PSSA
Pensacola Senior Softball Assn


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PSSA PLAYING RULES AND AMENDMENTS TO SPA RULES

The Pensacola Senior Softball Association uses SPA rules with some local modifications. The local modifications are listed below.

Definitions:

Rostered player:

A rostered player is a player who has been drafted by a manager, paid the requisite league fees, and is available to play.

Substitute player:

A substitute player is a temporary player who substitutes for an absent roster player. For rules concerning substitute players, see the section “Substitute Players” in this document.

Replacement player: 

A replacement player is a player who comes from the stand-by list maintained by the Board of Directors and who REPLACES a Rostered Player. A replaced player must gain Board of Directors approval before returning to any team.

The Game

Unlike the 2024 SPA rule (rule 6, Section 11), the pitch count shall be zero/zero for each at bat. (SPA rules start each at-bat as 1 ball / 1 strike).

SPA Rule 4, Section 2: DEFENSE

Currently, SPA age requirements restrict the total number of players to 10 for teams competing below the 70-year age bracket. PSSA games allow for 11 players on defense. 

It is up to the manager's discretion where they play on the field. If a manager wishes to place 8 defensive players in the infield and play 1 outfielder, it is within his or her discretion to do so. Similarly, managers could place 8 outfielders and 1 infielder. However, at all times, the defensive players must adhere to the rules regarding infielders (must be on the dirt) and outfielders (must be behind the courtesy line).

Game Time

All Games are 7 innings or 90 minutes in length. At the 75-minute mark, the umpire shall announce, “Finish the inning and play one more”, which will be the open inning. The Run Rule for all PSSA games is 20 runs after 4 innings, 15 runs after 5 innings or any time a team may not mathematically score enough runs to stay in the game. Tie games will be played until there is a winner. The international Tie-Breaker Rule will be used at the end of seven innings. The last batter from the previous inning will be placed on second base and all batters will start with a 3-2 count (one pitch). No courtesy runner until the runner has reached third base. The PSSA deviates from the 2024 SPA rules which stipulate a run rule after 6 innings (10 runs). In the PSSA there is no 6 inning run rule.

Home Runs

Three (3) with one up. Additional over-the-fence home runs will be scored as a walk. All over the fence home runs are “hit and sit”. The home team in the last inning cannot use the one-up rule to win the game. A homerun that clears the fence with or without an HPR is a homerun.

Home Plate Runner (HPR)

The HPR can only advance to first base. An HPR is considered a Courtesy Runner. If an attempted putout is made at 1st base and the ball is mishandled or overthrown, the ball is alive and all runners, including the HPR, can advance at their own risk. The HPR from home plate must stand at the spot designated on the backstop wall. The HPR must remain in contact with this spot until the ball is struck. In the event of an extra-inning game and the last batter was entitled to an HPR that runner will be placed at 2nd base.

Avoiding Collisions

It is the runner’s responsibility to avoid a collision with a base defensive player by getting down, veering right/left or sliding, A base runner colliding or making contact with a base defensive player may be called out at the umpire’s discretion and the ball will be declared dead.

Players on the Field

Only the coaches, batter, and on-deck batter may be on the field. All other players must be in the dugout or off the playing field. The umpire will give one warning per team. If the offensive team does not comply the offensive team will be awarded an out. If the defensive team does not comply the defensive team will be awarded an out during their next time at-bat.

Outfielder’s Boundary Line

A line will be drawn in the outfield in an arc of 200' from home plate. Encroachment across this line before the ball is hit will result in the umpire awarding 1st base to the batter or result of the play. Infielders must be on the infield dirt and outfielders must be behind the outfielder’s boundary line when the ball is struck.

Pitching Screen

The pitching screen is MANDATORY in all PSSA play. Pitchers are REQUIRED to get behind the screen after releasing the pitch. A batted ball striking the pitching screen is a foul ball except when the batter has two (2) strikes, in which case the ball is considered the last "courtesy" foul. If, after the courtesy foul (and with two strikes on the batter), another batted ball strikes the pitching screen, that action shall be considered a strike and the batter is out.

Any thrown ball hitting the screen is "In Play". The screen shall be placed 3-5 feet in front and cover half the pitching rubber. The placement of the screen shall be on the pitcher's glove side. Pitchers are REQUIRED to get behind the screen after releasing the ball. Because we use a pitching screen, we do NOT require pitchers to wear mandatory protective masks. Other than a batted ball hitting the screen, a live ball coming in contact with the screen will be considered in play.

Pitching Over the Net

No pitcher may pitch over the safety net while in the pitching box. Deliberately pitching over the safety net will cause the umpire to call “Dead Ball”, award a ball to the batter and issue a warning to the pitcher. A second over the net call WILL result in the removal of the pitcher for the remainder of the game.

