Create Player Profile
Perfect Game Softball Rules


Coaches: Be sure you are aware of all rules and rule changes. Perfect Game Softball reserves the right to amend these rules at any time for specific tournament play. National Federation State High School Softball Rules will be enforced with the following exceptions.


Prospect Meadows Ball Park In Marion, IA

All of Prospect Meadows' fields have turf infields.  The players can wear turf, tennis, plastic molded or rubber molded cleats.  The players will not be allowed to wear metal cleats.  Sunflower seeds and gum are not allowed on the fields.

Pool Play: All Pool Play games will be played with a strict 70-minute time limit. No inning can start after 70 minutes. Time will be kept by the PG Field Director. For each team's pool games, the home team and visiting team will be predetermined. All pool games that are tied after 7 innings or the 70-minute time limit will be recorded a tie. A tie is equal to a ½ win and ½ loss for each team.

Championship Round/Bracket Play: 70-minute time limit will be used in all games except the Championship games. This rule is subject to change. The home team in Bracket Play will be the higher seed. When both Teams are the same seed in different pools, Coin Flip will decide Home Team. Tie Breaker: If after 7 innings or the time limit has expired, the two teams are still tied the following tie breaker rules will go into effect except for the Semi-final and Championship Games. The base runners will be placed as follows:

  • International Tie-Breaker Rules:
  • Normal substitution rules apply to these runners.
  • The hitting team will start the inning with no outs.
  • With last completed at bat on Second Base
  • Play continues until one team is ahead at the end of an inning.
  • Semi-Final and Championship games will be played with regular extra innings through the 7th inning.

Intentional Walk

A batter may be walked without throwing any pitches to the batter.  At any time before or during an at bat the defensive coach, catcher or pitcher may ask the home plate umpire to award the batter first base.  No pitches have to be thrown.

Forfeits: All games must be started with at least 9 players. A game can be finished with 8 players. If there are no eligible subs the player leaving the original lineup will be recorded as an out until she is able to return. Any intentional forfeit could result in the forfeiting team being eliminated from the tournament. The tournament committee will rule on all forfeits. No team should benefit from the result of a forfeit in an unfair manner. This rule could result in a dispute and the tournament committee reserves the right to look at and rule in the fairest possible way. The committee’s decision will be final! A forfeit score will be 7 for the winning team to 0 for the losing team. The tournament committee will decide when a forfeit is declared.

Mercy Rules: 10 after 3, 6 after 5.

Hitting lineup: Can consist of 9, 10, or 11 players. The lineup must stay with the same number of batters for the entire game. Once the first pitch has been thrown the lineup is locked, and the number of batters may not be changed. The 10th and 11th hitter if used will be designated as an EH and XH on the lineup card. The EH and XH may bat at any spot in the order. The EH and XH is the same as any position on the field as far as substitutions are concerned.

Roster Batting: Allows a team the option to bat its entire roster “all players physically present”, in lieu of a traditional lineup. If a player leaves the game for any reason, it creates an absent player “automatic out” situation.

Designated Hitter:  The designated hitter may be (not mandatory) designated for any one starting defensive player (not just pitchers) and all subsequent substitutes for that player in the game. A starting defensive player cannot be listed as the designated hitter in the starting lineup. A designated hitter for said player shall be selected prior to the start of the game, and the name shall be included on the lineup cards presented to the home plate umpire and the official scorer. The designated hitter can be listed anywhere on the line-up card.  The player that is being hit for, only playing defense, will need to be listed last on the line-up card.  A team forfeits the use of a designated hitter if the team fails to declare a designated hitter prior to the game. If a pinch hitter or pinch runner for the designated hitter is used, that player becomes the new designated hitter. The player who was the designated hitter may re-enter as the designated hitter under the re-entry rule. A designated hitter and the player for whom is batting are locked into the rotation. The role of the designated hitter is terminated for the remainder of the game when:

  1. The defensive player, or any previous defensive player for whom the designated hitter batted, subsequently bats, pinch-hits or pinch-runs for the designated hitter, or
  2. The designated hitter or any previous designated hitter assumes a defensive position.

In case of rain: All rain out games may not be made up depending on time constraints. In case of scheduling changes, it is the team's responsibility, not the tournament committee, to make sure they are aware of the new schedule or any scheduling changes. This information will be posted on the tournament website when it becomes available.
  • Note: No special requests will be honored if rescheduling becomes necessary. Tournament format is subject to change at any time if deemed necessary and will be determined based on the fairest outcome for all teams. All coaches should make sure the tournament committee has current contact info. If games are cancelled, pool winners and championship qualification will be determined by the tie breaking procedures (listed below).

