Softball 5th-7th Grade League Rules



          Along with General Rules for All Leagues, the following are specific local league rules.  The following specific local league rules supplement the General Rules and take precedence where there is a conflict.

NOTE:  These rules are “working” rules and can be amended by NJYB as needed and as the season progresses.  The league Commissioners will be responsible for notifying all involved personnel of these changes.  Try not to use or abuse these rules to impede the progress and temper of the game.  Keep in mind the spirit in which they are written and apply them with the same spirit in mind.  Often, common sense will solve all the problems that will arise.

FINAL NOTE:  The ultimate rules of NJYB is to teach every kid the basic fundamentals of baseball, to participate fairly, to enjoy and love the game of baseball while instilling the true meaning of sportsmanship.  Every kid is looking at each coach as a role model, and therefore, the actions of the coaches will forever be instilled in that kid’s mind regarding baseball.  Act accordingly.



1.         Field/Equipment

a.          Ball Size:  12 inch ‘hard’ softball (11-inch USSSA approved ball, optic yellow in color with a maximum compression of 375# and a COR rating of 46.25 +/- 0.75)

b.         Pitching Distance:  40 feet

c.          Base Path Distance:  60 feet 55 feet [USSSA states 60, but we have played on 55]

2.         A game consists of 6 innings, but no inning may start after 1 hour and 10 minutes of play.  An inning starts at the moment the third out is made to end the prior inning.  A game that is shortened   due to time or weather becomes an official game after three innings or 2 ½ innings if the home team is ahead.  Extra innings to break a tie score will not be played.

3.         Each team is limited to a maximum of 5 runs scored or 3 outs per half inning, whichever occurs first.

4.        The fielding team’s pitching player will pitch at all times with the exception that if a batting team is down by 10 runs at any point after the end of the 2nd inning, the batting team’s coach may pitch to his/her players for the entirety of each half inning thereafter until the batting team is no longer down by 10 runs.


5.         An extended batting order shall be used.  Each player is listed in the batting order, and she bats when her slots comes up.  No changes in the batting order are allowed after the start of the game. Any player ariving late shall be added at the end of the batting order.

6.         Helmets – all batters and runners must wear protective helmets at all times.

7.         A batting player may bunt the ball. If a player bunts a ball after two strikes and the ball is foul, the player shall be called out.

8.         No infield fly rule – a ball must be caught to be an out.

9.        Players are not allowed to lead off the base; however, stealing is allowed once the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. Runners are not allowed to steal any base when a coach is pitching.

15.       There are no pinch runners allowed, except in the case of injury.  In the event of injury, the player committing the last out, either at bat or on the bases, shall be the pinch runner.

17.       If a first or third base coach catches a foul ball that could have possibly been caught by a  defensive player, the batter is out.


10.       This league is underhand fast pitch – coaches are required to pitch underhand.

11.       Players pitch to the opposing team and coaches pitch to their own team.

12.       Pitchers (and coach pitchers) are required to keep one foot on the rubber.

13.       Pitching rubber is 35 feet.

14.       There will be a chalk circle around the pitching rubber.  When the coach comes in to pitch to their  team, the pitcher (player) must have one foot inside the circle and no closer to home plate than  the coach pitcher.

15.       The fielding team’s pitching player will pitch at all times with the exception that if a batting team is down by 10 runs at any point after the end of the 2nd inning, the batting team’s coach may pitch to his/her players for each of their half inning until the batting team is no longer down by 10 runs.

16.       The batter cannot strike out on a foul ball.

17.       If a batter is hit by a player pitcher, the batter will advance to 1st base.  Bouncing/rolling pitch   that hits batter is not considered a hit by pitch and the batter is not awarded first base.  If a player    is hit by a coach pitcher, it counts as a pitched ball.

