Playing Rules

Table of Contents

Updated February 2024


OFFICIAL SENIOR SOFTBALL-USA RULES shall govern play except where specifically changed or supplemented by these KIDS AND KUBS RULES.

    1. On any normal two (2) game day, the home team shall identify and provide two (2) umpires from their team for the other game. Each player umpires one (1) time a month. (11/15/18).
      1. Missing umpires: Teams will provide an umpire for each inning when his/her team is at-bat. To begin the game, the last batter on the batting order will assume an umpire position. The next inning, the next umpire will be player who made last out of the previous inning.
      2. An umpire’s judgment call is final.
    2. Only captains or co-captains may confer with the umpire.
    3. Because the Kids and Kubs use inexperienced and unskilled umpires, there is no “Infield Fly Rule.” The ball is in play on any pop fly.
    4. When a defensive player is injured, an immediate “Time Out” shall be called, and the ball is dead. When a runner is injured, he/she may be tagged out if not on base. The ball is live until all play is completed. Then “Time Out” is called.
    5. The ball is dead, and time is “out” when called by the umpire or when a fielder has the ball in or near the infield and play is completed. Runners may not advance.
    6. No infield practice after the first inning.
    1. Up to fifteen (15) batters shall constitute the offensive line-up. No teams should have over fifteen (15) members. All players reporting to play, up to 15, shall be listed sequentially in the line-up and must bat, in turn, as listed. No more than twelve (12) players shall constitute the defensive team. If both teams have 12 players available to play, then 12 must play. If there are more than 12 on a team, some players must sit out while others play defensively. Players should take turns sitting out. All players shall play on defense at least (six) 6 innings in a seven-inning game. Depending on the number present some players will have to sit out two innings per seven (7) inning game. (10/17/2013) In no case can a regular game be played with less than nine players on a team. (4/29/22)  Each team is required to have the same number of defensive players in a game.  (4/04/2023)
      1. Any pool player available and desiring to play must be added to a line-up before another player. The pool players shall play in either the first or second game of the day. The player coordinator will determine the adding of additional players. (10/17/2013) The player coordinator shall seek to replace players with like-playing ability except in the case of a team which is substantially behind in the standings. In that case players with high-level ability may replace players with lesser ability. (4/29/22)
      2. Alternate players (not members) selected on a case by case decision, shall be designated as “A” (Alternate) players.  Male A players shall be at least 73 years of age and female 71 years of age. They shall wear an approved K&K A player uniform. (04/23/2023)
      3. Added pool players must bat after scheduled regular team players in the line-up. Other team players will follow pool players, and “A” (Alternate) players are to bat last in the lineup. (11/1/18)
    2. The first game begins after Captains provide their team’s batting order to the scorer, and names are placed in the Official Score book. The official scorer gets a 10 minutes breather between games. The second game begins after the Captains provide their team’s batting order to the scorer, and names are placed in the Official Score book.
    3. The player coordinator or his/her back-up shall designate substitutions as needed. If the player coordinator or his/her back-up is not available, the Captains shall agree to substitutions.
    4. A player who has notified the team captain that he/she will not play a game and is replaced, cannot then play if he/she arrives at game time unless the team is short a player.
    5. A player injured during a game may be replaced by another ‘comparable’ (if possible) player if the captains agree and the game will count in the win-loss records.
    6. A player with a temporary mobility injury, when it is his or her turn to bat, may be awarded with a pinch runner after reaching either short base or first base, provided both captains agree it is justified (12/21/23).
    7. Players arriving late before completion of the third (3rd) inning may bat, but last in the line-up. They cannot play if they arrive after the end of the third (3rd) inning.
    1. A fielding player must play a position assigned by his/her Captain or not play. (11/8/2012)
    2. Player departs playing field:
      1. Non-Emergency: If a player leaves for a non-emergency reason, the player is not replaced and will be called out each time it is his/her turn at-bat.
