Adult Softball Rules


The TAYBS Adult Softball league is a co-ed league with the goal of providing an enjoyable, recreational activity for all participants, regardless of age or skill level. The purpose of these rules is to foster a spirit of friendly competition among the participants which emphasizes the social aspects of the game and minimizes opportunity for friction and confrontation.

General Information

  • The league is open to everyone aged 18 (as of September 1st) and over
  • The non-refundable player registration fee for the season will be $50.
  • This fee requires that you volunteer 4.0 hours (2 two-hour shifts) during the season in the snack shack doing either concessions or the scoreboard.
  • There is a $50 buyout option if you do not want to do the volunteer hours.
  • When we have enough players for 8 teams, we will move to a waitlist. The cost to be on the waitlist is $5 that will be refunded on September 1st if we are not able to fill any additional teams. If you are selected off of the waitlist, you will be charged an additional $45 dollars.
  • We estimate there will be 10 teams with around 14 players on each team.
  • Prebuilt teams are allowed; however, the league will add additional players to get to all teams to a 14-player roster.
  • Players from the previous season can request to play on the same team as last year.
  • The game will be played with 70’ base paths, and a 46’ pitching distance.
  • Teams will play with 10 fielders on defense – with at least 2 of them female.
  • Games are slow pitch, three swing and misses and you are out, 7 inning games. 
  • There are no coaches, and each team will designate a “player-captain”.
  • All games will be played at Craven Field at 15 New Fitchburg Rd, in Townsend, MA.
  • The Snack Shack will be open for sales with all proceeds going back into our youth programs.
  • Each team will be designated a color, but the teams must come up with their own unique team names.
  • Regular season games are once a week on Saturday’s and will begin Labor Day Weekend and go for 8 weeks.
  • The end of season tournament will be on week 9 and games will be played on both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Games will be scheduled in 90-minute blocks with the start times adjusted every week (last game will typically be scheduled to end at dusk).
  • A two-day single elimination tournament will be held on the final weekend of the season. games will be played on Saturday and Sunday.
  • The league will have a team picture taken of each team around week 6 prior to each game.
  • There is constant music played at the field during the entire day - this includes during the games. Do not ask to have songs skipped, specific songs played, or to have the volume adjusted.

Registration Discount

  • When registering, you can select the option to buyout of the requirement to put in volunteer hours in the snack shack.
  • The entire season of available shifts will be posted a few weeks before the start of the season. We recommend selecting a shift that you know you will be able to commit to as soon as possible.
  • Just before the start of the season, those who did not select a game to work on their own will be automatically drafted into unfilled games for the regular season.
  • Just after the tournament is seeded, those who were not scheduled to work their games in the regular season will be automatically drafted into games for the tournament weekend.
  • If you are scheduled (via direct selection OR drafted) for a shift, and you are unable to work it, it is your responsibility to find someone to fill in for your spot. 
  • If you do not find a replacement, show up more than 15 minutes late or just do not show up for your shift, the registration discount you received will be automatically charged back to your account and payment method. If the automatic payment fails, a $15 additional charge will be accessed, and cash will be due before you are eligible to play in your next game. There are no exceptions to this rule – this includes those who find replacements, but those replacements do not show up, and for those who have other responsibilities within our league.
  • If you end up not getting drafted for a shift during the season, but were willing to be on the draft list, you will not be required to return the registration discount.

Player Conduct & Responsibilities

  • Players are always expected to demonstrate good sportsmanship and maintain a good attitude. Our younger players watch these games – teach them by example how to show good sportsmanship during games!
  • There is no use of tobacco products (i.e., smoking, chewing tobacco, vaping, etc.) allowed anywhere on the grounds, including the woods, the parking lot and even within private vehicles parked on the property.
  • There are NO animals (i.e., dogs) allowed anywhere on the grounds (including parking lots and vehicles) - this includes NO emotional support animals. Only state licensed and state trained service animals providing an official service for a legally handicap person are allowed - state documentation showing license and training are required to be shown at the field.
  • All food and drinks must remain outside the fenced in playing area. 
  • At the conclusion of every game, all players must line up and shake hands with the opposite team.
  • At the conclusion of every game, all players must help with raking, and dragging the field.
  • All trash must be removed by the players from the dugouts at the conclusion of every game.
  • If you bring your children/spectators to a game, it is your responsibility to make sure you clean up the spectator areas after your game. 
  • There is no arguing of the rules between teams – the league director has the final say and will make decisions based on the spirit of the rules – not necessarily the letter of them.
  • By participating, you are agreeing to the TAYBS Code of Conduct.

