to learn and enjoy the awesome sport of softball, and to serve as a feeder program that will contribute to and help sustain a consistently strong high school softball program.

ESSEX COUNTY LEAGUE RULES

In 2015, the Lynnfield Girls Softball League was granted entry into the Essex County Women's Softball League. The ECWSL is an organized group of independent towns working together to offer our girls a great softball experience. We consider our league the first step in their softball development.

Below are the applicable rules from the ECWSL:

ALL DIVISIONS

 Each player must play at least every other inning in the field unless restricted by injury.
A team will forfeit the game if less than seven players are available.
Make up games must be rescheduled within 1 week of cancellation.
Players can only play for one team per division…Town teams cannot share players.   
To avoid a forfeit, a player can play up.
A player coming late to the game is added to the bottom of the batting order.
A player leaving early from the game is skipped in the batting order. There are no automatic outs.
Unlimited free substitution, including pitchers
Home team gets to practice on the field until 5:45 pm
Visiting team gets the field from 5:45 – 6:00 pm
Games start at 6:00 pm
No new inning can start after 7:30 pm prior to Memorial weekend, then 7:45 pm will be the cut off time. This should be discussed with the umpire prior to the game start.
All divisions will be required to wear helmets with facemasks, chin straps are optional.
The ball utilized is defined as:  Optic Yellow with Red Seams COR 0.470 / Compression 375 lbs. 11 inch for Junior and Farm, 12 inch for Seniors.
A safety bag (double bag with Hi-Vis Orange) at first base will be required for all divisions.
All fields must have movable or breakaway bases to ensure the safety of runners.
Any pitcher that directly hits (ball goes from pitcher’s hand, and in flight, hits batter) 4 batters in a game, that pitcher shall be removed from the game by her coach. Note: batters need to attempt to get out of the way.
Batting order is continuous.
Maximum 6 runs can be scored per inning, inning ends when 6th run crosses the plate. The six run rule is lifted in the 7th inning only for Seniors, and 6th inning only for Juniors. It is not lifted for the agreed upon last inning, or due to darkness or time limit.
15 Run mercy rule after 5 innings.
Only 4 infielders, plus 1 pitcher and 1 catcher are allowed in the infield.
4 outfielders must be on the outfield grass and cannot make a primary play in the infield (e.g. cover second on a force out)
A win is worth 2 points and a tie is worth 1 point.
Senior’s will pitch from 43’. A pitcher can move 1 step in, if they are struggling to throw strikes.
 
Additional Junior Rules
 
6 inning game
Stealing is allowed on a limited basis – Runner cannot leave until the ball reaches the plate.  Runners may only steal second and third base and cannot advance an additional base on an overthrow or pass ball. (Catchers are encouraged to make the throw).  An unlimited amount of steals is allowed per inning / per game.
A batter cannot attempt to run to second base on a walk. No continuous steals.
No dropped third strike
35-foot pitching distance
No infield fly rule
The ball is dead when the pitcher has the ball, or has attempted to catch the ball within the 8-foot radius of the pitchers rubber.  Once the ball is within the circle, runners must return to the previous base unless they are at least half way to the next base.  A pitcher cannot attempt to put the ball back into play once she has the ball inside the 8 – foot radius.
 
Additional Farm Rules
 
35 foot pitching distance. If pitcher walks 3 consecutive batters, then coach comes in to pitch to his own team to finish out the inning. Coach cannot field the ball. Pitcher may pitch again at any point in the game.
50 foot base distances
No bunting & No stealing
Maximum 4 runs can be scored by one team per inning.
2nd graders may play, but coaches must assess her ability, so she can field a defensive position safely.
 
Additional Playoff Rules for Juniors & Seniors
 
 A PLAYER MUST PLAY IN HALF THE REGULAR SEASON GAMES TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR THE PLAYOFFS.
• TOP 8 TEAMS IN EACH JUNIOR & SENIOR DIVISIONS MAKE THE PLAYOFFS.
SEEDING FOR TEAMS WITH EQUAL RECORDS WILL BE DETERMINED BY COIN FLIP.
HOME TEAMS SECURE FIELDS AND ARRANGE AND PAY FOR ASA UMPIRES.
GAME UMPIRES’ HAVE FINAL SAY - NO CONTESTING FINAL GAME RESULTS.
MUST PLAY GAMES ON SCHEDULED DAY OR FORFEIT (excluding rain).
IF A PLAYOFF ROUND GETS RAINED OUT, HIGHER SEEDS MOVE ON
UNLIMITED RUNS CAN BE SCORED PER INNING - NO LIMIT.
SLAUGHTER RULE IN EFFECT - 15 RUN LEAD AFTER 4 INNINGS, GAME IS OVER.
ALL GAMES WILL BE PLAYED WITHIN THEIR CONFERENCE UNTIL THE FINALS.

