The History of the
Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association
Forward: Many of us show up routinely for our league games and most of us joined up to play in the DFW area Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association (MSCSA) for various reasons. Over the years, a great deal of time and effort has been spent in developing and running a well organized league. All organizational and administrative effort has been done voluntarily and without any compensation so that we could enjoy our games and competition safely, inexpensively, and in a well structured manner. Duties of elected officers and coaches include negotiation for our fields, the purchase of balls and equipment, and the establishment of league rules and schedules. Our Board of Directors consists of one voting member from each team, and our five elected officers, a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and Member-at-Large.
History: What would be your best guess as to when the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association began? If you surmised 1980, you could be right. As best as can be determined, senior softball in the Dallas area began in the spring of 1980. The “league” or competition then consisted of just two teams – one from Grand Prairie and the other from Irving. These two teams played an informal schedule on each others home field during their initial season.
Cooperation with senior citizens centers and the Parks and Recreation Departments of Grand Prairie and Irving led to more formal competition. Games then were played during the daytime. Teams were composed of retired or semi-retired players, ages fifty-five years and older, who formed teams to play during the mornings. The league was organized to provide friendly competition, good fellowship and some physical fitness activities. In 1981, Mesquite formed a team and joined in the competition with Grand Prairie and Irving. The three teams played each other, taking turns playing on each others home field.
In 1982, word was out about senior softball and seniors and retirees from several new cities in the Metroplex formed teams and joined the three existing cities. Representatives from the various teams held meetings at the Senior Citizens Center in Irving to draw up playing rules and schedules. However, there was no official organization until 1986, when the constitution and by-laws of the newly-named “Metroplex Senior Softball Association (MSSA)” were written and adopted. The league now had a formal name, laws and regulations. A Board of Directors for the league was set up with one representative from each team serving on the board. The board created an Executive Committee, consisting of a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer as well as one member-at-large. Together, they guided the new league forward.
The league continued to prosper and grow as teams were formed from the Richardson-Garland area, Ft. Worth, Arlington and the Oak Cliff-Duncanville areas. Beginning as a day league, the MSSA in 1987 organized a night league for that spring and summer. This enabled men, who were fifty-five years and older, and who were still working during the day, with an opportunity to participate. While the age limit for playing was set at 55, each team was allowed to have no more than three players who were between the ages of 50 and 55.
As the league expanded and developed, age and physical ability differences among the
players became evident. Thus, an “A” division for those players who had stronger running, throwing, hitting and fielding skills was set up. Correspondingly, a “B” division league was formed at the same time for those players with good softball skills but who would be unable to compete with the stronger “A” division teams.
By 1991, both the “A” and “B” divisions had five teams. Additionally, there was a new division created – the “C” division – which consisted of six teams and generally included less able players. All three divisions played day games. Also that year, a night league was formed consisting of eleven teams with players age 55 and up. Games were played at LTV Corsair Park in Grand Prairie using two fields provided to the Association at no cost. In addition, six teams comprised of players in the 50 to 55 age group played night ball at Fritz Park in Irving.
In 1992, because of the differences in abilities of league players, the night leagues implemented a strict group age limit on their teams. The day league remained 55 and above. The night leagues were set up thusly: 50 through 54, 55 through 59, 60 through 64 and 65 and up. This caused changes in the make-up of several teams and created the formation of some new teams in various age brackets. The competition subsequently became more evenly balanced. All teams played in Grand Prairie on Monday nights. On Thursday nights, the teams from Dallas County played at Huffines Park in Richardson, while the Tarrant County teams played at Waggoner Park in Grand Prairie.
1993 was a pivotal year for the league. Because of widespread play in different cities, the league heads decided that the association and leagues needed to be split. A new league of night time teams located east of Irving became the new Dallas Area Senior Softball Association (DASSA) (www.quickscores.com/dassa). By 2011, this league now consists of 20 teams that play on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at Heights Park in Richardson. Also, a new league of night teams west of Irving was formed and became known as the North Texas Senior Softball Association (NTSSA). Originally they played their games at Corsair Park in Grand Prairie on Monday and Thursday nights. By 2011, this league now consists of 12 teams that play on Monday and Tuesday evenings at Trinity View Softball Complex in Irving.
While these changes were being implemented, the day league teams were combined and directed by what is now called the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association (MSCSA).
The day league ( MSCSA), seniorsoftballdfw.com now plays on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and by 2017 has grown to 31 teams; 5 “A” Division, 9 “B” Division and 17 “C” Division teams playing throughout the DFW Metroplex. It is organized into east and west groups to minimize travel time with two teams playing each other twice in one week, once each on their respective home fields. Today MSCSA continues with a Board consisting of one voting member from each team; and it also has a non-voting Executive Committee consisting of a President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer and Member At Large.
