Palmyra Area Church Softball League

General Rules

Updated: 4/1/2016

1)     Minimum age for team eligibility or to serve as an umpire shall be 14.

2)     Each team member must be a member of the sponsoring Palmyra area church unless otherwise approved by league coordinator. However, in order to promote inviting and retaining individuals as members of the sponsoring Palmyra area church or a church affiliated therewith in the Berks/Lebanon/Lancaster/Dauphin/Schuylkill county areas, each team may roster four (4) individuals who belong to an affiliated church.

3)     Teams shall be open to male and female players. Furthermore, in order to promote the co-ed nature of this league each team must comply with the following:

a)     A female player must play four (4) complete innings, when available, however, this provision cannot be satisfied by having a female player as the extra hitter;

b)     A valid female player must be on the roster at time of initial submission;

c)     If a female player attends a game and is eligible for play, a team may not play without a female in the line up for the required innings.

d)     In the event a team cannot field a female player, as required by this rule, the game will proceed, however, the team with no female player available must field no more than nine (9) players during the innings in which a female player normally would have played, and must have an open slot in the batting order which when due to bat will become an automatic out.

i)       With 8 players (all male): Opposing team supplies a non-defensive catcher.

ii)    With 9 players (all male): Opposing team does not supply catcher during the 4 innings the phantom girl rule is used.  When the rule is not used, the opposing team will supply a non- defensive catcher

e)     The minimum innings during which a female player is required must be completed during the first seven (7) innings of play;

f)      If a team intends to play its female player in the latter half of the game and the game is called after five (5) innings because of darkness or weather (Rule 17) or a 15-run margin (Rule 12), and the leading team has not otherwise complied with the other provisions of this Rule, the game shall not be considered complete until enough innings have been played so as to satisfy the other provisions of this Rule; and

g)     In the event a team violates this rule it will forfeit the game.

4)     Balls and strikes to be determined by use of mat. Balls pitched with proper arc which hit mat or any part of the plate are strikes, otherwise pitch is a ball (including illegal pitches -- too high or not enough arc).

5)     A batter will start with a 1 ball- 1 strike count.  In the event that a batter has 2 strikes, they are allowed 1 courtesy foul ball.  After they use this foul ball, another foul ball will result in an out.

6)     Pitches shall have an arc range of 6 to 12 feet.

7)     A team must have a minimum of 8 players to field a team, otherwise the game is a forfeit. If a team consists of less than 10 players the opposing team will supply a non-defensive catcher while at bat, and the short-handed team will be responsible for "covering" home plate for defensive throws.

8)     If a team has eleven (11) or more players attending a game an "Extra Hitter" may be used to allow up to Thirteen (13) players to bat in the line-up.

9)     A Designated Hitter (DH) may be placed in the line up, hitting in place of one of the fielders.  Use of the DH shall be used with discretion and for reasons of health and safety.  If a fielder will need a DH the team captain should advise the opposing team captain at the beginning of the game. Once a DH is used for a given fielder, a DH must be used for that batter for the remainder of the game.

10)If necessary, a courtesy runner may be substituted for the batter after the batter has reached a base on his own once he has hit the ball or has been walked. The courtesy runner must be the last batter out. Use of the courtesy runner shall be used with discretion and for reasons of health and safety. If a batter will need a courtesy runner the team captain should advise the opposing team captain at the beginning of the game or as soon as the need becomes apparent. Once a courtesy runner is used for a given batter, a courtesy runner must be used for that batter for the remainder of the game.

11)Games will be for 7 innings, unless:

a)     At the end of 5 innings there is a 15 run difference between the scores of the two teams, in which case the games shall be complete, or

b)     At the end of 7 innings the score is tied, in which case the game shall continue one full inning at a time until the tie is broken.

12)A plate and a field umpire will be supplied by each team during their at bat.

13)There shall be no intentional offensive or defensive contact while players are attempting to advance to the next base. (i.e. the advancing runner shall not attempt to slide or run into the defending baseman so as to "take-out" the defending player or prohibit his throw to another base.)

14)Runners may not begin to advance until contact is made with the ball by the batter.

15)There will be allowed free substitution of players as long as it is not done for the purpose of strategically rearranging the batting order. However, once a player is removed from the game the game must progress through that team's complete batting order and not less than one complete inning must pass, before that player can re-enter the game. Prior to a substitution or position change the team captain or other assigned individual must communicate that change to the opposing team. Substitutions due to injury may be made at any time.

16)Games may be stopped because of darkness, rain or other inclement weather, as agreed between the team captains or as is reasonable, and in such event shall require a completion of the game, from the point at which it was stopped, unless the said game has progressed through five (5) complete innings, in which case the game shall be deemed complete.

17)Home team is responsible for supplying 1 new ball plus 1 good second ball. Official game softballs shall be supplied by the league.

18)When a female player comes to bat the female softball will be used in place of the normal game ball.

19)An overthrow to any base, which goes out of play, shall allow the base runner(s) to advance to the base he/she was approaching, and had committed to, as well as the base immediately following that base, no matter whether the throw was from the infield or outfield.

20)"Catch & Carry" rule - any ball caught in the field of play and carried out-of-play must be brought back into the field of play by the player who carried it out-of-play before being thrown to another player, otherwise the ball is dead and the runners may not advance but will be awarded the base they were approaching.

