League Rules

ASA Rules

See Kevin Hazzard to obtain an a copy of the Official ASA Softball Rules book, or visit the official ASA website…

ASA Website

These rules are specific to Woburn Men’s Softball and supercede any and all ASA rules.

Library Park:

  • Drinking is strictly prohibited at Library Park.
  • Please obey all posted No Parking signs.
  • Any player arrested at the park is automatically suspended for the remainder of the season no matter what the offense is. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  • Clean up all trash you generate on the benches and in the parking lots.
    • Take ALL parking lot trash with you (beverage containers, pizza boxes, etc.) This does not mean that you dump the trash at the Towanda Club or the Library.
  • DO NOT draw any unwanted attention to the league.
  • Keep radios at a reasonable volume (also known as the “Milton” rule). Please consider the time of day and the fact that there is an old folks home nearby (see the rule stating “DO NOT draw any unwanted attention to the league.”)
  • The league reserves the right to suspend or expel players or teams from the league because of their parking lot behavior without warning and without appeal. Consider this is your warning. If a player is suspended for parking lot behavior the player’s team manager will also be suspended. Violation of any of the above rules could result in suspension.


  • Any game that a team cannot play during the season is considered a forfeit, unless there are extreme extenuating circumstances (commissioner’s decision).
  • If a team forfeits, they are responsible for BOTH umpire’s fees for the forfeited game. Please contact Ed McGrath to submit payment prior to your next game. If payment terms have not been agreed to or submitted, that team will forfeit all subsequent games until payment or an agreement is made.
  • If a game gets out of hand and the umpires stop the game the game will not be rescheduled. If the umpires deem both sides to be equally at fault then a double forfeit will be issued. If the umpires deem one team to be at fault then the other team will be awarded the victory regardless of the inning or the score of the game. The playoff eligibility ramifications are discussed in the Roster and Playoff Eligibility section below.
  • During the playoffs, teams are subject to play on any night of the week. Teams will be asked before the playoffs for any nights they cannot play. Teams are expected to be available to play on their league’s regularly scheduled nights.


  • Teams can have a maximum of 15 players in their lineup at one time. If more than 15 players show up for a game, then additional players will have to be substituted in. Managers need to confirm substitution with opposing team’s manager before the substitution is made. Additionally, the league will make exception to the 15 man rule only if the opposing coach agrees to allow more than 15 into the other team’s lineup.
  • Players substituted for must be put back into the same spot in the lineup when they go back into the game. Players can only substitute for the same spot in the lineup during the course of a game.
  • All players in the batting order must play at least 1 inning in the field.
  • You can drop players from the bottom of your order at any time in the game. You must start at the last player and work your way towards #10. If you drop to 9 players the 10th spot in the lineup will be called an out each time through the lineup and that spot cannot be filled. You cannot drop past 9 spots. Players dropped from the lineup cannot be added back into the lineup.
  • Players can sub for other teams, however, you can only be on ONE Roster.  No matter how many games you sub for another team you are NOT allowed to play for them in the playoffs.
  • A game may start in the top of the first inning with the visiting team having only 8 men. If, however, by the time three outs are recorded a 9th player has not arrived the game will be considered a forfeit. If the 8 man lineup bats thru the lineup the 9th spot will be considered an out. A team cannot start on defense with fewer than 9 players.
  • Substitutes from other teams can only be used in order to help a team avoid a forfeit. However, these substitutes can only allow a team to get to 9 players. Substitutes from other teams cannot be used to reach 10 or more players in a given lineup. If a sub from another team is being used and then a rostered player arrives, the substitute will leave the game and the newly arrived player will take the substitute’s spot in the lineup.
  • Substitutes from other teams can only be used with the approval of the opposing team’s manager. Don’t assume you can use another team’s best players as substitutes in your games. The opposing team manager needs to approve the person selected to sub in. A substitute is to allow you to avoid a forfeit, not to give you an advantage in a given game.
  • Teams may use players that are not on another WMSL roster at will and without restriction, except where league sanctions exist against substitute players.
  • Subs are NOT allowed in the playoffs
  • If a player is ejected from a game or willingly leaves the game and there are no available players to replace that player an out is recorded each time that spot comes through the line-up.
  • Injury Exception: If a player is injured during the course of play and cannot continue that player can be removed from the lineup with no out occurring whether there is a replacement or not.
    • The injured player must be verified by the opposing team prior to his removal from the game/lineup.
  • Violation of substitute rules will result in a forfeit by the offending team.