Stop in Play: If a game is stopped, the game must start within 1 hour of the stop in play. If games are not resumed, they will become suspended or called official. Games called by umpires that cannot be resumed within 1 hour will be considered an official game, if 5 innings have been completed, or 4 1/2 innings if the home team is ahead. After 5 complete innings, a tie score will be recorded a tie in pool play. The tournament director can extend the 1 hour if there are extenuating circumstances, i.e. lightning detector, working on fields, etc. A suspended game will resume where the game was halted. In the event play is stopped for any reason before or during the Championship round, first place, second place, third place, etc. will be awarded based on Perfect Game Seeding and Tie Breaker Rules.

Protests: Judgment calls are not eligible for protest. Protests will be heard and ruled on by the tournament committee. The team protesting must make cash payment of $100 at the time of the protest. If the protest is ruled in the protesting team’s favor the $100 will be refunded. The ruling made by the committee will be final. Protests must be filed and ruled on before the next pitch if during game, or before umpires leave field if after a game.

Roster and Roster changes: All players should be listed on the official roster. Playing a non-rostered player could result in a forfeit. If a player is listed on more than one roster, the player listed will make a decision as to which roster he is legally on. This decision is up to the individual player. No player can appear in a tournament game for more than one team. If there are multiple events going on at one time players are permitted to play for one team in each event if so desired. Age divisions within a tournament count as separate events.

The team’s manager is responsible for all aspects of the eligibility of the players on his team and that they meet the requirements

A player who is in violation of the age eligibility shall be considered an illegal player.

If anytime during a tournament game, a player is discovered illegal due to an age violation or participating on more than one team in the same tournament, the team is subject to forfeit. The first team a player participates for is their official team.

Participating players shall have photocopies of their original birth certificates in the possession of their team manager. Electronic copies of ID documents are accepted. Failure to have a copy of a birth certificate, in the event of a protest, could result in suspension for the remainder of the event until such document can be produced. Driver’s License is permitted. For events classified by graduation year, transcripts from a players most recent academic semester shall be in the possession of their team manager.

Scoring: We recommend that all teams (home and visitor) keep a scorebook. The official scorebook and lineup card for the game will be kept by tournament staff, in case of emergency where staff can't keep book the home team will be the official scorer. In a situation in which tournament staff and the home team are unable to score the visitor would become the official book. All subs should be reported to the umpires. To eliminate scoring disputes scorekeepers should check with the official scorer during and after the game.

Line up cards must be fully filled out with players first name, last name, position, and accurate jersey numbers. All substitutes should be listed with accurate jerseys numbers. Failure to produce a complete lineup card can result in games not starting on time. Line up cards are to be given to the official scorekeeper before the home plate meeting. Lineup cards will be available at coach check in.

Sportsmanship: In the interest of maintaining a quality event, the tournament committee reserves the right to eject any person from the site for unruly or unsportsmanlike behavior.

Physical attack on an umpire, tournament official, associate director, associate officer, and/or any player or fan prior, during, or immediately following a game played under the authority of Perfect Game. Assault on an official is a felony in some states.

Players, coaches, managers, fans, spectators, or sponsors threatening an umpire, tournament official, associate director, or associate officer with physical harm.

Any player, coach, manager, sponsor, fan, spectator, director or officer who engages in physical fighting.

Using unsportsmanlike conduct or abusive language, symbol tactics, or derogatory or unbecoming acts.

Destruction of property or abuse or failure to pay.

Competing under an assumed, false and/or altered name.

Tournament hosts have the authority to eject a player, fans or team anytime during a tournament of committing any of the above listed offenses.

A player, spectator, fan or coach ejection carries removal from that game only.

Any spectator, coach, manager or player who is ejected for the second time during the tournament will be eliminated from participating for the remainder of the tournament.

Any event that results in physical altercation (before, during or after a game) could result in a forfeit for both teams. Tournament committee reserves the right to remove teams from playoff contention.

Bat Specifications:

Non-Approved bat list will follow the National Federation State High School Softball Rules.

A damaged bat is defined as a bat that was once legal, but is broken, cracked, dented, rattles or has sharp edges that might deface the ball (Rules 1-5-1, 7-4-2, 2-4-3).

A damaged bat is considered an illegal bat, with the penalty being, the bat is simply removed from the game without penalty.

