Softball Rules


1. All rules are governed by the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) unless changed by these league rules. It is the responsibility of the team's coach and/or manager to be knowledgeable of both the ASA and league rules. All bats approved by USSSA, NSA, ASA, and ISA are legal for league play at Tradewinds Park. To view bats that are approved, please visit the Websites of the aforementioned associations. The date the league begins will determine the ASA rules to be applicable. There will be one umpire utilized for all regular season games and two umpires for all playoff games. The umpire(s) is/are the sole authority on the field and any arguing or verbal threats will not be tolerated. Umpires will discuss rule interpretation only with the coach and/or manager.
2. In case of inclement weather, the team's coach and/or manager should call the park's softball phone line at least one hour prior to the scheduled game time to see if the games have been canceled. The softball phone hotline for Tradewinds Park is 954-357-8879, or visit Games will not be rescheduled for any reasons other than rainouts and/or injury-canceled games, and only if they have an effect on the playoffs. There is no guarantee that all games will be played.
3. Lightning Policy: Should there be lightning in the area, the park is equipped with a lightning detection system (LDS). When there is lightning, the system will let out a long 20-second horn that can be heard at the softball complexes. The horn indicates that players and guests should seek shelter immediately. When lightning has cleared the area, the LDS will release three five-second horn blows, indicating it is again safe to play. Should there be extended delays, park staff and umpires will work together to determine cancellation of games if necessary. A game that has been delayed at least 30 minutes will automatically be canceled. If there are additional games following the canceled game, staff will determine to delay the start of the game or cancel based on the weather radar for the area. No games will start past 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays or past 10:15 p.m. on Fridays. Please note: In order to complete the full night of games, delayed games and the rest of the night’s games may continue with a one-pitch count (possibly including double innings). Keep in mind games are complete after five and a half innings as stated in rule #38.
4. Players and spectators must leave the park no later than 15 minutes after the last game of the evening (weeknight games only) and no later than 11:15 p.m., regardless if there is an unrelated game in action. Only players and spectators of ongoing games will be allowed to stay in the park past 11:15 p.m. Failure to comply may lead to player suspensions and/or forfeiture of games.
5. There is an established softball committee composed of an official from the umpires’ association, the softball league coordinator, and a park manager, to discuss and make decisions regarding rule interpretations, protests, and additional suspensions or ejections.
6. Pets, skateboards, scooters, bikes, and inline skates are not allowed in the softball complex.
7. Glass bottles are not allowed anywhere inside Tradewinds Park per Broward County Parks and Recreation rules (this pertains to all County parks).
8. Please dispose of trash properly in provided trash containers and take advantage of recycling bins located in the softball complex and parking lots. Please help to keep our park clean!
9. Glass bottles are prohibited inside the softball complexes.
10. No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the dugout or on the field of play. Coaches and/or managers are to accept the responsibility of their players as well as the spectators who attend the game. If a player or players are seen by an umpire drinking in the dugout or on the field of play, the player(s) will receive a warning. On the second offense, the player(s) will be ejected. The team may use a substitute for the ejected player, but if no sub is available, then rule #29 will be enforced. Playing while appearing intoxicated will result in being ejected from the game.
11. Consumption of alcoholic beverages while playing is prohibited. Playing while appearing intoxicated will result in ejection from the game.
12. All injuries, no matter how small, must be reported to the softball league coordinator within 24 hours. The proper injury report needs to be filled out within this period. Broward County is self-insured and the players play softball at their own risk.
13. Only players and one scorekeeper are allowed in the dugout. Children under the age of 18 are not allowed in the dugout at any time - no exceptions to this rule.
14. All players must be 18 years or older to be eligible to play. There is a maximum of 20 players on the roster. All managers must turn in a completed roster by the first scheduled game. No team will be allowed to play until this roster is turned in to the softball league coordinator. All players must be on the roster and must have signed the roster. Any player not on the roster is considered an ineligible player. Penalty for an ineligible player is forfeiture of the game. The softball league coordinator or designee may at any time check rosters against players participating in a game. If, during a roster check by the softball league coordinator or designee, an ineligible player is found to be playing, the game will be declared an immediate forfeit. A request by the team's coach and/or manager prior to the game to use an ineligible player will not be allowed. If the umpire(s) determine that an ineligible player is being used thereafter, no matter how many innings have been played, the game will be declared an immediate forfeit. Protest of any starting player(s)' eligibility must be made known to the umpires and opposing coach and/or manager before completion of the first inning, or before completion of one full inning if the player(s) arrive late. The player(s) in question will be required to sign the back of the official score sheet in order to continue to play. If the player(s) refuse to sign, the game will be declared an immediate forfeit. Upon completion of the inning requirement, the player(s) become eligible for that game.
