Our League Rules 2020

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Bradenton Senior Softball League General Rules and Procedures - February 2020



Bradenton Senior Softball (BSS) was created circa 1990 in Bradenton, Florida to provide recreational softball for those individuals who are 60 years of age (in the playing calendar) or older. There is continual competition 52 weeks of each year at least two days a week. There are four (4) seasons of play: Jan. 1 - March 31; April 1 - June 30; July 1 - Sept. 30; Oct. 1 - Dec. 31. All games and practices are scheduled on Manatee County Parks: G.T. Bray and Palma Sola softball fields. League information is available on the Bradenton Senior Softball Website. ((www.bradentonseniorsoftball.com)

Board of Directors (BOD)

All competition is established and supervised by a seven [7] member board appointed for unlimited terms. Elected positions within the board are president and treasurer. (The treasurer position is non-voting). At least one board meeting per calendar year is scheduled, others are scheduled as needed. Minutes of the Board Meetings are posted on the Bradenton Senior Softball Website.(www.bradentonseniorsoftball.com)


Dues are necessary to cover the cost of balls, line-up cards, office supplies, first aid/ice packs,pitching screens, teams shirts, and subsidize the annual banquet. Field rental and maintenance fees are on a schedule set by the Manatee County Department Of Natural Resources. Payment is due by the first day of the month for the calendar year quarter. Fees may be adjusted for each quarter mainly due to the number of fields needed for competition. All players are encouraged to attend the annual banquet usually scheduled for a Friday in March. It is recommended to limit your guests to one person. Spouses and friends are welcome. Some awards are usually presented. Dues are collected by the league treasurer on the first day of competition in each calendar quarter. It is the responsibility of each player to seek out the treasurer and make payment by cash or check. Checks should be written to Bradenton Senior Softball. Each player has one (1) day competition grace period to make payment. Failure to pay after the grace period will make a player ineligible to play. No Pay -No Play! The fee is the same whether playing a single or multiple days a week.


Due to a large number of players interested in competing, there is always formal league play three (3) days a week Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for the first quarter of the year. Intramural “pickup” games are scheduled on Monday and Thursday the remaining 3 calendar quarters. Other formal league play is always a possibility when the number of committed players will fill rosters for four (4) teams. All games scheduled are part of a doubleheader.

League Play

Currently there are four separate leagues playing in the 1st quarter.

  • Monday (Recreational) Team numbers dependent on Draft Registration ages 60+ 12-13 players per team. Monday League will follow rules posted in Attachment B.
  • Tuesday (Competitive) 4-6 teams ages 60+, 12 players per team Tuesday League will follow rules provided by League Coordinator
  • Thursday (Competitive) American League 5 teams (bye)ages 60+ &12 players per team. Thursday American League will follow rules provided by League Coordinator.
  • Thursday (Recreational) National League Team numbers dependent on Draft Registration teams ages 60+, 12-13 players per team
  • Thursday (Recreational) National will follow rules posted in Attachment B.
  • During the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters pickup games are held on held on Mondays and Thursdays. The number of teams playing are determined by the number of players present ½ hour before first pitch. Pickup games will follow the Recreational League rules defined in Attachment B.


Most league games will be played at G.T. Bray Park with the exception of the Thursday (Recreational) NL which could host some games at Palma Sola Park. Most pickup games after April 1 will be played at G.T. Bray Park.

League Draft

A Draft for all the leagues is conducted before Christmas for 1st Quarter league play (January 1st through March 31st). Players desiring to participate in 1st Quarter league play must declare their intention to play during the 1st quarter by registering. Registration is conducted online with limited registration opportunities held at G.T. Bray Park after completion of pickup games on Mondays and/or Thursdays. Exact registration dates and deadlines will be communicated via email in early to mid-November. The exact registration dates and deadline will also be posted on the Bradenton Senior Softball Registration site. (www.bradentonseniorsoftball.com).

Players registering for the League Draft must commit to double headers and to play every week during the 1st Quarter season. Players not willing to make that commitment can register as a “SUB” for desired leagues and be placed on a substitution list. Players are expected to play in the leagues they register for.

Players will be notified by their team manager with particulars of team name, sponsor, etc. Players not making the draft in the competitive leagues will be notified and provided options which could include playing in another league or being placed on a substitute list.