  • Pitcher Simulating Taking a Signal - While on the pitcher’s plate and prior to bringing her hands together, the pitcher must take or simulate taking a signal from the catcher. A signal may be taken from a coach either by hand signals, verbal call, or by looking up on a wristband with a playbook/playcard. The signal obtained from the coach can be taken while on the pitching plate or while standing behind the pitcher’s plate prior to taking a position on the pitcher’s plate. By rule, the only requirement is that no matter where or from whom the actual signal is obtained, the pitcher must take a position on the pitcher’s plate with the hands separated and simulate taking a signal from the catcher. Requiring the pitcher to take a position on the pitching plate and simulating taking a signal from the catcher prior to bring her hands together allows the batter to prepare for the start of the pitch. If the pitcher does not pause after stepping onto the pitcher’s plate to simulate taking a signal from the catcher prior to bringing her hands together, an illegal pitch should be called.
  • Illegal Pitch Penalty - The NFHS Softball Rules Committee voted to remove the advancement of runners when an illegal pitch is called. Since the intent of an illegal pitch in softball is to deceive the batter, the committee felt that only the batter should receive an award when an illegal pitch occurs. The change to the penalty for an illegal pitch will result in a ball being called on the batter, but runners will only advance if forced as the result of the batter being awarded first base. Exceptions to the penalty for an illegal pitch in Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1 have also been modified in order to follow the new penalty and ensure that runners are no longer advanced as a result of an illegal pitch.
  • The Pitchers plate: NFHS: The pivot foot must be partially on top of the pitching plate.  Perfect Game will allow pitchers to use the "Step Back" or the "Start Back".  The back, or non-pivot foot, must land within or partially within the 24-inch width of the pitcher’s plate.

Courtesy Runners: Courtesy runners can be used for the Pitcher and Catcher at any time but must be a VALID SUBSTITUTE. If a team is batting their entire lineup, last available will be used as a courtesy runner. In addition, the same substitute CANNOT run for more than one position (Pitcher or Catcher) in the same game.

Not covered in the Rules: In the event any item is not covered in these rules or NFHS rules, the tournament committee will make the fairest possible ruling and that ruling will be final!

Field Dimensions:
Pitching/Base Distances
8U, 9U, 10U – 35’/60’
11U, 12U – 40’/60’
13U, 14U, 15U, High School – 43’/60’

Seeding and Tie Breaker Rules:
  1. Pool play overall record (winning percentage)
  2. If two teams are tied Head to Head winner
  3. If three teams are tied – If one team has defeated both other teams, that team advances. If not go to #4
  4. Least total runs allowed in pool play.
  5. If still tied – Total runs scored in pool play
  6. Coin Flip

12U and Under: No Metal Cleats
13U and Older: Metal Cleats allowed

Team Classification:
Gold = A
Silver= B
Bronze= C
State directors, Chris Johnson and Mike Kerr have the right to reclassify any team at any time.

Age Requirements

A player's age on December 31, of the previous sanction year, will determine the age classification in which that player is eligible to play. 

Sanctioned Year for Youth FastPitch:

A team's fastpitch season and a team's registration period will run from August 15-August 14 of the following year.  Any tournaments that a team plays after August 15, (this would exclude any current year’s national championship) would go towards qualifying a team for the following sanctioned season’s State and National Championship Tournaments. Teams that are playing between August 15 thru January 1 (this would exclude the current year’s National Championships) would need to play under the following calendar year’s eligibility requirements.

Age Restrictions for 2021 Season (August 15, 2020 - August 14, 2021):

  • All players must be born on or after December 31, 2011 to play 8u in the Fall of 2020 and in the Spring of 2021.
  • All players must be born on or after December 31, 2010 to play 9u in the Fall of 2020 and in the Spring of 2021.
  • All players must be born on or after December 31, 2009 to play 10u in the Fall of 2020 and in the Spring of 2021.
  • All players must be born on or after December 31, 2008 to play 11u in the Fall of 2020 and in the spring of 2021.
  • All players must be born on or after December 31, 2007 to play 12u in the Fall of 2020 and in the spring of 2021.
  • All players must be born on or after December 31, 2006 to play 13u in the Fall of 2020 and in the spring of 2021.
  • All players must be born on or after December 31, 2005 to play 14u in the Fall of 2020 and in the spring of 2021.
  • All players must be born on or after December 31, 2004 to play 15u in the Fall of 2020 and in the spring of 2021.
  • All players must be born on or after December 31, 2003 to play 16u in the Fall of 2020 and in the spring of 2021.
  • All players must be born on or after December 31, 2002 to play 17u in the Fall of 2020 and in the spring of 2021.
  • All players must be born on or after December 31, 2001 to play 18u in the Fall of 2020 and in the spring of 2021.

Qualifications for State Tournaments:
To qualify for the state tournament, you must play in at least one JK/PG state qualifying tournament.

