AV Softball has announced a RULES UPDATE that will take effect on October 1, 2021. The below rule updates supersede any prior rule or understanding. These and other AV rules can always be found on the AVsoftball.com web site. It is the obligation of the manager to know these rules and use them as guidance when putting together your roster.
DAY OF TOURNAMENT IS TOO LATE
When contacting AV Softball with a player eligibility question, or any other question, you MUST do so prior to the day of the tournament. It is the responsibility of the manager to know this rule and avoid showing up to a tournament with a questionable player. An illegal player can cause your team to forfeit all games and fees. Contact AV early to avoid problems.
“CONFERENCE” and “C” & ABOVE PLAYERS
Any player who plays “Conference” softball, or who individually or as a team member, rated “C” or above, is automatically NOT permitted to play in AV tournaments. AV will consider a manager’s appeal if special circumstances or another reason might have affected such a rating. AV Softball has sole discretion to grant or deny your appeal.
AV Softball runs slow pitch tournaments in two different formats. The primary difference is the grouping or separation of levels. Prior to the tournament, AV Softball shall designate which of these two formats is being used for a particular tournament.
REC Division : Maximum 2 players that are rated “D” or “E” – No “C” or above
“E” Division : Maximum 3 “D” players - No “C” or above
“D” Division: Maximum 2 “C” players - No “B” or above
“E/REC” Division: Maximum 2 “D” players - No “C” or above
“D/E” Division : Maximum of 2 “C” players - No “B” or above
SENIOR SOFTBALL PLAYERS & SENIOR BATS
AV Softball rules differ slightly from those of the SSUSA (Senior Softball USA), the national governing body of “Senior Softball”. AV Softball has issued new rules for Senior Softball players and teams, individual seniors looking to play on non-Senior Softball teams and for the use of Senior Softball bats.
AV softball considers any player age 50 or over, to be a “Senior” and specifically does NOT consider players age 40-49 or below to be “Senior”. No Senior Softball individual player or team ranked “MAJOR PLUS” by SSUSA, are permitted to play in AV Softball tournaments. Managers may appeal to AV Softball, but it must be done prior to game day. AV Softball reserves the right to require proof-of-age for any person playing in an AV Softball tournament. If a player is not currently rated, AV reserves the right to determine the eligibility of that player.
SENIOR SOFTBALL BATS
Any player who is age 50 or over, is allowed to swing “Official Senior Softball” bats in any AV tournament. The bats must legibly bear the official “SENIOR SOFTBALL” stamp and may not exceed 1.21 BPF. NO player age 49, or younger, is permitted to swing an “Official Senior Softball” bat under any circumstance and shall be considered to being using an illegal bat if they do so. It is the responsibility of the manager and the player using an “Official Senior Softball” bat to inform the team’s other non-senior players that they CAN NOT use that Senior bat. Any non-compliance with this rule can cause your team to forfeit that game and others in which the illegal bat was used and possibly other penalties.
AV softball welcomes, in whole or in part, teams that are primarily Senior Softball teams to participate in AV Softball tournaments. The manager must provide the current team and individual player ratings to AV Softball prior to the tournament to allow time to verify the information. AV Softball maintains the sole right to place a team in whatever division (E,D,Rec, etc) that AV Softball determines is appropriate.
COACH SIGNS OFF ON ROSTER VALIDITY
AV Softball will require each manager to sign a tournament agreement form prior to the start of their first game. The manager must confirm, in writing, that he/she has not falsified any information or document and to certify that all players meet the AV Softball eligibility requirements. If the manager does not or refuses to sign the agreement, it can cause the team to be removed from the tournament and other possible penalties.
TOURNAMENT FEE DEADLINE
AV Softball requires all teams to pay their entire tournament fee prior to the team’s first game of the day; NO EXCEPTIONS. If the fees are not paid prior to the start of the team’s first game, their first game will be held up, with the game clock running, until the entire tournament fee is paid. Failure to pay can cause removal from the tournament and other penalties.
AV Softball does not currently require players or spectators to wear masks while at the tournament nor is vaccination required. AV rules will not permit those with “reasonably visible or measurable” COVID symptoms to attend or play in AV tournaments. AV has the right to use laser, “no contact” thermometers or other tools to check any player or spectator at anytime. AV will also maintain the right to remove from the game AND facility, any player or spectator who fails to submit to a symptom check or any person that exhibits any behavior that flaunts, ignores or encourages an unsafe act or practice. AV asks that each player/spectator take personal responsibility by not attending any tournament if they have a temperature above 99 degrees, is feeling ill, has lost any sense of taste or smell. AV requests all tournament attendees to practice social distancing when possible..