21)Field Rules:

a)     Southeast Park East field:

i)       Any ball in the left field hitting trees or bushes on the fly, is a Home Run.

ii)    Any ball going into the left field bushes untouched is a ground rule double, if the ball is touch it is all you can get.

iii)  Any ball going into the cement gutter untouched in right field is a ground rule double, if the ball is touch it is all you can get.

b)     South Annville field:

i)       A ball hit over the fence is a home run.

ii)    A ball that hits above the fence off of the foul pole is a home run.

iii)  A ball that rolls under the fence is a ground-rule double.

iv)  A ball that lands in the farmer's field on the fly is a home run.

v)     A ball that rolls into the farmer's field where there is no fence, either touched or untouched, is all you can get.

c)     Community Bible field:

i)       Any ball landing onto or over the road on the fly is a Home Run.

ii)    Any ball bouncing or rolling onto the hill prior to the road is a grand rule double.

d)     Mt Wilson field:

i)       Any ball landing over the fence on the fly is a Home Run.

ii)    Any ball bouncing over the fence the fly is a grand rule double.

iii)  Any ball touching the trees in foul territory is a dead ball.

e)     Zion EC field:

i)       Any ball landing on or over the road in right field on the fly is a Home Run.

ii)    Any ball going on or over the road in right field untouched is a ground rule double, if the ball is touch it is all you can get.

f)      Campbelltown:

i)       Any ball hitting on the fly any houses in the outfield is a Home Run.

ii)    Any ball hitting on the fly the parking lot in leftfield is a Home Run.

iii)  Any ball touching the trees in foul territory is a dead ball.

22)Any particulars regarding a field may be agreed to between the team captains prior to the game.

23)Home team is to offer prayer before each game.

24)Each team must supply their own scorekeeper. In the event a team is unable to supply their own scorekeeper the score of the scorekeeper present shall be the official score for the game. Any discrepancies between the score keepers or any questions to or apparent discrepancies of the single scorekeeper present shall be communicated through the team captain who shall promptly discuss same with the opposing team captain.

25)A coach, preferably the winning team, must update the score after the game through the website (

26)In the event of inclement weather during the day of a game the team captains shall contact each other no later than 5:30 PM of game if the game is to be rescheduled. Each team captain is then responsible for contacting his team. If no such agreement is made the teams should report to the game field as scheduled, and unless agreed at game time any team not showing for the game will forfeit. All games will be rescheduled by the commissioner.

27)Games shall begin at 6:30 PM. Home team to have field and batting warm-up from 6:00 PM to 6:15 PM. Visiting team to have field and batting warm-up from 6:15 PM to 6:30 PM. Batting and fielding practice may be combined with both teams on the field at the discretion of the team captains.

28)Each team should insure that it has reasonable first aid supplies in the event of injury.

29)Team attire shall be commensurate with the church-oriented nature of the league. In addition, metal spiked shoes are not allowed.

30)Only Pure Singlewall bats are permitted for use.  Multi-walled, multi-piece, composite, Titanium and ceramic bats shall not be used during practices, scrimmages or regulation games. All bats must also be ASA approved. 

31)Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be condoned. Such conduct shall be controlled by the team captain. Furthermore, all fields shall be alcohol, tobacco and drug free. If any player is concerned about the conduct of the other team, or the presence of alcohol, tobacco or drugs at the field by players or spectators, he or she shall report same to his or her team captain who shall advise the opposing team captain. If the conduct or presence of prohibited substances continues the challenging team captain shall again notify the opposing team captain and the offending opposing team member or spectator shall be benched or removed from the field, as appropriate.

32)In order to be eligible to participate in tournament play a player must have played in at least 30% of the scheduled season games, rounded to the nearest whole number, whether such games were player or not. A player is deemed to have "played" in a game if they were in the batting order for at least three (3) complete innings or in the batting order and removed because of injury. Teams should have their score sheets and/or other evidence of eligibility available at all tournament games in the event a challenge is made to the eligibility of a given player.

33)In the event any rule is waived by agreement of the team captains before the game commences it is waived for both teams for the duration of the game. Any such waiver must be made prior to the game commencing; otherwise published league rules shall apply.

34)Any game which is not completed; whether called because of darkness or weather and is not replayed or completed, or is not completed because of scheduling problems; shall be ruled a "no-game" and shall not effect the number of games won or lost by each team so involved.

35)Preliminary Rosters and Liability Insurance Statements (from church insurer) must be timely submitted to the designated league coordinator or any team not complying with same shall be ineligible for play and shall forfeit any scheduled games until submitted.

36)Otherwise, games are to be governed by the rules of fair play, and in the event the matter cannot be resolved by the published league rules or the rules of fair play ASA (standard slow pitch -- not co-ed) rules shall apply.

37)Intentional walks are permitted but the batter must be pitched to.

38)A foul tip caught by the catcher must reach a height of more than that of the height of the batter to constitute an out.

39)If an automatic homerun is hit, the runners may touch the next base and walk off the field without touching the following bases.

40)The amount of teams that make playoffs will be determined by the number of teams entered in the league at the beginning of the year: