California Institute of Technology
Seismological Laboratory Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences

Seismo Life

GSC Softball Rules

Captains, you are responsible for all members of your team reading, understanding, and following these rules. Please contact Wendell Jack, Director of Recreational Services at ext. 3255 or email: with questions and/or concerns.


1A. Injuries and Medical Insurance: All participants play at their own risk. Caltech shall be "held harmless" in all areas of liability as it applies to medical care and transportation expenses, including all deductible and co-payments, in the event of an injury.

1B. Minors: Minors may participate only in practices and games where they are under the direct supervision of their parent or legal guardian. No exceptions.

2A. Rosters: Rosters are strictly limited to Caltech and JPL affiliated personnel, i.e., outside
players or "ringers" are forbidden. For more information, please see the official policy concerning participation in GSC Sports.

2B. A player may play on only one team per league.

2C. Crossover Players: A maximum of three (3) players who are on the roster of an upper league team may play in a given lower league game.

3. Everyone participating in GSC Sports is expected to treat both umpires and fellow players in a respectful and sportsmanlike manner. There is no excuse for violent behavior or verbal abuse. Any player behaving in a violent or verbally abusive manner will be removed from the game at the
umpire's discretion and may be suspended for several more games or expelled from the league altogether. Such sanctions will be determined by Wendell Jack and the GSC Sports Czar after consulting with the umpires and the teams involved. In addition, a field supervisor will be provided by the Recreational Services Department who will have the same authority as the

4A. The use of alcohol is not expressly prohibited for participants over the age of 21; however, participants choosing to use alcohol are reminded that they must do so in a safe and responsible manner. Any incident involving abusive, violent or otherwise inappropriate behavior that is judged to have been aggravated by drug or alcohol use will result in immediate expulsion of the offending players from the league. Once again, such a determination will be made based on reports by umpires and the teams involved.

4B. Glass containers are prohibited in all live playing areas. Beverages must be in either aluminum cans or plastic cups/tumblers.

5A. D league Time Limit: No time limit applies to D league games. D league games end after seven (7) inning of play, at darkness, or whenever the teams decide the game is over, whichever comes first.

5B. A and C league Time Limit: The duration of A and C league games is limited to approximately one hour and 15 minutes. No inning can start after one hour and five minutes following the scheduled start time. For example, if a game is scheduled to start at 5:15 P.M. and the nth inning (N<=7) end at 6:20 P.M., then the game ends at 6:20 P.M. However, if the nth inning of a 5:15 P.M. game is started at 6:19 P.M., then the game is over at the end of that inning. Please note that this may cause some games to extend beyond the 75 minute time limit in which case the next game will start as soon afterwards as possible. "A" league captains have agreed to play 7
innings or until the umpire rules darkness in all 6:30 pm weekday games.

6. Start Times: Evening games on Monday through Friday will begin promptly at 5:15 P.M. and 6:30 P.M. for A and C leagues. D league games will start at 5:15 P.M. The game must begin at the scheduled start time unless a previous game ends late (see above). In this case, the start
and finish times are moved back to allow subsequent games the full 75 minute playing time period. If the start of the game is delayed for other reasons (e.g. tardiness of one of both teams) then the 75 minute time limit is reduced by the amount of the time delay.

7A. Forfeits: Please note that a team forfeits the game if it is not ready to play at the scheduled time unless the opposing team takes pity and agrees to play a late arriving team. Arrive early to warm up before the
scheduled starting time.

7B. A minimum of seven (7) players is necessary to field a team.

8. A batting order will be established at the beginning of the game. Late arriving players
may be added to the end of the order. No pinch-hitting is permitted. Pinch/courtesy running will be allowed as/if agreed upon by both captains prior to the first pitch of a given game.

9. Players may be substituted freely between innings. Only an injured player may be substituted for during an inning with the exception of the pitcher.

10. Masks and chest protectors are provided for catchers and home plate umpires to protect
against injury from foul tips, thrown bats, etc. A decision not to wear this protective gear is done so at one's own risk.

11. The use of metal cleats is strictly prohibited. Use of metal cleats will result in a three (3) game suspension. Also, no player may play in bare feet.

12. Double First Base: In an attempt to reduce the chances for a collision at first base, all leagues must use two first base pads--the usual first base pad is in fair territory and the second adjacent pad is in foul territory. The entire double first base is considered to the legal first base. The fielder should attempt to make all plays using the portion in fair territory and the batter-runner should attempt to touch the portion in foul territory when the fielder is making a play at first base.

