This is a basic outline of the softball rules and structure for the Durham Softball League. For a more detailed listing of our rules and all the specifics, check out our League Rules page. If you have played softball before, the rules are fairly standard so this is just a summary of the main softball rules that usually matter during the game and the questions that most people ask. If you have any other questions, please let us know and we’ll add them to this page!
Teams will be comprised of a minimum of 13 players and maximum of 20 players. Teams must have at least 4 female players on the roster. All players must be at least 21 years old.
Teams will play up to 10 players in the field on defense, with at least 3 females required in the field. A team must have at least 2 females and 7 total players available to play at gametime in order to begin an official game.
All players that field, must be in the lineup and hit.
The batting order must include at least 3 females and never have 4 consecutive male batters.
- M-M-M-F-M-M-M-F-M-M-M-F is valid, because there is no situation where three male batters hit in a row.
- M-M-F-M-M-F-M-M-F-M-M is not, because there would be 4 Male batters in a row when the lineup turned over from bottom to top.
Players may be in the lineup and hit, but not play in the field.
Players pitch against their opponents. Batters start with a 1-1 count and are allowed one foul ball, to be used on Strike #1 or Strike #2.
- eg. If a batter uses their foul ball on a 1-1 count, the next pitch will be 1-2 and no foul balls allowed. A 2nd foul ball after the 1-2 count would be an out.
- eg. If a batter uses their foul ball on a 1-2 count, after a called strike to get behind 1-2, the next pitch will still be 1-2 and no foul balls allowed.
Basically, you only get one foul ball. You can use it for your 2nd strike, and have no foul balls remaining. Or, you can take a strike and have a foul ball to spare on the 1-2 count. Consider it a “courtesy foul” that still counts against you on your first strike.
All Durham Softball teams will play a 14-game regular season, playing every other team team twice. Each team will play the other as the Home and Away Team.
The Top 4 Teams from the regular season will play a single elimination playoff at the end of the season, known as the Championship Tournament. All 4 participants in the Championship Tournament receive an end-of-season bonus. The winner of the Durham Softball Championship Tournament shall be named the official League Playoff Champion.
The Bottom 4 Teams from the regular season will also play a single elimination playoff at the end of the season, known as the Consolation Tournament. Only the winner of the Consolation Tournament receives an end-of-season bonus. The winner of the Durham Softball Consolation Tournament shall be considered the 5th Place finisher. This is basically our version of the NIT Tournament.
During the regular season, all games can end in a tie after 7 innings. Both teams will receive credit for .5 of a win.
If two teams tie in the standings during the regular season, the order of finish will be determined by:
- Head-to-Head Record vs. Tied Teams
- Head-to-Head Runs Scored vs. Tied Teams
- Total Run Differential vs. All Teams
- Total Runs Scored vs. All Teams
If three or more teams tie in the standings during the regular season, the order of finish will be determined by:
- Total Number of Wins vs. Tied Teams
- Total Runs Scored vs. Tied Teams
- Total Run Differential vs. Highest Ranked Team not involved in the tie-breaker
- Total Run Differential vs. Next Highest Ranked Team not involved in the tie-breaker, etc.
Durham Softball League rules will be primarily based on standard ASA rules, with some exceptions. See our Game Rules page for more details.