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Midland Softball Association Silver Grand Masters (50+) Softball League

Supplemental Rules of the Game

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THE SILVER GRAND MASTERS LEAGUE RULES AND REGULATIONS WILL BE GOVERNED BY MSA AND ASA RULES.  ACCORDING TO THE MSA BYLAW 37.1 “Rules and regulations governing Grand Masters League play will be the result of collaboration between the participating teams, MSA President and GM Rep, and the Softball Commissioner.”


  1. The defensive line-up may consist of eleven (11) players.


  1. A team must start and finish with a minimum of nine (9) players.  Players may be borrowed from another team.  (A minimum of eight (8) players must be from the team which is short players.)  Penalty - forfeit.


  1. Games are to be of seven (7) innings.  No new inning shall start after an elapsed time of one (1) hour and fifteen (15) minutes from the starting time of the game. All slow pitch games will continue without interruption until the completion of the next inning in which the tie is broken.


  1. Forfeit time is game time.


  1. Relaxed step (reflex action) - if a runner leaves base unintentionally, and in the umpire's judgment, without evidence of proceeding to the next base, the runner will not be called out.


  1. The run ahead rule for all games will be 12 runs after 5 innings (4 ½ if the home team is ahead).  Last revised 2.17.10


  1. If a player is injured, that player can be removed from the batting order without it becoming an automatic out. The injured player will be ineligible to play for the rest of the day. (Rev. 2011)


  1. There will be no time limit in tournament play. (Rev 2015)


  1. Batter shall assume a 1-1 count upon entering the batter’s box (Rev. 2019)


  1. 175' line is an arc 175' from home plate that runs from foul line to foul line.  When a player is at bat, no outfielder may be within that arc until the ball is hit.  Infielders must play normal depth and only five infielders in addition to the pitcher and catcher are allowed. The 11th player can still play anywhere on the field.  (Rev. 2019)


  1. During the course of a game, when a team hits 3 more home runs than the opposing team, that team will be considered to be ‘up by 3 home runs.’  While a team is ‘up by 3 home runs,’ any additional over-the-fence home run by a player on that team will be treated as a walk.  If the other team hits a home run and the first team is then up by less than 3 home runs, this rule is suspended until/unless either team goes ‘up by 3 home runs’ again. (Rev. 2020)



  1. A strike zone mat will be used.  The mat will be seventeen (17) inches wide and twenty-four (24) inches long measuring from the end of the mat to the tip of each side that abuts to the back side of home plate.  The end of the mat that abuts to the home plate shall have a “V” shaped notch that will conform to the outline of the backside of the plate. (Rev. 2006)


  1. Legal pitching:  the ball striking any portion of the mat or home plate will be a strike.


  1. Height of a legal pitch:  Must be six (6) feet high to twelve (12) feet high from the playing surface.   



The pitcher must use protective gear which consists of a mask, shin guards and an optional chest protector. (Rev 2019)



  1. Bases will be 65’.  (Rev. 2014)


  1. There will be no running through on second and third base.  Sliding will be optional.  (Rev. 2011)


  1. A base runner advancing home:  all plays at home on a base runner advancing home will be a force play.




  1. There will be no forfeit if a team fields a minimum of nine (9) players.  Eight players must be rostered players of that team.


  1. When a team cannot field nine (9) of its own team members, they can borrow players from any of the other teams in the Silver Grand Masters League to make up to eleven (11) players.  (95) (League play only).


  1. If a player of the borrowing team arrives, the borrowed player must relinquish his position to the borrowing team’s player immediately.


PLAYER ELIGIBILITY:  Any player who is, or will attain the required age of 50 by December 31st of the current year may play in any game of that season.  A player must play in a regular season game, in order to be eligible for playoff games.





1.       Maximum number of players allowed on a defensive team is eleven (11).


2.       Minimum number of players allowed on a defensive team is nine (9).


3.       Maximum number of players allowed on an offensive team is UNLIMITED.


  1. If a team starts with eleven or more, the number of offensive players shall not exceed the number of players listed on the line up card at the beginning of the game.  All players not listed on the lineup card may be used as substitutes.
  2. If a team starts with less then eleven, players may be inserted into the line up but shall total no more than eleven.  All others may join the game as substitutes.


4.       Minimum players allowed to be used on an offensive team will be nine (9), less than nine (9) players constitutes a forfeit.



  1. For the first (1st) thru sixth (6th) innings a half inning will terminate when the offensive team either makes three (3) outs, scores five runs, or scores enough runs to catch up or tie (example: top of 3rd, visitors losing by 10 – visitors can score up to 10 runs to catch up).  An exception to this rule would be if the home team scores enough runs to apply the mercy rule (12 runs) any time after the fourth inning
  2. For the seventh (7th) inning, a half inning will terminate when the offensive team makes three (3) outs, no limit on runs.  An exception to this rule would be if the home team scores enough runs to win the game in the seventh (7th) inning. (Revised 2020)



1.       May be any player on the team, but he may only run once per inning as a courtesy runner.


2.       Cannot run for the "batter".  Batter must reach first base on his own.


3.       May replace a runner at any base for any reason.  A runner replaced by a courtesy runner may remain in the game.


DOUBLE FIRST BASE RULE:  A double bag may be used at first base.  The INSIDE bag shall be for the use of the defensive fielder.  Any use of the OUTSIDE bag by a defensive fielder shall not be considered.  The OUTSIDE bag shall be for the use of the base runner coming from home plate.  The runner from home plate MAY use the INSIDE bag only if a play at first base IS NOT IMMINENT, i.e., an extra-base hit to the outfield.  The OUTSIDE bag shall be painted fluorescent orange.




  1. A COMMITMENT LINE: A three-foot long, three inch wide commitment line shall be marked perpendicular to the foul line and placed 32’-6” from third base.  Once a runner’s foot touches the ground on or past the commitment line, the runner may not return to third base, the runner must continue toward the scoring plate.  Violations will result in an out.


  1. A base runner that has not advanced past the commitment line between third base and home plate may return to third base at his own risk of being tagged out by a defensive player.


3.       A runner that has passed the COMMITMENT LINE but not reached the SCORING PLATE shall be declared OUT if:  A defensive player in possession of the ball touches home plate.




1.       A SCORING PLATE:  A scoring plate shall be placed eight feet from the back tip of home plate on an extended line from first base.  A line shall be drawn from third base to the scoring plate.  The scoring plate is for use by the offensive player only.


2.       All plays at the plate shall be force plays.  A defender shall record an out at the plate by having possession of the ball and tagging home plate prior to the runner touching the scoring plate.  If a defender attempts to tag an offensive player the runner shall be called safe.  A runner who attempts to score by touching other then the scoring plate shall be called out.



1.       No metal cleats or spikes may be used.