Softball Minors Rules

Please refer to the 2022 Little  League Softball Rule Book for an exhaustive list of Little League Softball Rules. Below are some of the more frequently identified rules, as well as rules that are specific to Arapahoe Little League softball.

When on Offense
- Open to all girls LL age 9- 12
- All batters must have a facemask on their batting helmet.
- There is no on-deck circle. Players in the dugout (besides the active batter) are not allowed outside the dugout
to take practice swings or use a hitting stick. Batting sleeves or ‘donuts’ are not allowed.
- Baserunners may slide feet first when headed to a base (no head-first slides to a base they have not reached
yet). They may slide feet first or head first when returning to a base already passed.
- Runners may advance one base on an overthrow, per overthrow, at their own peril. An overthrow is considered
an attempt by a fielder to throw the ball to any infield position, and the ball gets past the intended target.
- Steeling is allowed in Minors softball. Runners cannot leave the base until the pitch reaches the batter.
- Runners cannot steel when a coach is pitching.
- A maximum of five (5) runs can be scored per half-inning. A team’s turn at-bat is over when the defense gains
three outs or the offense scores five runs.
- A base runner is out if she leaves the base while the pitcher has control of the ball in the pitcher’s circle and is
not making a play on any runner or if she leaves the base before the pitched ball reaches the batter (‘making a
play’ includes faking a throw to a base; ‘control of the ball’ means the pitcher is holding the ball in either hand).
- Coaches pitch underhand to their own team’s batters from a distance of 30 – 35 feet.
- A batter hit by a pitch will always result in a walk for that batter, unless the ball is pitched by a coach.
- There is no ‘dropped third strike’ rule in Minors softball.

When on Defense
- Minors softball is a modified coach-pitch league. Pitchers may walk three batters (either by base on balls or hit by
pitch) per inning. If, after the third issued walk, the pitcher reaches a ball 4 count on any subsequent batter,
the coach from the team on offense will come pitch to his/her batter, inheriting the number of strikes already
thrown to that batter during that at-bat. The at-bat will continue until (1) the batter puts the ball in play or (2)
the batter strikes out (umpire will continue to call balls and strikes, though a coach cannot walk his/her own
batter). After the at-bat is complete, the pitcher will resume pitching to the next batter.
- Teams field up to 9 players on defense (no extra outfielders).
- Catchers must wear full catching gear (shin guards, chest protector, and catcher’s helmet with dangling style
throat guard). Catchers may wear a fielder’s glove or catcher’s mitt.
- Pitchers must deliver legal pitches. A ball to the batter will be called if an illegal pitch is thrown, though runners
cannot advance on an illegal pitch.
- Players playing in the pitcher position are required to wear a defensive face mask. Infielders and outfielders
(other than catcher) are encouraged to wear defensive face masks, but not required.
- The infield fly rule is in effect.
- Pitchers may pitch up to 12 innings in one day. If a pitcher pitches in 7 or more innings in one day, she requires
one calendar day rest before pitching again.

Game Rules
- Games last for a minimum of 90 minutes or six innings, whichever comes first.  The inning in progress at 90 minutes will be completed in its entirety unless (1) the home team has the lead and is at-bat after time has expired, (2) the home team gains the lead after time has expired, or (3) the visiting team has a lead of 6 or more runs after time has expired.  The next inning officially starts after the third out of the previous inning.  
- The game is over if there is a 15-run (or more) lead after three innings (or 2 1/2 if the home team has the lead) or a 10-run (or more) lead after four innings (or 3 1/2 if the home team has the lead).  
- Pitcher’s plate is 35’ from home plate. Solid-core 11” softballs should be used.

All Divisions:
- Players must wear batting helmets with face masks
- Bats must be softball bats with a stamp showing a BPF rating of 1.20. Baseball bats should not be used (baseball
bats are affected by the new USA Baseball Rule, where all non-BBCOR baseball bats must have the USA Baseball
stamp. This rule does not affect softball bats, though softball bats must be stamped with the BPF rating).
- Base path distance is 60 feet for all divisions.
- Because of the short distance, it is highly recommended for infielders to wear defensive facemasks, and is
required for pitchers in Farm, Minors and Majors divisions.
- Pitching distances are as follows: Farm/Minors: 35’; Majors: 40’; Juniors/Seniors: 43’
- Ball sizes are as follows: Farm: 11’ (soft-core); Minors: 11’ (solid-core); Majors/Juniors/Seniors: 12’
- Little League’s 10-run ‘mercy’ rule is in effect for all divisions: Farm/Minors/Majors: after 4 innings;
Juniors/Seniors: after 5 innings
- Game lengths are as follows: Farm: 75 Min; Minors: 90 Min; Majors: 105 Min; Juniors/Seniors: 120 Min
- Teams are allowed a maximum of three coaches on the field, one of which must be in the dugout at all times.
- There is no on-deck circle in Farm, Minors and Majors; players waiting their turn at bat are not allowed to take
practice swings or use a hitting stick outside the dugout while waiting their turn at-bat.
- ‘Donuts’ or batting sleeves are not allowed in the on-deck circle in Juniors and Seniors.

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