Edinburgh Rules

The Edinburgh Softball League (ESL) is not liable for any claims for injury/damage to persons or property. There is no personal liability insurance, players play at their own risk, the league and umpires accept no responsibility for players’ safety. The BSF (British Softball Federation) have an offer for teams to purchase a safety mask/helmet - please ask for details and we would recommend all teams take up this offer.

  1. No jewellery to be worn whilst on the field of play - severe injury can be caused by jewellery being ripped from the body. This includes fitness watches/bracelets. Also ears with extended holes must be plugged for duration of game.
  2. All Umpire decisions are Final. NB Fair & Foul Balls; Safe & Out Plays; and, Strikes & Balls are Umpire Judgement calls - please do not question these calls. The umpires are there to facilitate the game - without them you would not be able to play. Please respect the umpire's decisions.
  3. ESL is a Social League, and as such, we expect our players to play the game in a friendly, non-confrontational manner. Should there be any queries/ incidents your Team Captain or appointed representative should be the only person to approach the Umpire. We also expect Team Captains to rein in any negative ‘high spirits’ from their own team. 
  4. An Umpire will be appointed for each game. Please settle fees with the Umpire prior to the game starting. The Second team on the fixtures list is designated Home Team. Games are now written as "team A @ team B" so Team B is Home! £10 from each team.
  5. ISF Rule 4 - Sec 9 DISPUTED Calls
    Any team member disputing any judgement decision by an Umpire will constitute a team warning. Any repeat offense shall result in the ejection of that team member, and if no legal substitute is available, and that reduces the team to below 9, then the game will be forfeited.

  6. All D1 games will begin promptly at 6:30pm, Premier Division by 7.00pm. Due to the Scottish Weather, matches may be cancelled due to inclement weather. The umpire in charge will make that decision at 4.00pm on the day, not the Teams. The League Schedule is so busy that there will be no provision for games to be re-scheduled, except for postponements due to the weather.
  7. If a Team does not show up at the fields to play and has not contacted the Umpire and the Opposition to forfeit the game by 4.00pm, they will be liable to pay the Umpire their portion of the fees for that game.
  8. Rosters: Teams must supply a list of their players prior to the start of the season. Additional players may be added, with a minimum 24-hour notice required prior to their first match. The least information to be provided to ESL is their full name but two further aspects have to be considered. If they are under 18 then the same requirements exist as at any time - parent/guardian sign off, wear a helmet etc.
  9. In order to be covered by the BSF Public Liability insurance the player must show on your roster here (a copy of which is sent to the BSF) The BSF's insurers will only cover players who conform to their eligibility criteria: players must have a UK bank account and a UK address.
  10. All teams to be comprised of a minimum of 4 women. Teams are allowed 2 Guest Players (identified pre-game to the Umpire) from the same Division or Lower. These Players must play Catcher OR Right Field and must bat at the bottom of the order.
    i.e. following a usual batting order: with two male guests - bat 9 & 10; with one male guest & one female guest - bat 9 & 10; with two female guests - bat 8 & 10

  11. Premier Division only - If requiring 1 Guest, the player may come from any Division. If 2 guests are required, one must come from a lower League. Any Guest must be placed at the bottom of the batting order. If there are 2 female guests, they may bat 8th and 10th
  12. Games may start with 9 players (3 women minimum). When the missing person comes up to bat in the order, an automatic out will be taken. If less than 9 players, the Team must forfeit the game, and pay the Umpire their portion of the fees. If agreeable with the Umpire and the opposition, a friendly may be played (fees must still be paid). An opposition captain may decline an "Auto- Out" in the short-handed teams if they wish.
  13. Batting orders should alternate men and women whenever possible. At no time should 3 men bat in succession. (e.g. M-F- M-M-F-M-M-F-M-F). More than 10 players may make up the batting order i.e. (6M, 5W) or (5M, 6F) or (6M, 6F) or (7M, 5F) or (5M, 7F) - any 10 from the 12 may field provided min 4F are on the field.
  14. Substitutes may come into the game – but they must remain in the same spot in the line-up, and the player substituted can return to the same spot.
  15. 15. Should a Batter throw the Bat away with force, the Team shall be warned and the next time any player does it, they will be called 'Out'.
  16. Should a Runner barge into a Fielder, the runner will be called 'Out'.

    Sliding - There is no sliding into 1st Base Double Safety Base - players should run through the Safety Portion of the base. At all the other bases the runner has a choice.

    Sliding - this is the preferred choice to avoid barging into the fielder. The fielder should not stand or completely cover the base, but touch the base, and allow the runner to have plenty of room to slide into the base. However, if the runner goes into the base standing up, and barges/shoves or pushes the fielder who has the ball or is about to receive the ball, then the runner will be ‘Out’ for interfering with the fielder.