      2. Emergency, Short Term: A player who needs to leave the game due to unexpected circumstances temporarily, such as the bathroom, minor injury, or other short-term problems, shall not be called out when his/her turn at bat comes up. The rotation shall skip to the next player in the batting order. When the absent player returns, he/she will resume their regular batting order. A missing player will be replaced on defense, if needed, by a player from the opposing team until he/she returns.(10/17/2013)
      3. Emergency, Long Term: There is no penalty if a player leaves a game permanently for any emergency. The two Captains and player coordinator will determine a valid emergency. The player coordinator will replace the player by an equivalent player from those available. Or, if no player is available, the departing player will be removed from the batting order, and the opposing team will supply a defensive player. (10/17/2013)
    3. No player shall be replaced on base unless it is his/her desire to do so except for “short base” batter. (12/30/2019).
    1. A regulation game shall be seven (7) innings unless changed by agreement of the captains due to extra players, inclement weather, or other cause. The last inning will be an unlimited run inning.
      1. There will be no time limit on any game, except as agreed to by both Captains and a Board member.
    2. If the score is tied at the end of a regulation game, one (1) extra inning shall be played. The player who batted last in the previous inning will start the inning as a runner on second base. The runner starting on 2nd base must reach 3rd base safely before another runner may substitute for him/her. If the teams are tied after the extra-inning is completed, then the game is over and declared a tie.
    3. Mercy Rule: If a team is ahead by 15 or more runs after five innings have been completed, or four and one-half innings with the home team ahead, the game shall be declared a complete regulation game.  However, the Mercy Rule does not apply in the 7thinning which is unlimited.  (04/04/2023)
    4. FLIP FLOP Rule: If the home team is behind by 10 (ten) or more runs at the end of the 6th (sixth) inning, a FLIP-FLOP is declared. The bases are cleared and the home team bats again. It will be an open inning. If the home team fails to tie or go ahead of the visiting team, the game ends, and the visiting team wins. If the home team ties or goes ahead, the visiting team takes its turn at bat. If the visiting team scores more runs than the home team, the game is over and the visiting team is declared the winner. If the visiting team ties at the completion of the 7th (seventh) inning, an extra inning will be played as directed in D. 2.
    1. There is no catch-up scoring rule: Team scoring is limited to( 5) five runs per inning except during the last or extra inning.
    2. If a home run over the fence results in more than (5) five runs per inning, the additional runs will be counted in the score.
    1. The on-deck batter shall back up the catcher.
    2. A pitched ball hitting the ground or batting plate is dead and is called a ball or a strike.
    3. A batter is out on a third strike foul. The ball is in play if caught on the fly. The batter is out if the catcher catches any foul tip. Runners may tag and advance at their own risk.
      1. A pitching screen shall be used. A batted ball striking the pitcher’s screen is a strike. With two strikes, a batted ball striking the screen is an out.
      2. A batted ball that settles within a twenty-five (25) foot arc from the home plate is a foul ball. With two strikes, a batted ball that settles within a twenty-five (25) foot arc from the home plate is an out. (11/15/18)
    4. Walks; In the case of intentional walks, a pitcher will notify the umpire to walk a batter intentionally. There is no limit on the number of walks.  (4/4/23)
    1. A runner to first base must touch the outside (red or orange) base except to avoid a collision. At first base there shall be a white base and a red base placed one foot apart. A runner is automatically out at 1st base if he or she touches the white base while a defensive play is made. If no defensive play is made at first base, the runner may touch the regular (white) base. To avoid a collision, the fielder may play the outside (red or orange) base and the runner may touch the white base.
    2. Short Base Rule: This rule is to enhance a markedly slowed batter to reach first base safely. (for whatever reason; age, permanent injury, or in-ability)
      1. A player’s eligibility to use the “short base” designation is determined as follows:
        1. A Player must petition the Board of Directors of the Kids and Kubs to use
          the “short base” as their first base. Each player’s eligibility request is to be determined by the Board of Directors.
      2. Scorekeeper will announce: “short base” Eligible Batter each time he/she comes to bat. Lineups for each game should designate all “short base” eligible batters.
      3. The “short base” will be a flat base outside the first baseline, the leading edge to be 15 feet short of first base.
      4. Batters with “short base” designation may be be thrown out at first base regardless of whether the batted ball reaches the outfield grass before being touched by any defensive player. (4/4/23)
      5. If the batter touches the “short base” before the fielder with the ball touches the regular first base, the batter is safe and advances automatically to the regular first base.