15. A team may drop and/or add players only by submitting the drop/add form to the softball league coordinator by the completion of the third game played. A team can drop a maximum of three players, but may not add more than the number that were dropped.
16. Teams wishing to protest a player must inform the umpire before the completion of the first inning or before the completion of one full inning if the player arrives late. At that time, the umpire will obtain the player’s signature and compare it to the rosters of the higher divisions. If his name is on those rosters, that player is ineligible to play on that team and in that division. If the rosters are not available at that time, then the roster check will be conducted the following day by park staff and the game will be played under protest. If, after checking rosters the following day, it is discovered that the player is ineligible, then the team using that player will automatically forfeit the game if they won the night before.
17. Players may be on only one roster in a competing league (division). Exception: see the Temporary Player Rule (#19). Players may not change rosters within the same league (division). This includes the additional players added during the drop/add period. A player may play only for the team for which the player is listed on at the start of the season for that league (division). Players should be aware that when filling in on a different team, players are allowed to play only one game per night per field/division, with the exception of when they are the designated Temporary Player. The player may be added to a roster of a team during the drop/add period provided that team plays in a different league (division).
18. A minimum of nine players is needed to play. The players must be present in the dugout at the scheduled game time. Forfeit time will be 10 minutes after the scheduled game time for the first game. Thereafter, the scheduled game time is the forfeit time. The game time will be kept by the plate umpire. To insure proper time, ask the plate umpire for the time at the start of the game.
19. The score of a forfeited game shall be seven to zero in favor of the team not at fault
20. If the team has eight players present at the scheduled game time, the game will be declared a forfeit unless the team can meet all of the following requirements:
a. Find a ninth temporary player (TP) who can be added to the team that is currently on another team’s roster that plays that day, but not on the opposing team's roster.
b. Teams are allowed to add only one temporary player to go from eight players to nine players.
c. The TP plays the position of catcher.
d. The TP bats ninth in the batting order. Please show this player on the lineup as a TP.
When a regular team member shows up to the game late, that player will be inserted into the game and assume the position in the batting order that was occupied by the TP. However, the late player does not have to continue to play catcher. The TP must exit the game at that point. Failure of the TP to exit the game will result in a forfeit, no matter when it is determined during the game.
21. Any team that forfeits three games due to a lack of players in order to start the game will be suspended from the league. If a team is suspended from the league, they will not be allowed to return in the next league season/following league.
22. The home team is responsible for the official score book and will inform the umpires of the score each inning. The official score sheet, which will be turned in to the softball league coordinator, will be maintained by the umpires. It will be the visiting team's responsibility to check the score between innings. If the home team does not maintain an official score book, yet the visiting team did maintain a score book, then the umpires will deem the visitors' score book as the official score book.
23. There is a three-home-run per game limit for all teams. Any additional home runs over the limit will be scored as outs. Once a home run is hit, the batter and any runner(s) on base may immediately return to the dugout without touching a base.
24. The team at bat is responsible for any foul balls or home runs that are hit over the fence. This is each team's responsibility, not the coordinator's or umpire's! Failure to retrieve these balls may result in the delay of play, with the game clock continuing until balls are retrieved.
25. Park athletic staff and management reserve the right to change game times to meet the needs of park activities and events. Team managers will be notified as far in advance as possible of game time or date changes.
26. Park athletic staff and management reserve the right to place any team in a higher or lower division. Any team that comes in first place in its division during the regular season will be moved up to the next highest division the following season.
27. The game will not start until the plate umpire is provided a lineup from each team playing. The lineup must list each player's first and last names and uniform number (if available). A lineup is also to be provided to the opposing team and official scorekeeper. If the game starts after the scheduled game time, the playing time will start upon the plate umpire's request for the lineup.