FOR ANYTHING NOT COVERED
AV Softball has numerous rules and guidelines clearly spelled out for teams/players to view at any time on our web site. For any instance whereby a rule has not been made or any other circumstance resulting in rule uncertainty, AV Softball and/or the Tournament Director shall have the sole right to clarify, interpret or even make the rule or ruling, on the spot if necessary.
GAME BALLS (NEW!)
AV Softball will supply one new ball & one backup ball per game. If both balls are unavailable, the batting team will be asked to provide a ball until the supplied game balls are again available. ANY team throwing in a ball for play, MUST USE THE SAME EXACT "CORE & COMPRESSION" as the AV-supplied balls. (ratings must be legible on ball) If a team does not have a ball that matches these specs, that team must PURCHASE a game ball from AV SOFTBALL for $5.00 each. The UMPIRE MUST APPROVE any ball used during play.
NOTE: you can inquire from the Tournament Director before the tournament the "Core & Compression" ball being used to ensure you have proper back up balls available, to avoid delays or the added expense.
GAMES & GAME TIME
1. All games have a 55-minute time limit, EXCEPT:
a) Championship games are 1 Hour & 20 minutes
b) 3rd place game & playoff games are 1 Hour & 10 minutes
- 4 1/2 to 5 innings is considered a complete game.
2. Umpire will call out GAME TIME from 40 to 10 min warnings. Umpire will not say how much time is
left after 10 min warning, only that there is less than 10 Min. - the next call from the umpire will
be BALL GAME. Keep your own time .
3. Game time is forfeit time - A 5-10 minute grace period is given for the 1st game of the day only.
Once you have 8 players, you must start the game.
4. Your team must be ready to play 10 minutes before the scheduled game time.(Coaches take notice). If a game on the field you're
scheduled to play on ends early, or is a forfeit, you must be able to start the game 10 minutes earlier. There is no grace period. If you cannot
field a team at the revised game time you will this forfeit that game.
5. If the game is tied at the end of 7 innings or once time has expired, the Tie Breaker will apply. The player who made the last out of the previous inning will become a base-runner at 2nd base to start the inning. The inning starts with NO outs . *NOTE* the "last out" runner at 2B cannot be pinch run for until an out has 1st been recorded.
6. Mercy Rule - "12 after 5" , EXCEPT a Championship game which is "15 after 5".
7. Home Team is determined by coin flip. in all games EXCEPT the Championship Game where an undefeated team will have the option.
8. The umpire is the official scorekeeper. If either team wants to question the game score, the team manager must do so before the first pitch is made of the next half-inning. If you keep a score book, you can present it to the umpire to support your appeal. The umpire's decision is final.
9. You cannot start your game until you have at least 8 players present. Once the 8th player arrives, you must start your game. You can continue to play the entire game with only 8 players.
ROSTERS AND TOURNAMENT FEE
1. Both your roster and your tournament fees are due before your first game, but must be paid no later than before your second game. Your team will not be permitted to play it's second game until all tournament fees have been paid and your roster turned in. If they are not turned in when your second game is called to start, the result is "No Roster" and a forfeit. EXCEPTION: Certain tournaments will require both roster & tournament fees to be paid at check-in.
2. LATE ARRIVING PLAYERS - If you have any players that are arriving later in the day, you must include their names on the Roster when it's turned in. You cannot add/delete players after the roster has been turned in - No Exceptions - If a Roster Check is requested, and if the name of the player in question is not on your original roster, your team will forfeit the game. All names on your roster must be legible and spelled correctly.
3. No person can be a player for 2 teams in the same tournament. If a player is caught doing so, it will result in a forfeit. If a player is caught playing for a second team, upon discovery, that player will be immediately ejected from the tournament and the team he is currently playing for receives a forfeit. EXCEPTION: BOTH men & women can play in both a Men's Tournament and a Coed Tournament in the same weekend.
1. Arc Pitch - A legal pitch must have an arc that is not lower than batter's waistline/beltline & no higher than 10 feet.
2. A legally pitched ball that strikes either Home Plate or the Extension Mat is a strike.
3. A Pitcher is allowed to Fake pitch, or "juke", for only 5 seconds before he must release the pitch, once the pitcher is on mound or in 5ft area behind the pitching rubber. If the pitch is not released prior to 5 seconds, then the umpire will call "ball" and add that to the batter's count.
4. Every batter begins their at-bat with 1 Ball & 1 Strike; a 1 & 1 count. (NOTE: inclement weather or other events may require some tournaments to be changed to a "2 & 2 Count to start)
5. The umpire will verbally call out pitches he considers illegal but it is not a dead ball. The batter remains free to swing at the pitch and if they do so, the ball is alive and in play.
