The Brevard Senior Softball Association (aka: BSSA) will be governed by playing rules from the “Official Senior Softball USA Rulebook” and these local Rules.  


Roberts Rules of Order will govern all board meetings. 

Preamble: We, the Directors, hereinafter referred to as the Board of Directors; hereby adopt these rules to provide a safe, friendly, and recreational venue for senior players to enjoy the camaraderie and challenge of softball.  It is our goal to attain competitive balance between the teams by utilizing all players, of varying skill levels, who desire to participate. 

Motto:                                      Play your best – Winning is a bonus 

Rules and Regulations:

I. Definitions
   A. Available player- a player is available if assigned to a team, present at game time, sufficiently healthy to play, has paid league fees, and not under suspension.
  B. Short-handed team- a team that cannot field at least nine (9) players from its roster.
  C. Strike zone

       1. Mat- a rectangular wood mat measuring 19” x 34½”shall be utilized. The mat shall be placed with the front edge immediately over home plate to establish the strike zone.

       2. Pitching Arc shall be 6 feet from ground, and not to exceed 12 feet from ground at its highest point. 
  D. Directors- referred to as the Board of Directors consists of board members or team managers.
  E. Scholarships- the league will consider sponsoring players that are financially unable to pay the registration fee.
  F. League Age – Defined as age 45 years young and up.  A Player must turn 45 years young within the calendar year of league occurrence.

      1.  League Age Exception- On an as-needed basis, where it would benefit the league, the board will entertain granting of an exception to a player that has not attained the age 45 in the calendar year to play in the league for that season only. This exception must be obtained for each season that the individual has not attained the age 45 in the calendar year.
  G. Waiting List- a list of player(s) who signed-up but has not been assigned to a regular team for a specified season.
  H. Registration fees – the fee is to be paid prior to participation in games or league events. 

       1.  Registration fees may be refunded or prorated for Wait Listed players not assigned to a team during league or late in the season.  Proration will be based on when assigned to a team and number of games remaining on team schedule. 
  I. League Season – the duration or number of game played per the season schedule term (example: Winter/Spring Season, Summer /Fall Season)

 II. Player & Roster Rules
    A. Team Rosters- Each team will have a roster of players assigned to the team by means of a draft that will be conducted as provided in this rule.

        1. In order to be eligible to play, each player must sign a Player Waiver/Contract, paid Registration Fee, and reach the age of at least fifty (45) years of age during that calendar year.
        2. All players will be assigned a point value rating by the Board. The highest player rating possible is five (5) points and the lowest permitted rating is less than one (1) point.
  B. Player Ratings- The player ratings numerical ratings are assigned pursuant to the following:
      Offensive player’s ratings (Maximum of 5 points with 2 categories equally a max of 2.5 point each)
      Leadoff Traits:
          Games Played (0.25)
          Runs Scored per Game (0.25)
          Plate Appearances (0.25)
          Run Scored per Plate Appearance (0.25)
          At Bats (0.25)
          Runs (0.25)
          Walks (0.25)
          Singles (0.25)
          Batting Average (0.25)
          On Base Percentage (0.25)
    Cleanup Traits:
          Hits (0.25)
          Doubles (0.25)
          Triples (0.25)
          Home Runs (0.25
          Extra Base Hits (0.25)
          Likelihood of an Extra Base Hit per Plate Appearance (0.25)
          Total Bases (0.25)
          Total Bases per Plate Appearance (0.25)
          Slugging Percentage (0.25)
          On Base Percentage plus Slugging Percentage (0.25)
  Defensive player’s ratings (Maximum of 5 points with 5 categories equally a max of 1 point each)
    Number of Positions (Utility Player)
           Pitcher (0.1)
           1Base (0.1)
           2Base (0.1)
           3Base (0.1)
           Shortstop (0.1)
           Left (0.1)
           L Center (0.1)
           R Center (0.1)
           Right (0.1)
          Catcher (0.1)
  Base Running Speed and Defensive Closing Speed
          Base Speed (0.5)
          Defensive Speed (0.5)
          Defensive Fielding
         Stops Balls (0.5)
         Catches Balls (0.5)
  Throwing Accuracy and Arm Strength
         Accuracy (0.5)
         Strength (0.5)
  Softball Knowledge
         Takes Pitches (0.2)
         Hits behind Runner (0.2)
         Plays in Position (0.2)
         Knows His Next Play (0.2)
         Team Player (0.2)
These ratings will be averaged together to create an overall player rating as follows:
    (5) - Consistently dangerously strong hitter, a strong defensive player, at least adequate speed
    (4) - An all around solid player or a player who would be rated a 5 but for one very significant weakness.
    (3) - A relatively solid player with some skills but some shortcomings
    (2) - A player with modest ability who contributes on occasion
    (1) - A player lacking experience or ability; or so injured, ill, or unable to contribute