BY-LAWS – SEPTEMBER 2012
Amended October 2017
ARTICLE I. ORDER OF BUSINESS
Section A. The Order of Business shall include:
ARTICLE II. REVIEW AND PROTEST HEARINGS
Section A: The Officers of the Board of Directors of the MSCSA will conduct review hearings on all protest of any matters presented to them concerning matters involving league play.
Section B: Only interpretations of the rules and play eligibility can be protested. An umpire’s judgment call cannot be protested. A rule interpretation protest must be made from one coach to another at the time of the play in question. The home team scorekeeper must note on the official score sheet the status of the game at the time of the play in question. A written protest accompanied by a fifteen (15) dollar cash deposit must be turned in to the President or Secretary of the Board of Directors within forty-eight (48) hours after the game; seventy-two (72) hours if the game in question was played on Friday or Saturday. The protest must be signed by the coach or manager of the protesting team. Eligibility protest of players or bats must be made before the end of the game; and registered with the Board in the same manner as above. If the protest is allowed, the fifteen (15) dollar deposit will be refunded. If the protest is not allowed, the fifteen (15) dollar deposit will be retained and used in the operation of the league.
Note: Both teams must complete the game in which a protest has been made, otherwise a forfeit is declared to the team that does not complete play.
Section C: All persons involved will be notified of the time and place for the hearing.
Section D: Each team or individual will be allowed to state their side of the incident. Interested parties will be heard separately, unless the Officers allow otherwise.
Section E: The Officers will review the facts and make their decisions. All parties involved will be notified of the results. Their decision will be final.
Article III. Disciplinary Action
Section A: The Officers of the Board of Directors of the MSCSA will conduct hearings on all complaints concerning unsportsmanlike conduct. Examples of such behavior would include, but are not limited to, actions like: fights, excessive verbal abuse to include profanity, improper hand gestures, improper behavior, refusal to honor the Rules for play, insertion of unauthorized balls or bats during play, etc.
Section B: All items associated with disciplinary action must be submitted by a coach or assistant coach, in writing (email is acceptable), to all five Officers of the Board, as soon as possible following the alleged infraction.
Section C: Within 48 hours, the Officers will set up conference calls to hear first the complaint, then hear from the person(s) being accused.
Section D: Upon hearing both sides of the issue, the Officers will decide as quickly as possible the appropriate disciplinary action, if any, that is appropriate for the situation. The Vice President of the Board will send a written reply of the Officer’s decision to all parties involved (email may be used), as well as all coaches associated with any of the parties involved.
Section E: Depending upon the severity of the action, the Officers may vote to only discipline the player(s) involved, or they may also discipline the team(s) involved as well. Action may vary from a first-time warning, which may include a probationary period, to game suspensions, to expulsions for the remainder of that season, to expulsions from even playing MSCSA softball again.
Article IV: Players Moving From One Team To Another During A Season
Section A: For various reasons, a player may request to move from one team to another during the season. The Officers will review all such request and make a ruling as quickly as possible.
Section B: To prevent any possibility that a player’s moving from one team to another may affect upcoming tournament play, all requests to move from one team to another must be submitted and ruled upon by the Officers in time for that player to join the roster of the new team for a minimum of (6) games before the last game of regular season play. If the individual is not approved in time for that person to be added to the new team’s roster for a minimum of 6 games prior to the start of tournament play, that player is ineligible for tournament play for that season.
Section C: All request from a player must be submitted to the five Officers of the Board in writing (email is acceptable).
Section D: All request must be accompanied with a written statement from the coach of the team the player desires to depart, giving permission for that player to join another team (email is acceptable).
Section E: All request must be accompanied with a written statement from the coach of the new team the player wishes to join, agreeing to accept this person (email is acceptable).
Section F: The Officers will review all request and make an appropriate decision as fast as possible. The player and both coaches involved will receive a written response of any final decision made from the Vice President (email is acceptable).
ARTICLE V. FINANCIAL
Section A: The MSCSA shall establish a bank account. All funds derived from entry fees, tournaments, league fund-raising events, projects, protest fees or any other funds received will be deposited in this account. The Treasurer of the Board of Directors shall keep a record of all financial transactions and submit a written report to the Board at each meeting. The President of the Board of Directors shall appoint a committee of three (3) Board Directors to audit the records annually.
Section B: Numbered checks will be used in purchases and expenditures made by the Treasurer on behalf of the Association. They will be made available for audit.
ARTICLE VI. EXPENDITURES
Section A: All expenditures shall have the approval of the Executive Committee. Any expenditure in excess of $250. shall require the approval of the Board.
METROPLEX SENIOR CITIZENS SOFTBALL ASSOCIATION CONSTITUTION
REVISED FEBRUARY 2017
We, the members of the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association (MSCSA), a non-profit organization, do hereby adopt this Constitution in order to promote fellowship, good sportsmanship, and recreational activities for the members of the teams included in this organization.
