12U Softball Rules

Updated Sunday April 19, 2015 by Chuck Reid.

NWYA Softball Rules 2015 Season 11-12 Age Group


    1. All girls must be a member of the association they are playing in.

    2. Eligible age – must be 12 or under as of January 1 of the season playing.

    3. Players may not play with open cuts. Uniforms with blood must be changed.

    4. Any rule not mentioned here will come from current year NSA rulebook.


    1. Bases will be at 60 feet.

    2. There should be a twelve (12) foot diameter circle around the 40-foot pitching rubber.

  3. THE GAME:

    1. All games will consist of five (5) innings, or one (1) hour and 10 minute time limit, whichever comes first. No inning can start after the 1 hour and 10 minute time limit has been met. An inning that was started prior to the expiration of 1 hour and 10 minutes must be completed.


    3. There is a five (5) run per inning limit, with the exception of the fifth inning which has no limit.

      If the game is called for time or weather, the unlimited run inning will not pertain to the last

      inning unless it is the fifth inning.

    4. The start of an inning begins when the 3rd out is made in the bottom of the inning. Example: In

      the bottom of the fourth the third out is made on a strike out. As soon as the umpire makes the

      third out call the top of the fifth inning starts.

    5. Any game stopped due to weather after 3 complete innings (2 1⁄2 innings if home team is ahead)

      will be declared an official game. If a game is stopped before it is an official game it will be

      replayed in its entirety.

    6. Maximum delay of first game in evening is 10 minutes and then second game will start on time.

      If no umpire is on site, start the game with parent volunteer umpires until he/she arrives.

    7. A minimum of eight (8) players must be available to begin playing a game. In the event that a

      team does not have enough players to start, that team will lose by forfeit. “Pick-up players” may be added to avoid forfeit, but they must be players from a younger age bracket and be on the roster of a team in the younger age bracket in the same community.

    8. Each player must play no less than six (6) consecutive outs in each ball game. You may substitute freely if all girls are in the batting line-up. If not, you must follow ASA substitution rules.

    9. A reentry rule is in effect. Explanation: the starter can be removed from the game and returned to the same position in the lineup and the field. The player that replaced the starter cannot reenter the game if they have been removed.

    10. Younger players are allowed to “PLAY UP” a maximum of 6 times per season including the playoffs.

    11. Home team will provide game balls. (1 new, 1 used)

    12. The game ball will be a 12-inch yellow softball.


    1. Each team may have 10 players on the field: 6 infielders including the pitcher and catcher, and 4 outfielders. All outfielders must play behind the baselines until the ball is hit.

    2. The catcher is required to wear full catcher’s gear.


    1. The fast-pitch method is used.

    2. The pitcher’s mound is set at 40 feet. The pitcher must begin delivery with both feet touching

      the pitcher’s plate. The pitcher may use forward motion only and must maintain one foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate until the ball is released.


c. A pitcher will be removed from the mound at any second trip to the mound by a coach in one (1) inning.

  1. A pitcher may be removed from the game and re-enter later in the game.

  2. There is no limit to the number of innings a single pitcher may pitch.


  1. You may allow all players in the line-up to bat. If so, you can substitute freely. If not, must follow substitution rules. If you begin with all players in the line-up, you must end with all players in the line-up.

  2. Any late players will be added to the end of the batting order so long as the order has not been gone through one (1) time yet.

  3. Any player taken out of a game due to injury may be reinserted into the lineup only if she has NOT been skipped in the batting order. If she must miss her at-bat due to injury, she cannot return to the game and must sit out the remainder. No out will be charged for an injured player being removed from the lineup.

  4. All bats must be official fast pitch softball bats and CAN NOT be slow pitch bats. They all must be NSA certified.

  5. All batters and runners are to wear a full-face helmet.

  6. Bunting is allowed. There is no minimum distance a bunt must travel in order to be in play.

  7. IF the catcher drops the third strike ball, the runner can attempt to run to first (1st) base, but only

    if the base is open. However, if there are two (2) outs and the catcher drops the third strike ball, the batter can attempt to run to first base even if the base is occupied. The batter must make the attempt to run prior to the ball being thrown back to the pitcher. If the batter makes no attempt to run, or returns to the dugout, she is out once the pitcher has control of the ball and touches the pitcher’s plate.

  8. The infield fly rule does not apply. All infield flies must be caught to make an out. All infield flies with runners on base will be live balls.

  9. There is no third strike foul rule. The batter will continue hitting until she walks, hits, or swings and misses.

  10. Any foul ball or foul tip caught by a defensive player results in the batter being called out.

  11. A foul tip caught by the catcher on a batter with 2 strikes does not have to travel above the

    batter’s head to be ruled strike three and the batter being called out. If the catcher drops the ball

    that was foul tipped the at bat continues.

  12. The on-deck hitter must remain in the on-deck area and also wearing a helmet.

  13. All other players must remain in the dugout until it is their turn to bat.

  14. Any player batting out of order will be called out if the opposing team calls an appeal. The

    appeal rule goes into effect after the first pitch is thrown and expires once the player arrives on



  1. Courtesy runners may be used for the catcher after one (1) out and must be used after two (2) outs. Courtesy runner may be used for an injured player. Courtesy runner must be a player that has not played unless all players have been used, then should be player making last out.

  2. There is no leading off bases, but stealing is allowed. A base runner cannot leave the base until the ball leaves the pitcher’s hand. The umpire will call out any base runner leaving early.

  3. To avoid injury, runners coming into home plate must slide if there is a play at home plate. If the runner does not slide and makes contact with the catcher, the runner will be called out.

  4. An overthrow will be declared if the ball is thrown over any baseline fence. One base will be awarded to each base runner at the umpire’s discretion.

  5. All overthrows that remain on the infield side of the fence are live balls. Runners may advance at their own risk.

  6. The ball remains live until the pitcher regains control of the ball and touches the pitcher’s plate.

  1. Any ball that rolls under the outfield fence will be declared a dead ball and treated as a ground rule double.

  2. All base running appeals (runners failing to touch a base) will be made by the defensive team by throwing the ball to the appropriate infielder who will then tag the base. The umpire will have the final decision on whether or not a base was missed

  3. Base coaches are not allowed to touch the players when they are on the bases. (No pushing players toward the next base on pulling them back)


  1. Appeals related to illegal players must be made on the field. If a satisfactory response is not

    received, the game should continue. After the game, the coach may appeal to the NWYSA Board President. After investigation, the game may stand or be declared illegal and thus forfeited.

  2. The same appeals method should be followed for any rules-related appeals. Under no circumstances will appeals be heard which are directly related to an umpire’s judgment call.

  3. Ejected players, coaches, or fans must go to their vehicle and not return to the field area for the remainder of the day/night. All ejections will be reviewed by the NW Board on a case by case basis. Rulings by the NW Board are final and not open to appeal