Rosters & Schedules

  • It is the team captain’s responsibility to ensure that their team has enough players each week. This should be done by confirming existing players attendance and acquiring substitute players for those that will be absent.
  • You must download the Crossbar app for your phone, which will have your schedule on it. Within the app, you have the ability to let the team manager know if you can or cannot attend the upcoming game. You must respond to this so that a substitute player can be found in advance of your absence. 
  • If you do not respond within Crossbar, or inform your captain that you can play, you will be ineligible to play that week. It is too much work for captains to try to find substitutes and have someone alter their schedule to show up for you, and then you show up and take their spot.
  • If a team cannot field 8 players for the start of the game, they may add substitute players to get their roster up to a maximum of 10 players. See substitute player rules for details.
  • If a team ends up with 8 players, and no substitutes are available, the other team should let the other team “borrow” a right fielder or catcher. This does not have to be the same player every inning, and the borrowed player does not bat for opposite team.
  • Team captains are responsible for putting together the team’s weekly lineup.
  • Due to the size of the league, every team will not be able to play every team every year. We cannot accommodate special requests or special schedules for teams.
  • Games cannot be rescheduled - they will be played on their scheduled day and time. If a team is unable to put up enough (or any) players, substitute players must be found and a game will still be played.
  • While games can be cancelled on account of weather, they will not be made up. Be aware that unless there is active lightning, or the league determines the field is unsafe, you should expect to play in the rain. The league will not cancel a game more than 2 hours in advance of the scheduled start of a game.
  • If you no show for 4 games in a row, you will be considered withdrawn without a refund from the season. If you have not picked up your shirt, it will be forfeited at that time.
  • When there is a game scheduled immediately after, no new inning can start after the 2-hour mark. If there is no game immediately following, then there is no time limit, and the game can go until its natural end. 
  • If a previous game goes beyond the start of the next scheduled game start, the scheduled game will start 10 minutes after the conclusion of the previous game.
  • At the conclusion of every game, the team captain must upload a picture of the final lineup sheet and post the final score on our website. These lineups will be used to confirm player eligibility for the end of season tournament.

Substitute Player Rules

  • If a substitute player is used, a team cannot have more than 10 players playing that week.
  • If a team needs a substitute, the order of selection is:
  • A player listed on the official substitute player list
  • A player on another team not on the official substitute list
  • A non-rostered adult who is at least 23 years old.
  • The league director can make rare exceptions if needed. Our goal is to play games.
  • A substitute player’s primary team is their first responsibility. If a player is unable to play in their own game, they should not be playing as a substitute for another team. Exceptions will be allowed in a case by case basis that must be approved by the league director.
  • A substitute player must have read and understand the rules prior to stepping on the field. 
  • A substitute player must check in with the league director prior to stepping on the field for all games.
  • A non-rostered substitute player must sign a waiver before they can step on the field. It is the team captain’s responsibility to confirm their substitute has signed their waiver, and that they understand the rules of play. A substitute only needs to sign a waiver once per season.  
  • If after the start of play, a rostered player arrives, they will join in at the start of the next half inning, and their substitute player will then be removed from the game.
  • A non-rostered substitute player may only substitute in three games before they are required to officially roster and pay the league fee. 


  • Players must bring their own fielder’s glove.
  • Cleats are strongly recommended to be used - metal cleats are not allowed.
  • Athletic supporters/cups, fielders’ masks, and batting gloves & helmets are not required to play (but may be used).
  • The league will provide all bats for play - personal bats are not allowed to be used during games.
  • The league will provide official 12” softballs for each game, that will be used by everyone.
  • The league will provide all balls for the games and warmups - personal softballs are not allowed on the property. These softballs end up mixed in with our game balls and end up being inadvertently used in games.
  • Best effort should be made to retrieve any softballs that are put out of play. Softballs are expensive!
  • Players are allowed to wear shorts, and when wearing shorts are not recommended to slide.


