Softball Rules

2021 Co-Ed Slow Pitch Softball League Rules


  • A minimum of 10 players must be on the roster. At least three players must be female. Any individual who is displaced by a team will have first priority of being placed on the roster of any other team in need of additional players. This regulation does not include company teams whose roster may change because of personnel changes in the company.
  • If two teams cannot meet the 10 players on a roster, then they may combine and be considered a full team if the result of joining leaves a slot available for a new team.

Each team shall be limited to 25 players.

A roster sheet will be supplied by the Littleton Parks, Recreation and Community Education Department. This roster must contain the names, proper address, phone number, and year of birth of all players.

A player whose name appears on the roster of one team cannot play for any other team in the league. A player whose name appears on more than one roster must decide with which team he/she is going to play for. The player will be eligible for the first team for which he/she plays a regularly scheduled league game.


The 2020 American Softball Association (ASA) slow-pitch softball rules for coed play will govern all players.

The 2 teams that will be playing the first game on each field will be responsible for lining the first and third baselines before the start of the game.

  • A team of ten players (with at least 3 female players) is needed to start a game.
    • An exemption is allowed to avoid a forfeit if only eight players are available at the start of the game. That team will play with eight players (at least two must be female) in the field. The opposing team will supply the team with a catcher. Once a ball is hit, the catcher will remove him/herself from the play and the pitcher will have to cover home plate.
      If there are only three players in either the infield or outfield, there must be at least one male and one female player in each. If a player of the appropriate gender arrives, that player must be inserted immediately into the vacant spot in the line-up.
    • Should one team find that they only have two female players to start the game, after the batting order is played through the following batter would be an out. For example, if you have only seven males and two female players, the "10" batter would be an out. Please note that the team will only be able to field 9 (2 females and 7 males) with 3 outfielders. The 10th batter will be an out even if your team has more than seven male batters. For example, if you have ten males and two females after the ninth batter, there will be an automatic out.
  • There will be no specified batting order. Every player must bat, whether in the field or not.
  • All substitutions can only be made by gender (male for male and female for female).
  • Every player whose name appears in the line-up must play at least two innings and bat at least once. Any player may be substituted for or replaced, and re-enter once, as long as players occupy the same batting position whenever in the line-up.
  • Extra players (EP) may be used as long as there is one male and one female. All twenty players must bat and any ten players (at least three females) may play defense. Defensive positions may be changed as long as the male/female ratio is followed.
  • If a team has more than 10 players in a lineup and someone is injured or needs to leave the game the team should not take an automatic out. Everyone in the lineup batting after the person who left would move up one spot. Note: If the lineup goes below 10 players when the person leaves the team must take an automatic out at the spot in the lineup where that player was batting. Also, if the person leaving is a female and that team goes below the minimum number of girls needed (three), even if it still has more than 10 players, that team must play with only 9 players in the field for the remainder of the game.
  • Beginning in the 2020 season all hitters will begin with a 1-to-1 count.
  • Beginning in the 2019 season There is a limit of 3 walks per inning (unless the 4th-plus walk is intentional). Any intentional walks that occur in the 1st 3 walks will count towards the walk limit.
  • No stealing, no metal spikes, and no leading off bases. Runners cannot leave the base until after the ball has been hit.
  • A line or cones will be marked in the outfield at 170 feet from home plate. When a female is at bat, all outfielders must remain behind this line until the ball is hit, all in fielders must be within the infield arch, For example no infielders playing as a short fielder on the outfield grass. Violation of this rule will result in the batting team given the option of: the batter being awarded 1st base, or the result of the play. If the first option is exercised, runners may advance only if forced to do so. Three outfielders must be behind the line when a male is at bat.
  • The infield fly rule is in effect.
  • Players can tag up on any fly ball.
  • Pitchers must pitch in an underhand motion at a distance of 50 feet from home plate.
  • There will be a mat placed at the back end of home plate. If the ball hits anywhere within the mat, it will be called as a strike as long as it meets the 6-to-12-foot Arc requirements.
  • The minimum or maximum height when pitching will be 6 to 12 feet.
  • A double first base bag will be used to avoid any collisions or injuries. One white and one orange. For example, IF there is a play at 1st Base the runner must use the orange base and the fielder the white base. If the batted ball results in a single or more where there is no play at 1B. The Runner may use any part of either the white or orange base.
  • Pinch runners are allowed and the male/female requirement must still be met. The player who had the last out of the same gender must serve as the pinch runner. The Pinch Runner can only be used for injured players. Both teams must agree on the player needing a runner before the at-bat. If a runner makes it to 2B or more on any batted ball a pinch runner is not allowed regardless of injury etc. (unless an injury happens on the runners advancement to 2B or more).
  • Sliding is permitted (the umpire will determine if a player slides intentionally at a fielder and call the player out). If any base runner intentionally slides into a fielder or injures a fielder more than once in a season, that player will be suspended from league play for the rest of the season.
  • Blocking any base or home plate is not allowed unless the player has the ball in his/her glove. Otherwise, the base paths need to be kept clear.
  • There is a home run (HR) limit of eight home runs a game. Any home runs after that will be considered an out. This HR rule is for over the fence HRs not inside the park HRs.
  • If an umpire ejects a player from two games in a season, the player will be suspended from playing for the rest of that season.
  • If a player intentionally takes a swing at an opposing player or the umpire and is removed from the game by the umpire, he/she is automatically suspended from playing in any league game for the remainder of the season.


The per-team fees associated with participating in the league:

  • $500 entrance fee: includes field use fees, softballs, scorebooks, and roster sheets. An additional $44 per game must be given to the umpire ($22 per team per game).
  • There will be no refunds for a forfeit. A team forfeiting three games will be suspended from further league games.