Players missing the Registration Draft deadline will be placed on a Substitute List.


  • Players eligible to be drafted for the 1st Quarter leagues must commit to double headers and to play every week during the season.
  • All players are eligible for “pickup” games from April 1st through December 31st. Teams will be selected by the league coordinators (LC).
  • Players arriving after the initial selection process will have to wait for the second game. Tardy players will be placed on a team through a predetermined process, usually by the league coordinator.
  • Players are urged to be punctual and those reporting late may have to wait until the second game of the doubleheader. All players must provide address, phone number, and email (if possible).
  • All players should wear the team sponsor’s shirt during first quarter league play.


  • All players are expected to display positive sportsmanship at all times. Verbal and physical abuse is prohibited as well as “questionable language” and profanity.
  • Use of tobacco products in the playing area and dugouts is not permitted.
  • Arguing and harassment among players and especially with umpires is highly discouraged.
  • Any player throwing a bat may be ejected for the day of play.
  • Throwing a punch will result in expulsion from the league season or an entire
    calendar year.
  • All unsportsmanlike incidents will be reviewed and any disciplinary action will be
    decided by the Board.
  • Managers are responsible for control of players’ actions.
  • ASA (USA)rules apply to any other situation not covered in this document . Any disputes, protest, or appeals of rules will be handled by the umpires and team managers ONLY.
  • All players present (unless injured) as part of a team roster must be in the batting order and play a minimum of three (3) innings in the field.
  • The manager will make the batting order and assign players to positions. If a player refuses to play a position, he may be suspended for that day.
  • A player injured during play may be removed without penalty.
  • Any player, emotionally upset, leaving the game may be suspended for the next game.

Bye Players

  • Players on teams not scheduled to play that particular day may be called by the league coordinator (LC) to fill open roster spots on scheduled teams (usually defensive positions). If used, they will bat last in the batting order.

Pool Players

  • Are defined as those players who were not present when league drafts were held. This special pool will be established by each league coordinator (LC) and may be used at the discretion of the LC to fill roster shortages.
  • Consideration should always be given to league parity. A pool player could play for several different teams and eventually secure a permanent roster spot.
  • The LC may use a combination of Bye and Pool Players to fill open roster spots.
  • If roster players show up unexpectedly, both Bye and Pool Players that were called must play. However, all roster players must be in the starting line-up.
  • All Bye and Pool Players must bat at the end of the batting order.
  • A Pool Player earning a permanent roster spot may bat anywhere in the order.
  • Any player picked up at the field on game day must be approved by the
  • Use of an illegal player will result in a forfeit.
  • Players should tell or call managers with adequate notice when they are unable to play a scheduled game.

Refusal by a Player to Play

  • Any drafted or assigned player who chooses not to play for a team that drafts him or quits ateam, could be suspended from playing in any or all BSS games for a period of one year.
  • With agreement of the Manager’s Council (MC) a player could be traded.
  • A player who leaves without permission may be suspended for one year or indefinitely.


  • The managers will be selected by the league coordinator. The Board of Directors will have the final approval.
  • There are several logistical responsibilities (See Attachment A). The managers
    in each league make up the Managers Council (MC) which may meet to discuss and render an opinion on all controversial situations that arise. The Board of Directors has the final review and decision.


  • A batting and fielding practice is usually held every Friday at 8:30 a.m. at Palma Sola Park. No Senior (or Hot) bats are permitted. New players are especially encouraged to attend.
  • Other practices permitting Senior (or Hot) bats could be held at other locations.


  • All league games (Jan. 1st -March 30th) will begin promptly at 9 a.m. Players should arrive by 8:30 a.m. for warm-up. All other season’s game time is 8:30 a.m.
  • Players not on time will bat at the end of the order and may miss the first game.


  • The BSS Board of Directors will determine equipment: bats, balls, screens, etc.
  • There is an ASA (USA) illegal bat list available. It will be enforced in our leagues.


  • All players are encouraged to solicit sponsorship of team shirts from the community. This is a considerable expense annually for 24-27 teams. That helps keeps our dues structure a bargain!


  • Volunteers, mostly retired players, are welcome.
  • Any league manager or player may be asked to participate.

