NCS / AWS Softball 4 Seniors, Rules

NCS / AWS Softball 4 Seniors rules are for players by players. We welcome your suggestions and will annually seek member teams to vote on your recommendation you submit. Any changes to rules will become effective for the next tournament year.  

1.    General

            1.1 These rules are specific to Senior play. Directors may need to amend a specific rule due to requirements outside their control, if this is needed amended rules will be posted prior to the start of the tournament and distributed to managers prior to the first game of the event. Rules will not be changed during a tournament unless it is a health, safety or government directive.

            1.2These are general rules of play. Specific rules for Masters (35+), Women’s and Co-ed follow general these rules.

            1.3 We will not charge individual player fees. A yearly team registration of $50. Is required for play. 

1.4Teams will be required to submit a roster prior to the first tournament played yearly. Teams may be required to supply documentation supporting players ranking (ie a nationally recognized senior program rating, a tournament roster, etc)

2.            Age Divisions & Classifications

            2.1 Age Divisions. A valid government picture ID will serve as proof. Players must have ID available at games if questioned by tournament officials.

A. Masters - 35 & 40 plus. 

B. Seniors - 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80 & 85 plus.

C. Exceptions - 

70 Rec/AA are allowed four 69 year olds, AAA two 68 year olds

75 Rec/AA are allowed four 74 & two 73 year olds. AAA are allowed four 74 year olds   

80 & 85 All classifications are allowed four 79 & two 78 year olds 

            2.2 Classifications.

                        A. Major Plus - Teams will be made up from east or west of the Mississippi River (exceptions may be granted to mid-west teams). Run limit per half inning will be seven. Home Run limit will be seven over the fence. Home runs over the limit will be outs. 

                        B. Major - Run limit per half inning will be five. Home Run limit will be five over the fence. Home runs over the limit will be outs. Major teams are allowed to have three Major Plus players.

                        C. AAA -  Run limit per half inning will be five. Home Run limit will be three over the fence. Home runs over the limit will be outs. AAA teams are allowed to have three Major players.

                        D. Rec / AA -  Run limit per half inning will be five. No home runs will be allowed. Rec/AA teams are allowed three AAA players.

                        E. Directors can move a team to another classification after pool play to balance competition 

     3. Equipment

            3.1 Bats 

A. 40 and over division may use any 1.21 or 1.20  BPF stamped bat.

B. 35 and over divisions may use 1.20 BPF stamped bat.

            3.2 Balls 

A. 12” COR44, 375psi Compression Dudley ball shall be used.

B. Three balls will be supplied per team/event.

C. Each team in a Championship game will be awarded an additional ball.

D. Additional balls may be purchased from the director based on stock on hand.

E. Teams may bring their own Dudley balls as listed in which must be approved by director.

3.2 A except ZN or Stadium. 

Teams supplying their own balls must prior to a game have directors physically approve balls they want to use

F. If a tournament uses a different ball than what is listed in 3.2 A it will be listed at registration.

3.3 Protective equipment - 

A. Pitchers - Must wear a face mask covering protecting eyes, nose and mouth at a minimum. Pitchers are strongly encouraged to wear shin guards and chest/heart protection

B. Infielders - Highly recommended to wear the same as a pitcher and encouraged to play at back of infield.

C. No Metal Cleats

    4.0 Playing Field - (see diagram)

            3.1 Base Distance shall be 70’

            3.2 Home Plate strike zone mat shall be used 21’ x 36’ at a minimum

            3.3 Scoring line shall be in line with the first base line and shall begin 6 inches from outside edge of home plate towards back stop. A player shall be out if they cross thru batters box unless avoid a collision at home.

            3.4 Pitching box shall begin fifty feet from home and extend ten feet towards second base the width of pitching rubber.

            3.5 Pitching Screen - May be used (team supplied) for 65 Rec/AA, 70 Rec/AA, 75-80 Rec/AA & AAA, all 85 classes. Screen shall be limited to 3’ by 6‘and placed from the center of pitching rubber toward first or third. A pitcher must retreat behind the screen if used until the ball is struck by batter. Batter will be awarded first base if the pitcher fails to comply if the batter was out by pitcher play. A batted ball hitting the screen shall be deemed a foul ball strike as second strike. A batter shall have 1 batted ball hitting the screen after the second strike be considered a dead ball. A ball hitting the screen from a defensive player shall be considered “live”.

            3.6 Batters Box shall be 3’x 7’. Batter must have one foot in the box prior to pitch & both feet must be in the box when striking the ball or the player will be called out. 

            3.7 Commitment Line shall be 30 feet from scoring line towards third base.

    4. Game Play

            4.1 Mixing Ages /DivisionsIf more than one upper level team is entered into the tournament – they will be seeded into their own championship / playoff bracket after pool play if not we will use run spot throughout the event. Division with less than six teams at Director's discretion receive a prorated prize package.

