All rules for play are those stated in the official LITTLE LEAGUE rule book for fast pitch softball except for those rules amended here for league play.
All games should start at the prescribed time per the Master Schedule. This includes weekday games starting at 6:00 PM. If a team cannot field a minimum of 9 players by 6:15, the team with lesser players can still play an official game under these scenarios (forfeits should look to be avoided):
For Juniors, Majors and Minors, the team missing players can start play with less than 9 players assuming players arrive by the third inning. (Some outside teams may demand 9 players from the start).
For Juniors, Majors and Minors, upon agreement from the coach of the team with more than 8 players, he or she can allow the other team to borrow players. This rule applies only when playing against another CM team or if agreed upon up front with an outside town coach.
Pool players, those designated to play on multiple teams if needed are allowed.
Here are Pool Players rules:
Pool players may not pitch.
Pool players are best put at the end of the batting order.
Pool players should not take playing time from the team's regular players.
For Farm, the team can play with less players or players can be borrowed – Farm Games should essentially never be forfeited (unless there are not more than 3 players) - Farm can play with less players.
Accidents that result in bleeding require the player to be temporarily removed from a practice or game until the bleeding wound has been addressed. Anyone tending to an injured player is strongly encouraged to use protective gloves when addressing a bleeding wound. Any clothing that has been bloodied must be removed before the player can return to the practice or game.
For any situation where a concussion is suspected the procedures as documented in the HEADS UP training should be followed.
Every effort must be made to get all scheduled games played. The following game change / cancellation / exception policy apply:
Practice Cancellations are at the discretion of the coach or coaches having the field. Notice must be given to the Field Scheduler once the decision is made not to have practice.
Practice Reschedules will work similar to practice cancellations, but a reschedule request needs to be coordinated through the Field Scheduler. Note that the Field Scheduler may work with you to sure up a field in another town if no field is available in Chester or Mendham. Similarly the Field Scheduler may engage another coach if a ‘swap’ of fields and/or times is considered (coaches can also work directly on this).
Game Reschedules (not due to weather) requests need to be made at least 72 hours (3 days) before the regularly scheduled playing of that game. Both teams/coaches need to be in agreement with the proposed change and the coaches should come up with options BEFORE going to the Field Scheduler. The request to cancel and change a particular game needs to be made through the Field Scheduler and may involve other town coaches and field schedulers so the change is fully communicated. It is also the responsibility of the coaches to contact the umpire – when an umpire is used.
Game Reschedules and/or Game Cancellations (due to inclement weather) are determined based on notifications from Chester Mendham Little League along with the respective Boroughs and Townships on field not being playable, for any reason. A notice will be made on the website (www.cmbaseballsoftball.org). Coaches should take their lead from this site. Email and texts will be communicated after 3:00pm on weekdays and starting at 8:00am on weekends going throughout the day. Umpires must be communicated to on cancellations due to weather. NOTE THAT A GAME CALLED IN ONE TOWN DOES NOT MEAN THE GAME IS CALLED IN ANOTHER TOWN, AND COACHES MUST CONFIRM.
Game Stops due to inclement weather during a game in progress is based on the umpires who will determine that weather conditions are not in the best interest of safety which warrants suspension of play. ALL LIGHTNING AND THUNDER ISUNSAFE AND PLAY MUST STOP. If less than four innings have been played, the game can be postponed and rescheduled through the field scheduler. IF FOUR (4) OR MORE INNINGS HAVE BEEN PLAYED, THE SCORE REVERTS TO THE LAST FULL INNING PLAYED AND IS CONSIDERED FINAL, EXCEPT FOR PLAYOFF GAMES AS DESCRIBED BELOW.
Farm, Minor and Major League games are 6 innings. Junior League games are 7 innings. An official game is 4 innings (3.5 inning if home team ahead) for Minors and Majors and 5 innings (4.5 inning if home team ahead) for Juniors. If a game is postponed due to darkness or the game has exceeded the league time limit (two hours - 2 hours in CM) 4 innings have been played, the game is considered official and will not have to be rescheduled. For Farm, games are usually 3 innings or the amount that is under 90 minutes for the complete session (including any pre-game drills).