 

The Following Rules are Specific to Lynnfield Teams

(Struck through rules are superceded by ECWSL rules. Underlined sections are highlighted for their importance. If there are any conflicts, with the exception of the defensive facemask rule, ECWSL rules apply.)

LYNNFIELD GIRLS SOFTBALL LEAGUE-SPECIFIC RULES:

JUNIOR DIVISION -- GRADES 4, 5 & 6 - 2016


GENERAL

1. Good sportsmanship is required, no harassing of the umpires, no heckling opposing players or coaches! Umpire decisions regarding judgment issues are final. This rule applies to coaches, assistant coaches and parents. This is a game and the objective of our league is to teach Middle School girls to enjoy softball and to play the game better -- winning is secondary.

2. All girls must play at least 4 innings in the field in each 6 inning game. Coaches are strongly encouraged to equalize playing time among all players, no matter their skill level, and give every player the opportunity to play both infield and outfield positions (as well as pitch and catch, as appropriate).

3. Games begin at 6:00pm and are limited to 1hour and 45 minutes. No new inning can start after 7:45 pm. Discretion of the umpire in consult with the coaches can change this.

4. The Junior Division plays 6 inning games, 10 on the field (4 outfielders), free substitutions except a pitcher taken out during an inning cannot go back in to pitch in the same inning. They could come back in to pitch the next inning. 4 innings minimum for a “legal” game.

5a. The minimum number of players for a team to play a game is 6 (full infield, pitcher and catcher). If a team begins a game with 6 players and one or more are unable to continue (due to injury, schedule conflict, etc.), the game is a forfeit and is recorded as a 6-0 win for the opponent.

5b. Games that end in a tie after 6 innings can go into extra innings at the coaches' and umpire's discretion, assuming sufficient time and/or daylight.

6. An 11-inch ball is used for the Junior Division (12-inch ball for Senior Division). The pitching rubber is set at 40 feet from the back tip of home plate FOR BOTH DIVISIONS. However, in the Junior Division, pitchers may begin as close as 35 feet away if necessary to move the game along.


EQUIPMENT:

7. No jewelry. Earrings will get caught in the helmet.

8a. Everybody wears a helmet with a face guard and chin strap at the plate and on the bases. Rule applies at practices too.

8b. All pitchers and third basemen MUST wear a protective defensive face mask. Umpires will not allow the game to continue otherwise. Other infielders are strongly encouraged to wear a mask as well. Each team is supplied with at least 3 masks of various types and sizes. Parents are encouraged to purchase a mask for their daughter(s).

8c. Any player warming up a pitcher, in or out of the game, must wear a mask or helmet with a mask.

9. Players must wear complete uniform with shirts tucked in, and hats or visors are highly recommended to help with sun issues. The league no longer provides visors due to lack of use.

10. First base must be the double safety base.

BATTING

11. All players included in batting order. It is a continuous order no matter if you are on the field or not. Coaches cannot change the order during the game. If a player arrives late, she is placed at the bottom of the lineup. If someone leaves early, you simply skip them each time they were to get up with no penalty (i.e., it is not an out).

12. Team batting limit per inning is as follows: Team may score 6 runs (with the continuation of play allowed on the play that scores the 6th run) or get 3 outs. Whichever comes first. Exception: No limit on runs scored in the last inning for either team. Coaches must establish that the last inning is being played with umpire prior to it starting.

13. Batters can’t advance to first on a dropped third strike. (3 strikes, you're out)

FIELDING

14. The outfielders must be positioned on the grass when the pitch is thrown, but they can make plays in the infield (including throwing to first and covering a base).

15. No infield fly rule.

16. On a throw that goes out of play, runners are awarded the base they are advancing toward when the ball is thrown and one additional base. 

17. Pitcher must start each pitch with both feet on the rubber. If a pitcher is having extreme difficulty, as noted earlier, the rubber may be moved further in with agreement from each coach.

RUNNING

18. Runners cannot advance on a throw back to the pitcher.

19. No stealing home. Even on a passed ball. If there is an attempted steal of third and a wild throw from catcher is made to third, runner gets third but cannot advance to home. If runners are first and third, runner at third cannot come home if runner attempts to steal 2cd and a throw is made.

20. Runners sliding into base is strongly encouraged but not mandatory. If you don’t slide you’re not out.

21. Runners may leave the base when the ball crosses home plate. They do not have to wait for the catcher to catch the ball. No leading off base if pitcher has the ball. Runners must return to their base when the pitcher has the ball in the pitching circle. If a runner leaves a base before the ball crosses home plate, the umpire will assess a warning to the runner and her team. Any subsequent time during the game that a runner on that team is called for leaving early, the runner is out. In either case, the pitch is no pitch, the ball is dead and the batter and all runners must return to their original place.

