Reading Men’s Softball (RMSL)
PO Box 145
Reading, MA 01867
Signup for rainout text and/or email alerts
This year we are doing away with the phone line and replacing it exclusively with the text alerts (link above), Facebook updates, and whenever possible – we will text coaches directly of the status of games. Do not contact us, we will contact you in the instance of a rainout.
For questions or request pertaining to scheduling, please email: [email protected]
RMSL League Rules
The RMSL is currently using all written rules of NSA Softball except where those rules are superseded by these local rules.
All NSA Certified Bats are eligible for play. NSA Certified Bat List
Starting in 2016, all legal bats must have the following stamp:
Any individual caught doctoring bats will be reprimanded according to NSA policy.
- All metal and wood bats are grandfathered in regardless of stamping.
- League Placement – How the league determines where your team belongs
RMSL was set up to be competitive so the Commissioner and the Executive Board try to place each team in a division of teams with a similar level of skill before the beginning of each season. Unfortunately, due to changing circumstances, (i.e. teams improving, gaining players, losing players) the placement process is never an exact procedure. As a result, the Board places each team that played during the previous year, or any team coming into the league from another league, in a division based on their past year√¢¬Ä¬ôs performance as well as the trends that the team has followed over the last few seasons if that information is available. New teams are more difficult to place because we only have the information that they give us, but the Board tries to place them in the most appropriate division possible. If a team appears to be unable to compete in the division that it has been placed, that team may be moved to a lower division for the next season. The Champion (or team that has accumulated the most wins during the regular season and playoffs) of each lower division may be moved up to the next higher division for the next season, especially if there is a team that needs to move down.
- Game Time
The RMSL defines game time as the start time (Forfeit time) and there is no grace period. In situations where games cannot be played due to field conditions at game time, the game can be cancelled at the field by either of the managers as long as both teams have at least 8 players at the field at game time (any team with less than 8 players will receive a forfeit.)When games are cancelled at the field, each team is responsible to pay the umpires 50% of their regular fee for that game. (There are absolutely no exceptions to the eight players at the field rule.)
- Number of Players
Each team must have eight players ready to play at game time in order to avoid a forfeit.
- The players must be within the umpire‚Äôs sight, with the ability to be ready to play immediately.
- Each team that forfeits will have to pay back the forfeit fee to the league.
- A team which has not replaced the forfeit fee will not be eligible for any league discounts.
- Team Roster
Teams should have a minimum of fifteen players on their roster.
- Each player who is at the game in uniform must bat, unless taken out of the game.
- Free substitution of players is allowed, but the batting order must remain the same.
- Any batter removed from the batting order for any reason will be skipped in the order without penalty. Once that player has been skipped in the batting order, that player can not return to the game as either a batter or fielder.
- Uniform Rule
- Any player wearing metal cleats will be thrown out of the game as soon as the metal cleats are observed.
- Any player caught wearing metal cleats a second time will be suspended for one full year.
- Players on each team must have uniform shirt in matching color with a its own individual number. No duplicate numbers allowed. Any player without this uniform shirt is not allowed to play in the game. If the team does not have enough players because of this rule the game will be a forfeit.
- Late Arriving Players
Players arriving after the start of the game can be inserted at any time except in the middle of an at bat. The late player may be added to the batting order in front of any batter who has not batted, or if everyone has batted the late player must be added to the end of the batting order.
- Courtesy Runners
- Batter must announce before hitting that he is taking a runner and must stop at first base unless allowed an extra base per ground rules (eg Home Run, Ground Rule Double, Overthrow).
- Each team can use up to three courtesy runners per game.
- The runner will be the player who made the last out (in the first inning the runner will be the last player in the batting order)
- Home Run Rule
A progressive home run rule is in effect for each game. Each team is allowed 4 over the fence home runs per game. Unless each team has hit 4 home runs, any subsequent home run (over the fence) will be considered an out. If both teams have hit 4 homeruns, each team is allowed one more. In addition, teams are allowed more home runs providing the differential between the two teams is never more than one home run.
- Foul Language Rule
Foul Language rule is in effect. Any player using foul language in a voice where he/she could be heard by more than one or two people during the game will have an out assessed to his team. (On offense or defense).
- Game Length
Each game will consist of 7 innings per USSSA rules unless:
- One team leads by 12 runs or more after the fifth inning(4 1/2 if the home team is ahead).
- The two teams are tied after 7 innings at which point up to two additional innings are played until one team is ahead at the end of a complete inning. If the two teams are tied after 9 innings of play, the result will be a tie.
- Division 4 Co-ed Rule
Division 4 only – A female batter has the option to take a walk (instead of batting) if the batter that precedes her walks on three straight pitches.
