Rule 4 - Coaches, Players and Substitutes
Sec. 1 COACHES
a. The head coach is responsible for signing the line-up card.
b. Coaches must be neatly attired, including the wearing of suitable footwear, or dressed in team uniform in accordance with the colour code of the team. If a coach wears a hat or cap, it must be approved headwear.
c. An offensive team coach (base coach) is an eligible member of the team at bat who takes his place on the field, within the coach’s box.
1) Two coaches are allowed to give words of assistance and direction to the members of their team while at bat.
2) One shall be stationed near first base and one near third base and they are obligated to stay within the confines of their respective coach’s box.
EXCEPTION: A coach may leave the coach’s box to signal a runner to slide, advance or return to a base, or move out of a fielder’s way, as long as he does not interfere with the play.
3) A base coach may address only his team members.
4) One coach can have in his possession in the coach’s box, a scorebook, pen or pencil all of which shall be used for scorekeeping or record keeping purposes only. One or both coaches may have an indicator.
d. A defensive team coach/manager is an eligible member of the team in the field.
1) He may be either a non-playing coach who remains in the dugout; or
2) A playing coach who takes his place on the field.
3) This coach may give direction and assistance to his team while they are playing defence.
e. Coaches may not use language that will reflect negatively upon players, umpires or spectators.
f. No communication equipment is allowed between:
1) The coaches on the field;
2) The coaches and the dugout;
3) The coaches and any player; or
4) The spectator area and the field, including the dugout, coaches and players.
EFFECT – Sec. 1e-f: Any infraction will result in the ejection of the coach.
Sec. 2 LINE-UP CARDS AND ROSTERS
a. Official line-up cards are to be completed and submitted to the official scorer and umpire at the start of each game. The plate umpire retains the card for the duration of the game.
1) A player’s name shall not be in the starting line-up unless the player is present in the team area and in uniform.
2) All available substitutes should be listed in the designated place on the lineup card by their last name, first name and uniform number.
3) Eligible roster members may be added to the available substitute list at any time during the game.
4) The name of the head coach/manager must be listed on the line-up card.
b. Male rosters shall include only male players and female rosters shall include only female players.
Sec. 3 PLAYERS
a. A team shall consist of players in the following positions:
1) Ten (10) players: pitcher (F1), catcher (F2), first baseman (F3), second baseman (F4), third baseman (F5), shortstop (F6), left fielder (F7), left center fielder (F8), right center fielder (F9) and right fielder (F10).
2) With an Extra Player – Eleven players. (The same positions as in Sec. 3a-1 above plus the EP who bats in the batting order.)
3) Co-Ed – Ten players (5 males and 5 females).
4) Co-Ed with two Extra Players – Twelve players (6 males and 6 females).
NOTE: Players of the team in the field may be stationed anywhere on fair territory, except the catcher, who must be in the catcher’s box, and the pitcher, who must be in:
a. legal pitching position at the start of each pitch.
b. A team must have the required number of players present in the team area to start or continue a game.
EFFECT – Sec. 3b: The game is forfeited.
Sec. 4 STARTING PLAYERS
A starting player shall be official when the line-up card is inspected and approved by the plate umpire and team representative at the pre-game meeting.
a. The names must be entered on the official line-up card in advance of the meeting.
b. In case of injury or illness, changes may be made at the pre-game meeting with the umpires.
1) A listed substitute may take the place of a player whose name is in his team’s starting line-up.
2) He would then be considered the starting player.
3) The player replaced at the meeting could enter the game, as a substitute, at any time later in the game.
Sec. 5 EXTRA PLAYER
a. An “EXTRA PLAYER”, referred to as an EP, is optional, but if one is used it must be made known prior to the start of the game and the player’s name listed on the line-up card as one of the eleven hitters in the batting order.
b. If an EP is used, he must be used the entire game.
EFFECT – Sec. 5 b: Failure to complete the game with an EP results in forfeiture of the game.
c. If an EP is used, all eleven must bat and any ten can play defence.
d. Defensive positions can be changed but the batting order must remain the same.
e. The EP must remain in the same position in the batting order for the entire game.
f. The EP may be substituted for at any time, either by a substitute hitter or a substitute runner, who then becomes the EP.
g. The starting EP can re-enter once.
h. If two Extra Players are used in Co-Ed, all twelve players must bat and any ten players – 5 male and 5 female – will play defence.
1) The batting order must remain the same throughout the game.
2) Defensive positions may be changed provided the five male and five female player ratio is maintained.
