ASI Intramural Slow-Pitch Softball Rules

  1. The Game
    1. Start Time
      1. All players must check in with the ASI Intramural Sports supervisor before the game with their unique IMLeagues Virtual ID Card and any valid photo ID.
      2. If the minimum number of players is not present at game time, the game will be forfeited. Please refer to the ASI Intramural Sports Handbook for a detailed description of our forfeit policy.
    2. The Players
      1. The game shall be played by two teams of 10 players. Seven players are required at the start of game time to avoid a forfeit.
        1. If a team has six or fewer players at game time, that team will be assessed a forfeit fee.
        2. If at any time during the game a team has fewer than seven eligible players, the game is over.
    3. Manager Meeting
      1. Prior to the start of the game, a meeting between the two team
        managers and the official will take place behind home plate- managers and the official will take place behind home plate. They will discuss rules and regulations which the manager must relay back to the team.
      2. Team Spokesperson – The team manager is the only person who may address the official and is the spokesperson for the team.
    4. Spectators
      1. Spectators who interfere with the court or play are subject to ejection from the Lower Sports Complex.
      2. Teams are responsible for their spectators. Poor spectator behavior may cause a team to receive a low behavior rating.
      3. Ultimately, it is at the discretion of the IM Softball Supervisor and/or the Field Supervisor(s) whether or not a spectator will be allowed to remain at the Lower Sports Complex.
    5. Zero Tolerance Policy
      1. There is no alcohol or drugs allowed at ASI Intramural Sports games. If a player or fan is under the influence, they will be ejected immediately, and disciplinary action may follow. If an ASI Intramural Sports supervisor feels that there is a threat to participant safety or suspects that a team might be under the influence, they are required to stop the game immediately. If there is no proof of substance use, the game will be rescheduled for another time.
    6. Sportsmanship
      1. Sportsmanship Ratings
        1. Teams receive a Sportsmanship Rating of 1 through 5 for each of their games, rated by the officials managing the game. Teams begin the game with a score of 4, the baseline, and their score is affected by their behavior throughout the game. The Sportsmanship Rating scale is outlined in the following subsection “Sportsmanship Rating Scale.”
      2. Sportsmanship Rating Scale
        1. (5) Five: Excellent Conduct and Sportsmanship
          1. Team members cooperate with and demonstrate good sportsmanship toward teammates, opponents, and all members of the Intramural Sports staff.
          2. Team captain exhibits control over his/her teammates and spectators; they converses calmly and rationally with officials regarding the interpretation of calls.
          3. Team members demonstrate proper respect for all equipment and the facility.
          4. Team members honor the spirit and intent of the intramural sport game rules and/or program policies.
          5. Team members accept judgment decisions made by the officials during the contest.
          6. The minimum number of team members needed to start the contest is present, checked in, and ready to play prior to game time. Teams who do not meet this standard are ineligible to receive a 5.0 rating.
        2. (4) Four: Good Conduct and Sportsmanship (Teams Begin at this Level)
          1. Team members exhibit good conduct and sportsmanship for the majority of the contest.
          2. Team members verbally complain about some decisions made by officials and/or show minor dissension which does not merit a technical foul/unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
          3. Team members do not show aggressive dissent toward the Intramural Sports staff or the opposing team.
        3. (3) Three: Average Conduct and Sportsmanship
          1. Team shows verbal dissent toward officials and/or the opposing team which may or may not result in a technical foul/unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
          2. Teams who receive multiple technical fouls/unsportsmanlike conduct penalties may not receive higher than a 3.0 rating.
          3. Team captain demonstrates minor control over teammates/spectators and/or does not actively promote good sportsmanship.
          4. Team members occasionally use profanity, although it is not directed toward staff/opponents. At game time, the team is not able to produce the minimum number of participants, resulting in a forfeit. The opposing team will automatically receive a 4.0 rating in this situation.
        4. (2) Two: Poor Conduct and Sportsmanship
          1. Team members continuously show dissent toward staff/opponents or use abusive/inappropriate language toward staff/opponents.
          2. Team members are continuously “trash talking” opponents and/or intimidating staff/opponents or playing dangerously/maliciously.
          3. Team captain is unresponsive and uncooperative in helping staff members to control teammates.
          4. Teams that have a player ejected may not receive higher than a 2.0 rating.
        5. (1) One: Disqualifying Conduct and Sportsmanship
          1. Threatening/making physical contact in an aggressive manner toward staff/opponents. Team members are out of control, intoxicated/under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or show a complete disregard for authority.
          2. Team captain shows no control over the actions of his/her teammates.
          3. Multiple players are ejected from the contest.
          4. A team member misrepresents him/herself by using another student’s ID card.
          5. Team members damage/attempt to damage equipment or the facility.
          6. An ineligible player participates in the game.
          7. Any team whose member(s) take part in a fight, instigates a fight, or throws a punch (whether connected or not) will receive a 1.0 and those individual players will be indefinitely suspended from all Intramural Sports events. Those members must meet with the Intramural Sports Coordinator before they will be allowed to resume participation in any intramural sports event. Any team that receives 1.0 is subject to disqualification from participation for the remainder of that sport and possibly the semester or academic year. All players on a team receiving a 1.0 may be put on probation or suspended indefinitely and may be subject to further sanctions through Judicial Affairs.
