Softball Majors Rules

Please refer to the 2023 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.
- There is no limit on running bases on overthrows. The ball is dead when the pitcher has control of the ball in the
pitching circle, or the umpire calls time.
- Stealing is allowed. Runners can leave the base upon release of the ball from the pitcher.
- There is no coach-pitch modification in Majors softball.
- 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 pitch is released (‘making a play’ includes
faking a throw to a base; ‘control of the ball’ means the pitcher is holding the ball in either hand).
- The ‘dropped third strike’ rule is in effect.

When on Defense
- Teams field 9 players on defense.
- 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, the player requires
one calendar day rest before pitching again.

Game Rules
- Games last for a minimum of 1 hr 45 minutes or six innings, whichever comes first.  The inning in progress at 1 hr 45 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 40’ from home plate. Solid-core 12” 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 ‘mercy’ rule is in effect for all divisions:rule 4.00 15/10/8 runs 3rd/4th/5th inning (4th/5th/6th for seniors)
- Game lengths are as follows: Farm: 75 Min; Minors: 90 Min; Majors: 105 Min; Juniors/Seniors: 105 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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