Weather/Playing Conditions

  • Each league coordinator (LC) is responsible for monitoring weather and field conditions along with the park’s ground supervisor.
  • The LC is responsible for updating the Bradenton Senior Softball Information phone in the event games are cancelled or delayed.
  • Players are responsible for calling the BSS Information line for game status. The BSS Information Phone Number is 941-301-4129.


  • The ASA (USA) rule book for senior softball is a guideline for BSS. However, local rules have also been adopted and are subject to yearly review.
  • Most rules are standardized for eachleague. (Exception: Tuesday and Thursday American League) League rules are different at Bray and Palma Sola Parks due to the distance of the outfield fences. (See Attachment B)
  • All game protests will be resolved on the spot prior to continuation of game.
  • HOMETEAM: Occupies the first base dugout.
  • First Game - Responsible for obtaining the pitching screen, home plate mat, scoreboard, and game balls; return to the designated location.
  • The home team for the first game is also responsible for returning the pitching screen, home plate mat and scoreboard.
  • At the conclusion of first game -the opposing team becomes the home team and maintains official score.

Bradenton Senior Softball
Manager Responsibilities
(Attachment A)

      1. Managers are responsible to ensure continuity of game.
      2. Ensure players pay treasurer.
      3. Handle game balls -including batting practice balls, pitching screens, scoreboard - lineup -
        runners from plate and bases - ensure first aid kit and ice pack availability.
      4. Encourage team members to wear designated team shirts (1st Quarter only).
      5. Ensure readiness of on-deck batter & courtesy runner, pick up bat from previous batter.
      6. Keep players, bats, gloves inside dugout. Players should not hang bat bags from field
        screen within the dugout. Only one on-deck batter. Base coaches should be out of the dugout.
      7. Provide base umpire and/or home plate umpire as needed. Meet with umpire at the
        beginning of the game for manager’s plate meeting and review any special requirements for
        each team. During 1st Quarter Season, Manager should provide a completed manager’s plate
        meeting card to the umpire.
      8. Promote sportsmanship - discourage improper language.
      9. Participate as part of the Managers’ Council (MC) in decisions with League Coordinator
        (LC) concerning the draft, player assignments, game cancellations due to weather conditions
        and/or lack of players, and controversial situations.
      10. Ensure players are informed of BSS Info Line.
      11. BSS starting lineup consists of eleven (11) players. When there are more than 11 with
        agreement by both managers 12 players can be utilized. Player rotation should be utilized so
        all can participate. Each player should play at least 4-5 innings in the field. No player should
        “rest out” two consecutive innings.
      12. When there is a tie at the end of regular play and the managers agree to extra inning,
        each team will start with a base runner on second base. If there are three teams playing on
        the field, only the tied teams will play the extra innings. There will be a “one pitch” rule for the
        extra innings. It will either be a hit, a strike out or a walk. A foul ball will be an out. Last out
        from previous inning starts on second base. Pick up game rule will end after one extra inning.
        League rule will go until there is a winner or end by the mutual agreement of the managers.
        The Tuesday and Thursday Competitive (American) League does not use the one pitch rule it
        uses standard ball and strike.
      13. Any player ejected from the game by the umpire will be forwarded to the Board to
        determine what action to take. When the ejected player scheduled bat comes up, the slot will
        be skipped without penalty. If the ejection happens in the first game, that ejection will last for
        the entire day.
      14. Have Fun.

    Bradenton Senior Softball
    Monday, Thursday NL & Pickup League Rules

    (Attachment B)