ARTICLE I. NAME AND AFFILIATION
Section A: Name
The name of this organization shall be the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association.
Section B: Affiliation
Each team in this association may be independently organized, funded, and operated according to its local procedures as long as those procedures comply with the rules and regulations as outlined in this Constitution and By-Laws of the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association. A team may be affiliated with the Senior Citizens organization and/or the Parks and Recreation Department of the city or area in which it is located. Each team should work closely with the City Parks and Recreation Department in their area.
The Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association may be affiliated with other Senior Citizens Softball Associations in the State of Texas and on the National level for the purpose of area, state and/or national tournament competition.
It is hereby noted that the rules and regulations of other area, state or national groups are not binding on the operation of the program of the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association; however, individual teams from this association may have to comply with other area, state and national rules and regulations in order to participate in games and tournaments sponsored and held by their organizations.
The Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association shall be affiliated with the Amateur Softball Association (ASA) for the purpose of using ASA rules for Slow-Pitch softball. The ASA rules shall be observed for all games of the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association played in the area, with the exception of the special Rules for Senior Citizens teams and players as approved by the Board of Directors of the MSCSA.
ARTICLE II. OBJECTIVES
Section A: To develop, promote, maintain and foster Senior Citizens softball competition among teams under the jurisdiction of the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association.
Section B: The development and practice of good citizenship and a spirit of good sportsmanship for all persons involved.
Section C: To provide safe and wholesome recreational opportunities, physical fitness activities, good fellowship and athletic enjoyment through participation in softball games.
ARTICLE III. MEMBERSHIP
Section A: Team Membership
ARTICLE IV. BOARD OF DIRECTORS, OFFICERS, AND THEIR DUTIES
Section A: Board of Directors
The Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association shall be governed by a Board of Directors. This board shall consist of one member and one alternate, usually the team coach or manager and assistant coach or assistant manager, elected yearly by each team to serve as that team’s member(s) of the Board of Directors. Playing rules for MSCSA shall be determined by the Board of Directors. Each team has only one vote on all decisions made at board meetings.
Section B: Meetings:
The Board of Directors shall meet at least five (5) times a year (January/February, March, June, September and October) and on other occasions as deemed necessary by the President of the Association.
Section C: Duties – Board of Directors and Officers
1. The Board of Directors shall:
a. Serve as the official governing body of the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association.
b. Approve the admission of all teams into the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association.
c. Establish and enforce the Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of play of the MSCSA.
d. Amend the Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of play according to the procedures as outlined in the Constitution.
e. Calendar events for the year.Structure the teams for league play to include Divisions, etc., in the best interest of the Association.
f. Approve game schedules for the association.
g. Set an entry fee for each team in order to finance Association activities – mailings, envelopes, stationary, awards, field fees, etc.
h. Elect its officers as outlined in the Constitution.
2. The President shall:
a. Preside at all meetings of the Board of Directors.
b. Enforce the Constitution, By-Laws and Rules of play.
c. Serve as the Public Relations officer for the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association.
d. Sign all official documents.
e. Appoint a Nominating Committee responsible for recommending at least two people for each upcoming Officer position to be voted on during the last Board of Director’s meeting for the year.
f. Appoint any other special committees as deemed necessary.
g. Serve as the official representative of the Association in such meetings and on such occasions as deemed proper by the Board of Directors.
3. The Vice President shall:
a. Assume the duties of the President in the absence of the latter.
b. Rule on questions of order during Board of Director’s meetings.
c. Coordinate the efforts of the MSCSA in the recruitment of new teams.
d. Serve as Parliamentarian of the MSCSA.
4. The Treasurer shall:
a. Take charge of all funds received by the MSCSA and deposit same to the account of the Association in the depository approved by the Board of Directors.
b. Pay all bills approved by the Board of Directors.
c. Get the approved signatures of two officers and sign with them all drafts shown against MSCSA.
d. Keep an up-to-date, single entry, financial record covering all receipts, expenditures and balances.
e. Submit the current financial report to the Board of Directors at all meetings.
f. Submit financial reports to other authorized parties as approved by the Board of Directors.
5. The Secretary shall:
a. Keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings of the MSCSA and send out copies of the minutes, within two weeks, to all members of the Board of Directors
b. Keep an up-to-date membership roll of the names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of all current members of the Board of Directors.
c. Keep the rosters of each team and work closely with the coaches of each team to ensure that all rosters are up-to-date.
e. Keep the Board of Directors informed as to team roster situations and problems related thereto.
f. Send copies of schedules to all team coaches.
g. Log all scores of games weekly.
6. The Member At Large shall:
a. Assist all Officers with any portion of their assigned duties in which help is required.
b. Participate in all meetings of Officers and Board of Directors.
c. Responsible for recommending at least two people for each upcoming officer position to be voted on during the last Board of Directors meeting for the year.
d. Participate in disciplinary review hearings.
e. Receive all complaints and rules questions from managers, reply in a timely manner and share with board of directors (BOD).
f. Provide continuing education to managers via periodic emails regarding rule changes, recent rule questions, and rule interpretations.