13. Sliding: The general rule that a base runner must remember is that he/she must either slide or avoid a collision with a fielder when arriving at a base. Any base runner who does not do so is automatically out. It is the duty of both fielder and runner to avoid a collision. A base runner may legally run out of the base path in order to avoid a collision. Clarifications:


B. The runner must slide directly into the base with the clear intention of simply touching the base. The runner may not try in any way to knock down a fielder trying to make a play.

An example of rules (A) and (B) coming into play is when a second baseman tries to turn a double play and a runner is coming into second base. A base runner who diverts his/her path with the intention of colliding with a fielder making a play will be ejected from the game.

C. If possible, a runner arriving at a base must avoid obstructing an infielder's throw during a double play either by sliding or getting out of the way. A runner is not called out if hit by the fielder's throw unless the runner is intentionally obstructing the fielder's throw or catch. For example, a runner sliding into third is not called out if an outfielder's throw hits the runner in the

D. For plays at home plate: When the catcher has the ball in his/her possession, the runner must slide or stop and allow himself/herself to be tagged out. A base runner may not lower his/her shoulder when coming into home plate (or any base for that matter). Any player who does so will be ejected from the game.

In case some of these base running rules seem restrictive, note that most of them are NCAA baseball rules.

14. Overthrows: If a batted ball is thrown out of play by the fielding team, all runners, including the batter-runner, advance two legal bases from their positions at the time of the throw.

A. Runner on second and batter hits ground ball to the shortstop. The shortstop attempts to throw out the batter-runner at first base but throws the ball out-of-play. The runner from second base advances two bases and scores while the batter-runner, not yet reaching first base at the time of the throw, advances two bases to second base.

B. Runner on first, less than two out and batter hits a fly ball to the outfield. The outfielder catches the ball and throws the ball to first base in an attempt to force the runner at first, but the throw goes out of play,

(1) If the runner safely retouched first base prior to the throw, the runner advances to third base.

(2) If the runner did not safely retouch first base prior to the throw, the runner only advances to second base. (The runner was not legally on first base and is awarded first base as part of the penalty.)

15. All appeals and protests must be mailed or emailed to the Director of Recreational Services, Wendell Jack, at Mail Code 1-2 or. Wendell and/or with the Sports Czar will arbitrate any protests. Protests must be lodged at the protested call and before the next pitch. A written protest should be submitted within 72
hours of the protest.

16. The Honor Code applies to all participants in GSC Sports. Please remember to bring it with you onto the playing field.

Revised: 6/3/99


S0. Official Rules: The rules presented for GSC Slow Pitch Softball are not meant to be complete. If a situation arises that is not explicitly covered by either the general rules or the rules for slow pitch softball, the Official Softball Playing Rules (for slow pitch softball) as adopted by the Amateur Softball Association of America shall govern the situation.

S1. Number of Players: No more than 10 defensive players are allowed on the field at one time. There is no maximum number of players for the batting order--all players bat.

S2. Pitch Arc: The maximum arc of a pitch must lie between 6 and 12 feet above the ground. The umpire must declare a pitch illegal by shouting "ball" while the pitch is in the air. The batter may still choose to swing at the pitch (a good idea if the pitch arc is low and over the plate). A declared illegal pitch which is hit in play is treated as any other hit pitch. Of course a declared illegal pitch counts as a strike if the batter swings and misses or fouls the pitch off.

S3. Types of Pitches: Any pitch within the arc limits is considered a legal pitch, e.g., top spin, back spin, etc., are all considered legal pitches.

S4. Strike Zone: The strike zone is defined by an extended home plate whose width is the
normal plate width and whose depth extends approximately 2.5 feet behind the front of the plate. Any pitch landing partially or wholly in this area is a strike.

S5A. Strikes, Balls, Fouls: The batter is out after a third strike, including a foul ball that is hit after two strikes. This rule is necessary to help ensure that B and C league games complete seven innings within the 75 minute limit.

S5B. There are not walks nor strikeouts in D league.

S6. No Bunting: Bunting is prohibited.

S7. No Stealing: Base stealing and leading off are prohibited. The base runner must remain
on base until the ball is hit. Runners may advance only when the ball is hit within the field of play or when a batter is walked.

S8. Ball in Play: The umpire is supposed to call time-out whenever a defender who is in the infield controls the ball, and in the ump's judgment no more plays can be made.

S9. Extended Home Plate: The extended home plate is used to mark the strike zone. The entire extended home plate is considered to be the legal home plate. If the runner safely touches any portion of the extended home plate, the run scores. If the catcher is in control of the ball and touches any portion of the extended home plate on a force play, the runner attempting to advance to home plate is called out.

Revised: 6/3/99