Express Rules

Please see below for our general rules of play.

This file as well as a complete set of rules by division is also posted to the right as a downloadable pdf for your convenience.

Parents, please remember to adhere to our code of conduct at all times.

Tracy Express Girls Fast Pitch Softball League General Rules All Divisions Effective Date 01/01/2020

Section 1) Rules and Regulations

Tracy Express Fastpitch Softball League games are played under the USA Softball (formerly the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) and ASA/USA Softball) rules with amendments as described below. If there is no specific exception below, then USA Official Rules Of Softball” shall prevail. In the event of a conflict between these rule exceptions and USA Official Rules Of Softball, Tracy Express Fastpitch Softball League rule modifications shall prevail.

Tracy Express Fastpitch Softball League Does not allow “FLEX” players or “Designated Players” as described in USA Rule 1.

Section 2) Age Divisions & Registration

  1. Age is determined by the age of the member on December 31st.
  2. T-Ball Division will consist of girls ranging in ages of 3 and 4.
  3. 6U Division will consist of girls ranging in ages of 5 and 6.
  4. 8U Division will consist of girls ranging in ages of 7 and 8.
  5. 10U Division will consist of girls ranging in ages of 9 and 10.
  6. 12U Division will consist of girls ranging in ages of 11 and 12.
  7. Uppers Division will consist of girls ranging in ages of 13, 14 and 15.
  8. Girls will not be permitted to practice or play in the League until On-Line registration has been completed including the medical release. (NO EXCEPTIONS)
  9. Evaluations are required for 10U, 11U, 12U and Uppers Divisions. Evaluations will be held for 8U pitchers only. Board will use 8U evaluations to equitably spread pitchers around Division. Each girl must participate in the evaluations. The Board will rank each player by skill level to help create evenly balanced teams in the draft.
  1. Girls exceeding current vacancies will be placed on a waiting list in the order in which they sign up. The date and time will be noted on each girl’s registration form.
  2. Additional players will be added from the waiting list in the order they appear. The replacement will be the first girl on the waiting list who is eligible for that Division.
  3. Managers cannot recruit for their vacancies; they must take girls from the waiting list.
  4. Managers must contact the Division Coordinator within twenty-four (24) hours with the name of any girl who has dropped from a team.

