SOFTBALL RULES

Know the rules!

Find the links on the right for all Issaquah and National Rules documents. Rules for the upcoming season are updated around the end of February. Little League International Rules are copyrighted and available for purchase on their website.

LOCAL RULES

Issaquah Little League Local Rules - In general, Little League rules govern play, except where specifically modified by Issaquah Little League in our local rules.

Read the general section which applies to all divisions, then read the specific modifications to Little League Rules for your division.

See links on the side for Line up Cards and other information.

PITCHING RULES

  • There is no limit on pitch count per game. No limitations playing other positions after pitching.
  • Pitcher can pitch a maximum of 9 innings per game, max 18 per week.
  • 1 pitch delivered is considered pitching in an inning. Pitching more than 2 innings, pitcher is eligible to pitch again on 2nd calendar day.
  • No more than 5 pitchers allowed per team in a game.
  • Pitcher is not allowed to intentionally delay game by throwing to players other than the catcher when a batter is in the box.
  • A legal pitch delivery is delivered to the batter in an underhand motion.
  • Both feet must be on the ground within or partially within the 24 inch length of the pitcher's plate.
  • The shoulders must be in line with 1st and 3rd base at the set to begin pitch.
  • The pitcher must take a position with her pivot foot in contact with the pitcher's plate. The non-pivot foot must be on or behind the pitcher's plate.
  • While at the pitching plate, the pitcher must take any signal from catcher or coach with hands separated. The ball must remain in glove or pitching hand.
  • The pitcher must hold the ball in one or both hands in front of the body for not less than one second and not more than 10 seconds before starting delivery. This is referred to as "set".
  • A backward step may be taken before or simultaneously with the hands being brought together. The pivot foot must remain in contact with the pitching plate at all times prior to the forward step.
  • While delivering the ball the pitcher may take one step with the non-pivot foot with the release of the ball. It is not considered a step if the pitcher slide the pivot foot across the pitcher's plate toward the batter, or the pivot foot turns and slides to push off pitcher's plate. Raising the foot off pitching plate and then returning foot creates a rocking motion and is an illegal motion.
  • Pitcher is not considered in pitching position unless the catcher is in position to receive a pitch.
  • The pitcher is not allowed to take pitching position on pitcher's plate without possession of the ball.
  • The pitch starts when one hand is taken off the ball after the hands have been placed together.
  • The pitcher is not allowed to make any motion to pitch without immediately delivering the ball to the batter.
  • The pitcher cannot return the hands together again after separating them from the set position.
  • Pitcher is not allowed to make 2 revolutions of the arm in the windmill motion.
  • Pushing off with the pivot foot from any other spot than the pitcher's plate is illegal. This includes a "crow hop", when the pitcher hops off plate before the forward motion.
  • The pivot foot must remain in contact with or push off and drag away from pitching plate until the front foot touches the ground. When the pivot leaves the ground, it is considered a "leap" and is an illegal pitch.
  • The pitcher has 20 seconds to release the next pitch after receiving the ball in the pitcher's circle or the umpire indicates "play ball".
  • The pitcher is allowed 8 "warm up" pitches at the beginning of each inning when taking the field.
  • A batter hit by a pitch is awarded first base, but is not considered an illegal pitch.
  • There are no "balks" in softball.


PRE-GAME BATTING POLICY

This rule is in effect for the entire game site which includes the common areas and beyond the outfield fence.

On game days, the only batting practice allowed (unless you are in a batting cage) is with whiffle or pickle balls. A whiffle ball or pickle ball has many holes in it to limit it's flight and momentum. Use of any balls without holes in them (even plastic ones) are not allowed. The use of pop up nets or any other device to hit hard balls, dimple balls, jug balls, etc. are not allowed.

Everyone hitting whiffle or pickle balls must be wearing a helmet. The use of hitting sticks or any other stationary hitting device is allowed but must be supervised by a coach or parent and the player must wear a helmet.

During the game, the only person allowed to hold a bat in their hands is the hitter. There is no on-deck swinging and the on-deck batter cannot hold a bat in their hands until they have become "the batter".