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Rules and Bylaws


USSSA Rule Book


Legal USSSA Bats




Minnesota USSSA

Other Information

NSCSL Participant Waiver (2012)

NSCSL Managers Agreement (2012) Agreed to electronically at Registration

NSCSL Game Protocol (Regular Season) Coming Soon

NSCSL Game Protocol (Post Season) Coming Soon

NSCSL Board Meeting Minutes

Spring 2012 Available after March Board Meeting

Note: Meeting Minutes will be available for one year.


I. Playing Rules
II. Team Roster
III. Reporting Game Results & Statistics
IV. Postponements
V. Awards
VI. Protests
VII. Sportsmanship
VIII. Playoffs & State Tournament Berths
IX. Division Assignments
X. Special Notes


XII. Suspensions
  • NSCSL Scoring Guidelines

  • I. Playing Rules
    USSSA Rules will cover all play with the following exceptions. In cases where there is a conflict, NSCSL Rules supercede USSSA Rules.
    A. Games Structure & Limits
    1.  Starting times are 6, 7, 8, and 9pm.

    2.  Time Limit
    No new inning shall start after 55 minutes from the scheduled start time. This will be strictly enforced.

    Time Limit Notes:
    a. If the first game completes early, the second game may start before the second scheduled start time. The 55 minute time limit does not start until the scheduled second game start time is reached.

    Game 1 starts at 6:00pm and is considered complete at 6:25. The teams and umpire take a 5 minute break and start the second game at 6:30pm (7:00pm scheduled start time). The 55 minute time limit does not start until 7:00pm. (No new inning may start after 7:55). The extra time from  6:30 to 7:00 DOES NOT count against the 55 minute rule and thus does not start at 6:30. The second game may play up to 30 minutes extra.

    b. Up to a 5 minute break shall be granted if either team or the umpire requests it be taken.

    3.  All games are 7 innings, unless time limit is exceeded. Games that are tied at the end of seven (7) complete innings AND have not exceeded the time limit may extend into extra innings. Both criteia must be met in order to play extra innings. No game may end in the middle of an inning. Games are only considered to be complete after the completion of a full inning and when the time limit is exceeded.

    4.  Points and Ties (Regular Season)
    Each game is worth a total of two (2) points. The team that is ahead at the end of a complete inning is determined the winner and will receive two (2) points and the loser will receive zero (0). If the score is tied at the end of the complete inning, each team will receive one (1) point.
    5.  "Mercy" Rule
    There is a 12-run rule after 5 innings. However, play may continue under the provisions of the Flip/Flop rule.
    a.  Flip/Flop Rule
    We will use the USSSA rule: "In the inning when the Run Rule for that particular program is exceeded (after the second inning) and the home Team is losing, the home Team will remain at bat and become the visiting Team. If the Team (new visiting Team) does not score enough runs to reduce the run difference below the Run Rule the Game is over. If they reduce the run difference to below the Run Rule then the new home Team will bat. If they subsequently score enough runs to exceed the Run Rule the Game will be over, if they do not the Game will continue under that format. If the situation reverses, the Teams would flip/flop again."
    6.  3-ball, 2-strike count. No courtesy foul

    7.  Home Run Limits
    Once the limit is reached by a team, any additional home run (over the fence) will be ruled as an out, except when the team trailing in home runs also reaches the limit, the 'Plus One Rule' comes into effect, in where both teams receive an additional home run allowance. If a team hits an additional home run, under this rule, it may not hit any more until the trailing team also hits a home run, in which case each team would receive an additional home run allowance. If a team hits any additional home run(s) without the team trailing in home runs hitting a matching homerun, it will be ruled as an out.

    Note: Home Runs are considered to be those hit cleanly over the fence. If a player reaches home plate safely with a ball that is continuously in play, it may be counted as a home run for stat purposes only, but not counted against the teams home run allowance. Ball over the fence by way of a fielders error such as bouncing off of a glove or body are not considered a home run and are not counted against a teams allowance.