22. Pinch runners are allowed for the catcher (to speed up the following inning) or an injured player only.

SENIOR DIVISION -- GRADES 7 and 8 - 2016

(DIFFERENCES WITH JUNIOR DIVISION ARE HIGHLIGHTED)


GENERAL

1. Good sportsmanship is required, no harassing of the umpires, no heckling opposing players or coaches! Umpire decisions regarding judgment issues are final. This rule applies to coaches, assistant coaches and parents. This is a game and the objective of our league is to teach Middle School girls to enjoy softball and to play the game better -- winning is secondary.

2. All girls must play at least 5 innings in the field in each 7 inning game. Coaches are strongly encouraged to equalize playing time among all players, no matter their skill level, and give every player the opportunity to play both infield and outfield positions (as well as pitch and catch, as appropriate).

3. Games begin at 6:00pm and are limited to 1hour and 45 minutes. No new inning can start after 7:45 pm. Discretion of the umpire in consult with the coaches can change this.

4. The Senior Division plays 7 inning games, 10 on the field (4 outfielders), free substitutions except a pitcher taken out during an inning cannot go back in to pitch in the same inning. They could come back in to pitch the next inning. 
4 innings minimum for a “legal” game.

5a. A team must start with 8 players or it is a forfeit.  If someone has to leave or is injured then the team can play short for the remainder of the game. It is NOT an automatic out when that exiting player’s spot comes up in the batting order.
 
5b.  Games that end in a tie after 7 innings can go into extra innings at the coaches and umpires discretion.

6. A 12-inch ball is used for the Senior Division. The pitching rubber is set at 40 feet from the back tip of home plate. However, pitchers may begin as close as 38 feet away if necessary to move the game along. 


EQUIPMENT:

7. No jewelry. Earrings will get caught in the helmet.

8a. Everybody wears a helmet with a face guard and chin strap at the plate and on the bases. Rule applies at practices too.

8b. All pitchers and third basemen MUST wear a protective defensive face mask. Umpires will not allow the game to continue otherwise. Other infielders are strongly encouraged to wear a mask as well. Each team is supplied with at least 3 masks of various types and sizes.

8c. Any player warming up a pitcher, in or out of the game, must wear a mask or helmet with a mask.

9. Players must wear complete uniform with shirts tucked in, and hats are highly recommended to help with sun issues.

10. First base must be the double safety base.

BATTING

11. All players included in batting order. It is a continuous order no matter if you are on the field or not. Coaches cannot change the order during the game. If a player arrives late, she is placed at the bottom of the lineup. If someone leaves early, you simply skip them each time they were to get up with no penalty (i.e., it is not an out).

12. Team batting limit per inning is as follows: Team may score 6 runs (with the continuation of play allowed on the play that scores the 6th run) or get 3 outs. Whichever comes first. Exception: No limit on runs scored in the last inning for either team. Coaches must establish that the last inning is being played with umpire prior to it starting.

13. Batters can advance to first on a dropped third strike. (Senior Division only.)

FIELDING

14. The outfielders must be positioned on the grass when the pitch is thrown, but they can make plays in the infield (including throws to first and covering a base).

15. The infield fly rule is in effect. When runners are on first and second or the bases are loaded and there are fewer than two outs, and the batter hits a pop fly in the infield, the batter is out. Runners may advance as they would on any play. If a fielder catches the ball, runners must tag up to advance. If the fielder does not catch the ball, runners may advance at their own risk.

16. On a throw that goes out of play, runners are awarded the base they are advancing toward when the ball is thrown and one additional base.

17. Pitcher must start each pitch with both feet on the rubber. As noted earlier, if a pitcher is having extreme difficulty, the rubber may be moved further in with agreement from each coach.

RUNNING

18. Runners may advance on a throw back to the pitcher. (Senior Division only.)

19. Runners may steal home.  (Senior Division only.)

20. Runners sliding into base is strongly encouraged but not mandatory. If you don’t slide you’re not out.

21. Runners may leave the base when the ball leaves the pitcher's hand. Runners who leave a base before the pitcher releases the ball will be called out. The pitch is no pitch and the batter and all other runners must return to their original place.

22. Pinch runners are allowed for the catcher (to speed up the following inning) or an injured player only.

FARM LEAGUE -- GRADES 2, 3 AND 4 - 2016

The LGS Farm League is strictly instructional. We have entered one team in the ECWSL to compete against out-of-town teams. These games will be divided among the in-town teams (i.e., so each of our two teams will play half (six) of the ECWSL games. The other six games will be against each other. The first 45 minutes of each in-town session will be a combined practice to ensure that our Farm League players are receiving adequate instructional time.

Games will be umpired by coaches, parents or (preferably) a high school or college-age former softball player. Defensive masks are not required at any position except pitcher, but are highly recommended for all players.