            4.2 Batters will start with a 1 & 1 count. Foul ball after the second strike will be an out.

4.3 Caught foul balls in the field of play shall be considered live and players may advance after catch.

4.4 Runs must stay within 3 feet of baseline or be called out.

4.4 Players may only retreat to a base on a caught ball or in a run down. Players retreating in a force out situation will be called out.

4.5 Infield fly rule. Catchable ball at umpire’s discretion.

4.6 Sun in pitcher’s eye, umpire’s discretion. Pitchers may move up to 3 feet with the side of the box. Must pitch the entire inning from that position only.

4.7 Designated Home Run Hitter. WE DO Not Use This Rule for NCS/AWS

            4.9 Mixed Division/Classification games. Lower Division/Classification Home Run over fence limit, Over the fence balls up to upper divisions limit shall be a single and players on base will move to the next open base. Home Runs past upper division total will be outs. 

            4.10 Pitch/Batter Rules

                        A. Pitching arch will be a minimum of six feet and a maximum of twelve feet from the ground. Pitchers have 8 Feet behind rubber to pitch from.

                        B. Pitchers must present the ball then in one underhand continuous motion deliver the ball to the plate. Pitchers can pitch from no more than 8 ft behind rubber

                        C. Pitchers must allow the batter five seconds to prepare for pitch and deliver within the five seconds.

D. Pitcher/Batter will have a ball/strike called if exceeding rule C.   

                        D. Batter / Pitcher will be allowed one time out per each batter's appearance of up to thirty seconds.

                        E. Pitchers must face forward while delivering pitch.

                        F. Batters will start with a 1 & 1. No foul to waste on third strike.

                        G. If a screen is used it cannot be moved/removed once pitch is delivered. A new pitcher may remove the screen.

            4.11 Managers time out. 1 per inning no more than 30 seconds in length.

            4.12 Catchers must have at least one foot within the width of the plate and stand no closer than one foot behind the batter's box.

            4.13 Defensive Players -

A.  Up to 10 players. 70 and up 11. 80 and up twelve.

B. Teams may start a game with 9 players

C. Teams may not compete with less than eight players at any time.         

            4.14 Teams may bat up to any amount of players on a game card/roster.

            4.15 A player will be deemed illegal if not on an official card/roster and be called out when challenged by the opposing team. Team may also forfeit the game.

            4.16 If a player in batting order leaves the game and there is no replacement his next at bat only will be an out.

            4.17 Batting out of order must be challenged prior to the first pitch of the next batter. Penalty batter will be called out.

            4.18 Pinch Runner - Any player on a game card/roster may pinch run one time. Penalty, out when challenged.

            4.19 Sliding: No sliding at first base or scoring line unless avoiding contact. Umpires discretion.

            4.20 Safety bag at first base must be used unless to avoid collision. Umpires discretion. Player out.

4.21 Reentry Rule - A starting player removed from the lineup may reenter the game one time. A substitute may not reenter the game after being removed. 

4.22 15 after 5 – does not need to reach open inning

4.23 Flip Flop: Will be invoked in game when there is a 10-run differential in favor of the visiting team at the start of the “open inning.” If the visiting team is ahead by ten or more runs, the home team will remain at bat. It will be an open inning. If the home team fails to tie or go ahead of the visiting team, the game ends and the visiting team wins. If the home team ties or goes ahead, the visiting team takes its turn at bat. Flip Flop is not used in Pool Play when playing for seedings.

4.24 Run Rule - 15 after 5 – does not need to reach open inning

4.25 Tie Game - will begin the extra inning(s) using the International Tie Breaker (ITB) until a winner is determined. When using the ITB a courtesy runner cannot be used for the runner placed on 2 base until the runner has advanced to 3base. 

    5. Uniforms: Players and coaches wear a shirts or jersey so they are easily identified as a team.Any decision on uniforms is handled by the tournament officials and is not subject to team protest. Any decision on uniforms is handled by the tournament officials and is not subject to team protest. 

    6. Line-ups: Tournament officials will provide line-up cards if needed. Official line-ups must be submitted to the opposing team and scorekeeper (if available) prior to the last inning of the preceding game and given to the umpire prior to game. 

    7. Bench area: 

A. Players, coaches, sponsors and a bat person are the only individuals allowed in the bench area.  All players must stay in dugout or out of play area 1 on deck hitter

B. No Alcohol, Sunflower seeds or smoking of any kind in the dugout or field of play

C. No disruptive music: Loud, vulgar, etc. Definition, one person complains.

D. If defensive team has a player or bat outside dugout and gets hit by thrown ball the ball is dead and all runners advance one base

E. If offensive teams batter or bat gets hit by a thrown ball the closest runner to Homeplate is out

F. Teams must clean up the dugout after each game (remove garbage etc.) 

G.  Poor Sportsmanship will not be allowed! NO F Bombs NO Throwing the Bat NO Taunting 

   8.  Forfeit Time:  Game time is forfeit time. Teams should be prepared to immediately start a game once the preceding game is completed and teams clear the dugout. Teams are required to be ready to play up to 30 minutes early. 