EFFECT – Sec 5: When a team violates any of the above provisions, or uses an illegal EP, the player in violation shall be ejected.
Sec. 6 RE-ENTRY
a. Any player may be substituted for or replaced and re-entered once, provided the players occupy their same batting position in the batting order.
b. The starting player and their substitute may not be in the line-up at the same time.
c. If a player re-enters the game a second time or a player re-enters the game in a position in the batting order other than their original starting or substitute position, this is treated as an illegal re-entry.
1. When the player is used as a replacement player.
2. (MINOR ONLY) When all players have been re-entered by a team in a game, the re-entry and substitution rules are waived in the event of an injury.
a. The player entering the game shall assume the batting position of the injured player and/or ill player.
b. The injured player may not return to the game.
EFFECT – Sec. 6a-c:
1. Violation of the re-entry rule is handled as an appeal, which may be made at any time while the illegal re-entered player is in the game.
2. Violation of the re-entry rule is treated as an illegal substitute.
3. The penalty for an illegal re-entry is the ejection of both the manager/coach (whose name appears on the line-up card) and the illegally re-entered player.
4. The name of the new coach who is to assume responsibility for the team must be provided to the umpire.
1. The umpire can prevent an illegal re-entry up until the next pitch but failure to do so does not alter any subsequent penalties.
2. If what would otherwise be a legal re-entry is not reported, it is an illegal substitute.
Sec. 7 SUBSTITUTES
A substitute may take the place of a player whose name is in his team’s line-up. The following regulations govern substitutions:
a. Any player may be substituted from the game at any time when the ball is dead.
1) If an injury to a batter-runner or runner prevents him/her from proceeding to an awarded base, and the ball is dead, the batter-runner or runner may be substituted for:
i. The substitute will be allowed to touch any awarded base(s).
ii. The substitute must touch any awarded or missed base(s) not previously touched.
b. The manager or team representative of the team making the substitution shall immediately notify the plate umpire at the time a substitute enters.
c. Substitutes will be considered in the game when announced to the plate umpire.
d. The plate umpire shall then report the change to the scorer prior to the next pitch.
e. A substitute will not violate the substitution rule until a pitch (legal or illegal) is thrown.
f. If the team manager, or the substitute in violation, informs the umpire prior to the opposing team’s notification, there is no violation regardless of how long the substitute was illegally in the game.
NOTE: The use of an illegal substitute is an appeal play that must be brought to the attention of the plate umpire by the offended team, while the illegal substitute is in the game.
g. If a violation is discovered prior to a pitch occurring (legal or illegal), there is no penalty and the illegal substitute shall be declared legal.
h. An illegal substitute is considered in the game and the player from the line-up being illegally substituted for is considered to have left the game, if a pitch (legal or illegal) has occured.
EFFECT – Sec. 7h:
1. OFFENSIVE TEAM VIOLATIONS
a. If the illegal player is discovered while at bat:
1) A legal substitute or the starting player (subject to the re-entry provisions) assumes the ball and strike count.
2) Any advance of runners while the illegal player is at bat is legal.
b. If the illegal player is discovered after completing his turn at bat and prior to the next pitch, legal or illegal:
1) The illegal player is called out; and
2) Any advance of runners as a result of an obstruction, an error, a walk, or a base hit is nullified.
3) Any additional outs that were recorded on the play will stand.
c. If the illegal player is discovered after completing his turn at bat and after the next pitch, legal or illegal: No one is out, and any advance by runners while the illegal player was at bat is legal.
d. If the illegal player is discovered while in the game as a runner:
1) A legal substitute, or the starting player (subject to the re-entry provisions), assumes the position on the base; and 2) Any bases advanced by the illegal player shall be legal.
2. DEFENSIVE TEAM VIOLATIONS
a. If the illegal player is discovered after making a play and prior to the next pitch, legal or illegal, the offensive team has the option of:
1) Taking the result of the play; or
2) Having the play nullified, with runners returning to the last base held at the time of the play and the batter returning to bat assuming the balls and strikes held prior to the discovery of the illegal player.
b. If the illegal player is detected after a pitch (legal or illegal) to the next batter, all play(s) stand.
3. IN ALL VIOLATIONS
a. The illegal player will be declared an ineligible player and removed from the game.
b. Should an ineligible player return to the game, it is declared a forfeit to the team not at fault.
i. A player substituted from the game twice shall not participate in the game again except as a coach.