6. No windmill pitching allowed. WIndmill pitching is when a pitcher swings his arm(s) in a circular motion in an attempt to confuse a batter. A "Ball"l will be called if you windmill on the rubber or in the 5ft area behind it. A pitcher can windmill after the pitch has been released.
7. The Pitcher must have one foot on the pitching rubber, or on the ground within the 5ft area behind the rubber when releasing a pitch.
1. No lead offs – Once a Pitcher has the ball and is prepared to pitch, a runner must stay in contact with the base even after pitch is made. The runner may only leave the base once a pitched ball is struck by the batter.
2. Courtesy runners - Each team is permitted 2 pinch runners per inning. In all cases, the LAST OUT MUST BE THE PINCH RUNNER (in Coed, the it must be the last out of the same sex) - NO EXCEPTIONS - If you still have both of your alloted runners, you can "Burn" the first and utiize the NEXT PREVIOUS OUT as your pinch runner. HOWEVER, you must let the umpire know what you are doing BEFORE the pinch runner steps on the base. If a pinch runner used was not the last out and if they are caught doing so BEFORE the 3rd out is made of the inning, the runner will be called out and if that runner has scored, their run will not count. in all cases, a Player will be considered a courtesy runner once he steps on the base. The Umpire does not have to wait for an opposing team to appeal & remains free to call out any use of an illegal runner.
3. In the interest of safety, EVERY RUNNER must slide towards the base and avoid contact with a defensive player on double plays - (Umpire's Discretion) - If deemed to have obstructed a defensive player, the offending runner is called out and the batter-runner going to First Base is also declared out.
4. If a RUNNER approaches a base and the defensive player has possession of the ball, the runner must slide, stop or retreat to the previous base. Under no circumstances may a runner initiate contact with a defensive player in an attempt to dislodge the ball. Depending on the severity of the violation, the umpire , at his discretion, may penalize violators of this rule with being called "out" or ejected for their actions.
5. A Batter-runner or Base Runners will be awarded 2 bases from the base they occupied prior to the play, for a ball that goes out of play.
6. A Base Runner or Batter-Runner can be called out for verbal interference. (Umpires Discretion).
7. If a base runner is hit with batted ball, while still in contact with either 1st or 3rd base, the ball is dead, the batter is awarded 1st Base and all other runners move up a base if forced to move . NOTE : A Base Runner is NOT permitted to intentionally attempt to be hit by a batted ball. If base runner does so, the ball is dead - the offending base runner is called out, and the batter goes to 1st Base. (Umpires Discretion).
8. If a base runner on 2nd base is hit with a batted ball while remaining in contact with the base, the ball is live & in play. NOTE: the base runner is not permitted to intentionally let the ball hit them. If so, the ball is dead, the base runner is out and batter goes to 1st base. (Umpires Discretion).
1.A team can bat up to 12 players. All field position players must bat .
2. Each manager must let the umpire know in advance, how many people you are batting. You must turn in the batting slip. (Ask Director if need extra)
3. The Batting slip is your official line up. If you are not batting 12 people , a manger may add a player to the bottom of the batting slip, but only
when it's a player who was not present when the game began. - Let the umpire know. Once you remove or pinch hit for a player on your Batting Slip, that player may not re-enter the game; straight substitution only.
4. BATTERS must take a "full swing" - "Half swings" or so called "Caca" swings must go airborne, up & over the infield, into the Outfield on the fly. If such a swing produces a ground ball, the batter is Out (Umpires Discretion)
5. Each batter has 1 ball and 1 strike (1&1 Count) to begin their at-bat. Under certain conditions, such as inclement weather, the count will start at 2 balls & 2 strikes, with only one foul ball allowed (one to waste).
6. When starting with a 1 & 1 count there is "none to waste" meaning that any foul ball after 2 strikes are reached results in an out. ( Exception – In Inclement weather, or other conditions that result in a batter now starting his at-bat with 2 balls and 2 strikes ( "2 & 2 to start") one foul ball is permitted (one to waste ).
7. Arc Pitch - A legal pitch must have an arc that is not lower than batter's waistline/beltline & no higher than 10 feet.
8. A legally pitched ball that touches either the Plate or Extension Mat is a strike.
9. A pitched ball is dead once it hits the plate, extension mat or ground : or when a batter swings & misses ball.
10. The umpire will verbally call out "illegal" on pitches he feels are illegal, however that is not a "dead ball" situation. The batter remains free to swing at such an illegally called pitch & if they do, the ball is live and in play.