Section3) Local Rules All Divisions

  1. Practices shall not start prior to the first Saturday in February.
  2. Parents and other volunteers that are requested to assist during a team’s practice must have a signed Tracy Express Girls Fast Pitch Softball League waiver on file with the league.
  3. Home Team is responsible for setting up the field, which includes putting out the bases and chalking the field. Rechalking the field in between games is the responsibility of the next game’s home team. Home Plate Umpires reserve the right to delay the start of a game for proper chalking or Rechalking of the field. The visiting team is responsible for closing the field which includes putting the bases away and locking the green bins. Each team shall police their dugout area immediately following their game.
  4. Home team will be responsible for recording the official scorebook. Each team must present the line-up to the opposing team ten (10) minutes prior to game/start time.
    Managers of each team and the Home Plate Umpire are required to sign the official scorebook/score card at the conclusion of each game.
  5. Only the Umpire in Chief, Field Coordinator, President, Vice President, or Plate Umpire of the game has the authority to cancel a game prior to game time due to Field and/or weather conditions. Only games cancelled because of field and/or weather conditions shall be rescheduled.
  1. Regularly scheduled games shall not be rescheduled unless both teams are unable to field a team for good cause with seven (7) days notification to the President; both teams must agree to reschedule.
  2. The rescheduling of games will be coordinated by the President and/or Vice President with discussion with the Umpire in Chief, Field Coordinator, and the Division Coordinator affected. The managers of the respective teams will be notified of game time and field. The rescheduled game will be played on the date and time provided to each team unless there has been sufficient notification for the reasons for any event prohibiting either team to appropriately field a team. Failure to provide notification or justifiable reason, as determined by the President and/or Vice President, Umpire in Chief, Field Coordinator, shall result in a forfeit by the team unable to field a team. Priority of rescheduling a game will be limited to acts of nature. The Managers are not to coordinate rescheduled games amongst themselves.
  3. The standings will be kept for each season to determine a Division Champion. There will be no standings in the T-Ball or 6U Divisions. Awards will be assigned for first and second place for TOC in the 10U, 12U and Uppers Divisions. Participation awards will be given to all players in T-Ball, 6U, and 8U Divisions.
  4. No member of any team can be placed on any other team after the draft is completed. The exception to this rule is with approval of the President, Vice President, Umpire in Chief and Division Coordinator.
  5. Home team shall take the third Base dugout, and visitors will take the first base dugout.
  6. Warm up schedule: The fifteen (15) minutes prior to game time shall be divided as follows for infield practice: The first seven (7) minutes for visitors and the second seven (7) minutes for the home team. EXCEPTION: If the field is not prepared for play, no on field warm-up will be allowed.
  1. Forfeit time is game time plus five (5) minutes. The minimum number of players needed to have an official game is seven (7) players. A team having less than seven (7) players at the time must forfeit the game. If both teams have less than seven (7) players at forfeit time, both teams forfeit the game and earn no points in their Division standings.
  2. Game Time Start: Infield for both teams shall be granted in accordance with Tracy Express General Rules, Section 3) Local Rules All Divisions #11. Game time start shall be as close to published game time as practical. Under no circumstances shall a game be started early. Official game time begins when the defense is on the field ready to play and a batter is ready to bat, and the Home Plate Umpire says “Play Ball”. Official time will be kept by the umpire’s time piece and is the Home Coach’s responsibility to make note of game start in their score book.
  3. A minimum of two (2) complete innings will be considered a complete game only when a game must be called by either the Head Umpire, Tracy Express UIC, President, Vice President due to darkness, weather, or other unforeseen circumstance.
  4. Spectators, players, Managers and Coaches are not allowed to be directly behind the backstop. Only official Scorekeeper(s) may be there. This allows for the safety of spectators as well as the players and officials of the game.
  5. Managers and Coaches are prohibited from instructing and/or coaching the players while they are on the field or at bat from any location other than the dugout or field of play as defined by the Umpire.
  6. Only individuals allowed onto the playing field or in the team(s) dugout are players, Umpires, Board members and anyone else displaying approved credentials from ASA/USAA/USA. Any coach on the playing field or in the team(s) dugout must have proper credentials. These credentials must be worn and visible for all to see at all times. Any violation of this rule including sharing and/or borrowing of someone else’s credentials may result in disciplinary action up to and including suspension from Tracy Express. Exception to this rule is granted to T Ball team’s Head Coach’s digression.
  1. Players must wear the uniform as furnished by the League. Shirts must be tucked in at all times while on the playing field. If not, this could be cause for the team to be charged with a delay-of-game penalty, as set by ASA standards. EXCEPTION: During cold weather games approved spirit wear with number on the back will be allowed. Coaches shall wear team uniform shirt or approved spirit wear. Hats if worn by coaches shall be worn in the proper way as designed and be in good taste.
  2. After each game or practice, each team is responsible to make sure the field, spectator area and dugouts are clean and not littered with debris.
  3. The League will not be responsible for any personal equipment and/or items of the players, nor assume any liability for players using personal equipment. Personal equipment is required to meet the specifications and safety standards set by ASA/USA Softball.
  4. At NO time is alcohol or tobacco allowed on the premises where League games are being held. Managers and Coaches will be responsible for ensuring that spectators do not violate this policy.
  5. All players must wear a batting helmet with a facemask. Players may use a chinstrap, but it is not required. If a chinstrap is used, it must be properly attached and tightened.
  6. All Divisions shall use the double safety base with orange side of the base being outside the foul line.
  7. Players are not allowed to wear jewelry of any kind during games or practices including medical alert bracelets or necklaces unless they are taped securely to the player’s body.
  8. All infield, and Out Field positions, including pitchers of 10U, 11U, 12U and Uppers Divisions MUST wear a Face Mask. This will be part of the player’s equipment they must furnish for themselves.
  1. Tracy Express Fastpitch Softball League will not tolerate and has adopted a zero- tolerance policy for disrespect, yelling, and overzealous arguing with Field Umpires. Offenses will be a judgement call by the Home Plate Umpire. Warnings or ejections of coaches and spectators may be issued.
  2. Ejections Any ejection of a coach, he/she must leave the Tracy Express Fields immediately before play can resume, or the team in which the coach is associated with will forfeit the game. This Coach may NOT be present at the Tracy Express Fields for the next six (6) days for the first offense. Second offense includes not being present at the Tracy Express Fields for the next thirteen (13) days and will meet with the president and/or Vice President, UIC, and possibly the Division Coordinator. A third offense the coach would be stripped from their coaching privileges for at least the remainder of the season. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  3. Ejection of Parent/Spectator The parent/spectator who has been ejected MUST leave the fields and must be no closer than the parking lot of WMS. If the parent/spectator does not leave the premises at the time of the ejection, the team in which the parent/spectator is associated with will be marked a forfeit.