    A - 5 Home Runs
    B - 4 Home Runs
    C - 3 Home Runs
    D - 2 Home Runs
    E - 1 Home Runs

    A - 5 Home Runs
    B - 4 Home Runs
    C - 3 Home Runs

    All divisions play with the 'Plus One Rule' (see above). However, In the case where it's the 7th inning (or last inning) and the Away team has maxed its HRs, the Home team can also ONLY hit the max, plus one doesn't apply.
    B. Balls
    1.  A new ball is to be provided by the home team for each game. A good second ball is to be provided by the visiting team.
    a.  Official Ball
    The League provides balls for league play. That ball is to be considered the “official ball” and must be used.
    2.  A .40 cor, .325 (optic yellow) USSSA sactioned ball will be used for ALL regular and post-season league games.
    3.  When a team is eliminated from the playoffs, any leftover balls MUST be transferred to the winning team to be used in the remaining post-season tournament games.
    C. Umpire No Shows
    If no Association Umpire shows up at a game, one can be chosen from at large if both teams agree. Once agreed upon, he becomes the same as an Association Umpire. This person will be compensated for their services. 
    1.  All concerned parties MUST agree on league and ground Rules before the game begins.
    2.  Mangers must inform the League Director of an umpire no show or late arrival.
    3.  Please inform League Director of any other problems or concerns with umpiring.
    D. Batting Order/Line Up
    Definition: "batting order" - A numerical listing of players in the order in which they will bat. Definition: "line-up" - A listing of all players present at the game for a team.
    1.  Teams may bat up to 14 batters. However, more than 14 batters are allowed if agreed upon by both managers prior to start of game.
    2.  Players in the batting order may be used interchangeably, defensively.
    3.  Players leaving the batting order may re-enter the game (return to the batting order) by playing defense first and may not bat until all other batters in the batting order have batted at least once since he left the batting order.
    4.  A team must maintain a minimum of eight (8) players throughout the course of the game.
    a.  Grace Period
    If a team does not meet the minimum requirement, a 10 minute grace period is in effect before the game will be called in favor of the team not at fault. The score will be 7-0 in accordance with USSSA Rules.
    b. A forfeit will be also be declared for the second game after 20 minutes if the inellegible team still does not have the minimum required amount of players.
      c.  If a team drops below 8 players during the course of a game for any reason, that team becomes inellegible and must forfeit. The score will be recorded as 7-0. Except:

    d. If a team drops below 8 players due to injury, 5 minutes will be given to address such injury or find a replacement player. If both items can not be met in the allotted time, that team will forfeit and the score shall be recorded as 7-0.

      e. If the injury occurs during the first game of the double header and a forfeit is assessed, a 10 minute grace period will be in effect for the second game. If the team is unable to secure 8 players during the grace period, the game will be declared a forfeit with the score being recorded as 7-0.
      f.  Any replacement players must meet all league requirements listed in rules (Age, signed waiver, etc)

    g. If a game has started, all player stats will be counted and recorded.

    h. At no point shall the opposing team supply a catcher for the other team. Whether it is via injury or the opposing team not having enough players, you play with who is on your roster only.

    I. An injury to a player that is unable to continue playing during a game DOES NOT count as an out when their spot in the batting order comes up. The lineup just shifts up one and play continues as normal.

