Softball Rules

THE OBJECT OF THE GAME Softball is played between 2 teams, each consisting of 9 players. Whichever team scores the most runs wins the game. In order to score one run, the players must round all the bases and cross home plate. Your team can only score runs when it is your team’s turn to bat. Each team stays up to bat until the fielding team takes out 3 batters.  Each team has a chance to bat and to field.


  • Games will be 1.5 hours in length. Game time is per the posted league schedule.
  • Teams are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to game time to allow for check in and warm up. Teams wills be asked to grant their opponents a 10-minute grace period if needed. If the required number of players arrive within the grace period, the game will be played and recorded as an official game.
  • Games run 7 innings. Last inning will be announced if relevant (due to safety and daylight).
  • Softball diamonds will be marked, and set with bases, including safety bases on 1st, and home plates.
  • Game balls will be provided
  • Urban Rec will provide one heavy bat and one light bat per field.  Participants can bring their own bat, should the choose. Please be sure to return the ball at the end of each night.  
  • Players are to provide their own gloves; Urban Rec does not carry gloves.
  • No METAL baseball cleats are allowed.


  • a.Only nine (9) players allowed on the field at any one time.
  • b.There must be a minimum of three (3) Males, and Females on the field always.
  • c.This league requires your team to have a minimum of seven (7) players, including two (2) Male or Females to start the game
  • d.Please consider our Default, Forfeit, and Substitute Policy

3 STARTING PLAY Team Captains should meet at the beginning of the game for a coin toss. The winner of the toss shall choose if they want to bat, or field first.

4 SCORING In softball whoever scores the most runs win, but how do you score a run? In order to gain one point or a run, a base runner must round all the bases by stepping on each base and finally crossing home plate.


  • Grounder: This is when a ball is hit towards the ground.
  • Force Out: This is when one runner must move to the next base because another runner is coming up behind him. If all the bases are claimed and the runner has nowhere to go, that runner is out.
  • Pop fly: This is when the ball is hit very high into the air.
  • On deck: A term used to describe the next batter
  • Strike: When a batter swings at the ball and misses.
  • Runner: A batter becomes a runner once he or she has hit the ball and starts running to base.
  • Home run or Grand slam:  when the batter hits the ball so far that he or she is able to round all the bases and go to home (if the bases are loaded then your team can get 4 points in one go).
  • Bases Loaded: When there is a runner on every base.

6 POSITIONS When your team is not batting they are fielding. This means that your team is out in the field trying to get the runners out. The following, are the positions for when your team is fielding, exception for the pitcher who pitches to their own team


7 BATTING The batter tries to score runs by hitting the ball when it is pitched to him or her. The batter stands inside the batter’s box which is marked on either side of the home plate.  Once the batter hits the ball and starts running he or she becomes a runner. A batter can keep hitting the ball until they

  • a.Get 3 Strikes: This means that the batter was not able to hit the ball into play three times and therefore they are out. The ball must travel past the pitcher to be considered fair.
  • b.Get 3 Balls: This means that the pitcher didn’t throw the ball properly 3 times and thus the batter is out
  • c.Batters must take a full swing at the ball. They cannot chop the ball, check swing, drag bunt or bunt.  These types of swings will be given one warning and counted as one pitch, before resulting in an automatic out for the hitter if repeated.
  • d.Hit the ball:  This means that the batter has successfully hit the ball and may now run to the bases.


  • a.The batting order alternates between men and women – at the VERY MOST there can be 2 males in between each female batter if the team does not have enough females to accommodate a 1 female, 1 male batting pattern.
  • b.The batting order must remain consistent for the duration of the game.  The lone exception is if a player leaves the game.  You can add players after the game has begun.  They will bat at the bottom of the order relative to their gender.
  • c.An out will be declared if a participant of either gender cannot bat in order because the person is on base.  The out will be called and the next batter will be up.
  • d.Note: If a batter hits the ball he or she must drop the bat and run to first base, they may continue to round the bases at their own risk.