   C. Draft Procedures: Team rosters will be assembled by the team managers so as to promote competitive balance.   A full player draft will be implemented with the selection of each player by the team manager. The team manager with the first pick will be awarded by the lowest manager’s player rating or selection of core players. In the second round, the team with the lowest composite rating will pick first, etc.., This will ensure that all team managers will equally have the opportunity to select the best player available and keep each team competitively balanced.
   D. After assignment of players, the Board may with majority vote adjust the rosters to promote competitive balance.
   E. Team managers may propose player trades provided that the trades consist of an equal number of players and maintain competitive balance. All trades must be concluded prior to Noon on the second day after the draft. The Board, by majority vote, may void a trade on the grounds that the competitive balance of the league is adversely affected.
   F. In the event that the team managers fail to reach agreement on any issue during the draft, the Board will resolve any disagreements by majority vote. The team managers shall attend the draft, evaluate players, and assign players to their teams based on competitive balance. In the event of the absence of a team manager, their designee shall have full rights and voting authority.
   G. Players selected for a team and placed upon a roster will remain assigned to that team throughout the entire league season except as provided by these rules. The Board will make reasonable effort to accommodate a player who requests to be assigned to a different team for personal reasons.
   H. Wait List - Board will assign players from the Wait List to accommodate for teams regularly shorthanded.  Once a team is assigned a Wait List player, the regularly shorthanded team roster will consist of the additional player(s) unless Team Manager tells Board that a player has Quit the team.
   I. Player utilization
      1. The maximum number of players who can play in the field (defensively) at one time is ten (10).  Team managers are encouraged to play each available player on defense for at least three half innings per game.
      2. Each available team player is to be placed in the batting order.
      3. Team managers are requested to provide the scorekeeper with line-ups not later than ten (10) minutes prior to game time. The team manager may provide that line-up in written form, or by use of a magnetic manager’s board or similar device.
     4. A player who arrives after the start of the game may be put in the line-up without removing another player, but must be placed last in the batting order.
     5. A player who is injured during the course of a game may be removed from the field and from the batting line-up without being declared an out at his next intended turn at bat. Players so removed from the line-up may not return to the line-up, a defensive position, or serve as a courtesy runner during the game.
  J. Forfeit of Game
      1. The Minimum number of players who can play in the field (defensively) at one time is (9) nine.  Less than nine players is a forfeit of game(s).
      2. Teams with nine players MUST add a tenth (10th) batting position to its line up to compensate other team who has a full defensive team or more players.
     3. No team may borrow league players, be assigned or pickup players not on its roster.
    4. Following a ruling of forfeit by the Game Umpire, the two teams impacted may do whatever necessary trading, borrowing, pickup, etc., of which impacted coaches and players agree to exchange, to play a PICKUP game that will not impact league team standings.  Forfeits will stand as league win loss standing.  Outcome of Pickup games will NOT impact league win loss standings.
  K. Replacement of Players - Any team manager needing a player(s) shall only contact the Chairman or alternate Board Member in Chairman’s absence, to express the positions he needs filled and the rating of the missing player(s). Team managers shall however refrain from the direct solicitation of bye team players.
      1. The Chairman or alternate Board Member in Chairman’s absence will make any and all assignments based on player ratings, team requirements, and his best judgment. The point value rating of the borrowed player may not exceed the rating of the missing player to be replaced
  L. Player Responsibility - It shall be the responsibility of the player that knows he will not be able to participate in a regularly scheduled game to notify his team manager no later than noon the Wednesday prior to the Thursday games. (Unforeseen situations will occur and will be dealt with.)
     1. At the discretion of the team manager the following penalties apply to players who fail to notify a team manager of an expected absence. First offense warrants a warning from the team manager about the problems caused by absences and fairness to teammates. Second offense, the player must sit one game at their next attendance. Third offense, player cannot play either of the next two scheduled games. Fourth offense, they are released from the team. No penalties shall be administered for any excused absence.
  M. Late registrants and waiting list–Any late registrants who seek to join the league after the initial draft and roster assignments will be placed on a waiting list until a team is in need of a player. The assignment of the late registrant to a particular team shall be accomplished by the Board.

