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1. No warm-up or practice is allowed in the common areas.
2. No hitting balls or soft toss against any fence.
3. If you are warming up for a game and a pitcher from a game in progress needs to warm up, you must give her space in the warm-up area to warm up.
4. Make sure your dugout is free of trash when you leave. If there is trash in your dugout when you arrive, tell the MESA Board Member on duty.
5. Make sure all trash has been picked up from your spectator area. If it is not free of trash when you arrive, tell the MESA Board Member on duty.
6. No skateboards, roller blades, bicycles, or anything else that rolls (except for wheel chairs and strollers) are allowed in the softball park.
7. No throwing, kicking or dribbling of footballs, baseballs, softballs, soccer balls, Frisbees, or any other items in the common areas of the park.
8. No smoking or use of smokeless tobacco is allowed in the softball park. This includes all vapor products (e-cigarette's, electronic cigarettes, vaping, etc.)
9. No dogs or other animals are allowed in the softball park.
10. Profanity will not be tolerated in any part of the softball complex. Spectators, coaches, and players using profanity or offensive language or gestures will be removed from the softball complex.
General Game Information
1. The length of time for games is as follows:
T-Ball 55 min
6U 55 min
8U 55 min
10U 70 min
12U 70 min
14U 70 min
2. Games will start at the scheduled time. There is no grace period. Clock starts when the defense takes the field. Late arriving players can be added to the batting order and participate in the game as long as the player is placed in the batting order before a player bats for the second time. Once a team has gone through the entire batting order and started over again it is too late to add a player. If you want to place a player’s name in the batting order who has not arrived you may do so, but if she has not arrived when she is reached in the order you will either have to take an out for that player or remove her from the batting order.
3. If timeout is called with 5 minutes or less in the game, the clock stops. The clock will stop if a team changes pitchers or catchers with 5 minutes or less left in the game.
4. New in 2016 Infield Face Masks are required for age groups 6U through 12U. No exceptions to the rule will be made as this is for the safety of the girls.
5. MESA does not have designated dugouts. You may take whichever dugout you prefer if you are the first one to claim it.
6. Games can end in a tie. If at the end of the season one or more teams are tied for 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place tie breaker procedures are used to determine placement. Standings are the first factor, head to head is the second factor, and if the teams are still tied with both of those, lowest runs allowed/against is the third and final factor to determine a tie breaker standing.
7. Rain-outs will be announced via twitter (www.twitter.com/mesasoftball) and Facebook. If you sign up for twitter and become a follower of MESA softball then you can choose to have notifications sent as a text to your phone. This is the fastest way to find out the status of games. Please do not call board members or the City of Forney to determine the status of games.
8. Our goal is to try to have rained-out games rescheduled and played within one week of the original date, subject to field availability and conflicts. We have too many teams to pass up an open field.
9. Teams must have a minimum of 8 players to play unless both teams decide to play with less than 8 players. If a team plays with 8, that team will have to take an out for the ninth player. If both teams only have 8 players, then there is no automatic out. The opposing coach may waive the right to take the out if the team they are playing only has 8 (or 9 in 6U & 8U). We prefer to have games played, not forfeited.
10. Pick-up players can be used to get to 9 players but must be MESA registered players and must wear their MESA team uniform. The opposing coach must be advised that pick-up players are participating. Pick-up players may only pick up in the division that they are registered for or above. EXAMPLE: An “A” division player may not pick up with a “B” division team or a 12U registered player may not pick up with a 10U team even if they are age eligible. Pick-up players must play in the outfield and bat last in the order. A maximum of 3 pickup players can be used.
11. MESA will provide the game balls to the umpires. Game balls must be returned to MESA.
12. Coaches and equipment must remain in the dugout at all times unless your team is batting and you are a pitching coach, 1st base coach, or 3rd base coach. You are not allowed to sit on a bucket outside of the dugout. A coach who is supposed to be in the dugout may not come out of the dugout to talk to a player or for any other reason (except to pick up a bat) without requesting “time-out” from the umpire. This rule does not apply to T-Ball coaches. T-Ball coaches can be on the field to instruct their players.
12. Arguing with an umpire is not tolerated. Discussions with the umpire are allowed. There’s a right way and wrong way to do it. Those doing it the wrong way will be subject to ejection. In addition to the umpires, MESA’s president and vice president also have the authority to eject a coach from a game.