Courtesy runners:

  • Courtesy runners are for injury ONLY. Being slow or out of shape does not constitute an injury.
  • Once a player requests a courtesy runner that player MUST utilize a courtesy runner every subsequent time that he reaches base.
  • For BATTERS, courtesy runners are awarded at first base. So, if a batter legs out a double or triple, or hits a home run, and requests a runner or had already received a courtesy runner, that batter will be returned to first base and the courtesy runner will take that players spot on first base. Even if the ball is thrown away and an extra base would normally be award the courtesy runner would be awarded at first base and cannot advance.
  • The Defensive team has the choice of selecting the courtesy runner or allowing the last recorded out to be the runner.
  • If the player chosen to run by the defensive team refuses he is declaring that he is injured and will be taking a courtesy runner for the night. This means that he will not be able to advance past first base during any at bats, even in the case of a home run hit into the street, and will be replaced, at first base, with a courtesy runner every time through the order.
  • The only players that are ineligible for selection by the defensive team are the player whose turn it is at bat or players that are already on base. Players in the on deck circle or beyond are all eligible to be chosen.
  • If a player who is selected as a courtesy runner is on base when it gets to be his turn in the batting order, the defense will select another courtesy runner who will replace that player at the base he is currently occupying.
  • If a player on first base gets injured while advancing to 2nd or 3rd base they may also receive a courtesy runner. However, that runner will have to proceed back to the furthest open base without passing another runner on base. Some examples:
    • If a player is on first base. A batter hits the ball into the outfield. The runner on first is injured while going from first to third on a single. That runner may request a courtesy runner. Since second base is open the courtesy runner will start from second base.
    • If the player is injured going first to third on a double, there will no open base, so the courtesy runner will be allowed to take the injured players spot at third base.
    • If a runner is on first base is injured while advancing to third on a single but the batter is thrown out at second base attempting to get a double, first and second are now open and the courtesy runner would be awarded at first base.
  • The league reserves the right to expand on this rule if it deems it to be necessary.

Rosters and playoff Eligibility:

  • Players must play 50% of team games played in order to be playoff eligible.
  • It is the manager’s job to keep track of the opposing team’s players. Any questions at the end of the regular season will have to be figured out by checking the scorebooks of the teams in question (So keep track of the opposing team’s line-up).
  • Final rosters must be submitted to the league before the start of a team’s 13th game of the season. Any players that are not on your team’s roster by the start of the 13th game are INELIGIBLE for the playoffs regardless of how many games you can prove that they played. Team Managers are responsible for keeping the rosters up to date. Rosters will not be changed unless requested by the team managers or backup contacts. The manager and contacts names should be submitted to the league so they are included on the team contact list. All roster change request should be emailed to [email protected]. They will be updated on the website as soon as possible.
  • All playoff teams should expect to have their score books collected and reviewed by the league to determine playoff eligibility of all players.
  • Players should be listed in score book by Last Name. If multiple players have the same last name then first name should be included. If players are listed by first name in the score book and there are multiple players with the same first name on the roster then neither player will be given credit for the game played. Managers are responsible for the state of their lineups and score books. Player numbers are not an acceptable replacement for player names when determining eligibility.
  • If score sheets for all games cannot be presented then no players on the roster will be given credit for the missing games.
  • If there is a forfeit then the team that forfeits the game will get no credit for a game played for any players. Each player on the team that wins via forfeit will be given credit for a game played.
  • In the event of a double forfeit, no players on either team will be given credit for a game played.

Ejections and Suspensions:

  • If a player is ejected, there is a two game suspension following that game. The game the player is ejected is not included in that two game suspension.
  • If a player plays while suspended that team will forfeit all games played in by that player and the player is suspended for the remainder of the season, including playoffs. Ejections are handed out at the umpire’s discretion.
  • The league reserves the right to subjectively suspend/expel any players or teams from the league for their on field actions without warning and without appeal. Consider this your warning.


  • Only ASA approved bats that pass league sanctioned testing are allowed in play.
  • If there are not clear markings on a bat it is the umpires discretion whether that bat will be allowed in play or not.
  • During play, if the opposing team challenges the legality of a bat and the bat is deemed illegal, the player that just used the bat will be called out and runners will return to the bases that they occupied before the at bat.
  • Once the bat is ruled illegal, any player from that team that uses the illegal bat will be called out and ejected from the game. The ejected player will serve a two game suspension.
  • Any player that continues to use the illegal bat after a suspension will be suspended for the remainder of the season, including playoffs.
  • Players caught using modified bats will be expelled from Woburn Men’s Softball immediately and permanently.
  • Any bat deemed illegal during the course of the game is BANNED for the rest of the season.