28. A team may play with nine players. If a team starts with nine players, they must add the 10th player upon that player's arrival. The added player will be inserted following the last batter appearing in the original lineup. An out will not be declared for the 10th batting position if a team starts with nine players. No game will be played with less than nine players. If a game starts with 10 players, an 11th player cannot be added to the lineup if the player arrives late. If a game starts with 11 players, a 12th player cannot be added to the lineup if the player arrives late.
29. If a team starts with 10, 11, 12, 13, or 14 players (using the extra-player, or EP, as the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th players), and for any reason except an ejection must continue with fewer, they may do so. However, the position(s) in the batting order vacated by the removed player(s) shall be declared an out when the player is scheduled to come up to bat. The plate umpire must be notified by the team at bat when the declared out(s) are coming to bat. The batter previous to an automatic out may not be walked, intentionally or otherwise, in order to get the automatic out with two outs. If this happens, the out will be skipped and the next batter will bat. If there is an ejection and the team receiving the ejection does not have a substitute player who is sitting in the dugout, then the game will be declared a forfeit.
30. Each team will be allowed up to two players who may need a courtesy runner (CR) for them when they reach base. The player(s) needing the CR do not have to be designated prior to the start of the game. Any player may be used as the CR. If the CR is on base when the CR is due to bat, however, removal of the CR in order to bat will be declared an out.
31. No metal or screw-on cleats are allowed. Any player caught wearing either of these types of shoes will be ejected from the game.
32. At the start of the game, the pitcher will be allowed five warm-up pitches. After the first inning, there will be no infield allowed, and the pitcher will throw no more than three warm-up pitches within one minute of the prior team's last out.
33. The pitcher will be allowed to pitch from the pitcher's plate, or up to six feet (umpire's judgment) behind the pitcher's plate. If the pitcher pitches from behind the pitcher's plate, then both feet of the pitcher must be within 24 inches of the pitcher's plate when pitching. If in the umpire's judgment both feet were not within 24 inches of the pitcher's plate when the pitch is pitched, an illegal pitch will be declared.
34. If it is determined that a batter entered the batter's box with an altered, banned, or illegal bat, the batter will be declared out. If the batter used an altered, banned, and/or illegal bat during the batter's turn at bat, and before the pitcher's next pitch (legal or illegal), the batter/runner will be declared out and any other outs made during that batter/runner's turn at bat will stand. The remaining runner(s) will return to the base last occupied prior to the batter's turn at bat. The batter will also be ejected for using an altered and/or banned bat.
35. No base stealing allowed.
36. Strike-zone mats will be utilized for all softball divisions. A legally pitched ball (between an arch of six feet and 10 feet) landing on home plate or the strike-zone mat will be called a strike. Any pitch (legal or illegal) not landing on home plate or the strike-zone mat will be called a ball.
37. Pitching format will be the following:
a. The batter will start with a one-ball and one-strike count.
b. The batter will be allowed one additional foul ball after the second strike.
c. The first foul ball after the second strike will be a live ball if it is a caught foul fly ball and the runner(s) can advance at their risk.
d. The second foul ball after the second strike will be a dead ball and no advancement of the runner(s) will be allowed if it is a caught foul fly ball.
e. No additional foul ball will be allowed when using the one-pitch format for tied games. A caught foul fly ball will be live and runner(s) can advance at their risk.
38. Games are seven innings in length if time permits. Time limits for games will be one hour and 10 minutes, unless an injury occurs, at which time the game clock will stop and not restart until the player is removed from the field. If medical attention is required of a player while on the field, unless an official game, the game will be canceled and may be rescheduled at a later date. No new innings may begin after the time limit. If the game is tied at the earliest of the end of the seventh inning or the time limit, the game will continue until there is a winner, as follows:
a. Any player will start on second base. If this player must be removed from the bases in order to bat, an out will be declared.
b. The pitching format will be one pitch (batter starts with a full count, three balls and two strikes).
