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Softball Rules
Broward County > Parks > Tradewinds Park > 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.  A list of banned bats, as determined by the softball league coordinator, and which may be amended during the softball league season, will be posted.  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 only discuss rule interpretation 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 line for Tradewinds Park is 954-968-3883.    Games will not be rescheduled for any other 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. There is an established softball committee devised of an official from the Umpires’ Association, the Softball League Coordinator, and the Park Manager, to discuss and make decisions regarding rule interpretations, protests, and additional suspensions or ejections.
  4. Pets, skateboards, scooters, bikes, and rollerblades are not allowed in the Softball Complex.
  5. No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the Softball Complex.  Coaches and/or managers are to accept the responsibility of their players as well as the spectators that they bring to the game.  If alcoholic beverages are found in the dugout, the game will be an immediate forfeit.  Any player(s) in possession of the alcoholic beverage will also be ejected -- no warning will be provided.
  6. All injuries, no matter how small, must be reported to the Softball League Coordinator within twenty-four (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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.  Team will not be allowed to play until this roster is turned in to the softball coordinator. All players must be on the roster, have signed it, and provided a Driver's License Number.  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 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 a 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) refuses to sign, the game will be declared an immediate forfeit.  Upon completion of the inning requirement, the player(s) becomes eligible for that game.
  9. A team may only drop and/or add players 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 (3) players, but may not add more that what was dropped.
  10. Players may only be one roster in a competing league (division). Exception:  See the Temporary Player Rule.  Players may not change rosters within the same league (division).  This includes the additional players added during the Drop/Add period.  A player may only play for the team in which the player is listed on at the start of the season for that league (division).  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).
  11. A minimum of nine players is needed to play.  T he 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.
  12. 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:
    1. Find a ninth temporary player (TP) that 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.
    2. The TP plays the position of catcher.
    3. The TP bats ninth in the batting order.  Please show this player on the line-up 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 player 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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 into the softball coordinator, will be maintained by the umpires.  It will be the visitor'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 visitor's score book as the official score book.
  15. There is a three home run per game limit for all teams in every division.  Once a home run is hit, the batter and any runner(s) on base may immediately return to the dugout without touching a base.  Any additional home runs over the limit will be scored as an out.
  16. 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 or umpire's!  Failure to retrieve these balls may result in the delay of play with the game clock continuing until balls are retrieved.
  17. Tradewinds 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.
  18. Tradewinds 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.  For instance, if a team wins the D-1 division on Tuesday night, they must move up to the Tuesday night C division the following season.  Also, if this same team wishes to change the night it plays on, they must also move up to the next division despite changing its normal game night.
    1. Note: This rule does not apply to C division or Co-Ed division.
  19. The game will not start until the plate umpire is provided a line-up from each team playing.  The line-up must list each player's first and last name and uniform number(if available).  A line-up 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 line-up.
  20. A team may play with nine players.  If a team starts with nine players, they must add the tenth player upon that player's arrival.  The added player will be inserted following the last batter appearing in the original line-up.  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 ten players, an eleventh player cannot be added to the line-up if the player arrives late.  If a game starts with eleven players, a twelfth player cannot be added to the line-up if the player arrives late.
  21. If a team starts with  ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen, or fourteen players (using the extra-player (EP) as the eleventh, twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth players, and for any reason except an ejection(s), must continue with less, 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) is coming to bat.  The batter previous to an automatic out may not be walked, intentional 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.
  22. 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 does not have to be designated prior to the start of the game .  Any player may be used as the CR.  However, if the CR is on base when the CR is due to bat, removal of the CR in order to bat will be declared an out.
  23. No metal or screw-on cleats allowed.  Any player caught wearing either of these types of shoes will be ejected from the game.
  24. 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.
  25. The pitcher will be allowed to pitch from the pitcher's plate, or up to six feet (umpire's judgement) behind the pitcher's plate.  If the pitcher pitches from behind the pitcher's plate, then both feet of the pitcher must be within the twenty-four inches of the pitcher's plate when pitching.  If in the umpire's judgement both feet were not within the twenty-four inches of the pitcher's plate when the pitch is pitched, an illegal pitch will be declared. 
  26. 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 batters turn at bat, and before the pitchers 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.
  27. No base stealing allowed.
  28. Strike zone mats will be utilized for all softball divisions.  A legally pitched ball (between an arch of 6’ and 12’) 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.
  29. Pitching format will be the following:
    1. The batter will start with a one ball and one strike count.
    2. The batter will be allowed one additional foul ball after the second strike.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. No additional foul ball will be allowed when using the one (1) pitch format for tied games.  A caught foul fly ball will be live and runner(s) can advance at their risk.
  30. 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 start 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:
    1. 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.
    2. The pitching format will be one pitch (batter starts with a full count, 3 balls, and 2 strikes).
  31. Game is official after four and one-half innings if the home team is leading or 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 12-run rule is in effect after four and one-half innings.  A game called prior to the above taking effect, other than a forfeit, will be replayed from the beginning.  If, in the umpires'judgement, 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 effecting 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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. All protests must be turned into the Athletic Coordinator within forty-eight (48) hours of the protested game in writing along with a $40 fee.  The fee will be refunded if the protest is upheld.  The protest (misinterpretation of a/the playing rule(s) must be made known to the umpires prior to the next pitch (legal or illegal), before all infielders have left fair territory, or if on the last play of the game, before the umpires leave the playing field.  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.
  35. 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.
  36. In determining the first, second, third, and fourth place seeding for the playoffs, the following format will be used:
    1. Final team standings if there are no tied record(s), then
    2. Head-to-head competition if there are teams with the same number of wins, then
    3. The number of runs scored against the other team(s) they are tied with, then
    4. Record against teams ranked above them in the standings, then
    5. Coin toss.
  37. Teams that make the playoffs may be subject to a roster check, which includes identification/verification of all players on the roster.  Teams in violation of this will not be allowed to participate in the playoffs.  Team coaches and/or managers are encouraged to get copies of their team member's driver's license so that the softball coordinator will have them on file.  This will eliminate the players from having to carry their driver's license to every game.  Players will be required to present identification when necessary.
  38. Playoff format is as follows:
    1. Top four (4) teams will play.
      1. Team seeded number one (#2) (home team) will play team seeded number four (#3) (visiting team).
      2. Team seeded number two (#1) (home team) will play team seeded number three (#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.
  39. 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.

Basic Co-Ed Rules

  1. The batting line-up must be made up of alternating sexes (i.e. Male, female, or female, male).  There is no line-up requirement in the Corporate Division. 
  2. A team may play with nine players.  However, any time the sexes fail to alternate at bat, 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 less than three females.
  3. The defensive positioning must include five males and five females.  The positioning should be as follows: 1 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 (1 st, 2 nd, Shortstop, 3 rd) 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 sex.  If your team is using an additional hitter, it must have one for each sex.  A Co-Ed team may bat 9, 10, or 12 people, but never 11 people.  These two additional hitters (one for each sex) 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 sex to take his/her spot in the line-up (see rule #21).
  6. A courtesy runner (CR) will be allowed in Co-Ed and Corporate Co-Ed divisions.  However, the player used as a CR must be of the same sex as the player requiring the CR (See Rule #22).
  7. Any walk to a male batter will result in a two (2) 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 that has been walked.