    9. Game Length: 

A. Pool plays 60 minutes to open, 75 minutes to the end of the game. Winner is the team that leads at the end of the last complete inning. Games may end in Tie.

B. Bracket play 60 minutes to open

C. Championship 70 minutes or 7 innings

            D: Exceptions may be required due to unforeseen events (ie weather, field restrictions, emergencies, etc).

   10.    Infield Practice: No infield practice will be permitted once the game starts. Warm-up is allowed in designated areas only. Teams may warm-up in the outfield grass if time permits.  

  12. Team seeding / Home Team: The home team in pool play will be determined by a coin flip. Brackets will be a choice of higher seed. Unless agreed otherwise, the team listed first or higher seed will use the third base dugout. The team listed second or lower seed will use the first base dugout. In the event a team plays back-to-back they will not be required to move to another dugout. 

    13. Roster residency: 

A. Teams are allowed to draw players from other states. 

    14. Run Spot: 5 per level or age (In tournaments where we have to combine levels) A run spot will be given at start of the game not per inning  

    15. FORMAT: ALL scheduled pool play games count towards seeding in Championship play unless stated otherwise. Ties in the standings in preliminary pool play will be broken by 

    16.  PROTESTS: The tournament committee will decide all protests. As manager, please be familiar with the rules of the game including proper protest procedure.  Any protest of an umpire's rule interpretation must be made before the next pitch in the game. Player eligibility protests must be made prior to the start of the game. Only managers may address umpires or Directors, all others will be required to stay in dugout or defensive position.

    17.  Ejection Rule: Managers are responsible for team conduct. Players, managers and spectators will receive one warning to stop unsportsmanlike behavior (ie questioning calls, pitch, language, etc.). Second occurrence of unsportsmanlike behavior will result in the offending party being ejected from the game. Third occurrence will result in manager and offending party being removed from the game and team will be accessed an out for offensive team, defensive team will be accessed an out at next at bat.

    18. Score Keeping: Home team and umpire are responsible for keeping score (If visitors have full book kept and home team does not, we will use visitor’s book and umpire for official scoring) 

    19. Determining your team level of play: 

A.           Players may play down one age or classification, their rating will remain the same. Players playing down 

B.           Players playing down two age levels will count as one classification lower. (example 55 Major plus may play as a 40 Major player).

C.           NCS/AWS Player Rankings Trump all other promoters Roster Rankings

D.           If not rated by NCS/AWS we go by what your ranking is from any National organization

E.           If you are not ranked you will be considered a Major player in your age group. 

F.            You may be required to supply a roster from a national promotor confirming players ratings.

G.           Players can petition for Re-Class at anytime by emailing us @

H.           Any Adult Conference or rated C or higher player will be considered as a Major Plus player.

    20. Tournament Delay - 

A.           If any event of delay or suspension of play by an occurrence outside of Directors control (ie weather, disaster, field condition, etc) the game must be resumed at the exact point where it was stopped. It is the manager's responsibility to contact the Tournament Representative at the field for rescheduled game information. 

B.           In the event the tournament can't be completed within the scheduled time frame and more than forty-percent (40%) of the scheduled bracket games have been completed, the official final order of finish will be determined by the position of the teams in the bracket. The following procedures will be used to break ties and among teams in the same spot in the bracket: 

·         Won-loss records except among undefeated teams.

·         If only two teams are tied for a position and have played each other, the winner of that game. If still tied pool play tie breakers will be followed

C.   We will do everything we can to complete the event due to a delay including modifying game time length, pitch count, format, etc.

D.           If an event cannot be completed per above the Director will advise teams of a rescheduled or credit towards a future event in a timely manner.

    21.   Team Entries and Cancellations

A.           Teams are encouraged to register early. Promoters are encouraged to offer a pay later or deposit option. Your spot is not guaranteed until payment in full is received. You will be notified if a tournament is nearing a SELL OUT for payment in options above. 

B.           Should a team withdraw for any reason from our tournament once the team has been entered, the cancellation/withdrawal must occur prior to the tournament deadline, being “SOLD OUT” or prior to the brackets/game times being posted on the association’s website or no later than 5:00pm on the Wednesday prior to the tournament, whatever comes first.

C.           Cancellation email must be sent and be confirmed by the tournament promoter. 

D.           If a team withdraws after the specifications listed above, the team maybe responsible for the entire entry fee unless a fully paid replacement team can be found. 

E.           Refunds for withdraws listed above will be subject to a $50 fee plus any direct costs of refund or a full credit will be issued for future events by that promoter. 

 Masters 35’s and 40’s supplemental rules;

Any Dudley Ball may be used: Exception = NO STADIUMS OR 47 CORE (Teams may also choose to use the Senior Rock Ball)


AAA -6



Women’s supplemental rules; 

Senior Coed Supplemental Rules.