ARTICLE V. MOTIONS AND VOTING
The President, Vice President and, Treasurer, Secretary, and Member At Large shall not be eligible to vote on any decisions. Any issues brought forth by Officers in Board meetings must be accompanied by naming the source (player name and team). Officers may not lobby or campaign for changes, issues or motions.
ARTICLE VI. JOINT OFFICER DUTIES
Section A. Joint Officer duties shall be:
To provide an executive body within the Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association, under powers granted to it by the Board of Directors and whose actions are always subject to review and approval by the Board, which will:
ARTICLE VII. AMENDMENTS
This Constitution, the By-Laws of MSCSA and the Rules of play may be amended by a majority vote of the Board of Directors in attendance at a scheduled MSCSA meeting. At least three-fourths of the Board of Directors must be in attendance when this vote is taken.
Any member of the Board of Directors may bring to a meeting of the Board of Directors a proposed amendment the Constitution or By-laws to be considered for recommendation and voted on at the next meeting of the Board of Directors.
ARTICLE VIII. ROBERT’S RULES OF ORDER
The most current revision of Robert’s Rules of Order will be used to conduct all Board meetings of the MSCSA.
**Red Print denotes November 2017 change
All bats must have an ASA approved logo stamped on the shaft of the bat “by the manufacturer”, or have bpf 1.21 stamped on the bat by the manufacturer. All ASA logos must be clearly visible. In Divisions B and C, bats may also have either the “ASA 2000” approved logo or the “ASA Certified 2004” approved logo. If a player uses an unapproved bat and it is challenged and discovered by the opposing coach during play, the rules of MSCSA take effect.
Prior to the start of all games, it is the responsibility of the home team’s coach to ensure that one new and one “in good shape” used ball are available. Both coaches should ensure that both balls match our league specifications, which are:
At anytime during the game a ball is discovered not to match our league specifications, it should immediately be removed from the game and replaced by the home team with an appropriate ball.
In all softball games the playing fields are erratic. There is always the possibility for your footwear to slide, especially if you are not wearing cleats. The outfield may still have dew on it. The infield may have soft dirt that gives way too easily – especially coming out of the batter’s box. All the bases may be moist.
Tennis shoes should not be worn, especially outfielders, in a softball game or practice as they dramatically enhance the chances of knee and ankle injuries during play. Some form of rubberized cleats are recommended for play in the MSCSA League.
Runners to Second or Third Base – Divisions B & C Only
Continually remind your players that the MSCSA Rules clearly state that if a runner does not touch second or third base, but chooses to run past the bag, if they do so on the same side of the bag as the incoming ball, or defensive play , they should be called out by one of the umpires. Also, if they touch second or third base while “running through” the bag, they are still live and can be tagged out before returning to the base.
KEY POINT stressed by the professional trainer — stretching a “cold muscle” does no good what-so-ever; therefore:
1) Start with “jumping jacks” or jogging in place. Some need to do more, but for most around 50 jumping jacks or 1 full minute of running in place is a good number.
2) Next jog the equivalent distance of 2-3 times around the outer area of the infield. Usually one trip to the outfield fence and back is enough. Jog at your own speed but try not to stop until you return to the starting point.
3) Keeping your knees straight, try to touch your fingers to the ground – straight down, then try to touch your palms to the ground. While bent over, reach forward as far as you can, then reach back under your legs as far as you can. Remember to try and keep your knees straight at all times. Stand up-right, then repeat this 2-3 more times.
4) Holding your hands together and your arms extended straight up in the air – elbows locked, keeping your hips straight, bend to your left as far as you can and hold for a count of 5, then to your right for a count of 5. Repeat 2-3 more times.
5) Holding your hands together and your arms extended straight up in the air – elbows locked, rotate your hips as far left as you can and point your hands towards the ground for a count of 5, straighten up, then to your right for a count of 5. Repeat 2-3 more times.
6) Using one hand, push the elbow of your other arm as high and as far back as possible, without pain, and hold for a count of 8-10. Then do the same with the other arm. Repeat 2-3 more times.
7) Place one foot on something about waist high (a chain link fence works well), try to grab your toe on that foot and pull your body as tight as you can against your leg and hold for a count of 10. Then do the other leg. Repeat 2-3 more times.
8) Lastly, grasp your left ankle with your left hand and try to force the heel of your foot into your rear and hold for a count of 10. Then do the other leg. Repeat 2-3 more times.
Remember not to count too fast – the 8-10 should be close to 8-10 seconds.
Good luck – and stay healthy.