Off the Bag Safety Rule

Once a base runner is declared safe after reaching first or third base he/she will have the option to play off the first or third base bag in foul territory to avoid being hit by a batted ball. The base runner must first notify the umpire of the option to play off the first or third base bag. The base runner must re-establish contact with the first or third base bag before advancing toward the next base or scoring plate. Failure to reestablish contact with the first or third base bag will be an appeal play and must be made after the ball is dead and before the next legal or illegal pitch.

Substitute Players

No more than three (3) pick-up players are allowed.

When a team is short of players for a scheduled league game, the following procedure will be used to pick up a substitute: the substitute player can be from the same round or lower draft round than the player being replaced. Draft order documents will be available to the BOD, managers, and scorekeeper for reference purposes.

Managers MUST refer any disagreement concerning pick-up players to a PSSA BOD member whose decision is final. Pick-up players may only play catcher, first base, or right field and must bat in the bottom of the line-up. If a rostered player arrives late, that player will assume the position in the batting order of the highest drafted pick-up player. A forfeit will occur when a team falls under eight (8) players to start a game and eight (8) players to finish a game. The forfeit score will be recorded as 7-0.

Substitute players may not run for any player other than themselves. There is no change in the ability for players already on the team to run for other team members.

Sitting Out the Second Game of a Doubleheader

Any rostered player requesting to sit out the second game of a scheduled doubleheader may only be replaced by a player from the same or below draft round.

Player Participation

Any player physically able to play will be placed in the lineup. Any player in the lineup MUST play at least three (3) innings of defense, unless the player requests otherwise due to illness, injury, or fatigue. Being the Extra Hitter(s) (EH) for at least three-innings meets the obligation of this rule.

Injured Player Rule

Should a player become injured, ill, or fatigued during a game and be unable to continue playing and the affected team does not have a substitute player that would cause that team to fall below eleven players, that team would have the option to pick up an additional player under the following condition: The substitute player must be of equal or lesser ability and agreed on by both managers.

If the managers do not agree on the replacement player, a PSSA Board Member will be consulted and make a final decision. The original injured player MAY NOT return to the game. Additionally, the replacement player MUST take the fielding and batting position of the injured player.

A substitute player MUST go to the original position occupied by the injured player without his next at-bat resulting in an automatic out, with a restriction:

The injured player replacements may only assume the position and batting order based on the lineup card submitted before the start of the game. An example may be helpful to illustrate the rule:

Bob is the starting shortstop. Bob suffers an injury and is removed from the game. Bob’s manager locates a substitute for Bob who was drafted in the same or lower ranking in the draft, and the opposing manager agrees to the substitution. The substitute player, Ted, MUST play shortstop for the remainder of the game, and assume Bob’s spot in the batting order. Bob’s manager may not move Ted to another on-field position.

Procedures for picking-up a player when sitting out the second game of a doubleheader

The pick-up player will be of equal or lesser value than the player sitting out.

Make-Up Games

Make-up games between the same teams will be a doubleheader, the first game being 7 innings and the second game 5 innings in length.

Batter’s Box Lines

If the batter erases any portion of the batter’s box lines, he/she will be issued a warning by the umpire. If the same batter attempts to erase any batter’s box lines, he/she WILL be called out and ejected from the game.

Team Jersey

All players should wear an unmodified league jersey. Pick-up players must wear their assigned team jerseys to distinguish them as such. Players desiring to procure a league jersey are to see the PSSA Equipment Manager. A $20.00 fee is in effect for players who fail to return the league shirt to the team manager. The $20.00 fee will be added to that player’s registration fee.

Definition of a season

The Spring season is typically played from mid-February to mid-June. The fall season is from mid-August to late November. The League schedule/season is based on the number of players/team. A season can be 12 to 20 weeks or 12 to 20 games. The BOD will discuss and decide on weeks and games prior to the start of the Spring or Fall season.

End of Season Tie Record Procedure

Head-to-head results; if equal, then

Runs Allowed; if still equal, then

Run Differential; if still equal, then

Total Runs Scored

Guidance

When warranted, league officials (PSSA BOD and Umpire(s)) have both the right and the obligation to provide guidance and corrective action. This action shall be conducted privately once the game has ended. Only Managers are allowed to discuss concerns or decisions made during the course of the game. There may be no agreement between managers to change, delete, or modify any PSSA or SPA rules.

Ejections

If a player is ejected by any umpire during a game, that player is ineligible to play for the remainder of that game, plus the next three PLAYED games (rainouts do not qualify as "played" games). If the ejection occurs during the last three scheduled season games, the suspension carries over into the next season. If a player is ejected a second time during a season (spring/fall), that player is ineligible to play for the remainder of that season. Ejected players *MUST* leave the premises and may not interfere with play either physically or verbally, even if on private property; doing so shall result in the player's team forfeiting the game.

Players are entitled to APPEAL their suspension by petitioning the Board of Directors who will meet at their discretion (either the next regularly scheduled Board meeting or an ad-hoc, in-person board meeting prior to the next scheduled monthly Board meeting. The Board's decisions regarding ejections/suspensions are final.

 

 

 


 

Pensacola Senior Softball Association
 



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