39. Game is official after four and one-half innings if the home team is leading or a complete five innings if the visitors are leading, or after the time limit has expired (no matter how many innings have elapsed). A 20-run rule is in effect as of the third inning. A 15-run rule is in effect after three and one-half innings if the home team is leading and after four complete innings if the visiting team is leading. A 10-run rule is in effect after four and one-half innings if the home team is leading or a complete five innings if the visitors are leading. A game called prior to the above taking effect, other than a forfeit, will be replayed from the beginning. If, in the umpires' judgment, a team has a chance to score a run to reach the run rule and doesn't, and/or the player(s) make no attempt to make a play in order to allow a team to score a run to get under the run rule, then the offending team will forfeit the game. Any rained-out games not affecting the final position of the top four teams will be dropped from the schedule. Teams will be notified as far in advance as possible of any rescheduled games to be made up. Make-up games may be played on night(s) other than the regularly scheduled night.
40. Any profanity (umpires' discretion), fighting, or throwing of a bat (including hitting the fence on the fly or bounce, or over the fence) will result in an automatic ejection from the game. No warning will be provided for fighting or throwing the bat! A team warning will be provided for the first use of profanity. Thereafter, the player(s) will be ejected. Note: If there is an altercation between two or more players and players from the dugout and/or field positions leave their respective areas, then a double forfeit will be immediately declared.
41. Any player who is ejected from a game, for any reason, will automatically be ineligible for the team's next scheduled game. The length of the suspension will be based on the severity of the incident. The softball committee has the right to add additional games to the suspension or suspend the player for the rest of the season indefinitely. In addition, the player may be subject to suspension from other leagues (divisions) held at the softball complex. Any player who is suspended from a game, or for the season, may not be present at the softball complex during the suspension. If the player is present, the team for which the player is on the roster will immediately forfeit the game.
42. Any player who makes a threat of violence against an umpire, league official, or another player will be ejected immediately and suspended from all league play indefinitely until the softball committee makes a formal decision.
43. All protests must be made by the team manager to the umpire prior to the next pitch. Games cannot be protested following the completion of the game or after the players have left the field of play. Judgment calls are not protestable. Umpires must write on the game sheet that the game is under protest, the details of when the game is protested (part of the inning and number of outs), and any names of players if a team is questioning a player’s eligibility. A formal written protest must then be turned in to the softball league coordinator by the team manager within 48 hours of the protested game, along with a $40 administrative fee. A ruling will be made by the softball league coordinator in consultation with the head of the umpires' association. If the ruling is found in favor of the protest, the game will be replayed starting with the pitch before the protest was made. It will be up to the protesting team to verify the correctness of the official score book and game time remaining as of the point of the protest. If the protest is a roster violation - i.e., using players not listed on the team roster - the team in violation of the roster will forfeit the game.
44. The winning team's coach and/or manager should initial the winning score noted on the official score sheet. Failure to do so could result in improper reporting of game results.
45. In determining the first-, second-, third-, and fourth-place seeding for the playoffs, the following format will be used:
a. Final team standings if there are no tied record(s), then
b. Head-to-head competition if there are teams with the same number of wins, then
c. The number of runs scored against the other team(s) they are tied with, then
d. The number of runs scored against the other team(s) for the entire season they are tied with, then
e. A coin toss.
46. Teams that make the playoffs may be subject to a roster check, which includes identification/verification of all players on the roster. Players will be required to present driver’s licenses and their names must match the names on the team roster and lineup card. Teams in violation of this will not be allowed to participate in the playoffs.
47. Playoff format is as follows:
a. Top four teams will play.
1. Team seeded #2 (home team) will play team seeded #3 (visiting team).
2. Team seeded #1 (home team) will play team seeded #4 (visiting team).
3. The winner of each game will play each other for the championship, with the higher-seeded team being the home team.
4. Time limit applies to all games except the championship game.
48. Teams must have matching shirts by the third game scheduled. More than half of the players must have team shirts on during play. If nine players are participating, then five or more players must be wearing team shirts. If 10 or 11 players are participating, then six or more players must be wearing team shirts. If 12 players are participating, then seven or more players must be wearing team shirts. Failure to comply with this rule can be protested by the opposing team's manager and/or coach prior to completion of the first inning, or if a player arrives late, prior to that player taking the field (either offensive or defensive). The final decision to forfeit the game will be at the sole discretion of the softball league official and will be made during the game. Ball caps, visors, and headbands are optional for players. If worn, they can be mixed, but must be worn properly. Handkerchiefs do not qualify as headbands and cannot be worn around the head or neck. Plastic visors are not allowed.