14. All players who are present at the game will remain in the batting order throughout the entire game whether they are playing defense or not. You make one batting order for each game and it stays the same throughout the entire game. This keeps all players “in the game” for the entire game. Since there are no changes to the batting order, substitutions on defense do not need to go through the umpires. All players should play on defense a minimum of 2 innings if time/innings allow, subject to disciplinary issues.
15. Make sure your players’ bats are ASA approved.
16. MESA coaches and assistant coaches must have a background check and be approved by the MESA Board of Directors. Head coaches should check to see that all their assistant coaches have been approved. If an assistant coach has not been approved, he or she should not be coaching. If one or more of your assistant coaches are not present at a game, you may use a parent who has not completed a coaching application for that game. However, if it happens more than once then that person should complete a coaching application and the approval process.
17. MESA teams (excluding coaches) will receive trophies immediately prior to or after the end of the season. Every participant will receive a trophy. Coaches must pass out the trophies. Failure to pass out trophies will be cause for a coach to be denied a coaching position in the future. No trophies will be given for the Fall Ball league.
18. In the event that we have make-up games, we will try to schedule multiple games at a time. However, when we start scheduling make-up games we might have to schedule a single game played when no other games are being played. This usually occurs due to a conflict from one or both of the teams. If a single game is scheduled when no other games are playing before, during, or after it, there may be limited or no concession sales available (i.e., no food).
If you are a new coach, have a new team, or just need help with pitchers, we have experienced coaches who are ready, willing and able to give you assistance. We want all of our coaches to be successful and we will do anything we can to help you and your team be successful.
MESA Local Rules
Teams are limited to 6 runs per half inning.
Teams will bat their entire roster for the entire game.
Helmets with face mask and chin strap are required for ALL age groups. (We will attempt to have additional chin straps for sale in the concession stand, if needed)
T-Ball (4U) Rules
1. Each team must provide the Tee to be used by their batters.
2. Batters have the choice of receiving a pitched ball. If she elects to receive a pitched ball, she will receive 3 pitches. If she has not hit the ball in play after the 3rd pitch, she must hit off the tee.
3. Batters do not strike out. They are allowed as many swings as necessary to put the ball in play.
4. Outs count.
5. Player-catchers may be used. If a player-catcher is used, they must be in full catching gear for safety reasons. If a player catcher is not used, then a coach must be there to help the game move along.
6. Teams should play their entire roster on the field while on defense, but only 5 (6 if using a catcher) players are allowed in the infield.
7. Defensive players must be even with or behind the pitching rubber when the ball is hit.
8. Play stops when a defensive player has control of the ball inside the pitcher’s circle and is not attempting to make a play when the lead runner stops. Time will be called in both instances.
9. Umpires are not used in T-Ball. Coaches should make the rulings on the field. It’s T-Ball, there should not be any disagreements.
10. The game ball is an 11" optic-yellow safety ball.
6U Coach Pitch
1. Coach-pitchers are allowed to talk to the batter.
2. The pitching coach must remain by the pitcher at all times. It is the pitching coach’s responsibility to remain out of the way of any plays in the infield. Interference will be called on the coach-pitcher when warranted. The pitching coach must kneel down when the ball is put in play to stay out of the way. Failure to do so may result in an "interference" call at the umpire's discretion.
3. Each team’s coach will pitch to his/her own players from the 25’ pitching mark. There will not be a pitching rubber. The 25' pitching mark will be designated by a chalk line. Both feet of the pitching coast must be on or behind the 25' mark when the pitch is started.
4. Each batter will be allowed 5 pitches total. The batter may swing at all 5 pitches. If on the 5th pitch the batter does not make contact with the ball, the batter is out. On the 5th pitch, unlimited fouls are allowed.
5. There are no walks.
6. If the ball strikes the pitching coach, the umpire will call “dead ball” and runners will return to previous base and the batter will redo that pitch.
7. Play is stopped when the pitcher has control of the ball inside the pitcher’s circle. VTD rules apply to base running and each runner is at risk of being put out if they continue to advance. We do not use the “half way mark". If a runner is advancing to the next base when the pitcher has control of the ball in the circle, she may be advance to the next base at her own risk. The “look-back rule” applies.