Home Plate Umpire / Coach
Your Home Plate umpire should also serve as a coach to any member of your team that is running from third base to home plate. To avoid potential injury, we do not want any runner proceeding from third base to home plate to get hit with a throw coming towards home plate, nor should the runner have any contact with the catcher.
Therefore, your home plate umpire should serve as a coach advising all runners to steer their path to the “scoring line” that is positioned 8’ to the right of home plate. Any player that runs between home plate and the edge of the scoring line closest to home plate should automatically be called out – but if the home plate umpire directs every runner to the scoring line, this should never occur.
While doing so they must also remember to serve as an umpire for any play at home plate. The runner’s foot must strike the “scoring line”, or cross over the “scoring line” and be on the ground before the catcher has control of the ball in his/her glove with their foot on home plate (not the rubber mat).
Substitute Runner From Home (Divisions B & C)
All coaches should instruct pinch runners (for batters) to clearly stand behind the “courtesy runner” line. A 2014 change to our Rules — if a runner crosses this line on a missed swing, the hitter is no longer out. The hitter is recorded a strike and the courtesy runner repositions themselves behind the courtesy runner line.
**Red Print denotes 2017 season changes
Metroplex Senior Citizens Softball Association League and Tournament Rules
1. PLAYING FIELD: The home team is responsible for procuring the playing field and ensuring that it is in good playing condition, including line markings, bases and a regulation strike mat.
A. Regulation Strike Mat: A strike mat will be used. The mat will be 17″ wide, and no more than 25″ long, measured from the end of the mat to the tip of each side of the mat that abuts to the backside of home plate. The end of the mat that abuts home plate will have a “V” shaped notch that will conform to the outline of the backside of home plate.
B. Bases: Bases will be sixty-five (65) feet apart.
C. Pitcher’s Plate: The front of the Pitcher’s Plate shall be fifty (50) feet from the back point of home plate.
D. Additional Line Markings:
Courtesy Runner Line – A line in foul territory, parallel to the third base line and five feet further back from first base than the third base line.
Run Through Lines – Four (4) foot lines, starting two (2) feet away from the base, on each side of second and third bases at the base edge nearest to the previous base and running parallel with the base edge.
Commitment Line – A two (2) foot line twenty (20) feet from the front edge of home plate closest to third base across the third base line.
Runner to home line– There shall be a line drawn from the 20ft commitment line to the end of the scoring line that is closest to home plate. (eight feet from home plate) If the runner to home steps on or over this line, he shall be declared out and the ball is live.
Scoring Line – A six to eight (6-8) foot line in foul territory that is perpendicular to the third base line and starts eight (8) feet away from the front edge of home plate closest to third base.
2. BATS: All bats must have an ASA (or USA SB) approved certification mark or have a BPF 1.21 (or less) stamped on the bat by the manufacturer and cannot be on the most current ASA/USA Softball unapproved bat list. All ASA or other certification marks must be clearly visible or the bat cannot be used for play. ASA/USA Softball has ruled that certain Easton bats are no longer approved, and they are listed on ASA/USA Softball website at http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Softball/News/2016/January/22/An-important-message-about-updates-to-Certified-Bats. Titanium bats are not allowed. Also, the Miken MSU Ultra and the Miken MSUM Ultra Maxload are illegal bats for our leagues. Bats that have been warmed or cooled are altered bats and the user is subject to ejection.
All warm-up bats and bat attachments must be USA SB approved. The “donut” type attachment is NOT legal and may not be on the field or dugout. The only legal bat attachments are the “Pow-R-Wrap” and the “Swing Sock.”
3. PENALTY FOR ILLEGAL OR ALTERED BAT: Altered bat- A player found to have used an altered bat, before the next batter receives their first pitch, will be immediately ejected from the remainder of that game. If noticed after a pitch is thrown to the next batter, the umpire shall call the batter out who used the bat and is now on base. The bat shall be removed from the game, the play will be called a “dead ball” play, and all runners must return to the base they occupied at the time of the batted ball. If the same player has a second violation in the same season, that person will be suspended for the next four games his team plays. This suspension will carry over through the post-season tournament and into the next season as necessary. If the same player has a third violation in the same season, that person will be suspended from the league for the remainder of the season, to include tournaments. The manager of the ejected or suspended player shall notify all other managers in their division of play, and the Executive Committee, of the initial ejection as well as any second offense resulting in a suspension, or third offense resulting in suspension from the league. This notification must be submitted in writing (ex.: via email) on the same day as the ejection or suspension occurs.
Illegal bat or unapproved bat- A player found to have used an illegal or unapproved bat, shall be called out. The bat shall be removed from the game, and all runners must return to the base they occupied at the time of the batted ball.
4. BALLS: The home team shall furnish two (one new and one very good used) ASA/USA Softball approved 12-inch balls. All play will be with .52 C.O.R. and 300 compression balls for each game in Divisions B & C. (Division A teams will use the .44/375 ball for League play.) Women players will bat the same ball as the men. The ball cover will be optic yellow. At any time during the game, if a ball is discovered not to match MSCSA league specifications, it shall immediately be removed from the game and replaced by the home team with an appropriate ball.