Qualifications for National Tournaments:
To qualify for the national tournament, you must play in at least one JK/PG state qualifying tournament and you must finish in the top 25% of any qualifying tournaments to get a direct berth to the National level tournaments.  So if a team plays in an open tournament.  The top 25% of the Gold teams would qualify qualify, the top 25% of the Silver teams would qualify and the top 25% of the Bronze teams would qualify.  So, it does not matter where you place in the tournament, just as long as you finish in the top 25% of your classification.  This would be the same if a Bronze team played in a Silver level tournament.  

Bronze (C) Rules

  1. DiamondKast scorekeeper will serve as the official scorekeeper with Home team as secondary.
  2. 70 minute time limit is used for all tournament games except in tournament interruptions. Time starts after the pre-game meeting. All teams should be prepared to start their game up to 30 minutes prior to scheduled time slot, in case we are ahead of schedule.
  3. Once time has expired, the game will end if the losing team is trailing by the number of allowed runs per half inning +1.
  4. Regulation games will be defined by the type of game that it is. There will be two types of games played in the different formats that we will be using:
    1. Pool play: Games will be 7 innings or time limit whichever comes first. If the game is tied at the end of regulation, it will end as tie.
    2. Bracket Play: Games will be 7 inning or time limit. Games that are tied at the end of regulation will use the International Tie Breaker rule until a winner is declared.
  5. Run rules: 10 runs after 3 innings; 6 runs after 5 innings.
  6. Smoking or tobacco use is prohibited on the field or in the dugouts.
  7. Roster Batting will be required during the entire tournament. This means all available players on your roster that are in your dugout must be listed on the lineup card. And you will be required to turn in a lineup card before each game. Due to requiring roster batting, there are some additional rules that need to be clarified:
    1. Injury
      1. Batter: If a batter cannot fulfill her time at bat due to injury or illness, that player will be eliminated from that entire game. Her spot will be skipped in the batting order. Teams will not be required to take an automatic out until they drop below 9 players.
      2. Runner: If a runner cannot continue her time on the bases, that player will be substituted with the last batter not on base. She will not be allowed to participate in the remainder of the game. The line-up will compress when her spot comes to bat.
    2. Ejections: If a player is ejected while roster batting, this will result in the team losing that player for the entire game. Her spot in the batting order will then be an automatic out.
  8. Courtesy runners will be allowed for pitchers and catchers at any time. The courtesy runner will be the last batter not on base.
  9. Teams can score a maximum of 5 runs per half inning for all ages.
  10. If an Illegal Pitch is called, the penalty will be a ball awarded to the batter, there will be no advancement of runners on base.
  11. Games will end at time limit if a team is down by more than 5 runs or what they are allotted left to score in that half inning.
  12. Teams my begin a game with 8 players. Teams may add any and all players to the end of the line-up at any time. These players must listed on the line-up card submitted prior to the game. If the players are not present for their time at bat, their spot in the lineup will be skipped until they arrive.  There will be no automatic charged (unless below 9 players).
  13. The following procedure will be used to determine the teams seedings after pool play: i. If three or more teams are tied with the same record in a division, head-to-head may or may not be used to break ties. ii. Once a level of tie-breaker is used, we do not revert back to any steps of the tie-breaking procedure. We will continue on down the list until all ties are broken.
    1. Highest Winning Percentage (number of wins divided by number of games with a result) (ties eliminated form formula)
    2. Most Wins 
    3. Head-to-Head Games
    4. Runs allowed per game
    5. Runs differential (+/- of 8 runs per game)
    6. Coin Flip
  14. If a team is playing an extra pool game, the runs allowed and the Win/Loss in that game will not count towards your total. However, the result of the game (win/loss) will be used in head-to-head consideration if a tie in pool play occurs.
  15. In case of a rain-shortened tournament, pool play games can be deemed official after 2 ½ innings of play (with home team winning) or 45 minutes of elapsed game time. This policy will only be used through pool play. In addition, if games are cancelled due to weather, there may be an adjustment in application of the tie-breaking procedures.

10 & Under Bronze (C) Rules

  1. On defense, 4 outfielders may be used.
  2. For 10U, players may only advance one base per pitch on a ball not put in play by contact.
  3. No advancement of the Batters on a dropped 3rd strike.
  4. No Infield Fly Rule
  5. There is no stealing home. There are only 4 ways to score:
    • Batted ball in play.
    • Ball entering dead ball area. 
    • Bases loaded hit by pitch.
    • Bases loaded walk.

A complete listing of the softball rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Softball.”

Copyright 1994-2024 by Perfect Game. All rights reserved. No portion of this information may be reprinted or reproduced without the written consent of Perfect Game.