EXCEPTION: Any player who has not been ejected or removed for a violation of the rules can enter the game as a replacement player.
j. Multiple substitutions can be made for the player listed on the starting line-up but no player can return to the game after being substituted from the line-up twice.
1) Any player who re-enters can play any position on defence but must remain in the same position in the batting order, as listed on the line-up.
EXCEPTION: A starting pitcher, who has been removed from the pitching position as a result of the defensive team reaching their limit of charged conferences (2 conferences per inning) or a pitcher removed from the pitching position for throwing with excessive speed, may re-enter but not as a pitcher.
NOTE: The provisions of Rule 4, Sec. 7 will not apply in the event of the required use of a replacement player except if the replacement player is properly appealed for not reporting to the umpire. (See Rule 4 Effect Sec. 10 f-g)
Sec. 8 DISPUTED CALLS
a. Any team member disputing any judgment decision by an umpire will result in a team warning.
b. Any repeat offence shall result in the ejection of that team member.
Sec. 9 DUGOUT CONDUCT
a. Coaches, players, substitutes, or other bench personnel shall not be outside the designated bench dugout area, except when the rule allows or considered justified by the umpire.
b. This includes players other than the on-deck batter (who must remain in the on-deck circle) at the start of the game, between innings, or when a new pitcher is warming up.
EFFECT – Sec. 9: The first offence is a team warning. Any repeat offence shall result in the ejection of that team member.
Sec. 10 REPLACEMENT PLAYER
a. In the event of any player bleeding during the game, that player must be withdrawn from the game if the bleeding cannot be stopped within a reasonable time, or if his uniform becomes covered in blood.
b. The withdrawn player shall not return to the game until all bleeding ceases, the area cleaned and covered and, if necessary, his uniform replaced.
c. If a change of number is required due to the new uniform shirt, there is no penalty.
d. The withdrawn player shall be replaced by a replacement player, who may act for the withdrawn player for the remainder of the inning in progress (i.e. until the end of the inning of the home team), and for the following complete inning.
e. The replacement player cannot be a player currently playing in the game.
f. The replacement player cannot be a player who has been ejected or removed from the game for a violation of the rules.
g. (CO-ED ONLY) When the replacement player is used, the player must be of the same sex as the injured and bleeding player.
h. The replacement player must be reported to the umpire.
i. The umpire must be advised that the withdrawn player is returning to the game.
EFFECT – Sec. 10h-i:
1. This is an appeal play which can be made anytime while the replacement player or the withdrawn player is in the game.
2. The illegal substitute penalties apply (Rule 4, Effect Sec. 7h).
3. If the team in violation reports the replacement player or the returning withdrawn player to the umpire before the non-offending team appeals, there is no violation.
j. The replacement player shall be permitted to bat in the turn of the withdrawn player and field for the withdrawn player under all circumstances that would apply to the withdrawn player.
k. The withdrawn player may return to the game at any time in accordance with the Official Rules of Softball or following the expiration of the time permitted to treat the injury as per (a) above.
l. The use of a replacement player is not subject to the provisions of the substitution rule (Rule 4, Sec. 7h) provided the withdrawn player returns to the game within the time permitted.
EXCEPTION – Sec. 10l: The replacement player and the returning withdrawn player must be reported to the umpire.
EFFECT – Sec. 10:
1. Should the withdrawn player not be able to return to the game after being out for the time described in (a) above, the replacement player must be treated as a substitute in accordance with Rule 4, Sec. 7.
2. If the replacement player is one who has previously been in the game and cannot legally re-enter the game, then he must be replaced by a legal substitute.
3. The withdrawn player may subsequently re-enter the game subject to the provisions of Rule 4, Sec. 7.
4. Should the team not have a legal substitute available, the game will be forfeited.
Sec. 11 TEMPORARY RUNNER
A Temporary Runner is legal for a pitcher who gets on base.
The following provisions apply:
a. It is not optional.
b. There must be two out.
c. If the pitcher is on base with less than two out, the Temporary Runner must be used after the second out occurs.
d. The Temporary Runner must be designated by the manager during the pre-game meeting.
e. If the pitcher is the runner in the tie-breaker situation, they will be considered the same as if they had batted and would be allowed a Temporary Runner with two out.
f. Re-entry and substitution rules are waived for the Temporary Runner.
g. If an incorrect player is discovered as the Temporary Runner, the change is made without penalty.
h. If a Temporary Runner is due to go to bat, the next person in the batting order shall be used without penalty.