    5.  The number of players in the batting order at the start of a game (first pitch) must be the same throughout the game except as follows:
    a.  Players arriving late may be added TO THE END of the batting order, up to a total of 14 players.
    6.  Courtesy Runners
    Teams may use unlimited courtesy runners for players for whom running is a physical detriment with the following restrictions:
    a.  A courtesy runner can only be used for a player if the umpire is notified prior to the start of the game. Players who sustain injuries during the course of the game may also use a courtesy runner, provided that the umpire is notified prior to that player's next plate appearance.
    b.  A player requiring the use of a courtesy runner cannot advance past first base during their plate appearance (exception is an over-the-fence home run). Players designated to use courtesy runners who finish their appearance having advanced past first base forfeit their right to use a courtesy runner the rest of the game.
    c.  A courtesy runner is the last available out. If there are no outs, use the last out from the previous inning. If there are no outs in the first inning, use the last person in the lineup. During the plate appearance of a player designated to use a courtesy runner, the runner should be preparing to take over at first promptly after the completion of the play.
    II. Team Roster
    Definition: A member or regular attender must be attending the team's church at least once a month during the duration of the season. A player may also be considered a 'regular attender' if they attend a Bible/group study that is facilitated by the church or members of the church.
    A. Roster Size Limits
    The maximum team roster size is 20 players for all divisions.
    B. Player Eligibility
    1.  All players must have their membership status desiginated on the league web site by their coaches.
    2.  Non-members/non-regular attenders
    No more than four (4) non-members or non-regular attenders (see definition above) may be in the batting order at one time.
    3.  Additional Player From Another Church
    Teams may also have one (1) player in their batting order that is an active participant in another church that does not offer ANY softball program.
    4.  Minimum Age
    League players must be 16 years old by the first game.
    5.  Player Eligiblity
    Players may only play on only one league team throughout the season.

    a.  Players participating on two or more teams may be suspended for one complete season.
    b.  Managers may be suspended up to one season for having an ineligible player on their roster.
    c.  Teams having ineligible player(s) may become inelgible from post season tournament play as well as season awards/discounts
    d.  Any game(s) the ineleigible player(s) partcipated will be considered forfeits and scored 7-0 according to USSSA rules.

    6.  Non-rostered Players
    Non-rostered players may not participate in any league play. Violation will be cause for forfeit of all games the non-rostered player participated in. This player will also be ineligible to be included on any roster for at least one complete season.
    C. Player Playoff Eligibility

    To be eligible for post seaon play, a player must play in at least two (2) games of a team's regular season games.
    Legal stats for each game must be entered to be considerd 'played in'