    7. The Field
      1. Games will take place at the softball fields at the Cal Poly Lower Sports Complex.
    8. Player Restrictions
      1. Participants may only play on one team per league (e.g., one Competitive and/or one Recreational League). If a league does not fill due to an insufficient number of teams or is not offered, the participant will be allowed to play on two teams in the same league so long as they are in separate divisions (e.g., Open Division I – Competitive and Open Division II – Competitive or Open Division II – Recreational and Open Division III – Recreational). This is the only time a player may play in multiple divisions within a sport.
      2. Club sports players are only allowed to play in Division 1, or the highest division offered. There may only be two club players on the court at a time, but there is no limit to the number of club players on a team.
        1. A participant who appears on a club sports roster at any time during the academic year will be considered a club player for the sport similar to their Cal Poly club sport the remainder of that academic year.
      3. Intercollegiate athletes may not participate in a sport similar to their Cal Poly sport until a minimum of three academic quarters (not including summer) after they have been removed from that sport’s active roster. They are, however, eligible to play an intramural sport dissimilar to the sport they play for Cal Poly.
  2. Equipment/Dress Code
    1. Uniform
      1. A player with blood anywhere on their uniform will be instructed to leave the game until the uniform has been changed or approved after an evaluation by an ASI Intramural Sports supervisor or an ASI field supervisor.
    2. Dress Code
      1. Closed-toe shoes must be worn at all times during play.
      2. Metal cleats or screw-on cleats are not permitted.
      3. Athletic attire must be worn at all times during play.
      4. ASI Intramural Staff can remove a player for improper dress code at their discretion.
    3. Equipment
      1. Softball bats that are on the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) Softball Non-Approved Bat List will be prohibited. For a complete list of the non-approved bats, please visit USA Softball Non-Approved List. Umpires and/or IM Supervisors have the right to disallow any bat deemed against the rules and must approve each bat that is to be used.
      2. Baseball, double wall, triple wall, or wood bats are not permitted.
  3. Softball Rules
    1. Game Length
      1. Games will be 7 innings or 60 minutes—whichever comes first. No new inning may begin after 50 minutes. The game will conclude at the bottom of 7th if the home team is ahead.
      2. Extra innings will be played with international tie breaker rules. Each extra inning will start with one out and the last player out from the previous inning occupying second base.
        1. Extra innings only applies to playoffs.
    2. Mercy Rule
      1. There will be a 10-run rule after the 6th inning, 12-run rule after the 5th inning, and 15-run rule after the 4th inning. (Ex: If a team is down by 12 or more runs after the 5th inning, the game is over.)
    3. Substitutions
      1. Players may substitute freely on defense.
      2. If players arrive late, they will be placed in the batting order following the batter who made the last out. New players must wait one full rotation through the batting order before batting.
    4. Batting
      1. The batting order must remain the same for the entirety of the game, except for in cases of injury and/or substitutions at the discretion of the Intramural Sports Official.
      2. One “courtesy foul” will be given per at bat. (I.e. Once a player has two strikes, they may hit one foul ball without consequence, on the second foul ball the batter will be called out)
      3. Pitches will be limited arc. Minimum: 6 feet; maximum: 12 feet (as judged by umpire).
      4. Any ball, pitched within the above arc limits, that hits the ground in the area between batter’s boxes will be deemed a strike. There will be no strike zone based on individual batters.
      5. NO bunting or half swings will be allowed. If any contact is made during a bunt or half swing attempt, the pitch will automatically be called a strike. A player can strike out on this call.
      6. Players may not step out of the batter’s box or on home plate to hit a pitch. If the batter contacts the ball and has their foot outside the batter’s box or is touching home plate, the batter will automatically be called out and the play dead. Players may not protest the official’s decision.
    5. Base Running
      1. Base runners may only leave the base when the batter contacts the ball. If the runner leaves early, they will be called out.
      2. Base runners are not allowed to steal bases or advance on a passed ball or wild pitch.
      3. Base runners must run within the base path when running between bases. If a runner goes out of the base path while trying to avoid a tag, they will be called out, but the play will continue.
      4. Base runners are allowed to slide feet first. Any slides that are head first will result in the runner being called out.
      5. Base runners are NOT allowed to initiate contact with ANY defensive players. They are allowed to slide or avoid tags, but no deliberate motions to knock the ball out of a defensive player’s possession will be allowed. Any similar act will be called INTERFERENCE, and the base runner(s) will be called out, and the ball immediately dead, with all runners returning to their previous base. Players will be ejected for any act the umpire and/or supervisor deem flagrant, and their judgment may not be protested.
      6. Base runners are also not allowed to intentionally break up a double play (i.e., avoiding or sliding into the fielder’s attempt to start or complete a double play). If this happens, the interfering base runner will immediately be called out, and the succeeding runner may also be called out, depending on the umpire’s judgment.