  • The WMSL still recognizes the previous ASA rule on pitch height – 6 foot minimum and 12 foot maximum height requirement. The new rule (3 to 10 foot) is option from an ASA standpoint and will not be followed in the WMSL.
  • If the pitcher is removed from the game, he can only return to pitching if he occupied another defensive position.  If the removed pitcher is on the bench for a defensive inning, then he cannot go back in to pitch.
  • A player can only return to pitching once.  If he is removed from the mound a second time he cannot go back into pitch.

Website and Standings:

  • Team managers are responsible for sending the results of their games to [email protected] the morning following the game (by Monday morning for Friday night games). This is essential in order to keep the website standings up to date. If you never send your scores in then don’t complain that the website hasn’t been updated with your correct record. The site will not be updated without game results. So, if you send in “our record is 10-2” the site will not be updated to reflect that … send in game results to prove it.

Field of Play and Ground Rules:

Managers and umpires are encouraged to discuss these rules prior to starting a game in order to prevent any disputes during the game.

ASA point of emphasis this year:

  • No defensive player is allowed to block a base without possession of the ball. Even if the ball is on the way, until the defensive player has possession of the ball, they MUST allow access to the bag. If this obstruction occurs, the umpire will award the runner whatever base he feels the runner should be entitled to.

Grace Period for starting a game:

  • No inning will begin after 1 hour and 20 minutes of the scheduled start time.
  • Once your game has ended, please clear the bench area immediately so the teams for the next game can get ready to start their game.
  • There is NO grace period for 7:00 or 8:30 PM games.

Field of Play:

  • Field 1:
    • The field of play on the 1st base line consists of an imaginary line that runs from the backstop, to the bench fence, to the first light pole, and then diagonal to the fence so the small retaining wall is out of play.  After that, the entire field fence is in play.
    • The field of play on the 3rd based line consists of an imaginary line that runs from the backstop to the fence that protects the bench, to the light pole.  The line then continues to follow the light poles the rest of the way down left field.
    • Any ball that crosses those imaginary lines is considered out of play and extra bases will be awarded based on ASA rules.
    • A hit ball that goes over the fence in Right Field, on the fly, is considered a home run.
    • A hit ball that bounces over the fence in Right Field is considered a ground rule TRIPLE.
    • A ball that rolls under the fence or through any of the openings in the fence are considered a ground rule DOUBLE.
  • Field 2:
    • Field 2 is considered and “open field” there are no ground rule doubles or triples and no dead balls.  If the ball travels into the wooded area the fielder has to go in an get it while the runner advances at his peril.
    • The field of play on the first base line consists of an imaginary line from the backstop to the bench fence and then to the first light pole.  After the light pole everything is considered in play.
    • The field of play on the 3rd base line consists of an imaginary line from the backtop to the light pole, to the bench fence, to the next light pole, where it follows the lights all the way down left field.
    • Any ball that crosses those imaginary lines is considered out of play and extra bases will be awarded based on ASA rules.
  • Dead Ball
    • Any ball that crosses the imaginary lines is considered dead.
      • If a hit ball crosses the line in the air it is a foul ball and out of play.
      • If a hit ball is fair and rolls past the line it is considered a ground rule double.
    • If a live ball is thrown and crosses any of these lines the umpire will award 2 bases to all base runners. The bases awarded are determined by the umpire according to the bases occupied by the runners at the time of the throw.
    • Dead Ball Catch: If a player successfully catches a live ball and carries it beyond the field of play an out is recorded and all base runners will be awarded 1 base. If there are 2 outs at the time of the catch the batter is ruled out, the inning is over, and there is no advancement of the runners.


  • In 2010 the ASA changed the pitch height requirements. The new rule allows for pitches to be between 3 and 10 feet in height. The ASA has made this a league optional rule. The WMSL has decided to follow the rule as previously stated, 6 to 12 foot height requirement.

Mercy Rule:

  • There is NO mercy rule where the game ends.
  • All games will be played into the 7th inning unless the game reaches the time limit.
  • After 6 innings are complete, if a team is losing by 12 runs or more that team will hit in the top of the 7th inning.
  • If the team that hits in the top of the 7th happens to take the lead the other team will be allowed to hit in the bottom of the 7th inning.
  • This rule ONLY applies to the 7th inning and should not be used in earlier innings.

The league thanks you for your compliance…