9 BASE ETIQUETTE The fielding team cannot block a base or home plate, but it is the responsibility of the runner to avoid contact with a fielder.

  • NO stealing bases
  • NO sliding -> sliding into bases is strictly PROHIBITED and the base will not count


  • When a ball is overthrown and ends up out-of-play/out-of-bounds (including in the outfield of another field), the base runner is allowed the base they are going to plus one base.  NOTE: Runners are not attempting a base if they are not moving when the ball is thrown out of play, and thus they cannot then take a base.
  • If the base runner is hit by a batted ball, the runner is out, and the ball remains live such that fielders can make plays and additional base runners can advance.  If the runner is hit by a batted ball while in foul territory or while standing on the base, it is a dead ball and the runner is not out.  If a base runner is hit by a thrown ball, the runner is NOT out, play continues and the ball remains live.
  • NO leading off
  • NO stealing -> if a player is caught stealing bases, the player will be out.
  • “Tagging up” = When a pop fly is hit and a fielder catches the ball (thus catching the batter out), players on base must “tag up” before running to the next base.  This means that if a runner ran halfway to the next base before realizing the batter was caught out, they must run back, tag the base they were just on, then run to the next base in order for it to count.  If the runner does not tag up, a fielder can then throw the ball to the baseman where the runner started and catch him out if he does not run back to the base in time.
  • Mercy rule is a maximum of 7 runs to an inning, unless it is the last inning and a team is behind by 10 or more runs. 

11 THE PITCHER: is part of the offensive team (you pitch to your own team). The pitcher CANNOT touch the ball or interfere with play in any way.  If they are hit by a ball, touch the ball or interfere with play, the batter will be declared out and the runners must return to their base.  They must pitch from the line in the middle of the infield between first and third base and halfway between home and second base.  The pitching stripe/mount will be placed at a distance 50 feet from the tip of home plate.

12 FIELDING When it is your team’s turn to field, the most important thing to do is not be afraid of the ball and try to catch it. This is your chance to get the runner out. Remember you need 3 outs before your team can bat  again.


  • a.If the ball is hit up into the air and a fielder catches it before it hits the ground then that batter is out (AKA a fly ball)
  • b.If you gain possession of the ball and throw it to one of the bases before the batter reaches it, then the batter is out (there must be a batter running to base in order to get them out)
  • c.If you gain possession of the ball and tag the runner who is not on a base, then the runner is out

14 THE INFIELDERS are not restricted to their location on the field.  Outfielders must stay behind the 160-foot restraining line until the ball is struck

15 WINNING THE GAME: The team with the most runs at the end of the final innings will win the game.  Tie games are allowed.  Extra innings may be added, but not if conditions warrants stoppage of play (safety, sundown). A draw will be awarded if both teams have an equal amount of goals. The winning team receives 3 points, 1 point each for drawn game and no points for a loss. Your Fun Points will affect your position on the standings. If two teams are matched on competition points, the team with the higher fun points rating will be favoured up the ladder.   

16 FAIRPLAY SYSTEM: Each league night you will have an Event Host onsite, but these guys are not official referees. Urban Rec is a recreational league which practices a fair-play and fun-first policy, meaning you should be making your own calls on the game. The Event Host will be there to make the calls not made by individuals, keep time, and help guide the games within the game play rules. The Urban Rec Event Host has the final say on any issue that cannot be self-resolved.

17 SPORTSMANSHIP All Urban Rec participants have read and agreed to the Urban Rec Code of Conduct. We also exercise a strict Disciplinary Policy. If you are seen to be rude in any way or not playing within the respect of the rules and Code of Conduct, you will be asked by the Urban Rec Staff to sub out of the game. If after returning to the game your attitude does not improve you will be asked to leave the venue, and an assessment will be made if you can play again. We do not tolerate idiots. Play fair.