- Game Scheduling and Cancellations
The Commissioner or his appointed representative may cancel any league game for any reason prior to its start time. Games cancelled due to weather or field conditions will be announced on the RMSL hotline and/or on the league‚Äôs website at least an hour before game time. If the league does not cancel the game, teams are expected to show up to the field with at least sufficient players to avoid a forfeit (See Rule 4). Before the game starts, if both teams have the required number of players, one manager can decide to postpone the game at which point he must pay the umpires a fee (less than the normal fee) determined by the league.
- Reporting Scores and Standings
The winning team is required to report their scores after each game, via the website or the RMSL hotline. All scores must be reported within 48 hours after the end of the game (excluding Sundays) failure to do so will result in both teams receiving a loss for that game.StandingsThe division standings are determined by the number of points each team has earned. The number of points earned for each game is:
- A win = 2 points
- A tie = 1 point
- A loss = 0 points
- A forfeit = -1.5 points
Alcohol consumption at the games is strictly forbidden. Any RMSL member caught consuming alcohol in any area surrounding the field(s) will immediately face expulsion from the league and possible arrest from the RPD.
- Playing up rule
Any player can play for a higher division game up to 50% of those games.
If a player is ejected from a game, that player must sit out the following game.If a player is ejected from a game, his manager must give the umpires the name of the player ejected. Any manager of a team that fails to give the name of an ejected player to the umpires will be suspended for their next game(if it is the manager who is ejected and fails to give his name he will be suspended for an extra game). Any player that has been ejected must leave the playing field which will include all areas surrounding the field and has up to 5 minutes to do so. As long as they are gathering their belongings to leave the game may continue. The ejected player can not interfere with the umpires or any players still involved in the game.If a player is ejected out of a second game, that player must sit out the next two games.If a player is ejected out of a third game in any one season, that player will be suspended for one calendar year.
- Appeal rule
Any appeal of any game, ejection, suspension must be sent in writing by email, or delivered to the commissioner within 48 hours (Any player ejected from a game must by rule sit out the next game and cannot appeal this) Once an appeal has been made the player may continue to play (again not including the first game) until the board has ruled on the appeal.
- Game Changes
Teams will be given one chance before the schedule is published to request dates to not play for both the regular games and playoffs.Managers are not allowed to change or cancel games on their own at any time under any circumstances except at game time (see Rule 13). All changes must be made through the league. If two managers cancel a game on their own, both teams will receive a forfeit; both managers will be suspended for their next game (including playoffs); and each team will pay the league $50 in forfeit fees, which must be paid before the team’s next scheduled game. Failure to follow this rule may result in further suspensions and possible expulsion from the league.A manager can request ten days before one of his team‚Äôs games that the game be cancelled by the league by sending an email to [email protected] The league will cancel the game if another game can be scheduled to replace this game.
- A player must participate in 8 regular season games for his/her team. If a player is unable to meet this requirement do to injury, the coach for that team can appeal to the board for an exemption.
- Any player who qualifies for two teams must declare which team he is going to play for in the playoffs (No player can play in two separate playoffs).
- If a player declares that he is going to play in the playoffs for a higher division team, that player will, for future seasons, be designated as a higher division player and will not be allowed to return to the lower division team for the next regular season.
- Playoff Teams and Tie Breaker Rule
The division standings are determined by the number of points as defined in rule 14 (the team with the most points is first, etc.). In a six team division, the top four teams in the standings will advance to the playoffs.The following tie-breakers will be applied in the order shown if two teams are tied for two playoff spots that are not the last playoff spot (the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place positions in a six team division):
- a) Number of Forfeits: If two or more teams are tied, the team with the fewest forfeits will receive the position.
- b) Head to Head Games: The team with the better head to head record will receive the position.
- c) Record against other teams going to the playoffs: The team with the better record against the other teams going to the playoffs will receive the position.
- d) Record against next highest team in the standings: The team with the better record against the next highest team in the standings will receive the position.
- e) Coin toss: Record against other teams going to the playoffs
The following tie breaker will be applied in the order shown if two teams are tied for final playoff spot (4th place in a six team division):
- f) Number of Forfeits: The team with the fewest forfeits will receive the final playoff spot.
- Removing a player from the game.
Any batter that is removed after the fifth inning, except in case of injury, his spot will be considered an out. This rule is to deter teams dropping players from the lineup in a close game.
- New Coach Rule.
One person can be designated as a coach at the beginning of a game and he can enter a game at anytime for any reason.
- Pitching Arc
Height is not to exceed or fall below 6-10 feet.