      6. Batters designated “short base” must have a courtesy runner after safely reaching a base.
    3. Runners are entitled to advance when a ball is in play and is overthrown beyond the foul lines into a dugout, beyond a fence, or blocked by another object. EFFECT: All runners will be awarded two bases, and the award will be governed by the positions of the runners when the ball left the fielder’s hand. If runners are between the same bases, the award is based on the lead runner.
    4. A runner forced out at any base must avoid the throw of the fielder attempting to make another out. If the forced runner obstructs the throw, the other runner is out as well. Umpire decision.
    5. Over-running of second or third base puts the runner in jeopardy. The runner is out if tagged while off the base.
    6. Sliding and diving to any base in either direction is not allowed. The runner is out.
    7. A runner who has completely passed the commitment line between 3rd base and the scoring plate may not return to 3rd base and cannot be tagged out. To get the runner out, a fielder with the ball must touch any portion of the batting plate before the runner touches the scoring plate.
    1. Before the season a captain shall be designated for each team. The captains and representatives from the Board of Directors will meet and create teams. If a captain cannot be there for the selection, a surrogate will help the group choose the teams. Captains will select their respective team players.  (03/23/2023)  All potential regular player members that can be there for the beginning of the season will be selected to provide equally talented teams (3/15/22).  Short Base players will be evenly distributed.  (03/23/2023)
    2. Players Added as Season Progresses: After the beginning teams have been chosen, new players or late arriving players will first be assigned to the pool. After four Player Members have been accumulated in the pool, they shall be offered to the teams beginning with the lowest standing team progressing to the highest standing team. Each team must select a player. No player remaining in the pool in the last month of the season may be assigned to a team as a regular team member (3/15/22).  However, If any player on the initial Team Roster is injured and expects to be out for 8 games or more, or drops out, the Team Captain may select a replacement player from the current pool to be a permanent team player.  The Team Captain has one week from the date of notification of the injury or player dropout to make his selection from the available pool.  Should the replaced player return, the player will be reassigned to the pool, except in the case of spouses or carpoolers. In that case the player will be reassigned to his or her original team (1/18/24).
    1. Why does a trade occur: If a team accumulates a won/loss record that is five (5) games better than another, there will be a trade between those two (2) teams. If there is a tie between teams with the best records or worst records, a coin toss shall determine in which order the two (2) teams will trade. (4/29/22)
    2. Trade procedure: A trade between two (2) teams will be made between the captains. The team with the better record may protect the captain and up to four (4) players. The weaker team may protect all players except two (4/29/22). There shall be no subsequent trade between those same two teams until after five (5) games have been played.
    3. When trade is in effect: A trade between two teams will be made between the captains to be in effect by the next Tuesday’s game.
    4. Who announces the trade: Officially, the President or his representative will be notified of the results of the trade and in turn will tell the players involved to report to the captains of the new teams by the next Tuesday’s game. This allows the players adequate time for acknowledgement of the trade.
      1. The traded players and teams will be posted by the next Tuesday.
    5. Can another trade occur:
      1. No trades can occur again between the two trading teams until five games have been played.
      2. Yes, when the standings of two (2) teams, other than the recent trading teams, require a trade due to their won-loss record being five (5) games between each other.
      3. No trades can occur within the final month of the season (3/15/22).
      4. A player who has previously been traded may not be traded again for five weeks (5/5/22).
    1. Applicants to the Club during the probationary period shall demonstrate at least the minimum ability to catch a ball from 65 feet, field a batted softball 3 out of 5 pitches, throw overhand at least 50 feet, and to run the bases in 30 seconds or less.  (03/23/2023)
    2. Someone will check the field if weather and field conditions warrant. The Club uses a phone “call- in” number (727-893-7155) to inform players whether the games will be played on that day.
      1. Players are responsible for being present in time for his/her scheduled game
    3. During a game, only special visitors or players participating in the game shall be in their respective dugouts. There shall be no smoking in the dugouts or within the fenced area of the playing field.
    4. The Board shall approve any team representing the Kids and Kubs in a special game or tournament. Only the paid-up members and prospective members who have completed two (2) months of play and declared a member in good standing by the Board of Directors would be eligible.
    5. Any softball GLOVE or MITT may be worn at any defensive position with the same rules applying to use of any regular softball glove. (12/18/2014)
    6. Outfielder location restraint at North Shore Field: Before the pitcher pitches the ball, all designated outfielders shall be behind a white line. Once the ball is hit or the batter swings and misses, these players may then cross the white line to execute a play.
