District of Columbia Jewish Community Center

1529 16th Street, N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20036

(202) 518-9400



I. General

A. The DCJCC Co-ed Softball League aims to provide members of our community with an opportunity to play softball and meet new people in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere of healthy competition.

B. The League uses fields located in Washington, D.C. and Suburban Maryland. We wish to maintain the best possible relationship with the agencies that issue field permits. Therefore, we ask you to be considerate of other people using the facilities and always to leave the fields clean of litter.

C. The Softball Task Force is responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of the League. It establishes the League rules, assembles team rosters, develops the schedule, and resolves protests. The Task Force consists of volunteers selected from the League. The DCJCC Athletics Director, a full-time DCJCC employee, manages the day-to-day operations of the League and should be contacted if problems arise.

II. Duration of Games

A. Games will last the shorter of nine innings or 1-1/2 hours, except where games are limited to 80 minutes due to permit constraints.

B. The clock begins to run when the umpire has set up the field and calls the captains to home plate to review the ground rules (but not before the scheduled starting time of the game).

C. A new inning will be played if there are more than 10 minutes remaining in a game. No new inning will begin if there are fewer than 10 minutes remaining in a game.

D. Games tied after 1-1/2 hours or nine innings will be completed at the discretion of the umpire. Whenever possible, it is preferable to complete tied games. However, if a game is running unreasonably long or if completion of a game will substantially delay subsequent games, the umpire may declare a tie. The teams may make alternative arrangements to complete the game on their own if they wish.

E. Subject to the reasonable discretion of the umpire, the time between half innings will be limited to approximately 60 seconds.

F. If weather conditions require that a game be halted after it has begun, the game will be considered complete after 4 1/2 innings if the Home Team is ahead or after 5 full innings if the Visiting Team is ahead.

III. Ground Rules

A. Games will be played according to the rules and regulations followed by the Amateur Softball Association of America ("ASA") for slow-pitch softball to the extent that such rules do not conflict with the DCJCC Co-ed Softball League Rules and Regulations.

B. The umpire will explain the ground rules to each team captain and establish the layout for the playing field (e.g., bases, foul lines) before the start of each game.

IV. Umpires and Player Conduct

A. All regularly scheduled games will be officiated by an ASA-certified umpire provided by the DCJCC.

B. If a DCJCC-provided umpire is not present, an individual who is not a member of either team and whom the team captains mutually agree upon will serve as the umpire. If such an individual is not present, one member of each team will act as an umpire for the opposing team's at-bats.

C. The umpire's decisions on the field are final. However, protests may be made in accordance with ASA rules.

D. The League will not tolerate (1) physical violence or other dangerous conduct or (2) abuse or harassment of umpires. Individuals who engage in such conduct may be suspended from the League. In considering suspensions, the League generally will solicit umpire input, consult with both captains, and talk to the players involved. Individuals who engage in physical violence generally will be suspended immediately, pending further review.

V. Pitching

A. Pitchers must use a slow-pitch arc of not less than 6 feet nor more than 12 feet from the ground.

B. The umpire will call balls and strikes.

VI. Batting and Base Running

A. Bunting is not permitted.

B. Stealing is not permitted.

C. Advancing on a passed ball or wild pitch is not permitted.

D. Base runners are not permitted to leave their base until the ball is hit or passes the batter.

E. Batters will begin with a 1-ball-and-1-strike count.

F. A batter will be called out if the batter hits two foul balls after his/her second strike.

G. Metal cleats are not permitted.

H. Intentional walks are not permitted. If the umpire concludes that a batter has been intentionally walked, the next batter has the choice of hitting or taking first base (an automatic walk). If the umpire concludes that a batter has been intentionally walked to get to an automatic out, the automatic out will be skipped.

I. Three (3) outfielders must stand at least 120 feet from home plate before the start of each pitch. They cannot move forward until the ball passes the plate. For enforcement purposes, orange cones will be placed on the right field and left field foul lines, 60 feet beyond the first and third bases.

J. Each team shall be allowed to have a fourth outfielder (Short Fielder). The Short Fielder shall remain 30 feet beyond the base line until the ball is batted. The Short Fielder may not take a throw at second base from the first infielder to touch a batted ball.

VII. Line-ups and Substitutions

A. Each team is required to exchange its line-up with the opposing team prior to the start of the game. Each team also should notify the opposing captain of line-up changes that occur during the game due to players who arrive late or leave early or due to other factors.

B. A team may have a maximum of 10 defensive players -- no more than 7 of whom may be men at any time -- in the field at any time. A team on defense having at least 3 women players attending and able to play generally must play at least 3 women. A defensive team is required to play one pitcher and one catcher at all times and may play no more than one player in each of the four infield and outfield positions recognized under ASA rules.

C. Once a half inning begins, players in the field may not swap positions except in the case of injury or if the pitcher is removed (in which case the pitcher may be swapped with another fielder or may be replaced by a player on the bench).

D. All team members who show up for the start of a game must be given the opportunity to play at least three full innings in the field. Players are encouraged to report captains who do not play them for at least three full innings of every game or who discourage certain players - overtly or subtly - from playing.

E. Each team must use a continuous batting order. This means that every player who shows up for a game must be included in the batting order. No substitutions are permitted.

F. No more than 3 men may bat consecutively at any time.

G. If the ratio of men to women on a team exceeds 3:1, the team will be assessed one or more "automatic outs"; that is, the team must designate one or more slots in the batting order where the absent woman (or women) otherwise would have been required to be placed, and the umpire shall automatically declare an out each time that slot (or slots) in the order is reached. No substitutions shall be permitted for that slot (or slots) unless a woman player arrives; a late-arriving woman may be placed in that slot. Similarly, if a woman is removed from the line-up during a game, thereby causing more than 3 men to bat consecutively, an automatic out will be called. Any team that fails to notify the umpire when an automatic out should be called will be penalized one out the first time a violation is discovered and 2 outs the second time a violation is discovered; a third violation will result in a forfeit.

