HGSSL Rules

1.0 ELIGIBILITY

Towns shall submit a document package for each team entered in each division containing a roster detailing name, birth date and address.

The head coach will keep a copy of the birth certificate of all players on the roster and have them available for inspection at all games. If a birth certificate is not available, the opposing coach may protest the game and the BOD will determine the result of the protest.

Rosters shall be limited to fifteen (15) players. The 18U division may have eighteen (18) players on the roster.

Rosters will be submitted prior to the start of the regular season and may be modified, no later than July 15th.

If a team needs players for a regular season game, a team may call-up players from the same town's rosters of a lower level (either age or division). A player from the same age group on the A roster cannot play for the B team or a player who is age-eligible for a lower age group, but is on the roster of a higher age group roster, cannot play for the lower age group.

For the playoffs, a player cannot be called-up to play for a higher level (either age or division).

2.0 INSURANCE

Towns shall submit a document package which shall contain a certificate of insurance for general liability and accident coverage with limits and provider as established by the Board of Directors, and which shall remain in full force for that season only noting each team entered in each division.

3.0 MEDICAL RELEASE

Towns shall maintain for each team entered in each division a medical release form for treatment in event of injury signed by the custodial parent or legal guardian of each player.

4.0 SPORTSMANSHIP

Towns shall maintain for each team entered in each division a certification signed by each coach acknowledging the HGSSL Codes of Conduct. This pledge extends to the HGSSL by-laws and rules.

5.0 SEASON DURATION

Scheduled games shall begin during the last week of June or immediately following all town recreational league schedules.

6.0 DIVISIONS AND PLAYOFFS

The league shall create divisions for each age group depending on the number of teams entered into each division. Divisions within an age group will be A and B. A town cannot enter more than two B teams for each A team per age group. A team in any age division that petitions for and is approved by the membership for B without any A representation is not eligible for the playoffs.

Standings will be maintained for each division. Two points will be awarded for a win and one point for a tie. Standings will be determined by points (not winning percentage). A regular season game which was not played will not be considered a tie (see section 8.0 Forfeit Policy for full details).

The playoffs shall be played immediately following the regular HGSSL season. Division champions shall be determined by a single game elimination process with the home team being the higher seeded team in each division.

The number of teams per Division that qualify for the playoffs shall be determined as follows*:

No. of Teams in Division Number Qualifying for Playoffs
Nine or less Four
Ten or Eleven Five
Twelve or Thirteen Six
Fourteen or Fifteen Seven
Sixteen or more Eight

*Any team that does not automatically qualify for a playoff spot but has a winning percentage of .501 or more will be given a spot in a "play-in" game as determined by the Board of Directors.

6.1 TIE BREAKER PROCEDURES

    1. Head to Head Competition
    2. Team with the most wins
    3. Record Against Common Opponents
    4. Runs against (Lowest of: Total number of runs allowed for all games played in the division)
    5. Number of forfeits (Lowest of: total number of forfeits in the season)
    6. Coin Flip
    • The coin flip can be a virtual coin flip done via a web based site or it can be a live actual coin flip done in person by the coaches or their respective representatives at a specific time and place.

6.2 PLAYOFF SPECIFIC RULES AND PROCEDURES

    1. All playoff games abide by time limits with the exception of Semi-Final and Championship games. Semi-Final and Championship games will be played to the full number of innings as outlined in the division specific rules (10U - 6 innings; All other divisions - 7 innings).
    2. Any game which reaches the time limit (or inning limit if applicable) and remains tied at the end of the inning will proceed to International Tie Breaker rules for the following inning(s) until a winner is determined.
    3. A player can only be on one roster for playoffs and play on one team during playoffs. No movement of players between teams during playoffs. All players must have been added to the roster before July 15 to be eligible to play in the playoffs.
    4. HGSSL will pay for all playoff umpire fees. One umpire for all playoff games with the exception of Semi-Final and Championship games. Semi-Final and Championship games will have two umpires per game.
    5. HGSSL will reimburse the playoff host town $25 per game for balls, lime, etc..
    6. HGSSL treasurer will purchase trophies for Champions and Runner-Ups.

7.0 START TIME

All official games start at 6:00 PM or 8:00 PM, if lights are available. The 10U division will not have any start times at 8:00 PM Any exceptions to these start times will be noted on the league schedule. Mitigating circumstance may dictate a game be scheduled at the discretion of the BOD. Refer to Forfeit Policy below for further explanation.

8.0 FORFEIT POLICY

All games should be played at the scheduled date and time. Games should not be cancelled as a matter of convenience.

In rare instances, games may be rescheduled; for example, if the home team has an unforeseen problem with field availability. In such an instance, the home team must notify the visiting team and the BOD at least 48 hours in advance and request that the game be made up. It is incumbent upon the home team to find another date within two weeks of the originally scheduled game (and before the playoffs begin) that is acceptable to the visiting team. If such a date cannot be found, then the game is a forfeit by the home team and thus a win for the visiting team.

If a game has been cancelled because of weather, every effort should be made to complete the game within two weeks of the originally scheduled game and all games must be made up prior to the first scheduled playoff game.

Home team must offer three possible make-up dates, of which at least two must be weeknights, to the visiting team within 48 hours of the rainout or the home team forfeits. Visiting team must accept one of the three make-up dates offered by the home team or the visiting team forfeits.