 III. Schedules
  A. Season - During the season each team will be scheduled to play not less than twenty-four (24) games consisting of twelve (12) double headers.
  B. Dates of play - Regular season games shall be played on Thursday evenings at fields assigned by the Palm Bay Parks and Recreation Department. The first game shall begin at 6:45 P.M. or as close thereto as possible, and the additional games will begin no more than five (5) minutes following the completion of the first game. There is no time limit for each game and each game will play a full seven innings. Home team and visiting team for each game will be indicated on the schedule. Team managers are responsible to hustle players on and off the field.
  C. Postponements - Games that are postponed will be made up after the completion of the regular schedule. Whether a game is to be postponed due to inclement weather shall be determined by the representative of the Palm Bay Parks and Recreation Department, the Board consensus, or the umpires assigned to the game.
  D. League Champion – Final League standing will determine League Champion.  Should multiple teams have same final league win loss records, tie breakers are in order of precedence: 1) head-to-head team record during regular season, 2) run differential during regular season, and 3) runs scored against during the regular season.
      1. League championship team will be award with a T-shirt for each of the players for their accomplishment, there will be no other awards provided.

IV. Playing Field and Equipment
     A. Bases shall be sixty-five (65) feet apart.
     B. The distance from the back of home plate to the front of the pitcher’s rubber shall be fifty (50) feet.
     C. A strike zone mat shall be utilized.  
          The catcher shall utilize the mat for plays at home and may not tag the runner after the runner crosses the commitment line.
     D. A separate scoring plate at the end of the scoring line shall be placed such that the front of the scoring plate is 65 feet from third base and the point of the scoring plate is eight feet from the point of home plate.
     E. To avoid collisions a double first base consisting of two juxtaposed bases - one white inner base in fair territory and an outside orange base in foul territory - shall be utilized.
     F. Pitches
         1. To be legal a pitched ball must reach a maximum height of between six (6) feet and twelve (12) feet above the playing surface. A pitch that is illegal shall be vocally declared as such by the umpire as soon as the umpire has determined that the pitch is illegal. An illegal pitch is ruled a ball unless the batter swings at it.
         2. A legal pitch that lands on the strike zone mat shall be called a strike.
         3. Any pitch that is swung at and is not hit into fair territory shall be called a strike, including the third strike.
         4. The batter shall begin with a count of one ball and one strike
         5. NO courtesy foul after reaching a count of two strikes is allowed
  G. Base running
       1. The batter-runner must run to at least first base.
           a. In extreme cases, and approved by Team Mangers before start of game(s), a courtesy runner may be utilized for a severely injured batter who can not run to first base.
          b. The courtesy runner shall be the player who made the last out prior to injured batters plate appearance. This courtesy runner for injured batter can not be replaced with another courtesy runner once reaching first base.
         c. The courtesy runner shall start with hand touching the backstop and standing parallel to back corner of the left hander batter box
       2. After reaching a base safely, and after time-out is called, a courtesy runner may take the place of the original batter-runner. No player may serve as a courtesy runner more than once per inning. Any player who serves, as a courtesy runner an additional time in the same inning shall be called “out.”
       3. A courtesy runner who is on base when it is his turn to bat will be called “out” and removed from the base. Then such player will take his normal turn at bat.
       4. A courtesy runner who has touched a base may not be replaced by another courtesy runner nor the original player for whom he was running. However, if a courtesy runner is injured and removed from the game, a second courtesy runner may be utilized. If the umpire observes a violation of this rule or the infraction is brought to the attention of the umpire, the umpire shall confirm the violation prior to declaring “out.”
