Softball Rules

🌟🌟 Beehive's Golden Rules 🌟🌟

Be nice to each other,

Be nice to your referees,

Show up on-time, 

Know the rules.


The Field


There will be two bases at 1st to provide runners with an outside run through base. This is to avoid collisions. The run through base on first is provided for close plays at first, if a double or triple is hit, it is acceptable to forgo this base as a runner and touch the inside base to continue on to 2nd.




  • Softballs will be provided by Beehive Sports. Bats must be provided by the teams playing. Metal Bats must have a USSSA or ASA certification stamp.
  • Gloves and any other equipment must be provided by the teams.
  • Metal cleats are not allowed.


Game Format


All games will last 50 minutes and timed by the Beehive umpire. If the home team is winning at the 50-minute mark, the game will be over. As in baseball, if the away team is losing and fails to take the lead or tie before three outs, the game will be over. If the away team ties or takes the lead at the 50-minute mark, the home team will get their at bat in the bottom of the last inning unless the home team is down by more than 5 runs. (Games end in a tie during regular season. Extra innings will be played per standard baseball rules in the playoffs.)


Slaughter Rules


The slaughter rule will be applied if a team goes up by 20 runs. At this point, the leading team will end their at-bat and take the field. If the trailing team fails to score in their half of the inning, the leading team will be allowed to score only 10 more runs max in the following inning. In other words, when up by 20 runs or more, the leading team may only score 5 runs per inning. If the trailing team scores runs during their at-bat and brings the deficit to less than 20, the leading team will then have the opportunity to take the lead by only 20 during their next at-bat. If the lead once again reaches 20 runs, their at-bat will be over.


If a team is leading by 20 runs at the 40 minute mark, the team leading will win the game and play will continue for fun until time expires.




Teams are allowed to have a maximum of 10 players on the field, with a minimum of 4 females on the field at any given time. If a team has only three females, they must play a man down with a total of 9 on the field. In the event a team has less than 10 players at game time, 3 must be female. A team must have at least 8 total players in order to avoid forfeit. Forfeits will be called 10 minutes after scheduled start time. One player must play catcher and one player must pitch. Beyond that, positions are up to you.


There is no maximum to the number of players allowed on the roster, all players on the roster may bat in a game.


Substitute Players 


Regular Season


  • Substitute players are allowed to fill-in for players who are officially on the roster but not available to play for whatever reason.
  • The number of subs allowed is dependent on the number of official roster players.i.e. If a team has 12 players on the roster, but three cant be at the game, the team is only allowed to have three subs max.
  • A substitute player must be added to the roster and pay league fees after his/her second game of substituting.
  • Players from other teams in the league are allowed to sub for a different team.
  • At least 50% of the players on the official roster must be present in order to avoid forfeit.


Post Season (Playoffs)


  • Substitute players are not allowed in the playoffs for any reason despite injury. Personal reasons will be at the discretion of the League Coordinator and/or Commissioner.
  • If a substitute player needs to be added to the roster for playoffs, the Team Captain must contact the Commissioner


Game Play




This is Slow Pitch Softball. The pitch must be thrown underhand and be lobbed in. The arc on the ball must be of a reasonable angle to be determined by the umpire. As a general rule, the ball must at some point in its arc be over the batters head but never more than 16ft above the plate. Each umpire calls a slightly different zone within those bounds. 


As a rule, no "ball" or "strike" call will be made while the ball is in mid-air. In other words, the batter can swing at (and miss) a "ball" and it be called a "strike."


For a pitch to be called a strike, the player must swing and miss OR hit a foul ball OR not swing and the pitch be called a strike by the umpire. Slow pitch strike mats (home plate extensions) will be used to determine a called strike. If the pitch hits the plate or the orange strike mat (or one ball width around the sides and back of either), then it may be called a strike depending on the pitch angle. The pitch angle may not exceed 16 feet.


Balls and Strikes


Beehive Softball works on a 3-2 count. This means the pitch count goes as such: 2 strikes and you are out, 3 balls and you draw a walk. A ball is a pitch which fails to legally go through the strike zone. A strike is a ball which legally goes through the strike zone without being hit. A foul is any ball which is hit but does not legally go into play. This includes failing to reach 3rd or 1st on the ground before going out of play, or failing to land in play on the fly. The first foul will result in a strike. The second strike however requires 2 fouls. A strike for the second strike results in an out regardless of the cause of the first strike.


To put that in simpler terms:


  • 1 strike then 2 fouls is an out
  • 3 fouls is an out
  • 1 foul then 1 strike is an out


The referee will help remind any new batters if they are having problems knowing where they are at in the count. It can be a bit tricky at first.


If the ball is caught in foul territory, even after the third strike the ball remains live. Runners may advance at their own risk.

After any live ball play once the ball returns to the pitchers mound the play is dead. The umpire can also call a play dead.