    1. Starting count on batter is 1 ball and 1 strike, with 1 courtesy foul after two strikes.
    2. In an effort to keep game moving, players not ready to bat when called to do so will be
      penalized one strike for each 30 seconds of non-compliance which could result in an out and
      loss of bat. The same will follow for the pitcher within 30 second time, a ball will be called and
      the batter could walk. On deck batter will receive a strike added to his count when he comes to
      bat if not on deck at time of first pitch to current batter. This penalty will not carry over into the
      next inning.
    3. Batter is responsible for procuring a courtesy runner before advancing to the on-deck
      circle. If the courtesy runner is not in place when required, the batter will be considered not
      ready to bat and will be penalized one strike for each 30 seconds of non-compliance which
      could result in an out and loss of bat. The courtesy runner from home must keep in contact
      with the Chain provided until contact with the ball, if not the runner is out.
    4. Runner is out if runner touches inside base with a play at first. The fielding firstbase person
      must tag the inside base for an out. Runner is out if normal home plate is touched.
    5. Plays made to first base by an outfielder can only be made if the ball is off the glove of an
      infielder or a courtesy runner is involved. An outfielder can throw the ball to an infielder other
      than first baseman and that person can throw the batter /runner out if the throw beats the
      batter to first.
    6. Outfielder must remain behind white line until ball is hit. Infielders must remain on the dirt
      until the ball is hit. If either do not comply with this rule then the batting team manager will
      have the option of keeping the results of the play or taking a NO PITCH.
    7. Batter may choose to continue to bat after a 4 ball count. Once the decision is made the
      batter cannot take a walk. From this point on only strikes will be counted by the umpire. Strike
      count will continue and not start again.
    8. Batter runner cannot backup to avoid tag when going to first.
    9. Courtesy runner can be substituted if runner is due to bat and currently on base.
    10. Courtesy runners can only be used for injured or handicapped batters (not for strategic
      reasons) and must be approved by the opposing manager. Courtesy runners are granted
      normal runner rights and liabilities and can be used more than once per inning. All players
      80+ can have a pinch runner from the plate and on the bases at any time. Once a courtesy
      runner is used for any player, they must continue to use for the remainder of that game. When
      using a courtesy runner, the batter cannot run more than 1/3 way to first. Result will be an out
      on the batter and a dead ball with any on-base runners returning to previous occupied base.
    11. Players from Pool cannot “bump” assigned players who are present. (1st Quarter only)
    12. Pool player(s) must bat last in order. (1st Quarter only)
    13. All bats must have the ASA or (USA) label. Some bats have the ASA label but have been
      dropped and now appear on the ASA non-approved bats list. These bats cannot be used.
    14. Any fair ball hit over the fence at Palma Sola will be a ground rule double.
    15. Mercy rule: 12 run lead after 5 or 6 innings.
    16. Use of the pitching screen is mandatory for safety reasons. The screen must be placed
      on the secondary mound usually located 6.5 feet in front of the standard 65 feet mound
      mandated by ASA. There will be a black line in the middle of the secondary mound. The edge
      of the screen will be placed on this line. It will be on the first base side for right hand pitchers
      and on the third base side for left hand pitchers. Pitchers must remain behind the secondary
      mound until ball is hit. In the event the secondary mound is missing, a line 6.5 feet from the
      standard pitching mound will be drawn under the supervision of both managers. . A pitcher not
      following this rule will be warned once and if a second time occurs he/she will be removed
      from the pitch position for the remainder of that game. Pitching arc will be 6' min and 12' max
      from the ground. Pitcher must present the ball for one second or take a one second pause
      with hands together in front before to start of pitch. Pitching mound is width of mound (24")
      and back 10 feet. ASA (USA) current rule.
    17. A batted ball hitting the screen is counted as a Dead Ball the first time, a foul ball the
      second time, hitting the screen after two strikes will be a dead ball (not an out). If the ball is off
      the glove of the pitcher before hitting the screen, the ball is in play. If the ball should go into
      the net tray at the bottom it is in play.
    18. Out of play dead ball is pipe to pipe on entrance to each dugout. All runners will
      advance two bases if thrown by an infielder and three bases if thrown by an outfielder from the
      base they had at the time of the pitch.
    19. The infield fly rule will not be used.
    20. Profanity is unacceptable and can lead to expulsion.
    21. Tobacco or alcohol use is not allowed on the field or in dugouts.
    22. We are here to have a good time, and get some exercise. Please demonstrate good
      sportsmanship to your fellow competitors.
    23. The Official Score will be kept on a scoreboard located behind home plate. The home
      team is responsible for accuracy.
    24. Infield practice will be allowed in both games. Time used for infield practice is at the
      discretion of the Umpire. Infielders and outfielders must get onto the field in a timely manner
      and there is no outfield practice at any time. Extra throws after “BALLS IN” has been called will
      be charged with a ball called.
    25. Safety runner stand off from third or first base is allowed, but must be declared like
      “runner from home” is called. The runner is required to retouch the base before running to the
      next base. If not he/she will be called out. The runner must retouch the base once the ball has
      passed the infield. In the case of a line drive caught by the first or third base person, the
      runner will be considered on the base until he/she retouches the base.
    26. Base coaches are required to stand minimum of 8 feet from the bases.