Section 4) Protest All Divisions

1. No protest considerations will be made.

Section 5) Playing Rules All Divisions

  1. Each girl present at a game shall play a minimum of two (2) innings in the field and have at least one (1) at bat.
  2. Players can only be played in the outfield positions a maximum of two (2) innings.
  3. All players will bat throughout the game with field substitutions not affecting the batting order.
  1. If a player becomes injured during a game and cannot return, they will NOT be considered an out. However, they cannot return to the game.
    NOTE: In 10U, 12U and Uppers, if a team’s batting lineup has less than nine (9) batters, including due to injury during a game, there will be an “out” recorded every time the injured batter’s turn comes around. If teams have nine (9) players or more after removing an injured player from the game, then the injured player will not be recorded as an “out” and instead the team will shrink the lineup, removing the injured player from it. The injured player cannot return to the game once removed.
  2. Batting out of order USA Rule: 7-2 shall be followed at all times.
  3. Except for the pitcher position, there will be free substitution in the field at any time. The starting pitcher can be removed from the position and re-enter in the pitching position one (1) time only. Relief pitchers, once removed from the pitching position cannot be re-entered as a pitcher.
  4. One (1) pitch to a batter in an inning constitutes an inning pitched.
  5. Courtesy Runners are not allowed in Tracy Express Girls Fast Pitch Softball League.

Section 6) Draft Procedures

T-Ball, 6U and 8U Draft

1. Players will be divided by the Board under the supervision of the appropriate Division Coordinator/Representative.

10U, 12U, Uppers Division Draft Purpose:

1. To ensure all players are evaluated and ranked according to their ability and experience and then ranked from one to best of the rest.

  1. To distribute all eligible travel experienced players throughout the available teams in their respective age divisions to strengthen and reinforce the league.
  2. To provide a tool for all coaches, regardless of their experience within Tracy Express, to properly draft eligible players.
  3. To provide some degree of team parity through the league.

5. To prevent the making of “super teams” which may end up leaving the league.

Evaluations

  1. Player evaluation will take place at the close of registration and a date provided by the Board of Directors Evaluation Committee. This committee will be comprised of a minimum of three (3) Board members for the purpose of evaluating players.
  2. On the day of the evaluations, the Evaluation Committee will be responsible for evaluating players, logging their respective scores, and placing the players accordingly. After the evaluations, the committee will provide an end product evaluation sheet that will be distributed to all coaches and used as the basis for the actual draft.
  3. Please note: All approved Coaches are encouraged to participate and make their own notes and rankings at the evaluations. The league supplied draft spreadsheet and rankings are only meant as a guideline, especially with new coaches coming into the league, provide a uniform standard for grading, and to be used as the framework for the placing players at the actual draft meeting. Any additional observations and grading criteria used by individual coaches is encouraged.