If a guy is walked, the girl after him has the option to hit or take first base. Whatever she decides, the guy still goes to second base. 




The batting order must alternate Guy-Girl-Guy-Girl etc. Two women may bat in a row. The batting order must be consistent based on gender. That is to say, all men and women must bat an even number of times (or closest to) in order based on their gender. (ex: if you have more men than women on the roster, women will bat more times, but they must bat and equal number of times to the other women on the roster and in order relative to those other women).


Illegal Touching


In the instance where a batter makes contact with the softball clearly outside the batter's box, it will be considered illegal touching. The umpire will call the ball dead and the batter will be out. Runners will not be able to advance and the next batter will come to the plate.


Home Run Rule


Beehive will play a 1-up home run rule based on the gender of the batter (1-up men and 1-up women). These function separately, it is possible to be 1-up men but 1-down women or vice versa. A home run hit when a team is 1-up will result in an automatic out. When time has expired, a home run can only be hit to even the number or home runs (you cannot go 1-up after time has expired).


All home runs must be run out touching every base.


Running the Bases


Runners must run along the baseline without obstruction by field players. If a runner is obstructed, they will be safe at the next base. A player is out when they are tagged in any fashion by a player holding the ball. Tagging a player above the shoulders is discouraged and will result in that player being safe.


No sliding or diving is tolerated. The runner who slides will be called out upon a slide.


Crossing the incorrect home base will result in an automatic out and the run not counting. Warnings may be issued week one.


No runner will be allowed to steal or lead off from a base before the ball is contacted by the batter.


A runner may not knock a ball loose from a player with any kind of physical contact.


Tagging up is allowed once the ball has been touched by the person attempting to catch it.


Pinch/substitute runners are only allowed for injury. They will be placed by the umpire even with the 3rd base line on the 1st base side of the field far enough away from the plate to avoid interference in the at bat. Once a player uses a substitute runner, they are no longer allowed to run for the rest of the game.


Force Outs


Force outs occur when a player has a foot on the base of a runner forced to advance. If a force out occurs for the third out, no runs in on the play will count.


Overthrow Rules


If a ball is overthrown, but remains in play, runners may continue to run freely.


If a ball is overthrown out of play, runners are only allowed a maximum of 1 base. This is to be determined by the position of the runner when the ball exits play.


Once the pitcher regains control of the ball if the runner isnt farther than halfway to the next base they must return to the previous base. If the runner is past half way, they may continue to the next base. This is to be determined by the referee.


Infield Fly Rule 


The infield fly rule is only possible when there is a force at third (bases loaded or runners on 1st and 2nd) and fewer than two outs. In this situation, if there is a pop up to the infield that the umpire determines to be catchable, the umpire will shout Infield fly the batter is out which removes the force out and the runners may advance (at their own risk) if the ball is not caught or tag-up and advance if it is caught.




Sliding will be not permitted in any division.


Other Rules


  • When a female is batting outfielders must stay a reasonable off the dirt. Additionally teams may not add additional infielders for female batters.
  • No Alcohol is permitted on park lands by the State of Utah.
  • Team Captains are responsible for controlling the behavior of their teams.
  • The umpire has final ruling.



Substitute Players


Subs are welcome to join Beehive during the regular season for up to 3 weeks. They can fill in for any reason without needing to notify us. Just show up with a good attitude and a basic knowledge of the rules. 


If they wish to continue playing they need to join the roster by registering on the website. No, we don't have an enforcement mechanism for this except our trust in your human integrity.


During the playoffs the following stipulations will be strictly observed:


  • You must have all playoff subs approved before the start of playoffs. (This means your team should have a chat before the playoffs to ascertain if/when roster players aren't going to make games so the captain can find subs/contact the league with appropriate requests).


  • There is a limit on the number of subs that you may request (Kickball/Softball/Flag Football - 3 subs; Soccer/Dodgeball/Sand Volleyball/Indoor Volleyball/Futsal/Basketball - 2 subs; Cornhole/Darts/Pickleball - No subs are allowed).


  • You cannot request subs if you have enough rostered players to field a team. For example: Kickball is a 10v10 sport. If you have 14 players on your kickball roster and 4 are injured, you cannot request subs as you still have 10 (enough to field a full team). If you have 11 on your kickball roster and 3 are injured, you may request 2 subs so that you have 10 players.


  • Teams found to be in violation of any substitute player rules here can be retroactively forfeited from advancing (ie we find out after your first round game but before your second round game that you violated the rules, the team you beat will advance in your place).


  • In the past, subs would only be approved for injury and illness. Now, subs will be approved for whatever reason you deem them necessary (work trips, concerts, weddings, etc all fine).


  • The season being extended due to inclement weather doesn't change any of the other substitute player stipulations listed here.


  • Approved subs (or your rostered players) must be used the entirety of the playoffs (you can't have Jane and Sally sub the first week of playoffs and Joan and Sarah the second week of playoffs). ​​​​​​​