11. ANY BAT CAN BE REMOVED FROM THE TOURNAMENT, at the sole discretion of AV officials or umpires, if they feel that a bat has been altered. Any player later using a bat that has been removed will be called out and play is dead. - Make sure you are using legal bats
12. HOME RUNS - The "1 up rule" is in effect for home runs meaning your team can only be 1 home run ahead of the other team at any given time. If your team is already up by 1 home run, if another player then hits a home run, it is ruled an "out". Walk off home runs are OK . When a home run is legally hit, the Batter and all Base Runners may go directly back to their dugout with the "GIVE UP RULE" not in effect.
13. A Batter may be called out if he gives himself up before a play is completed. This "Give Up Rule" means ANY MOTION TOWARD THE DUGOUT" will be interpreted as a batter having given themselves up. The batter is called out at that moment and the ball is dead. (Umpires Discretion)
14. WHEN YOUR TEAM IS BATTING - All bats, equipment and players must be in dugout. A team is permitted 1 coach and one on-deck batter outside of their dugout. When a team is on defense, all bats, equipment and all other players must be in dugout. Violations of this rule will permit the umpire to call Dead Ball, and give a warning, call runner out, not let runners advance, or advance runners 1 or 2 bases. (Umpire's Discretion)
15. CALLING TIME OUT WHILE BATTING - Once entering the batter's box, if the batter REQUESTS "time out", play will continue until the umpire acknowledges the request and verbally CALLS TIME OUT. Merely saying the word "TIme" or "Time Out" does not grant you a time out; it's a request & it's not automatic. No time out is granted until the umpire calls "Time". This includes before, after and between pitches. If you request a time out, and the umpire feels your request was late, (ie: the pitcher was already in motion) , he may deny your request for a time out by making "no call", and allowing the pitch to count. As a batter, you must stay prepared for the next pitch in case your time out request is not granted.
PROTEST AND APPEALS
1. No protests are allowed on Judgement Calls. (out/safe, foul/fair, interference/obstruction, high/low pitch etc)
2. Allowable protests are for misapplication or violation of a rule.
3. For a legal protest to be made, the manager must first call time out BEFORE THE NEXT P ITCH and approach the umpire to inform him you'd like to file a protest. You will be charged a fee of $25.00 to file a protest. If no fee is promptly paid, at the discretion of the Tournament Director, you can be charged the fee at later date with any prizes or future participation in an AV Tournament withheld until the matter is resolved. You must make your Protest at time of the infraction and before play continues.
2. Appeals must be made before the next pitch and promptly after an infraction. If you are appealing a base runner, and feel that base runner committed more than 1 infraction, you may only appeal 1 infraction per base runner: clearly state to the umpire precisely what you are appealing.
EJECTIONS AND INJURIES
1. If a player is ejected from a game, each time that spot come up to bat, it will be an out . A manager MUST let the umpire and the other team know which player precedes the ejected player in the batting order. A manager can sub a player to play in the ejected players defensive position but that player is not permitted to bat as this spot in the lineup has already been declared an "out". If an ejected player's team allows such a sub to bat, the inning will end and all runs scored in that inning will not count. (Coaches take notice)
2. If player is injured, and there is no legal substitute available to replace them, that player's spot will be an out every time his spot in the batting order comes up.
3. PROFANITY & TAUNTING NOT ALLOWED - Any player or players using profanity (especially the "F" word) or any player determined to be taunting the other team will result in an immediate ejection. "TAUNTING - can take various forms but includes rolling of the ball (instead of throwing the ball) to record an out at First or any other base, making obscene or threatening gestures, or "SNAPPING" of a caught ball after a warning was issued. Any ejection for profanity or taunting may be for one game or for the remainder of the tournament. (Umpire/Director's Discretion) - Coaches please take notice.
4. Any player caught with an alcoholic beverage either on the field or in the dug-out area can be immediately ejected from the game or tournament. Any player that is under the influence of alcohol, at the discretion of the Umpire/Director, can be ejected from game or tournament.
5. If a player is ejected from a game, for any reason, that player must promptly leave the field of play and the dugout area and may not speak to the umpire or players still in the game. If a player is ejected from the tournament, that player must promptly leave the field, the dugout and the premises on which the park is located. If an ejected player refuses to leave (or later returns) to the field and remains otherwise uncooperative with tournament personnel, that player will be suspended from further play in the tournament and may face further disciplinary action (ie: suspended for 1 year or banned for life) along with causing his team to forfeit the game (coaches take notice).