Evaluation Requirements:

A. Evaluation Criteria V 1.0 (attached)
B. General Evaluation Spreadsheet (attached)
C. List of eligible players
D. Player’s numbered and listed on some kind of list (Discuss)

E. Fields and essential equipment

Process and Timeline

  1. Eligible players will be listed and supplied to the evaluation committee one week before the evaluations.
  2. Eligible players will sign in on Evaluation day and be assigned a number and group for evaluation. Players will be Evaluated in the following areas: • Fielding • Batting

• Pitching and Catching

  1. Players will be evaluated in fielding a variety of ground balls, fly balls, Throwing, Running to 1B, and batting. In addition, pitchers and catchers will be evaluated separately after player evaluation.
  2. Evaluation Committee members will record their evaluation of each player.
  3. The Evaluation Committee will average out the scores of each player for placement on draft board prior to Draft Night.

Draft
Draft Spreadsheet

  1. Players will be listed on the Draft Spreadsheet from highest overall scores to the lowest overall scores and then grouped in categories by the number of teams participating in the draft.
  2. Names from draft spread sheet that is posted on draft night. Players will be recognized by numbers only.
  3. Pitchers and catchers each get a separate spreadsheet that includes all their defensive and batting numbers as well as their respective pitching numbers.

Draft Process

Each Team may only have one (1) representative present during the draft.

Draft selection order –

1. Numbers 1 through the available teams are put into a hat. Each respective coach/team representative draws a number to determine the order of the draft.

Order of draft –

1. The number drawn from the hat determines the order of the pick. The draft follows a “serpentine” that ensures fair picks throughout the process.
Example: 6 teams are in the draft.

1-2-3-4-5-6 6-5-4-3-2-1 1-2-3-4-5-6 6-5-4-3-2-1

This process is followed until all players are drafted.
2. Pitchers and Catchers draft be exhausted before players can be selected from the general

draft.

Accounting –

1. Once a player has been drafted, they are removed from the general draft spreadsheet and placed on their respective team(s). The respective Division Coordinator, or Board Member shall be responsible for making sure all picked players are removed from the general draft and placed in a separate roster.

Post Draft Trading-

1. After all players have been drafted, there will be 30 minutes to discuss and possibly trade players drafted by other teams. In order for a trade to be made, both coaches must agree and have the approval of the Division Coordinator, President, Vice President or UIC. All trades are final once the 30 minutes have expired.

Hat Picks-

  1. For players NOT available for the draft and are not a known commodity (known players will be put into the general draft at their perceived appropriate ranking with a note that they did not make evaluations), will be put in a hat and drawn in the order of the draft. For example, if the last official draft pick was taken by the team second to pick in the draft, then the number 3 picking team would have the first pick.
  2. This continues until all hat pick players are drafted.
  3. Hat Picks will be drawn after the rest of the ranked players have been drafted.
  4. Hat picks may be traded for any other player drafted by another team and is not limited to another Hat Pick.

Coaches Players and Siblings-

1. For Draft purposes, each team is allowed to designate (1) Head coach and one (1) Assistant Coach.

  1. A Head Coach and one Assistant Coach are entitled to drafting their relative children, at their evaluated level.
  2. Returning Head Coaches without relative children may choose one player from their previous season’s team.
  3. Returning Assistant Coaches without relative children are also entitled to one player from the previous season’s team. These players will be drafted at their evaluated level.
  4. If you are a Head Coach without an announced Assistant Coach, you are entitled to one player from your previous season’s team.
  5. If you are a New Coach, you are entitled to your relative children and the relative children of ONE Assistant Coach.
  1. If the new Coaches have no relative children, they will draft their complete team from the player evaluation standings.
  2. All “relative children” must be identified prior to the draft to the Board.

Example – Head Coach has two (2) daughters that are players. One of the players is in the top 5 overall player, then this pick will be the first pick. Player two is graded to be in the 6th round, so this would be the coach’s sixth round pick at the time of the 6th round selection.

2. If a player is drafted and that player has a sibling in the same division, that sibling will be placed on the same team, unless otherwise requested by the parents. The sibling will be a draft pick at her level.

Post Draft Timeline

1. Player Notification –
a. Coaches/teams must notify the drafted players by one (1) week from the

completion of the draft.