  H. Double first base
       1. When a batted ball produces a play at first base, the batter shall touch the outside/orange base or be called out. The runner having tagged the wrong base is not an appeal play. A batter whose foot touches both bases simultaneously shall be called safe. The fielder at first base must touch the inside/white base or tag the runner in order to make a put out.
       2. When the batted ball does not produce a play at first base the batter may touch either of the two bases but in all cases shall attempt to avoid contact with a defensive player.
       3. A runner returning to first base and the defensive player must use the inside/white base.
  I. Home Plate and Scoring Plate
     1. On a play at the plate, a defensive player records an out if he is in contact with the home plate mat and in possession of the ball before the runner touches the scoring plate. Tag plays are not permitted at the plate.
     2. A runner who touches the home plate mat before touching the scoring plate is “out.”
     3. A commitment line twenty (20) feet from the scoring plate will be used. Once the runner’s foot touches the ground on or past this line, the runner is committed to advancing to the scoring plate. If a runner re-crosses the commitment line, he will be declared out and the ball remains alive.
  J. Scoring
     1. When a team scores five (5) runs in their half inning the scoring is complete for the half inning except that this rule shall not apply in the seventh inning of a game.
     2. A game will be terminated by the “mercy rule” when a team is behind by fifteen (15) or more runs after the bottom half of the fifth inning or any later inning.
     3. FLIP-FLOP RULE - If the Visiting Team is ahead by 10 or more runs at the beginning of the seventh inning, the Home Team will remain at bat and start a new at-bats (beginning their seventh inning at-bats), meaning all runners on base will return to the dugout. It will be an open inning. If the Home Team fails to tie or pull ahead of the Visiting Team, the game ends and the Visiting Team wins. If the Home Team ties or pulls ahead, the Visiting Team comes up to bat.
  K. League Bats - League players league age 45 through 49 may NOT utilize Senior Bats as recognized by Senior Softball rules.
      1. Team Mangers and Team Players are to monitor usage.
      2. Violation of bat usage rules will be:
          a. first infraction:  a warning and removal of bat from game
          b. second infraction: removal of player and team manager from on-going game.  Places in lineup of player and manager will constitute an out for remainder of game
          c. third infraction: constitutes player and coach suspended from balance of league play
  L. Equipment Tampering
     1. Equipment tampering will not be tolerated. The Official Senior Softball-USA Rulebook that we have adopted address the penalties for use of altered equipment:
         a. 3.4 (5) Altered Equipment
             i. A bat or ball is considered altered when the physical characteristics of a legal softball bat or ball has been changed (examples: chilling softballs or shaving the bat). Replacing the handle of a metal bat with a wooden or other type handle, inserting or removing material inside the bat, applying excessive tape (more than two layers) to the bat grip or painting a bat other than at the top or bottom for identification purposes are considered altering the bat.
            ii. We do not have a legal right to confiscate property from a player. However, we DO have the right to make rules and related penalties to be imposed upon anyone who declines to voluntarily “surrender” a suspected Altered or Illegal Bat for balance of evening game(s).  Bat to be returned upon completion of game(s)
         b. 3.4 (7) Penalty for using an Altered Bat
             i. If the player refuses to immediately release the bat to league officials, the player will be suspended for 10 years, the team manager for one year, and the team will forfeit all games played in the current league. If the player voluntarily releases the bat and it is found to be altered to enhance performance, the player will be suspended for 5 years.