During the regular season, after a second regular season forfeit, town will sacrifice their $250 Corrective Action Fee. After a third regular season forfeit, the team will not be eligible for the playoffs regardless of W/L record.

Any team forfeiting a playoff game will sacrifice the town's $250 Correction Action Fee. 

Rainouts from the last week of the regular season that impact playoffs will be rescheduled by BOD. If necessary, the BOD reserves the right to cancel rather than reschedule.

Any issues, concerns or clarifications related to this policy will be decided by the BOD.

9.0 UMPIRES

No game shall start without at least one (1) umpire present.

For the 10U division, the scheduled umpire does not need to be a USA Softball or NSA umpire. All other divisions must schedule a USA Softball or NSA umpire.

If the scheduled umpire does not show within 15 minutes of the scheduled start time, each team will provide one coach to umpire the game by alternating each half inning based on the team in the field providing the coach to umpire (standing behind the pitcher).

Alternatively, the head coaches can agree before starting the game that a spectator or coach will be the umpire for the entire game.

10.0 MANAGER AND COACHES

No game shall start without the manager or coach present from each team.

11.0 OFFICIAL GAME

Once the aforementioned conditions are met the game becomes official and is under the control of the umpire unless otherwise stated in the following sections of this rules document.

12.0 COMPLETE GAME

Once started, the game shall be considered official after 4 innings or after 3.5 innings, if home team is winning.

In event that a game is called before the expiration of regulation innings, the score will revert back to that of the last complete inning. If the game is not official (per above), then the teams will replay the entire game at a later date.

There are no extra innings to be played during the regular season. Games that are tied at the end of regulation will be counted as a tie.

13.0 GAME DAYS

All regularly scheduled games shall be played on Monday through Friday.

14.0 POSTPONEMENT

Only the BOD can postpone and re-schedule a game for reasons other than rain or wet playing surfaces. Refer to Forfeit Policy above for further explanation.

15.0 RAINOUTS

At the game site, if a game has not been postponed in advance, in event of rain or wet playing surfaces, it is the sole responsibility of the umpire for that game. Refer to Forfeit Policy above for further explanation.

In the event there are weather or extenuating circumstance, the manager of the home must call the manager of the visiting team at least one (1) hour before game time in an effort to make a joint decision on whether the game may be played or not. The HGSSL President may be consulted for a final decision. Refer to Forfeit Policy above for further explanation.

16.0 GENERAL RULES

Playing rules shall be established in the latest version of the USA Softball or NSA rule book for fast pitch softball except for special rules adopted by the League.

17.0 SPECIAL RULES

The League may adopt special playing rules from time to time which may be the exception from USA Softball or NSA rules. The special playing rules are contained in the last section of the HGSSL Rules after being approved by a majority vote of the league.

18.0 MANAGER RESPONSIBILITY

The manager is the person in responsible charge of the team, and as such, he/she is responsible for the conduct and behavior of the coaches, players, and spectators

19.0 NEGATIVE BEHAVIOR

Managers and coaches are expected to assist the umpire immediately to
end any negative player behavior with respect to their town.

20.0 TOBACCO AND VULGARITY

The use of any tobacco products or vulgar language by umpires, managers, coaches, players, scorekeepers shall not be tolerated. After a verbal warning, continuance shall result in the ejection of the offender. The police may be summoned by any coach if warranted.

21.0 CODE OF ETHICS

" I will place the emotional and physical well being of my players ahead of a personal desire to win.
" I will treat each player as an individual remembering the large range of emotional and physical development for the same age group. 
" I will do my best to provide a safe playing situation for my players. 
" I will promise to review and practice the basic first aid principles needed to treat injuries of my players. 
" I will do my best to organize practices that are fun and challenging for all my players. 
" I will lead by example in demonstrating fair play and sportsmanship to all my players. 
" I will provide a sports environment for my team that is free of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol, and I will refrain from their use at all youth sports events. 
" I will be knowledgeable in the rules of each sport that I coach, and I will teach these rules to my players. 
" I will use those coaching techniques appropriate for each of the skills that I teach. 
" I will remember that I am a youth sports coach, and that the game is for the children and not the adults.

22.0 VIOLATIONS

Any violation of the Code of Ethics or other policies, rules and regulations shall result in the following disciplinary action unless established elsewhere in the by-laws:

The violators shall appear before the Executive Committee

A letter of reprimand shall be sent to the appropriate Town Representative and Town Recreation League President or equivalentImmediate and indefinite suspension from the League or Expulsion of the Town after due process.

The town will forfeit the $250 Corrective Action Fee


        22.1 COACH EJECTIONS

                                          1) The first time a coach is ejected from the game, that coach will be suspended from attending the following game.
                                          2) A second suspension will result in the coach being suspended for the duration of the season (playoffs included) and the town being placed                                                 on probation for the following year.
                                          3) Should the ejection occur in the last game of the year, the coach will be suspended from participation in the league for the following year or                                               until the HGSSL Board review is completed. 

23.0 HGSSL SPECIAL PLAYING RULE

All play is governed by USA Softball or NSA Rules except as noted on the individual Playing Rules sheet for each age level.

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