2. Player/Parent Meeting –
a. Once notification has been completed, coaches may have a players/parent meeting

within (1) one week from the notification. Player/Parent meeting should include: 1. Player, coach and parent introductions
2. Practice times and schedule
3. Code of Conduct

The Board reserves the right to adjust any Draft process or procedure to address inequities to the available talent.

Section 8) Managers, Coaches, Scorekeepers, and Umpires

  1. Managers for each team will be responsible to delegate their teams’ parents to help with field work days and snack shack duties. Use of practice fields at Tracy Express Fields will be based on participation. There will be assigned times and days for these fields.
  2. Application process: Completion of a Manager or Coach Application form does not guarantee that the applicant will be assigned a team. All Managers and Coaches positions are filled as vacancies occur and require Board approval. All Managers and Coaches must attend the following:
    1. Managers/Team Parent Meeting
    2. Positive Coaching Alliance Training
    3. Field Work Days
  3. Managers and Coaches: The Managers and Coaches of each team must be at least eighteen (18) years of age. The Manager must have knowledge of softball. The Manager has complete responsibility for his/her team. Coaches must have knowledge and ability in softball. Team functions will not be permitted unless an adult woman is in attendance.
  4. Selection: The Board will review all Managers and Coaches for necessary qualifications, abilities, and knowledge. A Manager or Coach may be managing/coaching personnel for one additional team in a different Divisions only with a lack of volunteers and will need Board approval.
  5. Vacancies: When vacancies occur for Manager or Coaches, nominations shall be made to the President of the League who will present the application to the Board for selection and approval.
  6. Scorekeepers: Each team will provide one (1) Scorekeeper for its games. The Home team’s Scorekeeper will act as the official Scorekeeper.
  7. Umpires: All divisions except T-Ball and 6U will have Umpires who are under the supervision of the Umpire in Chief. Games will NOT be postponed because there are no Umpires; Parent volunteers will be utilized.

Section 9) Tournament of Champions (TOC)

  1. All playing rules shall apply to both the regular season and year-end Tournament of Champions play without modifications.
  2. Teams will be seeded based on final league standings.
  3. The final Championship game for each Division during the year – end Tournament of Champions will have a 1-hour and 45-minute time limit for 10U, 12U and Uppers Divisions.
  4. TOC will be double elimination Bracket.
  5. Home team will be based on TOC seeding. Highest seed between two teams shall be designated as the Home team.

6.

In the event of a winning percentage tie between two (2) or more teams at the end of the

regular season, top seeded team will be decided by the following criteria in order:

  1. Winning Percentage The number of wins plus half the number of ties, divided by the total number of games. Note: If two teams are tied on Winning Percentage and have played a different number of games, the Games Back tiebreaker is used as a mini-breaker. Thus, a team at 4-0 will be placed ahead of a team at 3-0, because the team at 3-0 is considered .5 games back.
  2. Head-To-Head A comparison of two or more tied teams based on who has won or lost when playing against each other. Games played against non-tied teams are ignored.
  3. Head-To-Head Run Differential A combination of the Head-To-Head analysis and Total Run Differential, this criterion uses the total run differential, appropriately limited by the Max Differential parameter, for games played between the tied teams. This criterion is most useful when two teams are tied, they have played each other twice, and each team has won once. This tie- breaker rewards the team that has won by the larger margin.
  4. Total Runs For The sum of all the runs scored by the team in all games. The higher the number the better.
  1. Average Runs For The sum of all the runs scored by the team in all games, divided by the number of games played. The higher the number the better.
  2. Total Runs Against The sum of all runs scored by the team’s opponent in all games. The lower the number the better.
  3. Coin Toss

7. TOC’s will be scheduled for the last week of the season. Depending on the number of teams, this may include the last Saturday of the season, or the last 2 Saturdays of the season.

Section 10) Most Inspirational Player Most Inspirational Player (MIP)

  1. One MIP will be selected from each team in all Divisions.
  2. The MIP will be selected for her enthusiasm, sportsmanship, attitude, and team play ability.
  3. The Manager will notify her/his respective Division Coordinator of the player chosen as MIP to be announced at Closing Ceremony.