League Rules

Updated March 6, 2018

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All Roanoke County adult softball leagues will play under the National Softball Association (NSA) rules unless otherwise stated in these bylaws. Roanoke County reserves the right to make changes to the bylaws during the season should unique situations warrant.


All players must be eighteen (18) or older prior to the start of the team’s first game to participate

Team Placement

Depending on the total teams registered in a league and in the interest of equalizing play, the Athletics Division will assign teams to divisions based on perceived talent and history within the league. The decision of the Athletics Division will be final in this matter. Teams that disagree with their placement will be eligible for a complete refund should they desire to not participate.


Team rosters must be turned in before the first game of the season. Team roster affidavits are available online by clicking HERE. Team rosters are limited to 25 players including coach/players. Rosters may be updated through the 4th game of each team by submitting a new roster to the Athletics Division.

Team Names

Team names which are contrary to the values of Roanoke County are not permitted.

Ineligible/Illegal Players

Players cannot play on more than one team within the same league. If a team is found to be using an illegal (non-rostered, suspended, under age, listed on another league roster etc) player, the game in which the player is participating will be considered a forfeit. Teams which forfeit two games within the same season for illegal player participation will be declared ineligible for the playoffs.

Time Limits

An official game will consist of sixty (60) minutes, seven (7) innings, or the Mercy Rule, whichever comes first. The home plate umpire will keep the official time. Time will start when the umpire signals play ball. The inning will be completed if time expires while a team is at bat. No inning will begin after the time has expired unless the game is tied. Games will continue until there is a winner.

Mercy Rule

Games will be called if a team is leading by twenty (20) runs after three (3), fifteen (15) runs after four (4), or ten (10) runs after five (5) complete innings of play. Should the home team be leading going into the bottom half of the inning by the mercy run rule, the game will be called final.

Grace Period

A ten (10) minute grace period is provided if a team does not have enough players to field a team. If after the ten (10) minute grace period the team still does not have enough players to play, the game will be considered a forfeit. The ten (minute) grace period counts to the teams sixty (60) minutes time limit.

Starting or Ending Short of Players

Teams may start or finish with as few as 9 players. In this instance, the 10th position is an out during each rotation through the batting order. Under no circumstances may teams start or finish with fewer than 9 players.

Uniforms, Cleats and Other Equipment

Teams are encouraged to have matching jersey tops. All players must have a non-matching number not found on another player on the back of their shirt to ensure proper lineup order. Metal spiked cleats are not permitted at Burton Complex.

Game Balls

Men’s Leagues - Team may only provide a Worth Hot Dot C-Loc Compression Neon Yellow softball to be used for their at bats. The ball may be stamped NSA or ASA and be real or synthetic leather. Approved softballs are available by the half dozen for purchase from the Athletics Division for $30/$5 per ball.

Coed Leagues – All men batters will follow the Men’s League ball rule. Women batters may hit any 11” ball of their choice.


In an effort to promote safety and ensure compliance, all bats desired to be used in league play will be checked against the ASA bat list in addition to undergoing a compression test to ensure the bats meets the specifications of the manufacturer. All approved bats will be affixed with a unique sticker signifying their approval for the 2018 season.

Bats can be tested and stickered at Burton Complex by the site supervisor Monday through Thursday from 6:00pm to 8:00pm during the season. An approved bat list can be found online at www.teamusa.org/USA-softball/Play-ASA/Certified-ASA-Equipment.aspx.

Any player caught using a non-stickered bat in league play will result in the batter being called out, all runners will return to their previous base at the time of the illegal bat use and the player will be ejected from the game and barred from participation in any Roanoke County Adult League for 1-year.

Home Runs

Each team is permitted to hit five (5) home runs in each game. Each subsequent home run hit after will result in an automatic out. In Coed leagues, home runs hit by females count towards the teams total.

Courtesy Runners

A courtesy runner of the same gender is permitted once per inning and must be the last out recorded.


The County of Roanoke will not tolerate the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages at any Roanoke County park. Please note officials have the authority to disbar any player from participating they believe to be under the influence of alcohol.


Behaviors contrary to the values of Roanoke County will not be tolerated at sporting events. Umpires and site supervisors have the authority to remove a player, coach or spectator from a game and/or forfeit the game due to unsportsmanlike conduct. Unsportsmanlike conduct shall include, but not limited to, the use of profanity, threats of any kind, fighting, general unruliness, and intoxication.


Any player, coach or spectator ejected from a game must leave the Park immediately and seek approval from the Athletics Division before being permitted to play again.


Protest must be made to the umpire before the end of the game by the team manager. The team making the protest must complete the protest form and submit with their protest fee ($75.00) to the Athletics Division within 48 hours of game. Teams with a successful protest will have their protest fee returned.

Weather Interrupted Games

In the event a game is interrupted for a weather related reason, the game will be considered complete if four (4) innings have been played (3 ½ innings if the home team is winning). Should this occur, the final score will revert to the last completed inning unless it is the bottom of the inning and the home team is winning.

Games interrupted for weather related reasons before this completion will be completely replayed at a later day from the beginning.


All teams qualify for the playoffs should they desire to participate. Regular season standings will determine seeding position for this double elimination playoff. If two are more teams are tied in the final standings, the following tiebreakers will be used, in order.
  1. Head to head record of teams involved
  2. Head to head run differential of teams involved
  3. Coin flip

Coed League Additional Regulations

  1. Each tam shall have 10 players with five (5) being male and five (5) being female.
  2. Each team must have a male/female pitcher/catcher combinations
  3. Two females must occupy at least two infield and outfield positions
  4. Batting order must alternate male/female.
  5. If a male is walked (intentionally or not) he is awarded second base and the next female batter has the option to automatically take first base or to bat their turn.
  6. Outfielders may not be positioned in the grass during a female at bat.

Church League Additional Regulations

  1. Players listed on the official team roster must be a member/regular attendee of the church they represent prior to the start of league play.
  2. A minister/pastor/church official’s signature must be on the official roster to signify compliance.