On weeknights, in CM, no new inning may start after 7:45PMand no game may continue past 8:00PM. If an inning continues past 7:45PM, but is not completed by 8:00PM, the score reverts back to the last full inning of play. (Outside teams may have different time restrictions that need to be followed for those towns. These should be discussed and fully agreed up front.)
For day games, in CM, each game will adhere to the two hour (2- hour)rule. This means that no new inning may start after 1 hour and 45 minutes of play and each game has a HARD STOP at 2 hours of play. If the game is not completed after the 2 hours, the score reverts back to the last full inning of play. (A longer timeframe in CM is acceptable if both coaches AND THE UMP agree to extend this AND if there is no game on the field after). (Outside teams may have different time restrictions that need to be followed for those towns. These should be discussed and fully agreed up front.)
Any playoff games will be played to completion of the 6 innings (Minors and Majors) and 7 innings (Juniors) and into extra innings, if necessary, until there is a winner. If the game is suspended before its conclusion, it will resume from the point it was suspended on another scheduled day.
All innings of the playoff games and All-Star games should be completed, regardless of the score.
A maximum of 10 players may be in the field at any time for Minors, Majors and Juniors. Of these, only 4 may be infielders (excluding the pitcher and catcher) stressing positional play and the outfielders must start off on the outfield grass.
Coaches and/or team members may coach first and third base while their team is at bat. Players who coach MUST wear a helmet.
Players, parents, and coaches may not stand behind the backstop while a team is at bat. The umpire may suspend play if anyone is behind the backstop.
Swinging of bats outside of the on-deck cage (if one exists) is strictly prohibited. It is all coaches’ responsibility to enforce this rule and ensure swinging of bats only occurs in the designated on-deck area if applicable. Only team players and coaches are allowed in and around the dugout areas unless a player is sick or injured, then parents can entire the dugout or field. It is all coaches’ responsibility to enforce this rule for the safety and enjoyment of everyone involved. All players must stay on the designated bench area during the entire game except for players batting, playing the field or coaching a base.
Coaches are responsible for the behavior of their players, fans, and parents. UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.
Usually league games are not scheduled on Sundays. However make-up games may be scheduled if agreed to by both coaches and the Field Scheduler. Regular league scheduling procedures have to be followed and the request must be approved by the Field Scheduler prior to the game taking place. This includes the notification of the umpire coordinator for the Minors, Juniors and Majors divisions.
In the event of a cancellation for any reasons, umpires must be notified in a timely manner.
If a team is ahead by more than 10 runs after 4 innings of play, the team ahead by 10 runs is the winner (Mercy Rule) – this applies to Juniors, Majors, Farm and Minors. Both coaches can agree to increase this but not more than 15 runs and this must be done up front.
Ties are allowed and need not be broken in regular season games.
If a game starts late due to weather or lack of players, the official start time of the game does not change to when play actually started.
Catchers cannot be changed in the middle of an inning unless the catcher has been injured or has been removed from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Jewelry is NOT to be worn during practices or games (including necklaces, bracelets, watches, and earrings).
Middle school players may not play games in their middle school uniforms.
Any player removed from a game due to injury that requires medical attention, can return to the game. If a time at bat comes up while the player is receiving medical attention (or cannot return to the game), the player’s spot is skipped without penalty.
Starting lineups must be recorded in both team’s scorebooks with each players’ name and number.
Players must play a field position a minimum of three (3) innings per game.
Bunting is allowed in the Minor, Major and Junior leagues only. No fake bunt then swing.
Stealing home is always allowed for Junior league only. Outside teams allow stealing at Majors levels. CM vs CM Majors game should usually not allow stealing home. Whether to have stealing for Majors should be discussed and determined prior to the game.
League rules may be reviewed by league officers during the season and changed if necessary. Coaches may not change rules at their own discretion. These rules are applicable as of 4/15/2017.
Coaches must carry a copy of the rules with them to all games.
The home field coach must measure the bases and pitcher’s mound. The standard field measurements for our fields are as follows and should be adjusted based on league provisions:
Minors – Pitching Plate is 35 ft. and bases are 60 ft.
Majors – Pitching Plate is 40 ft. and bases are 60 ft.
Juniors – Pitching Plate is 43 ft. and bases are 60 f
Farm - Tthe coach can use the 35 ft Pitching Plate, but can go up to 30 ft. The coach should not lob the ball over and should use appropriate velocity.