    D. No Roster, No Play!
    Current team rosters must be on file with the league prior to the start of league play. NO ROSTER - NO PLAY!
    E. Liability Waiver/Code of Conduct
    All participants must sign (either through the League web site or a paper copy) the League's Liability Waiver and Code of Conduct BEFORE participating. Players and teams who participate without completing this requirement are subject to forfeits and suspensions at the Board of Directors discretion.
    III. Reporting Game Results & Statistics
    A. Score Reporting (www.nscsl.org)
    Both managers are responsible for reporting and checking to make sure results are recorded to the web site correctly by the Wednesday at 5:00pm following the game played.
    1.  Managers without Internet access should assign a player on their team to assume this role.
    2.  Alternately, scores can be reported by calling or e-mailing the League Manager.
    B. Statistics Reporting
    Managers may optionally enter player batting statistics for each game through the league web site. Managers should take care to enter accurate statistics following the league's Scoring Guidelines.
    C. Line Up Reporting
    All coaches must enter the lineups used for each game through the league web site.
    IV. Postponements
    A. Show-up at the Field
    Due to the variety of fields played on, the managers and umpire will consider each game individually. After a game has started, the umpire will decide on continuing play after consulting with both managers.
    1.  Once a game has been called, all subsequent games (at that location) will be called.
    B. League-Wide Cancellations
    The league will only cancel games in the following cases:
    1.  The city in which a park resides in requests that no games be played due to field conditions.
    2.  There is an obvious weather impediment. In such cases, the decision to cancel will be made by the League Director and posted to the web site and the weather hotline.
    a.  The League Director's decision will be posted no later than 45 minutes before the start of the first scheduled game.
    C. Rescheduling of Postponed Games
    Postponed games will be re-scheduled for the make-up week(s) scheduled at the end of the season. Other arrangements are to be cleared with the League Board of Directors.
    V. Awards (Summer Only)
    A. Regular Season Division Leaders
    Each division winner will receive $100.00 off of the following season league fees. The team must register and participate in the following season to gain the discount or it will be forfeitted.
    B. Playoff Tournament Winners
    Each playoff tournament winner will receive $100.00 off of the following season league fees. The team must register and participate in the following season to gain the discount or it will be forfeitted.
    VI. Protests
    A. Submission
    All protests are to be submitted to the League Coordinator, in writing, within 24 hours of game time.
    B. Protest Fees
    Protests must be accompanied by a deposit of $25.00. If protest is upheld, the deposit will be returned; if denied, the money will be donated to the league.
    C. Protest Committee
    Protests will be decided by a committee consisting of the League Board of Directors. In a game involving one of the above directors, they will be excluded from the protest committee.
    D. Appeals
    An appeal of the committee decision can be made by:
    1.  Obtaining a majority of team manager signatures on a petition that has the facts of the protest stated on it and is signed by the team managers involved in the protest or by a division Coordinator.
    2.  Submit this petition, with the required number of signatures, to the League Coordinator within 48 hours after the intent to appeal has been conveyed to the protest committee. The League Coordinator must then call a special league meeting to discuss the protest and subsequent appeal. The final decision will be based upon a majority vote of the managers in attendance.
    VII. Sportsmanship
    A. Addressing the Umpire
    Only the MANAGER representing the team at the pre-game manager's meeting will be allowed to address the umpire with questions. Any player(s) that argue or protest a call with the umpire is subject to ejection at the umpire's discretion. Any players that ejected from a game are subject to Suspensions (See Suspensions)
    B. Pre-game Prayer
    All games will start with a prayer led by a member of the home team. Before the second game of a doubleheader, the game will be preceded by a prayer if both manager's desire.
    C. Alcoholic Beverages
    1.  At no time will players be allowed to drink, or have in their possession, any alcoholic beverage on the premises (to include the playing field, spectator area, and parking areas).
    2.  Any team that violates this rule will immediately forfeit all games (season and playoffs) and will be banned from the league.
    D. Fake Tag (USSSA Rules: Rule 3: Definitions)
    ”FAKE TAG is making the motions of a tag without the ball. This may be considered obstruction, and the offender may be ejected.”
    E. Down or Out of the Way (USSSA Rules: Rule 7, Section 4.H)

    ”When (a runner) interferes with a fielder attempting to field a batted ball or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball (the runner shall be out). If this interference in the judgment of the umpire is an obvious attempt to prevent a double play, the base runner closest to home plate shall also be called out.”

    Note: If the base runner leaves the baseline, thinking it’s a force out, has the right to retake the base on a bobble ball, passed ball, etc.

    1.  Force Plays
    A runner that has been put out on a force play must either continue to the base and slide (except at home and first base), OR make an OBVIOUS AND CONCERTED effort to abandon the base line (laying down or running towards the outfield), completely removing himself from the play.

    Any player making deliberate contact with an opposing player in the act of preventing a play, weather or not injury occurs, may be ejected from the game and are subject to further suspension by the league.

    Notes: The runner has the right to gain a base by either running hard or sliding into the base in an effort to reach safely. Contact between the fielder and runner may occur, however, a runner may not deliberately try to take the fielder out in an effort to break the play up or injure the fielder. Conversely, the onus is also on the fielder to make an athletic play and vacate the base trying to avoid an oncoming runner.

    The leuge understands there is grey area when it comes to close plays at bases. The league places its faith in the umpires to make a good judgement calls. Understand it may be difficult to tell if a player is deliberately trying to break up a play or cause harm to an opposing player. The league asks that common sense and good sportsmanship be in play when ever there are close plays at bases along with the understanding athletic contact may occur.

