Metro Milwaukee Fastpitch League (MMFL)

Rules and Regulations

Established 9/13/99

Revised 1/28/15

 

(** Special 10U Rules can be found at the end of this document!)

League

Schedules

In the best interest of the vast majority, league schedules will be final and without exception. During the scheduling process, league administrators will make every attempt to accommodate teams with special tournament and other date requirements.

Normal summer MMFL league scheduling shall not exceed the 2nd weekend of August, or, August 15th whichever comes first.

Game Report Cards

Because of the vast number of games scheduled at various locations throughout the Metro Milwaukee counties, it is virtually impossible for the MMFL to monitor each game played. Game Report Cards now take the place of MMFL Board Members attending these games. The report cards are the responsibility of the umpires working each game.  Each card serves as a sign-up sheet for players, coaches and umpires indicating all who attended the game, as well as attesting the game results. It is mandatory that these cards be filled out properly and mailed as soon as possible back to the league as described on the Contacts Page of our website. Umpires will be compensated for their work from these cards, and only from these cards, when filled out properly, signed and delivered.

Standings

When team standings within divisions are going to be recorded, the following criteria will be used to establish such standings.

The team with the most wins relative to games played (Wins + Losses + Ties) will be considered the divisional leader when used in calculation to determine a winning percentage, games won divided by total games played.

Tiebreakers; (1) winner head-to-head within divisions, (2) lowest average runs allowed per game, (3) coin flip.

Eligibility

The following rules govern player eligibility. Appeals may be made to the league when there are unusual or extenuating circumstances.

Age:

A player’s age shall not exceed the maximum dictated by the division of play. The age cut-off will be that which is dictated by ASA rules for youth (Junior Olympic) fast pitch softball.

According to ASA Code, a player's age as of December 31st determines the age in which the player is eligible to play the following year.

Multiple Teams:

Players may play on multiple team rosters provided the teams are not in the same division or age group.

All games played by a team in which an illegal player participates shall be forfeited. A team who permits an illegal player to play or who carries an illegal player on their roster shall be suspended for the season and shall be subject to review by the MMFL Board of Directors for future participation.

 

Games

Pre-Game  (Added 5/24/13)

During pre-game conferences between umpires and coaches, among other things, the following items will be determined.
    
    A. Umpires will determine the "Home" team for each game, be it with a coin flip or voluntarily.
            Each team will be deemed the Home Team for one of the games while the other team will be the visitors and vice versa for the other game.         
    
    B. Each team will announce their Scorekeeper and the Scorekeeper for each team will be in the dugout or bench area.
        As a reminder, anyone in the dugout or bench area must have a background check. This is an ASA/ACE requirement.

Forfeits

A team that does not field at least 8 players within the 10 minute grace period of the scheduled game time will be assessed a forfeit.

In the event of a double header, the forfeiting team shall be granted a 30 minute period of time following the forfeit call for the first game to have the necessary players in attendance (eight minimum). If necessary, a second forfeit will be recorded.

A forfeit will be determined a LOSS with (0) runs. The opposing team will be granted seven (7) runs. No forfeit make-up game(s) will be supported by the MMFL.

The forfeiting team will be assessed $75.00 for each recorded forfeit. This fee will be payable by the end of the season. Failure to pay the forfeit fee will prevent the team from being approved to play in the next season. Additionally, if a team forfeits two dates at any point during the season, a written or verbal explanation must be provided to the board prior to registering for the next season.

Balls

For each game, the home team must furnish one new, official MMFL ball as well as an acceptable second ball of the same type.

Warm-Ups

Teams should always take the field promptly. Warm-ups for the pitcher will be limited to 5 pitches.

Length of Games

Games shall be seven (7) innings with a time limit of one hour and twenty minutes. No inning shall start after the time limit except for games ending in a tie.

In case of a tie after 7 innings or upon reaching time limit, a maximum of two extra innings (or 1 ½ if the home team leads) will be played using the ASA tie-breaker method. After these extra innings, the game shall be declared completed if the time limit has been reached; if the time limit has not been reached, play shall be continued until the time limit is reached.

Note: The ASA tie breaker rule essentially involves the following: Each extra inning begins with an offensive player assuming a position on second base prior to the first batter coming into the batters box. The player on second base was the last official batter in the batting order of the previous inning and whom would precede the first batter of the next inning.

Run Spread

A home team with a ten (10) or more run lead after the completion of 4 ½ innings or at any point thereafter or a visiting team with a ten (10) or more run lead at the completion of five innings or any full inning thereafter, will be declared the winner.

Appeals

Umpires judgment calls may not be appealed. Interpretation of rules by umpires may be appealed by the team’s head coach only during games. Speaking to umpires in a calm tone will only enhance the possibility of resolving a dispute. Appeals on other matters may be made to the league (such as player eligibility or dismissal of a team from the league) in writing. Appeal decisions will be made by the MMFL Board of Directors.