8. Defensive player, playing pitcher CAN be inside the circle, but must play behind the coach pitching.
9. Run Rule's will be enforced - 12 run lead after 3 innings, 10 run lead after 4 innings, 8 run lead after 5 innings.
10. Ten players play defense. However, a team can play with just 9 players (if only 9 are present) without receiving an out for the tenth player.
11. Lead-offs are allowed when the ball leaves the pitching coaches hand. A runner who leaves the base prior to the ball leaving the coach-pitcher's hand is subject to being called out. A runner who leads off is at risk of being put out by the defense, but may not steal even if the defense attempts to get the runner out. No steals are allowed in 6U.
12. The game ball is an 11" optic-yellow safety ball. This is the same ball used in our 4U league.
13. Base runners will be allowed to advance one base (i.e., the next base) on an overthrown ball by the defense, at the risk of being put out. For example, if a defensive player makes a throw to first base which is not caught by the 1st base player, the batter/runner may attempt to advance to 2nd base. The base runner may not advance beyond 2nd base unless another throw is made to attempt to get the base runner out or until the ball is put into play by a subsequent batter. A base runner may advance to home on an overthrown ball if home plate is the next base for that base runner.
14. The defense is allowed to have one coach on the field while the team is playing defense to give direction to the defense. The defense coach must stand and stay behind second base in the grass. The coach is not allowed to move around. If a hit ball strikes the defense coach in the field it will be a dead ball, the batter will be awarded 2nd base, and that team will not be allowed to have a defense coach on the playing field for the remainder of that game.
15. Bases will be set at 50 feet.
16. Any and all rules referenced above under “General Game Information” which apply to 6U.
8U Machine Pitch
1. Coach-pitchers are allowed to talk to the batter.
2. The pitching coach must remain by the pitching machine at all times to ensure the girls’ safety around the pitching machine. It is the pitching coach’s responsibility to remain out of the way of any plays in the infield (ie. Ducking for a throw from 3rd to 1st base)
3. Each team’s coach will feed the pitching machine to his/her own players from the 35’ pitching rubber. Machine adjustments ARE NOT ALLOWED unless approved by the umpire.
4. Machine pitch speeds will be set at 36 mph on the machine’s speed control.
5. Each batter will be allowed 5 pitches total, and only 3 strikes. If on the 5th pitch the batter does not make contact with the ball, the batter is out. A ball that is not in the strike zone will be called a “no pitch” by the umpire unless the batter attempts to hit the ball. On the 5th pitch, unlimited fouls are allowed.
6. There are no walks.
7. If the ball is hit and strikes the pitching machine, the umpire will call “dead ball” and all runners advance one base. If the ball strikes the pitching coach, the umpire will call “dead ball” and runners will return to previous base and the batter will redo that pitch.
8. Play is stopped when the pitcher has control of the ball inside the pitcher’s circle. VTD rules apply to base running and each runner is at risk of being put out if they continue to advance. We do not use the “half way mark. If a runner is advancing to the next base when the pitcher has control of the ball in the circle, she may be advance to the next base at her own risk. The “look-back rule” applies.
9. Defensive player, playing pitcher CAN be inside the circle, but must play behind the pitching machine.
10. Run Rule's will be enforced - 12 run lead after 3 innings, 10 run lead after 4 innings, 8 run lead after 5 innings.
11. Ten players play defense. However, a team can play with just 9 players (if only 9 are present) without receiving an out for the tenth player.
12. Lead-offs are allowed when the ball leaves the pitching machine. Player is allowed to steal a single base per pitch in 8U. Stealing home is not allowed in 8U.
13. The game ball is an 11" optic-yellow, VTD approved, leather-covered, .47 core ball.
14. Any and all rules referenced above under “General Game Information” which apply to 8U.
Other than batting the entire roster and a limit of 6 runs per half inning, the game is played pursuant to the VTD rules. Run Rules indicated above will be enforced. The game ball is an 11" optic-yellow, VTD approved, leather-covered, .47 core ball.
12U and 14U Rules
Other than batting the entire roster and a limit of 6 runs per half inning, the game is played pursuant to the VTD rules. Run Rules indicated above will be enforced. The game ball is a 12" optic-yellow, VTD approved, leather-covered, .47 core ball.
UIL High School Rules, and metal cleats are allowed. 6 run limit per half inning.