    Acts that may indicate a runner is trying to interfere with a fielder are; sliding into base with legs/feet up, obvious hip, leg, arm and/or shoulder movement towards the fielder, continuing to run directly at the fielder when the play has already been made at the base and the runner is no where near reaching safely. Throwing arms/hands in the air in the act of limiting the fielders sightline or distracting them.

    Acts that may indicate a fielder is trying to interfere with a runner are; continuing to stand on the base well after a play has been made OR when there is no attempt at a play.

    Close plays at home plate: Fielders have the right to stand in the baseline to catch an incoming ball or try and apply a tag ONLY IF there may be a potential play at the plate. This DOES NOT mean the runner or fielder may physically interfere with or deliberately take the other player out while attempting to make a play.
    The feilder MAY NOT stand in the baseline if there is no incoming throw. He must vacate the baseline and allow the runner to gain the base. Again, it is the Umpire who holds sole judgement on close plays at bases.
    VIII. Playoffs & State Tournament Berths
    A. Post-Season (Playoff) Tournaments
    1.  All teams will participate in their league post-season playoff games and will be seeded according to their league records.
    2.  A playoff tournament will be scheduled for every division.
    a.  The playoff tournament will be double-elimination unless field availability is limited due to rescheduled regular season games that were cancelled due to weather or field conditions.
      b. The playoff tournament will be double-elimination unless weather or field related conditions dictate otherwise in which case the tournament will be reduced to single elimination.
      c. If the playoff tournament is cancelled to any reason preventing play, a certain percentage of league money may be returned to teams. The amount will be finalized after the board of directors determines what amount was not needed to pay fields, umpires, etc.
    3.  Home team will be determined using the following method:
    a.  Higher seed for all games except:

    b. Champioship Game(s) in where the higher seed will choose if it wants to be Home or Away for the first game.
    In the event a second game is needed, the teams would swap Home and Away.

    B. League Monies
    1.  No league monies will be used for USSSA Regionsal or State tournaments.
    2.  Any team interested in regisonal or state tournament play will pay their own way.
    3.  Teams must apply for state tournaments with League Director before July 1st.
    a.  Rosters must be turned in by June 15th for any state tournament play.
    b.  Tournament fees need to be submitted with application for entry.
    C. Tiebreaker

    In the event teams have the same regular point total, the following tiebreaker will be followed:
    1. Two Teams

    a. Head-to-Head Win/Loss Record (If applicable)
    b. Head-to-Head Run Differential (If applicable)
    c. Overall Season Run Differential
    d. Coin Toss

    2. Three or More Teams

    a. Head-to-Head Win/Loss Record (If applicable)
    b. Head-to Head Run differential (If applicable)
    c. Over Season Run Differential
    d. Method determined by Board of Directors

    IX. Division Assignments
    The Board of Directors will make the final decision on all division assignments. The Board will attempt to create the most competitively balanced divisions possible with all the information available. The Board will take into account the following factors when assigning teams: previous season record, experience in the league, availability of spots based on other team registrations, specific requests from coaches (e.g. high player turnover) and more.
    X. Special Notes
    A. Team Insurance
    Team insurance is available through USSSA. Each team is responsible to obtain their own insurance if desired.
    B. Hold Harmless Waiver of Liability
    Each participant, in consideration of being permitted to participate in the North Suburban Church Softball League does hereby agree to hold harmless the North Suburban Church League including any and all agents (including, but not limited to, host cities, represented churches), sponsors, and representatives from any and all liability for any personal injury or death, which may result from participation in this activity. This waiver includes any injuries, which may result from the condition of the playing surface. Each participant also accepts financial responsibility for damages they or their team may cause to facilities, equipment or local accommodations.
    XI. Fighting
    A. Ejections
    Any player(s) ejected from a game due to a fight are done for the remainder of the current games of that night.
    B. Suspensions
    Any player(s) involved in a fight are to be suspended for the current games of that night plus an additional four (4) games (Minimum) and are subject to all articles under 'Suspensions'.
    C. Fines
    Team or teams are fined $25.00.
    D. Fine Payment Requirements
    Fine is to be paid to league before any additional games can be played.
    E. Second Fight by Same Player
    Any player involved in two fights in one season will be suspended from play for the remainder of the season, post season play and Fall League. The team is also fined $25.00. Payment must be received before next game can be played.
    F. Definition of “Fight”
    A fight will be determined by the umpire. A collision or minor pushing and shoving are not to be considered a fight. Punching and kicking would.
    G. Appeals
    An appeal of this rule must follow all steps in the protest procedure with the exception being no $25.00 deposit will be required.
    1.  Appeal Hearings
    The appeal hearing will be held by the League Director with the players involved, team managers involved and umpire involved, and Umpire Association Represenative in attendance.
    H. Contact with Umpire
    Any contact with an umpire is cause for immediate ejection and suspension. That player must meet with the League Director, Board of Directors, Team Managers (Involved in Game), Umpire and/or Umpire Association Representative. The Player is not eligible to play until the meeting takes place and a final decision of suspension is determined by the board of Directors. It is the League opinion that a minimum suspension of one complete season is reasonable.
    XII. Suspensions