Umpire Absences

Whenever possible, the league will schedule two umpires for each league game played. If a 2nd umpire is not available or does not show, the game shall be played with one umpire. A qualified, sanctioned umpire may be recruited from the spectators and will be compensated by the MMFL. Volunteer, unsanctioned, umpires will not be compensated.

If neither umpire shows up for a game and another MMFL game is being played at an adjacent location, the coaches may request that one of the two umpires come to the field without an official. The MMFL will provide additional compensation to those umpires who are forced to umpire a game alone due to a "no-show" by a scheduled umpire.

If two umpires do not show for a game and another umpire cannot be recruited from another field, the managers should attempt to recruit one or more sanctioned umpires from the spectators. Again, note that unsanctioned volunteer umpires will not be compensated by the MMFL.

NOTE: The approval of both managers is required for a volunteer to umpire a game.

Rainouts/Makeup Games

Team coaches/managers do not make the final decisions regarding rainouts. League Officials and umpires will make any final decision whether inclement weather or field conditions will cause a game to be cancelled. Games not played due to inclement weather or bad field conditions will be made up at the earliest possible date as long as arrangements can be made for umpires by the league. The teams must agree on  a mutual game date and field location. One of the team coaches must then either contact the league or request a makeup game themselves through their on-line menu option. MMFL Makeup/Rescheduling Documentation

Lighting (Added 6/12/12)

 

Because the majority of MMFL games are played in the early evening with darkness eventually taking over, facility lighting must be incorporated to promote the safety of our players, coaches, umpires and fans. Situations where darkness prevails (insufficient or no lighting) and play can no longer be continued as determined by the umpiring staff, the game will be ended. 

 

When the game is ended prior to completing 4.5/5 innings according to official ASA book rules, the game can be “Suspended” and ultimately rescheduled.

 

Games called or ended after 4.5/5 complete innings of play will be deemed as complete games with no rescheduling. Scores will be recorded as of the last complete inning.

Rules of Conduct (Updated 5/26/10)

Spectators, players, coaches and managers will refrain from any unsportsmanlike conduct during league games. The judgment of conduct will be left to the discretion of the umpire(s) assigned to the game. When, in the judgment of the umpire(s), a coach should be ejected from a game, the coach will not be permitted to coach or instruct their team for the remainder of the game. If the offense and penalty occurs in the first game of a double header, the spectator, coach, manager or player in question will be also denied participation in the second game.

The umpire also has the right to request that a spectator, coach, or manager leave the premises. Further, the umpire may discipline a player who displays unsportsmanlike conduct in the same manner described above and shall be confined to the bench. In the event the player is ejected from the first game of a doubleheader, that player shall not be eligible to play in the second game and must remain on the bench. If the player leaves the bench or the facility premises with or without adult supervision the umpire shall include this information in his report to the U.I.C.

Coaches, managers, or players who are ejected from a game(s) will be reported to the Umpire in Chief, who will file a report with the MMFL Board of Directors. Upon the second such ejection during one regular season, the coach’s, manager’s, or player’s team will be assessed a $50.00 fine. Prior to resuming coaching/managing/playing responsibilities within the MMFL, the fine must be paid, in full, accompanied by a letter requesting re-instatement.

If any spectator(s) exhibit behavior, which in the judgment of the umpire(s), causes disruption of a game, the umpire(s) shall meet with the manager and/or coach(s) of each team and ask them to request theses spectators cease their disruptive behavior. If this behavior continues, the umpire(s) shall have the authority to declare the game forfeited against the team(s) with which the disruptive spectators are associated.

On-Deck Batters

On-deck batters may be allowed opposite their own dugout. With safety in mind, the on-deck batter should be positioned at the batters back side.

Double First Base (When in Use)

When and where safety is an issue, the defensive fielder may use either base, orange or white to record an out depending on the circumstances while the ball is in play. Conversely, the base runner is not restricted to using the colored (orange) base. These situations fall into a judgment category for umpires. It is not mandatory in all cases to use the colored base as a base runner.

 

Teams

General Team Rules (9/21/14)

The current ASA rules for fast pitch softball will be used for all age groups unless otherwise noted and/or overridden by specific league rules.

Game Sign-up Sheets (Updated 9/19/2014)

Game sign-up sheets should appear at each and every MMFL game. Each and every team player at the games must sign the official sheet as they have signed their team roster. These sheets then when sent in to the league as a voucher for umpire payment, will be used to verify the validity of the players participating. Illegal team players will be cause for a team forfeit.

Roster

Starting in 2004, formal roster forms can be extracted from MMFL/ASA on-line individual registrations. However, for the sake of liability, these rosters must be acknowledged and signed by players and parents, then sent to the MMFL, see the Contacts Page of our website for addressing.

