Regular Season Rules
The rules for slo-pitch are basically the same as regular softball with the following exceptions:
- Bases are sixty (60) feet apart.
- The pitching rubber is set at forty-five (45) feet from home plate.
- Both participating captains will decide if the field is playable.
- Bat – standard softball bat (aluminum bats are allowed)
- Ball – twelve (12) inch softball
- The team consists of a maximum of twenty (20) players. There must be a minimum of 8 females and 8 males on a team. If a team is short, the Executive will add players from the waiting list to bring the team to 8 and 8. If there is no one on the waiting list, only then can a team look for a replacement player to bring the numbers to 8 and 8.
- Maximum of twelve (12) players are allowed on the field at one time, six (6) being male and six (6) being female.
- Maximum of six (6) males on the field at onetime; e.g. if a team has nine (9) males and five females arrive at a game that team must play all five (5) females and only six (6) males at one time. If a team is short of minimum players of either gender they must play an empty position, no player of the opposite gender can fill in.
- All players will position themselves within fair territory. Pitchers must be on the pitchers’ mound and the catcher behind home plate. Outfielders will play a reasonable distance behind base lines and not rove into the infield.
- A team that finds itself short of players on a particular night may borrow from it’s opposition.
- Batting order will remain the same throughout the game and will consist of all available members of the given team. The team captain will set the order that can have no more than two (2) male batters in a row. Players can be switched from their position part-way through the inning.
- A team may have a maximum of three (3) men and three (3) women fielding in both infield and outfield.
- The age restrictions for male and female are minimum of nineteen (19) years of age.
- The game shall consist of nine (9) innings or a curfew of dusk or 8:30 P.M. whichever comes first.
- Five (5) full innings will be considered a game if called because of rain or darkness.
- The decision to call a game will be made by the participating team captains unless otherwise notified by the Parks and Recreation Department that the fields are not playable, in which case team captains will be notified during the day.
- One foot remains on or behind the pitching rubber when delivering the pitch otherwise it will be deemed a ball. No more than one complete step in front of the pitching rubber is allowed. If necessary the pitcher may take two or three steps behind the rubber to ensure their maximum one step in front.
- The pitch must be delivered with an underhand, five fingered, palm up grip release. No break in the wrist and twelve (12) inches from the hip.
- The general rule is the ball must be thrown at a speed to allow the batter to hit the ball. The player can request the pitcher to slow down the pitch. The Umpire must adhere to players request to have the pitch slowed down.
- No bunting allowed.
- Each team’s inning at bat will be considered complete when they have three (3) players called out or when they have scored a maximum of five (5) runs in that inning. This rule will not apply to each team’s last turn at bat; in this case, each team will be allowed to bat until three (3) players are called out.
- The team batting will provide the home plate umpire. The use of base umpires is optional.
- Home team plays the field first inning.
- Batting foul tip – any foul ball back to the catcher, regardless of the height and the count is an out if caught.
- Outfielders (including rovers) are allowed to throw a player out at first base on a force play.
- You cannot switch sides in the batter’s box during an at bat.
- There will be no lead offs, runners may attempt to steal a base only when the ball has crossed home plate.
- Players may not steal home. They must go home if they have passed the commitment line.
- Sliding into base is allowed. The runner is out if they slide at home.
- Players must be hit home or forced home by the batter being walked when the bases are loaded.
- To score, any part of the player’s foot must touch the ground on or past the “Safe Line” before the catcher
has solid possession of the ball and touches home plate.
- Collisions on the bases are to be avoided whenever possible. If, in the judgment of the umpire, a deliberate collision is caused the runner will be called safe or out depending on whether the collision was caused by the runner or the baseman. The joint decision of the captains will be final in the case of dispute, no fighting please.
- Infield fly rule does not apply. The batter and runners will take what they can get when the ball is hit into fair territory.
- If the ball is dropped by the catcher on a batter’s third strike, the batter may try to steal first base only if the base was vacant at the time the third strike ball was released by the pitcher.
- In the event of an overthrow, the runner will be awarded the base headed to plus one. If the ball stays in bounds, the runner will take what he/she can get, except home base. The runner may only take home base when the overthrow has occurred while the ball is still in play directly after it has been hit by a batter.
- Runners may come home on a fly ball, providing they have tagged their base after the ball has been caught.
- On a hit ball, if the batter/base runner fails to use the coloured portion of the base on their first attempt at first base; if a play is made and the base runner interferes with or makes contact with the defensive player, the batter/base runner is out. If a batted ball touches any part of the white portion of the base it is a fair ball. If there is a play at 1st base the runner must touch the orange portion of the base. If there is no play at 1st base, the runner may touch either.
- All infielders must start behind the base lines.
- Before the game starts, a commitment line is drawn 9.14m (30 ft) from the back of home plate and perpendicular to the third base line.
- When a runner crosses this line (i.e. one foot completely over the line and touching the ground) but does not reach home plate, he shall be called out when the ball is legally held by a defensive player who is in contact with home plate.
- No tag is necessary.
- Runners who have not crossed the line; or
- Runners who cross the line, but must tag up on a caught fly ball, may return to third base with liability to be put out.
- Runners who cross the commitment line, may return to touch a missed base, with liability to be put out.
- The Umpire is not in play during the regular season. During the regular season the ball will be called a dead ball if it comes in contact with the Umpire.
- Slo-Pitch Ontario rules are a batter running from home to first can be tagged out between home and first base.
- All players must receive approximately equal playing time during the game.
- If the field is not lined, balls will be determined “fair” or “foul” by using the foul ball posts along the first and third base lines.
When the players get on the field, the pitcher must announce “the game is about to begin” The catcher MUST wear a mask and the throat guards must be used at all times. First Aid kits MUST be on hand at all games. It is mandatory for players to wear a mask when they are Umpiring. It is a personal choice whether you wear a batting helmet or not. All three bases must be secured with 2 pegs, rationale being that it is unsafe to use only 1 peg as the base can easily slide from under the runner causing injury.
Updated after 2023 AGM