  • There are no officially dedicated umpires at regular season games.
  • Base coaches will act as umpires and are required to be on the field before a batter steps up to the plate.
  • First base coach will make calls at home and first, and the third base coach will make calls at second and third.
  • The catcher, and only the catcher, will make all fair/foul calls.
  • If the team batting neglects to put a base coach out, and there is a call required on the field, the defensive first baseman, second baseman, third baseman and catcher will make the call at their respective bases – their decision will be final.


  • A player who swings and misses 3 times in an at-bat will be called out. The third base coach will keep track of this.
  • A foul ball will be considered a strike and does count against the 3 swings, and you are out rule. However you cannot strike out on a foul ball.
  • There is a 5-run limit per half inning. Once the 5th run crosses the plate, the half inning is over. However, the current play will continue to its natural end, but no further runs will be recorded. 
  • The declared last inning, as well as any extra innings, have unlimited runs for both teams.
  • The batting order must remain constant throughout the entire game, substitutions are not allowed.
  • If a player arrives after the start of the game, they must be placed at the bottom of the lineup.
  • All players must be included in a continuous batting lineup and anyone who is in the lineup, must play at least two innings in the field.
  • Should a batter have a legitimate injury that limits their ability to run, a pinch runner may be used – however, the batter must make the run to first base on their own. The pinch runner will be the person who made the last out of the same gender. Note – age/preexisting conditions are not injuries and are not eligible for pinch runners.
  • Deliberate bunting is not allowed.
  • Foul tips – the batter is out if the catcher catches a foul tip that travels clearly above the batter’s head. A foul tip that does not travel above the batter’s head does not result in an out.
  • A single team is limited to 4 over the fence home runs per game and is limited to a single over the fence home run per inning. Any over the fence home runs after the first one in each inning, or after 4 in total will be considered an out. The goal is to put the ball in play. Strategize!
  • If a home run in an inning is called an out, it will not be counted against a teams per game home run limit.
  • If a batter hits an out of the park home run, they do not need to run the bases if they choose not to.
  • During the declared last inning of the game (or in any extra innings), if a team has not yet used all their home runs, they will be allowed to use them all in that final inning (or any extra innings).
  • If a ball strikes an object outside and over the fence (including the foul pole) within fair territory, and bounces back onto the field, it is considered a home run. If that team has hit their home run limit, it would be considered an out.
  • If a ball lands in fair territory and then bounces over the fence, it is a ground rule double.
  • There is no leading or stealing.
  • A runner may leave a base only after the batter has made contact with the ball.
  • Sliding is permitted. However, the runner must make every effort to avoid any defensive player attempting to field the ball. Whether intentional or not, a base runner who interferes with a fielder making a play (on the correct side of the bag) should be called out.
  • A base runner who goes clearly outside of the base path should be called out. This includes if they are trying to avoid a defensive player making a play on the ball.  
  • Catcher’s must stay at least 6 feet behind the players that are batting – they should not be in a catcher’s position.
  • To avoid collision at first base – there will be a safety base installed at first base. The runner should run to the orange safety base and not the white base. The fielder should play to the white base.
  • To avoid collisions at home plate – there will be a safety plate put down near the fixed home plate. A runner must always run to the orange safety plate and never to the white home plate. If a player on defense has the ball and touches the white home plate before the runner touches the orange safety plate the runner is out. No tag is allowed – even if there is no force play. If there is no force play, then before the runner touches the commit line, they have the option to try to turn around and run back to third base.  A runner is considered committed after they have passed the halfway mark from third base to home. Once a runner passes the commit line, the only way to get them out is to tag the white home plate. This rule is designed to protect our catchers who have no safety gear from taking on an incoming player head on.
  • A defensive player must NEVER block the orange safety bags. These bags are designed for player safety!
  • If a runner goes to the white home plate or white first base instead of the orange safety plate or orange first base, and makes any contact with a defensive player, they are out. Even if the defensive player does not have the ball, if contact is made, the runner is out.
  • To avoid a tripping hazard, the on-deck batter must ensure that there are no bats on the ground and that all bats have been returned to the bat rack.