A. Rosters: A roster player may not change teams during the season without both Managers’ approval. Division A teams are allowed a maximum of ten (10) defensive players. Division B and C teams are allowed a maximum of eleven (11) defensive players. Players from the opposing team may be used without forfeit if the opposing manager agrees to let them play. The two coaches will determine if these players play only defense for the team short of players, or both offense as well as defense. Coaches are “encouraged” to help out their opponents with players if the opponent is short. All teams must start and finish the game with at least nine of their roster players, otherwise they forfeit the game, unless the opposing manager agrees to supply players to prevent the forfeit.
B. Batting Order and Substitutes: Players may be substituted for at the manager’s discretion. (See 6E below for details.) If a roster player arrives after the start of the game, he may enter the game immediately. In all Divisions, if a player is taken out of the game, he can return but must return in the same batting order. Once the game has started, if a player is taken out of the game due to an injury or requirement that the person exit the softball complex, and there is no one to substitute for him, the team will not be required to take an automatic out in that player’s batting turn as the game progresses. On defense, players may be swapped at any position, at the manager’s discretion, but they must bat and remain in their original batting order throughout the game. In league play, if a team starts a game with only 9 or 10 players, and the other team can only supply defensive players, the team that is short will not be charged an out in their 10th and/or their 11th batting positions. All starters and substitutes may re-enter one time.
C. Minimum Age Requirements: Players reaching the minimum ages shown below at any time during the current calendar year are eligible to play during that year. Managers shall verify their player’s ages as shown on the Player Agreement and Liability Waiver. Suitable identification is required – either a copy of a birth certificate, a valid Texas driver’s license, or some other official document as may be required by the Board of Directors.
Men in A & B Divisions: 55 Men in C Divisions: 65 Women in all Divisions: 40
D. Managers: The manager is responsible for the team’s actions on the field and represents the team in communication with the umpire and opposing team. He must have a team roster at all games and must present it to the opposing manager upon request. Managers may ask for proof of age of any opposing team player they choose; and the manager of the opposing team player has ten days to comply. Managers shall inform their players that a copy of all MSCSA league rules are available on the league’s website, www.seniorsoftballdfw.com, and the manager should review these rules with all of their players before the season begins.
E. Participant Conduct: Arguing with the umpire, unsportsmanlike conduct of any kind and/or use of inappropriate language or hand gestures will not be tolerated. If the situation is not resolved by the offender’s manager or assistant manager, the opposing team’s manager may make a complaint, in writing, of the incident(s) accompanied with witnesses’ names and phone numbers to the league’s Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will interview everyone involved and the Vice President will announce a proper resolution to all which will include, if deemed appropriate, disciplinary action.
6. PLAY OF THE GAME:
A. Home Team & Dugouts: The Home Team for each game has first choice of dugouts, regardless of which team arrives first to play.
B. Official Game: A regulation game shall consist of seven innings. When a team has scored five (5) runs in one inning (innings one through six) it must take the field. Each team may score an unlimited number of runs in the last inning. Due to weather or other causes, a game is considered complete if five full innings have been played. The score of five full innings, four and one-half if the home team is ahead, or six full innings, five and one-half if the home team is ahead, whichever is the maximum number played at the time the game is halted, will determine who won the game. In case of doubleheader games, the two coaches may agree to play five (5), six (6) or seven (7) inning games; or any combination.
C. Pitching: At the beginning of each half inning, the pitcher may take no more than one (1) minute to take no more than 5 (five) warm-up pitches. The one minute begins at the third out of the previous half-inning. The pitcher may take no more than one step prior to delivering the ball. Before releasing the ball, the pitcher will become set (complete stop) for one (1) second and then release the ball within ten seconds. The pitcher must have one foot in contact with the pitcher’s plate when he starts his pitch. His other foot does not have to be within the 24” of the width of the pitcher’s plate. He may also release the ball from up to six (6) feet directly behind the pitcher’s plate. If a pitcher chooses to pitch from behind the pitcher’s plate, he has the same option. Only one foot has to be within the width of the pitcher’s plate. For any batter, the pitcher must select a single distance to pitch from and use it as if the pitcher’s plate was present and must pitch from that distance until the next batter. The pitcher may always pitch from side to side as long as one foot is in contact with the pitcher’s plate when the ball is released, or in a position on the ground equivalent to the pitcher’s plate. A quick pitch (release of the ball before the batter becomes set) shall be called an illegal pitch by the umpire.