 VI. Rules of Conduct
  A. Unsportsmanlike Conduct
     1. The umpire has the authority to eject, without warning, any player or team manager, whether in the line-up or not, for unsportsmanlike conduct. In the absence of umpire action, each team manager has the authority to remove from the line-up a player who is engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct. A team manager who removes a player for unsportsmanlike conduct will immediately inform the umpire and the scorekeeper of the removal. A player removed by the team manager but not ejected by the umpire shall not count as an out at his turn to bat. A player removed by the team manager under this rule shall depart the dugout and immediate playing area unless given permission by the team manager to remain.
    2. Unsportsmanlike conduct includes, but is not limited to, using or threatening to use force or violence; uttering fighting words, racial epithets, or similarly offensive insults; spitting on or toward another person; or other conduct reasonably deemed by the umpire to be intolerable given all circumstances.
    3. Unsportsmanlike conduct does not include good-natured banter between members of the same or different teams, nor the respectful questioning of an umpire’s call.
   4. The Board of Directors has the authority to suspend players who engage in unsportsmanlike conduct. In determining the length of a player’s suspension, the Board will consider all relevant factors including the seriousness of the matter, prior conduct by the player, and the player’s willingness to comply with guidance from his team manager regarding his conduct. If the Board determines that the length of the suspension will exceed three (3) games, the suspended player will be offered the opportunity to be heard by the Board.
  5. The Rules of Conduct do not supersede nor limit the authority of the Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department to impose sanctions, including ejection and criminal prosecution for unacceptable or unlawful conduct.

 VII. Board of Directors
    A. The league will have a Board of Directors consisting of the team managers of the respective teams and/or executive officers. The number of team managers on the Board will vary with the number of teams in the league. Unless otherwise specified in these rules, actions by the Board of Directors require a majority vote of the entire Board of Directors regardless of the number of directors present at any meeting. 50%+1 of the total number of directors shall constitute a quorum.
   B. Following each league season the Board shall nominate and elect the five executive officers. In the event that a director is unable to complete a full season of service, the remainder of the Board will appoint a director to finish the uncompleted term.


VIII. Rules
  A.  The Board will be responsible for adopting the rules.
        1. Individual Board members shall draft proposed rules for consideration by the Board.
  2. The Board shall resolve disputes regarding the intent, meaning, and application of the rules of Brevard Senior Softball Association and the Senior Softball USA Rulebook. If a dispute must be resolved in order to permit the start or resumption of play, the opposing team managers will consult with the Chairman of the Board to obtain an interpretation of the rule. If that consultation fails to resolve the dispute, all members of the Board who are on site will immediately confer, and will, by majority vote, interpret and apply the applicable rule to determine the outcome of the dispute.
   3. Any Board members or player is authorized to refer to the Board matters that are apparent violations of the rules of the league. The Board at its discretion may make recommendations for action by the Board that is necessary to resolve disputes between team managers or players

  B. Team managers are members of the Board until team managers are selected for the upcoming season. Newly selected team managers become members of the Board upon selection. If more persons seek to be named team managers than there are teams, the Board will determine the method for selection of the team managers.
  C. Team managers who engage in conduct detrimental to the league, or who consistently fail to appear for meetings may be removed by unanimous vote of the remaining Board.
  D. In order to promote the greatest possible cooperation between the league and Palm Bay Parks and Recreation, the Chairman of the Board or his designee is authorized to represent the Board and the league in communications with the Palm Bay Parks and Recreation.

IX. Adoption of Rules
The following signatures are of the Board of Directors for the year 2019 fall season and manifest the adoption of these rules on the 6th day of February 2019.
______________________________________Keith Carroll (Chairman / Team Manager)
______________________________________John Feronti (Vice Chairman)
______________________________________Gerry Duguay (Treasurer)
______________________________________Phil Giard (Secretary)
______________________________________Ruben Seraballs (Assist Secretary / Treasurer)
______________________________________Fred Keeney (Media Relations)
______________________________________Eddie Hicks (Team Manager)
______________________________________Frank Horne (Team Manager)
______________________________________John Cunningham (Team Manger)
______________________________________Reid Braun (Team Manger)

 

Copyright ©. Brevard Senior Softball Association Inc.. All rights reserved.  February 2019

League and Draft Rules

Brevard Softball

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