TEAM & PLAYER RESTRICTIONS
1. Tournaments can be run with more-than-one divisions: example: an upper and lower tournament.
2 Teams may play "up" (in higher division) or play "down" (in ar lower division) only if permission is granted by A&V BEFORE THE TOURNAMENT, specifically not the day-of the tournament.
3. All rosters will be checked. Teams can forfeit all of their games & prizes if more than 3 upper division players are on their roster or qualifying roster. Teams are allowed 3 "chips" ( upper players) maximum. You must declare and clear such players BEFORE, NOT THE DAY OF, the tournament ( A team can change up to 3 players on their qualifying roster for special tournaments).
4. Women are permitted to play in a Men's tournament provided they have signed the roster/waiver.
COACHES PLEASE NOTE:
1. It is your responsibility to make sure all your players obey and understand all A&V rules.
2. Your team MUST BE ready to play 10 min. before your scheduled game time.
3. Only members of the team currently playing on the field are allowed in their designated dugout and area.
ANY RULE NOT COVERED IN THE ABOVE, OR IS UNCLEAR WILL BE DECIDED AT THE DISCRETION OF THE UMPIRE/DIRECTOR.
**Director has the right to Forfeit Any Game and/or Eject Any Player or Team for Non-Compliance with AV SOFTBALL rules.**
Approved Softball Bats - EFFECTIVE January 1, 2018
ALL bats must have either a NEW ASA or USSSA STAMP LOGO
The logo must be original, un-altered and legible - If an umpire can’t easily read
ASA or USSSA on the bat, that player will be called OUT & the bat will be removed
from the game AND tournament. (penalty of ejection for any subsequent use of that bat)
No Ultras I & 2 - (New 2017 ASA Ultra O.K)
No Senior Bats (Senior Tournaments O.K)
Exception: Any Senior player, in any tournament who is age 50+, will be
allowed to swing senior bat - Please check with AV Director for approval of senior bat
No Fast Pitch Bats - ANY BAT WITH A" MINUS #" (i.e. -10, -9 etc)
on it will NOT be allowed - no exceptions
Any Player that hits another person with a batted ball, and that person sustains any
injury as a result of being struck by that batted ball, must immediately turn over the
bat to the umpire or AV Tournament Director upon request. AV Softball shall have the
right to check the bat for illegal tampering & compliance with AV SOFTBALL Bat Rules.
If the player does not then IMMEDIATELY hand over the bat for further examination, or
if any attempt is made to conceal or substitute for the originally requested bat, then
that player, and any /all team members can be SUSPENDED or BANNED FOR LIFE. AV
SOFTBALL's priority is the safety of all participants & any persons nearby. Accordingly,
AV maintains a zero-tolerance for altered bats. AV will also seek to press charges
against any player who's use of an illegally-altered bat results in injury to another person.
NOTE: ANY UMPIRE / DIRECTOR may remove ANY BAT, at ANY TIME, if they suspect, at
their sole discretion, the bat has been altered or appears to be otherwise illegal. No appeal. If
any player then uses a bat that has been removed for this reason, that player is an out & is
ejected from the game or tournament (Umpire's Discretion)
AV SOFTBALL reserves the right to update or modify it's BAT RULES at any time.
It is the responsibility of each team manager to be aware of all AV SOFTBALL Bat Rules & to
inform all of his/her players. Always check with the umpire or tournament director
prior to using any bat you are unsure about.
By your participation in any AV SOFTBALL tournament, any/all team managers acknowledge
their understanding of AV Bat Rules and policies including the manger's responsibility to inform
his/her players of AV SOFTBALL Bat Rules, as well as all other AV SOFTBALL RULES.
This page is the standard AV SOFTBALL "TOURNAMENT RULES" , which apply to ALL AV SOFTBALL tournaments. There are, however, exceptions or different rules applied to Coed and 1-pitch tournaments. Click the appropriate link below to see those exceptions/rules. All rules are subject to modification, without notice, as determined solely by AV SOFTBALL, which further maintains the right to alter or implement rules in any unforeseen circumstance whereby field conditions, weather or any threat to property or the safety players , umpires, spectators or persons nearby may warrant.
AV SOFTBALL RULES UPDATE EFFECTIVE OCTOBER 1, 2021
THESE RULE UPDATES WILL SUPERSEDE ANY SIMILAR OR PREVIOUS UNDERSTANDING
LISTED ELSEWHERE BELOW RELATIVE TO THESE ISSUES - PLEASE REFER TO THIS RULE UPDATE FOR ALL TOPICS ADDRESSED WITHIN THIS UPDATE OF OCT. 1, 2021