D. Balls and Strikes: The pitched ball must have a perceptible arc and reach a height of at least six (6) feet from the ground, while not exceeding a maximum height of twelve (12) feet from the ground or it is called an illegal pitch by the umpire. Illegal pitches should be called as soon as they become illegal. The height of the pitched ball is based solely on the discretion and judgment of the home plate umpire. The batter may swing at an illegal pitch, but if they do not, it is automatically a ball regardless of whether it lands on the strike mat/home plate or not. The pitched ball must also touch any part of the mat or home plate to be a strike. The batter is out on three strikes, on a third strike foul ball, or on a called “infield fly rule.” An infield fly is to be called only by the Home Plate Umpire. To be an appropriate “infield fly out,” in the discretion of the home plate umpire, the ball must be deemed catchable with “ordinary effort” by an infielder when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied with less than two outs. “Ordinary effort” applies to the capabilities of the defensive player or players involved.
E. Batting: Batters must stand within the 3 ft X 7 ft batter’s box. It does not matter if there are visible lines or not, there is always a batter’s box. The home plate umpire shall hold up play until the batter is within the confines of the 3 X 7 ft batter’s box. Batters come to the plate with zero balls and zero strikes. After two strikes, the batter is out if he hits a foul ball. There is no “courtesy” foul. The manager does not have to bat all of the players that are present but he must bat all of the active defensive players. The manager may bat any number of batters from nine (9) up to the total number present. (i.e., “bat the roster”). The batting order must be followed throughout the game. If a player has to leave the game due to an injury or personal reasons, an out will not be taken when that player’s turn at bat arises.
F. Courtesy Runner for Base Runner: A courtesy runner may be used for a base runner at any time, but the same runner may not be used more than once per inning. Any courtesy runner found running more than once per inning will be called out. Another courtesy runner may not replace a courtesy runner who is still on base unless an injury causes removal of the original courtesy runner permanently from the game. If a courtesy runner is on base when it is their turn to bat, an automatic out will be called, the courtesy runner will leave the base and come to bat, and no replacement runner for the courtesy runner will be allowed.
G. Courtesy Runner for Batter: A batter may have a courtesy runner at any time including from home to first. From home plate, the runner must start from behind the courtesy runner line and should not cross that line until the batter makes contact with the ball. The batter is not out if the courtesy runner crosses the courtesy runner line when the batter swings at a ball and misses it.
H. Inter-Division Play: When teams of different divisions compete against each other, the playing rules of the lower division, if different, will apply.
I. Home Runs: In A Division play, unlimited home runs can be hit over the fence at any time by either team. If a B or C Division team hits a home run over the fence, they cannot hit another home run until their opponent does so. If they do, it will be declared a dead ball and an automatic out. But, after the first home run is hit, if the opponent also then hits one, then the opponent cannot hit another one until such time as the first team to do so, does so again. If the opponent does so, it will be declared a dead ball and the batter will be automatically out. There is no limit on the number of home runs hit in a game, as long as no single team hits two before their opponent hits one. (a.k.a. “one-up rule”)
7. BASE RUNNING: The rules for base running are intended to avoid contact between players and thus reduce the risk of injuries.
Thus, all plays at all four bases are force plays.
A. Runner Interference: The runner is out if there is, in the opinion of any umpire, intentional contact with the defensive player or the runner interferes intentionally or not with a defensive player trying to field or throw a ball. The umpire should call “Dead Ball. Interference. Runner is out.” and award the batter first base. In the case of a defensive play, the runner may run out of the base path and/or miss the base in order to avoid a collision; but the runner can be tagged out if short of the base they are running to. Fielders must stay clear of the base(s) and base paths when they have no play on the ball. If they do not, an umpire should call “Obstruction” and the runner will be awarded the base he would have reached if he had not been obstructed.
B. Base Running: In Divisions B and C, any player is out if they slide going into a base on any play; however, in all Divisions, a player may slide or dive when returning to a base they have previously touched. The runner is not automatically out if they leave any base when the batter swings at a pitched ball, as long as they do not leave the base before the pitched ball arrives at the plate. If so, the HPU shall declare “no pitch” and call the runner out. This decision rests with the home plate umpire. The ball is dead and no runners may advance.
C. Runner to First Base: The rules of USA Softball apply. There shall be a safety base adjacent to first base completely in foul territory. The safety base shall be of a contrasting color to the original first base. On any play at first base, except for rounding the bag with an intent to possibly run to second base, or returning to the bag after passing first base, the runner must touch the safety base only. The defensive player must use the white base, but on an errant throw pulling the defense off the white portion of the base into foul ground, the defense can use the white or safety base. If the defensive player is pulled off the bag so that they are in the path of the runner, the runner may touch the white bag to avoid a collision, but at no time can a runner to first fail to touch one of the two bags (original or safety). If they fail to do so, they are still “live” and can be tagged out. Once the runner has touched first base, both bases may be used by the offense or defense.