    7. A white line 120 ft from home plate on the baselines shall arc from endpoints centered on the pitchers plate.
    8. For the pitcher’s protection, the pitcher’s screen will be set three feet in front of the first rubber.  The pitcher may adjust the screen to either side of that line by up to 1 ½ feet from the center of the screen. (4/4/2023)
    9. One-and-one count will only be used for games played on “picnic” days or general meeting days, but can be declared by a Board member when deemed necessary, including issues like weather or field utilization. No five-inning games unless decided by a Board officer.
    10. No rule changes are permitted after the beginning of a season without approval of the General Membership.  (12/20/22 Membership)
    1. Playing Uniform
      The Club’s regular-season playing uniform shall be blue shorts or long blue pants with belt loops, blue or black belt, white socks, white uniform shirt for the home team, red uniform shirt for the visiting team, and the currently approved ball cap. If suspenders are worn, they may be white or black in addition to the belt.
      All members own and wear team shirts instead of borrowing from the team’s locker room. If for emergency use, a team shirt is borrowed, it must be washed and returned the next scheduled game date.
      Under-garments that are visible, except sweatshirts, shall be white, and shirttails must be inside of pants (except for personal reason). A blue, white or red long-sleeved sweatshirt may be worn under either a red or white uniform shirt.
      By agreement with team captains, players may wear a warm garment over the Uniform shirt on uncomfortably cold days.
      Members of the Board of Directors or the Captain of a team can keep a player out of the game if the player or coach is not in the proper Uniform.
    2. Formal Uniform
      The formal Uniform for group activities such as church services, funerals, parades, and team photographs shall be long white dress pants, blue or black belt, white uniform shirt, black bow tie, and the approved player’s ball cap. If suspenders are worn, they may be white or black in addition to the black belt.
      At a General Membership meeting at which a quorum is present, a majority of the members may approve changes in the Uniform requirements.
    1. Name a co-captain.
    2. Captain and co-captain are to wear approved significant ball caps
    3. Submit a line-up before the game to the scorekeeper.
    4. Have team players arrive before the game to stretch, warm-up, and take batting practice.
    5. Control your players during the game. They should not verbally abuse another player or the umpire. If a situation does arise, the captains or co-captains should handle the situation. If they do not, then a board member may have to enter the picture. NOT an action they want to take. The penalty is greater if Board Members need to resolve an issue.
    6. Advise your players as to what is expected of them during the game.
    1. Be present to play whenever possible unless ill or hurt.
    2. Be in proper Uniform(s) to play.
    3. Be respectful to your fellow ballplayers.
    4. Notify your Captain at least a day in advance if you know you are not going to be able to play. Substitute players may be selected if a team is down to ten players the day before a game, if possible; however, in an emergency, players needed may be selected the day of the game. The selection of substitute players shall be made by the player coordinator or his/her back-up.
    5. While waiting to play your game(s) or after you have played, you are encouraged to mingle with the spectators and do a little PUBLIC RELATIONS for the Club. Since we see people there from other states and c9ountries, and they are interested in hearing about the Club, talk with them. Please pass out brochures to the fans.
    1. BATS MUST be approved by Senior Softball-USA (SSUSA).
      1. GREEN or FLAG tape means club bat to be used by any member.
      2. RED tape means bat may be used ONLY by bat owner’s permission.
      All help clean up your dugout after the game.

      1. Pick up equipment after final game (note duties of the Captain). This includes the flag, scoreboard and public address audio equipment, bulletin board and other miscellaneous items.
      2. The home team position players to be responsible for assistance with equipment recovery by the following schedule:
        By Equipment:
        Home plate(s) and game balls, Catcher; Pitchers screen, Pitcher & CF; Remove and store respective bases, 1B, 2B, 3B; Collect and put away bats, SS; 1st base water cooler, RF; 3rd base water cooler, LF; Flag, MF; Clean 1st base dugout, RCF. Clean 3rd base dugout, LCF
        By Position:
        Catcher, home plate(s) and game balls; Pitcher, screen, CF; help pitcher 1B, 2B, 3B; remove and store respective base, SS; collect and put away bats, RF; 1B water cooler LF; 3d base water cooler, MF; Flag, RCF; Clean 1st base dugout LCF; Clean 3rd base dugout