All fees are due on or before the agreed-upon date set at the league meetings, at the Littleton Parks, Recreation and Community Education Office to guarantee a spot in the league. Fees must be accompanied by the team captain's information, contract, team roster, and signed team liability waiver. League play for session I will start on the 2nd Sunday of April School Vacation each year. Session II league play will be the Sunday after the closest Sunday to July 4th each year.

Playoff Eligibility

To be eligible for the playoffs- A player must play in at least half of the team's regular season's games. Teams will submit to league commissioner a lineup card for each game (at the beginning or end of each game).

A team may only have players participate in a game who are on their roster. Illegal substitutions will result in a forfeit.


This league is one of "friendly" competition and is set up to promote recreational sports in the Town of Littleton. We ask all participants to work together to continue the philosophy of this program. The use of profanity and unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated and officials will be instructed to eject from a game any player, manager, or spectator guilty of these offenses. Drinking and smoking before, during, or after a league game on Town property (per Board of Selectmen and Board of Health regulations) will result in permanent suspension of the player(s) involved. The team manager is responsible for the conduct of his or her team (as well as any spectators) both on and off the playing field. The team manager is responsible for the policing of the benches and dugout for any trash left behind. Any ejection from a game leads to a 1 game suspension for the following game.


All, altered, and triple-walled bats are illegal. Umpires will inspect all bats before the game to decide if they are ASA-approved bats. See the list of legal and illegal bats.

Bats will be tested prior to the start of Session I (And any time a team makes a request) and will have a Littleton park and Recreation logo sticker above the handle and below the barrel of the bat. Any bat used with no sticker is illegal and will be determined to be an out. If a sticker falls off, you can have that bat re-tested at any time.

Please note that all bats will be tested prior to the start of the softball season and retested prior to the start of the playoffs. If your bat passes the compression test, it will be issued a Park-and-Rec-approved sticker to be placed on the bat. If the bat does not have a Park-and-Rec-approved sticker on it, it will be deemed illegal and unable to be used in the league.

Further infractions will result in more drastic consequences.

The Littleton Parks, Recreation and Community Education Department will provide each team with two balls per game of Diamond 12RYSC 52/300 softballs at the beginning of each season and each team is responsible for providing their own bat(s). Littleton Parks, Recreation and Community Education Department (PRCE) are responsible for bringing the bases. Every team will be provided with a scorebook and lineup cards. Team rosters will be filled out prior to the start of the game to be turned into PRCE. The copies will be updated each week to keep track of the players who are eligible to play in the playoffs. The home team will keep the official score each game. Scores should be submitted to the PRCE office, via email, every Monday by the team captain.


Teams supply their own uniforms: the only requirement is that players wear the same colors for each game.

League Games

The regular season will consist of approximately as many games as to play each opponent 1 time each (8 Sundays, 1 game a day). League games will be scheduled on Sunday afternoons between 12 and 7 pm. If there are any specific dates that your team will not be able to play, this should be indicated when you register your team. The length of a game is seven innings, beginning at the scheduled game time with a 15-minute grace period. In case of rain, in order to constitute a game, five or more innings must be completed (four and one-half innings if the home team has scored more runs than the away team). Games that are not considered regulation or are regulation tie games shall be resumed at the exact point where they were stopped. The Recreation Department will reschedule all rained-out and rain-shortened games.

Mercy Rule - If a team is ahead by twelve or more runs after the 5th inning, the team ahead automatically wins the game. You may continue to play for recreational purposes; there will be no change in the score after the 5th inning. This rule does not apply in the Semi-finals or Finals of the playoffs only.

Ground Rule Doubles - On Field 1 (field with dugouts and fence), if a ball is hit and rolls out in to woods it will be an automatic double. If the ball is hit in the woods in the air it will be a home run.

If an umpire does not show for a scheduled game, a substitute umpire must be agreed upon by both teams in order to be an official game. Both must agree, otherwise the game will be canceled. The two teams must appoint someone to umpire the game. If no one is available, each manager will officiate by calling balls and strikes and will alternate innings. Team managers are responsible for establishing with the umpire any ground rules which may be necessary at a particular field.

Game Scores

The manager of the winning team is responsible for reporting the score to the Littleton Parks, Recreation and Community Education Department on the following business day (generally Mondays). You can submit the score by either emailing J. Kazanjian or emailing B. St. Gelais, or by calling our department at 978-540-2490.

Game Cancellations

No game cancellations will be allowed. If a game is postponed due to inclement weather or poor field conditions, the Littleton Parks, Recreation and Community Education Department will call the team managers and umpires by noon on game day. Littleton PRCE will contact the team managers on Mondays to set up a make-up time for the missed game.


The postseason will consist of one single-elimination tournament this season: the top eight teams will make the playoffs. The playoffs will start as soon as the regular season is finished and run for approximately 1 week.

Playoffs will go as following:

  • Seed Number 1 versus Seed Number 8
  • Seed Number 2 versus Seed Number 7
  • Seed Number 3 versus Seed Number 6
  • Seed Number 4 versus Seed Number 5

Semi-Finals - Teams will reseed so the lowest-seeded team will always play the highest-seeded team.

Finals - Will be between the remaining 2 teams (Lowest seed will play as the home team).

To be eligible for the playoffs, a player must have dressed for and played in at least half of the regular season games.

A $100 gift card to a nearby restaurant will be given to the winning team. If you do not plan on participating in the postseason, you must notify the Littleton Parks, Recreation and Community Education Department by than Friday, June 28th.


Provision is made for the addition, deletion, or simplification of rules by the announcement to each team manager.

All Players Compete at Their Own Risk

All players are required to sign a Liability waiver prior to the start of the season. Team managers are responsible for providing signed waivers for your team.

The Town of Littleton is not responsible for any injuries received.