      7. A runner is out if they are off a base and are hit by a batted ball that has not passed any fielders EXCEPT the pitcher.
      8. Pinch runners are NOT allowed, except in case of injury. If this happens, the injured player who utilizes the courtesy runner may NOT return to the game. The courtesy runner must be the same gender as the last out.
      9. Runners are not allowed to pass other runners on the base path. If this happens, the runner who is passed shall continue, and the runner who passed will be called out.
      10. Base runners MUST tag up after a non-ground ball is legally caught. Tagging up: runners must touch their last legally obtained base after a fielder has contacted the line drive or pop-up.
        1. Tagging up: runners must touch their last legally obtained base after a fielder has contacted the line drive or pop-up.
      11. If a player misses a base, they may return to touch it. If they have touched another base, they must return along the base path.
    6. Pitching
      1. The pitcher must begin with at least one foot on the rubber and must have at least one foot stay in contact with the rubber until the ball leaves their hand. Any violation of this rule will be an illegal pitch and automatically called a ball unless the batter swings. If the batter swings at a pitch that was deemed illegal by the umpire, they give up the right to an automatic ball and the play will continue.
      2. Pitchers must deliver the ball in an arc of at least six (6) feet and no more than twelve (12) feet from the ground. Violations of this rule are the same as for an illegal pitch. If the batter swings at a pitch that was deemed illegal by the umpire, they give up the right to an automatic ball and the play will continue.
      3. Pitchers may not attempt pick-off plays.
    7. Fielding
      1. Fielders must all be positioned in fair territory before a ball is pitched.
      2. OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who is not: (1) in possession of the ball, (2) in the act of fielding a batted ball, (3) receiving a thrown ball, which impedes the progress of a runner or batter-runner who is legally running bases. Contact IS NOT NECESSARY to impede the progress of a runner.
      3. Fielders may not obstruct a runner in any way.
      4. Fielders may not be within the baseline, except to field a ball or tag out a runner. If a fielder obstructs a runner, play will continue, and the umpire, at the end of the play, will determine the number of bases awarded.
      5. Fielders are not allowed to fake a catch or fake a tag to fool a base runner. This will be called obstruction.
      6. If a fielder catches a ball in fair territory and unintentionally carries it out of bounds, the batter is out, the ball is dead, and all runners shall be awarded one base. If, on the judgment of the umpire, the fielder intentionally carries the ball out of play, the runners shall be awarded two bases.
      7. If a fielder commits an overthrow that goes out of bounds, runners will be allowed two bases (i.e., if the batter-runner hits a ground ball to the infield, and it is followed by an overthrow at first, the runner is given first base plus second).
    8. Special Circumstances
      1. Infield Fly Rule
        1. The infield fly rule is in effect if there are runners on first and second base—or—runners on first, second, and third base with less than two outs.
        2. If a batter hits a fair fly ball, which may be caught by an infielder with ORDINARY effort, the umpire will point and declare “INFIELD FLY IF FAIR.”
        3. At this point, the batter is OUT regardless of a catch and base runners may advance at their own risk.
        4. If the runners leave their bases and the ball is CAUGHT, they must tag up to their previous base.
        5. If the runners leave the base and the ball is NOT caught, they have the choice to remain at their base or advance. However, the batter will still be called out.
        6. Since the batter is automatically out on an infield fly, there are no force plays at any base.
      2. Appeals
        1. Fielders MUST make an appeal to the umpire if they believe a runner has missed a base or did not tag up.
        2. The fielder must throw the ball to the base in question, tag it, and inform the umpire.
        3. The umpire will then rule, and their judgment may NOT be protested.
    9. Close Plays at Home
      1. Any runner going home will not physically touch home plate itself. Instead, they will run behind home plate and cross a chalk line (the “home line”) created by the official prior to the start of the game.
      2. There will also be a chalk line drawn two-thirds of the way from third base to home (the line will be closer to home than third base). After the runner crosses this line, they must continue to the home line.
      3. After a runner crosses the two-thirds line, home plate becomes a force-out. There will be no tag-outs at home plate.
      4. If the runner crosses the home line before the defending player at home is in possession of the ball and touching home plate, the runner is safe.
      5. If the defending player is in possession of the ball and touches the plate before the runner crosses the home line, the runner is out.
    10. The umpire’s judgment calls are not subject to protest. If a team wishes to protest a rule interpretation, the team manager must call a time out at the time of the incident and request an official protest.


Individuals should play and participate with integrity and respect for others while engaging in ASI Intramural Sports. Good sportsmanship is vital to the success of the intramural sports program and the quality of experience for all participants. Teams are responsible for the actions of individual team members and spectators related to their team. Organizations will be held responsible for their behavior before, during, and after the match. In order to encourage proper conduct during the game, supervisors and administrative personnel will make decisions on whether to warn, penalize, or eject people and/or teams for poor sportsmanship. These decisions will be final. Any team receiving an unacceptable sportsmanship rating is required to have their manager meet with intramural staff before they are considered for continued participation. Any individual ejected from an intramural contest will have to meet with the intramural advisory committee before they can be considered to continue participating in intramural events.