    Obstruction - If the fielder (in the Umpire's opinion) obstructs the runner (while not in possession of the ball nor about to field a batted ball) - the Umpire will raise their left hand to indicate a 'delayed dead ball' and will send the runner to the base which the Umpire decides they would have reached had they not been impeded.  Should the runner go beyond this base, then they are once again in jeopardy and liable to be 'tagged' out. Should the Runner push/barge the fielder out of the way, then this is 'interference' and the Runner will be called out immediately.

    Interference - If the runner (in the Umpire's opinion) interferes with a fielder who has the ball or is about to field a batted ball, then the Runner will be 'Out'. Interference may be physical, verbal, or visual. If it is done to break up a double play, then the runner nearest home will also be called 'Out'.

  17. ESL is an adult league and no children under 15 are permitted to play. Any junior player (i.e. under 18) must wear a batting helmet while at the plate and while running the bases, have a parent or designated carer with them. If playing infield they must also wear shin guards, cup (males) and mouth guards and should only play infield they have reached a suitable level of ability. Parents should send the ESL an email providing permission and accepting liability for their son/daughter in the league. http://www.britishsoftball.org/document/bsf-requirements-for-under-18s-playing-adultsoftball
  18. All players must wear shoes. No Metal Studded/Spiked shoes are allowed.
  19. Facemasks are provided in each kit bag - please use them.
  20. ISF rules, in the main, will apply (including Infield Fly) along with local ESL rules.

    Infield Fly: A fair fly ball (not including a line drive, with a perceptible arc) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort when 1st & 2nd Bases or 1st, 2nd & 3rd bases are occupied with '1' Out or '0' Out in the inning so far.

    Any defensive player who takes a position in the infield at the start of the pitch will be considered an infielder for the purpose of this rule. The infield fly is ruled when the ball reaches the highest point based on the position of the closest infielder regardless who makes the play. When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an infield fly, the Umpire shall immediately declare: 'Infield Fly' and call the batter 'Out', regardless of whether the ball is subsequently caught or not.

    This is to ensure that the ball is not deliberately dropped, holding the runners on the base while the ball is in the air, then forcing the runners to run when the ball is deliberately left to drop - making an easy double play. The ball is live and the runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught. The runner can tag up and advance once the batted ball is touched (prior to catching), the same on any fly ball. If a declared infield fly becomes a foul ball, it is treated the same as any foul ball. If the Umpire fails to notice a 'Infield Fly' situation and notices it prior to the next pitch, then the Umpire can send all the players back to their original position, and declare the batter out, 

  21.  In the event of a draw after 7 Innings, further Innings will be played until a winner is decided. Starting in the 8th Inning, the last player up will be placed on 2nd base (this is to speed up an eventual winner).
  22. Games will be called if a team are 20 runs up after 4th Inning, or 15 runs up after 5th Inning. 
  23. Uniforms - Teams are required to wear matching tops, as agreed at the Captains meeting 2001. 
  24. All teams should record their scores/runs and agree with the opposition at the end of each half-Inning - this will eliminate any uncertainty of final score line. 
  25. The Home Team will collect the Kit Bag. It is the responsibility of both teams to check the inventory is correct. Any missing equipment should be reported immediately. 
  26. At the completion of each game, the Kit Bag should be returned to the storage box. Most umpires have a key to this box. 
  27. Teams should send in the results asap after the game, by text or e-mail. 
  28. In the League Tables, if 2 teams are on equal points, the head-to-head tally will count, if equal then the lowest runs against will be placed higher. Should 'n'-way tie occur, then it will be decided by head-to-head of the results of their games, if still tied, then by the lowest runs against in their games amongst themselves, if still tied by their overall runs against record. 
  29. In the case of a forfeit, the score will be recorded as 7 – 0. 
  30. Batting Out: If the Home Team is ahead at the bottom of the 7th, or goes ahead in the 7th - there will be no batting out or finishing the Inning. The game is over when the winning run is scored.
  31. WALKS:
    If a man gets a walk (4 balls): he goes to 2nd base if a lady follows, or 1st base if a man follows.

    If a man gets a walk (4 balls) with 2 outs then the Lady can walk to 1st if she chooses 

  32. Amended Rule for 2014 - both divisions. 12" balls will be uses when pitching to a male batter, 11" to a female batter. 
  33. In the event of a tie at the end of the Season there will be a 3rd game, only if the 2 teams tied were equal in the head-to-head games.

    ESL is not liable for any claims for injury/damage to persons or property There is no personal liability insurance, players play at their own risk, the league and umpires accept no responsibility for players’ safety.