                 First Offense:

    A.      Any player ejected from a game by an Umpire or NSCSL Board Member will be removed for the remainder of the evning PLUS an additional full week (2) games (minimum).

    B.      The ejected player(s) becomes ineligible for Season Awards, All-Star Game, and Home Run Derby Competition.

    C.      The ejected player(s) must have a direct "disciplinary hearing" conversation with the League Director before becoming eligible to play again.

    D.      Suspensions carry into Post Season or the following Summer Season.

    E.       If ejection occurs during the Post Season, that player will be removed for the remainder of the Post Season or two games (whatever is longer).

    Second Offense (Same Season):

    A.      Any player ejected from a game by an Umpire or NSCSL Board Member (Second Offense) will be removed from play for the remainder of the evening (no matter what game is being played) PLUS an additional three (3) full weeks (6 games minimum).

    B.      The ejected player(s) becomes ineligible for Post Season and Fall League Play.

    C.      The ejected player(s) must have a meeting with current board members before becoming eligible to play again.

    D.      Suspensions carry over into the following Summer Season. Post Season and Fall League games do not apply.

    E.       If ejection occurs during the Post Season, that player will be removed for the remainder of the Post Season PLUS six (6) games minimum the following season.

    F.       The NSCSL Board will review and make a decision with-in the first two weeks if any additional suspension time is needed.

    G.     The NSCSL Board may impose fines and or forfeits on the team of the offending player.


    A.      The NSCSL board reserves the right to suspend any player additional time beyond the league minimums.  The board will make decisions with the knowledge at hand (Any Umpires, Managers, Players, and Spectators that witnessed occurrence) in a reasonable amount of time.

    B.    The NSCSL board may also reduce or eliminate (league minimum) suspensions, however, any player ejected from a game may not participate for the remainder of the evening.

    C.      If a player or player(s) become repeat offenders throughout different seasons, the NSCSL may remove the player from the league indefinitely and may be subject further sanctions imposed by the USSSA.

    D.      Any suspension may be appealed by the player and/or team. See Protest/Appeals Section.

    E.      See Fighting Section for minimum suspensions as the result of a fight or contact with an umpire.

    F.    Players ejected must leave the park property immediately and may not return for the reminader of the evening. This includes all playing feilds, common areas between fields, walk ways, adjacent areas on park property, and parking lots. Play will not resume until the umpire feels the ejected player(s) are at an adequate distance from playing area. If an ejected player returns or refuses to leave, the team the offending player will be forced to forfeit the current game. If a second game is to be played the ejected player has two (2) minnutes to leave the playing area or that game will be forfeitted. If the player still refuses to leave and or causes further disruption, the league will look into further disiplinary action for both the player and team which may include, removal from the league.