Example 1: Assume a team has 7 men and 2 women. The team will be required to designate an automatic out.

Example 2: Assume a team has 10 men and 2 women. The team will be required to designate two automatic outs.

H. Use of Courtesy Runners

1. If a player has a partial injury such that s/he is able to hit but unable to run, a courtesy runner may be requested. After the batter hits the ball, s/he must reach base and the play must end before a courtesy runner can be used. The umpire and opposing manager must both be notified prior to the at-bat or when injury occurs about the need for a courtesy runner.

2. If the player requiring a courtesy runner is a man, the last male player to make an out must run.

3. If the player requiring a courtesy runner is a woman, the last woman to make an out must run. If no woman is available, then the last man to make an out may run until a woman becomes available.

4. No pinch runners other than courtesy runners are permitted.

VIII. Forfeitures, Postponements, and Cancellations

A. If unfavorable weather or field conditions appear likely, the team captains should call the DCJCC WeatherLine (202/518-9400, ext. 364) to determine whether the game will be played. In general, a message will be recorded by 8:00 a.m. and updated throughout the day on occasions when the weather is questionable.

B. If a team captain does not contact the players and the weather appears questionable, players should call either the captain or the DCJCC. If in doubt, players should assume that the game will be played as scheduled.

C. A team is considered to have forfeited a game if fewer than seven players have shown up 10 minutes after the scheduled starting time.

D. If a game is forfeited, teams are urged to try to play an unofficial game among those present. Umpires are strongly encouraged to officiate but are not required to do so.

E. If a captain anticipates that his/her team will not have enough players for a game, s/he should contact the DCJCC as soon as possible. In many cases, the DCJCC Athletics Director may be able to find substitute players. If it nonetheless becomes clear that the team will not have enough players, the team's captain should notify the opposing captain as soon as possible. If a game is to be rescheduled, team captains must contact the DCJCC. Games cannot be rescheduled for Friday evenings or Saturdays.

IX. Injury Prevention

A. While not all injuries can be prevented, the enforcement of certain softball rules and common sense will prevent many injuries.

B. It is helpful to keep in mind who has the "right of way" in the base paths. Unless a fielder is making a play, the runner has the right of way, and it is the fielder's responsibility to avoid a collision. If a fielder is making a play, the fielder has the right of way, and it is the runner's responsibility to avoid a collision. Notwithstanding these guidelines, it is not within the spirit of the League to create a collision on purpose in an attempt to draw an interference call from the umpire.

C. A runner approaching a base when a play is going to be made must either slide or run around the fielder. A runner may not run into the catcher.

D. At any base, if there is to be no play, the fielder must get out of the runner's way. No fake tags are allowed. If a fake tag is attempted, the runner will be awarded the next base. Similarly, if a fielder interferes with a runner while in the base path, the runner will be awarded the next base (except when the fielder is making a play).

E. A runner is not allowed to go into a base waving his/her arms in an effort to break up a double play or screaming so as to intimidate a fielder. This is interference and generally results in both the runner and the batter being called out. If the runner is out at the base, s/he must either slide or get out of the fielder's way, thus preventing anyone from being hit in the face by a softball.

F. A mask will be made available to the catcher. Although many catchers choose not to wear a mask, the League encourages the wearing of a mask to protect against unexpected "foul tips."

X. Rosters

A. In general, no non-roster players may be used when there are sufficient team players available unless the opposing captain consents prior to the start of the game. For purposes of this rule, a team shall be deemed to have sufficient players if there are at least three female and seven male team members present.

B. If, during the regular season or the playoffs, a team captain becomes aware that s/he will not have sufficient players for one or more games, s/he should contact the DCJCC to request that players be assigned from the substitute list. If no player is available from the substitute list and a captain can locate a substitute player on his/her own, the captain may request that the substitute player be added to the substitute list. If no player is available from the substitute list, a non-roster player may be used subject to the following restrictions. During the regular season, non-roster players may not be used unless the opposing team captain is notified prior to the commencement of the game. During the playoffs, non-roster players may not be used unless the opposing team captain consents prior to the commencement of the game. If a non-League player is used in violation of this rule, the opposing team may file a protest by following the procedures described in Rule XI, "Protests."

C. A violation of Rule X.A. or Rule X.B. will ordinarily be grounds for a successful protest (i.e., if the team that won the game violated these rules, the result will be overturned because the captain or acting captain of the violating team will be presumed to have knowledge of these rules).

D. Notwithstanding Rules X.A. and X.B., if an individual from the DCJCC substitute list attends a game to play at a team captain's or substitute captain's request, s/he generally should be afforded the opportunity to play the requisite three innings regardless of whether a sufficient number of team members shows up for the game. However, a captain may not arrange for a substitute player to attend unless it appears clear that the team will lack sufficient players of its own. Moreover, a substitute player may not be played for more than three innings if there are a sufficient number of team players available.

XI. Protests

Team captains are strongly encouraged to resolve minor problems prior to, and in lieu of, filing a protest. Any team desiring to file a protest must do so by contacting the DCJCC by the close of business on the third business day following the earlier of the completion of the game or the date of the discovery of the infraction. As a courtesy, the opposing team captain should also be notified at the earliest possible time. The Task Force ordinarily will not overturn the results of a game unless it can be shown: (1) that the team violating the rules did so knowingly; or (2) that there was a substantial probability the violation altered the outcome of the game; or (3) that Rule X regarding the use of non-roster players was violated.

Revised: April 10, 2002 (supersedes version dated "April 2002").