D. Runner to Second or Third Base: In Divisions B and C, at second and third base, the runner must run to the side of the base away from the direction of the incoming ball or the defensive play, unless they are trying to continue on to the next base. In all Divisions, once a runner has touched and rounded a base, he may dive or slide back into that base if play requires.
If they “run through” the base and run on the same side of the bag as the incoming ball or the defensive play, they will be called out, unless, in the opinion of the umpires, the runner has to deviate from this course in an effort to avoid contact with the defensive player. In Divisions B & C, the runner must touch the “run through line”, or the ground beyond the “run through line,” for that base before the fielder catches the ball and has contact with the base. If not, the runner will be called out. After running through a base, a runner may then turn either left or right provided there is no motion or attempt to advance to the next base. In running through a base, if the runner touches the base, he is live and subject to being tagged out (umpires’ decision). In Divisions B & C, if the runner runs through the base, they must return and touch the base before attempting to advance.
E. Runner to Home: All plays at home plate are force plays. The runner to home must run in foul territory and abide by the commitment line. Once he crosses the commitment line, he must continue to the scoring line, eight feet to the right of the front edge of home plate that is closest to third base. He may not re-cross the commitment line for any reason or he will be declared out. In order to score, the runner must touch the “scoring line” or the ground beyond the scoring line before the defensive player, while in possession of the ball, touches home plate only (not the black mat). The runner is automatically out if they step over the runner to home line and the ball is live.
F. Tag Out of the Runner: The runner is out if tagged at any time prior to reaching 1st base, between bases, and between 3rd base and the 20 feet “commitment line,” except if they are running through 2nd or 3rd base and have touched the “run through line” or the ground beyond the “run through line” for that base before they are tagged. There are no tag outs allowed between the 20’ commitment line and the scoring line.
8. UMPIRES: The team at bat will provide the home plate umpire and the first and third base umpires. The first and third base umpires are also the base coaches at their positions. The home plate umpire shall be responsible for making all fair/foul calls. The home plate umpire can, and should, also coach incoming runners to run to the scoring line 8 feet from home plate versus the home plate area. All home plate umpires should carefully observe all play on the field as any call at any base can be appealed to the home plate umpire for a final decision if a disagreement occurs on any call. While the home plate umpires call can override any call made by another umpire, if disagreement still persist, the two coaches are to get with the home plate umpire and the three of them attempt to agree on the proper call. The first base umpire shall make all safe/out calls at first base. The third base umpire shall make all out/safe calls at third base and at second base. Any time an umpire is not sure of a call, he should go to his fellow 2 umpires, discuss the call, then make a ruling.
9. UNIFORMS: Metal cleats are not allowed. During league play, teams are highly encouraged to wear matching uniform jerseys. Uniform jerseys with numbers are required with the following exceptions. Up to two players may be without the required numbered jersey. Tape or marker may be used for numbers.
10. END OF SEASON TOURNAMENT:
See “MSCSA rules unique to end of season tournament”
For B and C Divisions, USA Softball rules shall apply when not listed here.
For the A Division, USA Softball rules shall apply if not covered by SSUSA rules.
MSCSA RULES UNIQUE TO END OF SEASON TOURNAMENT
may be altered using tape if necessary.
substitutes. If a team has only ten (10) players, they may begin the game, but must take an out each time the missing batter is
supposed to bat. If a team has only nine (9) players, they may begin the game, but must take an out each time both missing
batters are supposed to bat. If at any time, a team has less than nine (9) players, the team shall forfeit the game. Players may
not be borrowed from the other team.
due to an injury or requirement that the person exit the softball complex, and there is no one to substitute for him, the team
will take an out each time this person’s turn at bat arrives and he/she is unavailable to hit. Players may not be borrowed from
the other team.
keeping the time. At the 60-minute mark, the umpire shall announce this to both managers. If this occurs before the sixth inning,
the inning will be completed, then one more inning will be played. In the last inning, unlimited runs may be scored (open/buffet).
Championship and “if” games will last 7 innings and have no time limit.
will begin with the last batter of the previous inning placed at second base.” A courtesy runner may be used for this runner only
if the batter had a courtesy runner during their last at-bat. that same CR will become the runner at second base.
inning, if the visiting team is ahead by ten (10) or more runs, the home team will remain at bat and start a new at-bat. All runners
left on base must return to the dugout. It will be an open (‘buffet”) 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 it’s turn at bat and
be allowed to score as may runs as they can before three (3) outs.
Past Presidents of the MSCSA
Although the Metroplex Senior Citizens Senior Softball Association (MSCSA) was formed in 1980, records could not be located identifying past presidents from 1980 – 1999.
Identified below are the Presidents from 2000 – Present:
2000-2002 Bob Thomas
2002-2004 Leland Grinder
2004-2006 Bob Mahlstedt
2006-2008 Bob Mahlstedt
2008-2010 Jack Paslay
2010-2012 Jack Paslay
2012-2016 Jim Thomas
2016- Tom Athens