Here are some basic guidelines to follow in the Halifax PLAYS Softball League.

Rule #1:
 Be safe, treat opponents & team-mates with dignity and respect, and keep competition secondary to having a good time.

Rule #2: Be supportive of beginners who are learning how to play for the first time. Make sure to help explain any rules of the game that aren't being followed.

Rule #3: Umpires at the field will have the final call on any disagreements.

Game Rules:

  • Our league is co-ed, & recreational. Captains should make sure to have a good balance of guys & girls on the field when possible. 
  • Teams must have at least 6 players or it will be an automatic forfeit.
  • Batting line-up: We allow a maximum of 3 male players to bat in a row once through the batting order. This means teams will potentially need to rotate female players to bat multiple times if they exceed this.
  • For rules on subbing please visit:
  • Games are 7 innings long. 5-run rule is in effect, with the exception of the last inning.
  • Teams will self-pitch and there are no balls or strikes. Each batter gets a maximum of 4 pitches, after four pitches it's an automatic out.
  • 9 defensive players are allowed on the field. Plus the pitcher, who will be from the other team.
  • If a batted ball makes contact with the pitcher the play is immediately ruled dead. Base runners return to their previously occupied bases and the next ball is pitched. This is ruled a ball against the batter. If a ball hits a base runner, before a fielder has a chance to make a play on the ball, then the ball is dead, the base runner is out, and it's a ball against the batter.
  • Outfielders (with the exception of the Rover) must remain 30' from the baseline until the ball is hit.
  • For fields with a fence (ball has to go over the fence), there is a +2 home run rule in effect: Example: If team A has hit 2 home runs, they must wait for Team B to hit a home run before Team A can hit another. If a team hits a + 3 home run it is an automatic out.
  • Infield Fly Rule is not in effect, but umpires will judge the sportsmanship of specific plays. If an umpire believes that a player intentionally dropped a ball making a specific play they may rule all runners safe, and issue a warning to the player.
  • No bunting, leading off or stealing. 
  • Pitches must be between 6 and 12 feet. If a pitcher is consistently pitching below 6 feet an umpire may request a new pitcher at their own discretion.
  • We ask for pitchers to remain a reasonable distance (within 1 foot) of the pitchers mound while pitching.
  • When a ball is thrown out of play while attempting to make a play at a base, no matter where the throw comes from, the only base runner that it will affect is the runner at which base the overthrow occurs. The only exception to this rule would be if the advancement of said runner, forces another base runner in front of him/her, to advance to the next base as well. If the umpire is unsure which runner the over throw is committed to or the runner in question has scored, the most advanced runner will be awarded a base.
  • Commitment Line - A line shall be drawn halfway between home plate and third base. When a runner crosses this line, they are no longer eligible to return to third base (except on a fly ball out). Runners coming home will be considered a forced out if they have crossed this line but do not reach home plate, when the ball is legally held by a defensive player who is in contact with home plate. NOTE: Runners coming home are not to be tagged and not to touch home plate, if home plate is touched it is an automatic out.
  • If a runner runs more than 3 feet outside of the line between the bases (the baseline), they are automatically out.
  • The home plate is fair. If a ball hits the home plate and stays in bound, it is fair. If a ball hits home plate and stays on home plate, it is fair.
  • Ties go to the runner. If it's too close to call then the runner is safe.
  • Outfielders are not allowed to make a direct play to force out a batter at 1st base when the ball is hit on the ground in their field. This is a rule for safety and gamesmanship and is in place to ensure productive hitting environment for all levels of players and is also a rule for safety preventing possible collisions at 1st base. Rovers if unclear must be declared at the start of the inning.
  • Players must play their own position. 
  • You must have a minimum of 3 of each sex play the field at a time. If you have under that number then the following will apply:
    • 1 member of specific sex - Can not play catcher, must play field at all times. Team plays down the rover position.
      *This is a forfeit in the playoffs.
    • 2 members of specific sex - Neither can play catcher, must play field at all times. Team plays down the rover position. Must bat every 3rd batter.
    • 3 members of specific sex - Must play the field at all times no restrictions to positions
  • No drinking or smoking illegal substances at the field. Any teams caught will be asked to leave and their game will be an immediate forfeit. It will then be brought before the Halifax PLAYS league executives and board who will decide on further punishment such as suspension or expulsion from our league with no refund. NOTE: This includes friends of players that you bring to the field.
Please note: Rules are subject to change through out the season any new updates will be emailed so everyone is aware.

We also encourage players to contact with suggestions for how rules can be amended and improved. If we get many suggestions, particularly about the same sort of matters, league executives may change some rules or have players/ captains’ vote on future rule changes. We highly value the input of players, so please be honest and open with your suggestions!


And lastly, infractions such as unsportsmanlike conduct, abusive language, utterance of racial, religious or sexist slurs, the instigation of a fight, alcoholic consumption or conducting an illegal activity while at the field will not be tolerated. Any of this type of activity may result in suspension or expulsion from our league with no refund, at the discretion of league executives & the Halifax PLAYS Board.


Halifax Plays,
Apr 29, 2017, 3:08 PM