AAA Division Rules

LGCS Girls Fastpitch Softball AAA Division Rules 2023

All play will be judged per the USA Softball 10U rules with the following exceptions, variations, etc.  A situation not specifically covered in these Division rules will be governed by USA Softball rules.

Division Rules:

  1. The AAA Division games will be played using a regulation 11” USA Softball approved hardball.
  2. Base distance is 60 feet.
  3. Pitching distance is 35 feet. An 8’ radius circle, centered on the pitching rubber, is used.
  4. AAA Division games will be a maximum of 6 innings with a 90-minute time limit. No new inning starts after time has expired, but the inning in progress will be played to completion. The clock starts with first pitch of the first inning. Official inning time will be the moment the last out is recorded. The umpire will keep the official game clock.
  5. Teams may play games with as few as seven players. Up to ten players appear on defense, six infielders and four outfielders. All outfielders must be positioned on the grass at the time that each pitch crosses home plate. All players on the team are in the batting order. Players may appear anywhere in the batting order as determined by the team staff at the beginning of the game regardless of whether the player is a starting defensive player or on the team bench. If a player arrives after the game has begun, she shall be added to the bottom of the order. If a player leaves the game early because of injury, sickness, school or family event, her spot in the batting order shall be skipped with no penalty to the team.

If a team has fewer than seven players, that team shall forfeit the game for league standing considerations. However, the game may be played for fun and practice at the discretion of the two coaches.

  1. All players must play a minimum of two innings on defense and at least one of those innings must be played at an infield position.  No player shall sit the bench for a second inning in any game unless all other players on the team have sat at least one inning on defense in that game.
  2. Innings 1 through 3: A half inning ends when the defensive team achieves three outs or when the offensive team scores 4 runs. Innings 4 through 6: Starting with the 4th inning, the inning ends when the defensive team achieves three outs or the batting team increases its lead by 4 runs. 
  3. A team trailing by 10 or more runs in the bottom of the last inning (in which time has expired) is not subject to the 4 run limitation, regardless of which inning the game is in, but can only score enough runs to tie the game at that point and cannot win the game.
  4. If a team is ahead by 10 runs after 4 complete innings, the game is over and complete.
  5. Player and Team Staff pitching rules:
    1. Player and Team Staff pitcher must pitch from 35 feet. In the act of delivering the ball, the Player and Team Staff pitcher’s pivot foot must maintain contact with the pitcher’s rubber.
    2. It is up to the discretion of the Umpire to call an illegal pitch on the pitcher. If called by the Umpire, an illegal pitch shall be a ball, but the base runners shall not advance unless the illegal pitch is ball four.
    3. First half of season: A walk is awarded to the first two batters in each half inning that receive four called balls. A batter hit by a pitch that is awarded first base does not constitute a walk for coach pitch consideration. Once two batters are walked, coach-pitching results for each batter receiving 4 called balls.
      1. A Team Staff pitcher begins pitching by inheriting the pitcher’s strike count and no (zero) balls. The coach shall pitch a maximum of 3 pitches, plus fouls on the last pitch. The batter will bat until she a) puts the ball in play b) coach pitches all 3 pitches and the ball is not put in play or c) strikes out swinging. There are no called strikes during coach pitching.
    4. Second half of season: No coach pitching. Player will always walk on 4 balls.
    5. Players may bunt off a Player pitcher at any time. Players shall not be allowed to bunt off a Team Staff pitcher.
    6. Players may not steal bases when a Team Staff Pitcher is pitching.
    7. A batted ball hitting the Team Staff pitcher shall be a dead ball and no pitch. Runners must return to the base they occupied prior to the pitch.
    8. A batter that is hit by pitch may elect to continue batting rather than automatically receiving first base.
  6. The play is over and the ball is dead when the pitcher has possession of the ball and both feet are within the pitcher’s circle. It is insufficient for the ball to be within the pitching circle but not in the control of the pitcher. If the pitcher drops the ball and the ball remains in the pitching circle, runners are released to steal when otherwise permitted to do so.
  7. Pitchers may pitch 2 innings of the first 4 innings.  A player may pitch a 3rd inning if the game goes 5 or 6 innings.
  8. Warming up pitchers:
    1. A player warming up a pitcher must wear full catcher’s gear once the pitcher has started a full wind up.
    2. At the beginning of each half inning, or when a pitcher relieves another, no more than one minute shall be used to deliver not more than five (5) warm up pitches.
  9. Runners may leadoff after the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. If the player leaves early, the umpire will immediately stop play and one warning will be issued per team per game. Thereafter, upon any player leaving early, the umpire will immediately stop play and the runner will be called out.
    1. First half of season: Runners may steal second or third base on a successive pitch, except when coaches are pitching. No player may steal home, including following an attempted pick off at first or third base.
    2. Second half of season: Runners may steal second base, third base or home on successive pitches (steal one base per pitch).
    3. Continuous action stealing (stealing second when achieving first on a walk) is not allowed. A runner may not advance past the stolen base (i.e. To third when stealing second) on an overthrow during a steal.
  10. Dropped Third Strike: The dropped third strike rule is not in effect.
  11. Borrowing players:
    1. In the event that a team has less than seven players, the coach of the team short of players may inquire in advance if the game can be rescheduled. If the other coach is not willing or unable to do so, then the team short of players will forfeit. If no notification is given and a team arrives with less than seven players, the game will be considered a forfeit, although the game can be played at the discretion of the coaches. In the event a forfeited game is played, the forfeiting team may borrow players as is mutually agreed upon by the opposing coaches for equity of play. Borrowed players for the forfeiting team shall play defense at any position and shall bat in the batting order.
    2. If a team has seven or eight players, the team may elect to borrow two or one outfielders, respectively, from the opposing team only, to increase their defense to nine players in total. The borrowed players shall be the last batters scheduled to hit in the upcoming batting rotation.

Additional Notes and Rules:

  1. Games may end in a tie.
  2. All batters and base runners must wear an USA Softball approved batting helmet with full face shield. Per USA Softball rules, chin straps are not required, but must be tight against the chin if worn. Coaches please check that all equipment is worn properly and fits the player.
  3. Catchers must wear a full set of catching equipment that meets USA Softball standards including full helmet with face mask, chin guard, chest protector, and knee/shin/foot guards that wrap around the leg. 
  4. Players are not allowed to wear jewelry of any kind other than medical alert information pieces (which should be covered by wrist band or tape).
  5. The batting team will supply a coach pitcher. The coach pitcher must be in contact with the pitching plate when the pitching motion is started and when the pitch is delivered.
  6. A batter that throws her bat (unintentionally as deemed by the umpire) will be warned as many as two times. The third time a bat is thrown, that player will be automatically called out. Any player deemed to have intentionally thrown her bat will be immediately called out.
  7. Pitchers must wear a defensive fielder’s mask at all times. 
  8. When a coach pitcher is pitching, the player pitcher must have at least one foot within the pitcher’s circle when the pitch is released.