A Division Rules 2018 Introduction The A Division is an introduction to the exciting game of fastpitch softball. Our goal as a program is to teach basic individual and team fundamentals, preparing the kids to develop their skills and advance to the AA Division in subsequent seasons. Key fundamentals introduced at this level include: batting, throwing, fielding, and running. The players learn basic game rules and strategy as well. Kids, upon completion of a season, should understand defensive positions on the field, be able to demonstrate the name and place where each position is located on the field, balls and strikes, fair ball and foul ball, how to make an out and what an out means, and the objective of advancing around the bases to score a run. Game play will begin with a coach pitching to a batter. After 6 coach pitches, regardless of whether the pitches thrown were balls or strikes, the batter who has not successfully hit a ball in fair play will then use a batting tee. Coaches will umpire the games as needed. Games are played with a 10-inch reduced flight, cushion type ball. No scores will be kept or recorded. Players will not slide, and the Infield Fly Rule is not used. Team on defense will use 5 infielders (behind the coach pitcher, 1st base, 2nd base, shortstop, and 3rd base) and the balance of the roster will play in the outfield. No catcher will be used although the pitcher may cover home. A coach from the batting team will catch and assist the hitter, placing the batting tee in place as needed if after 6 pitches the batter has not hit a fair ball. An inning will last until all the players on the batting team have come to the plate, assuring each player receives equal opportunity to bat. Fielding Rules There can be 2 defensive coaches on the field, supporting the defensive team. The coaches may teach and provide instruction to the fielders but should not physically assist the fielders. Outs will be recorded but not for the purpose of ending the inning. Outs can be achieved by catching a fly ball, tagging a base where a force out exists, or tagging a runner who is off a base. Coaches should keep in mind the goals and spirit of the A Division, trying whenever possible to teach the game. The play will be considered over when the pitcher has control of the ball inside the pitcher’s circle or if the runners have stopped running, making no effort to continue. Batting Rules A team will bat their entire roster of players each inning. A batter will receive up to 6 pitches from the coach pitcher to successfully swing and hit a fair ball. If the player does not put the ball into fair play after 6 pitches, regardless of whether the pitch is a strike, she will then hit the ball off a batting tee which is placed in position. If a batted ball hits the coach pitcher, the play is considered dead, no pitch, and the base runners return to their base. If a batted ball hits a defensive coach the ball is considered live. A batter and base runner may only advance one base on a ball that does not leave the infield. If the ball reaches the outfield grass, base runners and the batter may advance as many as 2 bases. There is no advance on an overthrow. If a base runner or batter is put out, they will come off the base that the out was recorded to begin to teach players about outs in normal game play Adjustments to rules that do not materially change the nature of game play may be considered and each coach’s feedback will be considered by the A Division commissioner. If the A Division commissioner feels a rule change is warranted, the game play rules may be modified by the Competition Committee at the mid-way point in the season to make the game more interesting and challenging.