This league uses official playing rules of the Northwest Florida Girls Softball Alliance (NWFGSA), the National Softball Association (NSA), and the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) except for rules excerpted at local league option in these Rules and Regulations and the NEP By-Laws. The rules of the game are the same for both, Recreational and Competitive Leagues.
1.01 General. The rules of fast pitch softball differ considerably from the boys baseball rules. There are no limits for pitchers on the number of innings they are allowed to pitch. Therefore, an advanced pitcher/catcher combination can dominate in any recreational program, a fact borne out during the transition from slow pitch to fast pitch softball at NEP and in other recreational parks.
The Northwest Florida Girls Softball Alliance (NWFGSA), whose goal is to develop and enhance the recreational level of fast pitch softball through a spirit of harmony and cooperation, has taken measures to preclude the disproportionate influence advanced players have in the recreational programs by considering them for assignment to competitive leagues. As outlined in the NWFGSA rules, a competitive division consists of a team that openly recruits or fills its roster with tryouts (no league draft). Since the goal of the NEP Girls Softball Program is to increase the number of girls playing in its recreational program and to enhance their overall playing experience, the Park has embraced this NWFGSA league restructuring.
1.02 -- Implementation. NEP will comply with the Alliance s two-division structure. The number of girls registering to play will determine the number of teams in each age group. The age groups that are most directly affected by the Competitive League arrangement are the 12U and 14U groups. However, participation in the 10U, 16U, and 18U age groups will be considered, provided there is sufficient interest.
2.01 -- Playing Age. Player age groups will be as follows: 8U, 10U, 12U, 16U, and 18U. No player will be allowed to play outside of her age group. The number of players registering to play will determine the number of teams in each age group. Competitive League play is available in the 12U and 14U age groups; Competitive League play in the 10U, 16U, and 18U age groups will be considered if there is sufficient interest.
2.02 -- Reservations to Play. Managers desiring to join the NEP Girls Softball Leagues must submit a written request by September 1 to the NEP Board of Directors for approval or disapproval.
3.01 -- Re-Entry Player Compensation -- Recreational League. The team from whence the player came will be compensated 1,000 points upon his approval to the re-entry draw by the Board of Directors provided, however, that the team has received no other points for team size or otherwise because of this player leaving the team.
3.02 -- Recruiting -- Recreational League. Each Manager may recruit up to four In-Park Recruits and two Out-of-Park Recruits. Any non-returning player who does not meet the definition of either In-Park or Out-of-Park Recruit is not eligible to be recruited and will be placed in the regular draft.
Note: A Manager must take his own child as a recruit unless the Manager indicated in writing that he desires his child to play on another team other than his own.
3.03 -- Draft Point System -- Recreational League.
(a) Beginning Points. Each team will receive 12,000 points. Each player, whether returning player, recruit, or option shall have a value of 1000 points going into the draft. The total number of returning players, recruits, and options will be multiplied by 1000 and subtracted from the starting number of points for each team at the beginning of the draft. Points agreed upon for any player exchanges will also be added and subtracted, as appropriate.
3.04 Competitive League Player Selection. Tryout dates will be set for December. Five coaches will be used in player judging and the NEP Director of Player Selection will be present. Players will be placed on teams in ranking order with the highest score picked first, etc. In the event there are enough girls to field more than one team, the players receiving the highest evaluation scores during tryouts will be placed on Team 1, then Team 2 will be filled, and so on. The team manager will reserve one (1) player option.
3.05 Tryout Dates. Tryout dates will be set for December and a team will be rostered by the third week of December. There will be five coaches used in player judging and the NEP Director of Player Selection will be present. At the time of the tryout, players wil be registered and pay the $25.00 non-refundable registration fee. Players not selected will then be preregistered for the Recreational League and are eligible to be recruited for a Recreational League team or participate in the Recreational League tryouts.
4.01 -- Team Balancing.
(a) Recreational League -- Teams will be balanced in number of players. Exceptions may occur due to the number of registrants.
(b) Competitive League -- No restrictions.
4.02 -- Age Quotas.
(a) Recreational League -- No team may have more than eight (8) players of any one age group. Exceptions may occur due to the number of registrants.
(b) Competitive League -- No restrictions.
5.01 -- Time Limit. No new inning will commence after 1 hours has elapsed except in the case of a tie score. Tie games shall be played to a conclusion, using a tie-breaker rule as defined by NSA/ASA.
5.02 -- Regulation Game Defined. Games shortened by rain or darkness shall be a regulation game if five innings (four and one-half innings if home team is ahead) have been played.
5.03 -- Inning Defined. One complete inning will consist of three outs for each team.
5.04 -- Mercy Rule. The eight run rule is in effect after five innings (four and one-half if home team is ahead).
5.05 -- Participation Rule. Each player shall play six defensive outs and bat at least once during a seven inning game, or be in no later than the last twenty minutes of the game.
Exception: Designated Player (DP)/ Defense Only (DEFO)/Extra Hitter (EH) Rule (Refer to ASA and/or NSA Rules.) This rule may be used with the following modifications:
(a) Players playing the game in the DP, DEFO, or EH position are exempt from the park participation rule for that game.
(b) Players who do not play the game in the DP, DEFO, EH position must be substituted according to the Participation Rule.
(c) It is the Manager's or Coach's responsibility to clearly mark the official score book in a manner that clearly identifies the DP, DEFO, EH players.
(d) Consecutive Game Rule. No player is to play in the DP, DEFO, or EH position for two consecutive games.
Penalty: A winning team in violation of the participation rule or the DP/DEFO/EH rule will forfeit the game in question if properly protested. A losing team will forfeit its next winning game. Violation of the Consecutive Game Rule (5.05(a) above) will also result in the suspension of the team Manager for two games.
Exception: In the event a Manager has used all of his eligible players and a player is injured, becomes ill and cannot continue, is ejected or removed from the game by an umpire or official, or is not present when a suspended game is resumed, the game shall not be forfeited. The opposing Manager shall select a player from the bench who is capable of playing the position of the injured, removed or ill player, but who has already been in the game, and this player shall replace the injured, removed or ill player.
5.06 -- High School Players. Any player who is a member of a high school softball team may participate in NEP Girls Softball, but will not be eligible for any NWFGSA sponsored tournament.
Note: Careful consideration will be given when placing high school players because multiple high school player participation on one team could render a team ineligible for participation in NWFGSA tournaments.