  • Teams will ideally play with 10 fielders on defense (four outfielders, four infielders a pitcher and catcher). If there are not enough players, you can play with as few as 8 players, having only 3 outfielders and/or no second baseman.  
  • If a team is unable to play two females in the field, the team may only play 9 defensive players, and when at bat will only have 2 outs in that same inning (or the following inning, if they already hit that inning)
  • To allow players a chance to reach base safely on a well struck ball, the outfielders are not permitted to “collapse” (take defensive positions immediately behind the infielders). Outfielders must remain at least 10 feet into the outfield grass until after contact has been made with the ball.
  • “Short Fielders” are not allowed. (A short fielder is an outfielder playing shallow in front of another outfielder)
  • The infield fly rule is in effect. The infield fly rule applies when there are fewer than two outs, and there is a force play at third base (runners on first and second base, or bases loaded). Under these conditions, if a fly ball is hit into fair territory and an infielder using ordinary effort would be able to catch the ball, the batter is automatically out. On a caught infield fly, the runners, at their own peril, may tag up (retouch their base after the catch) and be eligible to advance to the next base. If the infield fly falls within fair ground & untouched, or is touched and dropped, runners need not tag up. In either case, since the batter is out, the force play on the other runners is removed.
  • Free substitution is allowed in the field between innings, but players cannot change defensive positions during an inning, except when swapping pitchers.
  • When an offensive player is sliding into a bag, the defensive player cannot be in front of/blocking the bag. When making a defensive play, you should be behind the bag or off to the side to avoid a collision. If the defensive player is on the wrong side of the bag and gets collided with, the runner is safe, and the game is in an immediate time out for the players to recover.
  • Teams MUST make a good effort with regards to pitching, ensuring that balls are consistently thrown over the plate. If a pitcher throws 8 wild pitches within the span of two at bats, they must be removed and replaced with another pitcher. A wild pitch is considered one that does not reach the plate, would have hit the batter, is thrown behind the batter, or is over the batter’s head. The third base coach should keep track of this and make the call when a pitcher must be removed. Be reasonable.
  • It is not acceptable to use pitching as a means to win a game. The goal of the game is to provide hittable pitches so that everyone can put the ball into play. Putting backspin on a pitch is considered using pitching to an advantage and is against the rules. When backspin is used, it causes balls to hit the ground and stay in the infield. This is against the spirit of the league.
  • Pitchers must try to use a standard slow pitch softball arc which is between 6 and 12 feet in height.
  • The pitchers must start their pitch with their foot touching the pitching rubber (not necessarily “on top” of the rubber) and cannot be cheated over towards third, first or step up on the mound to be closer to home plate.
  • To avoid a tripping hazard, the pitcher must ensure that there are no balls/objects anywhere on/around the mound that can become a tripping hazard. Any balls not in use must be in the bucket behind the catcher.

End of Season Tournament

  • For 2024, we are going to try a new seeding method. On Sunday Night, September 29th at 7pm on Zoom, each team will send 1 representative to build out the official seeding for the playoff tournament. Each representative plus the league director will each have a single vote and build out the seeding based on the perceived strongest to weakest teams.
  • All games will be 7 full innings; however, no new inning can start after the 2-hour mark.
  • A game cannot end in a tie, if there is a tie, the game must continue past the time limit and go until a natural conclusion.
  • Players must have played in a minimum of 4 regular season games, be on their own team or as a substitute for another team to qualify for playing in the tournament.
  • For a team to be eligible to play, they are required to have at least 8 rostered players, with at least 2 of them rostered females. If there are less than 8 rostered players (with the 2 rostered female minimum) in attendance, the game will be forfeited.  Forfeits will be called 5 minutes after the scheduled start of the game – however, the league director can extend the 5-minute timer at their discretion (the goal is to play games, not have forfeits)
  • If at any point, and for any reason, after the start of a tournament game, a team drops to below the 8 rostered players/2 rostered female minimum, in lieu of a complete forfeit, the team will only have 2 outs in each inning, and any remaining home runs will be considered used.
  • If a team only has 8 or 9 players, they can add substitute players to get to 10 players to fill in at Right Field and/or Catcher only. Substitute players are not eligible to bat.
  • If a tournament game is forfeited, it will still be played as a standard game with the outcome not changing the initial forfeit. Normal season rules for substitutes will be allowed for these consolation games.
  • One officially patched umpire will be used for each tournament game. The umpire has the absolute final say with regards to all calls and has the authority to eject a player for bad sportsmanship. Umpires do not need to provide a warning prior to ejecting a player – act appropriately, our younger players are watching you!

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