18.       There is no limit as to how many pitching substitutions may be made by the fielding team.


19.       Positions – all players are to play in the infield and outfield as evenly as possible.

a.        The fielding team will field a maximum of 9 players on the field at a time.

b.         Infield – only standard infielders are allowed – first, second, shortstop, third, pitcher and catcher; All players are to play in the infield each game.

c.         Outfield – all outfielders must be at least 15 feet deep in the grass.

d.         Catchers – catching gear is worn by the catcher and is located in the equipment shed.

21.       Coach in field – only one coach is allowed in the outfield while their team is playing defense – no coach allowed in the infield.

22.       Overthrows – On any play made at any base and there is an overthrow – the runner may advance at her own risk one base only (regardless the number of overthrows).


23.       Play stops when ball crosses pitchers circle.  Once the ball is thrown in from the outfield and it is under the infielder’s control and inside the baseline, third base coaches are encouraged to use    their discretion not to take advantage of the other team’s infielders who are not developed enough in 3 or 4tgrade to throw a player out at home.

24.       Base runners will adhere to the “half-way” rule:  if you are halfway, you move forward to the next base; if you are not halfway, you return to the base behind you.


25.       We have official umpires calling balls and strikes.

26.       Umpires will be aggressive in calling strikes – they do not want four balls.

27.       There is no arguing with umpires.

28.       Please encourage kids to swing the bat and not to take all pitches waiting on the coach to pitch. Let them be aggressive at the plate.

29.       Failure to field eight (8) uniformed players at game time shall constitute a forfeit.

31.       Only coaches and players are allowed in the dugouts or on the field.  The team at bat must have only the batter, the on-deck batter, the pitching coach, and the first and third base coaches out of the dugout.  The first and third base coaches must remain in the coaching boxes and the on-deck batter shall stand near the dugout behind the batter.  The team in the field shall have only the ten players and the fielding coach located in deep center field.

32.       All equipment, including bats, must be kept behind the fence or in the dugout.

33.       A coach cannot call time and go onto the field to talk to the players more than once an inning or twice in one game.  Under no circumstances shall any team delay the game unnecessarily.  The umpire may forfeit the game to the non-violating team after repeated delays and at least one warning.

Tournament Team :

12 u – Birthdate 2011/2012

10u  – Birthdate 2013/2014

8 u – Birthdate 2015, 2016, 2017

NJ will offer a postseason all-star team  to compete in 2-3 tournament over the summer and one in  the fall of 2024. Depending on interest, we will have one 12u team, one 10u team and one 8 u team.  We will have two try out dates: Wednesday April 24th  from 5-7 and Wednesday May 1st from 5-7.  You must be at one and are welcome to come to both. We will have impartial coaches not from NJ ranking the players.  Practices will begin the second week in May. Beginning May 6, 2024, the teams will practice every Monday and Wednesday from 5-7.

Pitching and All skills clinics – Beginning February 18th, 2024, NJ will hold a pitching clinic and all skills clinic every Sunday afternoon (except for the week of spring break) from 2-4 until games begin. Once games begin, the clinics will be one afternoon per month.

                                                5th/6th GRADE


Home Team Responsibilities:

1.           Game balls – located in the concession stand – get 2 new game balls for each game.

2.           Scoreboard – Home team sets up and operates the scoreboard.  The scoreboard operation panel is kept in concession stand.  Home team is responsible for having a parent volunteer to keep score and announce for each game – have this lined up early to avoid delays.

3.           Press box – children under 12 are NOT allowed in the press box – please make sure parents are aware of this.  Please keep them off the dirt piles behind the green equipment building.

4.           Amp and microphone – Field 8 is set up with speakers to announce lineups, play national anthem, Lord’s Prayer and play music in between innings.  We are the only field to do this.  If home team does not want to do this, let visiting team know ahead of time.

5.           Lord’s Prayer – home team players say a prayer before the game (e.g., Lord’s Prayer or any prayer).  It does not matter if it is one or four of the kids who says it.

6.           Return the amp, microphone, and scoreboard to the concession stand after the game.

7.           Turn off power at end of last game – lights and scoreboard (two different locations).