49. Each player, coach, and manager must read and sign a code of conduct before taking the field of play. The code of conduct is as follows: I, ______________, the undersigned participant, agree to abide by all Amateur Softball Association rules and regulations and the Broward County Athletic Team Code of Conduct while participating in the Broward County Parks and Recreation program listed in this document.
a. Code of Conduct
1. No participant shall lay a hand upon, shove, strike, or spit upon an official, player, or spectator.
2. No participant shall physically or verbally attack as an aggressor upon any player, official, or spectator.
3. No participant shall make derogatory remarks or curse directed at an official, player, or spectator.
4. No participant shall show an objectionable demonstration of dissent at an official’s decision.
5. No participant shall discuss the decision reached by such official, except the team captain.
6. No participant shall leave a dugout onto the field of play to confront or argue with an official, player, or spectator.
7. No participant shall refuse to abide by the official’s decisions. Officials are required to immediately suspend the player from further play and report such player to the softball league coordinator. Such player shall remain suspended until the softball league coordinator has considered the player’s case.
8. No participant shall make threats directed toward an official, player, or spectator.
9. No participant shall consume or possess an alcoholic beverage or illegal substance, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal substances, while on the field of play or during a scheduled game.
50. Hitting up the middle is considered a safety issue and unsportsmanlike conduct.
a. Any player saying he/she is going to hit up the middle intentionally will be given a warning and if the player does hit up the middle, that player will be automatically removed from the game.
b. The call is considered a judgment call and cannot be protested.


1. The batting lineup must be made up of alternating genders (i.e., male, female, or female, male). CORP COED: Females can be anywhere in the lineup.
2. A team may play with nine players. Anytime the genders fail to alternate at bat, however, an automatic out is recorded. Therefore, there will be an out after the ninth batter takes his/her turn at bat and before the order turns over to the first batter again. This rule will be waived if there are two outs in any inning and the batter before the automatic out is walked. In this case, the automatic out is not counted and the next batter gets to hit with two outs. A Corporate Division team may also play with nine players but must start the game with no fewer than two females.
3. The defensive positioning must include five males and five females. The positioning should be as follows: one male/female pitcher/catcher combination, two male/female combination in the infield (total of four), two male/female combination in the outfield (total of four). If a team is playing with only nine people, the infield requirement must be fulfilled before the outfield positioning is. Therefore, a team with only nine players will play with three outfielders. Corporate Division requirements are three females and seven males. A minimum of one female must play an infield (first, second, shortstop, third) position and a minimum of one female must play an outfield position. A female is not required to play the position of pitcher or catcher.
4. There will be a restraining line in the outfield that is 180 feet from home plate. It will arc from the first-base foul line to the third-base foul line at a distance 180 feet from home plate at all points. All outfielders must remain behind this line when a female is at bat until she has made contact with the ball. If an outfielder is caught playing in front of this restraining line prior to the batter making contact with the ball, the umpire may award a base on balls to the batter.
5. An additional hitter may be used for each gender. If your team is using an additional hitter, it must have one for each gender. A coed team may bat nine, 10, or 12 people, but never 11 people. These two additional hitters (one for each gender) may rotate in and out as defensive players, but the batting order can’t change. If one of the 12 players gets ejected, the team must have a substitute of the same gender to take his/her spot in the lineup (see rule #21). CORP COED: Teams can bat up to 12 hitters providing they are fielding three women and seven men. If a team has only two females, they may only bat nine, but an automatic out is recorded after the 10th batter takes his/her turn at bat.
6. A courtesy runner (CR) will be allowed in Coed and Corporate Coed divisions. The player used as a CR, however, must be of the same gender as the player requiring the CR (see rule #22).
7. Any walk to a male batter will result in a two-base award. The next batter (female) will bat. Exception: With two outs, the female batter has the option to walk or bat. The same rule applies to Corporate division if a female follows a male batter who has been walked.
8. Whenever a female is batting, all infield players are required to play in the dirt playing area.


1. There are four weeks at the end of the season to make up the rained-out games only.
2. Once the four weeks has been exceeded, then we go straight into playoffs.