Signed, preliminary team rosters are due March 31st. The roster limit is 20 players including players, coaches and scorekeepers. Final team rosters must be entered, printed, signed and received by the league no later than June 1. Adding additional players can be done simply by adding the name and pertinent info to the on-line registration page, printing the complete roster, then have that individual and parent sign. All existing team players and parents DO NOT have to re-sign. That updated roster with perhaps as little as one addition to the team can be mailed to the league. It will then be merged with the previously signed roster.

No player is allowed to move from one team to another after the summer MMFL season has begun. The only exception to this is if a player wishes to leave a team because of abuse or mistreatment by her coach, manager or a parent. Requests by an individual to be released from a team must be brought to the MMFL Board for review and approval.

New players who are not on the roster of another team in the same season, may be added during the first half of the season. The deadline for adding new players, up to the 20-player limit, is June 30. New players are subject to the same MMFL eligibility rules and penalties for violations.

Game played without a formal, submitted roster will be considered a forfeit and the team will be subject to forfeit penalties described within this document.

NOTE: Any player entering false information on roster forms or game sign-up forms (i.e. falsifying birth dates or signing under another name) will be dismissed from the MMFL and all games in which she participated will be recorded as forfeits.

Equipment (Updated 5/28/13)

Metal cleats will only be allowed for 14U, 16U and 18U teams. In 10U and 12U age groups, metal spikes are NOT allowed.

Any player warming up (catching) a pitcher on or in the vicinity of a playing field, must wear a catchers helmet and a mask. Players coaching 1st or 3rd base must also be wearing a batters helmet.

Double (safety) first bases should be used and affixed properly when available.

Uniforms

Numbered jerseys or tee-shirts are required.

Continuous Batting Order  (Updated 1/24/15)

As of 2015 the MMFL will incorporate a "continuous batting order" (CBO) into each game played. Each team shall be required to use the CBO for each game.

Definition:

Continuous batting order shall show the names, (first and last) and number, in the order in which the players are scheduled to bat on the lineup card. Every player that is on the umpire report card is to bat in order as listed on the lineup card. 

Pre-game

The Lineup Card is to be presented at the pre-game conference, with the umpires, coaches and player representatives.

Line-ups:

Nine (9) players constitute an official line-up and listed on the line-up cards.  However a team may play any portion or all of a game with eight (8) players.  The missing player in the line-up will be placed in the ninth position in the batting order.  An “out” shall be declared each time the “vacated” spot in the order comes up.  Exception:  An “out” for a vacated ninth position shall not be declared if there are already two outs in an inning and the batter(s) preceding the ninth vacated spot is walked. If a player arrives late, she will be added to the bottom of the umpire report card and line-up card. This shall be treated like a substitution and must be reported to both the umpire and other team when the player arrives.  Failure to report the line-up addition shall be treated as if the player is an unreported substitution.

Injury/sickness/leaving the game

In continuous batting order the game will continue with the skipped batter being recorded as an out whenever a player leaves the game for any reason other than an injury (sickness is not an injury). Once a player leaves the game due to injury, the player is not eligible to return to that game. Teams cannot play with less than 8 players. Names of players leaving or not being able to complete the game must report to the umpire and opposing team.

Courtesy Runner 

 

The team at bat may use a courtesy runner for the pitcher and/or the catcher at any time.  Neither the pitcher nor the catcher will be required to leave the game under such circumstances.  The same courtesy runner may not run for both the pitcher and the catcher in the same half inning or any time during the game. The courtesy runner shall be the last out and progress to the next out etc., in the event that the pitcher and catcher are on base at the same time.

 

In the top of the first inning only, the pitcher and catcher are identified as those players listed on the lineup as the pitcher and catcher.  Thereafter the pitcher and catcher are identified as the last players who physically played that position on defense.  If a substitute enters in the following half inning, and gets on base, should the pitcher or catcher re-enter, no courtesy runner can be utilized for the pitcher or catcher during that half inning.

Special 10U Rules

1) 10U games will be played with an 11", ASA Approved softball.

2) The pitching rubber will be set at 35 feet.

3) The MMFL will use standard ASA Class A rules for 10U game play.

4) MMFL League Rule Adaptations:   

-Scoring Limit - 7 run rule: A team that is tied or ahead at the start of an at-bat can only score 7 runs during that at-bat. A team that is behind at the start of an at-bat can only score enough runs to go ahead by 7 runs during that at-bat.

-Games will be seven innings in length. There will be a 80 minute time limit. No new innings may begin after 80 minutes. There will be a "Drop dead" time of 90 minutes, at which time the game is ended and the final score reverts to the score at the end of the last completed inning. Games may end in a tie.

 

5) Each team will be scheduled to play a 14-game schedule, consisting of seven doubleheaders.